APRIL, 2004

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Important April NCAA Dates:
4/14-5/19 - Late Signing Period

Region Roundball Review
April, 2004

News & Updates
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Friday, April 30


According to the Kokomo Tribune, seven-year Kokomo coach Charlie Hall is retiring. Hall, who has been coaching for 25 years in different capacities, took the Kats to the ultimate with a state title in 2003. During his seven-year tenure, he logged an 88 percent win rate, including a 47-1 mark in the North Central Conference. Although no mention of Hall's successor is made in the article, many think Kokomo assistant coach Chris Huppenthal, formerly the head coach at Highland, is in line for the job. The Kats return a solid lineup next season, including Hall's niece Audrey McDonald, who is being recruited by a bevy of D-I programs. Photo from the Kokomo Tribune.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Shelbyville Indiana All-Star Gretchen Haehl will play at DePauw University next season. As a senior, Haehl averaged 17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.5 steals per game, while shooting 49% from the field, 54% from 3-point and 88% from the free throw line. She led her team to an 18-5 record under first-year head coach Michael Gaines, which included a sectional championship win over tough Bloomington North. Haehl joins Stephanie Beneker of Franklin County in DePauw's 2004 recruiting class.  Photo from gretchenhaehl24.com.
In the same article, it is noted that Lawrence North senior Robyn Stone has accepted a scholarship offer to Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida. The two-year Commodore program is know for its preparation of players to play for major Division I programs. Stone, who had an abbreviated high school season her senior year, joins McCutcheon senior Ali Mailloux on the roster of head coach Roonie Scovel for next season.

Madison-Grant girls basketball coach Jeff Small (left) has resigned. Small was coach of the Argylls for the past four years, during which time he won a sectional title (the second in school history) and the Grant Four County Championship (also the second in school history). More:
Small resigns from M-G job - Chronicle-Tribune

Penn State freshman Reicina Russell (right) has announced that she is transferring, according to the Center Daily. The former Terre Haute South and Lawrence North player, who cannot transfer to another Big Ten school because of conference rules, will have to sit a year before playing at another Division I school. She is looking for a program "with more of a post influence". Head coach Rene Portland tried to convince Russell to stay with promises of a change in offensive structure, but to no avail. No doubt Russell's availability will send a number of top programs scrambling to acquire the 6'6 center.

The IHSAA has made several announcements with regard to girls basketball for next season and beyond. Interestingly, home uniforms will be illegal if they are not white beginning with the 2007-08 season.

 2004-05 Girls Basketball Rules Changes
Important Summer Deadline Dates

 2004-05 Rules Interpretation Meeting Dates

The Indianapolis Fever will open the WNBA preseason schedule on Tuesday, May 4, when they host Houston at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Other news of interest:
NCAA's academic reforms, sanctions nearly complete - USA Today




Thursday, April 29


Manchester senior Brit Rager has signed with head coach Mary Wisniewski of Indiana University-South Bend. The 5'10 forward averaged 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, garnering her 2004 Wabash County Player of the Year honors. Rager was also named to the Three Rivers Conference All-Conference First Team, TRC Academic All-Conference and to the Wabash All-County Team, among many other honors. After leading her team to a 16-7 record and sectional championship under head coach Mark Underwood, she chose IUSB over Manchester, Defiance, Grace, Glen Oaks, Anderson, Case-Western, US Naval Academy, Rose-Hulman, St. Mary-of-the Woods, Earlham and Greenville (NC). She will join fellow 2004 recruits Katy Stephenson (Madison-Grant), Abbey Freeman (Eastern Hancock) and Jennifer VanderZanden (Lake Central) on the Lady Titans roster next season. Photo from the Manchester News-Journal

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has signed senior Kylee Wood (right) from South Vermillion. The 5'8 guard averaged 23.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. She also took part in this year's Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 40 Workout. Says SMWC head coach Aaron Ballenger, "We are happy to have Kylee play for us next season. A lot of people just see the points that she puts up, but Klyee has all the tools to become a very solid player at the next level. Her best basketball is still to come." More:
South Vermillion's Kylee Wood signs to play at The Woods - Tribune Star

Franklin County senior Stephanie Beneker will play at DePauw University in Greencastle next season, as mentioned in the Connersville News-Examiner. The 5'11 forward averaged 19.0 points per game in her final high school season while leading the Wildcats to a 16-6 record.

Women's Basketball

As noted in the Indianapolis Star, Indianpolis Tech grad LaTrice McMichel ('02) has signed to play next season at Arkansas. For the past two years, the 5-10 guard has been honing her basketball skills at Illinois Central College in Peoria, where the talented player earned Kodak Junior College All-America honors after a terrific sophomore season. The NJCAA First Team All-American averaged 22.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Cougars in 2003-04, and helped her team to the NJCAA National Championship as a freshman. More:
McMichel opens spring signees for Lady 'Backs - Arizona website

Vincennes Lincoln has hired assistant Dan Alstadt to succeed Janis Hert as head coach for the Alices. Hert, who was at the helm at Vincennes for ten years, compiled a 120-92 record during her tenure.

As we reported earlier this week, three-year boys assistant coach Todd Satterly has been named the new girls head coach at New Albany, according to the Jeffersonville Evening News. Satterly takes over for departing coach Dave Rearick, who stepped down after this past season. Satterly inherits a talented squad that went 17-4 and returns All-Hoosier Hills Conference guard Trisha Bennett and Junior All-Star Core Team center Stephanie Lynch.

Speedway head coach Al MacDonald has resigned his position to take a counselor's position at Noblesville.

