Region Roundball Review

January, 2000
News & Updates


Welcome to the news area of the Region Roundball Review. This page will be updated as information becomes available. Please note that not all links shown here will stay active indefinitely. Many links are to daily on-line publications that change or remove links from their sites on a daily basis. For your convenience, you can use the calendar at the right to access news for a particular day.

If you have any news about girls basketball in the Region or around the State, please e-mail us with your information and we will include it here. Thanks. 

January, 2000
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23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Important upcoming dates:

February 7 - IHSAA sectional draws

News thru Friday, January 28


West Side junior Kim Smith is featured in The Times today.  The 5'10 forward is coming into her own near the end of this season and taking on a more versatile role for the Cougars this season.  Also, a couple of girls basketball notes appear in The Times.

Hanover Central senior Melanie Brumbaugh reached a career milestone last night, breaking the 1000-point career mark.  With 23 points against Boone Grove, the hard-working forward now has a career total of 1,001 points.

Another Indiana senior joined the 1000 point club as well.  Senior Bridget Pluta of South Bend St. Joseph's scored 16 points in a 69-38 loss to Penn to total 1005 points so far in her high school career.

According to Ed Robinson of Southern Indiana's High School Basketball, Kirsti Holloway of New Washington pulled off a rare quadruple double with 26 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals against Crothersville Tuesday night.

As we reported Wednesday, Valpo's Erin Sampsel has committed to St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer.  The Times reports on the senior point guard's decision to play for the Pumas.

The Times and Post-Tribune top teams lists for the week are as follows:

The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Munster
4. Portage
5. West Side
6. North Newton
7. Griffith
8. Lake Central
9. Chesterton
10. Hanover Central
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Portage 
4. Munster
5. North Judson
6. West Side
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Crown Point
10. Lake Central


The Luers Knights travel to Huntington North tomorrow for what should be one of the major matchups toward the end of the regular season.  Luers, ranked No. 1 in 2A, has already knocked off a couple of 4A powers, including FW Snider.  Huntington North is playing some of its best basketball of the season and just recently captured the OAC tournament crown.  The FW Journal Gazette and the Huntington Press (scroll down for story) are both carrying a preview to the event, which is being highly promoted by the Huntington North athletic department.

According to Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star, nearly 40 percent of five Indianapolis Public High School athletes have been ruled ineligible for the second semester of the school year.  Of  509 winter athletes, 203 have been declared ineligible for the remainder of their winter sports seasons.  Although the article lists a number of boys IPS basketball teams that have lost key players due to grades, it is unclear at this point which girls teams will feel the effect.  The reason for the great number of ineligible players is due to a new IPS athletic participation policy that went into effect this school year.  In order to remain eligible, student athletes must maintain a "C" average or better for the semester, as well as 90 percent classroom attendance.

According to the Huntington Press, Huntington North will be remaining -- for now -- in the Olympic Athletic Conference, which lost four teams that defected to other conferences recently.  Only five schools remain in the OAC.  The Vikings have been turned down by the Northeast Hoosier Conference and were not able to meet the conditional offer of membership with the Summit Athletic Conference.

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is carrying a couple of articles about girls basketball that we missed earlier in the week.  We don't know how much longer they'll be on-line, but you can try.  One is regarding the number of female coaches in the FW area, and the other is about some of the taller FW area players.

According to the Indianapolis Star, next Tuesday is the moving day for the National Federation of State High School Associations, which will relocate its headquarters to Indianapolis after a 21-year stay in Kansas City, Mo.  Two days after the move, the NFSHSA will be the host for a National Girls and Women in Sports Day program at Union Station in downtown Indianapolis. More than 200 people are expected to attend the event.

We had intended to update all of our RRR Players to Watch lists and change our Top 20 Seniors list to a Top 40 Seniors list after the first of the year, but time constraints have prevented us from accomplishing that feat so far.  We appreciate the number of requests for including certain players, and we have been able to add a few players here and there as time permits within the context of our daily updates.  We will do our best to update those lists completely when we are able.  Thanks for your patience.

The Purdue women's website is highlighting Kelly Komara (Lake Central) in its Time Out With... feature this week.  Did you know that Kelly has a car named Sebastian?


News thru Wednesday, January 26


A couple of late items for today's news:


According to family sources, Valpo senior Erin Sampsel has verbally committed to St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer.  The 6'0 point guard has posted some impressive numbers this season for the Vikings, leading NWI in assists at 6.1 per game.  Sampsel's scoring abilities have also been a factor lately for the Vikings, as the senior has been coming up big on the scoreboard in some of Valpo's toughest games in the back half of the season.  Valpo missed Sampsel's 10.4 ppg scoring average against Lake Central last night, when Valpo suffered its first loss of the season.  Sampsel did not play due to an ankle injury.  Citing a special liking of the St. Joseph's coach, players, campus and academic program, Sampsel chose the Rensselaer school over several D1 programs looking to pick up the savvy PG.  She looks like a good fit for the Pumas, who will lose five seniors (three who are guards) to graduation after this season.  For more information on Sampsel, you can view our RRR  Featured Player Report posted earlier in the year.

According to the Indianapolis Star, another senior point guard has verbally committed to a program mid-season from the Indianapolis area.  Kellie Speckman of Avon has verballed to Lewis University.  The senior holds her school record for career assists with 320.

The big news in the Region today is the 56-54 upset of No. 2 Valparaiso by Lake Central last night.  Valpo suffered without the services of its floor captain, senior Erin Sampsel, who suffered an ankle injury at practice on Monday.  Credit must be given to the 8-9 Indians, however, who were also playing without starters Lauren Hayes and Kristin Rucinski.  The star of the night was LC senior Mariel Yekich, who dominated the game with 26 points, including a running 7-foot jumper at the buzzer for the winning shot.  For Valpo, Lee Traynham led her team back from the dead in the fourth quarter with 9 points to overcome a 14-point deficit.  It wasn't enough, however, and the previously undefeated Vikings join the state ranks of the mortal -- teams in the state that have blemished records.  You can read a recap of the game in today's Times On-Line.

According to news at the IHSAA website, the 2000 IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament will mark an important milestone in Indiana high school sports history.  The IHSAA will mark this year's tournament with a special salute to the first 25 years of IHSAA girls basketball tournament play.  Saluting The First Silver Era is the theme of the 2000 IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament. As part of the celebration, the IHSAA has assembled a panel of coaches, sportswriters, broadcasters, game officials and athletic administrators to select the most outstanding players of the first 25 years. Those 12 women, the First Silver Era honorees, will be revealed next week in a series of announcements by the IHSAA. The First Silver Era players have been invited to be a part of the 25th IHSAA State Finals on March 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  Details of that celebration will be announced later by the IHSAA.
NWI members of the First Silver Era selection Committee include Tom May of Crown Point and Allison Buell, a reporter for Regional Radio Sports Network out of Crown Point.  For a complete listing of the committee members, you can go to the IHSAA press release outlining the details of the Silver Era celebration.

The IHSAA State Scoring Leaders list is out for the week, with very few changes in the top few scorers.  River Forest senior Traci Mezera (23.5 ppg) and Highland junior Jenny DeMuth (22.3 ppg) represent the Region.  Also, IHSAA milestones highlighted this week are as follows:
Jeanette Guthrie, a senior at Henryville, became the third girl in school history to score 1,000 career points. She reached the plateau Jan. 18 with 12 points in a 59-34 triumph at Graceland Christian.

Kaelin Hall, a senior at Charlestown, became the fifth player in school history to score 1,000 career points. She reached the milestone Jan. 15 with 26 points in a 79-53 victory at Henryville.

Suzie Hammel, a senior at Lebanon, hit a school-record 11 three-point goals in 13 attempts on her way to a school-record 50 points Jan. 21 as the Tigers defeated visiting North Montgomery 92-39. Hammel's scoring total tied Shanna Zolman of Wawasee for the state best this season. Her three-point total ranks second among all-time reported performances to Jill Reynolds of New Harmony, who hit of 13 of 18 treys Jan. 27, 1996 against Palestine, Ill. For the season, Hammel is averaging 22.2 points a game. 

Cathy Herring, a senior at Hammond Morton, became the school's career scoring leader Jan. 18 in an 88-32 victory over Gary Wallace. She scored 25 points in the game, running her career total to 1,314.
Lynne Johnson, a senior at Corydon Central, scored the 1,500th point of her career Jan. 18 against North Harrison. She set the school's career scoring record last season. Through games of Jan. 22, Johnson's total was 1,518.

Central Indiana Sports has released is Top 25 girls rankings for the week.

1. BEN DAVIS v Carmel J28
2. FW BISHOP LUERS v Harding J27, v Huntington N J29
3. CATHEDRAL v Manual J27, v McCutcheon J29
4. HIGHLAND v Morton J28, v Lafayette Jeff J29
5. FORT WAYNE SNIDER v FW Southside J31
6. TWIN LAKES v Peru J26, v Tri-County J28, v Lewis Cass F1
7. NEW ALBANY v Seymour J27, v Floyd Central J29, v Shelby County, KY F1
8. VALPARAISO v Merrillville J29, v Kankakee Valley F1
9. MOUNT VERNON-FORTVILLE v Pendleton Heights J26, v Anderson J27,v New Castle F1
10. JEFFERSONVILLE v Providence J27
11. HUNTINGTON NORTH v Bishop Luers J29, v Marion F1
12. TERRE HAUTE SOUTH v Northview J27, v Terre Haute North J29, v West Vigo F1
13. CENTER GROVE v Lawrence North J28, v Carmel F1
14. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL v Evansville Harrison J26, v Castle J31
15. KOKOMO v Richmond J29, v North Central F1
16. ROCHESTER v Culver Academy J29, v Oak Hill F1
17. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON v South Bend Adams J27
18. PERRY MERIDIAN v Decatur Central F1
19. FRANKLIN v Roncalli J27, v Shelbyville F1
20. NORTH JUDSON v Knox J28, v Rensselaer F1
21. PORTAGE v Michigan City J29
21. CORYDON CENTRAL v Brownstown Central J29
23. NORTH NEWTON v Kankakee Valley J27, v North White F1
23. MUNSTER v Griffith
24. LEBANON v Southmont J28
24. JENNINGS COUNTY v Connersville F1
25. DeKALB v Carroll-Allen J27, v Goshen F1

According to the Post-Tribune (one-day link), Gary West grad Melaniece Bardley, now a senior at Southern Illinois, has an impressive season going with the Salukis this season.  All this while studying pre-law and working 15 hours a week at the bookstore.  A very nice story about a hard-working young lady.

