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Panthers star finds out she belongs

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Perhaps the most important thing Baylee Krueger learned after participating in the Top 100 Showcase on July 23 at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis was that she belonged.

Krueger, who is headed into her senior year at Jennings County High School, is a 6-foot power forward who likely will draw attention from women’s college basketball scouts.

Performing well at the Top 100 Showcase, which is sponsored by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association and the Indiana High School Athletic Association, probably will lead to more scholarship opportunities.

“Yeah, I don’t think I looked out of place by any means,” Krueger said of playing against the state’s best players.

Krueger didn’t know much about the Top 100 Showcase when she received an invitation this summer. Her coach, Carrie Manowitz, convinced her that it would be an important event for her to attend.

“I didn’t even know they had such a thing,” Krueger said. “But it was awesome.”

Players were assigned a team and then ran through about an hour’s worth of drills with that team before playing in games. Krueger had not played with any of the athletes at the Showcase.

“I think I did pretty well considering you don’t get to practice with them,” she said. “I tried to do everything the best I could.”

Although it is a showcase event where individual players want to show off their skills, Krueger said she didn’t want to play selfishly.

“(The colleges) want team players, too,” she said.

Her favorite part of the Showcase was playing in the games. “It was a neat experience,” she said. “I liked just being able to see how the Top 100 girls played.”

Although it was a summer event, Krueger said the intensity was high, especially when players had the ball.

Columbus North’s Ali Patberg, who will be a senior this season, and Paige Littrell, who will be a junior, were the other area players to be invited to the Showcase.

Krueger was named to The Republic’s All Area First Team after her junior season. She averaged 12.4 points a game along with 6 rebounds.

She said she already had a “few options” in terms of playing college basketball before the Showcase. “I just need to see which ones fit me,” she said.

She knew of at least one college coach who contacted Manowitz because of the Showcase.

Krueger has spent a lot of time in the Jennings County High School gym this summer working on her game and she thanked her coaching staff for finding ways to make the gym available to her.

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