Whether the team needed her to hit a big basket, make the extra pass, guard the best offensive opposition, sink a pair of clutch free throws or grab a key rebound — Seymour junior Kayla Griffin invited the challenge.

She proved the Owls’ Swiss army knife, bolstering the ability to take over on both ends of the hardwood while playing multiple positions and roles.

This past winter, Griffin played a key position in the three and four spot on a veteran Owls team that won its first outright Hoosier Hills Conference title — going 7-0 in HHC play — and finished 9-0 at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.

The Owls also set a school record with 18 wins en route to one of the most successful regular seasons in Seymour history.

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Shooting 57 percent from the field, averaging 11.9 points per contest while never taking more than 14 shots in a game, and 84 percent from the free-throw line on 62 attempts, Griffin could score at will with her strong 5-foot-8 frame.

With all her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Griffin the 2016 Jackson County Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

“(Griffin) has a good demeanor,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “She stays calm and within herself during games. You can’t shoot her numbers and not be poised. The moment never got too big for her. She takes smart shots, and this year she did what we asked her to do.

“She is unstoppable, and that’s the message we keep trying to send to her. She’s so hard to guard because she’s so versatile.”

Opening with a 17-point performance against Salem, Griffin scored in double-digits in the Owls’ first seven games while averaging seven rebounds as they team went 7-0 in that stretch.

She finished in double figures 17 times in the scoring column for 2015-16.

Her season-high came against Columbus East, as she shot 8-for-8 for 22 points.

Griffin amassed seven double-doubles between points and rebounding on the season.

On the glass, Griffin grabbed 177 boards to lead the Owls at 7.7 rebounds per game.

While she appreciates individual acknowledgments, Griffin’s focus was always on the team first.

“It was a really fun season,” Griffin said. “I enjoyed playing with the seniors and fellow classmates. I looked up to the seniors when I came into high school.”

Griffin’s senior counterparts — Maci Lubker, Mikayla Fee and Morgan Ritz — averaged a minimum of 7.7 points per game, so putting up big scoring numbers didn’t come easy with firepower around her.

“Kayla is one of those kids that’s even capable of more,” Longmeier said. “I think that, on a lot of teams, she would have been a 20 (points) 12 (rebounds kid). However, on our team that wasn’t necessary. We had a lot of balance, and I think that was important with a lot of our success this year as a team.”

Her efforts on the season earned an All-Hoosier Hills Conference nod along with Fee. Lubker and Ritz each earned honorable mention accolades.

“It’s tough. I felt that this year we had three or four kids deserving of an All-HHC honor,” Longmeir said. “It’s a heck of an honor, and I think next year (Griffin) has a shot at being the best player in the conference.”

Griffin was honorable mention in the HHC as a sophomore.

“It means a lot,” Griffin said of the All-HHC status. “It’s a tough conference to play in. I want to be good and come in and make a statement. You have to come in and work hard every day.”

While she still has a year left before making college decisions, Griffin will likely play at the next level.

“She’s working really hard at her ball handling skills because at the next level that’s what she will need to do to play,” Longmeier said. “We have the intention of having her play Division I basketball, and if she does that she will probably play as a two (guard).”

At a glance

2016 Jackson County Player of the Year

Kayla Griffin, Seymour High School, Junior

273 total points, 11.9 PPG, Season-high 22 pts

108-191 FG, 57%

52-62 FT, 84%

177 rebounds, 7.7 RPG

57 assists, 2.5 APG

25 steals, 1.1 SPG

29 blocks, 1.3 BPG

All-Hoosier Hills Conference, Hoosier Hills Conference Champion, helped lead Owls to school-record 18 regular season wins

All-County Team

Maddie Roark, Trinity Lutheran, SO

495 total points, 20.6 PPG, Season-high 44

165-371 FG, 44%

123-160 FT, 77%

85 rebounds, 3.5 RPG

48 assists, 2.0 APG

75 steals, 3.1 SPG

Top-50 in the state in scoring, Second in Class 1A in scoring, IBCA small school (Class 1A and 2A) underclassman All-State team

Katrina Christian, Crothersville, JR

380 total points, 16.5 PPG, Season-high 24

142-291 FG, 49%

80-131 FT, 61%

126 rebounds, 5.5 RPG

35 assists, 1.5 APG

49 steals, 2.1 SPG

All Southern-Athletic Conference, eclipsed 1,000 points for a career as a junior

Maci Lubker, Seymour, SR

250 total points, 10.9 PPG, Season-high 23

90-221 FG, 41%

44-59 FT, 75%

72 rebounds, 3.1 RPG

33 assists, 1.4 APG

12 steals,  0.5 SPG

All-HHC honorable mention, Hoosier Hills Conference Champion, helped lead Owls to school-record 18 regular season wins

Mikayla Fee, Seymour, SR

178 total points, 7.7 PPG, Season-high 22

63-126 FG, 50%

49-64 FT, 77%

125 rebounds, 5.4 RPG

35 assists, 1.5 APG

14 steals, 0.6 SPG

10 blocks, 0.4 BPG

All-HHC, Hoosier Hills Conference Champion, helped lead Owls to school-record 18 regular season wins

