Region Roundball Review
November, 2003
News & Updates
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Important NOVEMBER Deadlines/Events:

11/10 First authorized IHSAA contests allowed
11/10-11/13   NCAA Dead Period
11/12-11/19 NCAA Early Signing Period
11/16   State Farm Women's Tip-Off Classic - Purdue v. Kansas St.

Other Upcoming Deadlines/Events:

12/6   Hoosier State Classic @ Valpo U (BSU, ISU & Butler)
12/6   Region Roundball Rumble - Andrean v. West Side
12/16   Hall of Fame Classic



Wednesday, November 26


The shooting touch of SB St. Joe's freshman Sydney Smallbone, who had three treys against NorthWood, could not overcome the hot hand of opposing player Lauren Zeltwanger, who dropped five bombs on the Indians in a 69-59 OT upset win. (Photo from the SBSJ girls basketball website.)

Lightning has struck twice as 3A No. 6 South Bend St. Joe's fell to another unranked opponent, this time on the road to always tough NorthWood 69-59 in overtime. Despite having four of its top players in double figures -- junior Aimee Litka with 10, sophomore Melissa Lechlitner with 10, and freshmen Sydney Smallbone (left) and Kristen Dockery with 11 apiece -- the Indians could not overcome foul trouble to win the game. Smallbone, Litka and junior Corey Jo Keim all fouled out of the game. The free throw line seemed to be the difference, as NorthWood (2-1) was 13-25 from the line, while St. Joe's (2-2) went 5-7 from the charity stripe. NorthWood junior Carie Egging was the hero for the Black Swish, going 3 for 4 from the free throw line and scoring five of her team's last 12 points in overtime. NorthWood junior Lauren Zeltwanger led NorthWood with 17 points, including five treys, and was followed in scoring by junior Audrey Duncan, sister of Purdue player Carol Duncan, with 14 points.

The IHSAA has released its current listings of Statistical Leaders for scoring and rebounding for games through November 25, 2003. Leading the way is Penn State senior signee Adrienne Squire of Indian Creek at 32.5 points per game. The leading player listed from Northwest Indiana is Boone Grove junior Karissa Walter at 22.3 points per game. The state's leading rebounder is senior Vanessa Jackson of Culver with 15.0 rebounds per game. No NWI players are listed on the rebounding statistical averages. Coaches, if you have not yet reported your players' statistics to the IHSAA, you can do so by sending them to Sports Information Director Jerry Baker at

Word has it that Alexandria junior Jodi Howell will be back in action this Saturday after swelling in her knee kept her off the floor for the past two games. The 2005 Miss Basketball candidate will again lead her team when the Tigers take on Tipton at home.

Former Terre Haute South and Lawrence North standout Reicina Russell (right) seems to have found her niche in the college ranks. The Penn State freshman came off the bench last night to pour in 17 points and grab 13 rebounds in 24 minutes of action for the No. 7 Lions in a 75-68 loss to Old Dominion.

The IHSAA will kick off it's first Centennial event on Sunday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Basketball fans will have the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Indiana's most beloved and celebrated basketball coach, John Wooden, as he shares life lessons and inspiration from his Pyramid of Success. Audience members will be invited to ask Coach Wooden questions. General seating admission is $10.00 per person and may be purchased at the door. Doors open at 12:30 with the program getting underway at 1:30 p.m.

Girls basketball notes & features:

ORVC tourney shakes up girls 2A poll - Madison Courier
Lady Zebras success stems from Scout Team - Rochester Sentinel
Ex-Edinburg coach sues school over firing - JC Daily Journal

Season or Game Previews:
Cathedral, Chatard ready to renew rivalry - Indy Star
BNL, Mitchell to renew basketball rivalry - Times-Mail
North White Vikings hope to adjust quickly to third coach in three years - Herald Journal

Articles of interest:
Week no holiday for ND women - South Bend Tribune
Score one for Miss Basketball - SB Tribune
Wright, Gearlds Light Up Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Purdue website
Purdue's Carol Duncan's Got Answers - College Sports News
IPFW takes backward step in Ball State loss - FW Journal Gazette
Ball State women down IPFW for first victory - Star Press
Franklin College women use stifling ‘D’ to win  - JC Daily News
Anderson women beat Rose-Hulman - Herald Bulletin
DePauw women picked second in SCAC preseason poll - Banner Graphic
Goshen women win tourney title in Chicago - Goshen News


Tuesday, November 25


Northwest Indiana girls basketball fans will be treated to an early season showdown of great proportion when the 4A #7 East Chicago Cardinals travel to 4A #2 Merrillville tomorrow evening. Both teams are undefeated coming into the matchup, with the 2-0 Pirates coming off of an 11-point victory over DAC foe Valparaiso on Friday, and the Cardinals boasting four wins that included dominating victories over South Bend Riley and South Bend Clay. Leading scorers for Merrillville in their first two games have been Julie DeMuth and Marshay Jolly. For the Cardinals, India Reeves, Dee Dee Jernigan (left) and Kelly Watts have provided balanced scoring in the first four EC victories. If you can't make it out to the Merrillville campus for the game, Regional Radio Sports will be broadcasting the game on WHLP 89.9 FM beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The ICGSA Poll was released yesterday and several top teams took a tumble after posting games in the loss column. Warsaw fell from 4A #1 to #9 after dropping its season opener to then 3A #8 Tippecanoe Valley. That win propelled TV to #4 in this week's 3A poll. South Bend St. Joe's dropped from #2 in 3A to #6 after losing it's opener to unranked 4A Penn. That win for the Kings(wo)men, gave them their first appearance in the 4A poll, tied at #14. In 2A, Indian Creek and Southwestern (Hanover) dropped after opening week losses, and Tri-Central slid from #1 to #5 in 1A after a season-opening loss to then 2A #9 Taylor. Taylor also knocked off 1A #2 Clinton Prairie last week, moving them up two spots to #7 in 2A. Also in 2A, formerly unranked South Ripley appears in the poll for the first time at #10 after upending last week's #4 Southwestern (Hanover) and #10 Switzerland County in the Ohio River Valley Conference Tournament.

Bloomington North coach Steve Goddard is a bit uncomfortable with his 3-0 team's 4A #3 ranking in the latest ICGSA Poll. According to Goddard, the Cougars are playing without 6'0 junior Whitney Thomas right now and will continue to be without her until January 1. Also, 5'9 senior starting guard Eva Griffin is out and 5'11 junior backup post Gennie Benson is still recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Shorthanded North will be highly challenged on December 13 when they take on 4A #11 Castle on the road and 3A #1 Brebeuf in the Brebeuf Tournament on December 30. After the first of the new year, North should be ready to defend it's early season rankings.

In case you missed it, we released our RRR Top 12 Sunday evening. Our pick for the top team in the Region and in the State is Gary West Side. The untested Cougars will open their season against Hobart tomorrow night.

The Louisville Courier-Journal profiled its top four area players recently in a season preview issue. Senior Candace Bain of Clarksville and juniors Tara Miller of North Harrison, Samantha Johnson of Jeffersonville, and Stephanie Lynch of New Albany are considered the cream of the crop in the Southeast corner of the state. Bain is headed to Butler and numerous colleges are knocking on the doors of the other three. Miller is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Florida, Penn State, Louisville, Indiana and others, while Johnson is receiving interest from Connecticut, Purdue, Nevada Las Vegas, Arkansas, Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky and many others. Lynch is leaning toward college volleyball, but is receiving basketball looks from Purdue, Notre Dame, Southern California, Wake Forest, Florida State, Louisiana State, Illinois and Indiana. Some of those schools -- Indiana, Purdue and Southern Cal -- would like her to play both sports at the collegiate level. (Photo from the Louisville Courier-Journal.)

Alexandria junior Jodi Howell was sidelined before her team's game last Friday against 2A #1 Shenandoah. The 5'11 Purdue recruit tweaked her previously injured knee in a shoot-around at the half time of the JV game when it was decided she would not play due to abnormal swelling. As a result, the Tigers more than struggled without their star player, falling to the top-ranked Raiders 76-19, and then again last night 76-29 to Muncie Central. Howell had the knee looked at yesterday, but there is no news yet on her prognosis.

Indiana junior Jenny DeMuth (Highland) garnered Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her performance in the Indiana Classic last week. DeMuth averaged 24.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.5 steals and 1.5 assists in games against Cornell and North Texas. The Hoosiers captured the Classic title in a dominating 79-60 win over North Texas, a game in which DeMuth scored 30 points and logged 12 rebounds and 5 steals. The Highland native will travel with her teammates to the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands to take on Mississippi State Friday. More:
DeMuth leads IU to Classic crown - Times-Mail

Two from the Class of 2003 have already made an impact with their new college teams. Former Tecumseh standout Julie Briody (right) made her college debut in style, leading New Mexico in scoring with 18 points, including the game's two winning free throws, in a 77-75 season opening win over USC. Her performance off the bench garnered Mountain West Conference Player of the Week accolades and may have clinched her a spot in the starting lineup for the Lobos game against Cal State Fullerton tonight.
DeUnna HendrixFormer Kokomo standout and 2003 Indiana All-Star Deunna Hendrix (left) appeared in the starting lineup for the Richmond Spiders' opening game last Friday. Hendrix logged five points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 35 minutes of action in an 80-78 overtime win over Delaware.

