Lindsay Brust Grayslake Central
There might not have been a better game to sum up the senior's versatility than the Rams' home contest against Lakes in late January. Her near-miss triple-double (18 points, 11 rebounds, 8 steals) led the Rams to one of their 22 wins. A three-year varsity player and two-year starter, she averaged 9.8 points (45-percent shooting), 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. She also took 8 charges. Listed as a 5-foot-8 forward, she actually played center. The co-captain was named to the all-Northern Lake County Conference first team. "Lindsay is such an underrated player," coach Steve Ikenn said. "She may only be 5-8 but she played center for us and did an amazing job on both ends of the floor. She defended the best and biggest inside player for the opposition, and not only did she usually hold them in check but she also was our second-leading scorer and rebounder. Lindsay had a great 15-foot jump shot, and she was so quick that she could beat you off the dribble when you came out to guard her on the perimeter. She was also tough as nails."
Kayla Caudle Vernon Hills
The 6-footer used her height, long reach and athleticism to average a double-double in her second season as a varsity starter. A repeat all-area selection, she averaged 12 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. She was earned all-Central Suburban League North Division honors in the Cougars' first season in the CSL. "As a basketball player, Kayla filled multiple roles for us," coach Paul Brettner said. "Our leading scorer and rebounder, she also was the point on our press and our best ballhandler in transition. As a person, Kayla is a wonderful teammate who wants nothing more than team success."
Kaylen Dickson Warren
As she continues to raise her game, her scholarship offers keep rising. Wake Forest, Cleveland State, Utah, Marquette, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois have all offered the 5-foot-11 junior guard. A repeat all-area selection and three-year varsity player, she put together her best season, averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Her coaches never questioned her effort and toughness. "Kaylen continues to show improvement as a basketball player," coach John Stanczykiewicz said. "I think she's really exploded onto the scene as an athlete and the way she can affect a game both offensively and defensively. She can do things on the floor athletically that not a lot of girls can do. She's an inside-outside threat where she's really good at attacking the basket and yet she can step back and hit 3s. She's probably one of the tougher matchups defensively that any team has because she's so versatile."
Erika Gallimore Antioch
Considering the chemistry she had on the court with twins Amy and Ashley Reiser, she may as well have been a "Reiser triplet." The 5-foot-8 senior guard averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.3 assists for the Class 3A Johnsburg sectional champs. She was a tenacious defender with exceptional lateral movement. "We don't go 30-4 without her," coach Tim Borries said. "She is the most unselfish player I've coached maybe of all time. I had to tell her, 'You're a great ballplayer.' She just went out and did her job." The three-year varsity player (two-year starter) did a lot. She had a career-high 25 points against Lakes, pumped in 23 against Johnsburg in the sectional final and put up 12 points (two 3-pointers) and 5 steals in the Sequoits' supersectional-loss to undefeated Marshall. She was also an all-area player in volleyball.
Jordyn Hughes Warren
As her game has grown, so has the Blue Devils' win total. A three-time all-area selection and all-North Suburban Conference selection, she helped the Blue Devils win 13 games as a freshman and 17 last season. The victory total spiked to 25 this season. A 5-foot-9 junior guard, she averaged 15.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.4 assists per game. She sank 58 3-pointers, scored her 1,000th career point in December and notched a season high of 26 points. She also advanced downstate in the Three-Point Showdown. "I think Jordyn did a nice job of strengthening her game," coach John Stanczykiewicz said. "I don't know if she added any particular skill. She just got better at everything that she did. She played some point guard for us this year, and I think going forward that will continue to be a role that will expand for her. I think for her prospects at the next level, she has to show that she can play a primary ballhandling role."
Claire Keefe Libertyville
The 6-foot senior forward saved her best -- and she produced plenty of great games in her four-year varsity career -- for last. She scored a career-high 24 points, including two 3-pointers, on 10-of-12 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Wildcats' Class 4A sectional-semifinal loss to two-time defending state runner-up Fremd. In helping the Wildcats beat Stevenson for their first regional championship since 2011, she hit the winning free throws with 5.1 seconds left. For the season, she averaged 11.8 points (47-percent shooting), 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. She surpassed 1,000 career points in January. A three-time all-conference and two-time all-area selection, she will continue her basketball career at DePauw University. "Claire did it all for us," coach Greg Pedersen said. "She scored, she rebounded, and she led our team in assists. As she started to take over games, she began to see double and triple teams, and that's when her teammates started to thrive off her excellent passes."
Amanda Larson Grayslake Central
She poured in a career-high 35 points against Grayslake North in early January, but the 5-foot-9 senior guard was much more than a scorer for the 22-game winners. Coach Steve Ikenn called her a "great all-around player," and her season stats reflect that. She averaged 11.9 points (32 percent from three-point range), 2.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Her 35-point effort included five 3-pointers in as many attempts and 14-of-18 shooting overall. She also had 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in the game. The team co-captain was named all-Northern Lake County Conference first team. She is a repeat all-area selection. "In terms of scoring, she can beat you with a 3 or drive through the defense and finish at the hoop," Ikenn said. "She just as easily can beat with you with a great pass or defensive play too. Amanda takes just as much pride in dishing out an assist or getting a steal as she does in making a basket. Most people probably don't realize that she not only led us in scoring, but she also led us in assists and steals."
