Now that Bailey Tabeling has broken all the records she had in sight, the Trinity Lutheran senior is focused on helping her girls basketball team reach its postseason goals.
Tabeling has been a part of two state runner-up volleyball teams and a regional champion softball squad, but has yet to get past the regional with the basketball team. She hopes that changes this year.
“Personally, I’ve accomplished all of the individual goals that I had,” Tabeling said. “I’ve gotten those out of the way, but now, I’m working to help the team get their first regional win. We’re putting in the work at practice and the games. We’ve had a lot of team bonding, and hopefully, we can win that regional title. I told (coach Mike Lang) I want to get the team to regional and win it, not just for me, but just making sure everybody gets the feel for the win.”
It’s been a record-setting year for Tabeling. In the Cougars’ first game of the season Nov. 15 at Brownstown Central, she broke the school career record of 1,598 points set by Sydney Jaynes, who now is a sophomore starter at Butler. Jaynes had eeked ahead of Bailey’s older sister Brittany, who finished her career with 1,593 points.
On Nov. 28, Bailey set a single-game school-record 38 points in a win at Indianapolis Lutheran. That pushed her past former Seymour star Amanda Moore’s Jackson County record of 1,687.
“Coming into high school, my main goal was actually to break my sister’s record,” Bailey said. “Then Sydney broke hers, so my goal was to break Sydney’s. Then my dad started talking about the Jackson County record, and he said, ‘Hey, if you break the Jackson County record, you’re only a couple hundred away from 2,000.’ So it was definitely a possibility that it could happen.”
That happened Tuesday in Class A No. 4 Trinity’s loss at Class A No. 2 Lanesville. The Ohio University recruit scored her 1,999th and 2,000th points on a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.
“It was huge,” she said. “Not many people can get there. People get 1,000 or 1,500, but 2,000 is incredible. Obviously, I can’t take all the credit for it. My teammates are just as imporant in this. It definitely wouldn’t be possible without my teammates.”
Bailey also credited her coach, Mike Lang, and her father Bob Tabeling for helping her reach the milestone.
“(Lang is) always telling me if I miss a shot, who cares? Just keep shooting,” she said. “My dad is the same way. He’s always working with me.”
“Bailey is a natural scorer,” Lang added. “She’s extremely talented and gifted with the basketball in her hands. She’s a team player. When you need a bucket, she can go out and get you a bucket.”
Earlier this season, Tabeling also eclipsed the 400-assist mark for her career and became Trinity’s all-time leader in that category, as well.
With just four games left in the regular season, Bailey leads the 14-5 Cougars with 22.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. Her scoring output has been affected by teams double- and triple-teaming her.
“She’s faced a lot of junk defenses, and she faced another one (Tuesday) night,” Lang said. “We’ve seen a lot of box-and-ones, triangle-and-twos. She has to spend a lot of energy working to get open. She’s had a lot of points that she’s had to work extremely hard for.”
“I think it’s frustrating on everybody, not only me,” Bailey added. “Sometimes, it just kind of takes us off balance.”
While Bailey runs the point in transition, sophomore Jordan Brewer has assumed the point guard role in many of the half-court sets. That has allowed Bailey to get open for more shots.
Sophomore Madison Keith (11.7 ppg), junior Liza Froedge (10.7) and Brewer (10.1) have helped take some of the scoring load off of Bailey.
“We’ve been fortunate enough this year that we’ve had scorers around her that teams have had to jump out of (the double-teams) pretty quick,” Lang said. “Anytime a team puts a box on you, everything has to work a little bit more crisper.”
Bailey has one more individual goal following the season. She hopes to make the Indiana All-Star team after being snubbed for the Junior All-Star team last year.
“It was kind of frustrating last year when I didn’t make it,” she said. “But it made me work harder to get better. You have your smaller 1A, 2A schools that have just as talented players as the bigger schools do.”