Region Roundball Review
September, 2003
News & Updates
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September, 2003
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Important SEPTEMBER Deadlines/Events:

9/8-9/29 NCAA Recruiting - Contact Period
9/14   Spiece Showcase of Stars @ Spiece FW (non-certified)
9/28   Adidas Midwest Explosion @ Pike HS

Other Upcoming Deadlines/Events:

10/18   First authorized NCAA practices allowed
10/20 First authorized IHSAA practices allowed
11/10 First authorized IHSAA contests allowed
11/13-11/20 NCAA Early Signing Period




Saturday, September 27


Janese Banks
of Ben Davis is ranked by Blue Star as the 80th best player in the nation's recruiting Class of 2004. (RRR photo)

The 2003-04 Blue Star rankings are out, and two Indiana players are listed as Top 100 players in the nation's Class of 2004. Ranked at #59 is 5'9 Perry Meridian guard Christina Cunningham. Ranked at #80 is 5'10 Ben Davis forward Janese Banks (left). Although we don't have information on which college programs are recruiting Cunningham, Banks' latest known list of schools include Ball State, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kentucky, Marquette, TCU, Wisconsin and Xavier.

Indiana has released it's 2003-2004 Season Preview, including Player of the Year, First Team All-State and All-State honors. NWI players honored include 1st Team All-State senior Julie DeMuth (Merrillville), 2nd Team All-State senior Marshay Jolly (Merrillville), and Third Team All-State junior Shanee Butler (Gary Mann), senior Kiki Bytnar (Calumet), senior Belinda Drake (Gary West Side), senior Lauren Hutton (Valparaiso), junior Lindsay Humes (Valparaiso), sophomore Dee Dee Jernigan (East Chicago), junior Cassie Kerns (Valparaiso), sophomore Brittney Moore (Merrillville), senior Becca Papach (Whiting), junior Cassie Pruzin (Crown Point), senior Linsey Smith (Lake Central), and junior Karissa Walter (Boone Grove).

According to the WNBA Fever website and the Indianapolis Star, Indiana Fever head coach Nell Fortner has resigned to "pursue other professional opportunities." Fortner compiled a 42-56 record during her tenure in Indianapolis. No replacement has been named for the three-year head coach.

According to a recent NCAA news release, IUPUI and Culver Girls Academy grad Tiffany Keyser has been named as one of ten finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. Keyser, along with Kara Lawson of Tennessee and Melissa Jones of D-III Monmouth (IL), are the only basketball players who are finalists for the award. The winner will be announced on November 1.

We've added two new players to our 2006 Prospect listings -- Brittney Moore (6'2 F/C) of Merrillville and Meranda Burnett (5'6 PG) of Triton Central.

The Shelbyville News interviews new Shelbyville coach Michael Gaines to get his viewpoint on the upcoming season for the Golden Bears.

Rankings from Street & Smith's Preseason Top 25 include two Indiana teams, as have most of the other preseason college rankings.

1. Connecticut
2. Duke
3. Texas
4. Tennessee
5. Kansas State
6. Texas Tech
7. Stanford
8. Louisiana Tech
9. Penn State
10. Ohio State
11. Purdue
12. Minnesota
13. North Carolina

14. Colorado
15. Auburn
16. Georgia
17. Notre Dame
18. Oklahoma
19. George Washington
20. Utah
21. Louisiana State
22. UC Santa Barbara
23. Rutgers
24. Saint Joseph's
25. Liberty


Notre Dame grad Ruth Riley (North Miami) analyzes her season with the WNBA Champions Detroit Shock in the South Bend Tribune.