Sidney Lovitsch Grayslake North
The Knights posted four winning seasons and 70 victories in her four-year varsity career. Her individual numbers were also spectacular. Signed with Saint Xavier University, the 5-foot-9 guard finished with a school record 1,445 points. She averaged 15.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 4 steals and 1 blocked shot per game in her senior season, as once again she was a major part of everything the Knights did at both ends of the court. She is a three-time all-area selection and this season was named all-Northern Lake County Conference first team. "Sidney is a tireless worker on both ends of the floor each and every game," coach Rob Nicoletti said. "She is a tough on-ball defender who really does a great job of pressuring the offensive player. A lot of her offense comes from the tough defense she plays. On the offensive end, it is really difficult to stay in front of her because of her quickness and athleticism, and she keeps the defense honest by shooting the ball well from outside."
Daija Pruitt Carmel Catholic
It's Daija, as in "déjà" (vu), and for the last three seasons the Corsairs saw the same thing from the 5-foot-10 power forward -- a consistent low-post presence who was as reliable as they come. She averaged 9.7 points, 8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in her senior season, helping the Corsairs post 19 wins. She had a season high of 22 points. "Daija has started every game for us since she made the varsity team as a sophomore," coach Kelly Perz said. "She earned that spot and kept that spot due to her consistency on offense and defense. She's led us in rebounds for three seasons straight. That's all hard work and fighting for position on every shot."
Amy Reiser Antioch
Coach Tim Borries finally has the videotape to show to future Sequoits. It stars Amy Reiser. "It took me 10 years as a varsity head coach to get somebody who can read a defense like (her)," Borries said with a laugh. "That's the tape I will be showing girls coming up." A four-year varsity player and three-time all-area and all-conference selection who was co-captain of the all-area team her sophomore year with her twin, Ashley, Amy helped the Sequoits pile up 109 wins in her career. She averaged 12.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 3 assists per game this season for the Class 3A Johnsburg sectional champs. She also blocked 24 shots. "She plays the game very smart," Borries said. "She's an intellect out there. She knows when to cut, when not to cut. She understands the game of basketball. " The proverbial team player, the 5-foot-8 guard played inside because of the Sequoits' lack of height and led the squad in rebounding for the second year in a row. "Very unselfish as a ballplayer," Borries said. "Just the flat-out leadership that she provided to the whole team and whole program was awesome." Reiser scored her 1,000th career point early in the season and finished with 1,350.
Ashley Reiser Antioch
As she went, the Sequoits went. And over four years, Antioch went farther than far -- marathon-far. The Sequoits went 30-4 this season, 30-3 with their 5-foot-4 point guard, who missed the season opener after being in a car wreck the same day. She ran the offense for four seasons, leading the way as the Sequoits went 109-21 and won Class 3A sectional championships in 2015 and 2017. "She is truly a team leader on that court," coach Tim Borries said. "The way she plays is the way everybody (on the team) plays. If she gets down and after it, then everybody's going to follow. She led by example." This season, she averaged 15.6 points, 6.2 assists, 4.2 steals and 4.9 rebounds per game. She sank 75 3-pointers on 38-percent shooting and had a season high of 33 points. A "three-peat" selection as all-area captain (she shared the honor with her twin, Amy, her sophomore year) and three-time all-conference player as well, she finished her career with 1,627 points, 870 assists and 434 steals. She was named AP all-state honorable mention. She also remains uncommitted to a college, and Borries thinks college coaches are missing out. "They're going to get a true floor general who plays with emotion and plays with fire," Borries said. "They're going to get a competitor who hates to lose."
Ashley Richardson Stevenson
Soon after the senior point walked out of Stevenson's locker room following the Patriots' regional-final loss on their home court, coach Ashley Graham talked about how "you just hope another (player like Richardson) walks through your door." Players like the four-year starter don't come around often, not even at Stevenson, which boasts a rich basketball tradition. "What can I really say about Ashley that will adequately sum up what she has accomplished over the course of her four years and what she has meant to our program?" Graham said. For starters, Richardson leaves Stevenson with 95 wins and the school record for most 3-pointers in a game (6) and career. She ranks fourth on the Patriots' all-time scoring list (1,490 points) and is eighth in career assists. "She dedicated her whole self to Stevenson basketball," Graham said. "She was able to score in many ways, whether it be driving to the basket, pulling up or hitting the 3. When the ball was in her hands, we never had to worry. She oftentimes guarded the other team's best player, while having to be our go-to scorer. She accepted every role given to her and was one of the truest competitors I have ever been around. It was an absolute blessing and honor to have been her coach and she is going to be deeply, deeply missed in every aspect of our program." In her final season, Richardson averaged 14.5 points (six 20-point efforts), 2.6 steals, 3.3 assists and 5 rebounds in leading the Patriots to 23 wins and the North Suburban Conference championship. She is a three-time all-area and four-time all-conference selection.
