Region Roundball Review
November, 2001
News & Updates
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Welcome to the news area of the Region Roundball Review. This page will be updated as information becomes available. 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. 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.

November, 2001
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     Important Upcoming Dates:

11/3 -   IHSAA State Volleyball Finals
11/5 -   First authorized IHSAA games for girls basketball
11/12 -   NCAA Dead Period through 10/15
11/14 -   NCAA Early Signing Period begins
11/19 -   First authorized IHSAA games for boys basketball
11/21 -   NCAA Early Signing Period ends

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News thru Friday, November 30


The Times Top 10

1. West Side
2. Crown Point
3. Lake Central
4. Portage
5. Valparaiso
6. East Chicago Central
7. Andrean
8. North Newton
9. Hebron
10. Chesterton

Too bad Wawasee fans can't pick up a quick copy of The Times today, which has a full two-page spread on their favorite player Shanna Zolman in anticipation of tomorrow's Region Roundball Rumble game with Crown Point.  (Note to Jeff Carroll:  Be sure and have some of today's newspapers on hand for the Wawasee following to pick up as souvenirs!)  However, the complete article is online if you can't get a hard copy.   Probably the most interesting tidbit in the article is the revelation that coach Kem Zolman was of the mind to move out of Wawasee before Shanna entered the halls of the Warriors, but Shanna talked him out of it.  The big question not answered in the article is where he planned on taking his daughter to play high school basketball if they hadn't stayed true to Wawasee. 

The IHSAA has posted its initial 2001-02 Single Game Bests, although somewhat bare in content.  The top reported single game scoring effort so far this season goes to Alexandria frosh Jodi Howell for her 41 points against Shenandoah on November 16.  No top rebounders are listed, so coaches, its time to get those stats faxed off to the IHSAA!

According to the Ft. Wayne Sentinel, Ft. Wayne Luers coach, former Norwell standout and 1977 Miss Basketball Teri Rosinski was recently named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's Silver Anniversary Team.  She will be inducted on March 1.

The Muncie Star Press is reporting this morning that former Eastbrook standout Laurie Kitts has decided to leave the Ball State women's team in order to fulfill academic requirements toward her degree.  The junior started 49 of 57 games during the past three years, but suffered an ACL tear during the summer and played a backup role during the first three games of the current season.

USA Today has released its Super 25 for the "preseason," even though the season in Indiana and around most of the country is already underway.  The only Indiana team in the rankings is Terre Haute South, who logs in at No. 15.  That may change with the next Super 25 update, as the Braves dropped one game already to Bloomington SouthUSA Today also lists its Preseason Top 25 Players in the country, and as expected, Wawasee sharpshooter Shanna Zolman is among this elite group.

Have you ever wondered why college games are played in halves, while high school and pro games are played in quarters?  Johnson County Daily Journal editor Jeff Madsen did, and went on a search for the answer why.  Interestingly, there seems to be no definitive answer.

Tecumseh junior standout Julie Briody is getting into the flow of her game this season after a disappointing sophomore season that only had the 6'0 forward on the floor fewer than 10 games for the Braves.  Although the article in Warrick Publishing is about Tecumseh's win over Barr-Reeve last week, there is a considerable amount of background information that gives insight into Briody's role for new coach Steve O'Brien.

New St. Francis head coach Gary Andrews, formerly of Ft. Wayne Luers, has his team in fine form early in the season, but in a fashion that is different from teams of  the Cougars' past.  Rather than an offensive force, St. Francis has become a defensive force, giving up only 57 points in their first 10 games, nine of which are sitting in the win column.  According to the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette, St. Francis is indexed higher than Indiana State, Valparaiso, Butler and IPFW.

Former Rushville standout Elizabeth English (19 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds) was key in Colorado State's win over Colorado this week, as described on ESPN.  Also a big contributor in the win was Chesterton grad Jackie Campbell (12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists). 


News thru Thursday, November 29


It's been awhile since our last update, but the Websters had some holiday business to take care of around the house and about.  Some days we just don't have enough time to do it all!

Region Roundball RumbleThe Region Roundball Rumble is on the horizon in NWI, set for 6:00 p.m. CST on Saturday, and The Times, who sponsors this annual event, is featuring an article about the matchup between Wawasee scoring ace Shanna Zolman and Crown Point guard Alex Webster.  The two played on a team together over the summer, and both are pretty familiar with each other's game.  Zolman comes into Saturday's game having just surpassed the 2,400 point career mark, and although the matchup between these two guards will be watched closely, both teams bring a lot more to the table than just one player.  Wawasee has gotten some outstanding scoring from junior forward Megan Wallen, who has been putting up nearly 16.0 points and pulling down 9.0 rebounds per game.  Fellow junior post Jessica Higginbotham is also averaging double figures with 10.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.  Crown Point brings senior center Carissa Triplett (12.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks) and a balanced attack from a 14-deep roster that includes sophomore starter Blayre Reeves (6.4 points, 5.0 rebounds), senior point guard  Ashley Plumley (4.4 points, 2.0 assists) and frosh guard Cassie Pruzin (7.0 points, 2.8 assists, 2.5 steals).  The Bulldogs may have the upper hand in terms of schedule coming into this high-level game.  They have played three state-ranked teams, coming out on top twice.  Wawasee has not yet been challenged early in the season, going 5-0 against weaker teams.  (Four of those teams have combined for 7 wins and 17 losses.)  But Wawasee coach Kem Zolman, Shanna's dad, will have his charges ready for this high profile game to prove that their ICGSA 4A No. 4 state ranking is legit.  For more information about the game, including ticket information, click on the Region Rumble graphic above.

Many of you around the state had heard of the disheartening news that frosh phenom Jodi Howell of Alexandria, who is currently averaging 33 points per game this season, may have re-injured her knee last week.  The good news came back early this week that Howell had not incurred serious injury but had hyper-extended her knee, and at the same time aggravated cartilage in the knee that is still not 100% from ACL surgery this summer.  At the current time, the 5'11 forward is on a day-to-day evaluation basis before resuming play, as explained in the Anderson Herald Bulletin.  Alexandria got by Lapel 47-40 last night without Howell's services and should be okay as long as the high-scoring Howell can be back in the lineup on December 18, when the Tigers take on 5-1 Tipton.

The ICGSA Poll is came out on Monday.  Rather than give a protracted rundown (since it's four days after the fact), here's the skinny:
Biggest 4A vote gain:  Warsaw (+16)
Biggest 4A vote loss: 
4A Newcomers:  North Central (Indianpolis), Jennings County, FW Northrop, Mooresville
Missing in 4A action:  Center Grove, Crown Point, Perry Meridian, Lake Central
Biggest 3A vote gain:  Northwestern (+18)
Biggest 3A vote loss:  Frankfort (-23)
   3A Newcomers:  (none)  
Missing in 3A action:  Evansville Memorial, Beech Grove, Zionsville
Biggest 2A vote gain: 
Biggest 2A vote loss:  Evansville Mater Dei (-81)
   2A Newcomers:  Forest Park
Missing in 2A action:  Garrett
Biggest 1A vote gain:  Washington Catholic (+30)
Biggest 1A vote loss:  Turkey Run (-21)
   1A Newcomers:  Loogootee, Tri-Central
Missing in 1A action:  Morristown, White River Valley, Jac-Cen-Del, Barr-Reeve, New Washington, West Central, Rossville, Culver

We've compiled and posted another Week in Quotes, with some interesting ones from coaches all around the state.  Don't know if you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy putting them together.  The quotes give a real insight to some of the game highlights behind the scores.