News thru Tuesday, January 25


The ICGSA Poll was released yesterday with no real big surprises.
In 4A, Center Grove dropped a few notches after losing to No. 1 Ben Davis, moving up Highland one notch to the No. 3 spot by default.  Valpo holds strong at No. 2.  New Albany also moved up one after a big win over No. 7 Jeffersonville.  Huntington North continued to climb, moving to a tie for No. 5 after capturing the OAC Tournament title, and 16-0 DeKalb makes its first appearance in the Top 10.  A large number of votes separates the top 4 teams from the rest of the pack.  Locally, Munster and Gary West Side picked up a few votes in the runners-up category.
In 3A, the top 6 remain intact, although No. 1 Cathedral lost a first place vote to No. 2 Mt. Vernon.  Westfield enters the 3A Top 10 for the first time this season with a 12-2 record, while Beech Grove drops off the Top 10 radar.
In 2A, Forest Park rocketed from No. 9 to No. 5 after Lewis Cass, Winchester and Triton Central all picked up losses last week.  Runner-up Hebron dropped a vote after losing to unranked Hanover Central in the PCC Tournament.
In 1A, White River Valley stands in strong at No. 1, picking up 2 wins and an additional first place vote in the process.  No. 2 New Washington solidified its position as well, picking up 2 first place votes after No. 4 Rising Sun dropped a game last week.  Locally, No. 10 Kouts appears in the Top 10 for the first time this season, even though the Fillies picked up a loss to Hanover Central in the PCC Tournament. 

Along with the ICGSA Poll distributed yesterday, a special notice appeared from Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Garry Donna regarding the HBM Top 100 Senior Girls List as follows:
If any varsity high school coach or other individual wants to nominate a senior player(s) for 
Hoosier Basketball Magazine
1999-2000 Top 100 Senior Girls List
you can do so by calling (317) 925-8200, Monday thru Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by writing Hoosier Basketball Magazine, 3750 North Guion Road, Suite 315, Indianapolis, IN  46222.  If a player is named to the Top 100 Senior List, she will be considered for an invitation to Hoosier Basketball's Girls Top 40 Workout on Sunday, March 5, 2000, at Marian College in Indianapolis.  Any questions, call (317) 925-8200.

The RRR Top 12 was posted yesterday with our top picks for NWI and the state.

Ben Davis moved up one position to No. 4 in the USA Today Super 25 rankings after previous No. 3 Fenwick Park (IL) lost by 24 points to USA Today's No. 2 team Mason (Ohio) at the Ameritech Shootout right before the Highland (IN) vs. Stevenson (IL) game last week.

News and notes in the South Bend Tribune include info about Bremen's improving program and junior Emily Creachbaum of Mishawaka Marian.

2A Tippecanoe Valley sophomore Tabitha Pratt acquired a stress fracture of her tibia early in the season after setting a season scoring average of 28.8 ppg in the early going.  The hope was that Pratt would be able to return to the TV lineup before sectionals, but according to Coach Gary Teel, Pratt will not be back on the floor for the Vikings until next season.  "She is a great kid and comes to practice everyday to shoot and help out," says Teel.  "She loves the game and really misses it.  It has been a difficult time for her to sit on the sidelines and not be able to help her teammates."  In the meantime, Pratt is going through rehab and doing some stationary shooting and passing drills.  She also ranks No. 1 in her class academically.  Coach Teel hopes Pratt will be recognized for her contributions to the TV team despite a shortened season.  In the upcoming weeks, Teel is looking for his young 4-11 team to hopefully pick up a couple of wins for a confidence boost heading into the February sectionals.

After senior Suzie Hammel transferred out of the Lafayette Jeff program, many thought the Bronchos would be rebuilding for a few years before they had another contender.  But junior Julie Shirley and the rest of the young Bronchos had different ideas.  Shirley is leading the Lafayette Jeff Bronchos in scoring and on the floor.  According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, she and her teammates have turned their team into a late-season contender.

The Lafayette Journal & Courier also features Ebba Gebisa of West Lafayette.  The 6'3 versatile junior can play just about anywhere on the floor, from point guard to center.  

It will be a battle of the rebuilding programs on Wednesday when Martinsville travels to Connersville for what should be a classic matchup.  The Connersville News-Examiner is carrying a preview to the game.  Both teams are currently shoring up with good results after experiencing years of unparalleled success at the local and state levels.

Last week, senior Abby Scharlow became only the third girl in New Albany High School history to score 1000 points or more. She joins Rae Lyn Macintosh (Dayton Fliers starting center) and Kennitra Johnson (UConn's frosh phenom) in this feat.  Scharlow scored her 1000th point early in the first quarter of the her team's win over Jeffersonville.  She will be honored on Thursday night before the the Lady Bulldogs' game against Seymour.

The Shelbyville News is carrying a number of rescheduling announcements for girls basketball games in that area.

Purdue's Kelly Komara of Lake Central (at left) will be interviewed on "Inside College Sports," together with men's coach Gene Keady and players Brian Cardinal and Mike Robinson.  The show will air at 8:30 p.m. tonight on Hammond ATT&T Cable Channel 16, and at 9:00 p.m. Thursday on Lake Area AT&T, also on Cable Channel 16.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star offers up some news and notes about women's college basketball, including Notre Dame's rise in the AP poll to No. 5 and news about former Indiana high school players, including WNBA Fever's Stephanie McCarty (Seeger), Heather Cusick (Kokomo), Brenda Schlegel (Heritage), Kris Johnson (Mt. Vernon), Vicki Painter (Heritage Hills), and 1986 Indiana All-Star Jeannette Yeoman (Harrison).

The South Bend Tribune is carrying a really great story about Muffett McGraw, head coach at Notre Dame, and how she has consistently produced a winning program at Notre Dame the past 13 years.  Some great anticdotes about McGraw's recruiting experiences are also in the story.  A good read.

According to coach Tracy Roller, Ball State will be battling Western Michigan for sole possession of first place of the MAC West Division tomorrow evening.  Both teams are 5-1 in conference competition after Ball State upset Toledo on Sunday, tying both teams for first place.  Former Eastbrook standout Laurie Kitts scored 18 points, including 4 treys, in the upset.  Should be a great game.  You can get more information about the game and the Ball State team at their official team website.

News for the week of January 17-23


Thanks to everyone for being patient with our week away from full coverage of girls basketball at the RRR.  Although we weren't able to keep up with complete news coverage, here's a bit of news from here and there from the past week.

Morton senior Cathy Herring scored 25 points Tuesday against Lew Wallace which gives her a total of 1314 career points.  This broke a 37-year old Morton scoring mark set by Ron Royer in 1963.  Herring became the girl's all-time leading scorer at Morton her sophomore year.

The Times and Post-Tribune top teams lists for the week are as follows:

The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Valparaiso
2. Highland 
3. Portage 
4. Munster
5. West Side
6. North Newton
7. Griffith
8. Hebron
9. Kankakee Valley
10. Gavit
1. Highland
2. Portage 
3. Valparaiso 
4. Munster
5. North Judson
6. West Side
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Lake Central
10. Crown Point


South Bend Washington junior Jackie Batteast was featured in the South Bend Tribune earlier this week.  Region-area fans will get a look at the SB Tribune's 1999 Player of the Year when her team comes to Portage for Sectional 3 in February.  SB Washington moves up as a new addition to the 4A lineup at Sectional 3 after capturing the 3A Sectional 19 championship last season.  Washington will be introduced to 4A sectional competition in a baptism by fire, having to compete with NWI powerhouses Valpo and Portage to make it out.

Central Indiana Sports released is Top 25 girls rankings earlier this week.  Also, you can view the CIS Top 40 Seniors released today, which includes Top 10 Miss Basketball Candidates and Top 18 Juniors, accessible at any time from our Rankings & Statistics page.

1. BEN DAVIS beat Center Grove 73-58
2. FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS beat Fort Wayne Northrup 76-66, Norwell J22, v Fort Wayne Elmhurst J25
3. VALPARAISO beat Portage 57-47, v Lake Central J25
4. CATHEDRAL v Richmond J20 ppd, beat Perry Meridian 65-61
5. HIGHLAND beat Lake Central 67-47
6. JEFFERSONVILLE lost to New Albany 67-56, beat Silver Creek 90-43
7. FORT WAYNE SNIDER beat Fort Wayne Wayne 77-45,beat South Bend Riley 75-54, v DeKalb J25
8. TWIN LAKES beat Soutmont 104-53
9. NEW ALBANY beat Jeffersonville 67-56
10. MOUNT VERNON-FORTVILLE beat Greenfield Central 63-43
11. BROWNSBURG beat Hamilton Southeastern 81-46, lost to Huntington North 52-48, lost to Noblesville in OAC Tourney 75-69 overtime v Western Boone J25
12. CENTER GROVE lost to Ben Davis 73-58
14. TERRE HAUTE SOUTH beat Clinton Prarie 68-57,beat Carmel 50-44, v Mooresville J25
15. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON v Culver Academy J25
16. PERRY MERIDIAN lost to Cathedral 65-61, v Franklin Central J25
17. FRANKLIN v Mooresville J22, v Oldenburg J25
18. NORTH JUDSON beat Winamac 67-51
19. KOKOMO v Logansport J20 ppd, beat Muncie Central 55-45
21. ROCHESTER v Triton J20 ppd, v North Miami J24
22. PORTAGE lost to Valparaiso 57-47, v Hammond Bishop Noll J25
23. HUNTINGTON NORTH beat Harrison-West Lafayette 65-59, beat Brownsburg 52-48, beat Connersville 51-46
24. NORTH NEWTON v South Newton J20 ppd
24. JENNINGS COUNTY beat Bedford North Lawrence 54-44, v Floyd Central J25
25. MUNSTER beat Hammond Gavit 62-36
25. LEBANON beat North Montgomery 92-39, v Pike Township J25

A number of changes have been made to the summer participations rules again this season by the IHSAA, as outlined in their press release of January 18.  The changes will take effect immediately, and basically include the following:

During the school year (outside the authorized contest season) and during the summer...   

