Region Roundball Review

January, 1999
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, 1999
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24/31 25 26 27 28 29 30


News thru Saturday, January 30

Don't know how I let this one slip by me at the end of last week, but an e-mail from a Region Roundball Review reader brought my attention to the outstanding effort of Merrillville senior Shannon Wells in her team's 78-39 win over Calumet last Saturday. Wells pulled off the incredible feat of a rare quadruple-double in that game, with 16 points, 13 boards, 10 steals and 10 assists. Wells is being asked to do a lot for her team these days, as coach Joe Poteet has moved her from the power forward position to the point guard position to make her team more effective. Looks like Wells is responding quite well to the challenge.


2A Ft. Wayne Luers skyrocketed to the No. 1 spot in the Indiana Coaches poll, after being ranked No. 7 just three weeks previous to Monday's poll. One of the reasons for the Knights' quick rise to the top is the play of sophomore Rachel King, a no-holds-barred player, who at times is nearly unstoppable. The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is featuring King in its on-line Prep Sports section this week. Be sure to read about this dynamic player, who you will surely be hearing more about during the 2A tournament and in years to come.
Twin Lakes junior point guard Julie Goad (5'7") last week set the Twin Lakes career assist record in just 52 games. The old record of 285 was set in 1993, and Goad broke that record in a Twin Lakes win against West Vigo last Saturday. So far this season, Goad has 108 assists and is averaging 7.2 per game. Over the past 7 games, Goad has tallied a 10.1 assist average. She is also averaging 11.3 points, 3.2 steals and 4.3 rebounds for the Lady Indians in their current 13-3 season. Goad's ongoing assist record is 308 and climbing.

News thru Friday, January 29

When a team is behind and needs to get possession for a chance to score, fouling sometimes is the only way to go against a good ball-handling opponent. But if you're playing Chesterton, it could be pretty hard to figure out who to put on the line. According to the latest NWI statistics, Chesterton boasts four players with free-throw shooting percentages of .700 or higher -- Jackie Campbell (.809), Christina Poparad (.758), Annie Ray (.741) and Bridget Schwoegler (.732). Looks like Coach Jack Campbell has his Trojans working hard in practice from the charity stripe.


Although many basketball players focus all of their efforts in the sport of basketball, some are multi-talented and try to take advantage of all the opportunities offered in response to those many talents. One of them is Lafayette Jeff senior point guard, Danae Witter, who plays for the Bronchos and is also an accomplished violinist. Although offered a scholarship to attend a highly regarded music prep school her senior year, Witter chose to stay at Jeff and compete for the Bronchos. You can read about this interesting young lady in the Lafayette Journal Courier.
The Times out of Munster is reporting this morning that Bishop Noll coach Andy Juscik is claiming he is being forced to resign his coaching position by the Gary Diocese at the end of this season due to a dispute that he had with several parents three years ago. He claims that his failure to include several upperclassmen on the 1996 sectional roster, and bringing up two freshman to play in sectionals instead, was the catalyst for the dispute. Although he says that he was originally asked to leave his post just before Thanksgiving, he was able to work out an arrangment that would let him finish out the current season.
The issue of class sports and the IHSAA's control over high school athletics has popped up in the state legislature again. An interesting bill is being considered in the current session of the Indiana Senate, which would establish an Indiana Advisory Council on Secondary School Athletics to advise the IHSAA on several points, including the following:
  • Recommended changes to IHSAA rules.
  • Recommended ways to honor all athletes and teams.
  • Recommendations that are in the best interests of secondary school athletes and athletics in Indiana.
  • The bill also provides that no school would be allowed to remain a member of, or pay money to, the IHSAA unless the IHSAA considers the recommendations of the Council and reports to the Council in writing the IHSAA's decision on each Council recommendation. The bill also sets out parameters for the membership of the IHSAA Board of Directors, which would include a spectrum of principals from all school sizes. The bill is being sponsored by Jerry L. Denbo, a Senator from French Lick, who also served on the Springs Valley School Board from 1985-88. This is not the first time Senator Denbo has brought government intervention into the athletics arena. He also sponsored a Senate Resolution which was passed last year urging the Big Ten Conference not to assign official Ted Valentine to future IU games. (IU Coach Bobby Knight paid a $10,000 fine last season for harassing Valentine, and Valentine was subsequently barred from Big Ten contests this year after assessing an unwarranted "T" on Coach Knight.) If you would like to view the entire version of Senate Bill No. 1075, you can access it by going to the Indiana Legislative Bills web site.


    Statistical leaders for NWI are appearing in the Post-Tribune today as follows:    

    Scoring Field Goal
    Percentage
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    E. Martin (Kouts)
    J. Gray (Valparaiso)
    24.3 ppg
    23.2 ppg
    20.3 ppg
    K. Morris (Roosevelt)
    L. Wilhite (Kouts)
    J. Bayer (Lowell)
    .694
    .654
    .627
    3-Point
    Percentage
    Free Throw
    Percentage
    E. Morris (Roosevelt)
    M. Smith (Chesterton)
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    .694
    .538
    .511
    S. Zondor (Crown Point)
    K. Glass (N. Judson)
    J. Campbell (Chesterton)
    .913
    .810
    .809
     
    Assists
     
    Rebounds
    E. Sampsel (Valpo)
    J. Campbell (Chesterton)
    T. Sweezer (West Side)
    7.1 apg
    5.3 apg
    5.3 apg
    J. Bayer (Lowell)
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    L. Mitchell (Calumet)
    14.0 rpg
    12.9 rpg
    11.9 rpg
     
    Steals
     
    Blocks
    T. Humphrey (Hammond)
    C. Koby (Hanover Central)
    J. Smith (Gavit)
    7.2 spg
    6.1 spg
    5.5 spg
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    M. Yancey (West Side)
    D. Kain (Kouts)
    4.1 bpg
    3.5 bpg
    3.0 bpg


    News thru Wednesday, January 27

    The South Bend Tribune is carrying a girls basketball update about players and teams in the greater South Bend area. Included in the update is information about Kristi Kaniewski of Mishawaka, who is leading the area in scoring with 20.2 ppg in the NIC. Also mentioned are the Bluejays of North Judson, the upcoming NSC contest between Glenn and LaVille, and season records for all South Bend area teams.


    The IHSAA Scoring Leaders are out for the week with very few changes. The IHSAA is encouraging all coaches to forward information about any player averaging 20+ ppg for inclusion on the list.
    The IHSAA has released benchmarks reached by a number of players around the state as follows:

    *Amy Gearlds, a senior at Beech Grove, became the school's career scoring leader Jan. 25 as she tallied 16 points in a 48-40 triumph over Indianapolis Ritter. Gearlds has scored 1,164 career points. The previous record was 1,149 by 1996 graduate Kelly Harmas.

    *Lynne Johnson, a junior at Corydon Central, scored the 1,000th point of her career Jan. 19 in a 70-54 victory over North Harrison. She left the game with 1,026 points and was 50 points short of becoming the school's career scoring leader.

    *Laurie Kitts, a senior at Eastbrook, became the school's career scoring leader in girls basketball Jan. 23 with a 26-point effort against Frankton. Kitts left the game with 1,587 points, surpassing the previous record of 1,578 by 1984 graduate Jana Bragg.

    *Kourtney Mennen, a senior at Clinton Prairie, broke the school record for three-point goals in a game Jan. 16 as she hit seven treys in a 90-36 victory over Lafayette Central Catholic.

    *Amie Owsley, a junior at Marion Lakeview Christian, reached the 1,000-point level for her career Jan. 20 while scoring 31 points in a 71-43 triumph over host Maconaquah. She left the game with 1,022 career points.