According to a reliable source, Bellarmine received two recent commitments from Southern Indiana players. Floyd Central 5'9 senior guard Angela Smith committed over the summer and signed her letter-of-intent last week. Also, IPFW transfer Ashley Elmore (Jennings County) will be joining the Knights' roster after averaging 7.4 points and 3.4 rebounds last year as a college freshman. She will sit out the remainder of this season and be a sophomore (eligibility-wise) starting with the 2004-05 season.
More recruiting news:

McClintic signs with Kentucky Wesleyan - Perry County News
Indiana standout Kaleigh Gossman will play Bisons Basketball - Lamar website

North Knox coach Rick Marshall logged his 300th career win on Saturday, when his 2A #3 Warriors knocked off Bloomfield in a 72-42 win. The victors were led by senior center Chelsea Gugliotta with 21 points and eight rebounds. More:
North Knox coach posts win No. 300 - Courier Press.
Marshall collects 300th against Cards - Linton Daily Citizen

Girls basketball notes & features:
Penn shocks St. Joe to satisfy their coach - South Bend Tribune
Indy area high school sports roundup - Indianapolis Star

She bides time recuperating as team starts play - Indianapolis Star
GIRLS BUZZ: November 20, 2003 - Shelbyville News

Season or Game Previews:
No shock: Lynch, Bennett will lead New Albany  - Courier Journal
Fallen players not putting a hurt on Floyd Central spirits - Courier Journal
Several teams looking to gain upward mobility  - Louisville Courier Journal
All is not a loss at North Harrison  - Courier Journal
Lady Red Devils have set their goal to be first at last  - Courier Journal

Articles of interest:
Purdue has hands full with Duke - FW Journal Gazette
No. 4 Duke routs Purdue - BoilerStation
Poor practices reflect in Boilers' play - BoilerStation
Team works to recover from loss to Duke - Purdue Exponent
Valparaiso shooters roll - The Times
No. 20 Irish hold at home, top Valparaiso - FW Journal Gazette
Ball State
Cards look to bounce back from 0-2 start - Ball State Daily News
BSU women fall in opener - Muncie Star Press
Cards drop two in opening weekend - Ball State Daily News
It took awhile, but dream came true for spirited athlete (Leah Boehme)- Indianapolis Star
UE women B.R.E.A.K. down Austin Peay to win season opener - Courier & Press
She's only just begun (Cyndi Valentin) - FW News-Sentinel
Anderson U women set sights on conference championship - Herald Bulletin
Hall's 36 propels Anderson women to big win - Herald Bulletin
Salem duo lifts Hanover women in opener 68-65 - Madison Courier
Indiana State
Indiana State aiming even higher - TH Tribune Star
Wiedie pleased with Sycamores' strong recruiting class - TH Tribune Star
Sycamores' season to tip off at IU Classic - Indiana Statesman
New coach brings new enthusiasm as Rose women start new season - TH Tribune Star
Notre Dame
Made-for-TV talent (Jackie Batteast) - FW News-Sentinel
Joyce key in Irish win - SB Tribune
No. 20 Irish hold at home, top Valparaiso - FW Journal Gazette

Time to take charge (Amy Gearlds, IPFW) - FW News-Sentinel

Lady Vols open strong behind Ely's 20 points - The Tennessean
Recruits may be turned off by Big Ten's coaching turnover - Chicago Daily Herald
Age of enlightenment - FW News-Sentinel
Booze rules vary from weak to stiff - Indy Star



Friday, November 21


New St. Louis-Missouri head coach Leland Buchanan has been recruiting Indiana hard for next season, and it's beginning to pay off.  According to the Evansville Courier & Press, Leslie Ricker of North Posey signed with the Great Lakes Valley Conference Division II program this week. The 5'9 guard/forward averaged 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds for head coach Charles Mair last season. She is expected to top the Vikings career scoring record this season, as she is just 13 points shy of the 1,240-point record. Ricker will join USLM's other 2004 Indiana recruit Abbie Thomas of Crawfordsville on the Riverwomen's roster next season. Both players have a chance for significant minutes early in their college careers, as USLM is rebuilding with just an eight-member roster at the current time. Former Pike player Iesha Billups is a junior starter at USML this season. Buchanan is looking for height next season, as Billups plays center at only 5'9.

Other signing news & updates:
Team unity helps Stone ink latest recruit (Janese Banks) - Capital Times
Division I Dreams, Belmont next destination for Madison's Myers - Madison Courier

As suspected, Valparaiso junior Lindsay Humes (right) is likely lost for the season. The 6'2 forward went down in her team's season-opening Tip-Off Classic event against Carmel last Saturday evening with a knee injury. Humes was a sophomore starter all last season for the Vikings and will clearly be missed in Valpo's signature high-low post offense. Coach Greg Kirby will be calling up 6'0 reserve senior Breanne Gustke to fill in for Humes, backed up by 6'0 sophomore Michelle Lang. The Vikings open up with a tough Duneland Athletic Conference opener on the road tonight against 4A No. 2 Merrillville. (Photo courtesy of

According to the Courier-Journal, New Albany junior center Samantha Johnson received a scare Wednesday at practice when it was thought that she possibly had fractured her foot. The 6'5 Division I prospect said the injury occurred when she landed on her sister's foot. The diagnosis turned out to be a sprained ankle.

Former Whiteland career scoring leading Megan Liffick (left) will return to the Evansville lineup today against Austin Peay after sitting out most of her freshman season with an ACL tear. According to the Evansville Courier-Press, Aces head coach Tricia Cullop says Liffick is stronger than ever and an even better player. Liffick averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds through the first seven games for Evansville last season. She is expected to be a big contributer this season. More:
Women's Basketball Hosts Austin Peay Friday Morning - Evansville website

According to the Indy Star, former Howe student Tasha Boyd-Jones has taken the coaching position at Indianapolis Howe vacated earlier this month by John Fair, formerly of Shelbyville.

Girls basketball notes & features:

Indiana drill - The Times
Indiana Girls Basketball Top 10 - The Times

Dana Beaven of Corydon never calls a timeout - Courier-Journal
Hoop action heats up for Anderson area girls - Herald Bulletin
Hickson lends Lebanon a helping hand - Lebanon Reporter

Season or Game Previews:
Weekend will take measure of Scottsburg - Courier-Journal
Girls hoop action heats up today - Peru Tribune

Articles of interest:
2004 Franklin Women's Season Preview - Franklin website
Hoskins, Cooper Receive All-HCAC Honors - Franklin website
St. Mary's wants to climb out of MIAA basement - South Bend Tribune
VanMetre goes for double-double in debut - Noblesville Ledger
ND women banking on fast start - The Times
Cards open season tonight - Ball State Daily News
This Week in ND Women's Basketball -
Butler Bulldogs Open Season at Hawkeye Challenge -
Searching for more - State News



Thursday, November 20


The USA Today Preseason Super 25 rankings were released, and although no team from Indiana appears in the Super 25, Warsaw (No. 7) and Merrillville (No. 9) appear in the Midwest regional rankings. Merrillville will face a huge test tomorrow night when Valparaiso rolls into town for a major DAC showdown. Expect Marshay Jolly (left), transfer Julie DeMuth and super soph Brittney Moore to be ready to face the Vikings in what should be a barnstormer. Warsaw will open its season at 3A #8 Tippecanoe Valley on Friday night, followed by Crown Point on Saturday at home.

According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Lafayette Harrison senior Becka Bralts has signed with IUPUI. The 6'2 center averaged 9.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game as a junior, helping her team to a 14-10 record last season. Also, according to, Mooresville post Rachel Kenney has also signed with IUPUI head coach Kris Simpson. Kenney, a 6'0 forward, averaged 15.4 points and 5.4 rebounds as a junior, shooting 52% from the field. Bralts and Kenney join Gary West Side seniors Belinda Drake and Karima Davies to round out the IUPUI 2004 recruiting class.

Senior Laura McClintic of Tell City has signed with Division II Kentucky Wesleyan. The 5'8 guard averaged 16.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.3 assists as a junior last season.

Unranked 4A Penn stunned 3A #2 South Bend St. Joseph's Tuesday night in a fourth-quarter rallying 61-57 win. According to the South Bend Tribune, St. Joe's head coach Mike Megyese said, "We just played like a young team in the second half. That was our worst half of basketball in probably three years.''

The WBCA has announced its schedule for its 2004 High School All-America Game. Nomination forms for the event are also available for downloading. The 2004 event will be at Tulane in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 3.

