Region Roundball Review

November, 1998
News Updates

News thru Sunday, November 29

Second-ranked 3A Northwood suffered a major setback this past week when one of its key players, senior Amy Zercher (5'10" G), broke a bone in her hand at practice. It is not known at this time how long the Ball State signee will be sidelined by the injury, but her team is hoping that she will be able to be back in the lineup by the time the Hall of Fame Classic rolls around on December 29. Northwood also has at stake a 67-game homecourt winning streak, which began in 1992. The Panthers host Mishawaka Penn for their home opener this Tuesday. You can read about this development for Northwood in The Goshen News.

The No. 4 Martinsville Artesians saw their 55-game winning streak end last night in an 80-57 loss to No. 10 Center Grove. The Trojans were led by senior Emily Butler, who scored a career-high 32 points and dished out 6 assists. For Martinsville, senior Courtney Cooper scored 30 points, but received no significant help from her teammates. The Artesians had 32 turnovers in the game to end the streak, which keeps intact the 57-game winning streak by Ft. Wayne Northrop set during a period from 1985 to 1987.
The parity within the girls basketball scene at the state level this season is becoming more and more evident as games are played. Consider the following which has transpired so far:

This Week Around the State

Ben Davis (4A #1) lost to Roncalli (3A #8)
Martinsville (4A #4) lost to Center Grove (4A #10)
Homestead (4A #11) lost to Ft. Wayne Luers (2A NR)

Last Week

Connersville (4A #8) lost to Mt. Vernon (3A NR)
Center Grove (4A #10) lost to Franklin (3A #6)

Carrying on with our earlier comments, this season is sure to be a fan-pleaser

The DeKalb Evening Star and the Kendallville News-Sun are carrying a number of season preview articles about northeastern Indiana girls teams, including Angola, DeKalb, Eastern, Fremont, Garrett, Hamilton, Lakewood Park, and others.

News thru Friday, November 27

After Hobart's victory over West Side on Wednesday, we expect Hobart will make an appearance in the upcoming coaches' poll to be released on Monday evening. Although the Brickies have received some votes in the early going, they have not yet broken into the 4A Top Ten. With Ben Davis losing to Indianapolis Roncalli and Ft. Wayne Homestead losing to unranked Ft. Wayne Luers, there are bound to be some realignments showing up in the next poll. So far there seems to be no "elite" team like Martinsville or Lake Central emerging on the scene. Looks to be an exciting season for Indiana girls high school basketball fans with lots of Top 10 changes until tournament time.

The statistical leaders for NWI were named in today's Times newspaper. Although some schools do not seem to be reporting in, the top five leaders in each category after the first two weeks of games is as follows:

J. Campbell (Chesterton)
J. Gray (Valpo)
A. Walker (Wheeler)
E. Martin (Kouts)
C. Herring (Morton)
24.5 ppg
21.3 ppg
19.0 ppg
19.0 ppg
19.0 ppg
D. Zagorski (Munster)
A. Carnahan (Crown Point)
M. Miller (whiting)
L. Homan (Valparaiso)
D. Jeffries (Morton)
1.000 (04/04)
.777 (07/09)
.750 (03/04)
.750 (03/04)
.750 (09/12)
Free Throw
E. Coddington (Griffith)
M. Gonzales (Kouts)
A. Bernard (Crown Point)
S. Jones (Bishop Noll)
A. Drapac (Morton)
K. Wallace (Munster)
.666 (04/06)
.666 (02/03)
.666 (02/03)
.555 (05/09)
.500 (02/04)
.500 (04/08)
M. Runyon (Griffith)
S. Zondor (Crown Point)
M. Pickering (Portage)
M. Smith (Chesterton)
S. Hay (Munster)
K. Porento (Lowell)
S. Grabczak (Hobart)
1.000 (04/04)
.923 (12/13)
.888 (08/09)
.875 (07/08)
.857 (12/14)
.857 (06/07)
.857 (06/07)
E. Sampsel (Valpo)
A. Karamanis (Wheeler)
J. Campbell (Chesterton)
K. McGinley (Morgan Twp)
E. Hutchison (Lowell)
T. Kollintzas (Whiting)
C. Herring (Morton)
6.7 apg (20)
6.5 apg (13)
5.5 apg (11)
5.0 apg (10)
5.0 apg (05)
4.7 apg (14)
4.7 apg (14)
L. Mitchell (Calumet)
L. Schultz (Wheeler)
J. Bayer (Lowell)
K. Law (Morton)
J. Gray (Valpo)
16.0 rpg (32)
14.0 rpg (14)
13.0 rpg (13)
12.7 rpg (38)
12.0 rpg (36)
J. Smith (Gavit)
S. Efantis (Bishop Noll)
K. Kruchowski (Kank Valley)
N. Yudt (Portage)
C. Cooper (Lake Station)
5.7 spg (17)
5.5 spg (11)
5.3 spg (16)
5.0 spg (15)
5.0 spg (05)
L. Schultz (Wheeler)
E. Jedlikowski (Portage)
R. Merkell (Munster)
M. Gonzales (Kouts)
D. Kain (Kouts)

4.0 bpg (4)
3.0 bpg (9)
2.0 bpg (8)
2.0 bpg (4)
2.0 bpg (4)

The Times also listed it's Top 10 teams in the Region for the week. They are as follows with the previous week's ranking in parentheses:

1. Valparaiso 4-0 (2)
2. Hobart 3-0 (3)
3. West Side 0-1 (1)
4. Portage 3-0 (NR)
5. Andrean 1-0 (9)
6. Munster 3-1 (10)
7. Crown Point 2-1 (NR)
8. Griffith 2-0 (8)
9. Highland 1-2 (5)
10. Lake Central 2-2 (7)

The Region Roundball Review will be putting out its own weekly Region and State rankings starting on Monday. Although we had intended to do a fan poll instead, we just have not been receiving enough vote entries to put up legitimate rankings by the fans. Therefore, we will be discontinuing that feature. However, fans can still continue to vote in the sectional poll for all four classes, which tabulates the results instantly. Watch for the Region Roundball Review Region and State rankings beginning on Monday, November 30.

We have posted our player picks for last weeks games ending November 21 for the Red Letter Region Performances. Stop by and take a look at who had outstanding performances in the Region for that time period. Picks for the week ending tomorrow will be posted next Friday.
Special thanks to all of you who have taken the time to post game results and recaps on our Games & Reviews Reporting Board. You provide an invaluable service to our visitors. We encourage all visitors to report any scores and/or reviews of games which they might attend. We also encourage you to comment on games that have already been reported by replying in the game thread there, especially if you have anything to add about that particular game. We are especially looking for coverage from some of the 1A and 2A schools in the area. If you are not sure how to post on the reporting board, or if you have questions in general about reporting games, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will try to answer any questions that you might have.