Former Northeastern standout and Indiana All Star Amy Wright broke the career assist record at the University of Arkansas on Sunday.  According to the Richmond Palladium-Item, Wright finished with seven assists to reach 541 career assists in the game.

The ongoing debate about summer basketball is being scrutinized again, this time by the Elkhart Truth.

According to the Hoosier Times, Butler transfer Kristen Bodine (Martinsville) will have to sit out another season due to an ACL tear she incurred last Friday in a game against North Carolina.  The 5'11 point guard will redshirt this season after sitting out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning next year.  Bodine, a 1998 grad, is a senior academically this year, but will be a junior athletically next year.

News thru Friday, November 23


Jennings County senior Ashley Elmore has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend IPFW next fall.  According to the Plain Dealer & Sun, the 6'2 center chose the first-year Division I school for its outstanding elementary education program.
Also, Elmore's teammate Jenny Pfeiffer, made it official as well by signing her NLI to the University of Kentucky.  Pfeiffer's signing was also covered in the Plain Dealer & Sun.

In case you missed it on our navigation bar, we have a new weekly feature called the Week in Quotes.  We'll be pulling together some of the best quotes from around the state about games and players throughout the season.  We've begun with quotes from the week of November 12.

The Times Top 10 is out, and Crown Point and Lake Central have moved ahead of Gary West Side in the opinion of The Times sportswriters.   Both CP and LC will be tested this weekend.  The Bulldogs travel to Warsaw tonight for their annual post-Thanksgiving matchup, and NWI fans wanting to see what a No. 1 state-ranked team looks like will get their chance at 12:00 noon tomorrow when the Indians host No. 1 state-ranked Kokomo.

Plainfield junior Suzanne Pearcy was recently profiled in the Plainfield Flyer Group.  The 5'8 three-year starting forward averaged 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in the Hendricks County Tournament, which the Quakers won last Saturday.

If you enjoy inspirational sports quotes, you'll enjoy the editorial by Mike Lunsford of the Terre Haute Tribune Star.  A fun read.

Floyd Central junior Madeline Richards is profiled in the Louisville Courier-Journal today.  The 5'6 guard-forward is averaging 15.3 points for the Highlanders, who are 4-0 and ranked No 14 in 4A this week.  Richards is a multi-sport athlete, but she favors basketball most of all.  

For those of you who don't know, the Sagarin Ratings are updated several times during the week on a regular basis.  The last update, made yesterday, finally moved the teams into an unbiased format now that all teams have played at least one game.  This last update puts Bloomington South at the top of the heap by a pretty big rating margin.  The highest-rated NWI team is North Judson at No. 8, followed by Crown Point at No. 11, Lake Central at No. 16, Chesterton at No. 29, Andrean at No. 46 and Valparaiso at No. 47.  The top-ranked ICGSA 4A team Kokomo falls out at No. 50.  According to Sagarin, the better teams who seem rated too low will work their way up the ratings as more games are played.  A lot of how Sagarin's system works comes down to strength of schedule and margin of victory.

Valparaiso University sophomore Suzie Hammel poured in five treys against Purdue on Tuesday, in front of a hometown crowd.  Hammel, a former Lafayette Jeff and Lebanon player, sorely misses her dad Jim Hammel, who passed away due to a heart attack during her freshman year at VU, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.  The elder Hammel, who was the long-time boys coach at Lafayette Jeff, was his daughter's basketball sounding board.  Now Hammel's shooting coach, Rick Mount, has somewhat stepped into the role for her.

News thru Tuesday, November 20


On Tuesday, November 27, the South Bend Tribune reports that Mishawaka will retire the jersey of No. 14 Sarah Schools, who was paralyzed this summer in an ATV accident.  Schools, who was a three-year standout for the Cavemen, is now volunteering as a coach for her team.  She plans to go to Butler next season, where she will major in a pharmaceutical program.
The Tribune also reports that Jimtown snapped a 25-game losing streak last Friday with a win over Argos.

The ICGSA Poll is out for the week, and as expected, there was some movement in all four polls as the season entered its second week and some of the pretenders are being beaten by the contenders.
In 4A, Kokomo takes over the top spot after former No. 1 Terre Haute South dropped a stinger to Bloomington South, who rocketed from No. 9 to No. 2 with the big win. (BS unfortunately lost 5'8 senior forward Courtney Ladyman for 6-8 weeks with a broken foot.)  Despite the loss to BS, TH South still retains two first place votes while sitting at the No. 3 spot.  Also, Columbus North moved straight to No. 10 after not receiving a single vote last week.  This was after a string of good wins, including victories over Martinsville, Lawrence Central and 3A power Shelbyville. In the Region, Gary West fell a spot from No. 6 to No. 7, without a single point scored on the season yet, and Crown Point dropped from No. 11 to No. 12 by 1 vote.  Also, Valparaiso, who had picked up one vote last week, received no votes in 4A this week.
Biggest 4A vote gain:  Bloomington South (+79)
Biggest 4A vote loss:  Terre Haute South (-37)
4A Newcomers:  Castle, Center Grove, Floyd Central, Jeffersonville, New Albany, Perry Meridian, Lake Central
Missing in 4A action:  Valparaiso, Decatur Central
In 3A, Ft. Wayne Concordia holds all the first place votes with a perfect 150 score at the No. 1 spot.  Alexandria, who is taking no prisoners behind the high-scoring antics of frosh Jodi Howell and junior Jackie Closser (currently averaging 50.7 ppg combined), moved up one to No. 2.  Alternately, FW Luers only dropped one position to No. 5 after losing to previously unranked Leo, while Northwestern rocketed from No. 11 to No. 7 after thumping Tipton by 33 points.  Benton Central, who disappeared from last week's poll after losing to Tipton, righted the ship with a good win over last week's No. 5  Frankfort to appear tied at No. 10 again.  South Bend St. Joe's, who has a good frosh-junior combo as well in 5'9 guard Aimee Litka and 6'3 forward Allison Lindborg, shares the No. 10 spot with the Bison after a good 3-0 start over some quality teams.  More will be known about this young St. Joe's team after they meet No. 3 NorthWood tonight in what should be a hard-fought battle.  In the Region, Andrean (0-1) dropped from No. 10 to No. 13 after a week of inactivity due to football.  (This latent schedule might be a blessing in disguise for the 'Niners, who will be depending heavily on ACL-recovering senior Jamie Gutowski to carry the load throughout the season.)  Highland (2-2) fell mightily out of the Top 10 from the No. 8 spot after a surprising loss to Munster to receive just 2 votes this week.
Biggest 3A vote gain:  Northwestern (+36)
Biggest 3A vote loss:  Frankfort (-57)
   3A Newcomers:  Leo, Lakeland, Sullivan
Missing in 3A action:  Providence, FW Dwenger, FW Elmhurst, Scottsburg