    *Kami Vaal, a senior at Northeast Dubois, became the first girls basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points. She surpassed that total Jan. 23 while scoring a game-high 18 points in a 36-34 loss to Perry Central. Vaal has scored 1,014 points.


    The IHSAA is also reporting that five teams still remain on the undefeated list as the regular season moves into its final three weeks. Four of the five teams are ranked in the top 5 in 3A. Regular-season play concludes Feb. 13. The teams with perfect records intact are:

    Evansville Memorial 16-0 (No. 1 in 3A)
    Indianapolis Cathedral 15-0 (No. 3 in 3A)
    New Albany 15-0 (No. 1 in 4A)
    South Bend Washington 14-0 (No. 5 in 3A)
    West Lafayette 13-0 (No. 2 in 3A)

    Interestingly, if all the 3A teams remain undefeated in regular season play and are successful in tournament play, South Bend Washington and West Lafayette could meet in the Peru Semi-State, and Evansville Memorial and Indianapolis Cathedral could meet in the Jasper Semi-State. This could result in a battle of two undefeateds for the state championship title in 3A.


    News thru Tuesday, January 26

    The State Coaches Poll is out for the week, and here is a summary of the changes:

    There are five Region teams with votes in the 4A poll. Valpo, for some unknown reason, dropped one spot for the second week in a row to No. 5 -- this, after beating two quality teams, Perry Meridian and Mt. Vernon, in the Warsaw Tournament. Hobart and Portage have taken the No. 9 and No. 10 spots, while Gary West received 6 votes, and Highland 1 vote in the runners-up column. New Albany is the unanimous choice for No. 1, collecting all 15 first place votes for the first time this season.

    In 3A, Evansville Memorial, led by senior standout Jill Hartman (see article), remains at No. 1. South Bend Washington continues its gradual climb with continued solid play from sophomore standout Jackie Batteast, moving up one notch to No. 5. Locally, Andrean makes an appearance with 1 vote in the runners-up column.

    In 2A, Ft. Wayne Luers finally gets the respect it deserves with a No. 1 ranking and 9 first place votes. The rise of this team has been meteoric, as just three weeks ago they were in the No. 7 spot. Locally, North Judson holds onto the No. 4 spot and North Newton dropped two to No. 8. These two regional foes will meet tonight in a makeup game, which is sure to be a fight to the finish. Hanover Central, a team that is continually proving its outstanding abilities, most recently with a PCC Tournament championship, finally received some long overdue recognition with 7 votes in the runners-up column.

    In 1A, the Top 10 members have not changed, although there have been some minor realignments. North Vermillion, behind the solid play of an 8-member varsity squad, holds onto the No. 1 spot with 10 first place votes.


    The Times is running a story today about the possible realignment and formation of two new Region conferences out of the current 13-member Lake Athletic Conference. Apparently a secret meeting was held last week with current LAC powers Munster, Highland, Griffith, Lowell and Calumet. Also expected to be invited into the new "super" conference fold is Andrean and Kankakee Valley, who did not have representatives at the meeting. The alignment of these schools seems to be a socio-economic one split between city and suburban members. The city schools in the LAC -- Bishop Noll, Clark, Gavit, Hammond, Morton, Whiting and Lake Station -- are not as competitive, and the new organizing powers are looking to make a more exclusive conference to raise gate receipts with tougher competition. Also reported present at the secret meeting was a representative of Hobart, currently a Duneland Athletic Conference member. Although Hobart is competitive in the DAC in football and presently girls basketball, other Hobart sports are taking a beating on an annual basis. If Hobart were to hop to the new conference, independent Lake Central could finally make a serious argument to enter the Duneland Conference after years of being turned down. A Lake Central entry into the DAC will undoubtedly make it the strongest girls basketball conference in the state.
    In 1994, the Region was the hotbed for Indiana high school girls basketball, featuring nationally-ranked teams at East Chicago and Lake Central. The senior players on those teams are now senior standouts in college. Two of those players, former East Chicago standouts Monica Maxwell and Tenille Adams, are featured in a Post-Tribune article today. Both have aspirations for a Final Four appearance this season with their respective college teams at Louisiana Tech and Arizona. Also in the article are updates on Purdue freshman Kelly Komara and Northwestern's red-shirted Kristina Divjak.
    The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is carrying an interesting article about a freshman Jessica Ramey from West Noble High School, who aspires to play for the Tennessee Lady Vols and Pat Summit in college someday. This spitfire point guard is averaging 21.3 points and 5 assists per game in her first year of high school competition, and carries a competitive attitude that has sparked her team and improved her teammates' play. The end of the article describes just how competitive she can be in a humorous recount of a middle school incident involving a pick-up game with some male classmates. Take a moment to read it. You'll enjoy this one.

    News thru Friday, January 22

    The Times Top 10 is out today, and Portage gets a big boost from No. 8 to No. 3, deservedly so with its upset over No. 1 ranked Valpo. The Post-Tribune Girls Top 10 is showing the Indians as the No. 1 team in the Region.


    Region fans will be able to catch an extra game right from their living rooms this weekend with the first girls game broadcast in the area this seson on TCI Cable (Channel 3). Coverage of tonight's Highland v. Lake Central game will be broadcast tonight after the game and again at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. The game will also be broadcast on the radio starting at 6:00 p.m. on 1230AM.
    In a cable television interview this week, Crown Point Coach Tom May revealed that the Lady Bulldogs will be venturing into deep waters in 2000, with an appearance in next season's Ben Davis Holiday Tournament. In his constant efforts to seek out the toughest competition for his team, May has laid the groundwork for what will probably be the toughest challenge his developing Bulldogs will meet next year. Ben Davis, who next season will continue to feature thoroughbreds Shyra Ely (21.4 ppg), Ashley Allen (19.1 ppg), and Sara Strahm (14.6 ppg), will definitely be a force to contend with. Participation in the Ben Davis tournament will replace the two games Crown Point will lose off its schedule next season due to a one-year absence of the Crown Point Holiday Shootout. Conflicts on the days which Christmas and New Year's fall prevent the Lady Bulldogs from hosting the event in the 1999-2000 season.
    The Portage Indians are enjoying much success lately, and Coach Renee Turpa is smiling. Not just because her varsity team is performing to its potential, but because her underclassmen are taking care of business as well. The Indian frosh contingent is currently standing at 13-1 on the season, with wins over big programs in the Duneland Athletic Conference for the first time in many years. You can read about the up and coming underclass Indians in The Times. Next season, Portage will lose a big piece of their lineup puzzle in the form of senior standout Erin Jedlikowski, but for the most part, the Indians will be intact. Improving performances by center sub Lauren Hansen will help take the edge off of Jedlikowski's absence next season. A supporting cast that is making its mark at the lower levels this season will only help to bolster the Portage varsity lineup next season.
    Purdue's 6'5 freshman center, Mary Jo Noon (Jeffersonville), has been red-shirted for her first year of college basketball with a nagging foot injury which has sidelined her since just after the high school season last year. Although she has had surgery and is getting some relief, she has not yet fully recovered. Although she probably would have been able to slip into the Purdue lineup at the end of the college season, Coach Carolyn Peck felt that it was too much to ask Noon to give up an entire year of eligibility for a few games in the current season. You can read about Noon's injury and the resulting red-shirt decision in the Indianapolis Star.
    Statistical leaders for NWI are appearing in the Post-Tribune today as follows:
        