News thru Thursday, November 26

 Happy Thanksgiving!

The only brown ball you lift today should be the variety with drumsticks and wings attached and the name Butterball on the wrapper! Enjoy the day with family and friends. Best holiday wishes to friends nearby and around the state from the Websters in Northwest Indiana.

News thru Wednesday, November 25

Tonight, Region fans will get a head-to-head look at two teams that could both wind up at the 4A Warsaw semi-state in March. Gary West Side drops in on Hobart (7:00 p.m. varsity start) for a battle royale. Both of these teams are expected to do great things this season, Gary West with All-Star candidate Kristin Cheairs and crew (who definitely pushed Lake Central in the Merrillville regional last year), and Hobart with its last-chance senior squad that is looking for the Holy Grail of Region basketball--a semi-state championship trophy. This will be a good chance for West Side to see how they measure up at this point in the season. Because Gary area teams overall have not been that strong since the days of Angela Hamblin ('94 Wallace), West Side has a lot of weak games on its schedule that do not help them see where they stand in terms of the tougher competition. West and Hobart bring different weapons to the table. Although both are big and physical inside, Hobart's post players have been known to pop a few from behind the arc as well. West Side has it over Hobart in speed, though, with Krisin Cheairs and Tahkisha Sweezer wheeling down the floor. But Hobart's Abby Coons is solid at the guard position and knows how to play smart defense. Definitely the best game in the Region tonight.

Was fortunate enough to catch the last half of the Valpo/Penn game last night and got a first look at this year's Vikings. Seems that they are living up to their No. 3 ranking in 4A, and with good reason. Indiana All-Star shoe-in Jeanette Gray is looking as good as ever. She is a solid and reliable force on the floor and very difficult to stop. It seems that she can attack the basket at will and is patient enough on offense to create those opportunities at the right time. Junior point guard Erin Sampsel has gained a lot of poise on the floor since last year and was very impressive. She looks like she is the tallest player on the floor for the Vikings and might be measuring in at about 6'0. This is creating some havoc for opposing defenses, as she is able to see the floor extremely well, pass over defenders and create some devastating man-to-man mismatches whenever she's in the paint. Her decision-making last night was impeccable and she commanded the floor extremely well. Inside, sophomore Courtney Rosenbaum (5'11") is really getting the job done. She has really bulked up from last year (so much so I had to look at a program to find her because I didn't recognize her on the floor), and is playing like a veteran. The off-guard and other post duties are being handled by a variety of players rotating off the bench. The Vikings' only current weakness may be if either Gray or Sampsel are not on the floor for any sustained length of time. Valpo does not have the same look and does not effectively execute its patient, wide-open offense without these two on the floor. This may change as the bench gains experience over the course of the season.
If you hadn't heard about it already, last night the Connersville Spartans, led by Miss Basketball candidate and Tennessee recruit April McDivitt, thumped on a local team from Muncie Southside by a score of 118-19. McDivitt had 50 points in the game (about 25 per half), and numerous other stats to go along with that. Scores at the quarter breaks were 34-2, 60-6, 85-8, and 117-18. (Looks like the Spartans REALLY let up on the defense in that last quarter.) If you'd like to read a Spartan's review of the game, you can find it at the web site of our IIBWA partner Fifthquarter.
The Pacers are making a bid to have a WNBA franchise team play in Indianapolis in the near future. However, it looks like if Indy gets the nod, no team will be playing until the summer of 2000. That is when the new Conseco Fieldhouse will be first available for use during a WNBA summer season. The facility is expected to be completed by the fall of 1999 and will be the home court of the Pacers organization. When approving WNBA franchises, the NBA, which owns the rights to the WNBA teams across the country, looks for up-to-par facilities and a large interest base for women's basketball. The Pacers hope that the combination of the new fieldhouse and high interest in women's basketball (as evidenced by Indiana's large numbers in AAU girls basketball and attendance at Big 10 schools in Indiana) will be enough to get a WNBA team of their own.
For those of you who were either at the Purdue v. Tennessee game or watching it on television (or wished you had seen it), there is a great review on the game at the ESPN women's college basketball site. It analyzes the game plan executed to perfection by Purdue to topple the undefeated and reigning national champ Vols. Great reading for all of you basketball buffs out there. Go to the ESPN article.

News thru Tuesday, November 24

Several NWI teams are making their first appearance in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Top 10 voting for the week of November 23. In 4A, Hobart and Portage, although not in the Top 10, make their first appearance with 4 votes each in the runners-up category. Highland (0-2) and Munster (2-1) both fell off the 4A poll with losses over the weekend. In 3A, Andrean gets 4 votes in its first appearance in poll voting, but have not cracked the Top 10. Remaining in the polls from NWI are Valparaiso at the No. 3 spot in 4A, North Judson and North Newton, No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, in the 2A poll (despite losses for both over the past week), and Morgan Township, previously No. 3 in the 1A poll, drops down to No. 5 with a 1-2 record. You can view the complete poll here.

The past week in NWI brought some interesting and surprising game results, which we note here:

Munster over Highland 45-27. Both of these teams had received votes in last week's Indiana coaches poll, although neither was ranked in the Top 10. Both made strong finishes last season, and are long-standing carryover rivals from the now defunct Lake Suburban Conference to the new Lake Athletic Conference, so the stage was set for a showdown. Expectations were high with super soph Jenny DeMuth leading the charge for Highland, but it became evident early on in the game that Highland needs to balance its attack in order to be a factor in the Region this year. Munster's game plan was to shut off DeMuth and, thus, shut off Highland's offense. It worked with a fine performance by Munster's Susan Hay with the DeMuth defensive assignment, and a clicking offensive effort by the Mustangs. Munster has the more balanced attack, but could face some trouble in NWI play with a not-so-deep bench. That could change as the season moves along, but someone from Munster's bench will have to step forward to pick up the slack when the starters are off the floor for Munster to sustain an attack strong enough to take on teams like Lowell and Portage, who they will be seeing in December.

Lake Central over Chesterton 53-49. Lake Central was struggling in a bad way with their opening games, and a lot of the talk around the Region was that LC would be going through a long, long season without much success. Then they come along and beat Chesterton, who is considered a contender in the tough Portage sectional with Valpo, Hobart and Portage. It seems that the guard play of last year's reserves Cristin Hanyzewski and Mariel Yekich has been improving by leaps and bounds, which is giving LC a triple threat backcourt. Speed seems to be the spark for the Indians, and that would make sense, as Chesterton is not considered a team that would match up well with a lot of speed. We'll be keeping an eye on the Indians when they go to Kokomo over the weekend to see if they continue to improve.