Articles of interest:
 Women's athletics are in sad shape - Logansport Pharos-Tribune

ND gets new recruit - South Bend Tribune

ACC willing to make concessions to Notre Dame - ESPN
Pickup games prepare Purdue women (photos) - Purdue website



Wednesday, September 24




In a lull of no activity earlier last month, the RRR compiled an Indiana All-Stars Roundup listing the college statistics for all of the Indiana All-Stars from the classes of 1999 to 2002. (You're right... I have no life.) But it's an interesting look at some of the best players our state has had to offer college basketball the past four years. Of the 52 Indiana All-Stars from that period, five chose not to finish out their college basketball careers -- two in the Class of 1999, one in the Class of 2001, and two in the Class of 2002. Also, 13 of the 52 transferred from their original college of choice to other programs, including one player who transferred twice. Leading scorers last year from each class are 1999 grad Kourtney Mennen (Indiana State/Clinton Prairie) with 18.7 points per game, 2000 grad Johna Goff (Ball State/Mt. Vernon) with 15.0 points per game, 2001 grad Jacqueline Batteast (Notre Dame/SB Washington) with 14.0 points per game, and 2002 grad Melanie Boeglin (Indiana State/Terre Haute South) with 12.5 points per game. All-Stars who will get to play again this season after sitting out at least one year due to NCAA transfer rules are 1999 Miss Basketball April McDivitt (Connersville) at UC-Santa Barbara, 1999 grad Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) at Southern Indiana, and 2001 grad Kristin Weddle (Terre Haute South) at Indiana State.

Mandy LuekingFormer Paoli coach and Austin standout Mandy Lueking DeSpain (left) was named an assistant coach at St. Louis by head coach Jill Pizzotti yesterday. DeSpain played for St. Louis from 1996-2000 and finished her college career in fourth place on the all-time SLU career scoring list with 1,392 points. DeSpain accrued a record of 18-25 over the past two years at Paoli. At SLU this season, she will help coach former New Washington standout Kirsti Holloway in her final year at St. Louis. Holloway will most likely be a starter for the Billikens after three solid seasons at St. Louis off the bench. Last season she ranked seventh on the team in scoring despite playing just 10.8 minutes per game.

Karen ForceFormer Columbus East standout Karen Force (right) has been named a tri-captain of the Cornell women's basketball team for the third year running.  Force, entering her final year at Cornell, was the first Big Red junior ever to receive first team All-Ivy honors as the fifth-leading scorer in the Ivy League last season, averaging 15.1 points per game. Her 17.9 points per Ivy League contest ranked fourth in the conference and her 4.3 assists per game was also good for fourth. She led the Big Red in points (407), assists (117), steals (45) and 3-pointers made (38) and broke the school's single-season record of made free throws by connecting on 139 of her attempts from the charity stripe. She enters the 2003-04 season just 67 points shy of 1000 for her career. Force will make a home state appearance early on in the Cornell schedule when the Big Red plays Indiana at Bloomington in the Indiana Classic on November 22. Other teams in the Classic include Indiana State and North Texas.

Butler has released it's schedule for the upcoming season. Highlights include two tournaments -- one at Iowa in the Hawkeye Challenge to kick off the regular season schedule, and the other during the Thanksgiving holiday when the Bulldogs travel to Miami, Florida, to play in the Miami Thanksgiving Classic. View the complete schedule here...

We have added several new listings on our prospects pages. Marshay Jolly and Julie DeMuth of Merrillville, Anne Morningstar of Seeger, Katy Stephenson of Madison-Grant, and Jessica Grove of Danville have all been added to the 2004 Prospects list. Also, Meranda Burnett of Tri-Central has been added to the 2006 Prospects list. If you have a prospect to add to any of the lists, please send all information to

According to IHSAA Overtime, Ruben Dilworth has been hired as girls head basketball coach at Peru. Dilworth takes over a struggling Tigers program that went 1-20 overall and 0-7 in the Mid-Indiana Conference last season.

Valparaiso University will be hosting a coaches' clinic this weekend at the Athletic Recreation Center. According to Valparaiso head coach Keith Freeman, upwards of 75 coaches have already been registered for the event. If you would like more information about this clinic, contact Marla at 219-464-5146. Demonstration players for the weekend will be from the Indiana Wesleyan women's basketball team. The schedule of speakers and topics is to the right.