In case you missed it, we've released the RRR Top 12 after the first week of games.

Mark Smith of has released his NWI area Girls Basketball Renegade Poll for Week 1, which also includes some game previews for the weekend. Mark is always a good read, and has some additional insights for Crown Point and Boone Grove after their first week of games:
Crown Point forces 66 turnovers in first two wins - (scroll down)
Season opener proves nice tune-up for Lady Wolves - (scroll down)

Girls basketball notes & features:

Hot Dogs Not Off To Desired Start - Frankfort Times
Zionsville starts season 2-0, Nov. 19, 2003 - Zionsville Times Sentinel

Season or Game Previews:
Chatard goes to work to correct weakness - Indianapolis Star
Chatard receives reinforcements - Indianapolis Star
CP's Tom May previews his Lady Bulldogs basketball squad for 2003-2004  -

Articles of interest:
Purdue signs five -
BSU Signs Three -
Crusader Women Sign Four to Play at Valpo in 2004-2005 -

McGraw nabs three stellar recruits - SB Tribune

Wisconsin-Green Bay women's basketball preview - News Chronicle
Illinois-Chicago Inks Three To National Letters Of Intent - UIC website




Tuesday, November 18


Lowell native Amy Ruley, the head coach at North Dakota State, is to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June of next year, according to the NDSU website. The announcement was officially made at the half-time of the televised Purdue-Kansas State game on Saturday. Ruley, who played basketball at Purdue in the mid 70s, was the first women to officially score a basket in a Boilermaker women's basketball game. The 1975 Lowell grad has had a tremendous career at NDSU, where she intended to coach for only a few years. Twenty-five years later, Ruley has a 581-151 record with the Bison, which includes five NCAA Division II national championships, 19 national playoff appearances and Coach of the Year honors 26 different times for state, regional or national recognition. Ruley, a Fargo favorite, averaged nearly 4,000 spectators per game at NDSU games last season, ranking 39th nationally in attendance for Division I through Division III schools. More:
Judging Amy - BoilerStation
Amy Ruley to join Women's Basketball Hall of Fame - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel.

No. 9 Purdue (now No. 5 in the latest AP poll) had a great showing before a national ESPN audience over the weekend, upending No. 4 Kansas State in a 79-69 win. Making her official college debut, Beech Grove grad Katie Gearlds seemed a bit nervous in the first half, but looked comfortable in the second, logging eight points, five rebounds and six assists and just one turnover in 26 minutes of play. Lots more coverage:
Freshmen offer high scoring in first games of season - Purdue Exponent
Boilers display confidence in upset win - Purdue Exponent
Gearlds sparkles in debut - Indianapolis Star
Pregame excitement too much for Gearlds - BoilerStation
Home crowd helps Boilermakers in win - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Purdue women get 5 commitments - South Bend Tribune

According to the Terre Haute Tribune Star, Northview won the Clabber Girl Classic on Saturday with a 65-37 victory of South Vermillion. MVP honors were given to two players, Northview's Whitney Medworth and South Vermillion's Kylee Wood. The all-tourney team included Alison Terrell and Lauren Ditteon of Terre Haute South, Laura Burdick and Molly Williams of Terre Haute North, Julie Whitted of Northview and Chloe Dark of Fountain Central.

Girls basketball notes & features:

Impressive opening week for Valpo, Boone girls basketball teams - The Times

Austin girls have even surprised coach - Courier-Journal
Foul trouble starts early for Jeffersonville's Johnson - Courier-Journal
Indianapolis area sports notes - Indianapolis Star

Former New Albany star Kennitra Johnson (right), who is now playing at Southern Indiana after one year at Connecticut and a transfer through Purdue, played her first college game in two years this weekend. She didn't skip a beat, though, with 24 points, three assists and four steals in a 91-86 season-opening win over Pittsburgh State, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.  Last night, she tallied 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals in her team's second win of the season over Hillsdale. Merrillville grad Shannon Wells contributed eight points, six rebounds and two steals in the winning effort.

Lindsey DeasonFormer Ft. Wayne Snider standout Lindsey Deason (left) is profiled as a two-sport athlete at DePaul University in the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette. Deason, who is a scholarship player for the Blue Demons' soccer team, is also a walk-on for the women's basketball team.

Season previews:
New Frontier coach wants to continue moving in right direction - Herald Journal
Cascade basketball preview - Plainfield Flyer
Experienced Loogootee Lady Lions ready to roar - Times-Herald
Clay County girls teams going through progression of winner - Terre Haute Tribune
SB Washington Panthers lean on speedy guards - South Bend Tribune
Muncie area girls basketball capsules - Muncie Star Press
Basketball season gets started - Muncie Star Press
Vincennes Lincoln Alices hope good fortune continues - Sun-Commercial
Vincennes Rivet Patriots hope wins aren't far away - Sun-Commercial
Experienced South Knox Spartans look for dividends - Sun-Commercial
North Knox Warriors have been waiting for this year - Sun-Commercial

Articles of interest:
ND fails to hold on to either ball, game - South Bend Tribune
Cold feeling in Oregon (Valpo U) - The Times
BSU Cards win Holland exhibition, 75-69 - Ball State Daily News
Cardinal women win exhibition - Muncie Star Press
Loss sends Irish women to 20th - South Bend Tribune
Weary Vincennes U women tally win - Sun Commercial
Fever players keeping busy during offseason - Indianapolis Star
Three high school seniors sign national letters of intent for BSU - Ball State Daily News



Sunday, November 16


Ben Davis senior Janese Banks (left) signed her National Letter of Intent to attend Wisconsin last night after a 63-50 win over Pike. According to the Indianapolis Star, the 5'10 forward made the announcement to the Ben Davis home crowd after scoring 21 points in the 350th career victory for head coach Stan Benge. Banks, a Miss Basketball candidate in this year's wide open race, chose the Badgers over Marquette and Ball State. As a junior, Banks averaged 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. She was a member of the core team for the Junior All Stars this past summer, was the MVP of the Deep South Classic, the Preseason Player of the Year, and the only junior on last season's ICGSA All-State First Team. Banks, who is part of a six-member signing class for new Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone, will join 2001 Indiana All-Star Ebba Gebisa of West Lafayette on the Badger roster next season. (Photo from the Indianapolis Star)

Indian Creek's Adrienne Squire signs her National Letter of Intent, while (L-R) Athletic Director Scott Martin, IC Head Coach Dana Scott, mother Deniese Squire, Principal Robert Duke,
and AAU Coach Kevin Merriweather all look on.

More news on college signings:
IC Miss Basketball candidate accepts offer from Penn State - Reporter-Times
Hauser's Land signs letter of intent - Columbus Republic
Crawfordsville's Thomas signs at Missouri-St. Louis - Journal Review

ICGSA No. 12 Valparaiso won it's two opening season games yesterday in their Tip-Off Classic, but they may have lost anyway. Junior forward Lindsay Humes went down with a knee injury in the second quarter and never returned to the game. The 6'2 post crumpled to the ground after taking contact on a layup against No. 14 Carmel in the physical evening game, where the Vikings came out on top 43-38. The junior was sidelined with ice on the right knee and was on crutches heading into the locker room at halftime. The reserve post duo of 6'0 senior Breanne Gustke and 6'0 sophomore Michelle Lang performed admirably in Humes' absence, but if Humes has a season-ending injury, Valparaiso will be re-learning the offensive rhythm of its signature high-low post offense. However, few teams in the Duneland Conference, or in the state for that matter, can point to a roster that includes five very capable players at 5'11 or taller.

A lesser-known (outside NWI anyway) offensive force made a statement in her two opening games this season. Boone Grove junior Karissa Walter (left) scored a career-high 37 points in a point guard showdown against Calumet senior Kiki Bytner on Friday evening. The ICGSA 2A No. 8 Wolves came out on top 67-64 in overtime despite 29 points from Bytner. Last night, the 5'5 Walter scored 19 points to go along with 9 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals in a 67-49 win against 1A No. 6 PCC foe Hebron. Bytner, who is headed to Eastern Illinois next season, also repeated with a great second game with 25 points, 7 assists and 3 steals in a 64-47 win over Hammond Gavit last night. (Photo courtesy of

According to the South Bend Tribune, South Bend Riley junior Kendra Reynolds has been cleared to play. The top returning starter for the Wildcats missed her team's season opener due to a knee injury, but doctors have confirmed that no ACL or MCL tear seems to be apparent. The 6'0 post averaged 9.5 points and 8.1 rebounds as a sophomore, but will play limited minutes as she is eased back into the Riley lineup. Reynolds scored 7 points in a 36-35 loss to Highland last night.

