February, 2004

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Region Roundball Review
February, 2004
News & Updates

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Friday, February 27


Lone local tournament survivor Valparaiso will be taking on 4A No. 2 Warsaw on the Tigers' home court tomorrow. A big challenge, indeed, but no one is counting out the feisty Vikings or head coach Greg Kirby. Kirby (right), who has compiled one of the most successful careers in girls basketball in Indiana, would like to get back to the state finals after an appearance there in 2000. After all, it's tradition. With last week's Regional finals win, the Vikings program became the state leader in Regional Championships won (11) in Indiana girls basketball history. If they win on Saturday, they will have won more Semi-State Championships (6) than any other team in girls basketball history.
Beating the Tigers will be no small feat with Miss Basketball frontrunner Jaclyn Leininger on the Warsaw roster. The Vikings match up just about everywhere on the court with the Tigers, except with the state's sixth leading scorer (25.6 ppg) on the wing. The Vikings' defense is ranked first in the state (32.36) while Warsaw ranks 12th (62.85) in scoring offense. Controlling the tempo of the game will be object of both teams. Valpo will only be able to control the tempo to their liking if they can stop Leininger, and that task will most likely fall to athletic 5'11 sophomore wing Erica Humes (left). If she can slow down the much-more experienced senior, and if Valparaiso can control the paint, the Vikings will have a chance to advance to the state tournament for the sixth time in program history. Photos courtesy of strempkagallery.com.
Valpo-Warsaw: mirror image - Post-Tribune
Valpo girls reach Final Four - The Times
Hutton: No flash, just results - The Times
'The Renegade' predicts tough time for Valpo Girls - usa-365.com

Both the 3A and 4A games from the Warsaw Semi-State will be broadcast over the Internet tomorrow. RRSN will carry the both games live beginning at 11:30 a.m. (CST). HSSP will carry delayed broadcasts of both games beginning at 7:00 p.m. (CST).

Katy Stephenson brandishes her new school colors at her signing with IUSB head
coach Mary Wisniewski (back row, right). They are joined by (back row, L-R) Jeff Small
(Madison-Grant girls head coach), Steve Burkhart (Indiana Warriors AAU coach),
Steve Berry (Indiana Warriors AAU coach), (front row) Scott Boucher
(stepfather) and Teresa Boucher (mother).

senior Katy Stephenson (above) has signed with NAIA Division I Indiana University-South Bend. The 5'7 guard averaged 13.2 points per game this season, while shooting 44.1% from the field, 34.0% from three-point and 87.3% from the line. The four year varsity member was the 2002 Madison-Grant team MVP and the 2003 Offensive Player of the Year. She was a member of the CIC All-Conference and Chronicle-Tribune All-County teams in both 2002 and 2003 and selected as a Hoosier Basketball Magazine All-State Honorable Mention in 2003. She was named to the 2001-2003 All-CIC Academic Teams, 2001-2003 Sports Hotline Brain Squads and is an officer in the Madison-Grant National Honor Society. More: Argyll to play at IUSB - Chronicle-Tribune

Six girls basketball coaches have been honored by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Winners of the Bob King Coaches of the Year Award are:
District I
Dan Feagler, Garrett
Gary Teel, Tippecanoe Valley
District II
Allen Cooper, New Palestine
Todd Salkoski, Shenandoah
District III
Michael Uhl, Corydon Central
Rick Marshall, North Knox

Triton head coach Mark Heeter has resigned after a very successful run with the girls basketball program there. Heeter, who won two state championships in 2000 and 2001, compiled an outstanding 208-98 record during his 14 years as the head coach of the Trojans. According to the South Bend Tribune, Heeter is resigning to devote more time to his basketball-playing daughters, Alli and Kaci.
  Fountain Central head coach Phil Rash has resigned his position with the Mustangs. Rash, who will continue on as FC athletic and activities director, compiled a 133-85 record during his 10-year tenure. According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Rash was the ICGSA District III Coach of the Year in 2001. 

Vincennes Lincoln head coach Janis Hert has submitted her resignation, according to the Vincennes Sun-Commercial. During her 10-year stint with the Alices, Hert compiled a 112-93 record and won two Big Eight Conference championships over the past three years. Hert, who cited the need to "seek other interests at this time," will continue on as a math teacher at Lincoln and may offer assistance to the girls basketball program next season.
According to the Bedford Times-Mail, Bedford North Lawrence head coach Frank Decker will not have his coaching contract renewed after the end of this school year. Considered one of the hardest-working and devoted coaches in BNL history, a disappointing 6-14 record this season, and 40-45 record over the past four years, was most likely the reason for the non-renewal. BNL won a state championship in 1991, but has not won a sectional during the tenure of it's last four coaches.

PhotoMany Region fans will remember former Highland post player Lindsey Chappell (right) as a role player on a successful team in high school. What many may not know is that Chappell has been tearing up at the college level for the past four years at Division III Earlham College. According to the Richmond Palladium-Item, Chappell has been a feared opponent in the North Coast Athletic Conference, where she was the NCAC Newcomer of the Year in 2001 and First Team All-NCAC in 2002 and 2003. This season in the NCAC, she ranks 6th in scoring (13.4), third in rebounding (8.8), first in offensive rebounds (3.84) first in field goal percentage (.600) and eighth in blocked shots (0.8). Chappell's career ended with a loss to Denison on Tuesday. In her final game, Chappell scored 19 points and hauled down six rebounds in the three-point HCAC Tournament loss. Chappell will leave Earlham as the Quakers' all-time career rebounder and No. 3 on the career scoring list. Photo from the Richmond Palladium-Item.

Junior All-Star candidate Trisha Bennett broke her non-shooting arm at an AAU practice on Sunday. The 5'6 guard, who averaged 16.0 points and 4.5 assists this season for New Albany, had surgery to repair the arm and is expected to make a full recovery, hopefully by June, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the South Bend St. Joseph's girls basketball program has been placed on probation for giving a signed basketball to the widow of man who served as the AAU coach for several girls on the team. The probation status will not affect the team's participation in the 3A Semi-State this Saturday.