    Scoring Field Goal
    Percentage
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    E. Martin (Kouts)
    J. Gray (Valparaiso)
    24.9 ppg
    24.3 ppg
    20.8 ppg
    K. Morris (Roosevelt)
    J. Felton (Valparaiso)
    J. Tobias (Roosevelt)
    .694
    .677
    .642
    3-Point
    Percentage
    Free Throw
    Percentage
    E. Morris (Roosevelt)
    M. Smith (Chesterton)
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    .667
    .545
    .488
    S. Zondor (Crown Point)
    J. Taylor (Morton)
    A Reed (Gavit)
    .913
    .882
    .875
     
    Assists
     
    Rebounds
    E. Sampsel (Valpo)
    T. Sweezer (West Side)
    J. Campbell (Chesterton)
    7.2 apg
    5.3 apg
    5.2 apg
    J. Bayer (Lowell)
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    L. Mitchell (Calumet)
    14.0 rpg
    12.9 rpg
    11.6 rpg
     
    Steals
     
    Blocks
    T. Humphrey (Hammond)
    C. Koby (Hanover Central)
    J. Smith (Gavit)
    7.2 spg
    6.4 spg
    5.5 spg
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    M. Yancey (West Side)
    D. Kain (Kouts)
    4.1 bpg
    3.5 bpg
    1.9 bpg


    News thru Thursday, January 21

    The Indiana Coaches poll was out yesterday for the week, and as expected in 4A, Valpo dropped from the No. 2 spot after a loss to Portage over the weekend. Hobart also dropped out of the Top 10, while Portage and Highland appeared in the 12th and 19th spots, with 11 and 1 votes, respectively. The most notable rise in the polls is in 2A, where Ft. Wayne Luers has moved to the No. 2 spot after being No. 7 just two weeks ago. This team is gaining a tremendous amount of repsect around the state with some wins over ranked 4A teams. Locally, North Judson and North Newton continue to appear in the 2A Top 10 at 4th and 6th, respectively.


    Ben Davis holds its No. 15 ranking nationally for the second week in a row in the USA Today Super 25. They are also ranked as the No. 5 team in the Midwest. Ben Davis moved into the No. 2 state spot behind New Albany this week with continued strong play from stars Shyra Ely and Ashley Allen.
    The IHSAA Scoring Leaders and Season Bests are out for the week. Not much has changed there as ranked players continue solid play to keep their scoring averages as the best in the state. Personally, I wish the IHSAA would add another category to the Leaders and Bests lists for assists. So much emphasis is placed on scoring in what is a team game. Many times the leading scorers would not be getting the opportunities to score without the heads-up and on-target passing of capable teammates. (My viewpoint as a point guard's parent, but a viewpoint that I don't think a single Indiana coach would disagree with.) A local candidate for the assist category would be Valpo's Erin Sampsel, who leads the area in assists at last check with 7.3 apg, and a season high of 14 assists (double her average) in one game.
    Wawasee's new assistant coach really isn't new to Wawasee girls basketball at all. He is Dale Brannock, former head girls coach at Wawasee from 1981 to 1988, who won sectional championships every year but 88, three regional championships and placed as a state runnerup in 1985. He has come back to help head coach Kem Zolman build the Wawasee program, the centerpiece of which is Zolman's freshman daughter, Shanna, currently the state's leading scorer with 31.8 ppg. You can read about Brannock's return in the Warsaw Times Union.

    You may have noticed (surely) that we have not been updating our Red Letter Region Performances as of late. Although the intentions were good in trying to recognize the efforts of players in the Region on a weekly basis, the job of tracking these performances has been more than we can handle in addition to the regular updating duties of our daily site features. If there is anyone out there who would be willing to take on this small part of our operation, we would gladly accept the help. If you would like to find out more of what this entails, please send us an e-mail to ask more. If you are inclined to help us out, your identity will, for obvious reasons, remain anonymous, but your efforts would be greatly appreciated by the young ladies who are working hard at practice and in games every day during the season. Thanks.
    News thru Tuesday, January 19

    The Indiana Coaches Poll, usually out on Monday evening, has not yet been released for the week of January 18. When it is, expect to see some major realignments in the 4A top 5. With Valpo's loss to Portage on Saturday, they will undoubtedly drop from their No. 2 ranking. Portage's game against No. 1 New Albany will be a good barometer for the ranking gurus, who will be able to compare the northern Indiana team (Portage), that beat the No. 2 ranked team in the state, against the No. 1 team from the southern end of the state. Although this will only be one game, it will help those who are trying to make some educated comparisons in the rankings game. We will be checking periodically throughout the day to see if the Coaches' poll is released. Check our news ticker on the home page for updates.


    The Womens Basketball Journal is rating Indiana University's incoming class as the fourth best in the nation. Included in that class is Jill  Hartman, a 5'11 senior from Evansville Memorial. Hartman is expected to make an immediate impact for the struggling Hoosiers next season. You can read about this promising class in the Bloomington Hoosier Times.
    Well, if you've ever scratched your head (or yelled it off at a referee) on the ever-bewildering offensive charge call, a referee in the Kokomo area is offering up an explanation on this often misunderstood call in the Kokomo Tribune. Scroll down a bit to get the explanation when you get there. Although this article is geared toward officiating in the NCAA, it is worthy of a read for all of us bleacher zebras.

    News thru Monday, January 18

    The IHSAA has released a few details about the upcoming 1999 IHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament series, which begins with 64 sectionals the week of February 16. Included in this info is the format to be used for 4-team, 5-team, 6-team and 7-team sectional fields. A listing of the schools in each sectional is shown, as well as the playoff sites that will feed into the regionals and semi-state. Times, ticket prices and order of events is also given. The pairings for the tournament will be drawn at noon on Monday, February 8, and will be available on the IHSAA website at approximately 2 p.m. (EST) on that day.


    The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is carrying a feature article about super soph Jessica Hicks, who is averaging 21.8 ppg and 10.4 rpg for the Manchester Squires. Hicks, a 5'11 forward/center, worked hard over the summer to improve her physical strength and post moves. Hicks had a game-high 27 points against Bluffton, who eliminated the Squires in the Class 2A semistate last season.
    For those of you who may not have seen it yet, the IHSAA Multi-Class Tournament Survey is now being made available for fans of the game to vote on the current status of class basketball. The survey has 6 questions, which take a minimal amount of time to fill out. This survey is not a scientific one, as there is nothing to prevent anyone from filling out and submitting as many of these as they like. Of course, the IHSAA is asking that only one survey be completed by any one individual. The results are non-binding on the IHSAA Board of Directors, but at least it will give them an idea of what we fans are feeling about the current class and tournament system. If you'd like to see what the survey includes, we've recreated it here. Most interesting in the survey is the last question. It offers up the option of sectionals and regionals to be played by class as they are now, with a "Final Sixteen" event which combines the winners of all the different class regionals in a single winner-take-all State Championship Tournament. If you haven't yet voted, be sure to look for a survey form at the next high school game you attend. If you can't find a survey form or are unable to attend a game soon to get one, the IHSAA would probably not object to printing out the form from our site and sending it to them at the following address:

    IHSAA Multi-Class Tournament Survey
    9150 N. Meridian Street
    P. O. Box 40650
    Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650

    To be included in the final tabulation, survey forms must be returned to the IHSAA by February 28. The IHSAA Board will vote on the class basketball issue at its meeting on May 3.


    For those of you in the Chicagoland (Region) area, the Purdue v. Illinois women's game, featuring the Region's own Kelly Komara, will be televised at 2:00 p.m. (CST) on the Sports Channel.
    News thru Friday, January 15

    The Times Top 10 Region-area teams are out for the week. Valpo remains on top, while Hobart, West Side, Highland and Chesterton all move up. Andrean, Munster, Portage and Crown Point drop.