Head coach Kelin Mark at Indianapolis Washington has two job openings, one for a head JV girls coach and another for a head freshman coach. Washington is going into its first year of varsity sports since 1995, when the IPS school was closed due to redistricting.

According to the NCAA, the Butler women's program showed the 15th best record improvement of all Division I colleges in the nation. The Bulldogs improved their record from 6-23 last season to 14-15 this past season under second-year head coach Beth Couture.

The Notre Dame women's program has shown their support for the Region Roundball Review by submitting their listing for our RRR Camp Finder (www.camp-finder.com)  The Irish have a variety of camp opportunities for the summer, including an August team camp that is not yet posted on their website. Drop by to check it out!

Valparaiso head coach Keith Freeman will be sponsoring his 10th annual coaching clinic September 17-18. Speakers for the event include Harry Perretta of Villanova, Jack Edison of Plymouth, Shannon Reidy of Marian Catholic and the Valparaiso staff. For more information, contact Coach Freeman at Keith.Freeman@valpo.edu.

Indiana girls basketball news:
COACHMOM (Beth Vesa of Munster) - Post-Tribune
 Sophomores shine in '04 - Kokomo Tribune



Tuesday, April 27


We've released our RRR All-Area Honors for 2003-04. Be sure to take a look at who we think are the "Best of the Northwest"!

Franklin Central junior Stephanie Ford (left) has made a verbal commitment to Miami (Ohio) head coach Maria Fantanrosa. She is the second Indiana junior center to commit to the RedHawks this month. Kris Coner of Indian Creek committed to Miami last week. Ford, a 6'3 force in the paint, chose the RedHawks over Western Kentucky and Toledo. Also, Purdue was known to have shown interest in Ford. Ford helped her team and FC head coach Pam Taylor to a 12-10 record in tough Conference Indiana. She becomes the seventh player from Indiana's Class of 2005 to commit before her senior year. Photo from the Indiana's Finest website.

According to the Connersville News-Examiner, Cambridge City senior Natalie Roberts (right) has signed with Indiana-Purdue-Ft. Wayne. The 6'1 left-handed center averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for the 17-7 Golden Eagles and head coach John Lewellen her senior season. She chose IPFW over offers from Division II St. Joseph's, and junior colleges at Vincennes and Kankakee, Illinois. Her performance at the Midwest Hoosier Explosion in March impressed IPFW head coach Bruce Patterson enough to make an offer. More:
Lincoln senior signs with IPFW - Richmond Pal-Item

New Albany senior Kim Hardesty will attend Hanover College to play basketball next school year. The 6-1 forward helped her team to a 17-4 record this season under head coach Dave Rarick.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the All-Star exhibition games against the Junior All-Stars will be held on June 16 and June 23. Locations were not announced in the article.

Former New Albany boys assistant coach Todd Satterly (left) has been appointed as the new girls varsity coach for the Bulldogs, according to a reliable source. Satterly takes over for Dave Rearick, who resigned his post earlier this spring. More:
Satterly gets girls' job at New Albany - Jeffersonville Evening News

The Bedford Times Mail has announced that Greg Elkins has been named as the new head coach at Bedford North-Lawrence. Elkins, a former assistant at Bloomington South, was chosen from over 30 applicants for the job. He is now charged with bringing the Lady Stars back to their days of glory, when BNL made it to the Final Four three years in a row from 1990 to 1992. The Stars won state championships in 1983 and 1991 under Pete Pritchett, who coached BNL from 1983 to 1994.

It was noted in The Times that Jimmie Hunt has been hired as the new girls varsity coach at LaCrosse. He replaces Gary DeSmet, who resigned his position after a record of 18-43 over his three-year tenure with the Tigers.

Sara NordTwo former Miss Basketball honorees, Sara Nord (Jeffersonville/Louisville) and April McDivitt (Connersville/UC Santa Barbara), have been signed on as free agents with teams on the East Coast. According to the WNBA website, Nord has signed with the Washington Mystics and McDivitt with the New York Liberty. In order to be playing with the WNBA this summer, both will have to make the cut for their respective teams when official 11-player opening day rosters are announced. More:
WNBA Welcomes the Incoming Class of 2004 - WNBA website

Indiana girls basketball news:
Burgin earns player of year honor  - Lafayette Journal & Courier
McFadden No. 1 choice for girls team - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Post players give Lafayette all-star sweep  - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Three Clinton County Athletes Will Play in First Lafayette Area All-Star Basketball Games - Frankfort Times

 Ohio girls sprint past Indiana - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Girls sports innovator Lowry takes spot in hall of fame - Indianapolis Star

Other news of interest:
Kirkland Added to Fill Butler Coaching Vacancy - Fans Only
Female Athletes Continue to Gain Ground - Washington Post
Ukari Figgs decides to retire from WNBA - Houston Chronicle



Saturday, April 24

Kris ConerIndiana Creek junior Kris Coner has given a verbal commitment to Miami (Ohio) head coach Maria Fantanarosa. The 6-2 center averaged 14.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game during a season in which she was dealing with injuries that kept her off the court for six games. Coner, who is a 2004 Junior All-Star North Team selection, chose Miami over Ball State, according to the Johnson County Daily Journal. Former IC head coach Dana Scott, who resigned her position with the Braves after this past season, believes Coner will only get better. "I had many coaches tell me that they think she's the best player on my team," Scott said in a recent Indianapolis Star article, noting that's an impressive compliment with teammate Adrienne Squire (Penn State) in the lineup. "She's good now but has a ton of potential. She, perhaps, is the most athletic post player in the area." Coner will join this year's Miss Basketball Jaclyn Leininger on the RedHawks roster after next season.