Semi-State Previews:
High goals remain for Rochester, Warsaw - South Bend Tribune
St. Joseph's set to clash with Luers - South Bend Tribune
St. Clair not underrated - South Bend Tribune
Pointing the bus toward Indy - South Bend Tribune
Coaching in bloodline for Canterbury's Kreiger - Journal Gazette
Garrett finally finds its way to semistate - Journal Gazette
Canterbury girls squad succeeding with talent, leadership - News Sentinel
Cardinals stand in way of Spartans’ trip to State Finals - Shelbyville News
Hammond on the sideline — as coach - Shelbyville News
Devoted to his faith, Titus leads - Shelbyville News
Pioneer girls hope this time is different against North Central - Mooresville Times
State crown remains a goal for Southwestern - Indy Star
It wouldn't be a tournament without a certain debate - Indy Star
Eagles facing a tough game - Indy Star
Panthers get 2-for-1 deal at center - Indy Star
Valuable, versatile sub plays with inspiration - Indy Star
Focus helps move Eagles along to the Southridge Semistate - Indy Star
Mooresville girls prove they belong with state's elite - Indy Star
Southridge Semistate loaded with talented teams - Courier & Press
Lady Warriors, Heritage Christian to battle - Sun-Commercial

Girls basketball notes & features:
Great Bremen season comes to close, future looks bright - Pilot News
Family ties work on, off the court for Heritage Christian - Indy Star
North Central shooter has given Panthers a spark - Indy Star
Tough schedules help girls squads - Indy Star
'No regrets' motto guides Heritage Christian - Indy Star
Southwestern Rebels are ready to play anyone - Indy Star
Mooresville enters regional with confidence level high - Indy Star
Saints rely on unselfish play - Indy Star
Young Shelbyville coach relates to veteran team - Shelbyville News
Senior makes Academic All-Star team - Indy Star
Lady Giants' run comes to abrupt end - Flyer Group
Like father, like daughter - Indy Star
Rebels enjoy record-breaking season - Pal-Item

College and other articles of interest:
Hub's Zondor propels DePauw - Post-Tribune
Wells leads S. Indiana past Pumas - The Times

Hoosier Hysteria gone with class basketball - Indy Star
Purdue Cal takes one from IU South Bend - The Times
Cold start dooms VU - The Times
Purdue seniors have been successful, but they want more - Indianapolis Star
Secrest gets 17 in four OT win - Linton Daily Citizen
Home game on the line for Cardinals - Ball State Daily News
Miami, Merrill clinch outright MAC title with 75-65 win - Miami website
Loss drops Rose-Hulman into second in conference - Tribune Star
Sycamore women let big one get away - Tribune Star
Ancilla women win tourney opener - Pilot News
Indiana Tech wins on shot at the buzzer - News-Sentinel
Purdue's focus narrows to Penn State - News-Sentinel
Irish women roll past No. 21 Miami at home - News-Sentinel
Reflective moments (Indiana Wesleyan) - Chronicle-Tribune
Wildcats survive first-round scare (Indiana Wesleyan) - Chronicle Tribune
Taylor women beat Bethel - Chronicle Tribune
Anderson women advance in HCAC tourney - Herald Bulletin




Friday, February 20


With the end of the season in sight, coaching changes are being made public:


South Bend Riley head coach Mike Megyesi (right) has resigned, according to the South Bend Tribune. Citing lack of time with his wife, and also some things that "have gotten out of hand that have made it frustrating to coach" as his reasons for resigning, Megyesi will continue to coach girls golf and boys track, while remaining chair of the social studies department at Riley. During his eight-year tenure at Riley, Megyesi, brother of Lake Central head coach Tom Megyesi, compiled a 121-61 record, which included a 4A state runner-up finish in 2002.


New Albany head coach Dave Rarick (left) has resigned his head coaching position, citing a lack of time. As laid out in the Louisville Courier-Journal, along with coaching duties, Rarick is also the assistant transportation director and director of communications for New Albany-Floyd County Schools. With the new IHSAA allowances for summer practice, Rarick also felt the time commitment was too great in order for him to reach his administrative career goals. During his three-year stint at New Albany, Rarick compiled a successful 48-17 record, including a sectional title in 2002.  Photo from the Courier-Journal.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Carmel head coach Jennifer Marlow has resigned for personal reasons. Marlow, who was hired three years ago to take over the Greyhounds program after serving as a varsity assistant at Carmel, compiled a 34-33 record during her tenure.

Hoosier Basketball Magazine has released its 2004 Girls Top 100 Senior List. By the beginning of March, this list will be pared down to 40+ players, who will be invited to the annual Top 40 workout on Sunday, March 14, at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. Making the Top 100 List locally were the following NWI senior standouts:
Kiki Bytnar, Calumet (right)
Cat Campbell, Chesterton
Karima Davies, Gary West Side
Julie DeMuth, Merrillville
Belinda Drake, Gary West Side
Lauren Hutton, Valparaiso
Marshay Jolly, Merrillville
Becca Papach, Whiting
Jennifer VanderZanden, Lake Central
Photo from the Post-Tribune
More coverage:
Rains, Fougerousse listed among top 100 seniors - Linton Daily Citizen
AC's Natalie Young on top 100 girls list - Decatur Daily Democrat

The ICGSA has released its 2003-04 Girls Basketball Academic All-State Teams. Locally, the following senior players were named ICGSA Academic All-State or Honorable Mention:

