Here are five girls basketball players to watch in the Northwest Herald area this season.
Taylor Charles, Burlington Central, sr., F
Charles helped lead the Rockets to the Fox Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles last season, averaging 10.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks a game. Burlington enters 2021-22 as favorites once again in the FVC. Charles, who is committed to NCAA Division I Princeton, was a Northwest Herald All-Area second-team pick last season.
Karsen Karlblom, Prairie Ridge, sr., G
The Wolves senior sharpshooter led all area players in scoring (19.4 ppg) and free-throw percentage (88.9%) and was second with 39 3-pointers. The Wolves finished fourth in the FVC Tournament. Karlblom was an All-Area first-team pick and will play next year at D-III Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Mackenzie Leahy, Jacobs, sr., G
Leahy was an All-Area second-team pick after averaging 13.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, three steals and two assists a game for the Golden Eagles as a junior. Leahy knocked down 76.9% of her free throws and shot 40% from the field.
Macy Madsen, Johnsburg, sr., G
The Skyhawks senior is the Kishwaukee River Conference’s top returning scorer after she was fourth in the area at 16.9 points a game. Madsen averaged 7.7 rebounds and 2.8 steals a game for Johnsburg, which went 7-3 and tied for second in the Kishwaukee River Conference. Madsen earned All-Area second-team honors as a junior and has to eclipse 1,000 career points.
Emily Lukowski, Cary-Grove, sr., G
Lukowski is someone defenses must keep an eye on at all times. The talented guard-forward combo averaged 15 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.2 blocks a game for the Trojans, who took third in the FVC regular-season standings with a 6-2 record. Lukowski was an All-Area first-team pick as a junior and should get to 1,000 career points this year.