There wasn't much movement in 2A, where Fountain Central still holds the top spot with just over half of the first place votes.  Those votes could go higher for the Mustangs next week, though, after No. 2 Evansville Mater Dei (1-2) dropped a 30-point game last night to Gibson Southern.  The most notable movement was by Region 2A power North Newton, who moved from No. 10 to No. 7 after continuing to soundly defeat all opponents so far.  Also in the Region, North Judson holds on to the No. 6 spot.
Biggest 2A vote gain:  North Newton (+22)
Biggest 2A vote loss:  Mitchell (-22)
   2A Newcomers:  Winchester, Southridge
Missing in 2A action:  (none)
Finally, in 1A, Hebron still holds on to the top position, but lost two first place votes from last week.  Picking up those two votes was No. 2 Rockville, who picked up a big 4-point win over Turkey Run in the delayed Banks of the Wabash championship game.   Turkey Run dropped from No. 6 to No. 9 as a result.  Former No. 9 Rossville (1-2) hit the voting skids after dropping another loss and received only 2 votes this time around, while Washington Catholic zoomed from No. 12 to No. 7 with two good wins and 34 more votes.  In the Region, Hebron is king, while Whiting and Kouts are back to serf status after receiving no votes this week.
Biggest 1A vote gain:  Washington Catholic (+34)
Biggest 1A vote loss:  Turkey Run (-40)
   1A Newcomers:  North White, Jac-Cen-Del, West Central, Culver, Hauser
Missing in 1A action:  Whiting, Kouts, Tri-County

Besides our very own RRR Top 12, the other weekly polls are out, including the S & L Top 40, Indiana HS Hoopline, and Sagarin, although Sagarin has not yet included games from Saturday or last night.  It will be interesting to see how the Sagarin ratings shake out after all teams have been "connected" (as explained on Sagarin's ratings), which will throw the ratings system into a format without any preseason bias.  Right now the No. 1 Sagarin team is Ben Davis, who has yet to play a game.  In any event, Bloomington South seems to be the closest to a consensus No. 1, as shown below:

Sagarin RRR Top 12 S & L Top 40
1. Ben Davis 1. Bloomington South 1. Kokomo
2. Bloomington South 2. Kokomo 2. Bloomington South
3. Perry Meridian 3. TH South 3. Wawasee
4. TH South 4. Cathedral 4. TH South
5. Center Grove 5. Gary West Side 5. Crown Point
6. Shelbyville 6. Wawasee 6. Lawrence North
7. North Central 7. SB Riley 7. McCutcheon
8. Kokomo 8. Columbus North 8. Cathedral
9. Martinsville 9. Crown Point 9. Martinsville
10. Huntington North 10. McCutcheon 10. NorthWood
11. Decatur Central 11. Lake Central 11. Gary West Side
12. Columbus North 12. Castle 12. FW Concordia

"Sister of Swat" Carissa Triplett (#45) of Crown Point will take her defense to the Tiger Den in Warsaw on Friday night.  Both teams are receiving votes from the ICGSA voters and neither has lost a game yet.  We preview this one in our Top Games.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)

Due to the semi-state football victories by Valparaiso and Andrean, AT&T Cable Channel 3 will extend its football show one more week.  This means that Region Basketball X-tra will start on Thursday, November 29.

We've previewed a number of games around the state on our Top Games page.  The best action starts tonight when South Bend St. Joe's travels to NorthWood for a 3A showdown.  Check out our list of some of the best games to catch around the state this week.

The Richmond Palladium-Item gives kudos to the Purdue staff when they stuck with their decision to sign Connersville senior Missy Taylor after she tore her left ACL several weeks ago.  Taylor, who is expected to miss her senior season, will undergo surgery to repair the tear on December 3.

Everyone knows Whiteland has Johnson County's leading scorer, Megan Liffick, to pick up the offense for the Warriors, but new head coach Bill Hogue is hoping to turn Whiteland into a defensive power.  According to the Johnson County Daily Journal, Hogue is making progress as witnessed by his team's championship win in the Johnson County Tournament over perennial power Franklin 52-44 in overtime.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star has some news on college players who were honored with Player of the Week honors by their respective conferences.  We have a few college notes of our own to add.
 In case you missed it over the weekend, Toledo upset No. 5 Duke, led by the efforts of Kokomo grad Tia Davis (20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists) and Terre Haute South grad Courtney Risinger (16 points, 3 steals, 2 assists).  Decatur Central grad Mary Blessing contributed with 5 assists and 2 points.  The Rockets caused Duke to fall from No. 5 to No. 9 in the latest AP Poll, and Toledo earned themselves a No. 24 ranking.
2001 Miss Basketball Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) led the Tennessee Lady Vols to a 106-66 victory over Chattanooga with 22 points.  Ely, who starts for the AP No. 2  Vols, also had 7 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 blocks and a taken charge.  Both Ely and junior April McDivitt (Connersville), who had 9 points, 3 assists and 2 steals, are currently in the starting lineup for Tennessee.
Ely's former Ben Davis teammate Ashley Allen is currently in the starting lineup for the Ohio State Buckeyes this season.  Allen is averaging 6.3 points and 3.7 assists in 22 minutes of play per game.  Another elite player from the Class of 2001, Notre Dame frosh Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend Washington), is also a starter on a nationally ranked team.  Batteast is averaging 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in 26.7 minutes of play per game.

News thru Friday, November 16


Lawrence North senior Devin Reed will sign with Valparaiso University on Tuesday, according to The Times.  The 5'7 guard put in some serious time over the summer on her game, and the result is a Division I scholarship with the Crusaders.  Reed, who averaged 15 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals as a junior, joins Hebron star Lauren Bechtold as part of a fine backcourt recruiting class for VU head coach Keith Freeman.

Until the early signing period ends, there will be signing news coming in from all around the state:
Dark officially joins Buckeyes - Journal Review
Trojans fulfill their dreams - Johnson County Journal

The Post-Tribune is continuing with its girls basketball coverage, and today the independents and others are profiled.  The lead article is about River Forest junior Amanda Alexander, a 5'9 forward who has endured a laundry list of medical conditions and injuries from before the time she knew what a basketball was.  Triple by-pass surgery at age 2, a leaky heart valve in 7th grade, and an extensive and prolonged knee injury in high school have challenged, but not defeated, the feisty Ingot.  Alexander is expected to have a breakout season after playing the past two years in a great deal of pain.  The P-T's picks for the independents and others are as follows:

Post-Tribune Preseason Independents & Others

First Team
Amanda DeVries, Kankakee Valley
Brianne Harwood, North Newton
Stacy Spurgeon, Kankakee Valley
Melissa Bunkowfst, North Judson
Amanda Alexander, River Forest
Second Team
Kelly Boyd, North Judson
Kim Haviar, Lake Central
Brandy Danford, North Judson
Lesley Cunningham, Kankakee Valley
Rayna Hare, East Chicago
Conference MVP
Brianne Harwood, North Newton

Alexandria frosh Jodi Howell has put the effects of an ACL tear she endured over the summer to rest, according to the Muncie Star Press.   The 5'11 forward came out blazing in her frosh debut with 29 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists against Hamilton Heights last weekend.  Alexandria, ranked No. 3 in 3A, will face a good test against 2A No. 9 Shenandoah tonight.  