2A River Forest over 1A Morgan Township 55-53. River Forest is sneaking up on a lot of teams early in the season, but that won't continue if they keep upsetting good teams. Morgan Township was ranked No. 3 in 1A when the Ingots downed them earlier last week. The central reason for River Forest's success is Tracie Mezera, who is racking up double-figures in every game. She had 24 against Morgan Township, 17 in the second half. Keep an eye on this team when sectionals roll around. They could be a surprise 2A entry for NWI when regionals roll around.

Hanover Central. Although they are sporting a losing record at this point, HC is surprising a lot of teams that are expecting big wins over this team. They put a scare in both North Judson and North Newton, ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the state coaches' poll, with close games that went down to the final minutes. The No. 33 2A sectional will be really interesting since North Newton, River Forest and Hanover Central will all be trying to get out. The team that peaks is the team that will come away with it, and I think it could be any one of these three. Hanover Central has some young players that are becoming a factor on the floor, and combined with some upperclassman leadership, they just might get revenge for some season losses during the tournament.

Crown Point over Munster 49-48 (OT). Not too many people in the Region are expecting big things out of Tom May's Bulldogs this year with the loss of seven seniors who made up the core of the CP team that went to the state championship two years ago. The Bulldogs have a lot of young players, and only 2-3 of the upperclassmen have seen any type of significant varsity time over the past two years. Munster was coming off a spectacular thumping of Highland and the feeling was that the Bulldog Pups were going to be in over their heads. But, with nothing to lose, CP went at the Mustangs full blast and created some good results. Munster is a very fine team and catching them the night after a big, emotional win was to CP's advantage. But once this CP team gets the turnovers under control (23 in this game), they could be a surprise team at the end of the season. Much of this will depend on the emotional maturity of some of the younger players and how they develop in their roles over the season, as well as the leadership of the upperclassmen. I expect this team will be up and down throughout the season and will need to pull it together to peak at sectional time in order to be a factor.

We will be posting our picks for notable Region performances on Friday. If you would like to nominate someone for that honor, please view the nomination procedures on our Red-Letter Region Performances page. Also, if your nominee does not qualify for Region honors due to geographical limitations, please feel free to recognize any worthy player on our posting board for Outstanding Individual Performances from around the state.

News thru Friday, November 20

We are posting for the first time today our Red-Letter Region Performances, which we will be noting on a weekly basis. You will always be able to access this feature from our "Games & Reviews" menu or from the quick link on our home page. The first recognitions are for the week ending November 14 in the following weekly categories:

Peak Performers - Players who display outstanding performances in a game or week of games.

X-Traordinary Contributors - Unheralded players who may not have the stats that bring attention, but who represent the "x-factor" that makes the difference in a game-altering equation.

Region-Area Rookies - First-year varsity sophomores and freshmen who are making valuable contributions to their teams.

Notable Benchmarks - School/conference/state-setting records or notable benchmarks achieved by players and/or teams.

Since there were so many notable performances in and around the Region in just the first week of play, we have decided to limit the pool of eligible players to the following counties: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Newton, Jasper, Pulaski, Starke and Marshall. HOWEVER, before you cry foul, we are providing a posting board for anyone to post the details of an outstanding performance by any player in the state. That posting board can be accessed from the top of the Region Awards page. Please feel free to give recognition to the outstanding performances or contributions of any worthy player in the state.

Although this young lady was nominated but did not make it into our Region recognition awards due to geographical limitations, we would like to make you aware of super Manchester soph Jessica Hicks (5'10" F), who has been turning heads with her double-figure scoring and rebounding efforts in early season play. Jessica has her own web page where you will find the latest updates on her progress and the progress of the Manchester Lady Squires, now coached by former Martinsville assistant Keri Nichols.
We will be covering the head-to-head battle of Munster and Highland later this evening. These Lake Athletic Conference schools have a long-standing rivalry with one another, as well as some evenly matched weapons. These elements all make this THE must-see game in the Region tonight. Highland received 5 votes in the recent 4A poll, and Munster received 3. Check our Games & Reviews reporting board later this evening to see if the 4A poll is on target in its rankings.
The Michigan City News Dispatch is carrying a thorough preview article on the Michigan City Wolves. The Wolves are hoping to improve last year's record, which is a challenge being a member of the strong Duneland Athletic Conference. Playing well against the likes of Valparaiso, Hobart, Chesterton, LaPorte, Merrillville, Portage and Crown Point is a tall order for even the strongest DAC teams. The Wolves were 0-7 in conference play last season, but have some new freshman and sophomore players who will give their team a boost and some added depth this season.

News thru Thursday, November 19

Head Martinsville coach, Jan Conner, will most likely be chalking up her 400th win as a coach this Friday when the Artesians take on Owen Valley. Conner, who began her coaching career at Warren Central, will be the second girls coach in the state to attain the 400-win mark. Cinda Brown of Rushville has the highest number of girls basketball wins with 424. You can read about Coach Conner's anticipated win in the Lafayette Journal-Courier.

Several games this Friday for teams in the Region and elsewhere have been rescheduled due to the boys football playoffs. Locally, Crown Point's game with Plymouth has been changed to December 11, Valparaiso's game with Penn has been changed to November 24, and Lowell's game with Andrean has been rescheduled to an undisclosed date in January. If anyone else has news of rescheduled games, please send them to us and we will be happy to post them here.
DeKalb senior Maria Recker is making strides in planning for her future career. Automatically, we all think basketball career, but this young lady is preparing herself for a career in medicine. A feature article about Recker in the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette details her experiences as a student in a Health Occupations Education class. This class includes hands-on experience, including rotations at an emergency room, veterinary clinic and nursing home. Interesting reading. And, yes, there is life after basketball....

Northwestern's Kristina Divjak (Lake Central) had an outstanding effort for the Wildcats, putting in 27 points. This wasn't enough for her team, though, as Northwestern lost in their home opener to California-Santa Barbara 101-89. Divjak is featured in an article in today's Times out of Munster, where she indicates that she will most likely pursue a pro-career in either the WNBA or the ABL. Divjak was the leading scorer in the Big Ten last year at 21.1 ppg, and was named to the first team All-Big Ten last season. Divjak is looking to help her team jump over the .500 mark after last season's disappointing 10-21 record. Unfortunately, the Wildcats are not off to a good start, as they stand at the 0-2 mark after yesterday's loss.
After her opening appearance for Florida State in which she scored 23 points and pulled down 7 rebounds against Tulsa, freshman April Traylor (Martinsville) was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week.