Columbia City senior Brittany Fisher has signed with Danville Area Community College. The 6'2 center helped her team and head coach Wayne Krieger to an 11-10 record this past season.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the following seniors have signed with or committed to the following women's basketball programs:

Player Pos Ht School (Class) School
Arnold, Sarah G 5'3 Pendleton Heights (3A) Goshen
Baines, Jasmine F/C 6'0 Jeffersonville (4A) IUPUI
Houston, Sarah G 5'8 Lafayette Jeff (4A) Parkland Community
Jones, Crystal G 5'6 Indianapolis Tech (4A) Kaskaskia Community
Jones, Shmika G 5'7 Pike (4A) Kaskaskia Community
Kleinhenz, Taylor G 5'7 Columbus North (4A) Utah Valley State (D-I)
Miller, Kristen F 5'10 Tri-Central (1A) Spring Arbor (MI)
Stout, Paula F 5'10 Jimtown (2A) Bethel
Weller, Lyndsay G 5'9 Garrett (2A) Grace

Former Pike standout Nina Stone (right) was named Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year at Oklahoma State. The 5'7 guard made an immediate impact for the Cowgirls after spending two years at Wabash Valley Community College. She was the leading scorer for her team at 12.0 points per game and recorded team highs with 84 assists and 42 steals.

Indiana girls basketball news:
 Grandpa relishes Miss Basketball's success - Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette
Nancy Rehm's niece get chance - Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette
Conference Indiana All-Conference  - Indianapolis Star

Other news of interest:
Jessica Smart Rounds Out Butler's Recruiting Class - Fans Only



Friday, April 23


Whiting standout Becca Papach (right) has officially signed with Division I University of North Carolina-Wilmington. The 5'10 multi-position player made an official visit to the campus this week, and after meeting the coaching staff and playing with the team, felt the Seahawks were an excellent fit. Papach, who was the first ever player from Whiting invited to the Top 40 Workout, led her 14-10 team to its first sectional title in girls basketball under head coach Joe Pokraka this season. She averaged 16.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game as a senior and took on more of a team role with a good supporting cast after averaging 21.8 points per game as a junior. She was selected to both the Post-Tribune and The Times All-Area Second Teams and was an RRR Super Senior 25 selection. The Seahawks, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, went 15-13 last season under three-year head coach Ann Hancock. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com. More:
Papach heading to Carolina - The Times
Whiting’s Papach picks UNC-Wilmington - Post-Tribune

Bloomington South Varsity 04Bloomington South senior Sarah Wilson (left) has signed with Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. The 5'9 guard, who helped her team to an 11-11 record under head coach Larry Winters, was named a Top 100 Player by Hoosier Basketball Magazine. Wilson will join fellow Hoosiers Rachel Merkell of Munster and Gretchen Hendrix of Kokomo on the SXU Cougars roster under head coach Bob Hallberg next season.

The first ever Lafayette All-Star Classic will be held this Sunday at Benton Central, as announced in the Crawfordsville Journal Review. Organized by BC boys head coach Joe Luce, the girls game will pit the Lafayette All-Stars against the Greater Lafayette Area All-Stars. Game time is at 4:00 p.m., followed by the boys all-star game at 7:00 p.m.

Clinton Central head coach Linda Barnett has resigned her position with the Bulldogs after 25 years. According to the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel, Barnett will be replaced by CC boys varsity head coach Aaron Charles. During her quarter-century tenure, Barnett won 10 sectional championships and two regional titles. In 1988, she served as an Indiana All-Star assistant coach and in 2003 was inducted into the Hall of Fame. She ranks seventh all-time in Indiana girls coaching victories with 406.

Noblesville has hired their own junior varsity boys coach to take over for the Millers next season. Kurt Gassensmith, who was one of 20 applicants for the job according to the Noblesville Ledger, compiled a 98-20 record over six years with the boys JV team. He replaces Leah Wooldridge, who resigned shortly after this past season.

Paul Walker has been hired as the new coach at Triton. He replaces state champion coach Mark Heeter.

Former Xavier and Homestead standout Amy Waugh (left) has been hired as an assistant coach at Wake Forest University. Prior to her hiring at Wake Forest, Waugh was an assistant coach at Youngstown State where she primarily worked with perimeter players and also coordinated film exchange, camps, travel and monitoring student-athletes' academic progress. Most likely, Waugh's defining moment in her college career was an upset win over Tennessee to reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament her junior year at Xavier.

Two more colleges have shown their support for the Region Roundball Review by submitting listings for our RRR Camp Finder (www.camp-finder.comValparaiso University and Butler University both have a variety of camp opportunities for the summer. Drop by to take a look! :-)

Other news of interest:
Auburn hires former Purdue coach Fortner - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel





Wednesday, April 21


The ICGSA has announced its 2003-04 All-State Teams and District Coaches. Locally, senior Julie DeMuth of Merrillville was named ICGSA First Team All-State, while juniors Cassie Pruzin of Crown Point and Cassie Kerns of Valparaiso were named ICGSA Second Team All-State.

