Local girls compete in underclass showcase

INDIANAPOLIS — Three athletes looking to improve their basketball games represented Columbus on Tuesday in the Girls Underclass Showcase at Ben Davis.

Britney Ballard and Kristen Lyons, who will be seniors at Columbus East, and Chelsi Giesige, who will be a sophomore at Columbus North, all traveled to Indianapolis to compete against some of the top girls basketball talent in the state.

“(Getting invited) basically tells you that you’re one of the best in the state,” Ballard said. “That boosts your confidence up a little bit.”

There were 12 total teams in the showcase, and Ballard went 2-1 on the Blue team. This is her second year participating in the showcase but said she felt better knowing her teammate, Lyons, also was with her this year. Ballard was the only player from Columbus who participated in the event the first time around.

Lyons said she had a great time playing against new talent to help her get better. She played on the Red team, which finished 2-1. Playing against that level of talent has given her more confidence moving forward into her final season with the Olympians.

“These are the best girls in Indiana, so it’s really great to play against them,” Lyons said. “… I think I got a lot of confidence knowing that I can play at this level, and I’m just ready for the season.”

Giesige made her showcase debut this year, as well. She played on the White team alongside Makenna Fee of Seymour. The White team finished 2-1, and Giesige was pleased with the way she passed the ball throughout the day. She also took note of what she needs to work on before the season starts.

“I learned that I should probably get a little stronger finishing around the rim,” Giesige said. “A lot of these girls were a lot stronger than I was. They’re really good, so I know I need to work on my game.”

Giesige played mostly junior varsity as a freshman last season. She led the JV team in scoring and has her eyes on becoming a varsity starter in the future.

Three local boys players will participate in the Boys Underclass Showcase today at Ben Davis. Max Nolting, who will be a senior at East, will be joined by Mason Sherman, who will be a senior at Hauser, and Matt Cornett, who will be a senior at South Decatur.

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.