The 2003-04 edition of Hoosier Basketball Magazine is out. Gracing the side of the cover for the girls are Ben Davis forward Janese Banks, Merrillville forward Julie DeMuth, Heritage Christian guard Cassie Freeman, North Knox forward Chelsea Gugliotta and Warsaw forward Jaclyn Leininger. The magazine was received by HBM from the printer last Thursday and should be making its way to Northwest Indiana early this week at the following outlets for $6.50 per copy:
Busy Corner Drugs, East Chicago
Whiting News, Whiting
Tom May, Crown Point
Jim East, Merrillville

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, former Indiana All-Stars Natalie Yudt of Portage and Abby Scharlow (left) of New Albany led the Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix with 18 points apiece, including eight treys between them, in a 90-52 exhibition game win last night. The two challenged former professional player and TV commentator Nancy Lieberman, who is playing in exhibition games with Wisconsin AAU. The 46-year-old is keeping a diary of her exhibition experiences for ESPN. Lieberman, who played Marquette and Big 10 Wisconsin in exhibition games this past week, gives UWGB the "early-season edge." The Phoenix received 8 votes in preseason voting in the ESPN coaches poll.

Don't forget to catch today's great set of college games on ESPN2 from the State Farm Tip-Off Classic, being hosted by Purdue. The opening games pits Texas against Duke, followed by Purdue and Kansas State. For times and listings, go to the ESPN women's basketball broadcast schedule.

Season previews:
West Vigo Vikings see success in rebuilding - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Princeton Tigers new? How about newer and newest on floor and bench? - Clarion Ledger
Zebras good mix on paper (Rochester, N. Judson, Tippy Valley, Winamac) - South Bend Tribune
Eminence ready to make a splash this season - Reporter-Times

Articles of interest:
Rose hoops teams picked fifth, ninth in SCAC - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Batteast a beast inside as ND upends Auburn - South Bend Tribune
Colorado conquers ND women in OT - SB Tribune
Crusaders fall in opener - The Times
Ball State women return four starters - Muncie Star Press
Boilermakers host early-season classic - SB Tribune
Four teams out to prove there's more than UConn, Tennessee - FW News Sentinel
Houston guard picks Purdue - BoilerStation
A few more feet, no real difference (preseason 3-point line trial) - South Bend Tribune
Indiana State warm-up blowout  - TH Tribune Star



Friday, November 14


Madison senior Brittany Myers (right) has signed with Division I Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The 5'8 guard averaged 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game last season despite an injury that hampered her second-half season stats. Myers, who has received many awards during her high school career, will be joining a roster that includes fellow Hoosier Jenny Conkle (Concordia Lutheran), who is a sophomore for the Bruins this season. More:
Women's Basketball Inks Three Recruits - Belmont website
Myers decides on Belmont - Courier-Journal

In related news, the IHSAA will be making a special presentation at Madison Consolidated Schools, November 14, to honor senior Brittany Myers as a 2003/2004 Female Basketball Role Model for Indiana in the IHSAA/Indiana Criminal Justice Institute campaign. The presentation will be made at the Madison vs. Switzerland County game, between the JV and the varsity contests.

According to the South Bend Tribune, Culver Academy senior Vanessa Jackson has signed with Morehead State. The 6'1 post averaged an amazing 24 points and 16 rebounds per game last season and began the season off right with a 25-point, 19-rebound performance against Glenn on Tuesday of this week. Jackson chose Morehead State over Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, IUPUI and Wright State. She will join former Franklin Central standout freshman Natalie Collins on the Eagles roster next season.

Former Hobart/Merrillville guard Kelly Pero (left) has been selected as a NJCAA 1st Team Pre-Season All-American for Joliet Junior College entering her sophomore year. Last season, Pero averaged 17.3 points, 5.5 assists and 3.1 steals per game. She placed 8th in assists per game out of all NJCAA Division III schools in the country. Joliet Junior College is ranked #7 in the NJCAA Pre-Season Division III Women's Basketball Poll.

The Times is out with its complete complement of girls basketball coverage for the season. The main story is the same one that pretty much all the local media has honed in on this year, which is the expectations for Merrillville with the combination of transfer Julie DeMuth to a Pirates roster that already includes two Division I level players in Marshay Jolly (right) and Brittney Moore. Included in their coverage are the NWI Top Ten, All-Area Team picks and most of the team capsules, although a number of notables, such as Chesterton, Valparaiso, Lake Central and Wheeler, are missing online. If we're able to track those down later, we'll let you know.

Well the answer of whether or not Purdue recruit Jodi Howell will be able to put up big numbers this season may have been answered in the Tigers' first game. Although 2A #5 Alexandria lost to 3A #14 Delta 52-45, Howell chalked up 34 points and 11 rebounds in her team's season opener last night. That's the good news. The bad news, in doing the math, is that her teammates only contributed a total of 11 points in the loss. More:
Alexandria loses to Delta - Herald Bulletin

According to the Shelbyville News, former Shelbyville coach John Fair has left his new position with Indianapolis Howe. After six weeks on the job, Fair had lost 20 pounds and was experiencing medical problems. He is currently teaching at a private school in Indianapolis.

HSSP Internet Radio has finalized its broadcast schedule for the season. All Webcasts begin at 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted. All times are CST.

12/2 South Bend St. Joseph’s @ Andrean
12/16 Lake Central @ Chesterton
12/19 Lake Central @ Merrillville
12/22 South County Girls Tourney (6:00)
12/23 South County Girls Tourney Final (6:00)
12/29 Gary Holiday Tourney Boys & Girls Finals (6:00)
1/8 Gary West Side @ East Chicago
1/13 Merrillville @ Munster
1/24 Griffith @ Andrean
1/27 South Bend St. Joseph’s vs Naperville Central at Valpo U
2/3 Merrillville @ Lowell
2/14 Girls Sectional Final
2/21 Girls Regional Finals
2/28 Plymouth 3A & 4A Girls Semi-State Championship (12:30)
3/6 29th Annual Girls Basketball State Finals (9:00 AM)

In a new twist in women's basketball access (it was only a matter of time), the Preseason WNIT opening game between Michigan and Miami (Ohio) will be available around the world over the Internet in streaming video. Fans can watch Miami players Cindi Merrill (Noblesville), Kim Smith (Gary West Side) and Hillary Beck (Kokomo) take on the Wolverines in the first round of the Preseason WNIT on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. EST. You can access the link on the Michigan women's basketball website.

The Blackford at New Castle game scheduled for tonight 11/14/03 has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts. This leaves New Castle with only 19 regular season games. They would like to play another one if any team has an open date and needs to add a game to its schedule. Interested schools can call New Castle Girls Basketball Coach Rick Brewer at the school at (765) 593-6670 to discuss.

More signing news:
North Knox star Gugliotta heading to Lamar - Courier-Press
South Bend area signings - South Bend Tribune

Season previews:
North Miami's Furthmiller debut a success - Peru Tribune
Greensburg Pirates expect leap in win - Greensburg Daily News
St. Joe's Indians second in preseason poll - South Bend Tribune
Anderson, Shenandoah highlight week's schedule - Herald Bulletin

Articles of interest:
Valpo U guard Suzie Hammel wants to take the Crusaders back to the NCAA tourney - Post-Tribune
ND women set to battle in Boulder - South Bend Tribune
Irish pull in three top recruits from deep talent pool - South Bend Tribune
The fire inside (Purdue) - Boilerstation
Same players, better results expected as Notre Dame opens against Auburn - AP
Notre Dame coach believes Irish have good season ahead - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
National Team of Holland to take on Ball State - Ball State Daily News
Talent pool runs deep in Tennessee (recruiting class rankings) - USA Today
Louisville Cards' Collen quietly builds a program - Courier-Journal
Minnick signs with Southern Indiana - Carmi Times



Thursday, November 13


Former Noblesville and Cathedral standout Rachel Brockman (left) has left the Vanderbilt women's program for personal reasons, according to the Tennessean. As late as November 5, the 6'3 forward was with the team, as referred to on the team's website.

According to the Terre Haute Tribune Star, sophomore Brooke Daugherty, a returning starter for the Terre Haute South Braves, is out for the season with an ACL tear. The All-Vigo County 5'8 guard went down untouched in a jamboree event last weekend.

We're a little behind schedule, but we have profiled some of the best games coming up for this weekend's schedule in our Top Games & Upcoming Events.