South Bend Washington senior Marci Patton (right) has signed with Division I Lamar University head coach Leonard Drake. Patton, a 5'10 forward, chose Lamar over Chicago State, Coastal Carolina, Cincinnati State and Jacksonville State. The former South Bend Riley player averaged 12.0 points (43% 3pt) and 10.0 rebounds during her successful 21-1 senior campaign with the Panthers and head coach Marilyn Coddens. Patton will join fellow 2004 Lamar recruit Chelsea Gugliotti of North Knox on the Lady Cardinals roster next season. The Cardinals, who play in the All-Southland Conference, will look to improve on their overall 2003-04 record of 4-22. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.

abby03Tippecanoe Valley senior Abby Shafer (left) has signed to play for head coach Steve Carlson at Grace College in Winona Lake. The 5'3 guard helped the Lady Vikings to a 21-3 season at the point, including an 8-point, 4-steal performance in a big 54-45 early season win over 4A Warsaw. She averaged 9.8 points, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals as a senior. According to TV head coach Gary Teel, "Abby is outstanding young lady, her dedication, work ethic and love for basketball are exceptional.  She was an instrumental part of our success over the past three years going  61 - 11 and winning three consecutive 3A sectional titles.  Abby will be an impact player for Grace College and Coach Carlson." More:
Shafer's choice -- Grace - Rochester Sentinel

Marion head coach Darrell Wisser has resigned from his girls basketball coaching duties. The Lady Giants finished the season 16-5 and nearly everyone, including Wisser's daughter, sophomore guard Kelly Wisser, is returning for the upcoming 2004-05 season. During his two-year tenure with the Giants, Wisser compiled a 25-17 record.

According to the Journal Review, Fountain Central JV head coach Nikki Swisher will take on head coaching duties for the Mustangs next season. Swisher replaces long-time FC head coach and athletic director Phil Rash. The Seeger graduate will continue her position as head volleyball coach at Fountain Central.

The Northwest Indiana Classic was held last Saturday at East Chicago Central, and Lake Central sharpshooter Linsey Smith (right) walked away with the hardware as the MVP for the winning East Team, who defeated the West Team 64-52. Smith, who is being recruited by Purdue-Calumet, Franklin, Benedictine and Lincoln Trail, garnered the top honors by scoring 14 points (2 treys). Leading rebounder for the East Team was IUPUI recruit Karima Davies of Gary West Side, who pulled down 13 rebounds to go with 6 points and 3 steals. The West Team was led by Whiting senior Becca Papach, who tallied team highs of 12 points and 7 rebounds. Calumet senior Kiki Bytnar won the 3-point shooting contest. You can find photos from the game at strempkagallery.com. More:
LC's Smith dances to MVP - The Times

We have two new prospect listings to report. Ft. Wayne Canterbury freshman Megan King, a 5'9 guard, is listed on our 2007 Prospects, and Huntington North junior BreAnne Miller, a 5'11 guard/forward is listed on our 2005 Prospects.

According to the Noblesville Ledger, former Noblesville standout Sarah VanMetre won the Eastern Michigan Hustle Award. The Eagles freshman was instrumental to her team's run to the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship and post-season appearance in the NCAA Tournament. She averaged 11.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. VanMetre also won the MAC Sixth Man of the Year Award.

The rehiring of Deanna Bradley as the new head coach for St.Mary-of-the-Woods was announced recently in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. Bradley, who coached the Pomeroys from 1992 to 2002, vacated her position two years ago for health reasons. At that time, Heidi Metzger stepped in to lead the SMWC women's team, but stepped down after the current season to move closer to family in Pennsylvania. Bradley, who is also the SMWC athletic director, led the Pomeroys to two national tournament appearances in 1999-00 and 2001-02. 

As noted in the Princeton Daily Clarion, Oakland City University has hired 23-year-old student Clint Weddle to coach the women's basketball team after he graduates this May. The Terre Haute North alum, who is a member of the OCU men's basketball team, was also hired as a liaison by the OCU business department, where he will help business students find internships. This season, the Lady Oaks posted a 12-16 record and a fourth place finish in the NCCAA championships. Weddle is the sister of Indiana State and Terre Haute South standout Kristin Weddle.

Former Clinton Prairie standout Melissa DeVore ('02) was named Most Valuable Player in the Central Collegiate Conference of Illinois playing for Danville Area Community College. She was also 2nd in All Region voting. Teammates Ashley Houston (Eminence) was named Second Team All-CCCI and Molly Williams (South Putnam) was named All-CCCI Honorable Mention.

The women's basketball program at Indiana State University has become another supporter of the Region Roundball Review with their summer camp listing on the RRR College Camp Finder (www.camp-finder.com). Be sure to take a look!

Indiana girls basketball news:
 Haehl is named Indiana All-Star - Shelbyville News

Other news of interest:
NCAA to tie graduation rates to basketball scholarships - South Bend Tribune
MICHIANA nets national high school hoops event - South Bend Tribune
Former Boilers now WNBA teammates - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Purdue seniors deliver final farewell - Lafayette Journal & Courier
NCAA considering bold reforms in academics, recruiting - USA Today



Saturday, April 17


Hobart senior standout Megan Walczak (right) will be playing for Division III Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, next season. Walczak, who averaged 13.0 points and 3.0 assists per game this season, was the senior anchor for the Brickies and coach Kristen Peterson this season. Walczak, who will graduate with a 3.80 GPA, was named ICGSA Academic All-State Honorable Mention. She also was a first team selection in the Duneland Athletic Conference last season and a first team selection in the Brickies' new conference, the Lake Athletic Conference, as a senior. The BU Eagles, members of the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference, went 15-13 this season and 9-3 in conference play. They last earned a bid to the D-III NCAA Tournament in 2002. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.

Westview senior Megan Kreider has signed with Glen Oaks Community College to play basketball next year. The 5'11 forward/center was named NECC all-conference this season while averaging over 11.0 points and 8.0 boards per game. She was also named All-Area as a senior and led her team to an 18-7 record and a 2A sectional championship under head coach Randy Yoder.