    Statistical leaders for NWI are appearing in the Post-Tribune today as follows:       

    Scoring Field Goal
    Percentage
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    E. Martin (Kouts)
    J. Gray (Valparaiso)
    24.9 ppg
    23.1 ppg
    21.0 ppg
    K. Morris (Roosevelt)
    J. Felton (Valparaiso)
    J. Tobias (Roosevelt)
    .694
    .689
    .642
    3-Point
    Percentage
    Free Throw
    Percentage
    E. Morris (Roosevelt)
    E. Martin (Kouts)
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    .667
    .500
    .488
    S. Zondor (Crown Point)
    J. Taylor (Morton)
    S. Glass (N. Judson)
    .930
    .882
    .860
     
    Assists
     
    Rebounds
    E. Sampsel (Valpo)
    J. Campbell (Chesterton)
    T. Sweezer (West Side)
    7.3 apg
    5.7 apg
    5.3 apg
    J. Bayer (Lowell)
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    L. Mitchell (Calumet)
    14.0 rpg
    12.9 rpg
    11.8 rpg
     
    Steals
     
    Blocks
    T. Humphrey (Hammond)
    C. Koby (Hanover Central)
    J. Smith (Gavit)
    7.1 spg
    6.5 spg
    5.4 spg
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    M. Yancey (West Side)
    D. Kain (Kouts)
    4.1 bpg
    3.6 bpg
    1.9 bpg


    Hobart, Lake Central, Kokomo and Lafayette Jeff will be traveling to the big city this weekend to participate in the 9th Annual Chicagoland Prep Classic, a collection of games featuring some of the best teams in Illinois, Indiana and from around the country. Lake Central will be playing Maria in the Classic opener tonight at 5:45 p.m. Hobart will be playing Maine West, ranked No. 14 by the Chicago Sun-Times, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Kokomo will be bringing their Hoosier-style basketball to play a "two-fer" against No. 11 Fenwick at 9:00 p.m. tonight, and Sandburg at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Lafayette Jeff will go up against Stevenson at 2:30 after the Kokomo game. All games will be played at Willowbrook High School. This event is a great way to compare the level of Illinois and Indiana girls high school play. Last year Lake Central defeated then No. 1 Loyola Academy, featuring nationally-ranked player Olga Gvozdenovic, in a late-night thriller. This year Loyola, ranked 5th nationally in USA Today, will meet No. 2 ranked Huntsville Butler of Alabama in a 4:00 p.m. game.

    Related Links to the Chicagoland Prep Classic in the Chicago Tribune:

    Prep Classic Schedule
    Team Capsules
    Prep Classic Preview Article


    Super soph Jackie Batteast (5'11 F) of South Bend Washington is making some noise in the Northern Indiana Conference. Last night in a game against Elkhart Central, Batteast racked up 29 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks and a number of assists in the 72-58 win. The Panthers are now 12-0. You can read about the game in the South Bend Tribune.
    News thru Thursday, January 14

    Portage will play No. 1 New Albany in the Reebok Distant Replay Series at 6:00 p.m. (CST) on January 23 after the original meeting on January 2 was cancelled due to weather. As we mentioned earlier, this event will take place in the Knightstown gym of "Hoosiers" movie fame. Tickets are available from the Portage High School East Bookstore for $7.00 each through January 22.


    Junior Kristi Koselke (6'0 G) of North Newton was recently featured in an article in The Times prep sports section. A standout for her team, Koselke is averaging 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals a game for the Spartans, who are currently ranked No. 5 in 2A. North Newton (7-2) will be taking on 2A rival North Judson (8-3) at home tonight in what will undoubtedly be a battle supreme. North Judson, currently ranked No. 3 in 2A, eliminated the Spartans in the regional championship last season by a score of 55-40. Tonight's contest is sure to be a tighter one since the Spartans will be seeking to avenge that loss with a more experienced team looking to gain some state-wide respect.
    The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette is reporting that the IHSAA will be sending out a questionnaire in late January or early February for fans to respond as to whether or not to keep the current four-class high school basketball tournament system. The results will not be binding upon the IHSAA Board of Directors, but will only be used as a source of input to make a decision. School principals will be voting on this issue within the next two weeks or so. The first time principals voted, the vote was 51.9% for the four-class system in place now and 46.7% for the old one-class system. (The remaining 1.4% had no preference.) There has been some controversy surrounding the upcoming principals' ballot, which apparently has only two choices: (1) Keep the current four-class system, and (2) Go back to the one-class system. Critics are saying that a third choice should be listed that offers a compromise somewhere in between the one-class and four-class systems.
    The Indianapolis Star is carrying a number of feature articles about several players and teams in the Indianapolis area. For those of you who are interested, here are links to stories about Courtney Lickliter of Park Tudor, Emily Bastin of Triton Central, Barbara Hahn of Avon and the Shamrocks of Westfield High School.

    News thru Wednesday, January 13

    The IHSAA has released the latest Scoring Leaders list and there is little change due to the number of games cancelled because of the weather. The only change to the top 5 is the entry of Kourtney Mennen of Clinton Prairie into the No. 5 spot with a 26.1 ppg average. Shanna Zolman of Wawasee continues to be the state leader with 30.7 ppg. Locally, Valpo's Jeanette Gray enters the list for the first time this season in the No. 49 spot with a 20.3 ppg average, while River Forest's Tracie Mezera (24.9 ppg), Kout's Erica Martin (23.1 ppg) and Chesterton's Jackie Campbell (21.9 ppg) continue to represent as Region-area scoring leaders. Also, in the IHSAA Individual Bests listings, Angel Hall of Anderson Highland takes the top spot in 3-point goals scored in a single game with 9 against Muncie South on January 7.


    In its press release of yesterday, the IHSAA listed the following milestone makers in girls basketball locally and from around the state:

    Tammi Boersma, a junior at Hanover Central, broke the school's single-game girls basketball scoring record with 34 points Jan. 9 in a 103-39 triumph over Washington Township. The Wildcats also set a team record for points in a game.

    Jackie Campbell, a senior at Chesterton, became the first girls basketball player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau for her career Dec. 30 in a 66-42 triumph over Madison at the McCutcheon Shootout. Campbell scored 18 points in the game.

    Trish Fleming, a senior at Westfield, became the first girl in school history to score 1,000 points in a career. She reached the plateau Dec. 26 in an 83-18 victory over Covenant Christian at the Ritter Invitational.

    Jeanette Gray, a senior at Valparaiso, became the school's all-time scoring leader in girls basketball Jan. 9 as the Vikings defeated Kankakee Valley 89-37. Gray scored 27 points in the game and ran her career total to 1,098. The previous record was 1,071 by Jen Cole from 1986-1989.


    As all schools are heading into the back half of their schedules, the IHSAA is reminding us all that the tournament season will be upon us soon by establishing 12 noon (EST) on Monday, February 8, as the time for the IHSAA tournament draw. If the IHSAA follows past procedure, the draw will be posted on their web site on that day as soon as possible after the draw is completed.
    USA Today continues to list Ben Davis as the 15th best girls basketball team in the country in its Super 25 rankings. Ben Davis is ranked No. 3 in 4A by the Indiana Coaches Association, and has been idle since winning the championship of the Hall of Fame Classic in December. The Giants will be getting back into the flow this week in the Marion County Tournament. Currently, sophomore sensation Shyra Ely is averaging 21.1 ppg for Ben Davis.
    We have been advised that the Warsaw Tournament, previously cancelled due to the January 2 snow storm, has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 23. This tournament features some fine competition with Valparaiso (No. 2 in 4A), Perry Meridian (No. 11 in 4A), Mt. Vernon and Warsaw. Valpo and Perry Meridian will meet in first-round action. This will be Valpo's first game against a state-ranked team this season.

