Passion for rebounding fuels Trinity Lutheran senior


Before each game, coach Mike Lang scribbled the same message across a board for the team.

“Offense wins fans, defense wins games and rebounding wins championships.”

Trinity Lutheran senior Abby Hackman always took that quote to heart for more than one reason.

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Not only did Lang preach the importance of working the boards, but so did her family members.

“My dad and my grandpa have always told me that they don’t care how many points I score, they wanted me to just get as many rebounds as I could,” Hackman said. “It became the most important thing for me. I always think about that in games.”

The 5-foot-11 forward again proved to be a force in the middle for the Cougars in the 2017-18 season.

In her final season with Trinity, Hackman pulled down 264 rebounds (113 offensive) to push her career total to a school-record 839 boards.

On top of that, she recorded 387 points to move to second all-time in scoring at Trinity, leaving the Bollinger Athletic Complex with 986 points.

Hackman recorded 11 double-doubles her senior season across 28 games, but none of the stats are important to her.

She said the biggest accomplishment is helping the Cougars win a sectional title this past winter and winning a regional game to help the program finish in the top eight in the state for Class A.

For all of her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Hackman the 2017-18 Jackson County Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Hackman started playing basketball in the fifth grade at Immanuel Lutheran School.

“I just really liked it,” Hackman said. “I played volleyball, too, but always liked basketball better. It might just be because I was always a tall kid.”

When she first got to high school, Hackman wanted to do whatever it took to earn varsity minutes.

While her minutes were limited her first year at Trinity, she used the experience as motivation.

“I wanted to be on varsity,” Hackman said. “I wanted to work harder to be there. I knew that if I worked really hard my freshman year, I would be varsity sophomore year. I did that, and it happened. I’m glad I worked so hard because I’m glad that I am where I am now.”

The Cougars went 15-9 in Hackman’s sophomore year before going 11-14 during the 2016-17 season.

In her junior year, Hackman set the school record for rebounds with a season, grabbing 305 rebounds.

Going into this past winter, with the team getting bounced in the first round of the sectional each of Hackman’s first three seasons, the expectation was to break the trend.

Lang saw a shift in Hackman her junior year and knew a big senior season was ahead of her.

“To be honest, Abby was soft mentally her freshman and sophomore years. The littlest thing would get under her skin,” Lang said. “Midway through her junior year, you saw the maturity and growth take place on the court. Her senior year, the leadership was huge. Our senior leadership was second to none this year, and Abby was a large part of that. She was the voice everyone listened to in practice because she has been there and done that.

“You have to have that person that’s willing to go inside and do the dirty work,” he said. “Abby wasn’t afraid of contact and getting beat on. I’m so proud of her to come out with that rebounding award because it’s something that not everyone wants to do.”

While Hackman set goals for herself and the team, Lang didn’t have to ingrain anything new in the post player.

“I didn’t have to set too many expectations on Abby because they carried over from her junior year when she was MVP,” Lang said. “With Abby, I was a little tough on her during her freshman year. We were trying to get her to see the potential she had in herself and push her to get to that point. Her junior year, we were able to do that. Freshman and sophomore year were baby steps. Junior year, we saw how good she could become.”

Hackman said the addition of freshman Sydney Jaynes, a 6-foot-1 freshman, helped her develop in the post before and during the season.

With the addition of Jaynes, there was no doubt that the Cougars wanted to work an inside-out offense with both her and Hackman in the post.

“Having (Sydney) in here, playing with me at practices, was a whole different thing,” Hackman said. “It helped because in games, once they saw Sydney, it opened me up or they would double me and open her up. It really clicked having both of us. If one of us wasn’t doing good in a game, we could still win because the other would pick up the slack.”

Trinity opened its season with a 12-1 record before going to the Toby Yoho Classic holiday tournament in December.

“After the first couple games, I was confident in us,” Hackman said. “I thought we would be good from the beginning. We had a rough summer, but once season hit, we all knew we would be good.”

The Cougars entered the sectional with a record of 19-5 and a handful of votes as a top-10 team in Class A.

After beating Edinburgh by 17, with Hackman recording 24 points and 15 rebounds, the Cougars topped host West Washington 55-34 for the Sectional 62 title.

In the sectional final, Hackman had 14 points and eight rebounds but more importantly helped keep the Senators 28 points under their scoring average.

“We all wanted to win for each other,” Hackman said of the sectional. “It was what we worked so hard for, and we all wanted it so bad. It was a different atmosphere. Normally in games, we understand each other but don’t say anything. In sectional, we were talking and checking on each other. We clicked so good in our sectional games.”

The following week, again at West Washington, the Cougars beat Northeast Dubois 43-41 before falling to eventual state runner-up Vincennes Rivet 52-36.

“It was extremely fun, and I think we went out with a bang,” Hackman said. “I would have liked to go further, but the better team won that day. I’m upset we lost, but they played really well, and I’m so happy with everything we’ve done this season. It will probably be the biggest thing I remember about high school.”

The Cougars finished with a program-best 22 wins.

Hackman said she will miss playing for the Cougars.

“I’m going to miss the games, my coaches, teammates, the fans — everything,” she said.

Lang said Hackman leaves a top-tier legacy on Trinity’s program.