News thru Wednesday, November 18

USA Today has ranked Indianapolis area Ben Davis at No. 22 in its USA Today Top 25 teams in the nation and No. 7 in its Midwest rankings. Led by sophomore Shyra Ely (6'0" 16.5 ppg) and junior Sarah Strahm (5'10" 11.1 ppg), Ben Davis is also ranked No. 1 with 10 first place votes in the current 4A poll. Coming in at No. 1 in the country is Butler High School in Huntsville, Alabama.

This Friday, Valparaiso will be hosting Mishawaka Penn in an early benchmark game for both teams. Valpo will be facing its toughest opponent so far in the season, and this will be Penn's season opener. Valpo, currently ranked at No. 3 in 4A, will be looking to see how its younger players will do under pressure against a notable opponent. Penn will be gauging its team makeup for the season after losing a couple of key players to graduation and senior Lisa Mattison (5.8 ppg) to a foot injury. You can read a season preview about the Penn Kings(wo)men team in the South Bend Tribune.
Kendallville News-Sun reporter Matt Getts writes in a feature article that the Associated Press out of Indy has decided not to have an AP poll for girls basketball. Although a weekly AP media poll exists for the boys, the AP stated that "it had been considered, but decided against" a similar poll for the girls. The AP, however, will release the state coaches' poll at the same time it releases the media poll for boys. What's up with that? It would be nice to have a media poll that ranks girls teams in the state regardless of class similar to the boys.
The Connersville News-Examiner is carrying two interesting articles in today's on-line edition. One is about the Connersville/Rushville matchup scheduled for tonight. The other is about the Miss Basketball race between the stars of those two teams,
April McDivitt of Connersville and Elizabeth English of Rushville. Interestingly, these talented young ladies live in towns only 17 miles apart. The C-Ville vs. R-Ville game, which pits two great rivals, will be covered by Fifthquarter. Check there later this evening to get their up-to-the-minute report on the outcome of that game. Region area fans will get a look at English and a third Miss Basketball candidate, Kennitra Johnson of New Albany, in the Crown Point Holiday Shootout on January 2.

News thru Tuesday, November 17

The Indiana Coaches' Poll is out for Monday, November 16. There aren't too many surprises for this very first poll of the season. Locally in the 4A poll, Valparaiso comes in at No. 3 behind No. 1 Ben Davis and No. 2 New Albany. Also, Gary West Side and Munster received votes but are not ranked in the top 10 in 4A. In the 3A poll, Evansville Memorial was an almost unanimous choice for No. 1, but no local teams were ranked or received votes. In the 2A poll, No. 2 North Judson and No. 3 North Newton followed top pick North Knox. And in the 1A poll, Morgan Township comes in the No. 3 spot behind No. 1 Rising Sun and No. 2 Dubois. Also Michigan City Marquette logs in at the No. 10 spot in 1A, which it shares with Clinton Prairie.

Several schools in the Region will be reclassified by enrollment next year if the IHSAA continues with the four-class system for basketball, volleyball and baseball. Schools affected include South Bend Washington, which moves up from 3A to 4A, and Hammond Morton and Gary Wirt, which move down from 4A to 3A. Also, Rensselaer drops from 3A to 2A, and Hebron moves up from 1A to 2A. You can read about all of the schools affected in the state in an article by the Indy Star.
After its thrilling win over Tennessee on Sunday, the Purdue Lady Boilers received the top votes in the nation for the first AP poll of the regular season. This is the first time ever that the women's program has received a top national ranking. Also, Notre Dame logged in at No. 10. You can see the entire AP poll here.

Former Indiana All-Star April Traylor (Martinsville) came off the bench for her freshman debut at Florida State University and scored 23 points to lead her team in a victory over the University of Tulsa. You can read about Traylor's first game in the Martinsville Reporter-Times. Another college freshman, Jill Chapman (Blackford) of Indiana University, scored 11 points and pulled down 8 rebounds to help her fellow Hoosier teammates defeat Southwest Missouri State by a score of 63-60 to qualify for the final four in the Preseason National Invitational Tournament to be held this weekend. You can read about Chapman's contribution to the come-from-behind win in the Hoosier Times.
Thanks to all of you who have been visiting the Region Roundball Review for the past few months. We are happy to announce that we went over the 10,000 mark on our home page counter this morning! We hope to continue bringing you a variety of features and news coverage of girls basketball in the Region and around the state. If you have any suggestions for improving anything on our website, including navigation features, please let us know.

News thru Monday, November 16

Starting at practices all around the state today, coaches will be wondering what happened to some of their players. They'll be diving for balls, moving their feet on defense, boxing out and going after rebounds like they've never done before. What's the reason? They were at the Mackey Arena in Lafayette yesterday to see the Purdue Lady Boilermakers defeat reigning NCAA National Champs and previously undefeated Tennessee. Looking around at the 11,000+ fans in attendance, it was obvious that many of the spectators there were high school basketball players, many who came together as a team dressed in their team warmups or letter jackets. The stadium parking lot was dotted with yellow school buses from school districts all around the state. And what a game for them to see! The Purdue Lady Boilers, especially the players with Indiana roots, were an inspiration to everyone there. Many of the girls watching the game yesterday had already seen some of the Lady Boilers play on their own high school gym floors within the past 7 years as high school players, so the connection between reality and the dream of playing college ball was very real. It was obvious the level of play needed to make it to the college ranks, and that point was not lost on many in attendance. Thank you, Lady Boilers, for a terrific game! Congratulations to all of the Indiana high school grads who played outstanding minutes -- Stephanie White-McCarty (Seeger) who finished just one point shy of hitting the 1500-point mark at Purdue, Mackenzie Curless (Martinsville), Candi Crawford (Homestead), Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian), and Kelly Komara (Lake Centeral). It was fun to be there and watch all the different facets of the college game. (A lot of us really got a kick out of Stephanie White-McCarty planting a big one on her husband after the game!) To see some nice pictures and to read the AP version of the game, go to today's Indy Star article covering this history-making win for Purdue.

