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  • Val T.

All-RTC girls basketball: Making history in different ways, Redinger, Scales are co-Players of the Year


Sports Editor, RTC

Isabel Scales Samantha Redinger

It was a question that lingered after every Argos girls basketball game this season: How many points did Samantha Redinger score?

By comparison, Isabel Scales was always there for Caston – scoring, rebounding, passing and defense.

Redinger made the extraordinary accomplishment ordinary, seemingly rewriting the Argos history books after every game.

Scales made a different type of history. She was the best player on Caston’s first regional championship team ever.

So we have decided to name Redinger and Scales as our RTC Co-Girls Basketball Players of the Year.

Scales played with a magnetic competitive intensity from the first time we saw her as a freshman. She had just about as highly touted a junior high career as any player we have encountered.

Redinger was more of a Samantha-come-lately story, morphing from role player to capable scorer on a team full of star players to a player who shook off double and triple-teams to score, score and score some more.

In addition to Redinger and Scales, here is the rest of our All-RTC girls basketball team.

We thank coaches for talking to us and giving insights to players in our area.

Ultimately, this list is ours and ours alone, we take full responsibility:

Makenna Strycker Addison Zimpleman Ava Egolf

First team

  • Samantha Redinger (Argos) (Co-Player of the Year) – If all you knew about Redinger was that she averaged 29.8 points per game, one might assume that she is a ball-dominant point guard. In fact, she was a shooting guard who excelled at moving without the ball, using screens to her advantage and getting to her spot on the court. Her 55 points in a game against Oregon-Davis on senior night and her 685 points for a season are both Argos school records.

  • Isabel Scales (Caston) (Co-Player of the Year) – Scales scored more than 1,400 career points, but if she ever cared about how many points she scored, she never let on. Rather, it was all about winning for her. What does my team need from me, and how am I going to go about doing it? Her winning will exceed any individual accomplishment.

  • Ava Egolf (Tippecanoe Valley) – Given Valley’s graduation losses following their 2023 run to the semistate – most notably Kaydence Mellott – we had a feeling this was going to be a different looking Valley team in 2024. This team did not score as readily and played more of a halfcourt style, but Egolf moved in from Warsaw and became a go-to scorer, putting up 13 ppg against even the best defensive teams on Valley’s schedule.

  • Addison Zimpleman (Caston) – Zimpleman could shoot but was never overly reliant on her shot. Like Scales, she was a well-rounded player who was unafraid of taking on a tough defensive matchup.

  • Makenna Strycker (Pioneer) – Ashlynn Brooke won this award the last two years, and after two years of waiting, the ball was in Strycker’s hands this year. Due to a coaching change just before the start of the season, Pioneer was put in a tough spot, but Strycker’s strength allowed her to get to the foul line often, but if you backed off her, she could shoot too.

Second team

  • Madi Douglass (Caston) – Caston’s defense was already good before Douglass joined the team as a freshman, but with her hawking opposing ballhandlers, it reached another level. When she gave Caston a third double-figure scorer to join Scales and Zimpleman, it made them unbeatable.

  • Kandace Kroft (Winamac) – Steady and heady, Kroft is a sophomore who played like a senior. Shooting off the dribble is an underrated skill in the girls game, but she had it, but she also worked to get her talented teammates open.

  • Rylee Clevenger (Rochester) – Clevenger was the best pure shooter in our area after Redinger, and she also developed a midrange game as the season went on. Rochester’s offensive improvement was because of their spacing, and much of the spacing was because of Clevenger’s shooting.

  • Marissa Iverson (Winamac) – The best Tony Stesiak-coached teams typically have a productive post player, and Iverson is the latest in that line. She gained strength and honed her post moves and spent a lot of time shooting free throws as opponents could only foul her to keep her from scoring. A bench weapon for much of the season, she moved into the starting lineup towards the end of the year, and we are guessing that she will stay in the lineup until 2026.

  • Chesnee Miller (Tippecanoe Valley) – This Valley team’s trademark was its defense, and Miller was their defensive menace, forcing teams out of their offense and never letting opposing point guards get downhill. She also improved her finishing skills at the rim and even hit a few 3-pointers.

  • Ella McCarter (Rochester) – McCarter broadened her skill set to where she could shoot both the 3-ball and the midrange jumper. Her ballhandling and passing allowed the Lady Zs to play her at point forward at times, and she was also an impactful rebounder.

Honorable mention

  • Piper Link (Winamac)

  • Gaby Gonzalez (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • Aubrey Wilson (Rochester)

  • Maggie Smith (Winamac)

  • Mia McKaig (Pioneer)

  • Grace Sieber (Culver)

  • Amiyah Williams (Culver)

  • Kelsey Cox (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • Morgyn Barcus (Argos)

  • Jadyn Field (Rochester)

  • Sadie Popejoy (Winamac)

  • Ellie Bollenbacher (Argos)

  • Macy Petersen (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • Macee Hinderlider (Caston)

  • Annie Harsh (Caston) RTC Girls Basketball Player of the Year 2021 – Hailey Cripe (Pioneer) 2022 – Ashlynn Brooke (Pioneer) 2023 – Ashlynn Brooke (Pioneer) 2024 – Samantha Redinger (Argos), Isabel Scales (Caston)

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