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Merrillville's VictoriGaines goes past LaPorte's Delanie Alcorn basket Friday night first quarter Merrillville High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

Merrillville's Victoria Gaines goes past LaPorte's Delanie Alcorn to the basket Friday night in the first quarter at Merrillville High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 6, 2012 6:20AM



Victoria Gaines

Merrillville sophomore center

By the numbers: 15.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Skinny: Her freshman season ended badly in two ways — the Pirates lost to Michigan City in the sectional semifinal to end their undefeated season, and she suffered a knee injury that would have ended her season even if Merrillville won. The center at least one DAC coach called “the best player in the conference” last season is back. She might not be in the starting lineup right away, but she’ll be playing nonetheless.

Ashley Danzy

West Side sophomore guard

By the numbers: 15.3 ppg, 3.5 apg

Skinny: West Side players don’t make it on the preseason all-area squad very often due to the offense spreading the wealth. But Danzy showed last season as a freshman that she’s one of the top guards in the region and could be garnering Division-I college looks sooner rather than later. With depth on the roster around her, Danzy could be the centerpiece of a long postseason run in the near future.

Blayr Poston

Hanover Central senior guard

By the numbers: 17.4 ppg, 3.4 apg

Skinny: Hanover coach Doug Nelson knows exactly what Poston’s role is: To score and distribute. One is more important than the other. “It’s her job to shoot the ball,” he said. Last year was her best overall season for the Wildcats, which means this year could be a monster season that could lead to good things for the team.

Toni Murphy

Michigan City senior guard

By the numbers: 19.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg

Skinny: MC coach Mike Megyese says he has the best group of guards in the state, and he could be right. Murphy is the centerpiece of the three-headed monster. She nearly averaged 20 points per game last year, but numbers aren’t the only aspect of her game that’s important to the Wolves. She’ll also need to be a leader on the court, which shouldn’t be a problem.

Nickole Finch

Wheeler junior forward

By the numbers: 15.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg

Skinny: After averaging more than 15 points per game as a sophomore, she was invited to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Top 100 Underclassmen Showcase. That could be the first of multiple honors she earns since she has two more years left to keep getting better in the post and as a scorer.



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