Morgan Ritz, Seymour, SR

197 total points, 8.6 PPG, Season-high 14

69-165 FG, 42%

23-39 FT, 59%

102 rebounds, 4.4 RPG

76 assists, 3.3 APG

49 steals, 2.1 SPG

4 blocks, 0.2 BPG

All-HHC honorable mention, Hoosier Hills Conference Champion, helped lead Owls to school-record 18 regular season wins

Morgan Wehmiller, Brownstown Central, SR

243 total points, 9.7 PPG

33-107 FG, 31%

48-73 FT, 66%

91 rebounds, 3.6 RPG

43 assists, 1.72 APG

47 steals, 1.88 SPG

Payton Farmer, Brownstown Central, FR

246 total points, 9.8 PPG

88-225 FG, 39%

70-116 FT, 60%

155 rebounds, 6.2 RPG

26 assists, 1.04 APG

39 steals, 1.56 SPG

Piper Hensley, Crothersville, FR

166 total points, 7.2 PPG, Season-high 13

57-158 FG, 36%

14-24 FT, 58%

29 rebounds, 1.3 RPG

24 assists, 0.9 APG

6steals, 0.3 SPG

School record 3-pointers for a season (38)

Abby Hackman, Trinity Lutheran, SO

224 total points, 9.3 PPG, Season-high 22

78-165 FG, 47%

68-100 FT, 68%

224 rebounds, 9.3 RPG

12 assists, 0.5 APG

41 steals, 1.7 SPG

9 blocks, 0.4 BPG

Madison Klinge, Brownstown Central, SO

141 total points, 5.6 PPG

40-112 FG, 36%

25-53 FT, 47%

77 rebounds, 3.1 RPG

47 assists, 1.88 APG

47 steals, 1.88 SPG

Grace Jaynes, Brownstown Central, SO

228 total points, 9.1 PPG

92-213 FG, 43%

38-59 FT, 64%

82 rebounds, 3.3 RPG

41 assists, 1.64 APG

33 steals, 1.32 SPG

24 blocks, 0.96 BPG

Honorable Mention

Kristen Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central, SO

105 total points, 4.2 PPG

25-65 FG, 38%

31-52 FT, 60%

91 rebounds, 3.6 RPG

36 assists, 1.44 APG

41 steals, 1.64 SPG

7 blocks, 0.28 BPG

Lauren James, Seymour, JR

184 total points, 8.0 PPG, Season-high 15

63-158 FG, 40%

33-39 FT, 85%

54 rebounds, 2.3 RPG

55 assists, 2.4 APG

15 steals, 0.7 SPG

6 blocks, 0.3 BPG

Abby Jewell, Crothersville, SR

85 total points, 5.3 PPG, Season-high 18 (16 games played)

28-62 FG, 45%

24-45 FT, 53%

84 rebounds, 5.3 RPG

18 assists, 1.1 APG

13 steals, 0.8 SPG

Alexis Adair, Crothersville, SR

203 total points, 8.8 PPG, Season-high 17

84-212 FG, 40%

5-14 FT, 36%

65 rebounds, 2.8 RPG

19 assists, 0.8 APG

27 steals, 1.2 SPG

Jadelyn Dean, Medora, SR

142 total points, 10.1 PPG, Season-high 22 (14 games played)

48-134 FG, 36%

46-91 FT, 51%

100 rebounds,7.1  RPG

24 assists, 1.7 APG

20 steals, 1.4 SPG

16 blocks, 1.1 BPG

Kailen Flynn, Medora, FR

172 total points, 7.5 PPG, Season-high 16

56-192 FG, 29%

39-61 FT, 64%

91 rebounds, 4.0 RPG

42 assists, 1.8 APG

30 steals, 1.3 SPG

13 blocks, .06 BPG

Carley McCammon, Medora, SR

179 total points, 8.1 PPG, Season-high 21

55-258 FG, 21%

56-108 FT, 52%

121 rebounds, 5.5 RPG

15 assists, .07 APG

27 steals, 1.2 SPG

49 blocks, 2.2 BPG

Whitney Rogers, Trinity Lutheran, SO

135 total points, 5.6 PPG, Season-high 14

51-135 FG, 38%

29-36 FT, 81%

113 rebounds, 4.7 RPG

47 assists, 2.0 APG

38 steals, 1.6 SPG

7 blocks, 0.3 BPG

Piper Acton, Trinity Lutheran, SO

124 total points, 6.2 PPG, Season-high 12

34-126 FG, 27%

44-65 FT, 68%

84 rebounds, 4.2 RPG

16 assists, .08  APG

16 steals,  .08 SPG

Jodi Goecker, Trinity Lutheran, SO

136 total points, 5.7 PPG, Season-high 18

34-157 FG, 22%

62-96 FT, 65%

62 rebounds, 2.6 RPG

35 assists, 1.5 APG

35 steals, 1.5 SPG

Pull Quote

“(Griffin) is unstoppable, and that’s the message we keep trying to send to her. She’s so hard to guard because she’s so versatile.”

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.