The Richmond New-Pal gives a roundup of the honors bestowed upon area teams and athletes in the 32nd annual Hoosier Basketball Magazine.

An interesting article in the Johnson County Daily Journal takes a look at the disparity in the number of female coaches to male coaches at the high school level for girls basketball in the area.  Lots of quotes there from a number of coaches and athletic directors.

Two former Madison County rivals are now coaching together at Indiana State University.  Stacey Brewer (Anderson Highland/Penn State) and Kara Wile (Anderson/St. Louis) were fierce opponents on the basketball court when the two were both stars in the early nineties.   (Anderson Herald Bulletin

If you've ever had any doubt (not likely!) of how important basketball is in Indiana, you simply need to read the recent article about basketball shrines in the Wabash Plain DealerThis is a great reference and historical article about gym sizes all across the state.  Who says size isn't important???  Of the top 20 capacity high school gym sizes in the country, only four don't belong to Indiana.

The top 20 high school gymnasiums in the United States
(by seating capacity)

1. New Castle, Ind. Chrysler High School 9,314

2. Anderson, Ind. High School 8,996

3. Seymour, Ind. High School 8,110

4. Richmond, Ind. High School 8,100

5. East Chicago, Ind. High School 8,050

6. Marion, Ind. High School 7,560

7. Dallas, Tex. High School 7,500

8. Elkhart, Ind. North High School 7,373

9. Michigan City, Ind. High School 7,304

10. Gary, Ind. West High School 7,217

11. Lafayette, Ind. Jefferson High School 7,200

12. Indianapolis, Ind. Southport High School 7,124

13. Washington, Ind. High School 7.090

14. Columbus, Ind. North High School 7,071

15. Kokomo, Ind. High School 6,604

16. Muncie, Ind. Central High School 6,576

17. San Antonio, Tex. High School 6,468

18. Bedford, Ind. B.N.L. High School 6,347

19. Huntingburg, Ind. Southridge High School 6,214

20. Moline, Ill. High School 6,200

20. (tie) New Castle, Ken. High School 6,200

News thru Thursday, November 15

Yesterday was the first day of the early signing period, and players from around the state placed their names on the dotted line of a National Letter of Intent.  Without a doubt the most celebrated signing yesterday was that of  Wawasee senior Shanna Zolman, whose signing brought over 200 fans to the Warriors gymnasium yesterday.  Zolman's signing, which was also accompanied by a rousing version of the University of Tennessee's Rocky Top, is in the news today, as well as the signings of other players around the state.
Zolman makes it official - SB Tribune
 Zolman signs on dotted line - The Times
Wawasee to Tennessee: Shanna living a dream - Goshen News
NorthWood's Duncan now a Boilermaker - SB Tribune
Success with Panthers leads Carol to Purdue
- Goshen News
Branson relieved after signing with Hoosiers - The Times
Signing day has prep athletes inking future plans  - TH Tribune Star
Signing day - TH Tribune Star
Hard work pays off for Whiteland girls - Daily Journal
Eastside star Freidenberger chooses EMU - DeKalb News-Sun
Boggs signs with IUPUI - DeKalb News-Sun

Signing day brought out a few new college choices that we were not aware of.
 According to the South Bend Tribune, Penn senior Amanda Lechlitner has signed with the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.  The 5'8 guard averaged 6.5 points per game last season for the Kingsmen.
Also, senior Lauren Sims of Sullivan has signed with Eastern Illinois.  Sims, a 5'11 forward, averaged 16.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a junior.
The Indianapolis Star signings and commitments page is showing that senior Sarah Waltz of Decatur Central will be playing at Loyola-Chicago next season.  Waltz, a 5'9 wing, averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds as a junior.
We expect more will emerge until the final signing day next Wednesday.  If you would like to view an up-to-the-hour signings list, you can follow along at

The Michigan City Wolves are on the brink of a new era under one-year head coach Monica Claridge.  After enduring a 2-19 season two years ago, the Wolves improved to 10-10 last season with a new attitude, according to the Michigan City News Dispatch.  This year's team is very young with lots of underclassmen, the most notable of which is sophomore Jherika Harvell.  Harvell received a load of minutes on the floor as a freshman last season, and that will pay off this season when she will be looked to help take her team to the next level.

The Post-Tribune (one-day link) is profiling the Porter County Conference today, and Boone Grove senior Kim Sliwa is the player profiled from the conference.  Sliwa is set to break the Boone Grove scoring record this season, which is currently held by her older sister Jenn Sliwa.  Jenn graduated in 1994 with 1,176 career points before heading to a college basketball career at Villanova University.  Kim started the season with 846 career points, which puts the record in reach for lil' sis, who put up 30 points in the first game of the season.  The Post-Tribune also gave out its preseason honors and predictions for the PCC as follows:

Post-Tribune Preseason PCC

Hebron's Jen Marshall pulls down a rebound against Crown Point last Friday.  Marshall was named to the P-T's PCC Preseason Second Team.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)
First Team
Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Kim Sliwa, Boone Grove
Julie Moniak, Hanover Central
Shanna Beach, Morgan Twp.
Ashleigh Griechen, Wash. Twp.
Second Team
Lynn Ponscak, Hebron
Alyse Bruszewski, Wheeler
Jennifer Marshall, Hebron
Beth Wendlinger, Hanover Cent.
Val Olis, Boone Grove
2001-02 Projection
1. Hebron
2. Boone Grove
3. Hanover Central
4. Wheeler
5. Morgan Township
6. Washington Township
7. Kouts
8. LaCrosse
Conference MVP
Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Top Newcomers
Karissa Walter, Boone Grove
Christie Wick, Hanover Central
Amanda Wendlinger,
Hanover Central
Key conference games
Nov. 30 - HC @ Hebron
Jan. 14-29 - PCC Tournament
Jan. 24 - BG @ HC

In case you've been in a closet since Tuesday evening (which some days I feel like doing), you know that 4A No. 9 (No. 2 in the RRR rankings) Bloomington South put one over on No. 1 Terre Haute South Tuesday evening with an 11-point win.  Watch for BS to rocket in the rankings on Monday, unless the Panthers should falter at Pike on Friday night, which is highly unlikely.  The 1-2 offensive punch of senior Cyndi Valentin (18 pts) and junior Megan Casad (21 pts), some stellar 3-point shooting by BS (7 of 10), some poor outside shooting by THS (1 of 9), together with the defensive stand of 6'1 Lynn Freeman on THS 6'6 soph Reicina Russell (just 12 pts), was just the ticket to topple Indiana's No. 1 team.  The Panthers play a grueling schedule during the season with the likes of Southport, Ben Davis, Martinsville, Columbus North, and Decatur Central, which will get them absolutely tournament ready.  However, it is likely they will find themselves on the losing side of the scoreboard at least once this season, which gives rise to the question, "Who is the best 4A team in Indiana?"  It's early, but the loss by the "unbeatable" Braves on Tuesday makes every good 4A team in the state believe they have a shot at a state championship.