News on college signings:
Signing day makes it final for area ’ s finest - Gary Post-Tribune
Butler Inks Four Recruits as Signing Period Begins - Butler website
Crusader Women Sign Four to Play at Valpo in 2004-2005 - Valparaiso website
Southern Miss signs Indiana standout - Southern Miss website
North Texas Women's Basketball Adds Three Players In Early Signing Period - NT website
Miami (OH) signs three - Miami website
Lamar Cardinals ink three in early signing period - Lamar website
Area players ready to sign with colleges - Indianapolis Star
Championed coach reels in top-recruited class - Purdue Exponent

Season previews:
Big challenge for 2003-04 Slicers, new coach Skeeter Heath - Herald-Argus
Lawrence Central holds high season hopes - Indy Topics
Lawrence North set to defend girls sectional basketball title - Indy Topics
Chemistry, starters could take Hamilton Southeastern squad far - Indy Topics
Experienced North Central Panthers set to defend girls sectional basketball title - Indy Topics
Zionsville to rely on speed, athleticism in girls basketball - Indy Topics
Carmel girls look to win MIC basketball title - Indy Topics
Mooresville girls will look to go inside this year - Reporter Times
Indian Creek girls plan to pick up where they left off - Reporter Times
Team, Cloverdale coach geared for new season - Banner Graphic
Different look for Greencastle girls - Banner Graphic
North Putnam earns votes in 2A poll - Banner Graphic
Depleted North Putnam trudges on - Banner Graphic
South Putnam Eagles look for repeat of last year - Banner Graphic
Park Tudor must grow into its role  - Indianapolis Star
Optimistic Western Boone banks on experience - Indianapolis Star
New Prairie rebuilding? Not hardly - Herald-Argus
Warsaw anxious to shine - South Bend Tribune
Bremen spikers set to be shooters - South Bend Tribune
Pilgrims try to turn less into more - South Bend Tribune
Cavemen that play together win together - South Bend Tribune
Duo's departure won't hurt Riley - South Bend Tribune
Sullivan County girls hoops teams led by young coaches - TH Tribune Star
West Central Conference title up for grabs - Banner Graphic
Barr-Reeve ready to defend sectional title - Times-Herald
North Daviess ready to roar in 2003-04 - Times-Herald
Meet the Jennings County basketball team - Plain Dealer & Sun
South Adams Starfires have size, potential for upcoming season - Decatur Daily Democrat
City schools ready for coming season - Anderson Herald Bulletin

Articles of interest:
Hoosiers Drop Exhibition Opener to Athletes in Action, 82-69 - Indiana website
No. 22 Auburn Challenges No. 15 Notre Dame - ND website
St. Joseph's women basketball to host Calumet in opener - St. Joseph's website
Purdue featured athlete of the week, Katie Gearlds - Purdue website
College basketball in high gear for Greene County players - Linton Daily Citizen
Green Bay's Borseth looks to inject youth into team - UWGB Fourth Estate
Martinsville grad Geryak helps pace Xavier in exhibition win in Cincinnati - Reporter-Times
Lady Vols host media day - UT website
New Mexico Lobos need frosh to contribute - ESPN



Wednesday, November 12


Last night was essentially the opening night of the season, and already at least one highly ranked team has fallen. North Vermillion, ranked No. 2 in 1A, lost to Southmont 48-36. Leading scorer for the Mounties was Rachel Walters with 10. Also, 2A No. 9 North Putnam fell to Crawfordsville 62-35. Leading scorer for the Athenians was senior Abbie Thomas with 18. Also, New Castle defeated 3A #14 Delta last night on the road 68-49. New Castle led by as many as 29 points midway through the 3rd quarter. The Lady Trojans were led by freshman point guard Corie West who had 20 points including five 3-pointers. West added 5 assists and had 6 steals as well. Delta committed 34 turnovers in the contest. You can view more scores and related coverage on our Game Results page.

 Don't let the 2A school setting fool you. Wheeler freshman Becca Bruszewski (left), sister of senior Wheeler standout Alyse Bruszewski, could be the top freshman in the Region. The 6'1 forward/center plays like a veteran and can handle and pass the ball like a guard. The talented frosh opened her high school career with a 16-point performance in a win against Griffith last night. The Bearcats could make some noise as one of the newest members of the LAC Blue Division. With the likes of the Bruszewski sisters and solid junior scoring threat Ali Roper, Wheeler head coach Tim Powers could have his charges busting into the 2A rankings soon.

The IHSAA has released the 2003-04 host sites for the tournament this season. Locally, Gary West Side and Crown Point will host the 4A sectionals, with Valparaiso hosting the 4A regional. In 3A, Calumet and Kankakee Valley will host sectionals, while Hanover Central will host the local 2A sectional and Rensselaer the 2A regional. Kouts will be the local host site for 1A.

The early signing period begins today and ends on November 19. Expect the news of Indiana '04 commitments to be coming in fast and furious over the next week.

Midwest Sports Publishing has released its Top 40 Preseason rankings. Four Region teams are in MSP's Top 10, including Merrillville at No. 1, Gary West Side at No. 3, East Chicago Central at No. 9, and Valparaiso at No. 10.

Several players from around the state have been profiled for the upcoming season, including East Chicago senior India Reeves (right, photo courtesy of
  East Chicago's Reeves ready to roll - Post-Tribune
Calumet's Bytnar is one fierce warrior - Post Tribune
New role for Whiting's Papach - Post-Tribune
Ben Davis' Banks expects big season - Indianapolis Star
Scottsburg's Napier got early start - Louisville Courier-Journal
Memorial's Rudolph thriving in world on court - Evansville Courier-Press

North Central head coach Alan Vickrey was recognized on Sunday in a surprise celebration honoring his 25-year career, according to the Indianapolis Star. Vickrey coach 18 seasons at Brebeuf and is beginning his seventh year at North Central. During that time, he has compiled a 344-186 record, won 10 sectionals, five regionals and appeared in the state championship game once.

 Region fans will be interested to know that former Hammond Gavit standout Joann Smith (left) is now playing at Stetson University. Smith finished two years at Coffeyville Junior College before being picked up by the Hatters. In an exhibition win this past weekend, Smith logged 8 points, 6 steals and 6 assists in 27 minutes as a starter.

Former Gary West Side standout Michelle Jones (5'7 G) has left the Chicago State women's basketball program and is now playing at Cincinnati State Junior College, the same program where South Bend Riley standout Crystal Norman is playing.

The Indianapolis Star features an article discussing how coaching turnover is becoming more prevalent than in the past, and how turnovers are affected by the fact that girls basketball has become a popular sport that demands numbers in the win column. This is part of the Star's full-fledged basketball preview, that includes the following:
Many area teams should excel
Brebeuf Jesuit leads 3A preseason poll
Team capsules: A-L
Team capsules: M-Z
Girls basketball poll

The National Roundball Journal has named its Top 100 players from across the nation. The lone Indiana player on their lists is Indian Creek senior Adrienne Squire, who is ranked at No. 89.
The National Roundball Journal's Top 50 in the class of 04 -
The National Roundball Journal's 2nd 50 in the class of 04 -

Season previews:
What's in store for Porter County in 2003-04? - The Times
Girls teams learn what skills they need to work on - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Girls basketball teams ready for season (Noblesville, Hamilton Heights, Westfield, Sheridan)
Tippecanoe County girls basketball capsules - Lafayette J&C
Central Catholic building on last year's late season surge - Lafayette J&C
Young Lafayette Jeff Bronchos learning new system- Lafayette J&C
West Lafayette juniors carry load - Lafayette J&C
Lady T-Birds might be the team to beat again - Linton Daily Citizen
WRV girls regroup after big losses - Linton Daily Citizen
SB Clay Colonials return to fundamentals - South Bend Tribune
9th rated Lady Titans Match 4A Castle but lose point guard - Princeton Daily Clarion
Terre Haute North building for the future - TH Tribune Star
Senior players expected to lead Vermillion County girls - TH Tribune Star
Next year here for Parke County girls basketball players - TH Tribune Star

Articles of interest:
Miami (OH) RedHawks Open Season at Michigan in Preseason WNIT - Miami website
Too much, too soon? (very interesting recruiting article) - ESPN
Wisconsin women's basketball ready for new beginning - Badger Herald
Shelbyville area girls' basketball team in state polls - Shelbyville News
UConn No. 1, Purdue No. 7 in Women's College Hoops Poll - Frankfort Times
North Putnam grads Parker, Williams still playing ball - Banner Graphic



Tuesday, November 11


Andrean senior Kim McCloskey (left) has committed to Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The 6'0 shooting guard is one of only two recruits for the MU women's program this year and will play shooting guard for head coach Jackie DeVane. Monmouth tied for third place in the North East Conference last year. McCloskey chose Monmouth over D-I programs at Niagara, Rider, Lamar and Fairleigh Dickinsen. As a junior last year, McCloskey averaged 9.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocked shot per game for Andrean head coach Ken Markful. She is the fourth member of the Adidas AAU-Hoosier All Star team to commit to a D-I school. AAU teammates Rebekah Parker (Evansville), Courtney Felke (Evansville) and Chelsea Gugliotta (Lamar) have already announced their choices. The Adidas team was coached this summer by Deak Weaver. More:
Andrean guard picks Monmouth - Post-Tribune
Andrean's McCloskey heading east - The Times

Allison Hughes, North VermillionNorth Vermillion senior Allison Hughes (right) will play at D-II St. Joseph's in Rensselaer next season. Hughes, a 5'6 guard, will join sister Ashley Hughes, a sophomore on the current Puma roster. The younger Hughes averaged 16.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game in her junior campaign, while leading her team to a second 1A state finals appearance in as many years. The Falcons, who were undefeated going into the state finals, lost to 1A State Champion Tri-Central by 2 points. Hughes led all scorers in that game with 25 points to go with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.