Also, you can now view the entire IHSAA By-Laws on the IHSAA website.  The version is not too user friendly (it does not have a hyperlink index), but it does provide a way to view the rules if you don't have the IHSAA By-Laws book.

Lebanon senior guard Suzie Hammel set two school records with 50 points and 11 3-point baskets when the Tigers routed visiting North Montgomery 92-39 Friday night.

Mishawaka Marian junior Emily Creachbaum poured in 35 points to set a new single-game Marian scoring record as the Knights beat Concord 63-50 for their first-ever win over the Minute(wo)men Tuesday night.  Creachbaum’s 35 beat the previous record of 31 set by former Marian star Mary Wooley.

Previously cancelled due to inclement weather, the Seeger vs. Turkey Run game has been rescheduled for February 5 at 1:00 p.m.

Northrop freshman point guard Kelsey Corbin is featured in the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel.

Two players were featured this week in the Indianapolis Star - Jessica Scherer of Triton Central (written by former Times writer Steve Hanlon), and Stephanie Miller of Tri-West.

Morristown's Melissa Nigh is featured in the Shelbyville News.  The senior leads the Shelby County area in scoring (17.1), assists (4.1) and steals (2.8) per game.

On occasion, coaches have come under criticism now and then for allowing players to stay on the floor in blowouts to build up stats or break records, but this one beats them all.  The South Bend Tribune reports that a 40-year old record still stands for the most points scored by a single player in a game at 147.  No kidding.  Forty years later, the criticism still continues.

A few high school notes from Pat McKee at the Indianapolis Star:
• Ben Davis senior Sara Strahm has committed to attend Butler next season on a basketball scholarship. The 5-10 Strahm is averaging 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Class 4A No. 1 Giants. The next signing period begins in April.

• Lapel senior Andrea Jennings became the school's second player to surpass 1,000 points. She is second to Lindsay Winkler (1,632) on the Bulldogs' career list.

Jenny Pfeiffer of Jennings County hit a school-record six 3-pointers en route to 22 points in a 67-43 victory over Brownstown on Saturday.

Pat McKee offers up more notes and news about Butler University and others in the Indianapolis Star.

The Indianapolis Fever has released its 2000 summer schedule, which is available in the Indianapolis Star.

News thru Friday, January 14


The clash of the 2A titans took place last night when No. 3 North Newton traveled to No. 2 North Judson, with the Bluejays coming out on top in this thriller 73-65.   After trailing by 9 at the half, the Spartans put together an outstanding third quarter to take the lead by one heading into the fourth.  But North Judson rallied from the free throw line, hitting 7 of 12 to win the game.  Kristie King was the game's leading scorer with 24, including a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line.  Three other NJ players were in double figures as well.  Kristi Koselke was leading scorer for North Newton with 23 (4 treys), followed by Becky Schuster with 17.  A side note to the game was that NJ sophomore Melinda Bunkowfst (11.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg) is out for the season after she suffered an ACL injury at practice on Wednesday.  She underwent surgery last night and will most likely be out for the season.  You can read the recap on this exciting game in the Post-Tribune (one-day link).

The Times and Post-Tribune top teams lists are out today as follows:

The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Portage 
4. West Side
5. North Newton
6. Munster
7. Griffith
8. Hebron
9. Lowell
10. Gavit
1. Highland
2. Portage 
3. Valparaiso 
4. Munster
5. West Side
6. North Judson
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Crown Point
10. Lake Central

Kouts junior Erica Martin is featured again in The Times today.  The outstanding shooter is on track to break the Porter County career scoring record of 1,642 points set in 1990 by Kouts assistant coach, former Fillie Becky Gesse.  

Also mentioned in The Times is another assistant coach who has returned to the fold -- past Crown Point great and former Indiana All-Star Nancy Cowan.  Cowan, whose married name is now Eksten, is offering a veteran's point guard perspective to Tom May's Lady Bulldogs, including sophomore point guard Alex Webster.  Cowan still can show the youngsters a thing or two, often going head-to-head with Webster in practice.  Says Webster, "She shows up to practice in work clothes and still schools us.  She's got the quickest hands, and I'm glad I only have to face her in practice."  Cowan's point guard pointers are paying off for the sophomore understudy.  Webster tied one of Cowan's many school records with 10 assists at Plymouth in late November.

The Hebron Hawks, led by the 30 points of senior Melissa Stokke, outlasted Hanover Central 62-58 to take the Porter County Conference crown with a 7-0 sweep Wednesday.  Hanover Central senior Melanie Brumbaugh was the leading scorer in the game with 33, which put her at the top of the career scoring list at HC, breaking the old record of 900 by 1989 grad Kelly Kopack.  Hanover Central may get a second crack at the Hawks in the championship game, although several other PCC contenders might have something to say about that.  The PCC Tournament begins next Wednesday at various sites as follows:
Hanover vs. Kouts
Wheeler vs. Washington Twp.
Boone Grove vs. Morgan Twp.
Hebron vs. LaCrosse
Semi-Finals on 1/21/00 at Morgan Twp.
6:00 p.m. - Hanover/Kouts v. Wheeler/Wash. Twp.
7:30 p.m. - Boone/Morgan Twp. v. Hebron/LaCrosse
Finals on 1/22/00 at Boone Grove
6:30 p.m. - Championship Game 

South Bend Clay had a week of unparalleled success with consecutive wins over three top programs in the North Central part of the state -- Penn, NorthWood and South Bend Riley.  The 10-3 Colonials' leading scorer is senior Doye Byrd, who hit the winning shot with 4 seconds left to snatch a 62-59 win away from Riley last night.  You can read the game recap at the South Bend Tribune.

The Kokomo Tribune is carrying an in-depth piece about the 4A No. 7 Kokomo Lady Kats, who are currently 11-1.  Kokomo will be traveling to Villa Park, Illinois, to play Chicago-area Maria at 7:00 p.m. in the Ameritech Chicagoland Classic Shootout tonight.  Highland will also be at the Classic, with a scheduled game against Chicago Tribune No. 6 Stevenson Saturday at 6:30 p.m.  Following the Highland game, it would be wise for fans to stick around to see some outstanding competition when USA Today No. 3 Fenwick takes on USA Today No. 2 Mason, Ohio.  Four Indiana teams in all will participate in this very competitive event, but Highland will be the only Hoosier team highly tested with a ranked opponent.  The following is a schedule of games for Friday, Saturday and Monday.  All games will be played at Willowbrook High School:

Maria vs. Kokomo, 7 p.m.
Springfield (Mo.) Glendale vs. Washington, 8:30 p.m.
St. Ignatius vs. Kokomo, 11 a.m.
North Newton vs. Maine West, 12:30 p.m.
Machesney Park Harlem vs. Andrew, 2 p.m.
Barrington vs. Springfield (MO) Glendale, 3:30 p.m.
USA Today No. 3 Fenwick vs. USA Today No. 2 Mason (OH), 5 p.m.
Highland vs. Stevenson, 6:30 p.m.
Waubonsie Valley vs. Nazareth, 11 a.m.
Maine West vs. Willowbrook, 12:30 p.m.
South Bend Washington vs. West Aurora, 2 p.m.
Hinsdale Central vs. Mason (Ohio), 3:30 p.m.
Fremd vs. Hinsdale South, 5 p.m.

The Columbus Republic is carrying a piece on the Greensburg Pirates and first-year coach Danny Brown, formerly of Jennings County.

The latest IHSAA leading scorers list is out, and guess what?  Yes, Wawasee's Shanna Zolman still leads the pack there again this week at 34.2 ppg.  NWI players on the list include Jenny DeMuth of Highland at 23.5 ppg and Traci Mezera of River Forest at 23.2 ppg.  A few interesting notes about the current leading scorers list:
- Of the 25 players listed, less than half (11) are on state-ranked teams.  
- The breakdown on players by class: 7 in 4A, 10 in 3A, 2 in 2A, and 6 in 1A.
- The breakdown of players by grade:  14 seniors, 6 juniors, 2 sophomores, and 3 freshmen.

One of the freshmen on the IHSAA scoring leaders list is Ellen Hamilton of Greenfield-Central, who with brother John Hamilton, Jr., together average over 50 ppg.  Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star has written a feature about this brother-sister act, and how they support each other throughout the basketball season.  McKee also reports that senior Megan Mauck of Boonville scored 17 points against Evansville Harrison last week, setting a career scoring record with 1,089 points.

Ben Davis hangs in at No. 5 in the USA Today Super 25 rankings.  They almost faltered Tuesday, when they were nearly upset by a good Decatur Central team, which led the Giants at halftime by an unbelievable 18 points.  A 36-9 third quarter, behind 16 points by junior Ashley Allen in the frame, saved the Giants' unblemished record on the way to an 81-71 win.  Leading scorer for BD was junior Shyra Ely with 30.  Leading scorer in the game was Decatur Central's Brittany Park with 32.