Blayre Reeves, Crown Point
Becky Goetz, Kankakee Valley
Laneshia Thomas, Merrillville
Stefania Andjelich, Munster
Megan Remec, Munster
Honorable Mention
Elizabeth Crumble - Calumet
Christine Vidimos, Chesterton
Jody Shimanek, Highland
Martha Lams, Hobart
Megan Walczak, Hobart (left)
Jacqlene Barsich, Merrillville
Marshay Jolly, Merrillville
Jamie Wood, Rensselaer Central
Lauren Hutton, Valparaiso
Leslie Bryan, Valparaiso
Katie Ramirez, Valparaiso

Photo by strempkagallery.com

HSSP Internet Radio will be webcasting the Class 3A Twin Lakes Regional on Saturday, February 21, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (CST). The first game will feature Gary Wallace v. West Lafayette, followed by Calumet v. South Bend St. Joseph's. Championship game coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. (CST). Game broadcasts will be archived as well for up to a month and can be found on the HSSP website.
Regional Radio Sports Network will be webcasting the Class 4A Valparaiso Regional Semi-Finals beginning at 9:30 a.m. (CST). The first game will feature Gary West Side v. South Bend Washington and be followed by Elkhart Memorial v. Valparaiso at approximately 11:30 a.m. (CST). If either West Side and/or Valparaiso play in the regional final, RRSN will begin broadcast of that game beginning at 7:30 p.m. (CST).

We've changed our RRR Mini-Poll on the home page with voting on what factors would most influence your vote for Miss Basketball or the Indiana All-Stars... if you could vote, that is!

Regionals previews & news:
Centering in on Wallace's Houston - The Times
Wheeler freshman something special - The Times
Valpo's Gustke to the rescue - The Times
West Side's sweet dreams - The Times
Hungry for title, ready for win - Post-Tribune
Doctors, trainers are go-to players as prep season winds down - Post Tribune
Area teams ready to make their mark - South Bend Tribune
Indians on warpath to Indianapolis - South Bend Tribune
Local teams in semistate hunt - South Bend Tribune
Back to Peru for NorthWood's 'Black Swish' - Goshen News
Garrett takes aim at regional  - KPC News
Regional another challenge for Shenandoah - Herald Bulletin
Shenandoah's Keesling is engine for Raiders - Herald Bulletin
IHSAA to use 3 refs starting with girls regionals - Indianapolis Star
Arabians continue upward trend - Indianapolis Star
It has finally all come together for Cambridge City Lincoln - Pal-Item
Rushville Lions ready to go Dragon hunting, again - Rushville Republican
Braves are surprise champs - Warrick Publishing
Promise upheld: Knights win sectional title - Warrick Publishing
Randolph Southern goes to regional with plans of a championship - Winchester Gazette
Burrell's words, actions inspire Red Devils  - Lafayette J & C
Falcons' veteran point guard fills her role as team leader - Indianapolis Star
First regional title becomes Southwestern's newest objective - Indianapolis Star
South Putnam prepared for regional showdown - Banner Graphic
North Montgomery sets goal high for regional - Journal Review
Seniors lead North Montgomery to regionals - Journal Review
Girls team relish week preparing for regional - TH Tribune Star
Mooresville headed to regionals - Mooresville Times
As senior takes charge, Pioneers move forward - Indy Star
Versatility will be crucial for Pike - Indy Star
Jeff wants focus to be on the future - Courier-Journal
North Knox favorite at regional - Sun-Commercial
Southwestern rewarded with regional date - Shelbyville News
Young coach relates to veteran team - Shelbyville News
Lady Hatchets get ready for Corydon - Washington Times Herald

Girls basketball notes & features:
Valpo, Wheeler lone tournament survivors - The Times
Lake Central season over for seniors, team efforts will go on - Post-Tribune
Good to last shot and drop - The Times
Valpo's Humes all dressed up, nowhere to go - The Times
South Newton senior Brinkman plays hero in sectional final - Rensselaer Republican
Washington experiences deja vu - SB Tribune
Five area girls are poised to shine as white-hot leaders on the court - FW News-Gazette
Extended power polls - FW News-Gazette
Arabians continue upward trend - Indy Star

Miss Basketball bid gets even better for Leininger - Journal Gazette

Cat Campbell signs with Wesleyan - Chesterton Tribune
Prep Notes - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Girls Basketball Sectional Notes - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Miller grabs NIC Player of Year honors - South Bend Tribune
BNL’s band of sisters - Bedford Times-Mail
Area hoopsters among state leaders - Martinsville Reporter-Times

County teams take look ahead - Indy Star
Sheridan Blackhawks face bumps on road to respectability - Indy Star
Switz Co. senior Meyer voted MVP of girls ORVC - Madison Courier

College and other articles of interest:
Broken nose won’t keep VU’s Boone from playing - Post-Tribune
Valpo uses brains and Braun - The Times
Depth has carried Crusaders recently - The Times
Cardinals hit the road, try to come back from losses - Ball State Daily News
Earlham women lose 66-49 on Senior Night - Pal-Item
BSU senior hopes to break 100 boards - Ball State Daily News
BSU scrimmage of the sexes - Ball State Daily News
BSU faces Eastern Michigan in rematch - Ball State Daily News
Frontier's tourney hospitality second to none - Lafayette J&C
Miami's Cindi Merrill tallies third MAC Player of the Week Honor - Miami website
Opposing mediocrity has been tough for ND - South Bend Tribune
Tri-State U welcomes tourney shot - KPC News
Franklin College win secures share of title - JC Daily Journal



Friday, February 13


The second round of sectional action gets underway tonight on Lucky Friday the 13th, and there are some very competitive games taking place all around the state.


