Trinity’s Tabeling headlines girls basketball all-county team

Bailey Tabeling is a three-sport athlete at Trinity Lutheran High School, and she’s had a fair share of success in all three — volleyball, basketball and softball.

But when Tabeling was a baby, her parents told her the only type of ball she would bring with her and play with was a basketball.

It’s no shock Tabeling gravitated the most toward basketball, and the 5-foot-10 guard just finished up her junior season with the Cougars in which she averaged 19.8 points per game and led Trinity to a sectional championship in February.

Due to her contributions on the hardwood this winter, Tabeling has been named the Jackson County Player of the Year in girls basketball.

Not only did she lead her team in scoring, but she also led the Cougars in rebounds (7.8), assists (4.7), steals (3.0) and blocks (1.4).

“I’m really proud of myself because sometimes you look at me and can think ‘she’s just offense,’” Tabeling said. “But if you go and look at those stats, I led in steals, blocks, rebounds, assists. I’m not just a one-dimensional player.”

Tabeling really wanted to improve on the defensive side of the ball heading into her junior year because with how much she contributes to the game on offense, she wanted to have a similar impact on defense.

“I think my defense definitely stepped up,” Tabeling said. “Kailene Cockerham was always on me for my defense and so was Mike (Lang). I’d say from sophomore year to this year, that was my biggest achievement of trying to get better on that side of the ball.”

Tabeling’s offense was still a treat to watch, especially when she got in a rhythm.

She scored in double figures 23 times this season with her high games being 34 against Southwestern, and 32 against South Knox and Brownstown Central. She scored 20 or more in 12 other games.

Tabeling now has 1,583 points through her junior at Trinity and ranks third on the school’s career scoring list.

“When you make the first one, and then see four, five and six fall, you just want the ball because you know you’re the person that’s on right now,” Tabeling said. “When I was hot, my teammates got me the ball. When someone else was hot, we got them the ball. We shared the ball amazing this season. It’s an amazing feeling when that happens.”

Tabeling was always at the top of the opponents’ scouting report, and she saw a plethora of defensive schemes thrown at her this year to try to slow her down.

“The main thing when I go into a game is I’m going to play how I play, and then I’ll adapt to what the defense is doing,” she said. “This year, there was face-guarding, triple team, double team, zone to chase me around… My teammates did what they needed to do to help me out and I tried to step up for them when I had to.”

As talented of an individual player as Tabeling is, she continued to hand out credit to her teammates when reflecting on the season.

The Cougars finished the year 16-9 and went through a patch where illnesses slowed the team down.

“We had two big games against Vincennes Rivet and Lanesville where one of our starters was out sick,” Tabeling said. “We had to bring a player up from JV and that was Jordan Brewer, and she did phenomenal. For being a freshman, and starting against two of the best teams in the state, it can be nerve-wracking, but she did really well.”

Tabeling continued, “I think throughout the season we did really well as a team. We worked together and made sure everyone got their shots.

“We were always trying to be encouraging and teaching them (younger players) what they needed to know. All of the freshmen did amazing and what they needed to. Madison Keith started for us, and that was big.”

Tabeling has already started her AAU season for the Indiana Elite Thunder, and that squad recently won the 2022 Shamrock Classic over the weekend. Tabeling has one more AAU tournament this weekend, and then she said she’s going to be 100 percent locked in on softball this spring.

Once softball season ends, she’ll ramp up AAU again for the whole month of July.

She hopes to continue to grow her game as she heads into her senior season next winter.

“I’m definitely going to keep working on my defense, making sure it’s better than it has been,” she said. “I’m also going to work on seeing the court. I see the court very well, but sometimes I think I can see it better. Just seeing the court and giving those players who gave the effort to get down the court a chance to score.”

The remainder of the 2021-22 All-County girls basketball team:

Maddy Hackman, Jr., Brownstown Central: 15.5 points per game, all-MSC first team

Brooke Trinkle, Jr., Seymour: 12.0 points per game, all-HHC honorable mention

Liza Froedge, So., Trinity Lutheran: 10.5 points per game

Kennadi Lakins, Sr., Crothersville: 17.7 points per game, all-SAC first team

Kalee Borden, Jr., Brownstown Central: 7.9 points per game

Kendall Sterling, So., Seymour: 11.3 points per game, all-HHC first team

Kailene Cockerham, Sr., Trinity Lutheran: 8.3 points per game

Emma Klinge, Sr., Brownstown Central: 6.6 points per game

Grace Schrader, Sr., Seymour: 9.5 points per game

Hannah Stahl, Sr., Brownstown Central: 7.0 points per game

Honorable Mention: Andrea Bair (Sr., Brownstown Central), Journee Brown (So., Seymour), Ella Plasse (Sr., Crothersville), Madison Keith (Fr., Trinity Lutheran).