Southwestern junior Julie Brawner is profiled in the Courier-Journal this week.  The 5'10 center is averaging 19 points and 13 points through two games so far this season.

Junior Kim McMillan of North Harrison is making her presence felt in Southern Indiana.  The 5'11 guard is averaging 34.5 points through two games so far this season, which included a 43-point, 17 for 26 (.653) performance against Eastern last weekend.  (Corydon Democrat)

The Region contingent of the St. Joseph's College  and Wisconsin-Parkside women's teams are profiled in the Post-Tribune today (one-day link).  These two teams will face one another on Friday in Wisconsin.  Region faces on both teams include Erin Sampsel (Valparaiso), Courtney Rosenbaum (Valparaiso), and Karin Morrisroe (Morgan Township), who all play for St. Joe's, and Michelle Pickering (Portage), who plays for WI-Parkside.

The Ft. Wayne News Sentinel has an entire series of articles about in-state and Ft. Wayne area women's (and men's) college teams today.

News thru Tuesday, November 13

Tickets for The Times Region Roundball Rumble on Saturday, December 1 at the Hammond Civic Center are now available for purchase.  You can contact the athletic office of any participating school to purchase the $6.00 tickets, which schools include Hammond, Winchester, Andrean, Indianapolis Tech, Crown Point, Wawasee, West Side and Lafayette Catholic Central.  Tickets can also be purchased at any Times office in Northwest Indiana.  The marquee event of the day will most likely be the only girls game in the Rumble, with Crown Point challenging Wawasee at 6:00 p.m.  Miss Basketball hopeful Shanna Zolman will bring her already legendary game to the Region so everyone can see what all the hubbub is about.  We can guarantee you that if you haven't seen Miss Zolman play yet, you will not be disappointed.

In case you missed it on our message board, the ICGSA Poll for the current week is out.  It was a bit late due to a mail server problem encountered by the poll distributor.  No real major changes, especially in 4A where several teams have not even played a game yet.  However, the 1A poll saw some movement for several teams after they faced each other last week.  Rockville rocketed from the No. 5 spot to No. 2 after knocking off previous No. 2 North Vermillion in the Banks of the Wabash Tournament.  Rockville and No. 6 Turkey Run were slated to meet in the finals, but they were cancelled (see below).  Otherwise, the leaders in all four classes remain the same.  Some new local teams showing up on the radar screen in voting include Crown Point at No. 11 (8 votes) and Valparaiso at No. 13 (1 vote) in 4A, and Whiting at No. 16 (4 votes) in 1A.

The Banks of the Wabash Tournament last weekend was postponed for finals play on Saturday after a former member of the Rockville girls team was killed from injuries sustained in a car accident after the games on Friday night.  Junior Jessica Martin was 16 years old.  Our thoughts and prayers go to Jessica's family and friends, as well as the Rockville team, school and community.

The long-awaited Sagarin Ratings are out, and until a greater number of games are played, we probably won't get a true picture of which teams should be happy about being near the top of the list.  Something new (and handy) to the ratings this year is the breakout of schools by class, although instead of Class 4A through 1A, it is Class A through D.  As of right now the top teams in each class are Ben Davis in 4A, Ft. Wayne Luers in 3A, Shenandoah in 2A, and Rockville in 1A.  Top overall ratings for NWI teams include Gary West at No. 23, Crown Point at No. 25, Lake Central at No. 28, and Valparaiso at No. 30.

The latest Blue Star rankings are out, and several Indiana players are listed on the Blue Star Top 100 Seniors and/or Blue Star Top 80 Players.  They are as follows:


Top 100 Seniors
  6. Shanna Zolman, Wawasee
28. Jessica Wright, Cathedral
37. Amanda Geryak, Martinsville
61. Melissa Taylor, Connersville
63. Jenny Pfeiffer, Jennings Co.
73. Ashley Mays, Warren Central
84. Sharika Webb, Cathedral
Top 80 Players
  6. Shanna Zolman, Wawasee
32. Katie Gearlds, Beech Grove
41. Jessica Wright, Cathedral
54. Amanda Geryak, Martinsville
68. Reicina Russell, TH South

News thru Monday, November 12

The second annual edition of the Indiana High School Basketball Guide is now available for delivery.  Highly endorsed by the IBCA and the ICGSA for its equal treatment coverage of all girls and boys teams in the state, the IHSBG is a great resource that has complete rosters and several player photos for nearly every team in the state.  This year's 464-page edition also has conference previews, as well as complete information on the IHSBG Tremendous Twenty-Six, who appear on the front cover.  There are also lots of coaches' quotes, tourney history and listings for each school of former players now on the hardcourt in college.  You can order your copy of the IHSBG by phone at 1-800-969-0097 (ext. 19).  Cost is $10.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.  You can also order the IHSBG online at

Along with the updated RRR Top 12, two other online sources have updated their rankings for the current week.  Local teams appear in the Central Indiana Sports rankings, with Crown Point at No. 5, Gary West Side at No. 12, Valparaiso at No. 27, Highland at No. 30, North Judson at No. 30, and Hammond Gavit at No. 37.   Indiana HS Hoopsline lists Gary West at No. 4, Crown Point at No. 11, East Chicago at No. 14, Valparaiso at No. 15 and Lake Central at No. 17 in 4A; Highland at No. 4 in 3A;  North Judson at No. 4 in 2A; and Hebron at No. 3 in 1A.

The ICGSA has not yet released its poll today, but as soon as they do, we'll get it up and advise you of the update on our message board.

For those of you looking for some good games to see or follow this week, we've updated our Top Games page for the week of November 12.

