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Elite status: North standout makes Junior All-Stars roster

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Ali Patberg shoots during a Columbus North-Perry Meridian game this past season at Columbus North High School. The Republic file photo
Ali Patberg shoots during a Columbus North-Perry Meridian game this past season at Columbus North High School. The Republic file photo

ALI Patberg had a glimpse of what being an Indiana Junior All-Star might be like when she watched teammate Tayler Goodall play in a game against the Kentucky Juniors and one against the Indiana Senior All-Stars.

Now, Patberg will have the chance to experience the All-Star games herself.

The Columbus North junior was selected Monday night as a Core Six member of the Indiana Junior All-Stars.

“Just watching it, it made me excited and wanting to be there where (Goodall) was at,” Patberg said.

Goodall was a member of the Core Six Juniors last year and is a solid bet to make the senior team this season. Those selections will be announced on March 21.

If Goodall is, as expected, selected to

the senior team, she and Patberg will be

on opposite sides twice in June when the Junior and Senior All-Stars meet June 9 and 11 at yet-to-be-determined sites. The Junior All-Stars also will play a home-and-home series against the Kentucky Junior All-Stars on June 6 at Scecina High School in Indy and June 7 in Lexington, Ky.

“I want to beat Kentucky,” Patberg said. “If Tayler makes the senior All-Stars, I don’t want to beat her, but I want to beat the seniors. I want to be a leader on the Junior All-Star team, as well, and do everything I can to win.”

This season, Patberg led the Bull Dogs with 18.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists a game, and added 2.8 steals in leading North to a 23-3 record and Conference Indiana and sectional titles.

“We’re thrilled for Ali,” North coach Pat McKee said. “She’s played well for three years and played well this year. She shot the ball well and rebounded well and most of all got the ball to other people.

“I think she’ll be particularly effective in a Junior All-Star setting because of her pass-first mentality. She’ll get kids the ball, and if they decide to lay off her, she’ll take it to the basket or stop for a pull-up jumper, which is very effective. Her pull-up jumper separates her from a lot of people.”

Patberg is joined on the Core Six by travel-team teammates Jenna Allen and Dominique McBryde of two-time state champion Bedford North Lawrence. Also in the Core Six are Lawrence North’s Lamina Cooper, Merrillville’s Victoria Gaines and

Evansville Mater Dei’s Tori Schickel.

Patberg has attended the senior Indiana vs. Kentucky All-Star Games for several years with her father, Ron, a North assistant.

“I’ve been going to the senior All-Star games forever, so I know what that environment was like,” Patberg said. “It’s always been my dream to make the All-Star team, and making the Junior All-Stars is one step closer.”

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