In 4A, No. 3 Hamilton Southeastern will face No. 5 North Central with super soph Amber Harris, who committed to Purdue earlier this week. Harris may be the key to this game if the Panthers can keep pounding it down low all night. HSE has no answer in the post for the athletic Harris who could play just about any position on the court. But junior Lindsey Kluempers and seniors Kelly Snider and Bethany Odom will give it their best to keep Harris in check. The Royals will counter on the perimeter with junior Kahla Roudebush (14.0 ppg) and 3-point sharp shooting sophomores Kylie York (.500 3pt) and Beth Marshall (.462 3pt). North Central came out on top by two points in overtime last time these two teams met. This should be a barn burner!
Locally in 4A, No. 12 Valparaiso, who downed No. 10 Merrillville -- a team of post-season promise that struggled from the field and the charity stripe in first-round play -- will face an unranked team that pulled off the biggest upset of the sectional field just two weeks ago. Crown Point, featuring top-notch guard junior Cassie Pruzin (right), put the Vikes away by five points to knock Valpo out of DAC championship status January 30. In that game, Pruzin notched a career-high 28 points, 24 in the second half, to propel the Bulldogs in the win. If Pruzin lets loose again, can the Vikings backcourt find a way to stop her? In the past, Valpo defensive ace and Energizer Bunny Lauren Hutton was able to keep Pruzin in check; but now that Pruzin knows she can score at will on the Valpo man-to-man defense, will coach Greg Kirby have special defensive plans for Crown Point's biggest scoring threat? We shall find out tonight in what should be one of the best games in the Region tonight. This game, as well as the Portage v. Hobart game, will be carried live over the Internet by RRSN. (See below.) More 4A previews:
HSE-North Central semifinal should be game for superlatives - Indy Star
Preparation has made the difference (Hamilton SE) - Indy Star
Mooresville looks to avenge loss to Martinsville - Mooresville Times

Center Grove, Franklin forget about the past - Indy Star
Ben Davis girls team wants to win 1 for the senior - Indy Star
Bronchos must keep cool against state champions  - Journal & Courier
Lady Giants prepare for postseason run - Flyer Group
Photo by

In 3A, No. 5 North Harrison will face No. 12 Scottsburg. The Cougars were able to bypass the Warriorettes very early in the season with a 5-point win, but pesky Scottsburg could upset the hopes of the North Harrison to advance to the finals.
In what could be the most competitive 3A battle tonight, No. 8 Mt. Vernon (Fortville) and No. 8 Pendleton Heights (both tied in the ICGSA Poll) will duke it out in Sectional 27 at Pendleton Heights. The last time these two met, it was no contest when the Marauders downed the Arabians in a 14-point win. But that was on Mt. Vernon's home court. The tables will be turned with Heights having the home court advantage this time. The Arabians are riding a 13-win wave since a 5-point loss to 4A No. 3 Hamilton Southeastern in early December. Mt. Vernon lost to HSE by 22 just two weeks ago. The Marauders are led by 5'9 senior guard Jessie Privett (14.4 ppg), while the Arabians are led by 6'1 sophomore forward Susan Lester (19.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg).


Locally in 3A, Lew Wallace will be making a bid for a chance at it's first sectional title in nine years when it takes on Andrean in semi-final action tonight in Sectional 18 at Kankakee Valley. Things look promising for the 10-5 Hornets as Andrean (7-13) has lost five of its last seven games. The Hornets will not be overlooking anyone however, as the 59ers will count on Division I recruit Kim McCloskey (5'10 G/F) who is headed to Monmouth next fall. Lew Wallace will rely on premier 6'3 sophomore forward Sharon Houston, who has been racking up the points (23.4), rebounds (12.3) and blocks (5.1) all season for the Hornets. More 3A coverage:
Competitive final four set at North Harrison - Courier-Journal
Arabians win to set up rematch - Herald Bulletin
Hornets prepared to open defense of Class 3A state title - Indy Star
Boonville girls' patience will be tested by Memorial - Courier & Press

In 2A, a battle royale will be taking place in Sectional 43 at Speedway when No. 5 Heritage Christian (16-5)  will face No. 9 Indian Creek (18-3). There is much history between these two schools in just two short years. Last season, Heritage Christian (then No. 1) knocked of the Braves (then No. 3) in sectional semi-final action almost a year ago to the day. Heritage Christian went on to lose to a stacked North Putnam team in the regional semi-finals. This time around, the Braves will be looking for redemption behind the leadership of the state's leading scorer, senior Penn State signee Adrienne Squire (30.5 ppg, 4.0 spg) and 6'1 junior center Kris Coner (14.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg). Heritage Christian will pin their hopes on 5'10 senior forward Butler signee Cassie Freeman (right) (20.4 ppg) and 5'11 senior center Bethel recruit Hannah Richards (14.4 ppg). More 2A coverage:
Luck of draw not lucky for all - Indy Star
Playing as a team (Indian Creek) - JC Daily Journal

Monrovia girls close season with loss, look toward sectionals - Mooresville Times


Finally, in 1A, No. 5 Southern Wells will face No. 6 Tri-Central tonight after both teams made it past first-round sectional action. Southern Wells (15-6) and Tri-Central (16-3) do not play each other during the regular season and had only two common opponents on their schedules. Both teams easily handled Lakeview Christian by more than 30 points each. Most recently, Tri-Central defeated Wes-Del in first round sectional action by a score of 59-48, while the Raiders closed out their regular season against Wes-Del with a 71-38 drubbing. The Trojans could have the edge with home court advantage. However, with a slot in the championship round at stake, you can bet that both of these teams will be bringing their A game to Sharpsville.

According to the Post-Tribune, Gary West Side junior Michelle Hamblin will continue to watch her team's post-season efforts from the sideline. The 5'11 guard/forward tore her ACL in late December and is still struggling with the bad news. Picking up the slack in the absence of the Cougars' best shooting percentage player have been juniors Ashley Cheairs (5'9 G) and Isabell Rhenwick (5'7G), together with emerging 5'11 sophomore forward Erica Simpson. The Cougars, who drew the fortunate first-round sectional bye, will face off against Lake Central tonight at home.

