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North graduate helps sweep of Kentucky squad

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Tayler Goodall didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

After being shut out in Friday’s Indiana All-Stars win over Kentucky in Lexington, the recent Columbus North graduate needed less than two seconds after she came off the bench to score in Saturday’s rematch.

Entering the game at the under-12 minute media timeout, she took the inbounds pass and nailed an open jumper from the right baseline.

Goodall would go on to finish with five points to help Indiana to an 86-53 win and a sweep of the two-game series.

“I thought tonight was a lot better,” Goodall said of her performance. “We wanted to bring the energy, and I wanted to get more shots up than I did (Friday). It’s hard to get in the flow of getting good shots up whenever you’re not playing the whole game.”

Her game on the court, however, wasn’t the highlight of the evening for Goodall. At halftime, she was recognized as the girls winner of the Citizenship Award, which is given to an Indiana All-Star boy and girl of high character each year.

“I was very honored,” Goodall said. “I’m excited about it. I was pretty shocked but happy at the same time.”

Goodall finished 2-of-3 from the field, including 0-of-1 from 3-point range, and 1-of-2 from the free-throw line in 12 minutes of action. She grabbed two rebounds and an assist on a nice feed to a cutting Erica Moore for a layup.

“I can’t say enough about her,” said Indiana All-Stars coach Eric Thornton, who is the head coach at Norwell. “I’ve watched those Columbus North teams play for the last three years, and it’s almost flawless basketball.

“There’s nothing that she can’t do well,” he said. “She’s not necessarily great at any one thing. She is one of the best all-around girls basketball players in the state. Florida Gulf Coast is going to be really fortunate to get her.”

Goodall took only one shot in Friday’s 83-70 win at Kentucky. She did have three assists in that game.

“(Friday) it was hard for her to get in the flow,” Thornton said. “She got two quick (fouls). It was frustrating.

“She’s a kid that’s going to take (a shot) when it’s there,” he said. “She just fits in so well to a team setting. She buys in. She’s about the right things.”

Miss Basketball Whitney Jennings of Logansport, who matched Homestead’s Sydney Buck for game-high scoring honors with 14 on Saturday, agreed with Thornton.

“Tayler is such a team player,” Jennings said. “We all benefited from her. She’s a good shooter. She can take it to the hole. Everyone feeds off of her.”

Goodall, who helped lead North to a 90-15 record, three Conference Indiana and three sectional titles

and a state runner-up finish in her four years, leaves Tuesday for Florida Gulf Coast. She starts summer school later this week.

The All-Star experience is one Goodall will look back upon with fondness.

“It was probably the best experience I’ve ever experienced in my life so far, and I loved every minute of it,” Goodall said. “I was surrounded by a great group of people — boys and girls — and we all became really close. I’m pretty sure we’re going to stay lifelong friends.”

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