Klaire Steffens Stevenson
A versatile 6-footer, the junior continued to make strides in her third varsity campaign. She averaged 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals for the North Suburban Conference champs in earning repeat all-area and all-NSC honors. She also blocked 30 shots, shot 49 percent from the floor and hit 74 percent of her free throws. She qualified downstate in the Three-Point Showdown, as well. "Klaire is a kid who would run through a wall in order for our team to be successful," coach Ashley Graham said. "She was a captain this year and truly was the glue to our team. She embodies everything you want in a player. She was a great leader and great friend to each kid on our team. She is one of our hardest and most focused workers in practices, and that translated into the success she had this year on the court. Offensively, she is a tough matchup because she can play with her back to the basket and step out and hit the 3. She has a high basketball IQ and was always locked into the defensive game plan. This year she took on more of a scoring role, and I was proud of the way she stepped up in big moments. We expect her to have a big year next year both on and off the basketball court."
Riley Weis Libertyville
More than a shooter, the senior guard got the first shot at guarding the opposing team's best offensive player. She didn't disappoint. At the offensive end, opponents had to be aware of her. She buried 52 3-pointers (35-percent shooting), averaging 8.5 points to go along with 2 assists and 1.5 steals per game, as the Wildcats captured 18 wins and a Class 4A regional championship. She was a three-year varsity player. "Riley was our unsung hero this season," coach Greg Pedersen said. "She's a warrior who did everything we asked and more for our team. She selflessly played the role of shooter, she drove to the basket, she handled the ball as point guard, and most importantly she was usually assigned to defend the other team's top scorers, from (Stevenson's) Ashley)Richardson to (Warren's Jordyn) Hughes to (Lake Forest's Maeve) Summerville. Her three-point shooting spread the floor for us and allowed Claire (Keefe) and Carol (Frea) space to work inside."
Madison Wicklund Stevenson
A varsity player since her freshman year, the senior didn't become a starter until this season. She clearly was ready for her increased responsibilities. She averaged 9.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in helping the Patriots win the North Suburban Conference title. She was the first player off the bench for the NSC champs as a junior. She also made all-NSC this season. "Everything she accomplished this year on the court was directly related to how hard she worked and the mentality she approached the season with," coach Ashley Graham said. "To have three players (Wicklund, Ashley Richardson, Klaire Steffens) average double figures really made it difficult for other teams to defend us. Madison was able to score with her back to the basket, but what is most impressive about her game is her ability to knock down 15-footers with ease. She shot 47 percent from the field, and many of those shots were outside the lane. I could not be more proud of her and her journey to get to this point. There is no kid more deserving than that one. She will be sorely missed not only on the basketball court, but outside of the gym as well. She was a true leader and a wonderful kid who will be successful in anything she does in life."
Player School Yr. Pos.
Lindsay Brust Grayslake Central Sr. F/C
Kayla Caudle Vernon Hills So. F
Kaylen Dickson Warren Jr. G
Erika Gallimore Antioch Sr. G
Jordyn Hughes Warren Jr. G
Claire Keefe Libertyville Sr. F
Amanda Larson Grayslake Central Sr. G
Sidney Lovitsch Grayslake North Sr. G
Daija Pruitt Carmel Catholic Sr. F
Amy Reiser Antioch Sr. G
*Ashley Reiser Antioch Sr. PG
Ashley Richardson Stevenson Sr. PG
Klaire Steffens Stevenson Jr. F/G
Riley Weis Libertyville Sr. G
Madison Wicklund Stevenson Sr. F
* All-area team captain
Honorable mentionBecky Bahlmann (Vernon Hills Sr. F), Kate Bullman (Grayslake Central Fr. F), Maura Fitzgerald (Grayslake Central So. PG), Rebekah Foley (Warren Sr. F), Morgan Frank (Mundelein Fr. G), Caroline Frea (Libertyville Sr. F), Savannah Guenther (Grayslake North So. G), Mallory Harrity (Grant Jr. F), Natalie Iacopetti (Lakes Sr. G), Grace Kinsey (Lake Zurich Jr. G), Katie Lach (Carmel Catholic Fr. G), Ally Mahinay (Grant So. G), Emely Martinez (Round Lake Sr. G), Sarah Ouimet (Mundelein Sr. G), Katie Rossetti (Wauconda Sr. C), Allie Tylka (Wauconda So. G), Sarah Zellmann (Lakes Sr. F), McKenna Zobel (Lake Zurich Jr. F)
Selections and profiles by Joe Aguilar