INDIANAPOLIS — Columbus North senior Ali Patberg, the Miss Basketball Award winner, received more votes than anyone else on the Associated Press girls all-state team.
Patberg, who is bound for Notre Dame, led Columbus North with 25.9 points and 8.8 rebounds and set 16 school records this season. Players are chosen based on votes from coaches and media members.
“Her skills are really high and her work ethic is second to none,” North coach Pat McKee said. “You add it all up and you have a one-in-a-million player.”
Meanwhile, North senior Josh Speidel fought through the toughest battle of all to make the boys third team.
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Even as a seventh grader, coach Jason Speer knew there was something special about the kid who grew into a 6-foot-8 body as a senior. He became nimble around the basket, mastering the ability to drive to the basket and shoot fadeaway shots — something that drew the interest of coaches at the University of Vermont, where Speidel committed to play next year.
Things changed when he sustained a serious head injury in a car accident on Feb. 1. He is still recovering in an Indianapolis hospital, where his family has been watching him progress.
“We’re just seeing small, little things that he’s doing,” said Speidel’s father, Dave, who noticed more good signs Wednesday night. “I have a Nerf ball and a little goal on the back of one of the doors. I handed him the ball, and he actually tried to throw it toward the goal and that’s the first time he’s done that.”
And if anyone can persevere, Speer knows it’s his star pupil.
“He became a dynamic big man and a complete player offensively and defensively,” Speer said. “Josh is obviously a fantastic player, but he’s just a fantastic kid. It’s been exciting watching Josh with his work ethic. Josh was always a competitor and we knew that’s going to compete through this and bounce back.”
A month ago, Speidel even stayed awake long enough to watch Patberg lead the North girls to the Class 4A state title.
Columbus East junior Parker Chitty earned high honorable mention honors on the boys all-state team, while North senior Kooper Glick made honorable mention. On the girls side, North seniors Debie Gedeon and Sheyanne Street, juniors Elle Williams and Paige Littrell and sophomores Imani Guy and Maliah Howard-Bass are honorable mention picks.
After leading Homestead to the boys Class 4A state title two weeks ago and winning the Mr. Basketball Award earlier this week, Homestead’s Caleb Swanigan earned another honor Friday: top vote-getter on the AP boys all-state team.
Swanigan and Homestead barely held on 91-90 in overtime over Reitz to win the Class 4A title. Swanigan, a 6-foot-9 forward who remains undecided about where he’ll play college basketball next season, certainly took the tough road.
In the regional championship, Homestead and Swanigan had to fend off Carmel, which got 21 points from Purdue recruit Ryan Cline. Homestead rallied for a four-point win by scoring the final 10 points.
Cline finished second in the boys’ balloting and certainly made an impression. Matt Holba, who led Guerin Catholic to a Class 3A title, Ryan Welage of Greensburg and Jaelen Sanford of Evansville Reitz rounded out the boys’ first team.
Dominique McBryde of Bedford North Lawrence, Jackie Young of Princeton, Jenna Allen of Bedford North Lawrence and Tyasha Harris of Heritage Christian completed the girls first team.