In Crothersville she’s a celebrity, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
After the Tigers’ basketball games, elementary-aged students would approach senior Katrina Christian and ask for autographs.
The students, with smiles that could stretch the length of the floor, told Christian they want to break her records and be just like her in the future.
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That lasting impact has set Christian above many of her peers statewide.
Christian’s legacy on the basketball court will not only be remembered at the high school and in the community but in Jackson County for years to come.
“I want to be remembered as the girl that never gave up,” Christian said. “I think I put everything I had into it. I feel like I helped give the community hope, and a fire.”
With all her accomplishments and accolades this season, The Tribune has named Christian the 2017 Jackson County Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Outside of all of the personal accolades in her final season with the Tigers, one accomplishment stands above the rest for Christian: Winning the school’s first-ever sectional championship in any sport, boys or girls.
That elusive crown that took the Tigers 102 years of IHSAA membership to obtain.
Christian said she often walks past the trophy at the school.
“I reminisce and wonder how we even got there and did it,” she said. “I still go out and see the trophy and can’t believe it. It’s still not real.”
The Tigers finished the 2016-17 season with school record 19-9 record.
They were knocked out of the regional by Wood Memorial, who would go on to win the state championship over Union City.
In her final year, Christian averaged a double-double with 22.1 points per game and 10.6 rebounds in each game.
Christian was 51st nationally this season for double-doubles, with 21 total, and tied for most in the state of Indiana for all classes. She led Class A in double-doubles.
Her 618 points on the season ranked fifth most in the state and second for Class A. It’s also a single season record for the Tigers’ program.
In her final season, everyone knew the four-time All-Southern Athletic Conference first team member.
Teams drew game plans up to stop Christian.
“I kind of liked having a target on my back,” Christian said. “It didn’t really put pressure on me. I just kind of brushed it off and played my game. I stayed inside my head. The pressure, I think it kind of made me a lot better this year. I knew I was going to get double and triple teamed, which meant my teammates would get open.”
At the end of games, the Tigers wanted Christian in control of the offense while also guarding the opposition’s best player.
“We wanted it in her hands,” Tigers coach Kevin Hensley said. “When she drives, we had two great shooters. If two collapsed on her, she looked for the kick. If she could score, we wanted that first. No one could stop her single-handedly.”
One of Christian’s biggest improvements this season was her ability to get teammates involved. She finished with 87 assists, equating to 3.1 per game.
“I think I made my teammates better,” Christian said. “I tried to get everyone involved this season. I think everyone was on board with me. I felt like I could finally take over games, whether it was getting to the hole or finding my teammates. I felt like I became a dominant force as a leader.”
On the defensive end of the court, Christian used her speed to grab 48 steals.
Hensley said that he saw something special in Christian at an early age.
“I knew that when she was in fifth and sixth grade she would be a basketball player,” Hensley said. “At the time, she wanted to be a dancer. I saw something in her when she was really young. When we started taking her to Sellersburg to play ball, I could see it. She had a different level of set skills that other girls would love to have.
“Her quickness made her so dangerous. She also developed that outside shot. This season, (defenders) couldn’t just stand in the lane. If they came out, she’d blow by them. you stay in front of her or give up a 3-point shot.”
Christian finished her career with 1,665 points — the second most ever for girls basketball in Jackson County.
“It means a lot to me, it makes me really happy that I could follow in these peoples footsteps,” Christian said. “I didn’t ever really think I was going to be up here with some of the best players ever in Jackson County. It means a lot to me to be up there with the people were here before me.”
Hensley said that Christian’s commitment to the program will be felt for years to come.
“(Christian) leaves a huge legacy, and I don’t think she will understand it until a few years later,” Tigers coach Kevin Hensley said. “There are girls who see her and say she’s a basketball star. In a few years, they will be playing and it will be because of (Christian).”
Christian, who will play NCAA Division I basketball at Eastern Illinois University, will start playing college ball a couple weeks after graduation.
“She’s bringing toughness and maturity,” Hensley said. “She’s a lot tougher girl now. She can take the hard knocks and is so strong. She will have to develop a little further out 3-point shot, but there aren’t many girls who can stay in front of her.”
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2016-17 Jackson County Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Katrina Christian, Crothersville, Senior
Games played: 28
Points: 618 (22.1 PPG).
Rebounds: 296 (10.6 RPG)
Assists: 87 (3.1 APG)
Steals: 48 (1.7 SPG)
Shooting: 40% field goal, 68% free throws.
