Southwestern's Devin Brierly is the Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three years. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
Southwestern's Devin Brierly is the Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three years. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
Although no local team won a postseason tournament, this season has to be considered one of the more successful ones in the area for girls basketball in some time.

Four of the five Courierarea teams posted double-digit wins with the fifth winning eight games and all five posted their best season in at least three years each. That’s even more impressive when one considers that of the top 20 scorers in the area, only seven were seniors.

No team had a greater jump than Southwestern, which went 16-8 on the season and almost completely reversed its 7-16 record from a year earlier. The Rebels opened the season with a close win and kept winning, starting the year 10-2 and posted their best season record since 2007-08.

Devin Brierly, who was the star of that 2008 Southwestern squad, is now in her third year as coach at her alma mater and was named The Madison Courier Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons.

Southwestern senior Bella Marcum was named Defensive Player of the Year after an impressive season in which she tortured opposing ballhandlers. No where was that better on display than in a late-season win over South Ripley where she claimed six steals in the first half.

Despite a six-game difference between them, Switzerland County senior Aleiah Thomas and Trimble County junior Shelby Wilcoxson finished in a dead-heat for the scoring championship at 16.5 points per game. Trimble County’s Emma Ginn started all 28 games she played and became the fourth Lady Raider to earn Freshman of Year honors.

Player of the Year Jade Nutley of Madison is joined on the Courierarea First Team by Marcum, Thomas, Wilcoxson and Southwestern junior Ellie Foley.

The Lady Cubs, who won 14 games, also had three players named on the Second Team including senior Paige Young, junior Lundun Perry and sophomore Taylor Lynch. Shawe senior Grace McAllister and Southwestern junior Ashton Goode were also Second Teamers.

It was a down year in scoring across the board with only five players — Thomas, Wilcoxson, Nutley, Foley and Marcum — averaging in double-digits for the season and Thomas’ and Wilcoxson’s 16.5 average was the lowest by a scoring champion since Madison’s Kelsey Block won the title with 15.8 per game in 2012.

Madison and Switzerland County each had five players among the top 20 scorers in the area with Southwestern and Trimble County each with four and Shawe two. Thomas led all seniors in scoring, Wilcoxson was the top junior, Lynch (8.3) was the top scoring sophomore and Ginn (5.6) was the top freshman.



Girls Basketball



Jade Nutley, Jr., Madison


Bella Marcum, Sr., Southwestern


Aleiah Thomas, Sr., Switzerland Co.

Shelby Wilcoxson, Jr., Trimble Co.


Emma Ginn, Trimble Co.


Devin Brierly, Southwestern


Name, School Cl. Hgt. PPG

Emma Foley, Southwestern Jr. 5-7 14.6

Bella Marcum, Southwestern Sr. 5-6 11.2

Jade Nutley, Madison Jr. 6-1 14.9

Aleiah Thomas, Switzerland Co. Sr. 5-8 16.5

Shelby Wilcoxson, Trimble Co. Jr. 5-9 16.5


Name, School Cl. Hgt. PPG

Ashton Goode, Southwestern Jr.5-7 9.2

Taylor Lynch, Madison So. 5-7 8.3

Lundun Perry, Madison Jr. 5-8 7.8

Grace McAllister, Shawe Sr. 5-9 8.7

Paige Young, Madison Sr. 5-7 9.0



Name, School Cl. G Pts. Hi Avg.

Aleiah Thomas, SwitzCo. Sr. 22 363 23 16.5

Shelby Wilcoxson, Trimble Co. Jr. 28 462 30 16.5

Jade Nutley, Madison Jr. 23 343 24 14.9

Ellie Foley, Southwestern Jr. 24 351 29 14.6

Bella Marcum, Southwestern Sr. 23 258 17 11.2

Ashton Goode, Southwestern Jr. 24 220 19 9.2

Paige Young, Madison Sr. 22 199 22 9.0

Grace McAllister, Shawe Sr. 19 166 16 8.7

Taylor Lynch, Madison So. 23 192 22 8.3

Jessie Duvall, SwitzCo. So. 24 190 20 7.9

Lundun Perry, Madison Jr. 21 163 17 7.8

Kyah Chase, SwitzCo. So. 24 174 14 7.3

Abby Ponder, Trimble Co. Sr. 28 199 18 7.1

Trinity McLain, Southwestern So. 23 157 18 6.8

Colby O’Connor, Trimble Co. Sr. 24 154 15 6.4

Emma Ginn, Trimble Co. Fr. 28 158 11 5.6

Josie Meyer, SwitzCo. Sr. 24 127 16 5.3

Maddie Duvall, SwitzCo. So. 24 126 17 5.3

Abigail Hill, Shawe Jr. 21 112 13 5.3

Daesja Jay, Madison Jr. 23 120 19 5.2




Final Record: 14-9

Highest Moment: Madison blitzed Brownstown from the start, leading 20-2 after the first quarter to pull off the upset of the Class 3A No. 10 Braves om Jan. 7.

Lowest Moment: Madison is never in the game as Class 3A No. 3 Silver Creek rolls to a 70-55 win on Jan. 14.

Outlook: Madison was knocked out by Silver Creek in the opening round of the tournament, but with three starters back — including Player of the Year Jade Nutley — the Cubs should be one of the top teams in southeastern Indiana next year and a serious contender to win their first sectional title since 2014.


Final Record: 8-15

Highest Moment: Shawe opened the sectional on Feb. 4 with a 43-22 win over Medora that was far more lopsided than the score indicated. The win marked the fourth-straight year that the Hilltoppers have won a tournament game.

Lowest Moment: An 80-40 loss to Crothersville on Dec. 23 was Shawe’s fifth-straight and dropped the Hilltoppers to 1-8 on the season.

Outlook: Second-year coach Terry King led the Hilltoppers to eight wins, their highest total in four seasons. With four starters back and several talented players moving up, Shawe has a chance to be even better next year.


Final Record: 16-8

Highest Moment: A 43-40 win over Borden on Dec. 17 pushed Southwestern’s record to 10-2, its best start to a season since 2008.

Lowest Moment: Southwestern entered the sectional as the favorite, but suffered a 47-36 loss to North Decatur in the opening round on Feb. 4.

Outlook: The Rebels nearly reversed their record from the year before and were the surprise team of southeastern Indiana, finishing second in the ORVC standings. With four starters back, Southwestern has its sights set on not only a conference crown, but its first sectional title since 2008.


Final Record: 15-9

Highest Moment: Switzerland County knocked off Trimble County 49-41 on Dec. 19 for its ninth-straight win and 10th in 11 games to open the season.

Lowest Moment: A 52-50 loss to Oldenburg on Jan. 23 was the Pacers’ fifth in six games and seventh in nine games.

Outlook: The season ended up being disappointing for Switzerland, which was expected to compete for the sectional title but ended up getting upset instead. But even with the loss of all-time leading scorer Aleiah Thomas, the Pacers have plenty of young talent and should make a run at the sectional this year.


Final Record: 12-16

Highest Moment: The Raiders defeat Henry County 59-41 on Feb. 14 for their eighth win in the past 10 games.

Lowest Moment: A 58-37 loss to Oldham County in the district tournament on Feb. 25 was the Raiders’ fourth-straight and ended their season.

Outlook: Trimble County doubled its win total from the year before and with virtually everybody back, should return back to its winning ways next year. An All “A” Classic Eighth Region crown, and even a district title, are not out of the question.