Regional Radio Sports Network will be broadcasting the sectional games from Crown Point Sectional 2 tonight beginning at 6:00 p.m. (CST) and tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. The broadcast will be simulcast over the Internet in Windows Media format or Real Player format. You can also catch the WEFM Scoreboard Show tonight beginning at 10:30 p.m. (CST) in both Windows Media format or Real Player Format.

More Sectional Previews

Shooting for the top - FW News-Sentinel
MC Marquette Blazers hope for 'one more game' - News Dispatch
Tucker the key for Michigan City - News Dispatch
WL wary of Western's perimeter game - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Zebras, Warriors favored in girls sectional - Pharos Tribune
Logan, Cass have tough first-round games - Pharos Tribune
Northeastern Indiana teams to vie for sectional crowns - KPC News
Key early matchups for Squaws, Jets - Decatur Daily Democrat
Snider Panthers poised to pounce at sectional - FW News Sentinel
Huntington North tourney-ready - Huntington Press
It’s do-or-die time for area girls hoops teams - Peru Tribune
Central, Southside girls to meet in first round - Muncie Star Press
Area teams gear up for girls sectional - Richmond Pal-Item
Western Boone sectional preview - Journal Review
Southmont carries momentum into sectionals - Journal Review
Covington takes on North Vermillion - Journal Review
Brown County Eagles want sectional trophy back in Brown County - BC Democrat
February frenzy - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Girls basketball sectionals at a glance - Indy Star
Red Devils vow not to have repeat of 1st-round exit - Indy Star
NHS faces tough task with 4A No. 5 Panthers - Noblesville Ledger
County teams clash tonight in sectionals - Marion Chronicle Tribune
Prep basketball's second season starts today - Marion Chronicle Tribune
North Montgomery sectional preview - Journal Review
North Putnam sectional preview - Journal Review
Turkey Run sectional preview - Journal Review
Memorial girls to face Patriots - Evansville Courier & Press
Seymour Owls look forward to sectional after being shot down by Stars - Jackson County Banner
Jeff seniors focused on winning state title - Jeffersonville Evening News
Handicapping the girls' sectionals - Jeffersonville Evening News
Silver Creek must take on torrid Corydon - Courier-Journal
This week’s sectional will be first at Tell City in 35 years - Perry County News
Wood Memorial girls ready for sectionals - Daily Clarion

Sectional time! Rivet, North Knox girls in action today - Sun-Commercial
Washington Hatchets are road ready - Times-Herald
Washington Catholic favored at North Daviess - Times-Herald
Six area squads in action tonight - Herald Bulletin
Clinton Central, Frankfort Begin Sectional Play Tonight - Frankfort Times
Mustangs get favorable draw but not easy trip to sectional finals - Journal Review
Natural rivals ready to duel - Courier & Press

Shamrock girls look to shed sectional underdog role against CHS - Noblesville Ledger

Girls basketball notes & features:
Valpo's Kirby wins No. 400 - The Times
Kreiger perseveres as one of greats - Post & Mail
South Central senior is a quiet competitor - Herald-Argus

A five-alarm story in one-alarm town - Courier-Journal
Ben Davis' Banks upholds family tradition (Miss Basketball preview) - Indy Star
Girls Basketball Standings/Leaders - South Bend Tribune
Lafayette Harrison quintet has accumulated 37 varsity letters - Journal & Courier
South Central sharpshooter took to it early - Courier-Journal
Area High School Basketball Statistics - Vincennes Sun Commercial
Husbands do more at home during season - Indy Star
Top girls prospects commit to Purdue - Indy Star
A generation of a game - Journal Review
High school basketball odds and ends - Indy Star
Brebeuf lifts play a notch to win opener - Indy Star
Shenandoah photo appears in Sports Illustrated - Star Press
Hoop fans have their say - Indianapolis Star
Sectional is a family affair for Eminence Eels - Reporter-Times
Greencastle wins conference - Banner Graphic
McCutcheon senior playing through pain - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Jeff's Houston makes up for lost time - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Offense overcomes for Northrop - FW News Sentinel

College and other articles of interest:
Thieman’s career-high 19 points lead Hanover women - Madison Courier
ISU's Gray, Lisch earn MVC honors - Tribune Star
Upcoming home games vital to ISU women - Tribune Star
Ex-Noblesville girls basketball standout off to good college start - Indy Star
BSU Cards hope to stifle high-powered Western Michigan - Ball State Daily News
BSU women lose key MAC game - Muncie Star Press
Cardinals lead in first half, fail to maintain - Ball State Daily News
Cardinals hit the road, try to come back from losses - Ball State Daily News
Indiana State women hit road to regroup against lowly SIU - Tribune Star
White signs deal with Fever - Indianapolis Star
White re-signs with Fever as she continues rehab - FW News Sentinel




Monday, February 9


It was a day of celebration at Purdue yesterday, in many more ways than one. After a game against Ohio State was in doubt, but then won in the final seconds of the game; after senior premier player Shereka Wright scored her 2,000th point during the game; after it was learned that Big Ten leader Penn State had lost to Minnesota, putting the Boilermakers in a tie for first place; after all of this, Coach Kristy Curry received the most pleasant shock of her coaching career when 6'5 sophomore Amber Harris (left) of North Central and 6'6 freshman Ta'Shia Phillips of Brebeuf gave their verbal commitments to Purdue. Following a trend that has taken over Indiana girls basketball this season, Harris and Phillips, who are very close and play for Kevin Merriweather's Family organization, have committed very early in their high school careers. Merriweather is the uncle of Phillips and also the father of Purdue assistant coach Katrina Merriweather, making this a Family affair in more than one way. The two post players will be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten in the future. Harris, a multi-position player who is considered the No. 1 sophomore in the nation by All-Star Girls Report recruiting service, is averaging 16.0 points (71.1 fg%), 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. She also received much attention earlier this year for a dunk she executed in a game against Chatard (video linked to photo at right). Phillips, a traditional back-to-the-basket center, is averaging 13.1 points (61.2 fg%), 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. More:
Boilers receive pair of early commitments - Boiler Station
Simple layup makes Wright member of 2,000-point club - Boiler Station
Valek's revival inspires Purdue past Ohio State - Boiler Station
Photo courtesy of Old Gold Free Press