    News thru Tuesday, January 12

    The Indiana Coaches Poll for this week is showing little change, due mainly to inactivity from game cancellations.

    In 4A, the top 3 (New Albany, Valpo and Ben Davis) retain their rankings. Connersville moves up to No. 4, replacing Kokomo, who dropped to No. 5. Center Grove pops back up to the No. 6 spot after enduring a week at No. 8 after its loss to Connersville. Ft. Wayne Snider dropped three spots to No. 8 after losing to tough 2A Ft. Wayne Luers. Homestead sneaks back in at No. 9 and Hobart hangs onto the No. 10 spot despite a loss to Portage. Perry Meridian dropped off the top 10 list after a loss to Martinsville.

    In 3A, the only change is an exchange of the No. 6 and 7 spots by South Bend Washington and Franklin, respectively, and Bosse dropped out of the top 10 and was replaced by undefeated Westfield. Still no local teams have shown up in the 3A poll, with Andrean receiving the least amount of respect from voters locally without a single vote.

    In 2A, Ft. Wayne Luers rockets from No. 7 to No. 4 after knocking off previously ranked No. 5 4A Snider. This Luers team is gaining a tremendous amount of respect around the state, and even with their No. 4 ranking, have pulled in the most first place votes in 2A with 6. Locally, North Judson retains it No. 3 spot, and North Newton falls one to No. 5.

    In 1A, which was not released last week, North Vermillion is entrenched in the No. 1 spot and picked up 3 more first place votes for 10 total. Dubois moves up two to No. 5 and Milan enters the top ten in 1A for the first time this season.


    Forgot to mention this one that was in our local Crown Point paper after the Crown Point Holiday Shootout. Mark Smith, sports editor of the Lake County Star, confirmed in an interview with New Albany Coach Angie Hinton that Kennitra Johnson had planned on going to Purdue until Lady Boilermakers Coach Carolyn Peck announced that she would be leaving for the WNBA. This has been speculated ever since Johnson made her decision to attend the University of Connecticut next year. According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Purdue is planning to narrow down its list of candidates between three and six within the next two weeks. Though Purdue officials are declining to name any of the candidates that are in the running, the J & C reports that several names have surfaced, including Tom Collen, head women's coach at Colorado State and a former Purdue assistant coach, Deb Patterson of Kansas State, Lisa Stockton of Tulane, Susan Walvius of South Carolina, Joye Lee-McNelis of Memphis, June Olkowski of Butler, Cheryl Reeve of Indiana State and Lisa Bluder of Drake. Purdue is expected to announce Peck's replacement shortly after the current women's college season has ended.
    Butler's Kelly Kuhn (Lake Central) was in the news locally again today. Apparently Kuhn is making a bid for Midwestern Collegiate Conference newcomer of the year awards. Averaging 9 ppg over 14 games, she was named to the Vanderbilt First American All-Tournament team after a 9 point, 10 rebound performance in her first start. Kuhn has registered personal bests of 21 points against Oregon and 12 rebounds against Central Michigan.

    News thru Monday, January 11

    The Valpo-Chesterton DAC matchup last week featured two of the Region's top seniors in Valpo's Jeanette Gray and Chesterton's Jackie Campbell. These two have been battling in a rivalry royale for the past four years, and during that time, have gained a tremendous amount of respect for one another. Valpo managed to steal the game away from Chesterton last week in what was one of the Trojan's best chances for a win against the Vikings in the past four years. If Chesterton had managed to hold on to their 5-point lead after the half, it would have been the first time that Campbell had gotten the better of her respected counterpart Gray in the prep arena. But it was not to be. Chesterton and Campbell may have one last chance against Valpo and Gray in February, when the two could find themselves going head-to-head to get out of the tough Portage sectional. But that last chance might even be out of Campbell's grasp, as the sectional competition, which includes Hobart and Portage, could eliminate either Chesterton or Valpo in the early rounds. But if they do find each other that week in February, no doubt it will be a game that no one will want to miss. After last week's game, Times sports columnist Steve Hanlon wrote an article about these two Region-best seniors that is definitely worth a read.


    New Albany's Miss Basketball candidate, Kennitra Johnson, is featured this week in an article at the Indianapolis Star. Johnson, who lives across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, is about as far from the Indianapolis-area basketball scene as you can get. As those of us from the other far reaches of the state know, that does not bode well for her Miss Basketball bid, where mid-state media coverage of local Miss Basketball candidates (i.e., April McDivitt of Connersville) heavily influences the voting from around the state. Johnson's past three trips to the Region to compete with her team in the Crown Point Holiday Shootout might help her cause in Region-area media voting, but this year that event was played in near obscurity with the unexpected New Year's snowstorm. How New Albany and Connersville fare in the state tournament may play a very large part in the voting, but if the performances of Johnson and McDivitt are deemed equal after the tournament dust settles, media voters will have to look back on both of their high school careers to make a decision. Then, it may come down to who has been in the media spotlight the longest and strongest.
    The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is carrying an article about senior point guard Maggie Bruening from North Side. Bruening is currently averaging 21.0 ppg for her team after being able to move back to the guard position after playing power-forward last year on a team chock-full of guards.

    Purdue's Stephanie White-McCarty and her storied career with the Lady Boilermakers was featured in a very fine article in The Times over the weekend. The full-page spread included a poster-type photo of White-McCarty that will most likely end up on the walls of many players around the Region, which is only fitting since the article's focus is about the influence this outstanding athlete has had on young basketball players around the state.
    Purdue's newest player in the spotlight is Kelly Komara (Lake Central), and she will definitely be putting this next item under the "Really Bad Ideas I Had In College" category. Komara and a few of her teammates, finding themselves snowed in and bored over the holiday weekend, decided to spray paint their hair red with temporary hair color. The "temporary" worked well for all but Komara, who was unable to wash out her new"Stoplight Red" do. Sporting a new look on the basketball court did not seem to hamper her performance in the past two Purdue wins, however, as Komara helped her team with 9 points (3 treys), 2 steals and 6 rebounds against Penn State, and 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists against Iowa. You can read about the hair debaucle and Coach Carolyn Peck's reaction to it in the Lafayette Journal Courier.
    Former Komara high school teammate, Kelly Kuhn (Lake Central), is featured in an article in The Times today. Kuhn, now at Butler, has endured a variety of difficulties since the season began. She seems to have been dealing with them in a positive way and is now the second-leading rebounder for the Bulldogs.
    We remind everyone that we have been posting Game Cancellations & Reschedulings on a daily basis. If you have any news on rescheduled games, please send that to us.


    News thru Friday, January 8

    All ten teams from the last Times Top 10 are still ranked, but are playing musical chairs. Valpo retains its No. 1 ranking, while Andrean, West Side and North Newton all move up, Hobart, Munster, Portage and Chesterton all move down, and Highland and Crown Point remain seated in place.