Again the South Bend Tribune is featuring team preview write-ups about some of the stronger teams in the Northern Lakes conference, including Northwood and Plymouth. Also featured in today's edition of the same publication, is South Bend Washington, headlined by super soph Jackie Batteast (5'11" F), a Hoosier Basketball Magazine Second Team All-State selection.
Thompson Indiana, a marketing and communications company out of of Madison County, has created a neat new web site covering high school basketball in connection with their on-line news publications. They have both girls and boys sections, and a lot of interesting feature stories there, including season previews and game recaps. Hats off to another great web site availble to fans to follow Indiana high school basketball!
Both Kristen Lowry and Amy Muelhausen of 4A Logansport signed their National Letters of Intent in a double-signing ceremony last week. Lowry will attend Xavier and Muelhausen will attend IUPUI next year. You can read the comments made by these young ladies on their college choices in an article in the Logansport Pharos-Tribune.
We have posted the final pre-season fan poll results for the sectionals in the north and south regions of the state for all four classes. We encourage you to vote in the regular season polls, through January 31, when voting will be closed for the regular season. We will then conduct a quick poll for two weeks before the first sectional games begins on February 16. We will then do weekly polls for the regionals, semi-state and state tournaments each week before they take place.
We had plans to do a weekly fan poll on Region and state teams, the results of which would be posted every Monday during the season. Our deadline for submission of votes was noon on Sunday, and as of that time, we had only received 4 submssions for the Region poll and 2 submission for the state poll. We feel that in order to post legitimate poll results, we need at least 10 submissions for each. Although we cannot identify any individual making a vote submission, we can determine multiple submissions from the same person by the IP numbers on each, so please do not send multiple votes. We will try again this week to see if we get enough. If not, we will discontinue this feature. Thanks to those of you who submitted votes this week.
We have added the Logansport Pharos-Tribune, a new on-line newspaper, to our Prep Sports News Map. Stop by and take a look at their excellent news coverage of girls basketball in the Logansport area.

News thru Sunday, November 15

This weekend's surprising upset of Hoosier Basketball Magazine's No. 2 Connersville by unranked Mt. Vernon by a score of 49-44, emphasizes that this long season before tournament play could be even more interesting than anyone ever expected. Although many top-ranked teams are expected to do well with high-profile performers, those teams are still trying to fit some pieces of the puzzle together in the early going. Teams such as Connersville with April McDivitt, New Albany with Kennitra Johnson, Ben Davis with Shyra Ely, and Valparaiso with Jeanette Gray and Erin Sampsel, still must find a way to win the really tough games with new and inexperienced talent in key positions. (Although New Albany is probably in the best position of the four top-ranked teams to do that.) Those new players will be the x-factor when tournament time rolls around in February, the key being who will step up to complement the proven players. Follow the regular season play of teams like Kokomo, Ft. Wayne Snider and Gary West Side, with balanced and experienced talent, to see who could be tournament darkhorses if the early top-ranked teams and their inexperienced players do not rise to the challenge.

More season previews are appearing on-line, including South Bend area teams and players in the South Bend Tribune. The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is carrying a nice variety of feature articles in its Prep Sports Highlights area about the upcoming season. Also, several teams in the northeastern part of the state are previewed in the Kendallville News-Sun, including West Noble, East Noble, Central Noble and Westview. Other teams in the northeast are covered in the DeKalb Evening-Sun, including DeKalb and Angola.
The first poll of the season by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association will be out early this week for all four classes. We will bring that to you as soon as it is available. That poll is divided by class, with only three coaches for each class voting for their respective classes within each of the state's voting districts.
We have added the Crown Point High School Lady Bulldogs web page to our High School Team Links page. Although still under construction, you will find some interesting features there, including pre-game program comments from Crown Point Head Coach
Tom May for all home games.

Assistant Valparaiso University coach and former Indiana All-Star
Tracy Roller (Crown Point), is featured in an article by The Times that describes how she was favorably influenced by Tennessee Coach Pat Summit's book about coaching. A nice story about a very nice and enthusiastic young lady.

News thru Friday the 13th!

Jeanette Gray (5'10" F) of Valparaiso will be signing her National Letter of Intent today to attend hometown Valparaiso University next fall. Jeanette was holding out for the signing until today, Friday the 13th, which she feels will create a good luck start for her college career.

Terre Haute South senior point guard Cara Stuckey (5'6") will be hanging up her high-tops and her #23 jersey after the basketball season for good next year by accepting a scholarship to play golf at IU. Stuckey, who averaged 15.3 ppg and 5.7 apg last season, is a key player for the Lady Braves, who are expected to go far in this year's state high school tournament series. TH South is ranked 9th in the Hoosier Basketball Magazine preseason rankings. If the Braves make it to the state finals, Stuckey will be no stranger to the pressure. She made appearances at the state high school golf tournament as a freshman, sophomore and finished tied for 14th in this fall's state golf championship competition. You can read about Cara's choice to play golf in college in the Terre Haute Tribune Star.
Season previews continue in several on-line newspapers, including Connersville in the Connersville News-Examiner, Huntington North in the Huntington Herald Press, South Bend Riley, South Bend Adams, and South Bend LaSalle in the South Bend Tribune, and West Lafayette, McCutcheon, Lafayette Jeff, Lafayette Harrison, and Central Catholic in the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
Last year's Indianapolis Lawrence standout
Krysten Parson made her college debut appearance a memorable one by scoring 21 points in Goshen College's 61-56 come-from-behind season opening win against the Trinity Christian Trolls on Wednesday. Parson's efforts included scoring 6-10 from the field and 9-10 from the free throw line. You can read about Parson's outstanding freshman performance in the Goshen News.

News thru Thursday, November 12, 1998

The Indy Star is reporting this morning that 2A Triton Central standout senior Tiffany Miller (6'1" C) suffered an ACL injury during her team's scrimmage with New Palestine. Miller is expected to be back in the lineup by mid-January after surgery and rehab. This will definitely put a chink in Triton's offensive armor, as Miller scored 12.1 ppg and pulled down 8.1 rpg last season, and is the main floor leader for the Tigers.

Thanks to those of you who are posting game results on our Game Reviews & Scores reporting board. Be sure to read John Corbett's recap of the Ben Davis/Indianapolis Cathedral scrimmage. It's a real nice write-up with some insightful comments.
Two games in the Region have been canceled and rescheduled as follows: Portage v. East Chicago has been rescheduled for November 19 at East Chicago, and Hobart v. S. Bend St. Joe's has been rescheduled from this Saturday to Wednesday, December 2.
Again, several season preview articles are appearing on-line today. Included are Marion and St. Joe's in the South Bend Tribune, Tri-West in the Indy Star, Rochester area schools (Caston, Avon, Tippecanoe Valley, North Miami, and Culver) in the Rochester Sentinel, Yorktown and Delta, Muncie schools (Burris, Central and South), and Delta in the Muncie Press, Franklin County in the Connersville News-Examiner, and Eminence in the Martinsville Reporter-Times. (Some of these stories may not be accessible after one or two days because their links are not permanent. We'll try to maintain them as long as possible.)
Purdue frosh
Kelly Komara (Lake Central) gave a stellar performance off the bench in Tuesday night's game against the Russian Dynamo Club, scoring 17 points. Komara figures prominently in giving Purdue a tremendous amount of consistency at the guard position while subbing for senior backcourt standouts Stephanie White-McCarty (Seeger) and Ukari Figgs. You can read about Purdue's win in articles at the Purdue Exponent and the Lafayette Journal and Courier. You can also read a Lafayette J & C article about sophomore Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) and her success in pre-season play. Katie scored 14 points in the win against the Dynamo Club.