Hauser career scoring leader Molly Land has committed to D-II Shepherd College in West Virginia. Land, a 5'11 guard, averaged 17.6 points and 5.0 rebounds as a junior. She was named First Team Mid-Hoosier Conference, Honorable Mention Hoosier Basketball Magazine and Columbus Republic All Area First Team in both 2002 and 2003. She was also invited to the IBCA/IHSAA Top 100. Land chose Shepherd over other West Virginia Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Ohio Valley.

The Post-Tribune pumped out the start of its season previews yesterday, including it's list of the Top 5 players to watch and Top 10 preseason teams. As might be expected, Merrillville heads the list as the top team in the area, followed by Gary West Side. Merrillville senior duo Marshay Jolly and Julie DeMuth are profiled, as well as Boone Grove junior Karissa Walter and Gary Mann junior Shanee' Butler.
New Merrillville co-stars (includes top 5 & top 10)
Walter back to quarterback Boone Grove
Butler drive to be the best
Well guarded region

P-T Top 5 Players to Watch

Kiki Bytnar
- Calumet
Shanee' Butler - Gary Mann
Jen VanderZanden - Lake Central
Marshay Jolly - Merrillville
Julie DeMuth - Merrillville
P-T Top 10 Preseason Teams
1. Merrillville
2. Gary West Side
3. East Chicago Central
4. Valparaiso
5. Lake Central
6. Andrean
7. Crown Point
8. Lowell
9. Boone Grove
10. Wheeler
Jen VanderZanden of Lake Central (left) was selected as one of the Post-Tribune's Top 5 Players to Watch this season.
(Photo courtesy of

Although we released The Times Preseason All-Area team yesterday because it appeared online, apparently it was not supposed to be released until Friday, when the full girls basketball preseason issue will appear. So be sure to check The Times this Friday for their full complement of coverage.

The ICGSA Poll was released yesterday, with not too many surprises. The Region was well represented in this season's pre-poll, with Merrillville, Gary West Side and East Chicago in the 4A top ten, with Valparaiso also receiving votes. In 3A, Highland logged in at No. 10, while Andrean and Calumet garnered votes. In 2A, Boone Grove appears at No. 8, while poll regulars North Newton and North Judson received votes. Washington Township showed up at No. 4 and Hebron at No. 6 in 1A, while Whiting and Oregon-Davis received preseason votes. More:
   Warsaw, Brebeuf, Shenandoah, Tri-Central are girls preseason No. 1 - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel

The Ball State Daily News has a nice series of articles about the women's basketball team and the upcoming season:
Ball State looks to continue improving
Strong recruiting class could see a lot of action
Women's MAC rankings
Both teams undergo coaching changes
Small Ball
Goff ready to lead BSU with play, mouth

Season previews:

Lady Trojans relish underdog role - Chesterton Tribune
No speed limit on Twin Lakes junior - Lafayette J & C
Area girls basketball outlook - Lafayette J & C
Martinsville impresses in scrimmage with Lebanon - Reporter-Times
Some changes in the NWI air - The Times
Grant County girls' basketball begins - Chronicle-Tribune
Monrovia girls looking to get back on track for new basketball season - Reporter-Times
LaPorte girls gain needed experience in scrimmage - Herald-Argus

Articles of interest:
Indiana State opens with 91-47 win in exhibition - ISU website
Calumet College women's preview - The Times
Purdue Calumet women's preview - The Times
If the shoe fits - Johnson County Daily Journal
Sharing top talent leads to state championship for Morristown - Shelbyville News
Linton Lady Miners are no longer doormats - Linton Daily Citizen
ND wins despite inconsistent play - South Bend Tribune
Jeanette Yeoman to be inducted into GLVC Hall of Fame - Rensselaer Republican


Monday, November 10


Calumet standout point guard Kiki Bytnar (left) has committed to Eastern Illinois, according to the Post-Tribune. The All-Area player and RRR Super Senior 25 averaged 14.0 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game for coach Dori Downing as a junior. Bytnar was also considering two other Ohio Valley Conference teams, Austin Peay and Eastern Kentucky; but after a visit to the Eastern Illinois campus last week, she made up her mind that it was the place for her. Bytner led her 16-8 team to the Regionals last season before falling to Tippecanoe Valley. Calumet opens it's season on Friday evening at Boone Grove. More:
Calumet's Bytnar selects Eastern Illinois - The Times

Maryland-Baltimore County head coach Phil Stern has apparently set up a pipeline from Baltimore to Indiana. The second year coach has received his second Indiana commitment from the Class of 2004, to go along with two Indiana freshmen already on the Retrievers roster. Fremont senior Jennifer Ferguson will join the UMBC roster next fall, joining Kristin Drabyn (Avon), Shari Rhode (Franklin Central) and Heather Luttrell (Northwestern). The 5'7 guard received All-Area honors as a sophomore and junior, as well as unanimous NECC All-Conference honors. As her team's MVP last season, the two-year captain averaged 14.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. UMBC was Ferguson's choice over Kent State, Bowling Green, IUPUI and Cleveland State.

Although it wasn't in our print edition yesterday (did we miss something?), The Times released it's 2003 Preseason All-Area team online. Merrillville landed three on the elite team, while Valparaiso, East Chicago and Gary West Side each landed two. Recognized as all-area were:
Shanee' Butler (5'3 G) Sr. - Gary Horace Mann
Kiki Bytnar (5'6 G) Sr. - Calumet
Karima Davies (6'1 F/C) Sr. - Gary West Side
Julie DeMuth (5'10 F) Sr. - Merrillville
Belinda Drake (5'4 G) Sr. - Gary West Side
Lauren Hutton (5'5 G) Sr. - Valparaiso
Dee Dee Jernigan (5'10 G) So. - East Chicago
Marshay Jolly (5'9 G) Sr. - Merrillville
Cassie Kerns (6'3 C) Jr. - Valparaiso
Brittney Moore (6'2 C) So. - Merrillville
Jernita Moore (5'10 F) Jr. - East Chicago
Becca Papach (5'10 F) Sr. - Whiting
Cassie Pruzin (5'7 G) Jr. - Crown Point
Jen VanderZanden (5'10 F/C) Sr. - Lake Central
Karissa Walter (5'6 G) Jr. - Boone Grove

Former Lawrence North and Terre Haute South center Reicina Russell began her college career at Penn State with a slot in the starting lineup in a recent exhibition victory.  Russell scored 8 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in 23 minutes of play. Complete info:
Penn State Lady Lion Basketball Team Downs Estonian Squad In Exhibition Contest

The preseason ICGSA poll is due out this morning. Check later today for results.

Season previews:

Bloomfield Cards expect to bloom with Rose as coach - Linton Daily Citizen
North Daviess Lady Cougars expecting big turnaround - Linton Daily Citizen
Connersville opens with scrimmage against Centerville -
It's deja vu all over again for the Franklin Central Flashes - Indianapolis Star
Perry Meridian team will have a different look - Indianapolis Star
Ben Davis has more depth this year - Indianapolis Star
Martinsville holds high expectations this season - Reporter-Times
North Montgomery in good position - Journal Review
Southmont has experience back - Journal Review
Area girls basketball preview (Shenandoah, Madison-Grant) - Anderson Herald-Bulletin
Sheridan must adjust to new coach - Indianapolis Star
Brebeuf success begins with their talented seniors - Indianapolis Star
Cathedral Irish expect to rely on quickness - Indianapolis Star
Heath, LaPorte girls set for scrimmage - LaPorte Herald Argus
Rebuilding just part of the game (Grant County schools) - Chronicle Tribune
Madison County girls basketball preview - Herald Bulletin

Articles of interest:
Ball State women beaten in exhibition - Muncie Star Press
Purdue women's basketball rolls to victory - College Sports News
Irish Close Out Exhibition Season With 78-45 Win - College Sports News
Curry not a big fan of international experiment - BoilerStation
Parker first women to make decision on national TV - ESPN