The Post-Tribune has begun its preseason coverage, conference by conference, beginning with the Duneland Athletic.  Crown Point is projected to be the conference winner by the Post-Tribune, followed closely behind by Valparaiso.  Crown Point gets the first place nod with three individual player honors by the P-T.  Bulldogs senior guard Alex Webster is the pick for DAC Preseason MVP and is the subject of a feature article in the Post-Tribune.  Senior center Carissa Triplett was named to the preseason All-DAC First Team, while freshman guard Cassie Pruzin was named to the Second Team and as Top DAC Newcomer.  The highlights on the Post-Tribune's DAC coverage is as follows:

Post-Tribune Preseason DAC

Crown Point senior Carissa Triplett puts the stop to a drive by Hebron's Jennifer Marshall (10) and Lynn Poncsak (24) on Friday.  The "winged" 6'2 center is flying high with a combined 34 points, 17 rebounds and 13 blocks in her first two games.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)
First Team
Alex Webster, CP
Marshay Jolly, Merrillville
Lisa Matie, Hobart
Brooke McAfee, Valpo
Carissa Triplett, CP
Second Team
Cassie Pruzin, CP
Nicole Tesseneer, Portage
Nikki Neulieb, Mich. City
Megan Diaz, Valpo
Katie Beckman, LaPorte
2001-02 Projection
Crown Point (7-0)
Valparaiso (6-1)
Hobart (4-3)
Merrillville (4-3)
Portage (4-3)
Michigan City (3-4)
LaPorte (2-5)
Chesterton (1-6)
Conference MVP
Alex Webster, CP
Top Newcomer
Cassie Pruzin, CP
Key conference games
Nov. 30 - Portage @ CP
Dec. 15 - Valpo @ CP
Jan. 18 - Portage @ Valpo

Lake Central junior Kim Haviar gets the jump ball on Carmel's point guard.  (RRR Photo)

The RRR was at the first session of the Lake Central Tipoff on Saturday morning, and we were able to get a good look at two of the Region's top teams in Lake Central and Valparaiso.  Both look to be strong, athletic and tall with especially Lake Central having good depth.  LC sophomore Linsey Smith made her coming out statement with 22 points against Carmel and 13 points against Lafayette Jeff.  The 5'10 guard lit it up from beyond the arc with 5 treys on the day, and with backcourt mate Kim Haviar (25 points for the day), they could be the evolving premier backcourt of the Region.  Valpo has probably the deepest frontcourt in the area with seniors 6'2 Brooke McAfee (IUPUI), 5'10 Kelly Compton, freshmen 6'2 Lindsey Humes, and 6'2 Cassie Kerns.  The senior players are the mainstay for the Vikings in the post, but the freshmen can hold their own as well.

The Times Top 10

1. West Side
2. Crown Point
3. Lake Central
4. Valparaiso
5. Hebron
6. Highland
7. Andrean
8. Gavit
9. Merrillville
10. North Newton

In our hasty look at The Times preseason coverage before we posted news last Friday, we neglected to tell you their Preseason Top 10.  Also, The Times linked up the descriptions of their Preseason All-Area Team, which goes along with the photos we posted previously below.  It is interesting to note in this imperfect science of ranking teams in the preseason that six of The Times Top 10 teams dropped at least one game last week.  Needless to say, there could be a few surprise teams that rise from the unmentioned Region ranks before long.

Tri-County senior Amanda Engleking is profiled in the Lafayette Journal & Courier.  The 5'4 athletic guard, who has been a team captain at Tri-County since her freshman year, averaged a whopping 24.7 points per game last season.  

If you've been unable to access Nick Ray's Hoosierland Report lately, that is because he is making some changes to which server location his site will be at.  You can currently view HR at Nick's temporary URL, which is

The Franklin College women's website has a great, in-depth season preview online, with class-by-class evaluations.  The Grizzlies open their season at the Hanover Tip-Off Classic.  They will face Rose-Hulman on November 16 at 6:00 p.m.

News thru Friday, November 9

The Times released its season preview special section today, but unfortunately, except for one small article with notes from the Duneland Conference, none of it is available online.  However, we can give you a few of the details, the most notable of which was The Times Preseason All-Area Team (below).  This season's feature article is about Hebron senior Lauren Bechtold and the big success she and dad, Coach Jerry Bechtold, have created together in a small school program.  With Hebron's move to 1A from 2A, where the Hawks were first-time Regional winners, the future looks bright as NWI's best shot at a state championship.  Hebron will be looking for their first win of the season against 4A Crown Point tonight in their home opener, in what is expected to be a full house with a big Hebron following.

The Times Preseason All-Area

Lyndee Arnold

Lauren Bechtold

Alicia Booyer
Gary West Side

Julie DeMuth

Jamie Gutowski

Brianne Harwood
North Newton

Kim Haviar
Lake Central

Michelle Jones
Gary West Side

Jill Martin

Lisa Matie

Brooke McAfee

Kim Sliwa
Boone Grove

Carissa Triplett
Crown Point

Leslie Tyburski
Hammond Gavit

Alex Webster
Crown Point


Valparaiso center/forward Brooke McAfee has verbally committed to IUPUI in Indianapolis, according to The Times.  McAfee chose the Jaguars over Valparaiso because she plans to become a veterinarian.  McAfee did not average big numbers last season for the Vikings behind two of the Region's top post players, but is expected to play a huge role this season.

Girls games in Johnson County, home of some big names in girls basketball such as Center Grove and Franklin, are finally seeing some prime time on Friday nights.  According to the Johnson County Daily Journal, an effort is being made to get the girls equal time in weekend scheduling.

The RRR came across a new Indiana high school basketball website called Hoops Hoosier Style.  There are a few features there that you might enjoy, including team and player rankings.

News thru Thursday, November 8


Wawasee junior Jessica Leach (center) listens to head coach Kem Zolman during a timeout at Plymouth last season.  Leach tore her ACL in a controlled scrimmage last Saturday, but will attempt to play out the season with the injury.  (RRR Photo)

Wawasee junior Jessica Leach suffered an ACL tear in a scrimmage against Churubusco last Saturday, but has opted to be fitted with a knee brace that might allow her to continue to play this season.  According to the Goshen News, Leach's doctors have told her that the "knee is as damaged as it can get" and if she has surgery now, it would end her season.  This is Wawasee's last season with shooting phenom Shanna Zolman, who will move on to Tennessee next year.  Leach will sit out a few weeks to wait for the swelling to go down, and then attempt to play the remainder of the season for the 4A No. 4 Warriors as long as she can endure.  Leach is a major cog in the Wawasee offensive machine, acting as a credible threat in the post and opening up the perimeter for state scoring leader Zolman.  Last season, Leach averaged 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

AT&T Broadband has announced its girls basketball games broadcast schedule for the upcoming season, and Region fans won't be disappointed with the lineup.  A 12-game schedule, along with the post-season schedule, provides nice coverage for local girls basketball teams.  For the first time, girls basketball will get as much airtime as boys basketball for televised games.  The schedule is as follows (all airtimes TBA):

Also, the popular Region Basketball X-tra will return for it's second year on the AT&T Broadband Network. Once again, the 60-minute show will dedicate 30-minutes each to girls and boys hoops highlights from the previous week in the Region.  Jaime Perko will host and produce the show, while being joined by Hank Kilander of High School Sports Publications and Steve Fowler of WJOB Radio (AM 1230) for commentary.  Region Basketball X-tra will air from November 22 through March 16 on the following NWI cable stations at the times shown:
    Lake Area - Ch.3: Thursdays at 9pm and 11:35pm / Fridays at 4pm and 8:30pm
Hammond Area - Ch.15: Thursdays at 9pm / Fridays at 4pm
Valpo Area - Ch.43: Thursdays at 9pm / Fridays at 2:30pm
Portage Area - Ch.44: Thursdays at 9pm / Saturdays at 9am

We have re-instituted our Outstanding Performances threads on the RRR Message Board.  It is difficult for us to keep up with all the great player outings around the state on any given game night, so we are asking everyone to pitch in by recognizing those players who have outstanding performances each week by detailing their exploits on the Outstanding Performances message threads.  We will start a new thread for each week of the season.  (College coaches take note.  You should be checking these threads each week to get a line on the young or undiscovered talent yet undiscovered in Indiana!)