Games played: 95
Points: 1,665 (17.5 PPG)
Rebounds: 831 (8.7 RPG)
Assists: 173 (1.8 APG)
Steals: 190 (2.0 SPG)
Shooting: 43% FG, 60% FT.
-IBCA Coaches All-State (small school) first team.
-Top-60 senior workout participant.
-Second all-time in points scored in Jackson County history.
-Eastern Illinois University commit.
-Southern Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player, All-SAC all four years.
-All-time leading scorer at CHS.
-Second all-time in rebounds at CHS.
-Tied for third most all-time assists at CHS.
-Part of 1st sectional championship team at CHS.
-Part of CHS team that set school wins record (19-9).
-Most points at CHS in a game (39).
-Season scoring record at CHS (618).
-North vs South Indiana Elite All-Star.
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Joining Katrina Christian on the 2016-17 All-County team:
NOTE: All statistical leaders in the state and nationally are based on numbers reported by maxpreps.com.
Ashley Schroer, Brownstown Central, Freshman
Points: 182 (9.1 PPG), 32% FG.
Rebounds: 117 (5.9 RPG).
Assists: 26 (1.3 APG).
Steals: 25 (1.25 SPG).
Other: All-Mid-Southern Conference,
Kristen Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central, Junior
Points: 108 (5.1 PPG).
Rebounds: 57 (2.7 RPG).
Assists: 30 (1.43 APG)
Steals: 42 (2.0 SPG)
Piper Hensley, Crothersville, Sophomore
Points: 296 (10.6 PPG), 37% FG, 40% 3PT.
Rebounds: 96 (1.9 RPG).
Assists: 49 (1.0 APG).
Other: Most 3-pointers in a season at CHS (72), 5th most made 3PT made in all classes and 3rd for Class A, led Class A in 3PT%.
Lacey Hall, Crothersville, Junior
Points: 196 (7.3 PPG).
Rebounds: 146 (5.4 RPG)
Assists 46 (1.7 APG)
Steals: 49 (1.8 SPG).
Lauren James, Seymour, Senior
Points: 407 (17.9 PPG), 41% FG, 40% 3PT.
Rebounds: 52 (2.2 RPG)
Assists: 72 (3.0 APG)
Steals: 32 (1.3 SPG)
Other: IBCA All-State honorable mention, All-Hoosier Hills Conference, 22nd most 3-pointers made for all classes (63) and 10th in Class 4A, 13th best 3PT% for Class 4A and 28th for all classes, Taylor University commit.
Kayla Griffin, Seymour, Senior
Points: 254 (10.6 PPG), 56% FG.
Rebounds: 169 (7.0 RPG)
Assists: 65 (2.7 APG)
Steals: 39 (1.6 SPG)
Other: All-HHC, 909 career points.
Makenna Fee, Seymour, Sophomore
Points: 224 (9.3 PPG), 54% FG.
Rebounds: 157 (6.5 RPG).
Assists: 52 (2.2 APG).
Steals: 24 (1.0 SPG).
Blocks: 49 (1.2 BPG).
Other: All-HHC honorable mention, six double-doubles.
Sarah Benefiel, Seymour, Senior
Points: 139 (6.3 PPG).
Rebounds: 58 (2.5 RPG).
Assists: 41 (1.9 APG).
Steals: 40 (1.8 SPG).
Abby Hackman, Trinity Lutheran, Junior
Points: 333 (13.3 PPG), 44% FG.
Rebounds: 305 (12.2 RPG)
Steals: 32 (1.3 SPG).
Other: 16 double-doubles (9th all classes, 3rd Class A), first player to score 300 points and record 300 rebounds in a season at TLHS.
Whitney Rogers, Trinity Lutheran, Senior
Points: 160 (6.4 PPG), 43% FG.
Rebounds: 91 (3.6 RPG).
Assists: 66 (2.6 APG).
Steals: 34 (1.4 SPG).
Other: North vs South Indiana Elite All-Star.
Savannah Harweger, Trinity Lutheran, Sophomore
Points: 183 (7.3 PPG), 41% FG.
Rebounds: 101 (4.0 RPG).
Assists: 28 (1.1 APG).
Steals: 58 (2.3 SPG).
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Madison Klinge, Brownstown Central, Junior
Grace Jaynes, Brownstown Central, Junior
Kailen Flynn, Medora, Sophomore
Lillie Hatfield, Medora, Junior
Ashton Chase, Seymour, Sophomore
Jodi Goecker, Trinity Lutheran, Junior