News thru Wednesday, November 11, 1998

The following Region players were named to The Times 1998 Preseason All-Area Team: senior Kara Austgen (5'7" G Andrean), senior Jennifer Bayer (6'1" C Lowell), senior Jackie Campbell (5'10" G Chesterton), senior Kristin Cheairs (5'6" G West Side), senior Abbey Coons (5'9" G Hobart), sophomore Jenny DeMuth (5'10" G Highland), senior Jeanette Gray (5'10" F Valparaiso), junior Susan Hay (5'7" G Munster), junior Cathy Herring (5'8" G Morton), senior Erin Jedlikowski (6'1" F Portage), junior Kristi Koselke (6'0" G North Newton), junior Tracie Mezera (5'6" G River Forest), senior Lori Moore (5'7" G Lake Central), sophomore Joann Smith (5'5" G Gavit), and sophomore Kimberly Smith (5'10" F West Side).

Today marks the first day of signings for college recruits who have verbally committed to various college programs. An excellent resource for those girls who are signing (and other who are interested) is an article found at The Coach's Edge, where questions are answered about the National Letter of Intent. This should be mandatory reading for any player who is considering pursuing a basketball scholarship for college. We will be adding the link to this article in our College Bound section for easy future reference. Also a note to high school and college coaches: The Coach's Edge has recently revamped its site and now has access to a variety of coaching articles from around the country. You can reach those articles directly at this link.
Several season preview articles are appearing in on-line publications around the state. Included are Elkhart Memorial in the South Bend Tribune, Indian Creek High School in the Martinsville-Reporter, Northview and Clay City in The Brazil Times, Evansville Memorial and other Evansville-area schools in the Evansville Courier, Bedford North Lawrence in the Bedford Times-Mail, and Peru, Maconaquah, and North Miami in the Peru Tribune.
Senior standout Stephanie White-McCarty (Seeger) was named to the Associated Press Preseason All-America team yesterday. White, who averaged 20.6 ppg last season for the Boilermakers is honored by the award, but is hoping for some team honors come tournament time. Purdue has been ranked in the top five consistently in various polls throughout the country and looks to be a contender for a Final Four berth in the NCAA tournament. Purdue will be tested from the get-go as they open their regular season schedule this Sunday against last year's national champ Tennessee at Mackey Arena.
Purdue freshman Kelly Komara (Lake Central) took a blow to the head during practice Monday when she hit the floor while taking a charge from a teammate. Coach Carolyn Peck made her sit out the rest of the practice, but she was expected to be back in action for last night's exhibition game. If you didn't get enough reading in about Kelly during her high school days in the Region, you can read more about Purdue's new freshman point guard in two articles: one in Purdue Sports, where her bread-eating exploits are discussed (I kid you not), and the other in the Purdue Exponent, where the discussion moves to a more serious side, with talk of the contributions expected from Purdue's bench. (Nice picture of Kelly in the second article, too.)
Former Martinsville Artie, Leslie Deaton, is making her worth known at the University of Central Florida, where she is now playing basketball. Yesterday in an exhibition game, she hit 4 of 5 from the arc to walk away with 14 points in an exhibition game against the Mississippi All-Stars. You can read about Deaton's efforts in the Martinsville-Reporter.

News thru Tuesday, November 10, 1998

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that two seniors have made verbal commitments to attend colleges on basketball scholarships next fall. Center Grove's Emily Butler (5'7" G) will be going to Northwestern, and Indianapolis Tech's Angela Dancy (5'7" G) will be going to Butler. Both are expected to sign National Letters of Intent during the signing period, which begins tomorrow. You can read Emily's comments about her choice to attend Northwestern in the Star article. Butler will be joining Northwood's Natalie Will at Northwestern next year, who just made her choice to become a Wildcat known recently as well.

The Indy Star is also carrying a great grouping of articles about the upcoming season, including features about sophomore sensation Shyra Ely (6'1" F) of Ben Davis, and several previews for all classes. Definitely worth a look during your basketball surfing today. To get to the list of articles, visit the Indiana's Game area of the Star.
The Times featured their girls basketball previews today with an extremely interesting piece by sportswriter Steve Hanlon about the influence of AAU on high school player transfers. Mentioned in that article were the migration of three standouts from other schools to last year's state champions and/or finalists 4A Martinsville, 4A Lake Central and 3A West Lafayette. Key transfers who greatly contributed to those teams were Martinsville's April Traylor who transferred from Eminence, Lake Central's Katie Imborek who transferred from Hammond Gavit, and West Lafayette's Keaton Brumm who transferred from Andrean. The title of the piece is "State Titles for Sale?" and gives the opinions of a number of high school coaches from the area, including their claims that AAU is the breeding ground for recruiting by parents of other AAU players who are looking to strengthen their own daughters' high school teams. The basis of the story goes back to the days of Kokomo's state championship run in the early 90's when Kokomo benfitted from the move-ins of Miss Basketball Tiffany Longworth from Anderson Highland and Mistina Oliver from Peru. It is unfortunate that this article is not available on-line because it is certainly some interesting reading. (The on-line sports coverage at The Times has dropped off quite dramatically within the past 2 weeks for no apparent reason.) Sometimes the Indy Star will pick up stories from its sister papers, so hopefully the rest of you around the state will eventually get to read this story on their web site. We will link it if it becomes available.

The Times Top 10 in the Region for the upcoming season is as follows.

1. West Side
2. Valparaiso
3. Hobart
4. Lowell
5. Highland
6. North Newton
7. Lake Central
8. Griffith
9. Andrean
10. Munster

Interestingly, the Region Roundball Review Top 12 matches The Times first four picks. We will be posting the area media rankings throughout the season. Watch for an updated format for easy access to a variety of polls and rankings on our site soon.

The Indiana Internet Basketball Writers' Association (IIBWA), of which the Region Roundball Review is a member, has posted its first members state poll for the girls' season. The IIBWA is a consortium of web sites around the state of Indiana that cover high school basketball. The boys' poll has also been released.