Becca Papach (left) of Whiting was recently profiled in The Times in anticipation of the Northwest Indiana Basketball Classic set for this weekend at East Chicago Central. Papach has narrowed her college choices down to three schools, one of which is a Division I program. Papach leaves quite a legacy at 1A Whiting, as she is believed to be the only player in the state to score 1,000 points in basketball and log 1,000 kills in volleyball. This past season, Papach led her team to the Oilers' first-ever sectional championship while averaging 16.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.9 steals, 2.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. She was also the first-ever Whiting basketball player to be invited to the Top 40 Workout. On Saturday, the East Team of the NWI Classic, made up of players from the Duneland Athletic Conference, Northwestern Conference and River Forest, will take on the West Team, comprised of senior players from the Lake Athletic Conference and East Chicago. Game time is at 4:00 p.m. The Northwest Indiana Basketball Classic, sponsored by the Hoosier Lottery, will be carried live by HSSP Radio beginning at 3:45 p.m. Photo from The Times..

No doubt Calumet senior and Eastern Illinois recruit Kiki Bytner (right) was a bit concerned when she discovered that head coach Linda Wunder was fired at the end of the basketball season. However, she may see a face on the sidelines with Region ties when she arrives on campus in the fall. Valparaiso assistant coach Steve Bruce has applied for the job, according to the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier. Bruce is the first candidate to apply for the job, which is expected to be filled soon. Photo from the Post-Tribune.

The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette has announced that Miss Basketball Jaclyn Leininger of Warsaw will play in the Nancy Rehm Indiana-Ohio All-Star Classic on April 24. The complete roster representing Indiana will be as follows:
Whittney Ash, Angola
Christi Church, Angola
Tara Dice, Churubusco
Nora Didrick, North Side
Jennifer Ferguson, Fremont
Jessica Hathaway, Bishop Luers
Candace Jones, Snider
Jaclyn Leininger, Warsaw
Marci North, Bishop Luers
Brandi Stuckey, Elmhurst
Lindsay Weller, Garrett
Natalie Young, Adams Central

According to the Indianapolis Star, Brebeuf center Ta'Shia Phillips (left) has been chosen as the top freshman player in the nation by Student Sports magazine. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.

South Adams coach Randy Minch has resigned, according to the Decatur Democrat. Minch was the head coach for the Starfires the past 11 years, but is relinquishing his position because he believes he cannot meet the demands of the varsity program with his work schedule.

Sports Illustrated has already released its 2005 Top 10 for women's college basketball next season. No Indiana schools are among the picks, but two former Indiana players, Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) and Shanna Zolman (Tennessee), anchor SI's No. 1 selection for next season, Tennessee.
Sports Illustrated's 2005 Top 10
1. Tennessee
2. LSU
3. Connecticut
4. Georgia
5. Texas
6. Duke
7. Minnesota
8. Baylor
9. Rutgers
10. Ohio State



Thursday, April 15

Return to the NCAA Online Home PageYesterday marked the beginning of the NCAA late signing period, which runs through May 19. There are several very good seniors still uncommitted or unsigned at this time, including RRR Super Senior 25 players Christina Cunningham of Perry Meridian, Whitney Frame of Randolph Southern, Gretchen Haehl of Shelbyville, Lauren Hutton of Valparaiso, Ashley McGee of Hamilton Southeastern, Kristin Miller of Tri-Central and Becca Papach of Whiting. According to recent news coverage, Hutton is looking at offers from Division I Valparaiso and Division III programs at DePauw and Washington (St. Louis) while deciding if she wants to attend Purdue. Frame, who wants to stay close to home, is looking at offers from Franklin, Earlham, Marian and Taylor.
Signing news of two of the RRR's Super Senior 25 players was recently relayed to us.
Merrillville standout Marshay Jolly (left) will be signing with Division II Southern Indiana this week. The 5'10 multi-position player will pick up where former Merrillville standout Shannon Wells ('99) left off for Screaming Eagles head coach Rick Stein. Jolly, who intends to study business finance, had a great career for the Pirates, making an impact early on as a freshman and garnering All-DAC honors four years running. She was the DAC MVP last season and an Indiana Junior All-Star in 2003. In her final high school campaign, Jolly averaged 10.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting .320 from three-point range. Jolly was instrumental in helping her team to an 18-3 record this season under head coach Bob Maicher. The Pirates won the Duneland Athletic Conference championship and were ranked as high as No. 2 in the ICGSA Poll. Jolly is looking forward to joining an up and coming program that is not too far from home. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.
According to the Post-Tribune, senior power forward Jennifer VanderZanden (right) of Lake Central has committed and will sign with Indiana University South Bend. The feisty 5'10 scorer was the focus of coach Tom Megyesi's offense this season. The Indians went 11-10 in its first season as a member of the Duneland Athletic Conference. VanderZanden is the first player from Lake Central to garner all-conference honors since the Indians were members of the old Lake Suburban Conference over a decade ago. She averaged 13.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 78.0 percent from the free throw line. The physical VanderZanden will join an IUSB team that will have five seniors next season. The Titans, who play in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, were 18-15 this season and finished third in conference play. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.
Another former Merrillville player, who finished out her high school career as a senior at Hobart, has signed with the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. According to the Post-Tribune, Kelly Pero (left), who has been playing at Joliet Junior College the past two seasons, earned NJCAA Division III accolades as a freshman and sophomore for the Wolves and head coach Tony Giese. Pero, a criminal justice major, was named First Team NJCAA All-American after averaging 20.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game on the way to a third-place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament this season. Pero will be able to play close to home several times over the next two years, as the Saints are members of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, which includes Purdue-Calumet and Calumet College. You can view more about Pero on the Joliet JC website, which features her in an online promotional video for their women's basketball program.