The House Education Committee voted 8-5 on Tuesday to send a bill giving the Department of Education  some veto power over decisions made by the IHSAA to the House floor for further debate.  The South Bend Tribune has the particulars on the proceedings on that bill.  The Indianapolis Star also has coverage on the issue.  With this latest development, a couple of editorials have popped up on the topic in The Times and South Bend Tribune.

A couple of notes from the Post-Tribune about former NWI players in college:
Backup point guard Katie Imborek (Lake Central) is averaging 8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists for DePauw, who is 11-2 and owns a 42-game conference winning streak, the longest in Division III.
Sophomore forward Tarniesha Nichols (Gary West Side) is averaging 7.2 points and 6.8 rebounds for Rollins, which is ranked No. 11 in Division II after winning its first 12 games.
Saginaw Valley State sophomore forward Tania Fliter (Griffith) sparked her team to a 64-60 victory over Western New Mexico with a 3-pointer and three free throws down the stretch.  She came off the bench for a career-high 13 points.
  Fliter, who started nine of 11 games, also scored 10 points in a 73-61 loss to Findlay.

Former Lady Boilermaker Ukari Figgs is back with the Purdue women's basketball program -- but this time as student assistant coach.  Boiler Station at the Journal & Courier has details about Figgs' current position with Purdue.  The Lady Boilermakers can use all the help they can get after dropping their third straight game to Ohio State last night on a last-second shot.

The Terre Haute Tribune Star has a piece about ISU's two sharpshooting underclassmen -  sophomore April Kirby (Mt. Vernon) and freshman Kourtney Mennen (Clinton Prairie).  Kirby is leading the NCAA Division I 3-point percentage list (.600), while Mennen ranks 10th in 3-pointers made (34).

News thru Wednesday, January 12


No. 2 Valpo broke a school record last night with a 68-26 win over Andrean, giving them a 13-0 start on the season, the best ever in Valpo history.  The Vikes are clicking better than ever and put together a fine performance behind the efforts of 6'0 senior point guard Erin Sampsel.  Sampsel did it all, scoring 17 points while logging 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.  

The Andrean 59ers have been punished twice in the past five days with losses to No. 3 Highland and No. 2 Valparaiso by 20+ margins.  But those two losses were not without two very good reasons.  After losing sophomore point guard and leading scorer Jamie Gutowski in December to an ACL injury, the 'Niners had just about regrouped with stepped-up play from Erin Furman.  Then Andrean was hit in the gut by another unbelievable injury.  In a win against Hammond last Thursday, Furman, who had emerged as the new leading scorer for the 59ers, broke her right arm and dislocated her elbow, sidelining the senior for the rest of her high school basketball career.  It doesn't get any easier for Andrean when they host NWI power Portage on Thursday.  Looking for the silver lining in this cloud, a number of young and inexperienced players will now be asked to do things they've never done before.  The minutes they log this season will pay huge dividends next season when Andrean will be hungry to prove what they can do.

Connersville sophomore guard Missy Taylor is featured in the Connersville News-Examiner.  Taylor and the Spartans faced sectional threat Richmond last night.  Although Taylor came up with 21 points in the game, the Spartans fell 43-41.

The RRR caught a sighting of a possible up-and-comer at Kankakee Valley last night.  Although the skills are rough, JV freshman Amanda DeVries has one thing that can't be taught -- 6'6 of height.  The solid-sized center was not spectacular, but showed promise as KV's leading scorer in last night's JV win over Crown Point.  The varsity Kougars look to be a contender in 3A, although they are not receiving much media or state-wide attention.  A young team with four sophomores who started or saw significant time in last night's 15-point loss to Crown Point, have a bright future ahead.

Central Indiana Sports has released is Top 25 girls rankings as follows:

1. BEN DAVIS v Decatur Central J12,v Warren Central J14, v Avon J18
3. VALPARAISO v Hobart J15
4. CATHEDRAL v Noblesville J15,
5. HIGHLAND v Calumet J14, Chicago Classic J15
7. FORT WAYNE SNIDER v Warsaw J15, v F.W.Wayne J19 ,br> 8. TWIN LAKES v Carroll-Flora J14, Frontier J18
9. CENTER GROVE v North Central J14, Perry Meridian J18
10. NEW ALBANY v New Washington J13, Columbus East J15
11. MOUNT VERNON-FORTVILLE v Shelbyville J15
12. BROWNSBURG v McCutcheon J12, Cardinal Ritter J15, v Olympic Tourney J 18-22
13. FRANKLIN v Perry Meridian J12, Bloomfield J15
14. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON v Elkhart Central J13, v Chicago Tourney J17, Jimtown J18
15. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL v Evansville Bosse J12, v SIAC Tourney J15, v Evansville Mater Dei J17
16. KOKOMO v Chicago Classic J14-15
17. TERRE HAUTE SOUTH v Lawrence North J15
18. PERRY MERIDIAN v Center Grove J18
19. NORTH JUDSON v N. Newton J13, Benton Central J15, v Winamac J19
20. CORYDON CENTRAL v Boonville J15, v North Harrison J18
21. ROCHESTER v Whitko J13, v Tippecanoe Valley J17
22. PORTAGE v Andrean J13, v Merrillville J15
22. HUNTINGTON NORTH v Fort Wayne Northrop J13, v Muncie Southside J15, v Olympic Tourney J18-22
23. NORTH NEWTON v North Judson J13, v Chicago Classic J15, v West Central J18
23. COLUMBUS EAST v New Albany J15, v Scottsburg J17
24. JENNINGS COUNTY v Brownstown Central J15, v Shelbyville J18
25. MUNSTER v Hammond Bishop Noll J13, v Lake Central J18

Keeping in line with their coverage of the Miami (Ohio) v. Toledo game featuring two former Kokomo standouts, the Kokomo Tribune today features Heather Cusick, who is the starting guard for Miami.  Former Kokomo standout Tia Davis, who now plays for the University of Toledo as a freshman off the bench, is also profiled in the Kokomo Tribune.

The attendance at the 12-1 Evansville Lady Aces games is reviewed by the Evansville Courier.  The Aces have averaged 619 fans for its first five home games even though the program has its best start in its 31-year history.  UE officials are seeing an increase in attendance the past few games, however, and have helped the cause with special free admission promotions.  The good news is that the average attandance has been on the rise the past few years, climbing from just a 201 average in 97-98 to the current 619.

Former NWI high school standout Keaton Brumm (Andrean/W. Lafayette) was the leading scorer with 18 in Indiana University-South Bend's win over Dominican 87-55 last night.  The game review is in the South Bend Tribune.

Notre Dame's Ruth Riley (North Miami) and the Lady Irish seem to be hitting their season stride with an 80-52 win over Seton Hall.  Riley had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, together with 7 blocks.  You can read the game recap, together with after-game comments from head coach Muffett McGraw in the South Bend Tribune.

Valparaiso University senior Carie Wickham (Avon) will be sitting out her senior year after finally concluding that an ACL tear she suffered in late November is too debilitating to stay with on the floor.  Complete details are in the Post-Tribune (one-day link).

The Terre Haute Tribune Star is featuring Shannon Auler, who is not only the leading scorer at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, but a mother as well.  Auler, whose maiden name is Huddleson, held the distinction of being Terre Haute North's all-time leading scorer until that record was broken last year by Jennifer Turner.  Auler began her college career at the University of Indianapolis, but her plans took a sharp left turn when she discovered she would deliver a child.  Although Auler has one year of eligibility left, she will graduate this year to pursue a teaching and coaching career.

News thru Tuesday, January 11


Girls basketball notes are appearing in the South Bend Tribune today, including a recap of the Northern Indiana Conference race and a preview to the clash between NIC contenders South Bend Clay and South Bend Riley on Thursday.  Also mentioned are the outstanding 2A No. 2 North Judson Bluejays, who will have two tough games this week against 2A No. 3 North Newton on Thursday and an impressive Benton Central team on Saturday.  The Bluejays are averaging 74 points per game on 53% team shooting.  The senior class on the North Judson team have racked up an amazing 107-10 record in their years together on the basketball floor since seventh grade.

According to a Perry Meridian source, starting guard Molly Kemmerer suffered a dislocated patella and stretched MCL last Thursday night in the Perry game at Martinsville.  She is expected to be out of the lineup for 3-6 weeks.  On January 12, Perry plays 3A No. 7 Franklin, who also will be without the services of starting guard Laura Bullington, who we reported yesterday tore her ACL last week.

The Kokomo Times explains how last season's Kokomo semi-state teammates Heather Cusick of Miami (Ohio) and Tia Davis of Toledo now play on opposite sides of the ball in the Mid-American Conference for their respective college teams.  After spending years together as Kats teammates, the two faced each other on Saturday at Miami before a good crowd from Kokomo, who made the trip to cheer on the two Division I players.  Davis's Toledo team came out on top 73-66 to put a MAC victory in the win column.  Davis came off the Rockets' bench to log 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.  Cusick, who starts at the point for the RedHawks, was good for 14 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.  Fine performances by both.  

The Lady Boilermakers did not have a great game in their nationally broadcast loss to Michigan State Saturday, and Coach Kristy Curry is trying to right the ship from a two-game skid before they play at Ohio State on Thursday.  The Gold & Black has a number of notes and news tidbits about the Lady Boilers on its website describing how Curry will try to get the Boilers afloat.  Also, for those of you who were watching the game, you might remember the game commentators mention something about some critical press that sophomore point guard Kelly Komara (Lake Central) has been receiving in the Lafayette area.  We found the article they were referring to at the Boiler Station website, and although there is some criticism within it, there is also strong supporting comments from Coach Curry for her No. 1 point guard.  Worth a read.  There are also some additional notes about the Lady Boilers in another Boiler Station article.

The Muncie Star Press has a recap of Ball State's 66-46 win over the Thundering Herd (like that name!) of Marshall.  Freshmen Amy Zercher (NorthWood) and Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook) led the scoring charge with 21 and 15 points, respectively.  Zercher scored 18 of her 21 points in the the first 20 minutes of the game on 7 of 9 shooting.  The Cardinals now have 9 wins on the season, matching their entire win column from last season.