Friday's Speakers
Tricia Cullop Evansville
"Offensive Quick Hitters"
Tracy Roller Ball State
"Offensive Transition Basketball"
Steve Bruce Valparaiso
"Valpo Defense"
Jim Wiedie Indiana State
"Run and Jump Defense"

Saturday's Speakers
Caroline McCombs Valparaiso
"Individual Player Development"
Jeff Meyer Butler
"Offensive Basketball the Butler Way
Paul Patterson Taylor
"Handling Screens"
Keith Freeman Valparaiso
"Zone attack"

Articles of interest:
NCAA urged to boost scholarships - ESPN




Monday, September 22


Coach Beth Couture continues to build the Bulldog arsenal in her quest to make Butler a serious contender in the Horizon Conference. Ashley Conner, a 5'6 guard from North Central, is the latest player to commit to the improving Bulldogs roster. Conner averaged 8.5 points and 4.0 assists per game last season for the Panthers, helping her team to an 18-7 record including an exciting 60-58 Sectional Championship double-overtime win against Hamilton Southeastern. A four-year varsity player, Conner is the career free throw percentage leader in North Central history with a .790 average and is likely to finish as one of the top five scorers in North Central girls basketball history. Coach Alan Vickrey describes her as, "A great young lady who is going to have an even better college career."

Also, according to the Indianapolis Star, Gina Grussing, a 5-11 forward from Parkland Junior College, has committed to Butler. Grussing scored more than 2,000 points at Armstrong High School in Illinois. She was Parkland's leading scorer and rebounder in 2002-03, and Collegiate Conference of Central Illinois Player of the Year as a frosh. Indiana AAU fans may remember Grussing when she played with the 16U Terre Haute Hoosier HotShots in 2000, a team that went to the 16U nationals that year as one of four teams representing the Hoosier State.
Conner and Grussing are the fourth and fifth additions to the Butler roster so far this recruiting season. Cassie Freeman of Heritage Christian and Candace Bain of Clarksville both committed to Couture in August. Also, former Illinois guard Jessica Wright (Cathedral) transferred to Butler this fall and will become eligible for the 2004-05 season.

Valparaiso junior Cassie Kerns (right) is receiving attention from a variety of colleges in-state and across the nation. The 6'3 forward/center is in receipt of genuine communication from 12 colleges right now, including Indiana contenders Ball State, Evansville, Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue and Valparaiso, as well as out-of-state programs Boston College, Kansas State, Miami (FL), Michigan, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Kerns, who is also receiving D-I attention for volleyball, is currently taking a two-week hiatus from the volleyball floor to rest her legs from nagging pain that is similar to what she experienced last season before being diagnosed with stress fractures. She is expecting to be back in the fray of things for the 6th-ranked Vikings when the volleyball sectionals start on October 23, three days after the practice season for basketball begins. A long run in the IHSAA tournament could delay her start for basketball, as it could for 3rd-ranked Merrillville and Julie DeMuth. (Photo courtesy of

We have begun a new format for college commitment reporting at the RRR to include known college interest for prospects in the classes of 2004, 2005 and 2006. Coaches, parents or players, please feel free to submit your information to if you would like to have it included in our prospects coverage. We feel this would be a great way for more college coaches to perhaps locate prospects they might not have been aware of, thereby broadening choices for players. When submitting information, please include name, school, height, position, stats, awards and interested colleges. You may also include links to media coverage of feature stories, etc. All submissions, regardless of college level (i.e., D-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA, etc.), are welcome.

How many colleges use the RRR as a recruiting tool? In just the past seven days, we were able to determine visits from the following colleges:


Western Michigan
Bowling Green
IU South Bend
Oklahoma State
Purdue Calumet
North Carolina
Indiana State
Colorado - CO Springs
Wisconsin-Green Bay
Indiana Northwest
Sam Houston State
Southern Indiana
Notre Dame
Boston College
SW Oklahoma State
Texas A & M
Georgia Southern
New Mexico
Mississippi State
Illinois State
Eastern Mennonite
Cleveland State
Western Kentucky
Florida Gulf Coast
Case Western State
Iowa State
City Colleges of Chicago
California State-LA
Western Illinois
Southern Illinois
New York
Youngstown State

Rankings from Lindy's College Basketball Preseason Top 25 include two Indiana teams. The college season is set to begin on October 18 when practices begin.