Merrillville sophomore Brittney Moore (left), also a Purdue target, had a coming out block party against Crown Point on Friday. The 6'2 center, who does not usually put up big scoring numbers in the Pirates low-scoring offense, exploded for 17 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocked shots against the Bulldogs' penetrating guards for the 46-37 win. In this all-important final Duneland Conference outing, Moore refused to let her team lose against the team that put away Valparaiso a week earlier in the biggest DAC upset of the season. That Valpo loss set the stage for the Pirates to win their first outright DAC title since 1988, and Moore elevated her team to champion status with the victory. "We thought we should have won it last year," Moore said of the DAC title in The Times. "Winning the whole thing, and not sharing it with Valpo, was the reason for my motivation." The Pirates will face an even bigger challenge tomorrow when they face Valparaiso in first-round sectional action. The post battle between Moore and highly-recruited Valpo center/forward Cassie Kerns will be key in what is expected to be a defensive battle between the state's top two defensive teams. Photo by strempkagallery.com.

Valparaiso head coach Greg Kirby (right) notched his 400th career prep victory Friday night with little fanfare. The long-time girls coach was the head boys coach at Portage before he took the girls' lead position at Valparaiso 14 years ago. A 37-33 win over DAC foe Chesterton brought Kirby to the 400 mark. After the game, assistant coach Kathy Levandoski presented Kirby with the game ball autographed by his players and coaches. The reliable inside-outside tandem of junior Cassie Kerns (14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks) and senior point guard Lauren Hutton (10 points, 6 assists, 4 steals) led the way for the Vikes in the career-setting win for Kirby. Valparaiso will face a tough Merrillville squad on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Crown Point sectional. Photo by strempkagallery.com.

Mooresville varsity sisters Rachel Kenney and Lauren Kenney were both injured in an automobile accident on the way to school before the Pioneers' game against Southport last Tuesday. The car Rachel was driving hit a patch of ice and spun into the back of a propane truck. Both girls received non-life threatening injuries, but missed the game against Southport (a 56-60 loss) and another against Greenwood last Thursday. Rachel, an IUPUI signee, sustained a shoulder injury and Lauren received bruising from the seatbelt she was wearing at the time of the accident. The hope is that both girls, especially Rachel who is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, will be recovered for the Pioneers' sectional semi-final game against Martinsville on Friday evening. We're sure the girls' parents are thankful that neither was seriously injured.

Mooresville hoopsters injured in car wreck - Reporter-Times

Notre Dame received an early commitment from Georgia native Chandrica Smith, according to the South Bend Tribune. The Stephenson High School junior is not averaging big numbers (11.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, 2.0 bpg), but is on a team with two other Division I prospects. This article outlines other top junior recruits Irish head coach Muffet McGraw is after, but none listed are from Indiana's talented class of 2005. Notre Dame currently only has one Indiana native, Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend Washington), on its active roster. Another Hoosier, Melissa Lechlitner of South Bend St. Joseph's has committed for the 2006 recruiting class. With available scholarships, ND can sign three to five players from the Class of 2005.

We've added a new RRR Mini-Poll on our home page relative to the location of this year's state champions in all classes. Do you think most of the title winners will be from the North, South or equally from the North and South?

Sectional previews:
'The Renegade' predicts Class 4A Sectional & Regional girls champions - usa365.com
Tough schedule done; it's go-time for St. Joe - South Bend Tribune
Winamac, Rochester look for big rematch - South Bend Tribune
New Prairie's Harkleroad leads Cougars into postseason - Herald-Argus
Carmel Hounds optimistic about sectional - Indy Star

Coaches look forward to girls hoops sectional - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Lofty Lutheran girls want to fly high in tournament - Reporter-Times
Semifinal showdown pits Washington, Clay - SB Tribune
Penn tabbed favorite in Goshen Sectional - SB Tribune
Area teams gear up for girls sectional - Richmond Pal-Item
Key early matchups for Squaws, Jets - Decatur Daily Democrat

Girls basketball notes & features:
Carroll coach Lisa McBride leading the charge - News-Sentinel
Ft. Wayne extended power polls (boys & girls reversed) - News-Sentinel
Sports link mom, Heritage Christian daughter - Indy Star
Coach knew 8 North Central seniors would be something special - Indy Star

College and other articles of interest:
3-point shot leaves its mark on game - Marion Chronicle Tribune
ISU battling for third place in MVC - Tribune Star
Tough Rhodes to trek (ISU) - Tribune Star
Crusaders roll to easy Mid-Con victory - The Times
Ball State loses attendance record, but beats Northern Illinois - Star Press
Irish better on road - SB Tribune
Allegheny dominates Earlham women's team - Pal-Item
Vincennes women take 100 shots; drub Skyhawks - Sun-Commercial




Saturday, February 7


Thursday night, senior Jodi Hobbs (left) of North Knox signed to play basketball at St. Mary of-the-Woods. Jodi, a 5'11 forward who plays both inside and out, averages 7.8 points per game for the 20-1 2A No. 2 Warriors. Says St. Mary-of-the-Woods assistant coach Aaron Ballenger, "We are excited to have Jodi as a member of our basketball program. Not only is she a good player on the court, but a great person off the court. Coach Rick Marshall has done a wonderful job preparing Jodi to play at the college level." More:
Hobbs to continue at Woods - Sun-Commercial

Churubusco senior Tara Dice has signed with head coach Gary Andrews of St. Francis in Ft. Wayne, according to the Columbia City Post & Mail. The 5'10 forward, who is the career scoring leader at Churubusco with 1,244 points, is averaging 21.3 points per game for the 10-9 Eagles and head coach Carter Jones. Dice chose St. Francis over IPFW and Marian.