The CBS Sportsline website is carrying a commentary piece about the differences between the men's and women's college game.  An interesting take.

Our Sectional Fan Polls have been cleared of all previous votes and are now ready for second-half season voting.  Feel free to vote once in each sectional for the team you think will come out on top.

We apologize for the lateness of our RRR Top 12 and Best Upcoming Games & Events updates, but the RRR household has been under duress with some family health issues the past few weeks.  We hope to resume those features very soon.

News thru Monday, January 10


The ICGSA poll has been released for today and the only real surprise is in 1A where undefeated White River Valley has moved into the No. 1 spot over Rising Sun by one vote.
In 4A, Ben Davis stays solid with 15 first place votes, despite a close one with North Central on Saturday.  The Giants eked out a 2-point win to stay undefeated.  Center Grove continues to pick up votes and is just one vote off of No. 3 Highland.  Kokomo saw movement upward by 2 notches, and Huntington North moves back into the 4A lineup at No. 10 for the first time since early December, replacing Columbus North.
In 3A, Cathedral remains in control with 13 first place votes, while No. 3 Twin Lakes picked up their first top vote of the season.  Undefeated Elwood makes a sky-rocketing appearance in the 3A Top 10 for the first time at No. 8.
In 2A, Luers is king (or queen, for us equity sticklers) of the hill with all 15 first place votes after beating 4A-ranked Snider for the second time in two weeks with a 21-point rout.  North Newton moves back to No. 3 after Seeger dropped one to Frankfort, and South Knox moves up to the Top 10 with a No. 10 ranking shared with LaVille, each with a mere 13 votes.
In 1A, undefeated White River Valley popped to the surface to take the No. 1 spot by one vote over Rising Sun, even though Rising Sun has more first-place votes.  Not many changes elsewhere in 1A, however.
Region teams appearing in the poll:  4A - Valparaiso at No. 2, Highland at No. 3, Portage receiving 4 votes; 3A - not a single NWI team mentioned; 2A - North Judson at No. 2, North Newton at No. 3, Hebron receiving 5 votes; 1A - same as 3A.

A couple of 2A barnburners will be taking place in NWI midweek when Hanover Central travels to Hebron for a Porter County Conference showdown on Wednesday, and when No. 2 North Judson hosts No. 3 North Newton in a battle of the 2A giants on Thursday.  
Last year's Regional Champ Hanover Central will be looking for some respect and a conference title by challenging the PCC upstart Hawks, who have taken the conference by storm behind Coach Jerry Bechtold and his sharp shooting daughter Lauren Bechtold.  Hanover counters with veteran Wildcat Melanie Brumbaugh, who has been tearing up the boards and the scoreboards all around NWI.  She teams with sophomore post-mate Julie Moniak, who represents a second threat in the post.  Should be a great one.
NJ and NN will see a senior-laden game, with both teams continuing the latest episode of this 4-year basketball soap opera in NWI 2A.  North Judson brings scoring duo Becky Schuster (17.6 ppg) and Kristi Koselke (12.9 ppg) to the table, together with up-and-coming sophomore guard Brianne Harwood (11.0 ppg).  North Newton will respond with 6'0 all-position seniors Kori Glass (16.3 ppg) and Kristie King (17.5 ppg), together with unheralded point guard Susan Cripe, who puts it all together for the Bluejays averaging 6.5 assists and 4.2 steals per game.  Watch for North Judson to put a good floor game together with a current team average of nearly 22 assists per game compared to North Newton's current average of just 9 assists per game.

When 4A No. 2 Valpo travels to Andrean tomorrow night, the Vikings will be looking to break a program record with another win.  If the Vikes are 13-0 after tomorrow's game, they will break a best start record for the Valpo program, eclipsing last season's 11-0 start before the Vikes fell to Portage in the regular season.  The Viking's chances are good after the Andrean 59ers hit a brick wall called the Highland Trojans on Saturday in a 62-27 loss.  The game will be broadcast on WXRD-FM 103.9 with varisty tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Stat leaders in NWI were released last week as follows:

Scoring Average 2-pt Percentage
T. Mezera (R. For.) - 22.3 (223)
J. DeMuth (High) - 22.1 (199)
L. Bechtold (Heb) - 21.7 (239)
B. Harwood (NN) - .750
E. Coddington - (Grif) - .714
J. Tobias (Roos) - .700
3-pt Percentage Free Throw Percentage
T. Mezera (RF) - .547
A. Bernard (CP) - .545
L. Arnold (High) - .529
N. Borys (CP) - .928
M. Austgen (And) - .894
K. Stolman (Whi) - .875
Assists Steals
E. Sampsel (Val) - 6.4 (70)
L. Bechtold (Heb) - 6.1 (67)
A. Walker (Whe) - 5.2 (47)
T. Humphrey (Ham) - 8.4 (92)
R. Griffith (CL) - 5.8 (64)
T. King (Wirt) - 4.9 (54)
Rebounds Blocks
J. Dykiel (BG) - 13.0 (91)
J. Barnes (Wirt) - 12.3 (135)
L. Mitchell (Cal) - 11.7 (129)
K. Smith (MC) - 3.5 (14)
N. Hluska - 3.3 (10)
L. Mitchell (Cal) - 2.5 (27)


According to a central Indiana source, Franklin starting guard Laura Bullington may be watching the rest of the season from the sidelines.  The 5'7 junior is reported to have torn her ACL at practice Friday evening.  A tough blow to the No. 7 team in 3A.

A preview to the Delaware County Tournament is appearing in the Muncie Star Press.  Games begin tonight, with Yorktown looking to be the favorite in a field that also includes Wes-Del, Delta, Cowan, Daleville and Wapahani.  Competition begins tonight at 6:00 p.m. at  Yorktown.

The Bloomington Hoosier Times previews the Monrovia at Edgewood game to be played tonight. 

The Shelbyville News gives a review and various notes on the Shelby County Tournament played over the weekend.  

We have added a few more websites to our High School Team Sites page, including the newly created South Bend St. Joe's girls basketball website.

In case some of you aren't aware, just thought we'd mention that on-line news coverage of games played, especially over the weekend, may not be linked until one or two days later.  Some of the stories on weekend games don't make it up until Monday, and others we don't find until one or two days later.  Our recommendation is that you check back over previous game scores we report on the Scores & Recaps page from time to time to see if we've found an on-line article covering games that you might be interested in reviewing.

News thru Sunday, January 9


According to the Indianapolis Star, Coach Cinda Brown of Rushville has decided to call it quits after leading the Lady Lions for 31 years.  Many of you may be familiar with Brown through her association with the televised broadcasts of the IHSAA state finals, where she has served as a color commentator for many years.  Brown is the winningest girls high school basketball coach in Indiana history and has received many honors during her coaching tenure at Rushville, including Coach of the Year from various national, state and regional organizations.  Brown's teams have won 21 sectional championships (18 consecutive) and made 8 Semi-State appearances, 3 Final Four appearances and 3 Hall of Fame Classic appearances, including the inaugural girls edition of that event.  Besides coaching girls basketball, Brown has also seen coaching time at Rushville in volleyball, golf, gymnastics and tennis.

The IHSAA continues to be under fire, especially by the Indianapolis Star, in its continuing series of articles about the governing body of Indiana high school athletics.  The entire series of articles about the IHSAA are all linked to this article at the Star.

The Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel is carrying a piece on Concordia sophomore Jenny Conkle and how her coach is using an unorthodox method to improve the guard's defense using a deflated inner tube.  Really.

Attica senior Brooke Farrell reached the 1,000-point mark for her career Thursday night in the Red Ramblers' 73-41 victory at Chrisman, Ill.  Farrell scored a game-high 23 points.

Sophomore Kristy Gates of 2A No. 7 Triton Central was named MVP of the Shelby County Tournament Saturday.  Triton Central defeated Morristown 58-55 to win the tournament championship.  Gates contributed to the win with 14 points.

The McDivitt Fan Club made the trip to watch Connersville's most famous daughter, April McDivitt, play against No. 1 UConn yesterday.  As reported in the Indianapolis Star, family members chartered a bus to Knoxville for the event to be among the over 20,000 in attendance, the second time they have done that this season.  Tennessee fell to No. 1 Connecticut 74-67 in a very well-played game by both teams.  UConn and UT will meet again next month, this time in Connecticut, for a regular season rematch.  You can view the recaps of the UC/UT game on the Huskies Hardcore website and the Go Lady Vols website.  A side note on the game, McDivitt's contribution of the three Tennessee freshmen was most highly regarded by coach Pat Summitt.  McDivitt had three steals and three assists in her short time on the floor.  Summitt, commenting on the game, said, "Looking back, I should have played her more in the first half."

Former Miss Indiana Basketball Lisa Shepherd had a big day on national television yesterday, leading her Penn State Lions with 23 points to rout Florida 91-67.   

We will be clearing out the votes on our Sectional Fan Polls this week for the second half of the season.  We would remind everyone that all voters are limited to ONE vote only per sectional.  We have no way to monitor this, other than by your collective consciences.  However, we can tell you that if you vote for your favorite team more than once, the curse of the sectional first-round loss will be placed upon your team... (Knowing how superstitious all of us sports fans are, that ought to do it!)

News thru Friday, January 7


Junior Jenny DeMuth of Highland set a career scoring record in her team's win over Whiting last night.  The 5'11 guard scored 33 points for the night, but the record came on her first bucket, a trey, less than 2 minutes into the game.  According to The Times, DeMuth broke the existing record of 939 points set by former Trojan Jennifer Kaczka set in 1998.

The Times is featuring an article about Portage post duo Lauren Hanson and Amanda Autrey, who are quietly making an impact for the Indians this season.  Juniors Hansen (13.6 ppg) and Autrey (5.7 rpg) lead their teams in scoring and rebounding, respectively. 