1. Connecticut
2. Duke
3. Texas
4. Tennessee
5. Kansas State
6. LSU
7. Purdue
8. Texas Tech
9. Stanford
10. Penn State
11. Minnesota
12. Georgia
13. North Carolina

14. Louisiana Tech
15. Utah
16. UC Santa Barbara
17. Arizona
18. Notre Dame
19. Vanderbilt
20. Virginia
21. TCU
22. Oklahoma
23. Rutgers
24. Ohio State
25. Washington


Some controversial articles of interest regarding the WNBA. Kinda out there and brutal.
Maybe it's time to celebrate the difference - Full Court Press
WNBA simply must dissolve - Kansas State Collegian




Wednesday, September 17


First Ruth Riley (North Miami) was a national champion at Notre Dame. Now she's a national champion in the WNBA, not to mention the tournament's MVP. In what could be called the most dramatic turnaround for any team in the WNBA's short seven-year history, let alone all pro sports, the Detroit Shock went from last place in the league last season to first place this season under new head coach and former NBA player Bill Laimbeer. Scoring 17 points over her season average of 9.6 for a game-high and career-high 27 points, Riley totally dominated LA Sparks center Lisa Leslie, who fouled out in the final minute of the game with just 13 points. In what she called "My best game ever," Riley brought it home for the Shock in front of over 22,000 WNBA fans in attendance at her home venue, the Palace at Auburn Hills. In her first year with the Shock, Riley ranked second in the league in shooting percentage (.498) and fifth in blocks per game (1.71). Riley was the first overall dispersal draft pick when the Miami Sol was disbanded last season. She played for the Sol as as first-round draft pick in 2001 and 2002.   More:
Worst to First: Shock Win WNBA Title - WNBA
Riley rolls with hot shooting - Detroit News
Shock completes worst-to-first turnaround - Detroit Free Press
Riley scores 27 as Detroit dethrones LA - ABC
Former Irish All-American Ruth Riley Named WNBA Finals MVP - Notre Dame

Well, its been a bit of a wait for the patient fans of South Bend St. Joseph's and Highland, but we've finally gotten around to compiling photos from the 3A North Semi-State at Plymouth in March. But hopefully it's been worth the wait. In a first-time ever video production by Region Roundball Review, we've mixed photos and a classic basketball tune for a fun look back at that game. To view the video, you will need Windows Media Player, which you can download for free if you don't have it already. Those of you with a fast connection (broadband or DSL) can click and play. Slower connections should download the video clip to their desktop and play it from there for the best viewing results.

According to the IHSAA, Lynda Ann Butler-Storsved has been hired as the new varsity coach at Southridge. The Raiders went 16-8 overall and 5-2 in the Pocket Conference last season under former head coach Stan Roesner. Junior Brittany Neuman (6'2 C), who received votes in last season's AP All-State voting, will be back as the main offensive threat for the Raiders after leading her team to a sectional championship in 2003.

The history behind the Hoosier Girls Basketball League is outlined in the Indianapolis Star.  Started by Scott Seright in 1996, the league has grown from eight teams in the inaugural season to 166 this fall. Seright started the league when his daughter, Kristen Seright of Carmel, didn't have a league to play in as a fifth-grader. Kristen is now a freshman at Central Michigan where she is playing for the Chippewas on a basketball scholarship. She will have a stellar opportunity to shine her freshman season, as she is the only true center on the roster of Coach Eileen Kleinfelter.