Thursday night, in her 93rd consecutive start, Shelbyville senior point guard Gretchen Haehl set the Shelbyville career scoring record with 1,375 points. Haehl went ahead to score 20 points in the win over Eastern Hancock to end up with a total of 1,377. The old record was set 23 years ago by Indiana All-Star Brenda (Kelsey) Simmons (’81) who later played at Purdue. Brenda was in attendance at the game and Gretchen was given the game ball after her record-setting performance in a small ceremony. Along the way to the record, Haehl surpassed scoring totals of other Shelbyville greats and Indiana All-stars Shelly (Kaplinger) Cherry (‘86) of Penn State and Misty Smith (’94) of Louisville. Along with the point record, Gretchen also has the Shelbyville career assist record with 382. Photo from the Shelbyville News. More:
Haehl breaks record, Bears beat Royals  - Shelbyville News

Clarksville senior and Butler recruit Candace Bain (left) set the rebounding Clarksville career rebounding record Tuesday evening with a seven rebound performance against Borden. Bain, who also holds the career scoring record at Clarksville, needed three rebounds to break the 719 rebound record held by 1987 grad Sarah White. Bain surpassed White's record in the first quarter and went on to add four more in the 48-38 win.

Generals' Bain sets new record in 48-38 win - Evening News

One day after she was named Mid-Central Conference Player of the Week and the week after she set the Grace career scoring record, senior Tracie Mezera of River Forest suffered a knee injury in a game against Huntington College. Mezera, who holds the Grace career scoring record with 1,627 points, was carried off the floor with 11:19 left on the night she was being honored for her career mark. The 5'7 guard scored 16 points against Huntington before exiting. Mezera, who also set career statistical marks at River Forest, has not played since the injury in late January.
Tracie Mezera's Injury Dampens Celebratory Game - Grace women's website

After a bit of delay, the big stud came to South Bend Monday night. Tennessee recruit Candace Parker (right) and her Naperville Central squad invaded the gym at South Bend St. Joseph's and came away with a 76-50 win. The 6'4 Parker was as good as advertised and more with a stat line of 26 points, 14 rebounds and 6 blocks for the win. Although the Indians could not keep up with Parker and her teammates, SBSJ junior and Valparaiso recruit Aimee Litka saved face for the Indians with 20 points and 8 assists. More:

St. Joe's girls no match for Parker - South Bend Tribune

Regional Radio Sports and WHLP 89.9FM will broadcast the entire Crown Point 4A Sectional 2 Tournament. The games will also be simulcast on the Internet. (Go to www.rrsn.com and click on the WHLP link.)

DSC_8288Former Kokomo and Miami (Ohio) career standout Heather Cusick (left in white) is averaging 17.7 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 4.4 assists for her pro team, BC-Shooters out of Spakenburg, Holland. She is also shooting 85 percent from the free throw line, and has season highs of nine rebounds, eight assists and six steals. BC-Shooters are currently tied for 3rd in the Dutch Women's Premier Division.


Sectional previews:
Reversal of fortune for Lew Wallace? - The Times
Eyes on the prize - Post-Tribune
NHS girls to face Panther hoopsters in postseason - Noblesville Ledger
Ben Davis girls face tough task - Indy Star
Unbeaten Giants have more to prove - Indy Star
IHSAA announces girls basketball pairings - Monticello Herald-Journal
Girls sectionals size up as competitive - Indy Star
Frankton gets a chance to avenge the past, again - Herald Bulletin
Girls sectionals set to fly - Plymouth Pilot News
Local programs looking to take next step - Anderson Herald Bulletin

Girls basketball notes & features:
Girls Basketball NWI Top Ten - The Times
'The Renegade' NWI Poll - usa365.com
Boone girls 7-0 in PCC - The Times
Record reflects improvement - Indy Star
Turning up level of intensity works at North Central - Indy Star
Support helps Valek sisters excel in sports - Indy Star
South Bend area girls basketball leaders - SB Tribune
Christian Academy, small in numbers, having big season - Courier-Journal
Year after injury, Danville sophomore helps her team to wins - Indy Star
Lebanon junior varsity finishes undefeated season - Lebanon Reporter
Lost season for Alexandria and its injured star player - News-Gazette
Jeffersonville guard passed on surgery to play - Courier-Journal

College and other articles of interest:
Boiler women healing, learning with week off - Gold & Black Illustrated
Valpo drops second straight - The Times
Ever-evolving IHSAA experiences scheduling trend - Chronicle-Tribune
Gooden's city-points title out of reach - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Rose-Hulman women lose at DePauw - Tribune Star
Doughty steals one for DePauw - Banner Graphic
Unranked opponents trouble for ND - SB Tribune
BSU women seek attendance record - Star Press
Hair apparent in ND win - South Bend Tribune
Indy to regularly host Final Fours - South Bend Tribune
Rested BSU team wants to stay strong - Ball State Daily News
Vincennes University Blazers lose rough-and-tumble affair - Sun-Commericial



Tuesday, February 3


Chesterton standout Catherine "Cat" Campbell (left) has signed with Indiana Wesleyan in Marion. The 5'6 heady point guard and defensive specialist, who is averaging 7.8 points and 5.1 assists per game this season, could receive playing time early for the Wildcats as they will graduate three senior guards, including Stephanie Gill of Munster. Campbell is one reason the 13-6 Trojans are experiencing an admirable outing in the tough Duneland Conference this season. They are currently tied for third place (8-5) in the DAC with Crown Point, a team they have beaten twice during conference play and will have to face a third time in the opening round of sectional play next Tuesday. Cat is the last of four daughters who played for dad and head coach Jack Campbell (pictured at right with Cat, her mom and IWU head coach Steve Brooks). Older sister Jackie Campbell, a DAC MVP in 1999, played at Colorado State for four years. The IWU women’s basketball program finished the 2001-2002 campaign 29-8, were Co-Champions of the Mid-Central Conference and NCCAA National Champions. The following year the Lady Wildcats were MCC regular season and tournament champs and also reached the “Sweet 16” at the NAIA National Tournament. The IWU women’s basketball team is currently 22-4 and ranked No. 14 in the NAIA. (Action photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.)

