Nall Named Player of the Year, Panther Staff Tabbed Coach of the Year to Headline All-HCAC Selections

Nall Named Player of the Year, Panther Staff Tabbed Coach of the Year to Headline All-HCAC Selections

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

CARMEL, Ind. - The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference released its all conference selections on Thursday afternoon, with senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) garnering her second consecutive HCAC Player of the Year Honors. Also topping the conference was head coach John Jones, who along with his staff, was named HCAC Coach of the Year for leading Hanover to a 17-1 mark in league play and a 19-7 overall record.

Nall earned her second Player of the Year award after a year in which she helped lead the Panthers to their first HCAC Tournament Championship berth since the 2014-15 season, which was the last time that the Blue and Red made the NCAA Division III National Tournament. 

In her senior campaign, Nall averaged career-highs with 18.8 points and 6.2 defensive rebounds per game. Overall, she corralled 9.0 boards per outing, while shooting .557 from the field and .472 from three-point range. In conference, she put up 22.8 points per game at a .561 shooting clip, including a .605 mark from behind the arc. Her play won the recognition of the HCAC for the second straight year, after she finished the 2018-19 campaign with averages of 18.4 points and 10.5 rebounds on a program-record .591 shot percentage. 

Over her four years, Nall was selected as the HCAC Player of the Week nine times, with six of those awards coming this year. Moreover, she has been recognized with HCAC postseason honors in each of her four seasons as a member of the Blue and Red. 

Earning her second conference selection is senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.), who was selected to the HCAC First Team after earning honorable mention for her 2018-19 performances. This year, she finished second for HC in points per game average (12.3), and third in rebounds per game (4.3), while putting up a .402 three point shooting percentage, all of which stand as career-bests for Hartman. In Collier Arena, Hartman was even more deadly, averaging 14.1 points on a .442 clip from deep.

Two of her signature performances came in the latter half of the schedule, with both coming from the comforts of Collier. On January 25, Hartman had one of her best games to date, tallying 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting, while hitting two-of-three from behind the arc. On February 22, when the Panthers hosted Rose-Hulman on Senior Day, Hartman amassed a collegiate-high 24 points along with six made three-pointers, which was also a career-best. 

Landing on the HCAC Second Team is junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), who is earning her first league selection in her third season in a Hanover uniform. Courtney rounded out the trio of players that averaged double-digits in points (10.0), while finishing with 5.5 rebounds per game. Courtney had a penchant for forcing turnovers, as her 2.3 steals per contest ranked first for Hanover and second in the HCAC. In the season opener versus St. Mary's (Ind.), Courtney had a season-high six steals, while in a critical comeback win over Anderson on February 12, she stole four en route to a victory for the Blue and Red. 

Courtney had her career-high in scoring this year, notching 16 points on two occasions: once on December 28 at Otterbein (Ohio), and once more at Anderson on Feb. 12. Versus the Ravens, Courtney was instrumental in the Panthers' rally, as her and-one with 2:20 left gave them a 58-57 lead, which they would hold until the end. 

Rounding out the selections is senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.), who garners her first recognition as a member of the Honorable Mention squad. Todd had a personal-best 5.7 points per game, while tying her collegiate-highs in assists per game (3.7) and steals per game (1.3). Todd made Hanover history in the HCAC Title Game on March 1, as she broke the all-time record for total assists by dishing her 351st dime. Todd took particular care of the ball over the course of the campaign, as her 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio slotted third in the conference and ranked 75th in Division III women's basketball.

On January 4 at Rose-Hulman, Todd had a career-high 11 assists in the victory, while following that up with a collegiate-best 13 points on six-of-nine shooting versus Mount St. Joseph on January 8. In the crucial triumph over Anderson on Feb. 12, Todd amassed 12 points, making two-of-two from behind the arc while going six-for-six from the free throw line. 

Winning Coach of the Year was John Jones and assistant coaches Chris Hitchcock and Hannah Varel, who coached the Panthers to their best conference record over the past five-yeas and tied the best overall win total since Jones took over in the 2015-16 season. In addition, the Panthers made the HCAC Tournament Championship for the first time under Jones and his staff and won their first share of the HCAC Regular Season crown since the 2014-15 campaign. Jones oversaw a squad that shot .420 from the field and .372 from three-point range, which was the third-highest mark in DIII. In addition, the squad's 1.00 assist-to-turnover ratio was 48th-best in the country.