Indiana freshman Jenny DeMuth (Highland) held her own in the Hoosiers' 84-83 exhibition loss Wednesday night, according to the Hoosier Times.  The 5'11 guard/forward scored 5 points and pulled down 5 rebounds in 13 minutes of play.

News thru Tuesday, November 6


Unfortunate news for Indiana basketball arrived yesterday with word that Connersville's Missy Taylor will be out for the season with an ACL tear.  (RRR Photo)

Sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason to a set of circumstances.  From the time most little girls pick up their first basketball and learn of the stories about the greats before them, the dream then becomes an Indiana senior year to remember -- an unbelievable regular season, making that last second shot in overtime to win a tournament title, being an Indiana All-Star or even Miss Basketball.  One misplaced step, and those dreams are taken away.  It's a story too often that we hear in Indiana high school girls basketball, and now we hear it again.  Connersville standout, Indiana Junior All-Star and Purdue recruit Missy Taylor is expected to be out for her final season of high school basketball with an ACL tear, according to Gold & Black Illustrated.  The 6'3 forward received the bad news yesterday in Indianapolis after a visit to renowned ACL expert Dr. K. D. Shelbourne.  Taylor injured her knee during a controlled scrimmage against Franklin Central last Friday when she landed awkwardly while trying to catch a pass on a fast break.  According to the article, Taylor's dad says the rehabilitation will take a conservative approach so as not to jeopardize her career at Purdue next season.  Taylor is scheduled for knee surgery within a couple of weeks, with rehabilitation to take place soon after.  Taylor, considered by many to be in contention for Miss Basketball honors, averaged 21.8 points and 9.8 rebounds as a junior.

We've finally gotten our list of 2004 Players to Watch compiled for the beginning of the season. The new 2005 list will be out after the first two weeks of games. 

The season gets underway around the state today, with some good matchups on the first night out.  Locally, Boone Grove is at Hammond, East Chicago Central travels to Valparaiso, Gary Roosevelt is at Hammond Noll, and Griffith hosts Hobart.  For a complete listing of today's games, visit Indiana Girls Basketball.

North Harrison guard Liz Geltmaker was recently profiled in the Louisville Courier-Journal.  The 5'3 junior was the second-leading scorer for the Cougars last season.  She has especially gained a reputation as a "big-time stopper" on defense, averaging 5.0 steals per game and setting a school record with 13 steals against Scottsburg as a sophomore.

The Times has an article about the Gary West Side senior Michelle Jones and her verbal to Chicago State University.

As we noted in our last news update, season preview articles are being posted daily on our Scores & Recaps page, and there are lots more from today's online newspapers.

The ESPN/USA/WBCA Today coaches poll is out for women's college basketball, and Indiana schools are visible with Purdue at No. 9 (590 votes), Notre Dame at No. 14 (363 votes) and Indiana receiving 2 votes.  Connecticut tops the voting with 972 votes, followed closely by Tennessee with 937.

The University of St. Francis and first year head coach Gary Andrews are off to a great start, having won the Sport One Tourney with victories over Brescia, who was ranked #14 in NAIA Division I, as well as Indiana Tech. Carrie Stine (FW Luers) was named MVP of the tourney.  She had 32 points and 14 rebounds in two games.  USF is ranked # 7 in the NAIA Division II poll and they are 2-0 on the year. 

News thru Monday, November 5


Gary West Side guard Michelle Jones lays it in on the fast break against Chesterton last season.  The 5'7 guard has committed to Chicago State University.  (RRR Photo)

Gary West Side senior Michelle Jones has verbally committed to Chicago State University.  The highly underrated 5'7 guard averaged 14.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as the leading scorer for the talented Cougars last season.  She will join former West Side standout Kafayat Davies, who is now a junior for the CSU Cougars.  Davies presence at CSU and the possibility for lots of playing time early were both factors in Jones' decision.

Connersville senior standout and Purdue recruit Missy Taylor will get the diagnosis today on whether or not she has incurred a torn ACL.  The 6'3 forward went down with a knee injury during a controlled scrimmage on Friday against Franklin Central, and all indications at this time point to the most dreaded of girls basketball ailments.  Early diagnoses have been known to be wrong in many cases, so we wish Missy the best in her visit to knee ligament guru, Dr. Shelbourne in Indianapolis.

The ICGSA Preseason State Poll is out, and as is the rule every year, it is an identical repeat of the first ten in the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 15 teams by class.  We will track the results of games played by the ranked teams in all classes as each week of of the season progresses.  The biggest game of the week could be 4A No. 8 South Bend Riley against 3A No. 9 Highland at Highland on Saturday.  Some unranked teams have their work cut out for them from the get-go, especially Riverton Parke, who will meet 1A No. 2 North Vermillion, No. 3 Turkey Run, and/or No. 5 Rockville at the Banks of the Wabash Tournament.  What a great weekend of games between some of the toughest competition in 1A.  Locally, Crown Point jumps into the fire with 1A No. 1 Hebron on Friday, and 3A No. 5 Andrean on Saturday.

Besides the Banks of the Wabash Tournament, there are some great tournament groupings around the state to open the season.  The Lake Central Tipoff on Saturday will feature the Indians, Valparaiso, Carmel and Washington, all very strong programs that will be testing the waters in this first outing.  We believe a balanced and experienced Lake Central team is highly underrated by many this season, and we'll know if we're right after this weekend.
In Southern Indiana, the Clarksville Tip-Off Tournament features eight teams from the area in a four-day tournament, including Austin, South Central (Elizabeth), Lanesville, Clarksville, Charlestown, Madison Shawe, Henryville and Providence.  Also, the Hi-99 Clabber Girl Classic will take place at West Vigo, featuring 4A No. 1 Terre Haute South and 2A No. 1 Fountain Central, along with Terre Haute North, Northview and South Vermillion.  You can get a complete rundown of in-season tournaments at Indiana HS Basketball.

The online season previews around the state are coming fast and furious now, and we are linking those stories on our Scores & Recaps page.  Check every day for the latest previews and game results throughout the season. 