Unfortunate news out of the Valparaiso program. Junior Lindsey Humes, who tore her ACL two games into the season, has torn her ACL again. The 6'2 post, who was greatly missed despite an IHSAA Semi-State appearance by the Vikes, will spend the summer trying to get healthy enough to finish out her high school career for what is expected to be a very good Vikings team again next season under Coach of the Year Greg Kirby. Humes is pictured at right sitting with assistant coach Kathy Levandowski during warmups before the Crown Point Sectional final. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.

The North-South Indiana All-Star Classic was held earlier this month at Greenfield Central, with two seniors from Northwest Indiana participating. Julie DeMuth of Merrillville and Lauren Hutton of Valparaiso both came to play and produced solid results for the North Team which won 96-85. DeMuth, who is headed to Ball State next fall, led all scorers with 24 points on 8-16 shooting (3 treys) and logged 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Hutton, along with offering up her Energizer Bunny defense, scored three points and dished one assist. Leading the way for the South Team was Janese Banks of Ben Davis, who scored 17 points on 8-24 shooting. More:
NWI players fare well at Classic - Post-Tribune
Nice end to a nice career for Valpo’s Hutton - Post-Tribune
North earns sweep in All-Star Classic - Indy Star
Area stars help North to two wins - Indy Star

Merrillville senior Julie DeMuth (left) was named AP First Team All-State last month. DeMuth is the only player from the Region to be named to the top three teams, however, sophomore Dee Dee Jernigan of East Chicago and junior Cassie Kerns of Valparaiso were voted AP High Honorable Mention.  No other single NWI player received votes in AP balloting. More:

First things first (DeMuth AP) - The Times
AP All-State - IHSAA

As we reported on our home page earlier this week, the Indiana All-Stars were announced on Sunday in the Indianapolis Star. With their selections, the All-Star coaching staff hopes to floor a team that excels on the defensive end. Kentucky is expected to select a team that could have four post players at 6'6, 6'4, 6'3 and 6'2. With Indiana's tallest All-Star at 6'2, head coach Jodi Whitaker of Lawrence North has chosen to go with speed and proven rebounding. Locally, Merrillville senior Julie DeMuth was named to the team. She is the first Northwest Indiana player to be named to the All-Stars since sister Jenny DeMuth (Highland/Indiana) was named to the team in 2001. The complete roster is as follows:

Merrillville's DeMuth named Indiana All-Star - The Times
Randolph Southern player makes All-Star team - Star Press
Area players bolster All-Star roster - Indianapolis Star
Two All-Star selections work hard to prepare - Indianpolis Star

The Louisville Courier-Journal recently announced its All-State selections for the 2003-04 season. Again, Merrillville senior Julie DeMuth was named to the First Team, while junior Cassie Kerns of Valparaiso was named to the Second Team and junior Cassie Pruzin of Crown Point was named to the Third Team. Receiving Honorable Mention from the Region were seniors Karima Davies and Belinda Drake of Gary West Side, senior Lauren Hutton of Valparaiso, sophomore Dee Dee Jernigan of East Chicago, senior Marshay Jolly of Merrillville, senior Becca Papach of Whiting, junior Leslie Rowan of Rensselaer and senior Jennifer VanderZanden of Lake Central. More:
C-J All-State Basketball Second Team, Third Team and Honorable Mention

North Central sophomore Amber Harris (left) was recently named to the Parade All-American Third Team. Harris, who led her team to the 4A State Championship title this season, has already committed to Purdue. The 6'5 multi-position player averaged 13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game while shooting nearly 62 percent from the field. Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.com.

According to the Terre Haute Tribune Star, Steve DeGroote of West Vigo has submitted his resignation. DeGroote, who coached the Vikings for 15 years, compiled a 182-151 record during his tenure.

Head coach Tricia Cullop of Evansville has announced the departure of four players from the Aces program. According to the Courier-Press, Kim McMillin of North Harrison has left the basketball program to concentrate on her studies and may transfer to another school. Three other players from out of state have also left for varied reasons, ranging from playing time to being away from family.

You may have noted our ad for the Region Roundball Review Camp Finder (www.camp-finder.com) at the top of the page. We are in the process of promoting summer camps from those college programs that have chosen to support the RRR to keep it a free-viewing resource for players, coaches, fans and college recruiters. As more support comes in, we will be adding more camp listings, so be sure to check back often. Coaches and players, we hope that you find this an easy-to-use and valuable resource for finding team and individual college camps to attend this summer. Special thanks to Indiana University, Bowling Green State and Ball State for being the first to step to the plate!