News thru Monday, November 9, 1998

At Valparaiso University women's exhibition game against the Supreme Court Basketball team yesterday, there were quite a few notable high school juniors on campus visiting as recruits. Sitting behind the Valpo bench with their parents were Erin Sampsel (5'11" G Valparaiso), Karen Force (5'8" G Columbus East), Kristi Koselke (5'11" G North Newton), Susan Hay (5' 7" G Munster), Megan Mauck (5'7" PG Boonville), Natalie Yudt (6'0" G Portage), Julie Mandon (5'11" C Hobart), and Julie Goad (5'7" G Twin Lakes). These players are top prospects in their class and most will probably end up at Division I schools somewhere within the next two years. Valpo U could have used some firepower from this talented junior group Sunday, as they lost 70-65 to the "Supremes", going 4-26 from the arc against an effective zone. The Crusaders begin their regular season against Colorado State on Friday in Colorado.

The NCAA dead period begins today with the official Letter of Intent signing period set for Wednesday, November 11, through Wednesday, November 18. It is always interesting to see if anyone has had a change of heart during the signing period, as verbal commitments are non-binding. We will keep you updated of such changes, if any, that we become aware of. To see which Indiana players are scheduled to sign before the 18th, see the Player Status Report in our College Bound area, as well as our NCAA calendar and definitions of related recruiting calendar terms.
Our Indiana Internet Basketball Writers' Association (IIBWA) partner, Fifth Quarter, is featuring an article by webmaster Randy Beckett featuring some of the top freshmen in the state who are expected to make an impact for their teams this season. Included in that article from the Region is 5'9" guard
Alex Webster of Crown Point. Also included are Shanna Zolman (5'8" G) from 3A Wawasee, Candace Dark (5'8" G) from 2A Fountain Central, Missy Taylor (6'0" F) from 4A Connersville, Bridget Branson (5'11" F) from 1A Turkey Run, and Ashley Hughes (5'6" G) of 1A North Vermillion.
As we mentioned earlier, all scrimmage and game reports are being posted on our
Games & Reviews reporting board. This is where all future game reports will be posted as well, including any on-line news articles that cover games in the Region and around the state. Currently, you will find the Martinsville/Lebanon scrimmage there, among others. The format of the reporting board allows anyone to post a comment in the reporting thread. That way if someone reports on a game and you have something to add to their assessment of the game, you have the opportunity to comment as well. You can find permanent links to the reporting board in three different places at the Region Roundball Review: directly above at the start of this news page, on our home page beneath the visitor counter, and on the Games & Reviews menu bar. We suggest that you check the reporting board often, as not all links to on-line news articles are permanent and may expire after only one or two days. Wherever possible, we will try to maintain links for as long as possible. We also encourage everyone to post the results of any game they might attend as soon as possible, even if it is just the score. Game highlights and/or stats will be greatly appreciated by us and your fellow basketball enthusiasts as well. Thanks.
You might want to check the best upcoming games in the Region for the week on our Best Upcoming Games & Events Calendar. We hope to have coverage from a majority of those games for you by this weekend.
The final pre-season Top 12 Fan Surveys for the Region and state have been posted and we are now accepting new votes for our weekly fan poll. Votes will be taken through Sunday noon of each week, with results posted the following Monday evening. Please give us your Top 12 every week for the Region and state. We also will be posting the weekly polls of several area publications and from the Indiana Coaches' Basketball Association. The first of the early season Region polls should be out tomorrow, with girls basketball season preview coverage expected to appear in The Times out of Munster tomorrow.

News thru Saturday, November 7, 1998

The Connersville News-Examiner is carrying a review piece about the Connersville/Franklin scrimmage of last night. Although 1999 Miss Basketball candidate April McDivitt had a fine start, it sounds like it will take some time for the team to gel with some new faces in the lineup, including underclassmen Jenny Cooper (sophomore) and Missy Taylor (freshman). Connersville is ranked second in Hoosier Basketball Magazine, and together with that ranking and the publicity surrounding McDivitt's Miss Basketball run, the Spartans are now "enjoying" target status, which they will need to be prepared for in every game they play. Franklin came all out against Connersville and the Spartans, according to their coach Larry Miller, did not respond well. He is hoping for some improved intensity and uptempo defensive play from his team as the season progresses.

News thru Friday, November 6, 1998

We had two informative scrimmage reports from last evening that have been posted on the Games & Reviews reporting board. The reports are on the Valparaiso/Highland scrimmage, and the Kokomo/Marion scrimmage. Thanks to contributing reporters for two excellent reviews! If anyone else has a review they'd like to post, or if you would like to comment on the reports that are already there, please feel free to do so. We will be fine-tuning the game reporting area before the first games next week. You can reach the Games & Reviews board at any time from the main menu.

