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Offseason basketball: G-C girls ramp up schedule

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GREENFIELD — With every player from a 14-7 squad returning for 2014-15 – including one of the state’s top-rated underclassmen – the Greenfield-Central girls could be poised to face Indiana’s best competition at season’s end.

At a minimum, they’ll face different competition.

Veteran G-C coach Doug Laker completed a revamp this summer of the team’s schedule in part for preparation for what he hopes is a deep Class 4A tournament run.

Gone from the Cougars’ schedule are 2A schools Cambridge City Lincoln (10-9 last season) and Knightstown (18-5), 3As Rushville (19-5) and Lebanon (17-6) and 4A Richmond (11-11). In their place: 4A foes Westfield (17-7), Plainfield (14-7), Hamilton Southeastern (12-10), Indianapolis North Central (11-8) and Lafayette Jeff (1-20). And, as part of two additional games allowed by IHSAA beginning this winter, the Cougars have added a Thanksgiving holiday tourney to go along with the Christmas break tourney they created last season.

While Rushville and Lebanon are premier 3A programs, overall, G-C’s 2014-15 docket offers nearly night-in, night-out 4A competition. The Cougars beat Cambridge City and Knightstown by a combined 41 points last winter on the way to a six-win improvement over 2012-13.

Despite a roster devoid of a senior, and a starting lineup featuring two freshmen, a sophomore and two juniors, the Cougars claimed a share of their first-ever Hoosier Heritage Conference title a year ago.

Leading the way was talented incoming sophomore Maddie Wise, who earned HHC Player of the Year honors after posting averages of 17 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.8 steals and 3.3 blocks – as a freshman. The six-foot guard/forward combo has already been offered by a host of Division I universities. Wise, who plays travel ball for Indy Magic, is one of only four Indiana girls listed on ESPN’s national rankings of players from the class of 2017. Online basketball service Midwest Recruiting Report recently termed Wise “a do-it-all scoring machine” and “one of the top 2017 prospects in Indiana.”

The Cougars’ arsenal, which traveled extensively in June to shootouts and team camps, also includes incoming seniors Regan Lewis (8.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Shelby Oldham (5.3 ppg, 4.5 apg), junior Savannah Girolami (7.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and sophomore Katie Helgason (4.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg).

Wise and Helgason have been invited to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Top 100 recruiting workout July 23 at Ben Davis.

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