Athlon Sports recently released it's women's preseson Top 25. Two Indiana schools are in the mix:

1. Connecticut (37-1)
2. Duke (35-2)
3. Kansas State (29-5)
4. Stanford (27-5)
5. Texas (29-6)
6. Penn State (26-9)
7. LSU (30-4)
8. Texas Tech (29-6)
9. Tennessee (33-5)
10. North Carolina (28-6)
11. Purdue (29-6)
12. Louisiana Tech (31-3)
13. Notre Dame (21-11)
14. Georgia (21-10)
15. Virginia (17-14)
16. Michigan State (17-12)
17. Ohio State (22-10)
18. DePaul (22-10)
19. Rutgers (21-8)
20. Utah (24-7)
21. Minnesota (25-6)
22. TCU (20-14)
23. Arizona (22-9)
24. Virginia Tech (22-10)
25. Southwest Missouri State (18-13)

Articles of interest:
Indiana women tell their Title IX stories - Indianapolis Star
Vanderbilt to merge varsity, intramural sports - ESPN




Saturday, September 13


Michael Gaines has been named the new head coach at Shelbyville. According to the Shelbyville News, Gaines, who currently teaches at Blue River, served as the boys varsity assistant and 8th grade boys coach there. A 2000 Purdue grad, Gaines was a member of the practice squad for the 1998-1999 national championship Boilermakers squad and later also for the Indianapolis Fever. More:
Young coach to guide Bears - Indianapolis Star
New coach to use 'Princeton' offense - Indianapolis Star

Former Hammond Gavit standout, Leslie Tyburski (left), was recently featured in The Times in relation to the second anniversary of the 9/11 disaster. Tyburski is a guard for the Georgetown Hoyas, whose campus is right in the heart of Washington, D.C. Tyburski talks about living as a student with the threat of terror to the nation's capital.

IUPUI grad Tiffany Kyser was named the Indiana NCAA Woman of the Year finalist yesterday. Looking at a three-tiered assessment of academic, athletic and service/leadership achievements, Kyser was named the Indiana nominee over every other 2003 Indiana college female athlete graduate in the state, regardless of sport or division. Ten finalists for the award will be announced later this month, and the ultimate winner will be announced on November 1 at the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner in Indianapolis. More:
Woman of the Year state winners announced - NCAA

According to the Merrillville girls basketball website, seniors Marshay Jolly and Julie DeMuth, pictured at right with fellow classmate Lavell Cook, have been named to the 2003-04 Indiana Basketball Guide Tremendous 26. The Guide, which is usually out in late October, will honor 26 of the state's best basketball players, 13 of them girls, on its cover for the fourth season in a row.

The Monticello Herald-Journal reports that Rush McColley has been named the new head coach at Frontier. The former boys coach at Crawfordsville for the past three years takes over a Falcons program that went 13-9 last season.

According to the Linton Daily Citizen, former Bloomfield coach Paula Fettig has been a finalist for four coaching positions this summer. Shelbyville, Beech Grove, Eastern (Howard) and Oldenburg Academy all called the former coach in for a second interview, but she did not get the hire at any of those schools. Fettig has not coached for the past two years and hopes to get back into the coaching ranks again soon.

On a sad note, former Western Boone girls JV coach and Hoosiers actor Kent Poole (left) was found hanged outside his home this week in an apparent suicide. According to the Indianapolis Star, Poole played Merle Webb, the character who urged his teammates in the final game, "Let's win this one for all the small schools who never had a chance to get here."

South Bend St. Joseph's is a talented team, even without one of its toughest defenders, who gave up basketball to concentrate on her soccer career last season. According to the South Bend Tribune, Susan Pinnick reluctantly decided not to play for Coach Mike Megyese during her junior year when she was offered an opportunity to play club soccer with a team out of Carmel. Although considered a huge loss for the basketball program, Pinnick's choice was a good one, as she was offered a soccer scholarship to play at Notre Dame and is now headed to Los Angeles this week to play with an U-17 national team where she will compete with some of the country's soccer elite.

Shenandoah will be hosting a tournament this year that will be played over the Christmas holidays. On Monday, December 29, the four-team marquee will feature Richmond, Madison, Tri-Central and Shenandoah. The tourney opener features Tri-Central v. Madison at 6:00 p.m., immediately followed by Richmond v. Shenandoah. On Tuesday, December 30, the four JV teams will play in at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and then the varsity teams will return at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for consolation and championship games.

Southern Indiana Basketball recently posted a boatload of pictures from the South Junior All-Star game. As always, great coverage and great pictures.