    The top 3 players in Region-area stats as reported in the Post-Tribune are as follows on January 8, 1999:

           
    Scoring
     2-Point
    Percentage
     
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    E. Martin (Kouts)
    J. Gray (Valparaiso)
    25.1 ppg
    23.4 ppg
    21.4 ppg
    J. Felton (Valparaiso)
    J. Bayer (Lowell)
    J. Fekete (Portage)
    .636
    .627
    .625
    3-Point
    Percentage
    Free Throw
    Percentage
    E. Martin (Kouts)
    T. Mezera (River Forest)
    K. Wallace (Munster)
    .500
    .476
    .476
    S. Zondor (Crown Point)
    C. Rogers (Andrean)
    S. Glass (N. Judson)
    .930
    .900
    .860
     
    Assists
     
    Rebounds
    E. Sampsel (Valpo)
    J. Campbell (Chesterton)
    T. Sweezer (West Side)
    7.6 apg
    5.7 apg
    5.3 apg
    J. Bayer (Lowell)
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    L. Mitchell (Calumet)
    14.0 rpg
    12.9 rpg
    12.1 rpg
     
    Steals
     
    Blocks
    T. Humphrey (Hammond)
    C. Koby (Hanover Central)
    J. Smith (Gavit)
    7.2 spg
    6.6 spg
    5.4 spg
    L. Schultz (Wheeler)
    M. Yancey (West Side)
    D. Kain (Kouts)
    4.1 bpg
    3.6 bpg
    2.0 bpg


    The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette is carrying a feature article about Columbia City's center Brooksie King. The 5'10 center is averaging 12.2 ppg and 11 rpg for the Eagles after picking up confidence and dropping 43 pounds over the summer. With her new-found speed and positive play, King is making an impact for her team.
    We hope to bring you some feature articles that are appearing in the local edition of The Times today. If the pop-up on line, we'll link them for you.
    Back to Top
    News thru Thursday, January 7

    We have created a new page for checking on Event Cancellations & Reschedulings. This link will also be available on the site navigation menu from our home page and from our Game Scores page as well. We will add to it as we receive information from around the state and the region. If you have any cancellation or rescheduling information to add to that page, please be sure to e-mail us with your news.


    The list of State Scoring Leaders has been updated by the IHSAA for games through January 2, 1999. Freshman Shanna Zolman of Wawasee continues to hold the top spot averaging 30.7 ppg, while Lindsay Secrest of Bloomfield is still close behind with 29.9 ppg. In NWI, junior Tracie Mezera of River Forest regains local top scoring honors with 25.0 ppg (9th statewide) and sophomore Erica Martin of Kouts follows closely behind with 24.9 ppg (12th statewide). Also on the list from NWI is Chesterton senior Jackie Campbell at 21.9 ppg (31st statewide). As a side note, of the 53 players in the state averaging 20.0 ppg or better, 13 are from 4A schools, 10 are from 3A, 11 are from 2A, and 18 are from 1A.
    Although not listed in the IHSAA's 1998-99 Individual Bests for scoring, rebounding, and three-pointers, Coach Mike Megyesi out of South Bend Riley tells us that sophomore Christa Ragukonis hit 7 three-pointers against Griffith in the consolation round of the Twin Lakes Tournament over the holiday break. Ragukonis, a 5-9 sophomore for the Wildcats, ended up with 29 points for the game.
    The Goshen News is carrying an extremely thorough update of stats for players in the North Central Indiana area, including players from NorthWood, Elkhart, Goshen, Wawasee, East Noble and others. Also mentioned in the article is that NorthWood seniors Amy Zercher and Natalie Will are closing in on the career 1,000-point club. Zercher, who didn't play her first game of the season until the Hall of Fame Classic due to an early-season injury, has 835 career points. Teammate Will has 882 points so far this season. Depending upon their efforts over the next month or so, either one of them could be hitting that magic 1000-point number at the Penn Shootout, when Portage and Crown Point both play NorthWood on February 6. A shoe-in for the 1000-point club within the next two years is freshman Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, who has already racked up 307 points through her first 10 varsity games.
    According to the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, former Indiana All-Star and University of Toledo freshman Courtney Risinger (Terre Haute South) played 11 minutes, scored six points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench in a 87-57 win against Brown University. Also, the Connersville News-Examiner has an article covering the accomplishments of several former high school players from that area, including Marian College player Kylie Thornhill (Cambridge City Lincoln), Franklin College player Sherry Martin (Tri), and Murray State player Heather Bates (Connersville).
    Coach Gary Teel of 3A Tippecanoe Valley tells us that he is looking for big things from his team in the second half of the season and from two of his Lady Vikings in particular. Senior guard Rhonda Doud (5'7) and freshman guard Tabitha Pratt (5'9) are improving as the season progresses and are two of the big reasons why TV is now 6-4 on the challenging front end of the Lady Vikings schedule. TV's 4 losses so far have come at the hands of capable Warsaw, Valparaiso, Ft. Wayne Bishop Dwenger and Winamac, who have a cominbed record of 35-3. Senior Doud is averaging 17.2 ppg and leads her team in steals with 30. She also scored 4 treys against undefeated Valparaiso, the highest single point total of any player against Valpo this year. Freshman Pratt is averaging 11.6 ppg and scored 22 against Warsaw in her second varsity contest. Warsaw Coach Will Weinhorst told TV's Teel that he couldn't remember any freshman ever scoring 22 points against them. Pratt also had 20 points (4 treys) against No. 1 2A Winamac in December.
    Leigh Evans, the webmaster for the Hickory Husker web site, has asked us to pass along a letter he has sent to over 50 newspapers in Indiana for publication regarding the upcoming principals' vote on the current IHSAA class system. Leigh is questioning the options on the principals' ballot, which are limited to just two: (1) keep the current 4-class system or, (2) go back to the 1-class system. He is asking the IHSAA to include a third option for principals to select if they so choose, which would be: (3) something else. We include a link to it here for your information.
    We have added a couple of new links to our web page. On our Indiana Prep News Map, which has links to the sports sections of over 35 on-line newspapers, we've added one more out of Crawfordsville. This is a really good girls basketball news source, covering several schools in the Crawfordsville area, including Crawfordsville, North Montgomery, Southmount, Fountain Central, North Putnam and a few others. On our girls high school basketball web site links, we have added the Jeffersonville Lady Devils. The Jeffersonville site was created and is maintained by Troy Danner, who is doing a pretty good job even though he is just learning the HTML ropes. Drop by and give the Lady Devils page a look.

    Back to Top
    News thru Wednesday, January 6

    Despite being ranked at the No. 3 spot in the state, Ben Davis (12-1) continues to be the only Indiana team in the USA Today Super 25 Rankings for high school girls basketball, and has even moved up four places to the No. 15 spot since December's last rankings. USA Today is sold on the outstanding play of trio Shyra Ely, Ashley Allen and Sara Strahm. Ben Davis barely pulled out a win in the Hall of Fame Classic against talented Terre Haute South, but a win is a win and they would be undefeated had it not been for an upset win by Roncalli early in the season. Ben Davis's only weakness showed in the HOF at the point guard position, where two inexperienced freshman are sharing distribution duties for the Giants. As the season progresses, however, these two should gain enough experience to make the Giants the most dangerous team at tournament time.


    The Indiana Coaches poll is out for the week, and as expected, there have been some major realignments.

    In 4A, although New Albany retained its No. 1 ranking after winning the Crown Point Shootout, Kokomo took a tumble from No. 2 to No. 4 after being soundly defeated by Ben Davis in the Hall of Fame Classic. TH South moves up two notches to No. 7 for their good showing in that tournament. Center Grove dropped two to No. 8 and Connersville went up a notch to No. 6 after defeating Center Grove in the Columbia City Classic. Hobart reappeared as the No. 10 team in the state, but will most likely drop out of the top ten next week after last night's surprise upset by Portage. Logansport dropped out of the last poll's No. 10 spot after losing to New Albany and Crown Point.

