Lady Pacer Ashley Chase named to Indiana Junior All Star basketball team


Switzerland County Lady Pacer Ashley Chase is considered the best junior basketball player in this part of the state — and that feeling was cemented early this week when she was named as a member of the prestigious Indiana Junior All Star squad.

The team, made up the best junior basketball players in the state, will play a series of three games against the Indiana Girls All Star team in order to prepare the senior team for its two-game series against the Kentucky Girls All Star team.

The Junior All Star team is made up of 24 players — six of those players are considered to be “core players” , and will play in all three games. The other 18 players are divided up into three groups of six — a South squad; a Central Squad; and a North squad. Those players will join the six core players to make a team of 12 when the All Stars play in that particular area of the state.

Ashley Chase is a member of the South squad, and will play on the All Star team when the South All Star game is played at Washington High School on Wednesday, June 15th. The game will begin at 6 p.m.

The North All Star game will be played at Carmel High School on Tuesday, June 21st; and the Central All Star game will be played at Richmond High School on Thursday, June 23rd.

Joining Ashley Chase on the South squad will be Jessica Breeden from Martinsville High School, Jessica Huffman from Whiteland High School, Megan Payton from Bloomington South High School, Amanda Stull from Rushville High School, and Stannye Wolfe from Corydon Central High School.

The core players are Ashley Barlow of Pike High School, Amber Harris from North Central High School, Dee Dee Jernigan from East Chicago Central High School, Melissa Lechlitner from South Bend St. Joseph’s High School, Susan Lester of Pendleton Heights High School, and FahKara Malone of Evansville Memorial High School.

Ashley Chase will also see a familiar face during practice and at the game — because her coach for the series is Steve Goddard, former Switzerland County boys varsity coach who is now the head coach of the girls varsity basketball team at Bloomington North High School. His assistants are Marty Niehaus of Forest Park High School and Todd Salkoski of Shenandoah High School.


Marsha Chase got up early on Sunday morning and headed to the computer to log onto the Internet to find out if her daughter had made the team.

“She printed it off and then came and talked to me,” Ashley Chase said. “At first she said, ‘You didn’t make it’, but then she told me that she was kidding. Everyone was really excited.”

Lady Pacer coach Wayne Ellegood said that the process of earning a spot on the All Star team starts with a nomination from coaches, and that Ashley Chase was one of 54 juniors in the entire state to earn that honor. From there the 54 nominees were sent to a screening committee of coaches, who evaluated each player during a meeting in Indianapolis.

Wayne Ellegood attended the meeting to speak on behalf of Ashley Chase.

“I wanted to voice my opinion that she deserves to be included on the squad,” Wayne Ellegood said. “I believe that she’s one of the best players in the state.”

Ashley Chase said that she hasn’t heard from any officials at the state level as of yet, but is anxious to find out more about how the game will be played and what her role will be.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Ashley Chase said earlier this week. “I was excited when I made it, but I haven’t really had much time to think about it.”

Wayne Ellegood said that this is the highest honor that a Switzerland County player has received at the state level. He noted that three Lady Pacer players have been invited to participate in the state’s Top 40 workout in the past, and that last year Patience Meyer was among the Top 20, but no one has ever been named as a part of a state All Star team.

“It’s definitely an honor for Ashley, but it’s also an honor for her teammates, this school, and this community,” Wayne Ellegood said. “She’s played with a lot of good players during her three years here.”

The role of the Junior All Star team is to get the Indiana All Stars ready for the Kentucky series, so coach Steve Goddard says that much of what his junior team will do will be based on what the senior team’s coaches want to work on.

“I think they’ll have us press and trap and change up our defenses,” Steve Goddard said during a telephone conversation this week. “That’s where Ashley can really shine because she’s such a tremendous athlete. I’m excited that she’s a part of the team, and I think a lot of people are going to know her name and how good she is after June 15th.”

Steve Goddard said that he was asked to coach the squad at the Top 40 workout, but was sworn to secrecy until the squads were announced. Along with Ashley Chase, he also has a connection with Amanda Stull of Rushville because he is a native of Rushville and went to school with her parents.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “I think the Indiana All Stars better watch out, because I’ve seen a lot of our girls play, and we have some very talented girls on the junior team.”

Steve Goddard said that he is still waiting to get information on his team’s practice schedule; but if it runs as it has in the past, the team members will come in the day before the game for two practices, and then will have a walk through the day of the game.

“That’s where the All Star team has an advantage on our squad,” Steve Goddard said. “They will be practicing everyday for more than two weeks when we see them first, so they are going to know each other pretty well.”

Following the girls game each evening will be a game pitting the boys Junior All Stars against the Indiana All Star team. Norman Wells of Madison will be a member of the South Junior All Star team.


Ashley Chase enters her senior season on pace to shatter many individual and team records.

As a sophomore she averaged 10.6 points per game and six rebounds per game, earning All Conference honors. She also blocked 22 shots; had 33 steals; and handed out 78 assists.

Her junior year saw her become the focal point of the team, leading the squad with a scoring average of 18 points per game and also averaging 7.1 rebounds per contest. She blocked 35 shots; had 46 steals; and dished out 37 assists — and again was named to the All Conference team.

With a year to play and staring at career Switzerland County records, she currently stands ninth in total points with 708. If she scores 360 points as a senior (her total for her junior year), she would wrap up her career with 1,068 points, just 109 points behind all time leading scorer Melissa Ellegood.

She currently has 349 total rebounds, and a repeat of last season’s total of 142 would give her 491, good enough for third place all time behind Janna Stultz (606) and Patience Meyer (515). Her assist total stands at 135, and if she hands out another 37, her total of 172 would put her in eighth place all time, just three behind seventh place Carrie Wiley’s total. Melissa Ellegood is the all time assist leader with 303.

For total freethrows, Ashley Chase has shot 106 to this point in her career. With defenses keying on her next year, look for her to go to the line at least as much as she did this season, 76 times. That total would place her at 182, third all time behind Melissa Ellegood (245) and Carrie Wiley (209).

Ashley Chase already ranks 10th all time with 100 steals, so having another season with 46 as she did this past season would move her up to fourth all time, behind Bethany Robinson (263); Michelle Raisor (159); and Carrie Wiley (157). She already ranks seventh in total field goals with 296. If she makes 147 field goals again next year, her total of 443 would be the most in school history, surpassing Melissa Ellegood’s total of 422.