Thursday, September 11


Wow, as someone said on our message board yesterday, it sure is quiet around the RRR. Well, it's our job to stir things up, so we've put together 15 Burning Questions to get the season juices flowing. We hit on five questions each for basketball in the Region, State and college. And not to be outdone, you can put together your own burning questions on the RRR message board thread we've begun just for that purpose. Hope you enjoy our lengthy ramblings!

In case you missed the update on our home page over the weekend, 5'7 Rochester guard Courtney Felke has also committed to Evansville along with AAU teammate Rebekah Parker of Tippecanoe Valley, which we reported last week. Felke was an Indiana Junior All-Star this past summer and averaged 18.9 points, 7.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds in leading Rochester to a 22-3 record last season.  She also visited Indiana State, Central Michigan, Bowling Green and Butler before making her decision. More coverage:
Pair of all-stars commit to UE for basketball

Merrillville has had two more notable transfers since the end of last season besides former Highland senior Julie DeMuth. Sophomore guard Michelle Cannon from Gary Wirt and junior power forward Natasha Jennings from Lew Wallace will both be competing for a purple and white varsity position this season. Also, former Highland standout Amy Govert will be a varsity assistant for Pirate head coach Bob Maicher.

RRR charter member Brian Sullivan (a/k/a Sully) has been hired as an assistant coach at Division II Bellarmine in Louisville. Sully is looking forward to the new rigors of Division II coaching, which allows him to actually offer athletic scholarships after seven years at D-III Franklin College. His plans are to do some serious mining of the talent in Indiana. One Hoosier native is already on the Bellarmine roster. Redshirt junior Lynne Johnson of Corydon Central is a power forward for the Knights and was the team's leading scorer at 17.4 points per game as a sophomore. She is expected to take on a leadership role this season in a starting lineup that includes four former Kentucky All-Stars.

The 2003 Indiana High School Basketball Guide is nearing its submission deadline for the upcoming season. Coaches, if you've not turned in your team's information, please do so by September 22. If you don't have a team questionnaire, you can find one online at

If you haven't visited the IHSAA website recently, take a look. They've got a new format and even an introductory flash ad for their role model campaign. Kudos to the IHSAA for a better navigation format as well. One feature coming soon that we'll all appreciate is directions to all the schools in the state.

Former Homestead and Xavier standout point guard Amy Waugh has been named to the coaching staff at Youngstown State. Waugh will work with the Penguin perimeter players while coordinating film exchange, camps, travel and monitor student-athletes’ academic progress. Waugh had a great college career at Xavier after being passed over for the 1999 Indiana All-Star team. She averaged 19.0 points per game as a senior for the Musketeers and led the nation with 3.6 treys per game. She was an Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection several times and also won the ESPN College Three-point Championship after her senior season. Probably the highlight of her career was when Xavier beat Tennessee in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

More schedule previews are out for Indiana colleges:
UE women can expect numerous challenges

BSU Releases Women's Basketball Schedule
Hoosiers 2003-04 Schedule Announced

Some other articles of interest:
Additional NCAA reforms expected to force athletes to pick up academic pace - San Antonio Express-News
Coaches could be liable for athlete injuries - USA Today

Finally, we can't let this day go by without this tribute. In memory of all those who perished two years ago today -- the passengers and the pilots on the United Air and AA flights, the workers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and all the innocent bystanders -- our prayers go out to the friends and families of the deceased.


If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.




Friday, September 5


bekka03Tippecanoe Valley standout Rebekah Parker (right) has given a verbal commitment to Evansville. The 5'10 guard/forward scored 451 points (18.0 ppg) last season. She also averaged 7.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.2 steals. The Junior All-Star scored her 1000th career point in the sectional final against Plymouth in February and ranks as the No. 2 all-time career scorer in Tippy Valley girls history with 1051 points. TV's all-time leading scorer is Cathy Welch (1250 points), a 1978 Indiana All- Star and member of this year's Silver Anniversary Team. According to Valley head coach Gary Teel, "Rebekah is an outstanding student athlete. Her work ethic, intensity and passion for the game are remarkable. Rebekah makes everyone around her better as many times her unselfish play finds an open team mate. She has been very instrumental in our team's success and will be an impact player for Evansville University." Known for her toughness, Parker even played football in junior high as a wing back. More:
Just one of the guys - Warsaw Times Union

   According to the Knoxville News, forward Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) of Tennessee was in car accident over the Labor Day weekend on her way home to Indianapolis for the holiday. Fortunately the 2001 Miss Basketball did not sustain any serious injuries. However, it has given her a different outlook on life and basketball.