    In 3A, the top three teams remained the same, with Evansville Memorial still No. 1, but Rushville took over the No. 4 spot from Roncalli on a fine showing at the Crown Point Shootout against New Albany. No. 6 Franklin and No. 7 South Bend Washington both moved up 3 notches after some fine wins over the holiday break, and Evansville Bosse dropped 3 places and Plainfield dropped 2 while being inactive over the break.

    In 2A, the new No. 1 is Winamac, which did nothing over the holiday break but wait for the other top-ranked teams to lose a few games. Triton Central dropped from the top of the poll to No. 2 after going 2-1 over the break, and North Judson raised its stock with 2 wins to move to No. 3. North Newton tumbled two notches to No. 4 after a tough loss to 3A No. 7 South Bend Washington in the Lafayette Jeff Holiday Tournament, and North Knox dropped two to No. 5 after a holiday break loss.

    Apparently, the 1A poll was not provided by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association this week.


    For those of you outside of Northwest Indiana who are wondering what the heck is going on with the 4A "top" teams in the Region, all we can tell you is that there is a tremendous amount of parity in the 4A division here, especially in the strong Duneland Athletic Conference. Hobart, who was supposed to be the team to possibly take away Valpo's conference crown this season, is now 1-2 in conference play after losing to both Portage and Chesterton. Portage lost to DAC upstart Merrillville, while Chesterton (2-0 in the DAC) will face Valpo (also 2-0) tomorrow in what is sure to be a battle between these two Porter County rivals. All of this parity makes for some great games for girls basketball fans in the Region!
    A few verbatim notes from the Post-Tribune on former high school Region-area players:

    ** Butler rookie Kelly Kuhn's (Lake Central) college indoctrination included an injury against Louisville which needed six stitches to repair. She bounced back against Miami of Ohio score seven points and grab five rebounds. Over the holidays, Kuhn notched a double-double (12 rebounds, 10 points) in a 74-63 victory over Central Michigan. The 27-minute stint was one of her longest of the season.

    ** Center Melaniece Bardley (Gary West) is performing heroically, but injuries to point guards Tiffany Traylor (stress fracture) and Kim Holloway (back) have left Southern Illinois without a floor general, explaining its seven-game skid and a 1-8 record. The 6-3 junior leads the Salukis in rebounds (5.4), blocked shots (14) and is scoring at a 9.2 clip. Bardley ranks among SIU's top 10 with 59 blocked shots. She is a three-year starter.

    ** Indiana State's Shameka Robinson (Gary Wallace) is only 5-foot-5, but grabbed 10 rebounds to go with 13 points in a 64-61 victory over Bradley. Her third double-double inspired a 9-1 start for the Sycamores. Earlier, her 3-point shot with 40 seconds left sealed a 63-58 victory at Northern Iowa. She finished with a team-high 18 points and five assists.


    Former Notre Dame standout Beth Morgan (Bloomington South) was pretty shocked when she discovered that the ABL had filed for bankruptcy and folded in December. A two-year member of the ABL's Philadelphia Rage, Morgan was only seeing limited minutes this season as a role player when the Rage hired a new coach for her second season with the team. Morgan is hoping to continue playing in the USA, unlike other teammates who have already decided to play in Europe. She will not be able to negotiate with the WNBA until released to do so by a bankruptcy court that is overseeing the ABL case. If you'd like to read more about Morgan's reaction to the fold of the ABL, you can read about it in the South Bend Tribune.
    Back to Top
    News thru Monday, January 4

    It was truly unfortunate that the weekend snow storm prevented the opportunity for Region-area girls basketball players and fans to see some outstanding basketball teams and players from around the state at Saturday's Crown Point Holiday Shootout. Rarely does the Region get a chance to compare the players and styles of play from teams anywhere south of Indy, especially all on the same day and in their own backyard. The evening matchup between two very different players who are both considered Miss Basketball candidates, Kennitra Johnson of New Albany and Elizabeth English of Rushville, was quite a treat and worth the price of admission alone. Many times they went head to head, and both displayed their obvious talents to the fullest. English, who has committed to Colorado State, is an excellent ballhandler and shooter who has a flair for the dramatic play. Although only 5'6 and small in stature, she can drive the lane pretty effectively if given the opening, but relies most heavily on her outside sharp-shooting to rack up the points. Johnson, who is going to the prestigious U Conn program next fall, is a workhorse who plays big and strong, and is totally into the team concept. She is unselfish and controls everything on the floor for her team. Even at 5'8, she's a great rebounder and can get up there with the tallest post players to sweep the boards. As good as she is now, it is obvious that Johnson has not yet reached her physical potential, and her experiences-to-come at U Conn will most likely bring out whatever she is capable of becoming. To us, she looks to be capable of great things at the college level.

    For those of you who wished you had been there but for the weather, here are a few tournament tidbits we can pass on to you that were not a part of the game recaps:

    ~ Logansport's Kristen Lowry, a 6'2 Indiana All-Star candidate, did not get to play in the Shootout due to the flare-up of a two-year chronic back injury that has been finally diagnosed correctly as a lumbar stress fracture. Lowry, who must consistently wear a plastic torso brace that prevents her spine from compressing during her recovery period, will miss a good part of her final high school basketball season before she heads to her college basketball program of choice, Xavier. The Berries are hoping for a mid-February return of their 19 ppg offensive threat. Had Lowry been playing in the first-round game against New Albany, the Berries could have had the upset of the season by knocking off a New Albany team that did not impress in the qualifying game. Logansport only lost to New Albany by 8 and were as close as 3 with just over two minutes to go in the game. Credit Logansport point guard Amy Muehlhausen (13 points) for her team's close finish with her determined play.

    ~ Rushville sophomore Kristan Moore (5'10 F) was key to Rushville's morning 5-point win over Crown Point. For three quarters the CP defense did not allow English many looks at the basket, but while English was busy fighting off defenders, Moore took advantage of being left open more often than not and capitalized. During the first half, she had 15 points, including 2 treys. She has a nice inside-outside game, and plays with maturity. Most likely she will be the offensive focus of next year's Lady Lions team.

    ~ New Albany's 6'2 center, Jessy Dablow, is as fine a post player as we've seen play on Region turf since Lake Central's Kelly Kuhn ended her high school career last spring. She is not a real powerful player, but has an outstanding touch around the basket and a nose for the errant rebound. In the final game against Rushville, she was unstoppable with a double-double 20 points and 11 rebounds. Also of note was the defensive play of New Albany's 5'6 freshman colt Jessica Huggins. She did nothing spectacular to stop English in the second half with her defense, but just played her tight and smart, by moving her feet and sticking to her assignment. When she did get hung up on a couple of Rushville picks, Johnson took over until she was free, which gave English fits. Most definitely this was the difference in a fairly close game.

    ~ Elizabeth English, as mentioned earlier, has quite a flair for the dramatic, and the morning CP game was stopped 3 separate times while English lay on the floor. The first time was about two minutes into the game when English looked to suffer a shoulder injury after colliding with a CP player going for a rebound. She was down for a good 2-3 minutes and looked pretty shaken, but bounced back into the game a minute later. It was fun watching English deal with her emotions throughout the game, and it was on the inbounds at the start of the fourth quarter that she seemed to give herself a good talking to. It must have worked, because she came out all gangbusters and took control of the game to score 14 points in the final quarter to give her team the win.