Girls basketball notes & features:
Metro Stars beat Capitol Stars in Jermaine O'Neal Super Shootout - Indy Star
Sports keep Gossman smiling - Courier-Press
2004 Girls All-Area Team - Washington Times
Garrett and Angola coaches to lead girls team in Border Wars - Journal Gazette

College and other articles of interest:
Coaches pushed to limit - Indy Star
Prep 3-sport athletes now a dwindling breed - Indianapolis Star
INDY to Host Women's Final Four Next Year - WISH TV
Zolman a bright spot for Vols - nola.com
Returnees, recruits to ensure Lady Vols will stay among elite - The Tennessean
Auriemma man among women - USA Today
Women's basketball has come long way - mlive.com
Who's the `evil empire' now? - The Daily Times
NCAA braces for NIT's lawsuit - Indianapolis Star
Taurasi may alter standard of quality - Indianapolis Star
Zolman's 19 points not quite enough - Indianapolis Star

Striking a new deal gives life to WNBA - Indy Star



Tuesday, April 6


photophotoThis is what both Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) and Shanna Zolman (Wawasee) have been waiting for. This is why they went to Tennessee... a chance to win a National Championship. For the second year in a row, they will get that chance against their most dreaded foe, the Huskies of Connecticut. Tennessee, with Ely and Zolman, seem to be destined to reach this game. Their last three NCAA tournament games, the most controversial against Baylor in the Midwest Regional Semi-Final, have been wins by the slimmest of margins and by the wildest of circumstances. Ely and Zolman, both starters for the No. 3 ranked Lady Vols, have been instrumental in those wins. Zolman stepped up against Louisiana State, scoring eight points in a row in the critical last five minutes of the game. Ely came up with the biggest steal and assist of the season, ending up with the ball and making a surefire pass to a streaking team mate to score the winning bucket of the game with just seconds on the clock. Tonight they will have to play their best basketball in order to beat the Huskies and women's basketball's biggest star, Diana Taurasi. More:
Coaches' feud adds to drama - Indianapolis Star
Taurasi a Lady Vol? It never came close - Indianapolis Star
Just the same old thing - South Bend Tribune
If only fate had a bookie - South Bend Tribune
Lady Vols see past in present - The Tennessean
There's No 'I' in Tennessee - Washington Post
Tennessee is not feeling the love - MSNBC News
Tennessee Knows What UConn's Taurasi Can Do - TBO Sports
Parity in women's hoops? Vols, Huskies must have missed memo - Mercury News
Rivalry follows coaches to top - Mercury News

In case you missed it earlier, the 2005 Final Four will be in the Indianapolis RCA Dome next spring. Now is the time to consider purchasing tickets if you want a decent seat. The Dome holds 37,000, much more than the 18,000+ seats in the New Orleans Arena this year. But you better open those wallets wide. This year's tickets were $130.00, a far cry from the $7.00 price tag in 1982. More:
Organizing group readies 2005 women's Final Four - Indianapolis Star

April McDivittphotoAnother Hoosier and former Lady Vol, April McDivitt (Connersville), closed out her season and college career to Connecticut earlier in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. McDivitt, who transferred from Tennessee to the University of California-Santa Barbara for her senior season, gave one of her best college performances in her final NCAA game. The 5'7 point guard gave the Huskies fits in probably their toughest game to the championship final. She scored 20 points, including five treys, to keep her Gauchos in the game until the end. The 1999 Miss Basketball was 5-10 from three-point and 6-12 from the field. She also nabbed four steals and dished out three assists, but fouled out of the game with three seconds left in the game (reminiscent of her last high school game against New Albany in the Southport Semi-State). After the game, she received a huge round of applause from the 14,000+ mostly UConn fans in the Hartford Civic Center, as well as respect from Connecticut star Diana Taurasi. After the game, the toughest player in women's basketball said about McDivitt, "She's a competitor. She showed it today. Until the last four seconds when she fouled out, she was trying to get a steal. That shows you what kind of player she is. Every time she is on the floor, she just gives you 110 percent. I think it kind of rubbed off on her team. She's tough."


McDivitt falls short of her national championship dream - Indy Star

McDivitt shines in final loss to UConn - San Francisco Gate
Huskies will go against an old Tennessee foe in McDivitt - Middletown Press
Former Lady Vol lifts UCSB to Sweet Sixteen - News-Times
UCSB relies on McDivitt's experience - USA Today




Monday, April 5


With the high school season at an end and the late signing period nearly upon us (April 14 thru May 19), a number of senior players are making their college choices known. Whether NCAA Division I, JC or anywhere in between, these players are enjoying the fruits of their basketball labors from the past four years. Congratulations to these young ladies, their parents, coaches and others who contributed to their success both on and off the court.

Valparaiso senior Breanne Gustke (right) will play for William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, next fall. The 6'0 senior stepped into a major role early in the season for head coach Greg Kirby when teammate Lindsay Humes went down with an ACL tear. Gustke responded admirably, averaging 8.1 points per game to help the Vikings to a 23-3 record on the way to the Final Four. The NAIA William Woods Owls finished 12-18 this past season.  Photo by strempkagallery.com.


Martinsville senior Ashley Cazee (left) will be taking her considerable basketball talents to Eastern Kentucky next season. The 5'8 all-purpose guard had a great senior season, averaging 23.4 points, 6.2 assists and 4.5 steals per game. Cazee, who is considered a strong candidate for the 2004 Indiana All-Stars, chose the Toppers over IPFW, Bowling Green and Bellarmine. She will join a Topper roster that includes Franklin County grad and EKU starter Miranda Eckerle (8.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg). The Toppers, who are coached by Larry Joe Inman, finished an even .500 (15-15) on the season in the competitive Missouri Valley Conference. More:
There's plenty more basketball ahead for Cazee - Martinsville Reporter-Times
Photo from the Indianapolis Star

Senior Lisa Thompson (below right) of Kokomo has signed with Indiana Wesleyan University. The 6'0 starter participated in the Top 40 Workout last month after helping her team to a 19-5 season record under coach Charlie Hall. Thompson was also a participant in yesterday's 2004 Reebok North/South All-Star Classic and was named AP Honorable Mention last month. Thompson will join Region recruit Cat Campbell of Chesterton on the Wildkats roster next season. IWU finished up the season 29-8, were Co-Champions of the Mid-Central Conference and finished in the “Sweet 16” at the NAIA National Tournament.