According to, Purdue has signed the 3rd best recruiting class in the country behind Vanderbilt and Duke as determined by Michael White's All-Star Girls Report. Purdue's recruiting class includes Indiana's number one basketball player from the Class of 2003, Miss Basketball Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove. Gearlds will not appear in her usual #5 jersey at Purdue. She has fittingly chosen #1 as her number for the next four seasons.

Washington Township assistant coach Kari Nelson, wife of head coach Dustin Nelson, will be coaching softball as an assistant at Valparaiso University, her alma mater, in the spring. Because NCAA rules prohibit dual coaching roles between high school and college, Nelson will have to give up her duties with the Senators. According to the Post-Tribune, Nelson said, “One of the major decisions was not being able to coach high school anymore. Being together at Washington Township was something special in our relationship. But one neat thing is that I can go watch his basketball games now.”

According to IHSAA Overtime, Julie Meeks has resigned as girls head basketball coach at Sullivan. Meeks, a graduate of Sullivan and IUPUI, was the head coach for the Golden Arrows the past four years, compiling a 60-30 record, including a 14-9 season and a sectional championship in 2002-03.

 Shelbyville's search for a coach with the departure of John Fair to Indianapolis Howe is going slowly. According to the Shelbyville News, a search for a new coach has not produced any viable candidates as of yet.

According to the Indianapolis Star, former Warren Central girls basketball coach Rodney Clark passed away earlier this week. The 53-year-old coached the Warriors to a 1991 Regional championship.

According to the Indianapolis Star, former IUPUI star and Culver Girls Academy graduate Tiffany Kyser (right) has signed to play professional basketball in Greece. Kyser finished her career at IUPUI as the school's career leader in rebounds, free throws made and games played, and second in career scoring. She was a First Team All Mid-Continent Conference player three times in her four-year career. More at the IUPUI website.

Jackie Batteast (SB Washington) of Notre Dame is ready to start the season with an aggressive outlook, according to the South Bend Tribune.  Batteast suffered from a lack of confidence last season and felt her game suffered when the Irish needed her most. But after a summer of playing against some of ND's football players in open gym, Batteast gained new confidence heading into the upcoming season. Batteast and her Division I classmates at Notre Dame were recently honored by the NCAA. The overall Irish athletics program ranked first in the nation in Division I-A graduation rates at 92 percent. IUPUI was also honored as the Division I-AAA school with the highest student-athlete graduation rates above the average of the student body at 34 percent, and Division II Oakland City was honored with 54 percentage points above the student body average for graduation. Indiana was the only state in the nation to have three schools so honored.

Evansville women's basketball will be hosting a coaches' clinic this Saturday. Featured speakers include Brenda Frese from Maryland, Nancy Winstel of Northern Kentucky, Teri Moren (Seymour) of the University of Indianapolis, Bruce Dockery of Evansville Memorial and Tom Campbell of Owensboro Catholic.

Some articles of interest from around the country:

Detroit Shock's Ruth Riley steps up to coach's challenge - Oakland Press
Fewer women in coaching - The Buffalo News
Internet helps fans but can hurt teams - Indianapolis Star
IU, Purdue fans surf for sports - Indianapolis Star





Monday, September 1


Brianna Howard
of Southwestern (Hanover) has decided to forego basketball at Purdue to concentrate on her studies. (RRR photo)

The Purdue women's roster is out for the upcoming season, and walk-on Brianna Howard (Southwestern) is not among the Boilermakers listed for 2003-04. According to various sources, Howard has decided to forego college basketball to concentrate on her pharmacy degree, for which she received a four-year academic scholarship from Eli Lilly.  The 2002 Indiana All Star played in 13 games for the Boilermakers last season, averaging 2.0 minutes in those games. As a high school senior, Howard led Southwestern (Hanover) to a 2A state championship, averaging 19.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.8 steals, and 2.7 assists per game. Howard is the second 2002 Indiana player to leave the Purdue roster after Missy Taylor (Connersville) transferred to Louisville earlier this summer. Howard is also the second 2002 Indiana All Star to hang up her high tops. Triton Central forward Jessica Scherer is no longer playing at Evansville due to chronic injuries she sustained during her high school career.

