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Seven girls hoops players having breakout seasons

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 1:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:43 a.m. CDT

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Each basketball season provides an opportunity for new players to step into the spotlight. From juniors and seniors seeing significant playing time for the first time to underclassmen making an impact, these girls basketball players are having breakout seasons.

Ellen Daniels

School: Glenbard West

Class: Sophomore

Position: Forward

Impact: On the sophomore team a year ago, Daniels was promoted to the varsity this winter and is a solid contributor for the Hilltoppers. The 5-foot-10 sophomore forward is averaging 5.2 points per game and is also hauling in 5.2 rebounds per contest.

Madeline Earls

School: West Chicago

Class: Senior

Position: Forward

Impact: A starter in every game this season in her first year of varsity action, this forward is shooting 43 percent from the floor while averaging 5.2 points per game. Earls is also tallying five rebounds per contest for the Wildcats.

Melinda Franke

School: Wheaton Warrenville South

Class: Senior

Position: Forward

Impact: A solid contributor for the Tigers last winter, this senior has raised her play across the board this season. The linchpin of Wheaton Warrenville South's defense, Franke leads the squad with 11.7 rebounds per game (which includes 125 offensive rebounds) and she is also adding 7.0 points, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals per contest.

Emmy Gryna

School: Wheaton North

Class: Sophomore

Position: Guard

Impact: After getting her feet wet at the varsity level last season, this sophomore has seen her role expand in 2013-14. Gryna has played in every game this winter and is averaging 7.2 points per game. The team leader in steals with 24, she has made 17 3-pointers on the year and adds almost three rebounds per contest.

Emari Jones

School: Wheaton North

Class: Junior

Position: Guard

Impact: After averaging 3.2 points in 11 games a season ago, this junior point guard has taken her game to a new level this winter. Jones is third on the team with her 10.2 points per game average while topping the squad in assists. She is also second on the Falcons in rebounds and steals.

Ivana Markovic

School: Glenbard South

Class: Junior

Position: Guard

Impact: Known throughout her varsity career as a defensive wizard, this junior has expanded her offensive game this winter. Markovic is third on the Raiders with her 8.2 points and is shooting 44.4 percent from the floor. She leads Glenbard South with 39 assists and is tied for the lead in steals with 34.

Zakiya Newsome

School: Glenbard North

Class: Freshman

Position: Guard

Impact: In her first year of high school action, this freshman has stepped right in at the point guard position after the graduation of Kailey James. Already a standout defender, Newcome is leading the Panthers in charges taken and assists and is second on the squad in steals with 28. She is also averaging 4.4 points a game, a number that no doubt will continue to rise as she gains more experience.

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