Crown Point's Sarah Zondor is featured today on the front page of the Post-Tribune Time Out high school section.  The 5'7 junior guard is a consistent and steady contributor to the Lady Bulldogs effort this season, averaging 11.0 ppg in 13 games so far this season.  Zondor is also the leading rebounder for the Bulldogs at 5.8 rpg, and has a knack for making the critical shot in tough situations.  (Unfortunately, this article does not appear on-line.)

Coach Jerry Bechtold of Hebron made a decisive move for his family this year when he brought them to Hebron after making the one-hour commute to his teaching job at Hebron all last year.  According to The Times, daughter Lauren Bechtold couldn't be happier after she and her dad have teamed to bring a new  attitude to the Hebron girls basketball program.

The Times and Post-Tribune top teams lists are out today as follows:

The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Portage 
4. West Side
5. North Newton
6. Andrean
7. Munster
8. Griffith
9. Hebron
10. Whiting
1. Highland
2. Portage 
3. Valparaiso 
4. Munster
5. North Judson
6. West Side
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Crown Point
10. Lake Central


Senior Bridget Pluta surpassed the all-time scoring record at SB St. Joe's last night, although her team lost to visiting NorthWood 65-47.  Pluta scored 20 points in the loss to surpass the 893 career point record of Melissa Standley.

Coach Wayne Kreiger from Columbia City won his 400th career game last night with a 58-32 over New Haven. 

Shelbyville senior Jaclyn Laird was named the Shelbyville News Female Athlete of the Week of 12/27-1/2 for her 15 point, 4 assist and 4 steal performance in her team's 61-49 win over Yorktown.

The Connersville Examiner has a feature article about seniors Lauren Bohlander, Kristin Kinnaman, Orilla Cruse and Emily Richardson of Cambridge City, who have led the Cambridge City Lincoln team to 43-15 record the past three seasons.

The IHSAA is under fire again, this time for a girls basketball player seeking eligibility to play after she transferred to Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers.  According to the Indianapolis Star, senior Jessah Martin is hoping that a judge will find the IHSAA in contempt of court for feared retribution against Luers if they should let Martin play while her eligibility is being determined.  Also, the link we provided for you yesterday for the Star's continuing series of editorial articles about the IHSAA was a bad one, so here is the correct one.

At the break between yesterday's JV and varsity contests between Tippecanoe Valley and North Miami, the jersey number of Notre Dame All-American Ruth Riley was retired.  The South Bend Tribune has a great story about the event.  Riley broke 18 school records during her four years at North Miami.

The Muncie Star Press is carrying a piece on Ball State freshman Amy Zercher (NorthWood) and the huge contribution she is making to the Cardinals this season.  Zercher, who was a standout on the 3A state champion NorthWood team last season, has been a sparkplug for the improving Ball State program under new head coach Brenda Oldfield.

Some women's college games were covered in the Indianapolis Star today, including Southern Indiana's OT loss to Missouri-St. Louis, and Purdue's 55-50 loss to Big 10 rival Penn.

According to the Indianapolis Star, two former Indiana high school players at Indiana State University are continuing their contributions to the game in college by highly distinguishing themselves on the NCAA stat lists.  Sophomore April Kirby (Mt. Vernon) leads the country in three-point field goal percentage at 59.5 % (22/37) so far this season.  Teammate Kourtney Mennen is on the NCAA list of three-point field goals made so far this season.  She is at the No. 8 spot averaging 3.1 treys per game. 

One of Indiana's new WNBA Fever players, Kara Wolters, has been selected to join the 2000 Olympic team this summer in Olympic competition.  According to the Indy Star, Wolters secured herself a spot on the team after impressing US Olympic head coach Nell Fortner, who will coach Wolters next summer in the WNBA after Fortner's stint with the 2000 Olympics.

News thru Thursday, January 6


The South Bend Tribune is carrying a very nice article about LaVille's Shanan Szklarek.  The 5'7 senior is averaging 23.0 ppg for her 7-1 Lancers, and is surrounded by a group of seniors who have played together since they were freshmen.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Noblesville will recognize players from its 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 girls basketball teams that reached four consecutive State Finals on Saturday in conjunction with its 12:15 p.m. game against Mt. Vernon. Former Indiana All-Stars Krissi Davis (42), Courtney Cox (35) and Jana Thompson (45) will have their numbers retired as part of the ceremony.  Center Marianne Nethery will have the rare distinction of playing the rest of the year with her jersey number retired. Her number 42 will be unofficially retired in Saturday's ceremony. The number and jersey will be recognized in honor of Davis, a 1987 Indiana All-Star. The administration will allow Nethery to wear the number for the rest of the season.

It was Triton Central Day yesterday at the Shelbyville News, with three of four articles about the upcoming Shelby County Tournament discussing  the Tigers, currently No. 7 in 2A.  Triton Central is heading into the tournament tonight with a long list of county championships behind them, having won it 17 times in the past 23 years.  A long tradition of excellence at Triton Central has made the Tiger program the one to be in Shelby County, but first opponent Waldron won't be intimidated by the Tigers.  They lost a very close game to Triton Central earlier in the season in a very good showing.  The game between the other two teams in the tournament, Morristown and Southwestern, is also previewed.

The Indianapolis Star is continuing with their series of editorial articles about the IHSAA, with one yesterday about the newly formed coalition of urban schools opposed to the favoritism they feel is being given to small schools in the state.  The South Bend Tribune is carrying a piece about the Star editorials in their own paper today.  Also, the Shelbyville News is reporting that the authority of the IHSAA will again be challenged in the upcoming short session of the Indiana General Assembly, which convenes next week.

Some former Indiana high school players had big nights for Franklin College as they defeated Heartland Conference defending champ and preseason favorite Wilmington College 94-82 on Wednesday.  Andrea White (Franklin) had career highs in points (18), rebounds (10), assists (4), and steals (2), remarkable as she was coming off the bench.  Fellow sub Tiffany Pittman (New Albany) had a career-high 16 points.  Freshman Sayra Hoskins (Madison) had a career-high 14.  Big contributions as well from Tara Jordan (Plainfield; 14 points/7 rebounds) and Anne Heile (Oldenburg Academy; 13 points/8 rebounds/5 blocks).

The Indianapolis Star and the South Bend Tribune both have a recap of the Notre Dame/West Virginia game.  Also, the Terre Haute Tribune Star has a recap of the ISU rout of Illinois  State.

News thru Wednesday, January 5


We've posted our RRR Top 12 for the Region and State for the week.

The IHSAA has released its latest scoring leaders list through January 1.  Leading scorer still remains Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, who was reported to have 36 points in a 54-53 loss to Lakeland last night.  The only Region player on the list is Tracie Mezera of River Forest, who is averaging 22.6 ppg over 10 games so far this season.  A couple of milestones were also noted by the IHSAA as follows:


Courtney Feagler, a senior at Garrett, became the first girls basketball player in school history to reach 1,000 career points Dec. 22 when she scored 21 points in a 59-34 victory over Westview. She left the game with 1,007 points.
Shanna Zolman, a sophomore at Wawasee, scored the 1000th point of her career Dec. 29 as the Warriors defeated Angola 79-57. Her 1000th point came on a three-pointer in the first quarter. In 32 career games through Jan. 1, Zolman had scored 1,038 points for an average of 32.4. She led the state in scoring as a freshman in 1998-99 at 31.2 and is averaging a state-leading 34.7 this season in 11 games. During the game, Zolman's run of 63 consecutive free throws ended. It is believed to be the longest consecutive free throw streak in state history for a girl.

Ben Davis are appearing in another nationally-ranked list this week at the Fox Sports Net website.  The Giants are ranked No. 8 in the nation.

Central Indiana Sports has released its latest Top 25 Girls Rankings:


1. BEN DAVIS v North Central J8, Decatur Central J12
2. FW BISHOP LUERS v Concordia J5, Snider J7, Southside J11
3. VALPARAISO v LaPorte J7, Andrean J11
4. FORT WAYNE SNIDER v F.W.Bishop Luers J7, F.W.Northside J11
5. CATHEDRAL v Roncalli J11
6. HIGHLAND v Whiting J6, Andrean J8
7. JEFFERSONVILLE v Austin J6, Castle J8
8. TWIN LAKES v Harrison-West Lafayette J8, Renssalaer J11
9. CENTER GROVE v Rushville J8
10. NEW ALBANY v Madison J6, Fern Creek, Ky J8
12. BROWNSBURG v Hendricks County J4-8, McCutcheon J12
13. FRANKLIN v Jennings County J8, Perry Meridian J12
15. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL v Evans. Central J5, Tell City J8, SIAC J11-15
16. KOKOMO v Peru J6, Tipton J11
17. TERRE HAUTE SOUTH v Warren Central J8
18. PERRY MERIDIAN v Martinsville J6
19. NORTH JUDSON v West Central J10
20. CORYDON CENTRAL v West Washington J11
21. ROCHESTER v Northfield J6, Argos J8, Bremen J11
21. PORTAGE v Chesterton J7
22. COLUMBUS NORTH v BNL J6, Scottsburg J8, Martinsville J11
23. JENNINGS COUNTY v Franklin J8, Scottsburg J11
24. COLUMBIA CITY v New Haven J6, FW Northrup J8, NHC Tourney J11-15
25. RISING SUN v Lawrenceburg J8, Milan J10
25. MUNSTER v Hammond Clark J6, Hammond J8, Merrillville J11

According to the Kokomo Tribune, the Mid-Indiana Conference, which includes Cass, Eastern, Hamilton Heights, Maconaquah, Northwestern, Peru, Taylor, and Western, has created a website for fans of member schools to obtain information about all member schools and conference standings.  The site is being maintained by Peru.