Cassie Kerns
of Valparaiso is establishing herself as a D-I recruit in both basketball and volleyball. (Photo courtesy of

Two of Northwest Indiana's premier basketball players are also premier volleyball players. Senior Julie DeMuth of Merrillville and junior Cassie Kerns of Valparaiso (left) were both profiled recently for the upcoming volleyball season. DeMuth, who just transferred to Merrillville from Highland, is making adjustments to a new school and a new athletic program. For the first time in her high school career, the 5'11 forward played club volleyball in addition to basketball this summer. The 6'3 Kerns, who is seeking respect as a two-sport athlete, will probably be faced with a tough decision next fall, as she is being pursued by D-I programs in both volleyball and basketball. DeMuth and Kerns will face off at least four times this season in both sports, as both Merrillville and Valparaiso are in the Duneland Athletic Conference. Coverage:

Never in her wildest dreams (DeMuth) - The Times
Net success for Kerns - The Times

Marion junior Tanika Mays (right) was recently named one of the top five athletes to watch in the Grant County Chronicle-Tribune preseason Top 25 Athletes to Watch for 2003-04. A North Central All-Conference selection last season as a 6'0 sophomore, Mays helped the Giants to a 9-12 season in 2002-03. According to Marion head coach Darrell Wisser, "Tanika will be my go-to person next year, and we'll try to build around her. She will continue to work hard, and she has the ability to go to the next level and play. She's a very coachable girl."

Kevin Merriweather, of The Family, Inc. fame, was recently interviewed by Gold & Black Illustrated regarding his ties to Purdue. Merriweather was an All-American at Purdue in 1959, when he averaged 20.8 points and 7.9 rebounds during his senior season. Merriweather's daughter, Katrina Merriweather, a 1997 Cathedral grad and Indiana All-Star, was recently hired by head coach Kristy Curry after two years in the coaching ranks at Chicago State and Cincinnati, which gives the Boilermakers a direct line to the top talent going through the TFI program. Two Purdue targets mentioned in the article include sophomore Amber Harris (6'5 C) of North Central and incoming frosh TaShea Phillips (6'4 C) of Indianapolis Brebeuf.

More on the signing of Ft. Wayne Northside senior Nora Didrick to Bethel from head coach Jody Martinez“Nora is very competitive and is an exciting player. She also does an outstanding job in the classroom. She has a GPA of 4.06 out of 4.0 scale, which is a great sign of work ethic on and off the court. I like her guard skills, because she can play the point or play the role of a shooting guard. She led her conference last season in 3-point percentage with 46% accuracy. I really believe that Nora’s best basketball is going to begin her senior season and unto her college career. She will fit in well with our style of play and the atmosphere of Bethel College. We are really blessed to have Nora join the Bethel College family for the 2004-2005 season. With Nora making an early decision, hopefully, she will just have a great senior year and enjoy her last year of high school on and off the court.”

Two other players who will be featured in the IHSAA and Indiana Criminal Justice Institute public relations program to promote role model athletes are Jordan Robertson of Greencastle and Kaleigh Gossman of Castle.

The athletic program at University High School in Carmel, a new member of the IHSAA, was recently examined in the Indianapolis Star. University will not participate in tournament play until 2005-06, but that time is highly anticipated by both students and coaches there.

A tempered outlook for the Tennessee women's basketball program for the upcoming season is discussed in the Knoxville News. Both junior Shyra Ely of Ben Davis and sophomore Shanna Zolman of Wawasee are mentioned in the article.



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