    ~ Everyone in the Region, including most fans in Crown Point, were bracing themselves for what was surely to be a massacre of the inexperienced Lady Bulldogs against two Top 10 state-ranked teams. (As one basketball friend of ours put it, "What, Tennessee was busy that day and couldn't be in your tournament?") Well, a tough schedule is what coach Tom May was looking for to determine if his team could rise to the challenge, and they did not disappoint. Some strong play by a four-guard rotation in senior Beth Tully, junior Sarah Gourley, sophomore Sarah Zondor and freshman Alex Webster seemed to finally click, and rotations in at the 4-5 spots with post personnel Danielle Tovsen, Allyson Carnahan, Erin Plumley and Katie Lemke kept the Bulldogs fresh against Rushville and Logansport, who did not go as deep. By the time the Bulldogs get ready for their first sectional contest, they will have played 8 teams in the Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Preseason Top 50, as well as the 7 tough teams in their own Duneland Athletic Conference, 4 of which have been ranked or received votes during the course of the season in the 4A Top Ten Coaches' poll (Valpo, Hobart, Portage and Chesterton). This has been baptism by fire for the inexperienced Lady Bulldogs roster, but will hopefully pay off in the February-March state tournament series.

    ~ Having seen No. 1 New Albany in two games on Saturday, it is the Region Roundball Review's opinion (as we indicated in our State Top 12 yesterday), that Valparaiso should be the No. 1 team in the state. Valpo's defense would be hard for New Albany to overcome, and Jeanette Gray could competently go one-on-one with Miss Basketball Kennitra Johnson. (Don't forget that Gray was an AAU All-American selection this past summer.) That would be an interesting state final, and could possibly come about with these two teams from opposite ends of the state. One thing we are conscious of, however, is that neither New Albany nor Valpo could match up with last year's finalists, Lake Central and Martinsville. We have not seen a team yet this year that can match the level of play from these two teams last year.

    ~ Finally, kudos to the two-man media team from a Rushville radio station that braved the weather to cover all four games of the Shootout live for their fans back in Rushville. Talk about dedication to get the important news of the world out to the interested public, these two win the award for coverage despite all conditions!


    Several games and tournaments were cancelled due to the weekend snow storm. As soon as we obtain information as to when and if these games will be rescheduled, we will post them here. Before the storm hit, several Region-area teams made a fine showing in holiday tournaments around the state. At Twin Lakes, Hobart took home the championship trophy after defeating a tough Twin Lakes team. At McCutcheon, West Side took third and Chesterton took fourth after going head-to-head in the consolation final. (Homestead beat the host there for the championship.) In the South County Tournament, Morgan Township established itself as the winner after a convincing win over Hebron. And in the Momence (IL) Holiday Tourney, Hanover Central defeated two Illinois teams to take home the championship hardware.
    Speaking of New Albany, the Portage Indians will be getting a taste of the No. 1 team this Saturday when they travel to the celebrated Knightstown gym of "Hoosiers" fame for a Reebok Distant Replay Series game which starts at 6:00 p.m. (EST). It will be interesting to see how New Albany responds to the conditions (tight playing area) with their usually wide-open game. Could be an advantage for Portage. Key for any type of Portage chance at a win will be the defensive post play of 6'0 Erin Jedlikowski on New Albany's 6'2 Jessy Dablow.
    Many of the Duneland Athletic Conference teams will be getting into the meat of their schedules this month. The first big matchup is between Valparaiso and Chesterton this Thursday at Valpo. The No. 2-ranked Vikings will be coming off of a 19-day layoff going into this Thursday's game, since their much-anticipated test with No. 8 Perry Meridian at the Warsaw Holiday Tournament was cancelled due to Saturday's snow storm. Chesterton last played on December 31, when they lost to Gary West Side in overtime to place fourth in the McCutheon Big "Eight" Shootout. Other DAC matchups coming up within the next two weeks include Hobart at Merrillville on Saturday afternoon, January 9, and Portage at Valparaiso and LaPorte at Crown Point, both on Saturday evening, January 16.

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    News thru Friday, January 1


    to all of our Internet friends and everyone who visits the Region Roundball Review. We hope you enjoy visiting us and will continue to do so throughout 1999. We will continue to cover Region-area high school girls basketball as best we can to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest girls basketball game scores, recaps and news. We hope to recruit some help in the back half of the season to do a better job covering Region teams and games. If you would like to help us out, either with just a game score the night of games, or short recaps, please contact us to find out how. (It's not hard. Really.) We greatly appreciate the help from all of you who have been contributing to our coverage so far this season. Help us tell the rest of the state about the great talent up here in NWI!


    The Northwest Indiana weather forecast, as well as the forecast for the rest of the state, does not look too good for fans planning to travel to the last of the holiday tournaments scheduled for today and tomorrow. Tournaments at Lafayette Jeff, Warsaw and Crown Point will most likely see low attendance figures for any late-Saturday games as the snow expected to hit all three of those areas begins to significantly accumulate. (Chicago stations are predicting anywhere from 6-18" of the white stuff.) The teams for the Crown Point Shootout are already in Crown Point and are scheduled for practice times in the main gym throughout the day today. The teams are here, the officials are nearby, the game ball is in the gym, so regardless of the spectator turnout, the competition is expected to go on at Crown Point as scheduled. If anyone receives information about any tournament game cancellations or delays, please drop us a note and/or post it on our Game Results Posting Board to keep everyone off the roads if they don't unnecessarily need to be out there. Save driving to all of you basketball nuts out there who decide to brave the weather! (Maybe this whole thing will pass us by... those weather forecasters HAVE been known to be wrong before. :-)
    Watch for some major realignments in the next 4A Coaches' Poll. (Don't know if it will come out this coming Monday or next, due to the holiday break.) Some ranked teams took it on the chin over the holiday break, and the possibility that one or two may encounter the same fate exists in games scheduled for tomorrow. In the Hall of Fame Classic, No. 2 Kokomo fell hard (by 15 points) to No. 9 Terre Haute South in the morning qualifying round, and Terre Haute South gave No. 4 Ben Davis ALL they could handle in the HOF championship game, when Ben Davis took the lead for the first time in the game when the final buzzer sounded to just barely pull out the win. In the Columbia City Classic, No. 7 Connersville handily put away No. 6 Center Grove, with
    April McDivitt raising her Miss Basketball stock in a stellar tournament performance against Center Grove's All Star candidate Emily Butler. Additionally, No. 5 Ft. Wayne Snider strengthened its ranking with their SAC Tournament championship win on Wednesday. The remainder of the 4A Top 10 teams are scheduled to play tomorrow. No. 3 Valparaiso and No. 8 Perry Meridian will go head-to head in the first round of games at the Warsaw Holiday Tournament. No. 1 New Albany will be defending its top-of-the-hill ranking against No. 10 Logansport in its first-round game at the Crown Point Shootout, and then will play either 3A No. 5 Rushville or unranked Crown Point in the second round. Voting coaches will have to spend some extra time evaluating their next poll picks depending on the outcome of Saturday's games.
    Nick Ray from Hoosierland Report tells us that ISU is 2-0 on the road in conference play and that Region player, 5'5 sophomore point guard
    Shameka Robinson (Gary Lew Wallace) led the way at Bradley this past Wednesday with 18 points and 10 boards. Against Northern Iowa (now 8-2), Robinson hit a HUGE '3' late in the fourth quarter that "iced" the game. He also reports that 5'5 sophomore guard Cristalle Shelton (East Chicago), who transferred to ISU from Iowa State, led the Sycamores to a victory over Fairfield in a recent tournament in the Bahamas. (Yes, a great place for ANY sporting event!) Shelton is credited with a team-inspiring performance, including 7 steals and 13 points in the championship game. Shelton also had the highest scoring average for ISU during the tournament. Nick is currently updating the girls side of the Hoosierland Report and is expected to return with his regular reports starting tomorrow. Check it out.

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