We reported yesterday that Purdue's game with Michigan had been rescheduled from Sunday to Saturday so that the game could be televised nationally.  Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Purdue and Michigan.   According to Boiler Hoops, the athletic offices of both schools just found out about the change Monday when someone spotted a promotion for the game, which is part of a women's basketball triple-header on CBS Saturday, during an NFL game.  Now Purdue is scrambling to make changes in travel and rooming arrangements for the trip to Michigan.  The broadcast will be a treat for women's fans across the country when No. 12 Purdue takes on Michigan at noon, Florida takes on No. 6 Penn State at 2:00 p.m., and then No. 1 Connecticut tangles with No. 2 Tennessee at 4:00 p.m.  (All times Eastern.)  Before that, however, Purdue will host Penn State Thursday evening in a Big Ten showdown of two very good Top 25 teams.

Indiana State lost an intra-state Missouri Valley Conference contest to the Evansville Aces Monday night.  The Terre Haute Tribune Star has all the details.

News thru Tuesday, January 4


As expected, the ICGSA poll showed a lot of movement yesterday, especially in 4A.
With New Albany's loss to Center Grove last week, No. 1 Ben Davis solidified their standing with three solid wins, including one against 3A No. 1 Cathedral, to pick up all first place votes for a perfect 150 points in poll voting.  Valpo moved up to No. 2 from No. 5 after defeating a very good Mt. Vernon team, and Highland moved up to No. 3 by default when Snider lost votes after their loss to 2A No. 1 Luers.  Center Grove moved into the No. 4 spot for their efforts against New Albany.  No new teams entered the Top 10, although Huntington North, who won its own tournament last week, is only 3 votes out of 10th place.
In 3A, Cathedral, who suffered their first loss at the hands of powerful Ben Davis, retains their No. 1 ranking, but lost three first-place votes in the process to Mt. Vernon, who won the Hall of Fame Classic one day before they fell to 4A No. 2 Valpo by just 4 points.  No new teams appeared in the Top 10.
In 2A, North Newton fell one spot to No. 4 after a disappointing loss to 3A Franklin in the HOF, while Seeger raised its stock with a championship win in the Bi-County Tournament over No. 8 Fountain Central.  Winchester is a new team that moves into the Top 10, while previous No. 9 Forest Park fell out  to the runners-up category after losing one.

Finally in 1A, Rising Sun retains the top spot despite a loss to Mt. Vernon in the HOF, but lost three first-place votes which look like they fell directly to No. 3 White River Valley, who remains undefeated.  No. 2 New Washington also holds after a loss to 4A No. 7 Jeffersonville over the holiday, but also lost a first-place vote.  (Looks like only 14 pollsters turned in their votes this week in 1A.)  A new team to enter the 1A Top Ten is Adams Central, while Washington Catholic falls to the runners-up category.

A few notes about Porter County teams appear in The Times today.  Here's a quick summary:
* Valpo coach Greg Kirby notched his 200th win as head coach at Valpo when the Vikings won their first game in the Warsaw Holiday Tournament.  Kirby is 201-27 at Valpo for an incredible 88.2 winning percentage.
* Valpo's Erin Sampsel moved into the all-time Top 20 scorers in Valpo girls history with her team-high 14 points against Perry Meridian last week.  Sampsel is averaging 10.0 ppg through 11 games so far this season.
* Senior Melanie Brumbaugh of Hanover Central scored a career high 28 points against Momence to push her over the 800-point career mark in the Momence Holiday Tournament.  Brumbaugh is averaging 17.3 ppg for the 7-3 Wildcats.

The South Bend Tribune is carrying a few girls basketball notes today:
* The S. Bend Clay Colonials are seeing some improvement over last season's 8-13 record, and are off to a good start at 7-3, including a championship win in the Kankakee Valley Tournament.  They will be tested the next two weeks with games against Penn, NorthWood and Riley.
* Wawasee sophomore sensation Shanna Zolman has accomplished what most good players don't accomplish until they are seniors.  She surpassed the 1,000-point career mark in a win over Angola last week.  Zolman scored 45 points in the game to sustain her 34.7 ppg average, which is currently leading the state.  So far on the season, Zolman is shooting 59% from the field and 94% from the line.
* Senior Sarah Wright (6'2 C) is back at S. Bend Washington after moving to Indianapolis last spring.  According to her coach, she should be eligible to play beginning January 27 or 28 after the grading period.  Wright has been practicing with the Panthers since December 7.  Washington is currently 9-1 on the season, with a single loss to 3A Plymouth.

There is an interesting series of articles challenging the operations and methods of the IHSAA in the Indianapolis Star.  They are definitely worth a read.  The series started on Sunday with an article about the history of the IHSAA, together with an editorial about needed reform, continued yesterday  with a piece about challenging IHSAA rules and today describing how the IHSAA enforces its rules.  The series will continue tomorrow, and we will link you to it.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star has written an article about the much-anticipated matchup between UConn's Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) and April McDivitt (Connersville), which will take place on national television this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET.  McKee also gives a load of notes about former Indiana high school players and how they are faring in the college ranks .

More from the college front:


* According to The Times, Valparaiso University freshman Jeanette Gray matched a career-high 18 points against the University of Missouri-Kansas City yesterday to help her team move into first place in the Mid-Con.  
* According to the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel, Ft. Wayne area grads  Vnemina Reese (South Side), Maria Recker (DeKalb) and Abby Salscheider (Bluffton) helped their Michigan State team to a 62-50 win over Big Ten opponent Ohio State over the weekend.  Reese popped in 6 points and delivered 6 assists, while Salscheider scored 7 with 3 rebounds and 2 assists, and Recker scored 2.  Reese has been putting together a good all-around game for the Spartans and in the Big Ten ranks 6th in scoring (15.0 ppg), 4th in assists (4.83 apg), 8th in steals (2.08 spg), and 6th in assist/turnover ratio (1.71/1).  You can view complete stats at the Big Ten women's website.
* The Purdue at Michigan women's basketball game previously scheduled for January 9 will be played at 12:00 noon ET, January 8. The game will be broadcast live on CBS.

News thru Monday, January 3


Well, hope you don't mind that we took a few days off from website updates, but the RRR crew was reaching basketball and website overload and needed a break.  Many, many thanks to all of you who posted game results and comments on our posting and message boards about tournaments going on all around the state.  This site was very active during the holiday week, and it was great to see updates continue in our absence.  (I swear this site has a life of its own!)  We've got a lot of catching up to do here, so get comfortable, and enjoy a good, long read.  (NOTE:  For descriptions on the photos below, just hold your cursor over the picture for a pop-up window caption.)

The latest ICGSA Poll should be out later today, and with a number of shake-ups during the holiday week, we should see some movement of top teams in nearly every class, including a number of teams that lost their undefeated status.


In 4A, No. 2 New Albany suffered its first defeat in 37 games over two seasons with a loss to No. 7 Center Grove in the Center Grove Holiday Tournament.  (See our take on that game below.) Also, No. 3 Ft. Wayne Snider lost to 2A No. 1 Luers in the Summit Athletic Conference Tournament. 
In 3A, previously undefeated No. 1 Cathedral dropped a huge game to 4A No. 1 Ben Davis by a whopping 17 points.  No. 2 Mt. Vernon dropped a 6-point game to 4A No. 5 Valparaiso after winning the championship of the Hall of Fame Classic the day before.  Previously undefeated No. 6 Lebanon lost to 4A runner-up Huntington North in the Vikings' Sport One Tournament. 
In 2A, previously undefeated North Newton dug a hole in the first quarter and eventually lost to 3A No. 7 Franklin in the Hall of Fame semi-finals, while FW Luers entrenched itself at No. 1 after a big, big win over SAC rival 4A No. 3 Snider.
In 1A, Rising Sun lost its first game of the season to 3A No. 2 Mt. Vernon in the Hall of Fame Classic, while previously undefeated No. 2 New Washington lost to 4A No. 6 Jeffersonville in the championship game of the Jeffersonville Holiday Classic.

By our count, the number of undefeated state-ranked teams was halved from 16 to 8 in number during the holiday tournament week.  Remaining in the hunt with spotless records are (4A) Ben Davis, Highland, Valparaiso, (3A) Twin Lakes, Rochester, (2A) FW Luers, (1A) White River Valley and Northeast Dubois.

The Valpo Vikings grabbed their eighth title of the decade in the Warsaw Holiday Tournament and, according to The Times, Valparaiso junior Courtney Rosenbaum was named MVP of the tournament and senior teammate Erin Sampsel was named to the All-Tournament Team.  In the morning game, Valpo defeated a tired 3A Mt. Vernon team (which played and won two games the day before in the Hall of Fame Classic) by a score of 58-52 to advance to the championship round.  The Lady Vikes then downed Perry Meridian by a score of 49-35 to take the championship hardware home to add to their Warsaw Tournament collection.  Other players named to the Warsaw All-Tournament Team were Johna Goff and Alissa Kirby of Mt. Vernon, and Jennifer Gray and Molly Kemmerer of Perry Meridian.  (Incidently, Goff was also named MVP of the HOF Classic the day before.)  Having probably faced some of their toughest competition in the front half of the season, Valpo could be looking at an undefeated record for the regular season.  Portage, who will meet Valpo in a Duneland Athletic Conference showdown on January 21, and Munster, who was added to spice up the Valpo schedule with a February 8 meeting, may be the only major stumbling blocks.  Mark your calendars now for what should be two very good games in NWI.

Here are a few notes about the Hall of Fame Classic from the Indianapolis Star:  "(Johna) Goff's five 3-pointers against Rising Sun tied the semifinals record of Jennifer Jacoby, Rossville 1990...  North Newton's Becky Schuster set a semifinals record with 16 free-throw attempts.  Beth Davis of Greenfield-Central (1986) and Tiffany Longworth of Kokomo (1992) shared the record with 14. Schuster made 11, which tied the record of Davis.  Schuster finished with 15 points (2-of-7 from field)...  North Newton's 29 field-goal attempts against Franklin set a record for the fewest in a game.  Jennings County had the record of 33 in 1992.  North Newton connected only 11 shots, which tied for the fewest with the 1994 Huntington North team."

