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North standout realizes dream

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Before each basketball practice, Tayler Goodall walked past and looked at the photos of Columbus North’s Indiana All-Stars outside the school’s athletics office.

Now, Goodall’s picture will be right there alongside those former Bull Dog greats. The senior guard was selected this week to represent the state in its annual home-and-home series with Kentucky.

“Since I’ve been little, I’ve looked up to (2007 All-Star) Bri Bowen and (2011 All-Star) Courtney Larson,” Goodall said. “I went and watched them play, and it was something I enjoyed. I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

Besides Bowen and Larson, Goodall joins Debbie Law (1981), Teri Staker (1984), Karen McCaa (1989) and Missy Wade (1992) as girls Indiana All-Stars from North.

The Indiana All-Stars will play Kentucky on June 13 at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., and June 14 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Goodall and her fellow All-Stars also will play against the Indiana Junior All-Stars, which include North junior Ali Patberg, June 9 and 11 at sites to be determined.

Goodall was a Core Six member of the Indiana Junior All-Stars last season.

“This was one of my goals — to play on the All-Star team,” Goodall said. “It was not really a surprise because I played on the Core Six last year, but (game director Charlie Hall) said just because we made the Core Six last year didn’t mean we had an automatic spot on the team this year, so I wanted to play hard this year and get on the team.”

Hall called Goodall on Tuesday night to inform her of her selection.

“I had a big smile on my face, and I was really excited,” Goodall said. “I went and told my parents (Ned and Stephanie) right after, and I called my brother (Tyler) because he’s in Fort Myers.”

Goodall, who has signed to play at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla., averaged 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and a team-high 3.1 steals a game this season in helping lead the Bull Dogs to a 23-3 record and Conference Indiana and sectional titles. She made a school-record 73 3-pointers.

“Overall, I thought the season was great, but I wish we could have finished it out the way I thought we could have finished. But it was a good year.”

Hall said Goodall’s versatility and strength made her an attractive candidate for the All-Star team.

“I think the first thing is, she can play multiple positions,” Hall said. “Sometimes with All-Star teams, you don’t know what you have until you get there. We even talked about her playing a little bit of point guard and both wing positions.

“She’s strong,” he said. “I think her game will translate well against Kentucky. Kentucky typically has a lot of strong athletes, and I think Tayler will be particularly good in that environment.”

Norwell coach Eric Thornton is the coach of this year’s Indiana squad, which will be led by Miss Basketball Whitney Jennings of Logansport. The 13-player team includes one of Goodall’s travel-team teammates, Alex Hochstedler of Fishers.

“I saw one of my teammates from my travel team made it, so I’m excited to get to play with her one last time,” Goodall said.

Goodall is North’s all-time leading 3-point shooter with 144. She finished with 1,291 career points, one short of the school record.

“I’m really happy for Tayler,” North coach Pat McKee said. “She’s had a good year, she’s had a good career, and she’s helped our team achieve lots of success. At the same time, I have a little bit of disappointment for Kelsey Cunningham because I think she’s a good player and could have been on that as well.

“But I understand that it’s rare for a school to have two players selected in the same year,” he said. “Long term, we wish them the best in college and hope that they use basketball as a tool to accomplish everything that they want to.”

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