Eastern Hancock senior Abbey Freeman (left) has signed a letter of intent to play at Indiana University-South Bend next season. The 5'7 guard averaged 13.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and set a school record with 133 three-pointers this past season. Eastern Hancock compiled an 11-10 record under head coach Joe Paxton. During her four years with the Royals, Freeman garnered many honors, including WRAC All-Conference (2002, 2003, 2004), Daily Reporter All-Hancock County Team (2002, 2003, 2004), and Indianapolis Star East All-Metro Team (2002, 2003, 2004). Freeman also participated in the 2004 Reebok North/South All-Star Classic for the South Team.

Senior Ali Mailloux of McCutcheon will play for Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida, next season. The 6'3 center/forward was a pivotal player for the 15-7 Mavericks and McCutcheon head coach Don Burton. She was key in a win over highly regarded Kokomo early in the season, scoring 10 points in the 35-32 upset win. The GCCC Lady Commodores finished 34-2 this past season and were the 2004 national runners-up in the NJCAA National Tournament. Head coach Roonie Scovel led her team to the National Championship in 2003.

Danville Area Community College has received verbals from three seniors for next season. Head coach Lyle Hicks will welcome the trio of Ashley Kinnett (5'11 F) of South Dearborn, Carli Fisher (5'7 F) of Eastbrook and Amy Stratton (6'1 C) of Lafayette Jeff to the Lady Jaguars roster in the fall. Danville, a two-year institution, graduates half of its 14-member roster this spring. Four of those seven graduates are former Indiana players Melissa DeVore (Clinton Prairie), Danielle Vieira (Cascade), Ashley Houston (Eminence) and Molly Williams (South Putnam). More on DACC:

College draws from area - Indy Star

Ancilla College head coach Dave Liverance has announced the commitment of three Indiana players for the 2004-2005 season. Amy Dunbar, a 2003 graduate of Oregon-Davis, is currently at the University of Indianapolis playing soccer, but will play basketball next fall at Ancilla. Dunbar, a 5’10 post player, led the area in rebounding her senior year in high school. Jessica Zellers of Plymouth will also join the Lady Chargers roster next season. The 6’0 post player helped her team to a 16-7 record under head coach Dave Cox. Finally, Kelcie Forrer of Lapel will also attend Ancilla. The a 5’8” point guard helped her team to a 12-10 record under head coach Steve Lantz.
New Prairie senior Kimberly Harkleroad will play for Calumet College of St. Joseph next season. Harkleroad, a 5'7 guard, averaged 7.3 points per game in her final high school season, bringing her Northern State All-Conference honors under head coach Dan Shead.

Warsaw senior Michelle DeGeeter will play Division I volleyball next year for Butler. DeGeeter was the 2004 4A Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award winner for basketball and was also the winner of the Hall of Fame's Richard P. Jennings Scholarship. The 6'1 center was instrumental to her team's run a the 4A state championship finals this season, averaging 9.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for head coach Will Wienhorst.

The Hall of Fame Classic field has been set for the 2004-2005 season. Locally, East Chicago Central, featuring super sophs Dee Dee Jernigan (right) and Kelly Watts, will represent the Region in the second game on December 29 against Evansville Memorial. The Tigers also boast one of the top sophomores in the state in 5'4 dynamo FahKara Malone. The first game will feature 4A powers Hamilton Southeastern and Bloomington North. HSE is lead by Junior All-Star Core member Kahla Roudebush, while the Cougars counter with the tandem of Junior All-Star South members Kiley Jarrett and Whitney Thomas. More:

Hall of Fame Classic sets its 4-team fields - Indy Star
Braves tabbed for Hall of Fame Classic - Decatur Daily Democrat
Photo from the Post-Tribune

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association announced its All-State Academic Teams last month. Locally, Lauren Hutton of Valparaiso and Jill McElmurry of Hanover Central were listed as IBCA First Team Academic All State. The complete list of honorees can be found on the IBCA website.

It was announced recently that the 2005 McDonald's High School All-American games will be held at Notre Dame's Joyce Center next spring. The premier event, showcasing the nation's top 2005 high school seniors, could be a home state event for Purdue recruit Jodi Howell. Howell, who succumbed to a second ACL injury early this basketball season, is expected to be back to form for her senior season at Alexandria in the fall. Considered one of the top players in the country, Howell could be playing in the high-profile game at ND a year from now. The last time this event was played in Indiana was in 1990, when only the boys' game was sponsored by McDonald's.

Girls basketball notes & features:
Discovery's 8th grade girls undefeated - South Bend Tribune
Many things make a season special - Indy Star
'Rocks, Millers lead All-Ledger girls squad - Noblesville Ledger
Pair of Noblesville girls coaches step down - Noblesville Ledger
All-County Girls Basketball ’03-04 - Frankfort Times
Open enrollment to impact sports - South Bend Tribune
High scorer staying home - Muncie Star Press

College and other articles of interest:
At University of Indianapolis, they're a success on and off playing court - Indy Star
Granderson, Norman continuing legacy - South Bend Tribune
NCAA women's tourney behind the times (commentary) - Muncie Star Press
Hollingsworth aids team to Division II Elite Eight - Topics
Williams is still a winner - Lebanon Reporter
Ways to buffer ACL in women sought - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Shyra Ely named Kodak All-American - Fans Only
Memory lane: 1994 Boilers recall road to Final Four - Boiler Station
Returnees challenged by Curry - Boiler Station
Defeat agonizing to Boilers - Boiler Station


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