Pictured front row (L-R):  Michelle Cosgray, Colleen Buyer, Jessica Bragg, Julie Goad, Colleen McGuire; back row (L-R) Emily Kercheval, Erin Guy, Ashley Jordan, Alaina Banes, Dana Toddhunter, Kelise Pass, Erin McGuiredThe Twin Lakes Invitational Tournament was a huge success for the hosts, who put together another great tourney while capturing the tournament crown.  Many thanks from the RRR to Jay Welches (who was the official scorekeeper in the main gym) for keeping all of us updated by the quarter throughout the tournament by laptop.  Jay also sent us this photo of the happy Twin Lakes tournament champions, who are enjoying a great season so far.  The Indians, currently ranked No. 3 in 3A,  have a promising future not only this season, but next as well.  Eight members of the varsity are underclass(wo)men.  You might see the Indians move up in the ICGSA poll today since both Cathedral and Mt. Vernon suffered losses last week.

A number of players were named to All-Tournament teams around the state.  We don't have them all, but are trying to collect as many as possible on our Message Board.  If you are aware of any players who received all-tournament honors, please list them there.  So far, we are aware of the following Region-area players who were named to all-tournament teams as follows:


Warsaw Tournament - Courtney Rosenbaum (MVP) and Erin Sampsel of Valpo
South Bend Riley Tournament - Kelly Pero of Merrilville
Hall of Fame Classic - Kristi Koselke of North Newton (Sara Christenson of North Newton was awarded the Richard P. Jennings Memorial Scholarship.)
Twin Lakes Tournament - Sarah Bacan of Griffith, Julie Mandon and Lisa Matie of Hobart, and Natalie Yudt, Michele Pickering and Lauren Hansen of Portage.

According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the Big 8 Shootout at McCutcheon, postponed last week following the death of athletic director Mike Landis, will be played today and Tuesday instead.  Monday's three game schedule includes the host Mavericks against Chesterton, followed by Harrison and Floyd Central in Resler Gymnasium. Benton Central plays Gary West at 6:00 p.m. in the auxiliary gym.  Tuesday's games will be in Resler, starting at noon when McCutcheon plays Floyd Central. Harrison and Gary West play at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Mavericks and Benton Central.

Center Grove sophomore Ashley Buckingham makes her move to the basket for two points against the New Albany defense.While in Indianapolis last week, the RRR caught some of the action at the Center Grove Holiday Tournament.  In the Center Grove-New Albany final, Center Grove's balanced attack and ball movement was impressive, while New Albany's athleticism was a treat to watch.  No. 7 Center Grove did not give away any breakdowns in defensive pressure down the all-important stretch, and when they smelled blood with the removal of NA's Maria Rickards from the floor with five fouls at about 5 minutes to go, the Trojans finished the job.  No. 2 New Albany just could not find a rhythm due to CG's defensive intensity, and the aggressive Trojans just kept finding the hole and putting fresh players on the floor with little loss of talent level.  A player we don't hear too much about that impressed us was sophomore post player Ashley Buckingham, who had some very nice moves to the basket.  New Albany's Abby Scharlow looks for an opening while Center Grove's Katie Boone applies the defensive pressure.Height-challenged New Albany had no answer for the 6'1 forward/center, although the Bulldogs had a pair of tall freshmen on the bench who will probably be a factor for the Bulldogs in years to come.  Also, CG junior guard Katie Boone did a lot of nice things and ended up as the leading scorer for the Trojans with 13.  For New Albany, senior Abby Scharlow kept her team in it to the end with 20 points as high scorer in the game, but she didn't get a whole lot of help from her teammates.  Noticeably missing from the New Albany bench was assistant coach Joe Hinton, who is recovering from by-pass surgery.
Richmond's Ashley Koester looks to take the ball from Leo's Kelly Wolford.In the consolation game between Leo and Richmond, Ashley and Courtney Koester were extremely fun to watch with their two-sided defensive attack.  It was double-trouble for Leo guards when one twin would put tight defensive pressure on one side, while the other twin would come up from behind on ball side for the steal.  That must be their signature play (and it's an effective one at that), as we saw it applied at least four different times to the Leo ball-handling crew.  Those two are hard-nosed and quick, and their defensive intensity definitely sets the tone for their team.  For Leo, both Kelly Springer and Lindy Carey led the offensive attack for the Lions -- Springer the driver, and Carey the outside shooting threat.  Their combined scoring put the game out of reach for Richmond.
In closing, the Center Grove facility was a very, very nice one, although the crowd was very sparse.  Too bad, as a lot of fans missed a couple of great games.

Ben Davis moved up one spot to No. 5 in last week's USA Today Super 25 rankings.  The Giants were unstoppable in their own holiday tournament last Thursday, brutalizing two teams for the day -- Crown Point by 28 and Plainfield by 30.  The three-pronged attack of juniors Shyra Ely and Ashley Allen, together with senior Sara Strahm, has got to be the toughest in the state.  Although we all hear a lot about these three, one player who impressed us for the day was senior Krysten Cox, who was a definite factor from 3-point range.  Strahm seems to be the sparkplug for the Giants and brings hard-nosed, consistent play to her team.  (She also keeps the young Giants reigned in during warmups.)  We think she will be sorely missed next season, as she seems to be the glue that holds the performance of this multi-talented, and multi-styled team together.  However, we did catch a glimpse of the future in Ely's cousin, 6'3 Ben Davis junior Sultra Harding, who was downing baskets from behind the arc before game time warmups.  Harding will be eligible to play varsity for the Giants next season.  She transferred from Ohio and, according to IHSAA transfer rules, must put in a season of JV before she can play with the "big girls". 

Crown Point guard Amanda Bernard looks for the open pass against the defensive pressure of Ben Davis's Jessica Tucker.The Crown Point Bulldogs continued their punishing schedule of top-notch competition at the Ben Davis Tournament, taking on the No. 1 Giants in the semis and Bloomington South in the consolation.  They dropped both games to finish 5-8 for their first 13 games of the season.  For Region teams looking for a measurement, the 'Dogs kept it close for the first three minutes of the game, but that was about all they could handle of Ben Davis's multi-faceted attack before it got out of hand.  Soph Alex Webster put together a good performance in the first half and emerged as the leading scorer at the break with 13 points (3 treys) off of some good picks set by her teammates, but a BD defensive switch after Webster's only bucket early in the second half kept her quiet the rest of the way, with 6'2 Shyra Ely putting the stops on Webster's open looks until the CP soph took the bench with about 5:30 to go.  Ely and Ashley Allen took over offensively in the second half, combining for 22 of 35 BD points in the final 16 minutes to continue their dominance of the opposition.  
Ben Davis was a game that most knew would probably be a lopsided affair for CP, but the Bulldogs were expected to put together a credible performance in the consolation game.  Their performance, however, was sub-par, and the Lady 'Dogs struggled to keep up with a tired (4th game in two days) and short-handed (star Cyndi Valentin ankle injury) Bloomington South crew.  CP shook things up with a new-look lineup to start the game, including three new starters, and platooned 5-member squads for most of the game.  The Panthers took advantage and went on an early 13-2 run 6 minutes into the first quarter, with CP playing catch-up throughout the rest of the game.  CP junior Sarah Zondor nearly turned the game around single-handedly, scoring 10 of her 15 points in a 3-minute stretch to get CP within 4 points in the last quarter.  But South held on with some key plays, and the Bulldogs swallowed their eighth loss of the season.  An interesting sideline to the CP-South game was that Panther guard Lauren Devich, who knocked in two treys, is a former Crown Point resident.  The Bulldogs will move on to what they hope will be the more palatable half of their schedule throughout January, but will face tough Penn and NorthWood on February 5 to end their regular season.  

It was reported in the FW Journal-Gazette that the attendance at the SAC championship between Luers and Snider was standing room only, with at least 3,000 in attendance at the IPFW Gates Sports Center.  The fans were not disappointed either, as the game was nip and tuck until Luers pulled away at the end for a 52-47 win.  That was the first time Luers has won the SAC Tournament since 1995.  Last year, Snider walked away with the SAC crown.

According to the Kokomo Tribune, former Kokomo coach Mike McCroskey was named as one of the coaching greats of Howard County during the 20th century.  With a 227-82 record over 13 years at Kokomo, McCroskey raked in two consecutive state championships in 1992 and 1993, and also led the Kats to undefeated records during those two seasons.  McCroskey was also a runner-up for the National Coach of the Year in 1993, and was twice the Indiana Coach of the Year. 

Tickets for the Big Ten Tournament are now available.  The tournament will be held in the Conseco Fieldhouse the same weekend as the IHSAA girls state tournament at Butler.  If you time it right, you could squeeze in a heckuva lot of good basketball that weekend...

Notre Dame's Ruth Riley (North Miami) put together an "All-American" performance on both ends of the court yesterday against Marquette  according to head coach Muffet McGraw, scoring 18 points, yanking down 9 rebounds and swatting away 4 shots in the Irish's 75-60 win.  You can read the entire recap of the game and players' comments in today's edition of the South Bend Tribune.  Lots of top contenders fell hard in NCAA action yesterday, including No. 5 Georgia to No. 17 Illinois 82-65, No. 6 Texas Tech to No. 14 Iowa St. 62-37, and No. 3 Louisiana Tech to No. 1 Connecticut.  An extremely interesting color commentary in the Hartford Courant describes the less-than-"team" attitude of Louisiana Tech's guard tamdem in the game, including how one of them was injured by a pick set for a basket by UConn freshman Kennitra Johnson (New Albany).  Fun reading.  These top team losses should make for some interesting changes in the NCAA coaches and AP polls due out today.


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