The draw for the IHSAA 29th Annual Girls Basketball Tournament took place on Sunday, giving rise to much discussion of the impending first round of games next week. You can view the draw at the IHSAA website in either regular or PDF bracket formats.
Locally in Sectional 1, top teams Gary West Side and East Chicago avoided a first-round matchup, setting the stage for a possible final between the two. Both teams will not get there easily though, as East Chicago must face a feisty Highland team, and Gary West Side, although receiving a first-round bye, must get past a very capable Lake Central team that is hitting its stride late in the season. In Sectional 2, favorites Merrillville and Valparaiso will go at it in the early round, while Chesterton and Crown Point will go head-to-head early as well. The winners on Tuesday will duke it out on Friday, while either Portage or Hobart will have to win just one to make it to the finals. Although the Pirates and the Vikings are considered tournament favorites, the Bulldogs threw a wrench into the works last Friday when they upended then 4A No. 6 Valparaiso behind a 28-point outburst (24 in the second half) from Junior All-Star candidate Cassie Pruzin. Whichever of the four teams playing on Tuesday makes it to the finals will be battle weary, giving Portage or Hobart a possible upset bid.
In 3A Sectional 17, Calumet and Griffith are the favorites and could meet on Friday if they get past their first-round opponents. In Sectional 18, favorites Gary Lew Wallace and Andrean both received the bye but will face each other on Friday. Underdog Gary Mann, featuring high-scoring junior Shanee Butler, will have to win two games to get to the finals.


In 2A Sectional 33, Boone Grove pulled the toughest route to the finals, having to get past a good Hammond Noll team, and then face PCC tournament champion Hanover Central on Friday. If the Wolves, led by super point guard Karissa Walter, can make it to the finals, they will face 2A nemesis Wheeler, who downed the Wolves earlier in the season by 13 points.
In 1A, Sectional 49 could be a toss-up, with Whiting, Washington Township, Kouts and Hebron all having a shot at the title. The draw favors a finals appearance for Whiting, led by high-scoring senior Becca Papach. The Oilers have beaten both their first round (LaCrosse) and possible second round opponent (River Forest) during the regular season. The other three are left to battle it out for a chance in the finals.


More tournament coverage: 
East Chicago Central has a long road ahead - The Times
McCutcheon girls draw No. 8 Kokomo  - Journal & Courier
Marion draws bye in girls' pairings - Chronicle-Tribune
Teams get a map to Indy - South Bend Tribune
Rivalry renewed: Leo, Bishop Luers meet again in sectionals - Journal Gazette
Penn, Central get byes at Goshen Sectional - Elkhart Truth
Sleepers could take opponents by surprise - Indianapolis Star
Terre Haute North, South girls to face off in sectional play - Tribune Star
Girls draw good matches for sectional - Shelbyville News
Bedford NL Lady Stars receive bye in sectional - Times-Mail
IHSAA conducts girls' hoops sectional draw - Jeffersonville Evening News
Favored Jeffersonville girls get 1st-round bye, too - Courier-Journal
Corydon labeled the team to beat at North Harrison - Courier-Journal
Clarksville could challenge Brownstown, Charlestown - Courier-Journal
Lady Miners and Bulldogs draw sectional byes - Linton Daily Citizen
Squaws draw Cadets; Jets to meet Woodlan - Decatur Daily Democrat
Girls sectional draw sets up rematches - Richmond Pal-Item
Girls basketball postseason pairings out - Princeton Daily Clarion

In case you missed it on our home page, we have a poll predicting the team that will come out of the Valparaiso 4A Regional later this month. Currently, Gary West Side leads in voting with 29 of the 89 votes cast.

Before her team's game with NorthWood last week, Miss Basketball candidate Jaclyn Leininger (left) was presented the game ball from the Hall of Fame Classic, where she became Warsaw's all-time scoring leader. Presenting the ball was Tiger grad Hilary O'Connell, who was the previous holder of the record with a total of 1,135 career points. Leininger has currently amassed 1,453 points. Warsaw's last regular season game will be on Thursday against Elkhart Memorial.

Madison senior Brittany Myers (right) set the school career scoring record with a 30-point performance in a loss to Columbus North last week. The 5'9 guard came into the contest needing 17 points to break the 1,480-point mark set by former Madison standout Molly Holt in 1998. When Myers scored the passing career point at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Holt came out of the stands to present Myers the game ball and then the game continued. Myers went on to score 14 additional points in the remainder of the fourth quarter to bring her career total to 1,494 points and counting. (Photo by Dave Campbell of the Madison Courier) More:
Myers pours in 30 in losing effort to pass Holt as Cubs’ top scorer - Madison Courier

Girls basketball notes & features:
Brebeuf's only sour note is in its singing style - Indianapolis Star

College and other articles of interest:
Ref's life is a lot of yells and whistles - Indianapolis Star
Cardinals show 'heart' in final three minutes - Ball State Daily News
Another test awaits Irish women's D - SB Tribune
Southern Indiana women rally on road - Courier & Press
VU left out in the cold - The Times
Severe's savvy inspires Irish - SB Tribune
ND takes to underdog role - SB Tribune
BSU women knock off pesky Central Michigan - Star Press
Franklin College women in tie for HCAC lead - JC Daily Journal
IU's women have had Buckeye's number lately - Times Mail



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