Friday, November 7


Valparaiso v. Highland Scrimmage Notes - The RRR ventured out to last night's scrimmage at Highland last night. A few observations:
Trouble for Valpo - Super 5'11 sophomore Erica Humes (right) crumbled to the ground during last night's scrimmage with what looked like a severe ankle sprain. The talented wing came down awkwardly after having her shot blocked on a jumper. Valparaiso will miss her in the early going if she is not able to recover in time for the start of the season. The Vikings will face Munster, Carmel, Lafayette Jeff and DAC super rival Merrillville during the first two weeks of the season. (Photo courtesy of
New talent - The most obvious talented newcomer between both teams is sophomore Katie Kane of Highland. The 6'0 sophomore, who looks like she has room to grow, was dominant on the boards and was Highland's best and most consistent scoring threat on the night. Although she didn't get a chance to go up against 6'3 Valpo junior Cassie Kerns, who didn't have enough practices in after volleyball to play, Kane held her own against Valpo's other two towers, 6'2 junior Lindsay Humes and 6'0 senior Breanne Gustke. Kane is physical, has good court awareness, and is also effective with either front or back to the basket. For Valpo, although you probably won't see her much on varsity this season, freshman Lauren Prow looks to have potential for the Vikes down the line. Also, look for confident 5'3 junior Maggie Graber of Valpo to give good sub minutes at the point this season.
A bit rusty, but ready to play - Valpo's Breanne Gustke, who played sparing backup minutes last season, used the most of her opportunity to show her senior stuff last night. More aggressive than we've seen her in the past, the 6'0 center was all over the boards and offensively aggressive in the post. Unfortunately, a lot of those close-in shots weren't falling, but we expect that will change as the season progresses.
The "new" Highland - Highland lost much to graduation and transfer, and also lost popular coach Chris Huppenthal. Under new head coach Mike Urban, the Trojans are learning anew and it showed a bit last night. Highland may struggle to start the season, especially in the backcourt where ball-handling seemed to be an issue, but the pieces are all there for a successful run in the LAC. Give these Trojans the first part of the season to pull it together, and they should be back to their old ways by January. Two who may help depth-wise are 5'7 sophomore guards Jen Vuckovich and Tina Traczyk. The backcourt duo had their moments last night and will gain valuable varsity experience for next season when graduation will take three experienced guards off the Highland roster.

PrepSports 2003-04 Fantastic 5The Ft. Wayne News Sentinel has announced it's annual Fantastic 5 (left). Ft. Wayne Luers landed two on the all-area squad in 5'11 senior guard Jessica Hathaway and 5'10 junior guard Stefanie Gerardot. Also making the elite team were 5'9 senior guard/forward Tara Dice of Churubusco, 5'4 senior guard Elizabeth Witte of Homestead and 5'11 senior center Natalie Young of Adams Central. More from the News-Sentinel:
SAC PREVIEW: Finding balance
Bishop Luers cut back on practices, games, but players' intensity wasn't diminished.

NHC PREVIEW: Full-court charge
The strength of Carroll's reserve team and freshmen will keep it on track to continue its success in the conference.

ACAC PREVIEW: Working on their roar
The Leo Lions spent the offseason developing individual, team skills, trying to climb back to the top of the heap.

AREA PREVIEW: Still on the fast track
Graduations of standout players have not derailed Garrett's chances for postseason success -- others are stepping up.

Merrillville High School's 2003-04 Women's Basketball Team is sponsoring a WELCOME BACK Alumni Night on Wednesday, November 26th, during their home game against East Chicago Central. Any former Pirate Women's Basketball player or coach will be admitted free for the games against the Cardinals by signing in at ticket office on game night. Whether you played on the Freshmen, JV or Varsity teams during your years at MHS or have been a women's basketball coach at MHS your attendance at our games on Thanksgiving Eve is appreciated and welcome. Doors open at 5:15 pm for the JV game with the Varsity game to follow at approximately 7:30 pm. A group photo will be taken of all the former players and coaches at the conclusion of the 7:30 pm Varsity game. For additional information or if you have questions, please call Coach Bob Maicher at (219)650-5307 ext. 7121 or ext. 7219.

The tournament draw for the Putnam County Girls' Basketball Tournament have been announced. Cloverdale will face North Putnam on November 21 at 6:30 p.m., immediately followed by South Putnam v. Greencastle. The tournament finals are scheduled for November 22, beginning with the consolation matchup at 6:30 p.m. All games will be played at South Putnam. Complete information:
Girls' county draw same as last year - Banner Graphic

Former East Noble standout Amber Peterink is scheduled to be in the starting lineup as a freshman for the Dayton Flyers in their first exhibition game tonight, according to the Dayton Daily News. The 6'1 forward averaged 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior at East Noble.

Season previews:
Carmel maturing Greyhounds optimistic - Indianapolis Star
Everybody plays as University begins first IHSAA season - Indianapolis Star
HSE Royals are focused on getting to the finals - Indianapolis Star
Broad Ripple Rockets simply seek to improve - Indianapolis Star
Lebanon senior has semi-state experience to lead team - Indianapolis Star
Franklin team and coach expect patience to pay off this year - Indianapolis Star
Athenians rely on quickness - Crawfordsville Journal Review
Miami County coaches getting comfortable - Peru Tribune
Manchester Lady Squires show depth in scrimmage - Wabash Plain Dealer
Union girls ready to build on last season - Linton Daily Citizen

Articles of interest:
Ball State to face Lady Stars in first exhibition game - BSU Daily News
Southern Indiana starts out with a lot of new faces on its roster - Evansville Courier & Press
Purdue forward has torn ligament - BoilerStation

Central Michigan Chippewas Fend Off All-Stars 83-68 - Central Michigan website
Lady Vols need history on their side - Knoxville News

New Mexico freshmen need to contribute - Albuquerque Tribune
New C-USA members join in July 2005 - ESPN College Sports
Atlantic 10 offers membership to Charlotte, St. Louis - Indy Channel


Thursday, November 6


Karima Davies, Gary West SideFollowing teammate Belinda Drake's announcement earlier this week, Gary West Side senior Karima Davies (right) has committed to the IUPUI Jaguars, according to The Times. Davies, a 6'1 forward, was offered a scholarship by head coach Kris Simpson Tuesday evening and immediately accepted. The Times and RRR All-Area selection averaged 11.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as her 20-4 team's leading scorer last season. Davies intends to take a pre-med route toward pediatric medicine at the Indianapolis campus. (Photo by

Gary Horace Mann junior Shanee' Butler is profiled in The Times today. The 5'6 guard has averaged 22.1 points per game over her first two seasons of high school ball and worked hard over the summer to improve other aspects of her game, especially defense. Butler is intent on upping her numbers in all categories this season and is hoping to attract the attention of college recruiters, despite playing on a team that receives little respect or media attention.

Purdue had its first exhibition game Tuesday night, and newcomer Katie Gearlds (Beech Grove) did not disappoint. The all-purpose guard lead the team in scoring with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting, while also logging 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 24 minutes. If Gearlds continues to shine as she did Tuesday night, coach Kristy Curry will be hard put to keep her out of the starting lineup. More:
Gearlds makes impressive debut - BoilerStation
Boilermaker potential flourishes with newcomers in the forefront - Purdue Exponent
Women's basketball beats OGBM Legends 84-61 - Purdue website

Ellen Hamilton, ButlerAnother freshman who turned heads in her debut performance was Ellen Hamilton (Greenfield-Central) of Butler. The 5'10 guard came off the bench to lead her team in scoring with 14 points in 12 minutes of play against the Reebok Lady Stars last night. Hamilton was 4 for 4 from long range and also perfect from the free throw line for two more. Complete coverage:
Reebok Lady Stars Hold off Bulldogs 75-70 - Butler website

Louisville senior Sara Nord (Jeffersonville) made her final college season debut a noteworthy one. The Conference USA assists leader gave notice that she is ready to repeat that distinction by dishing out an amazing 15 assists in her team's exhibition opener last night. The 2000 Miss Basketball also scored 11 points and pulled down 4 rebounds in 26 minutes in a 91-61 win over the OGBM legends. Nord's backup at point guard, Jessica Huggins (New Albany), logged 5 assists in 16 minutes as well.

Jordan Robertson of Greencastle is profiled in the Banner-Graphic. The 5'9 junior forward and three-sport athlete was selected by the IHSAA for its anti-drug promotional campaign to appear on posters around the state.

ESPN has released its Top 25 Preseason Rankings, as well as some other rankings for player positions. Connecticut leads the way in the rankings while Purdue comes in at No. 9 and Notre Dame at No. 16. Purdue's Erika Valek was also listed as one of the Top 5 Point Guards in the nation. Nancy Lieberman also has her own Preseason Top 25, which tabs the Boilermakers at No. 11. More: Top 5 Off-Guards

Season previews:
Girls' basketball season nearing next week's tip-off - Linton Daily Citizen
Marian close to reaching fruition - South Bend Tribune
Shakamak girls should be more fun to watch - Linton Daily Citizen
McCutcheon Mavs strengthen their bench - Lafayette Journal & Courier
Penn starts anew with young roster - South Bend Tribune
Zionsville wants a winning habit - Indianapolis Star
Lapel must develop fast to keep winning - Indianapolis Star
Pendleton Heights young veterans could produce special season - Indianapolis Star
Triton Central Tigers seek return to winning - Indianapolis Star
Morristown Yellow Jackets await volleyball arrivals - Indianapolis Star
Summer league gives Center Grove team a boost - Indianapolis Star
Indianapolis Lutheran Saints are ready to play up to their abilities - Indianapolis Star
Skill, experience may aid North Central Panthers in quest for state - Indianapolis Star
Noblesville balance is key as talent changes - Indianapolis Star

Articles of interest:
Big East to be basketball behemoth - South Bend Tribune
First night out (ISU) - Terre Haute Tribune Star
St. Mary-of-the-Woods rallies to win season opener - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Louisville Cardinals moving to Big East - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Louisville's move to the Big East drastically impacts their women's program - Louisville Courier-Journal


Tuesday, November 4


Photo courtesy of strempkagallery.comAccording to The Times, Gary West Side point guard Belinda Drake has committed to IUPUI. Drake, a 5'4 spark plug who appears on the RRR home page, chose IUPUI over Southern Illinois and Chicago State. As a junior, Drake ran the point for the Cougars on the way to the NWI 4A Regional finals, averaging 8.0 points and 4.3 assists per game. The All-Area player and RRR Super Senior selection will join fellow Regionite Brooke McAfee of Valparaiso on the IUPUI roster next fall. (Photo courtesy of
West Side teammate Karima Davies is still visiting colleges. The 6'1 power forward, who also appears on the RRR home page, went along with Drake on her visit to IUPUI and has a standing offer from Chicago State, where sister Kafayat Davies is a senior. Other colleges known to be showing interest in the talented post player are Wisconsin Green-Bay and Southern Mississippi.

