If you’re looking for a potential Indiana Mr. Basketball favorite in 2021, keep an eye on Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian’s Caleb Furst.

Yeah, I know, such an award usually goes to a big-school student-athlete. 

And Furst plays for a Class 2A school.

The last 2A player earning the coveted award was Fort Wayne’s 6-foot-7 DeShaun Thomas in 2010. He finished his high school career with 3,018 points. Damon Bailey of Bedford North Lawrence is the career leader with 3,134 points.

That said, Furst is a 6-10 forward. And a darn good one at that.

He’s dominant on the boards. He can rip down rebounds. He blocks shots. He has a soft shooting touch and he can be dangerous from behind the 3-point arch. He also can handle the ball, help break a press at mid court, and he runs the floor quite well. And he’s unselfish.

He’s slender but strong and physical.

And, yes, his overall play is quite impressive!

Furst’s talents were on display during the Dec. 27-28 Noblesville Holiday Tournament where Blackhawk Christian (now 9-1) went unbeaten in the tournament.

He scored 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, passed out 5 assists and blocked 3 shots in a first-round victory over then-unbeaten Chesterton.

Furst scored 17 points and collected 15 rebounds in a semifinals win over Northridge, and he netted 22 points, pulled down 19 boards, handed out 6 assists and blocked 4 shots in the championship win over Columbus North.

Furst averages 23.6 points per game and leads the state in rebound average at 13.2. He also averages 3.3 assists and 1.1 blocked shots.

All three Blackhawk Christian triumphs came against Class 4A schools! In fact, six of the Brave’ wins this season came against 4A schools. Their only loss was 4 points against defending 3A state champion Silver Creek. 

MORE TALENTED JUNIORS LURKING

A few more boys to keep an eye on next season are high-scoring juniors this season:

*—Merrillville’s Keon Thompson, a point guard/shooting guard, is the state leader with a 32.2 scoring average through 10 games.

*—Blackford’s Luke Brown averages 31.9 ppg.

*—Marion’s Jalen Blackmon averages 31.1 ppg.

*—Hamilton Heights point guard/shooting guard Gus Etchison is tied among juniors for ninth in the state this season. He joins Silver Creek’s Trey Kaufman with a 23.9-points-per-game average.

*—Brooks Barnhizer (6-8) of No. 6-ranked Lafayette Jeff, which handed No. 4 Fishers, a 12-game winner, its first loss (by 3 points in overtime) earlier this week, led the way with 29 points. He averages 21.9 points.

Could one of these players emerge as a potential Mr.Basketball candidate in 2021. You never know . . . But it sure looks like there are some already earning some attention.

LOOKING AHEAD

The girls high school  basketball season is moving right along, too.

Soon, the postseason will be upon us:

So, here’s a reminder of the sectional sites involving Hamilton County girls basketball teams.

The sectional tournament gets underway on Feb. 4.

Class 4A Sectional 8
Westfield Host (Carmel, Fishers, Hamilton SE, Noblesville, Zionsville)

Class 3A

Sectional 24
At Yorktown (Hamilton Heights)

Sectional 27
At Chatard (Guerin Catholic)

Class 2A

Sectional 38
Sheridan host

Sectional 43
At Western Boone (University)


NOTABLES

*—HSE varsity girls basketball player Lauren Morris is the daughter of 1987 Indiana Miss Basketball Lori Meinerding of Fort Wayne Northrop.

*—The unbeaten University girls (17-0) have won 30 of their last 32 games over two seasons.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS?

HSE S.P.O.R.T.S. has a new name: It’s now Mudsock Youth Athletic.

The website is myathletics.com . . .  the organization’s e-mail is info@myathletics.com.


*—Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317 460-8018.