The Hoosier Hills Conference Jamboree was held over the weekend, and ace photographer/webmaster Ed Robinson was in attendance to catch the day in living color.  You can view his photo gallery at Southern Indiana Basketball Online for great photos of players from New Albany, Jeffersonville, Bedford NL, and Floyd Central

Who said making the transition from high school ball to college ball was difficult?  Certainly not freshmen Jackie Batteast (SB Washington) of Notre Dame and Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) of Tennessee.  Both rookies appeared  in the starting lineup of their respective Top 10 college teams over the weekend.  Batteast started in the post in an intra-squad scrimmage and was the leading scorer with 21 points.  Ely started at the power forward position for the Lady Vols, scoring 14 points and leading her team with 8 rebounds and 5 assists in 24 minutes of action in a 108-69 exhibition win over Remus Austria Power Basket (The Tennessean).

Ohio State frosh Ashley Allen (Ben Davis) is fitting in nicely at Ohio State University, as explained in The Columbus Dispatch.

Almost forgot.  In our never ending efforts to provide accurate girls basketball information to everyone around the state, we have begun the Official Rosters Project, which would gather the official rosters for as many teams around the state as possible.  I know that we already have Hoosier Basketball Magazine and the Indiana High School Basketball Guide to help us out with who is playing where, but many times the information submitted to those publications is sent in before the official roster is finalized.  Therefore, we would ask everyone to contribute by listing the official roster for your team, or any other team that you might have an official roster for (i.e., in a game program, etc.).  I believe this would be helpful to a lot of college coaches and media around the state (not to mention us girls basketball fanatics).  The links to the rosters page are permanently accessible from the navigation bar and the home page.

News thru Friday, November 2


Ft. Wayne Luers senior Megan Dossen puts up a jumper just outside the paint at the 2A state finals in March.  Dossen will take her formidable game to the University of Indianapolis next season.  (RRR Photo)

Ft. Wayne Luers senior Megan Dossen has committed to the University of Indianapolis.  According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, the 6'0 Indiana Junior All-Star averaged 13.7 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Knights on the way to a third consecutive 2A state championship last season.  She will be relied on heavily this season by new head coach Teri Rosinski as the Knights make the change from 2A to 3A in a competitive Ft. Wayne area field.  Dossen was recently named to the Indiana High School Basketball Guide's Tremendous Twenty-Six and HBM First Team.  Dossen will join an impressive Hoosier-laden roster at the U of I.
Also, according to the Indianapolis Star list of signings, senior standout forward Jessica Scherer of Triton Central, has verballed to Evansville University.  The 6'0 Scherer, who averaged 18.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season, is the fourth Indiana commitment for the Aces from the Class of 2002.
Finally, the Indianapolis Star announced that two standout guards for Ben Davis have made their college choices known.  Senior Amber Johnson is headed to the beautiful campus of Denver University, where she should step into some serious playing time early on.  Johnson averaged 7.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game last season.  Senior Megan Jones has committed to Florida Gulf Coast.  The 5'4 guard averaged 7.0 points and 3.5 assists per game.  Both guards were instrumental to the Giants' two-year reign as 4A state champions.

More honors are coming in for Indiana's elite. has named senior Shanna Zolman of Wawasee to its Preseason Girls Basketball All-Americans First Team, and junior Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove to the Third Team.  Gearlds is the only junior All-American listed, making her their No. 1 pick in the nation for the Class of 2003.

The current 13-member Lake Athletic Conference schedule has gone to divisions this season to help open up schedules for conference members and also to attempt some parity for teams at both ends of the talent spectrum.  According to The Times, this will be a good thing for the LAC and especially member Lake Station, who went 1-20 in a season that included some very lopsided losses against the toughest competition in the LAC.  Now Lake Station will have enough room on its schedule to play competitively against teams like LaCrosse and Washington Township, instead of getting beaten up by the likes of LAC leaders Highland and Andrean.  Likewise, upper talent level schools like the 'Niners and Trojans also gain some schedule flexibility, although the new LAC tournament at the end of the season, eats up at least two openings.  Interestingly, the LAC has chosen to reassess division placement every two years based upon past record instead of geographic or enrollment criteria.  I'm not quite sure how strength of schedule works into the equation, but that will certainly need to be considered to maintain parity.  As it currently stands, these are the Black and Blue divisions for the this season and next:

Black Division
Hammond Gavit
Blue Division
Lake Station
Bishop Noll
Hammond Morton

Word is that the finals of the new Lake Athletic Conference tournament, slated for January 26 through February 1, will be held at Highland.

South Bend Riley junior Crystal Norman gains advantage as she heads to the hoop against a Penn defender last season.  Norman and the Wildcats will be using last season's 30-point sectional loss to Penn as motivation for the current season.

The South Bend Tribune has gotten a jump on the season with the first of many girls basketball preview articles before the first week of games begin on Monday.  First preview honors go to talented South Bend Riley, featuring two of the state's top juniors in Suntana Granderson and Crystal Norman.  The Wildcats will be looking for some consistency from these two standouts to erase the memory of a 30-point loss to Penn in the sectionals last season.  They will get plenty of help from an experienced lineup and some new faces, including highly-touted freshman Kendra Reynolds.

NWI fans should mark Friday, November 9, as the day that the annual girls basketball preview will appear in The Times.  The staff for this publication always does an outstanding job of covering girls basketball in the Region.

Other season previews are beginning to appear around the state:
After a year in system, North girls optimistic -  TH Tribune Star (TH North)
South girls look to prosper with incredible depth - TH Tribune Star (TH South)
Grateful Dead song can't describe beginning to girls basketball season - TH Tribune Star
Must keep hustling - TH Tribune Star (West Vigo)
Mustangs to fill shoes of five departed seniors - Hoosier Times (Edgewood)
Goddard rebuilding program at North - Hoosier Times (Bloomington North)
Buzzers and Whistles
- North Vernon Plain Dealer (Jennings County) 

The Jeffersonville Evening News recognizes that southern Indiana high school girls basketball is changing the face of local sports in the lower half of the state.  A good number of teams and players, such as Kennitra Johnson from New Albany (Purdue/Connecticut) and Sara Nord from Jeffersonville (Louisville), have elevated southern Indiana girls basketball to a new level.  Nice article.

North Columbus junior Tina Bolte was recently profiled in the Columbus Republic for being honored as the Indiana 15U AAU Player of the Year.  Bolte also received the honor in 1996 as a 10U player.

In my haste to get the news out earlier this week with the Hoosier Basketball Magazine rankings, I inadvertently listed Shelbyville as the No. 48 team in the Top 50.  That should have been Shenandoah.  The error has been corrected, and my apologies to the well-deserving Raiders.

Toledo Coach Mark Ehlen is just discovering what a valuable find he made in Rocket freshman Kristen Weddle.  According to the Toledo Blade, the 6'0 Terre Haute South grad, who was highly underrated at the national level due to the timing of an ACL injury, is competing for a starting position at shooting forward this season.  Weddle is expected to be an impact player for the Rockets over the next four years.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the IU South Bend women's team is preparing for a new season in a new multi-million dollar athletic facility.  The IUSB home opener is Tuesday night against Bethel.


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