Avon senior Kristin Drabyn (formerly of LaPorte) has committed to Division-I University of Maryland-Baltimore County.  Drabyn, a 5'7 point guard, averaged 16.0 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game as a junior last season for head coach Steve Drabyn, her dad. The two-year All-Metro First Team and All-County selection chose the Retrievers over Campbell, Indiana Wesleyan, Franklin and DePauw. Drabyn, who has already set the Avon all-time season free throw shooting percentage record (92.0%), will join UMBC freshmen Shari Rhode (Franklin Central) and Heather Luttrell (Northwestern) on the Retrievers roster next season.

Indiana State super soph Melanie Boeglin (Terre Haute South) will miss the next two to three weeks of basketball due to arthroscopic surgery on her knee. According to the Terre Haute Tribune Star, no serious damage was found in Boeglin's knee when the surgery was completed last Thursday.

The dreams of Indian Creek senior Adrienne Squire to be an Indiana All-Star are discussed in the Johnson County Daily Journal.

April McDivittTennessee transfer April McDivitt (Connersville) scored 13 points and logged 5 assists and 4 rebounds with 0 turnovers in 25 minutes as a starter for the Gauchos of UC-Santa Barbara last night.  The 2000 Miss Basketball 5'7 guard was 50% from the field and 6 for 6 from the free throw line. Complete coverage: UC Santa Barbara Tops Latvian Select 87-71 in First Exhibition Action of 2003-04

According to the Indianapolis Star, all seven Indianapolis Public Schools will be sporting new home and away varsity basketball uniforms this season due to a donation from the Pacers Foundation.

The ICGSA Preseason Poll will be out next Monday, November 10.

Season previews: 
Young Whiteland team faces a year of constructing itself - Indianapolis Star
Greenwood will focus on defense to achieve goal of winning season - Indianapolis Star
Lawrence Central seniors hope to lead fast team to more wins - Indianapolis Star
Westfield team will use what it has - Indianapolis Star

Articles of interest: 
Andrews, St. Francis basketball team on rebound - Ft. Wayne News Sentinel
Good first impression (Notre Dame) - South Bend Tribune
Irish Open Exhibition Season With Easy Win Over Northwest Sports - ND website
UK Women Top Athletes in Action in Exhibition Game - Kentucky website
Miami (OH)
Women's Basketball Falls 102-75 in Exhibition Opener - Miami website
Heikes moves into starting role (Purdue) - Boiler Station
Boilers to open season against Legends - Purdue Exponent



Monday, November 3


Alexandria junior Jodi Howell, Indiana's leading returning scorer this season, committed to head coach Kristy Curry of Purdue after the Boilermakers' intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday. Howell, who has averaged 25.8 points per game over her two year high school career, chose Purdue over Notre Dame, South Carolina and Texas. We asked Jodi, and her dad, Alexandria coach Jon Howell, some questions about her decision.
Alexandria's Jodi Howell will be a Boilermaker in '05 - RRR
More coverage:
Jodi Howell commits to Purdue - Herald Bulletin
Alexandria girls' basketball standout commits to Purdue - Muncie Star Press
Purdue women land Alexandria star Howell
- Indianapolis Star
Junior standout picks Purdue - Boilerstation
Women's Standout Commits to Purdue - G&B Illustrated
Jodi Howell commits to Purdue! - Old Gold Free Press
Conversation with Jon Howell - Old Gold Free Press

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mariesa Greene (left) of Warren Central, has committed to the University of Chicago-Illinois. The 6'0 Greene, who transferred from Richmond to the Indianapolis school mid-season last year, was also the IHSAA high jump state champion this past spring with a winning leap of 5'9".

In a scheduling coup, South Bend St. Joseph's will play Naperville Central (IL) and the top high school player in the nation, Candace Parker, on Tuesday, January 27 at Valparaiso University.  According to the SB St. Joe's girls basketball website, setting up this matchup has been in the works for some time between the coaching staffs of both schools. Parker, who tore her ACL during the summer, is expected to be back on the court for Naperville in January. This game will be a special treat for Region fans of girls basketball, who are in close proximity to the VU campus.

North Central has been rated as the 16th best team in the nation at The Panthers are the only team listed in the first installment of 25 teams on Clay Kallam's Girls Basketball Preseason FAB 50. North Central's offense will revolved around super 6'6 soph Amber Harris this season.

The Times out of Munster has announced the girls lineup for its annual Region Roundball Rumble (no association with this website). Unlike previous years when a team from beyond the Region was invited to compete against a NWI team, this year's girls game on the marquee is between two of NWI's most competitive programs, Gary West Side and Andrean. The Cougars of the 'Side, who return the bulk of their Regional qualifying roster from last season, will most likely be favored against the 59ers, who went a respectable 15-9 in 2002-03 against a tough


We have added two new players to our prospects lists. Senior Jessica Henn of Huntington North has been added to the 2004 Prospects page, and sophomore Amanda Stull of Rushville has been added to the 2006 Prospects page.

IU Northwest is looking to expand its roster. New head coach Tony Zezovski, who replaces Dennis Spoor from last season, will make do with a very solid NWI lineup. Region fans will recognize the names on IUN's all new roster for the this season: Mariel Yekich (5'8 Sr) of Lake Central, Lisa Matie (5'9 So) of Hobart, Lynn Poncsak (5'7 Fr) of Hebron, Heather Renehan (5'8 Fr) of Merrillville, Brittany Drobac (5'9 Fr) of Hobart and Jennifer McMullin (5'8 Fr) of Crown Point. Zezovski, who coached in the boys program at Crown Point for five years, is hoping to add some additional names to the roster at the start of next semester, according to the Post-Tribune. If you know someone who would like more information about playing for the Lady RedHawks, tell them to contact head coach Tony Zezovski at (219) 980-6746 or Athletic Director Linda Anderson at (219) 980-6793.

Kim SmithFormer Gary West Side standout Kim Smith (left) is expected to have a breakout season for the Miami (OH) RedHawks this season. According to head coach Maria Fantanarosa, "Kim Smith is a totally different player this year. She has improved so much, and her intensity is at a new level. She's always been a great defender, but now she's finishing her shots both in and out of the paint and gaining a lot of confidence." Complete coverage on the Miami women's website.

Louisville senior and former Miss Basketball Sara Nord will be shouldering some huge offensive responsibilities this season. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, new head coach Tom Collen is asking Nord to kick up her offensive scoring contributions from last season's 14.1 points to 25 points per game. He also wants her to average at least 7 assists per game. Nord, who holds an assist average of 7.5 per contest during her college career, is ready for the challenge and wants to be part of a new era for women's basketball at Louisville under Collen.

Former Bedford North Lawrence basketball star of the early '90s, Wendy (May) Houk, is trying to do her part to begin a new era of greatness at BNL. According to the Bedford Times-Mail, Houk has taken a job as the sixth grade coach at Fayetteville Elementary, which feeds into the BNL system. Houk was a member of the Stars team that went to the state finals three years in a row from 1990 to 1992.

Season previews:
Experienced Roncalli Rebels ready for pressure - Indianapolis Star
Loss of coach, top player challenges 3A state champs Beech Grove - Indianapolis Star
New Palestine Dragons have experience, hope they've turned the corner - Indianapolis Star

Articles of interest:
Two high school athletes take a stand for fair play - Y-Press
Crusaders off to a good start - The Times
Crusaders Win Exhibition Game 73-65 over Reebok Lady Stars - Valparaiso website
Wright Scores 22 In Women's Basketball Scrimmage  - Purdue website
Murray State Lady Racers Unveiled at 'Fan Jam' - Murray State website
Women's Basketball Continues to Gain Confidence - Miami (OH) website
A Conversation With Bowling Green Head Coach Curt Miller - BGU website
Program lowers ACL injuries -



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