“If she would have had a coach that had played her a little more as a freshman, she would have crushed 1,000 points,” Lang said. “I feel bad for Abby for not getting that because that falls back on my shoulders a little bit, too. Without a doubt, Abby leaves here as one of the top-two players to ever play here, in my book.”

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The Tribune’s 2018 All-Jackson County Girls Basketball Team:

Makenna Fee, Seymour, Junior

Key stats: 301 points (13.1 PPG), 49 percent shooting (120-for-247), 187 rebounds (8.1 RPG), 52 assists (2.3 APG), 39 steals (1.7 SPG), 66 blocks (2.9 BPG), 5 double-doubles

Honors: All-Hoosier Hills Conference, IBCA All-State honorable mention, SHS coaches/steals/rebounds awards

Maddie Roark, Seymour, Senior

Key stats: 354 points (15.4 PPG), 74 assists (3.2 APG), 21 steals (0.9 SPG), 43 rebounds (1.9 RPG), 40 percent shooting (109-for-270), 1,337 career points (in three seasons)

Honors: All-HHC, SHS assists award

Ashton Chase, Seymour, Junior

Key stats: 241 points (10.5 PPG), 38 percent FG (84-for-221) and 30 percent 3PT (37-for-124), 58 assists (2.3 APG), 92 rebounds (4.0 RPG), 35 steals (1.5 SPG)

Honors: All-HHC honorable mention

Ashley Schroer, Brownstown Central, Sophomore

Key stats: 260 points (10.0 PPG), 44 percent shooting (92-for-207), 177 rebounds (6.8 RPG), 62 assists (2.4 APG), 22 steals (0.85 SPG), 29 blocks (1.1 BPG), 5 double-doubles

Honors: All-Mid-Southern Conference, BC rebounding and assists awards, Toby Yoho Classic All-Tournament team

Kristen Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central, Senior

Key stats: 124 points (4.8 PPG), 31 percent shooting (24-for-77), 55 steals (2.1 SPG), 68 deflections, 58 assists (2.2 APG), 11 blocks (.42 BPG), 72 rebounds (2.8 RPG)

Honors: ICGSA Academic All-State honorable mention, IBCA Academic All-Sate honorable mention, HBCA District team, Toby Yoho Classic All-Tournament team, BC MVP, Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Mental Attitude Award

Piper Hensley, Crothersville, Junior

Key stats: 307 points (13.3 PPG), 30 percent FG (82-for-269) and 35 percent 3PT (55-for-156), 46 assists (2.0 APG), 100 rebounds (4.3 RPG), 28 steals (1.1 SPG)

Honors: All-Southern Athletic Conference, became all-time 3PT leader (160) at CHS

Tayler Brewer, Crothersville, Junior

Key stats: 441 points (19.2 PPG), 53 percent shooting (181-for-343), 243 rebounds (10.6 RPG), 38 steals (1.7 SPG), 42 blocks (1.8 BPG), 32 assists (1.4 APG), 12 double-doubles

Honors: IBCA All-State honorable mention, All-SAC, CHS single-game rebounding record (25)

Sydney Jaynes, Trinity Lutheran, Freshman

Key stats: 311 points (11.1 PPG), 41 percent shooting (121-for-311), 199 rebounds (7.1 RPG), 61 assists (2.2 APG), 37 steals (1.3 SPG), 68 blocks (2.4 BPG), 64 deflections, 5 double-doubles

Honors: IBCA All-State honorable mention, Toby Yoho Classic All-Tournament team, Trinity Co-Most Improved, sectional champion

Jodi Goecker, Trinity Lutheran, Senior

Key stats: 106 points (3.8 PPG), 54 assists (1.9 APG), 104 rebounds (3.7 RPG), 78 steals (2.8 SPG), 87 deflections

Honors: Academic All-State honorable mention, Trinity Co-MVP, sectional champion

Piper Acton, Trinity Lutheran, Senior

Key stats: 235 points (8.4 PPG), 33 percent FG (79-for-242) and 31 percent 3PT (25-for-80), 62 rebounds (2.2 RPG), 98 assists (3.5 APG), 46 steals (1.6 SPG), 30 blocks (1.1 BPG)

Honors: Trinity record for assists in a season, Trinity Co-Most Improved, sectional champion

Honorable mention

Savannah Harweger, Trinity Lutheran, Junior

Aidan Hiester, Seymour, Sophomore

Maddie Riley, Crothersville, Junior

Payton Farmer, Brownstown Central, Junior

Lillian Hatfield, Medora, Senior

Kailen Flynn, Medora, Junior

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The Tribune’s 2018 Jackson County Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Abby Hackman, Trinity Lutheran, Senior

2017-18 season key stats: 387 points (13.8 PPG), 46 percent shooting (146-for-316), 264 rebounds (9.4 RPG, 113 offensive), 35 steals (1.3 SPG), 7 blocks, 11 double-doubles

Career stats: 94 games played, 986 points, 839 rebounds (342 offensive), 118 steals, 32 blocks, 45 percent shooting, 59 assists

Honors: IBCA All-State honorable mention, Academic All-State honorable mention, helped lead team to West Washington Sectional championship and Elite Eight finish, two-time Trinity MVP, most rebounds in school history (839), school record for rebounds in a season (305, 2016-17)


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