The Times out of Munster reported this week that Portage senior standout Erin Jedlikowski (6'0" G/F) has verbally committed to play at Division I Charleston Southern University in South Carolina next year. Among the schools on Erin's short list were University of Pennsylvania, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, and the U. S. Military Academy. She also received a home visit from Colgate. Influencing Erin's decision was the presence of former Portage grad Natalie Fornari, a cross-country runner, who works in the women's basketball coaching office at CSU. Erin made a visit to the campus there last Sunday and felt the fit was right. Charleston has an enrollment of just over 2,300 and plays in the Big South Conference. Besides looking forward to the team unity and uptempo game played by the Buccaneers, Erin is planning on learning how to surf. CSU is located right on the beaches of the Atlantic Coast.
It was also reported in The Times this week that Tom Haluska will replace Harold Jones as girls varsity basketball coach at Hammond Clark High School. Tom is a 1983 graduate from Whiting High School. He served as varsity assistant to former EC Central girls coach Joe Huppenthal for the 1995-96 season, and has been Hammond Morton's girls JV the past two seasons compiling a 26-9 record. Haluska has a strong friendship with Chicago Bulls coaching legend Tex Winter, so don't be surprised if Clark runs the triangle offense sometime in the future. According to The Times, Haluska has finally gotten the break he's been waiting for. "I'm looking to build, to get things started at the lower level, which is so important in order to be successful. You look at the better programs in the area, like Lake Central and Crown Point, and they play man-to-man defense. I like man-to-man and the up-tempo style." Haluska also wants to start kids playing at a younger age, and talks of possibly starting an AAU feeder program. Haluska's positive attitude and long-term plans will be a big boost for the Pioneers, who have gone 4-17 and 3-18 the past two seasons.
A Logansport contact tells us that, after having her tonsils removed recently, senior Kristen Lowry (6'2") of Logansport is a hopeful for the Berries' first game on November 20 against Huntington North. Lowry, the Logansport's top scorer and rebounder (19 ppg, 12 rpg) missed last night's pre-season scrimmage against West Lafayette Harrison and is not expected to be back in action for about another week or two.
(Late addition) Senior Lake Central standout Lori Moore (5'7" G) of last year's state finals team has been named The Times Soccer Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Moore, who is a Division I soccer prospect, will be the offensive focus of the Indians basketball team this year after the graduation of an outstanding senior class in Kelly Komara, Kelly Kuhn and Katie Imborek. Moore is an aggressive player on the soccer field and will be counted on to carry over that attitude onto the basketball court to help her Lake Central Indians contend this season.
(Late addition) The Martinsville Reporter-Times is carrying a preview piece about the Lady Arties that has some interesting news in it, including the addition of Christy Smith (Benton Central/Arkansas) of the WNBA Charlotte Sting as an assistant varsity coach. Smith played for Martinsville head coach Jan Conner during Conner's tenure at Benton Central and was the starting point guard there at that time. Smith went on to receive many honors at the point while at Arkansas and was just recently named the NCAA's Woman of the Year for the state of Arkansas. Conner talks a bit about her team and how they will not be letting up in intensity, despite the loss of last season's super senior class. Interestingly, we might all be doing a double-take when we get a look at this season's roster. The Bodine-Traylor duo is still there. But that's not Kristin Bodine and April Traylor; it's Carmen Bodine and Ashley Traylor, freshman sisters of last season's 1-2 Martinsville punch. It is uncertain whether they will be able to contribute at some point at the level their sisters did, but it will be an interesting combination to watch over the next few years. And don't count out Martinsville this season just because they've lost the heart of their lineup. They have a knowledgeable coach, some exceptionally strong and seasoned returning players, new young talent and a point to prove.
(Late addition) We have added two new links to the College Links in our College Bound area. Both are NCAA databases that make it very easy to get information that is sometimes difficult to find. One is a database that has available contest schedules for every NCAA school. The other is a database that will give the e-mail addresses of members in the athletic department of participating NCAA schools. We hope you will find these resources useful.
Due to some scheduling difficulties, the Andrean/Crown Point game scheduled for Saturday, November 14, will be AT Crown Point and not Andrean. Game time remains the same, with a 6:00 p.m. start for JV, and a 7:30 p.m. start for varsity.
Our news reports and site updates have been thin for the past week due to some family health issues here in the Region Roundball Review household. My mom had open-heart surgery in Chicago Tuesday, and after some anxious moments, we are happy to report that she is improving daily. Thanks to all of you who have been contributing news this week in anticipation of next week's start of games. We will be catching up with coverage over the weekend.

News thru Monday, November 2, 1998

Both local papers are reporting this morning that Gary West Side standout Kristin Cheairs (5'8" G) has verbally committed to the University of Illinois-Chicago and will be signing a National Letter of Intent later next week to become a Flame next year. Apparently, Kristin made the decision to commit against the wishes of her high school coach, Rod Fisher, who wanted her to wait until after the basketball season when she might have a longer list of schools to choose from. The Cougars are expected to fare well from the region in the state tournament series, and advancing in the tournament will likely bring attention from college coaches to Cheairs speed and athletic ability. Her first-step is second to none in Region-area high school basketball. Kristin had other ideas, though, and decided to remove the shadow of the college question from over her last year of high school basketball. UIC first-year coach Tim Eatman, a former Iowa assistant, impressed Cheairs with his coaching style, which she observed at practice on Friday while she was making an official visit. Another helpful UIC connection for Cheairs was that former Gary Lew Wallace and Iowa grad, Angela Hamblin, is now on the UIC staff as a basketball operations intern. The Flames were 7-20 last year and Cheairs will join fellow Hoosier Jennifer Cook ('96 Evansville Bosse) to bring some Indiana flavor to a mostly Illinois native team. Coach Eatman, a reknowned recruiter, has certainly made a steal from larger programs with a commitment from this outstanding Region guard.

So far, we are aware of four scrimmage openers taking place in the Region this week. On Tuesday, November 3, Wheeler will play at Bishop Noll (6 p.m.) and Calumet will play at Hammond Gavit (6:30 p.m.). On Friday, Highland will be at Valpo (6 p.m.), and on Saturday, Portage will be at Griffith (6 p.m.). If you are aware of any other scrimmages taking place this week, please let us know and we will post them here and on our Best Upcoming Games & Events page, where after this week we will be posting what we think are the best matchups in the region for each upcoming week.
We were able to get our hands on a copy of the Hoosier Basketball Magazine this weekend at the Valpo U exhibition. We suggest that you get your hands on a copy, too, as this year's edition is packed full with team preview reports and picture ad after picture ad of region and state teams and players. (It's always interesting to get a look at the faces of the young ladies mentioned on this site and in the news.) Indiana girls basketball Region teams that were ranked in the HBM Pre-Season Top 50 (regardless of class) are as follows:

4. Valparaiso
15. Gary West Side
19. Hobart
25. North Judson
29. Crown Point
37. Lake Central
46. Morgan Township
50. North Newton (tie)

Also notable in the 2A pre-seaon HBM rankings is North Judson in the No. 1 spot and North Newton in the No. 3 spot. Morgan Township makes an appearance at the No. 3 spot in the 1A rankings. Individual recognition goes to the following region players who received pre-season HBM All-State honors:

1st Team

Jackie Campbell (12) - Chesterton
Kristin Cheairs (12) - Gary West Side
Jeanette Gray (12) - Valparaiso

2nd Team

Erin Jedlikowski (12) - Portage

3rd Team

Jenny DeMuth (10) - Highland
Lori Moore (12) - Lake Central

4th Team

Abbey Coons (12) - Hobart
Cathy Herring (11) - Hammond Morton
Jody Lackey (11) - Morgan Township

Honorable Mention

Kara Austgen (12)
Meghann Sullivan (12)
Lawanda Mitchell (12)
Bridgette Schwoegler (11)
Crown Point:
Alex Webster (9)
Sarah Zondor (10)
Gary Roosevelt:
Francis Malone (12)
Gary West:
Meghan Yancey (11)
Amber Farr (11)
Tiffany Humphrey (12)
Hammond Clark:
Rachel Griffith(11)
Hammond Gavit:
Joann Smith (10)
Hammond Morton:
Kim Law (12)
Hammond Noll:
Stacy Jones (12)
Hanover Central:
Melanie Brumbaugh (11)
Christy Haduch (11)
Christy Koby (12)
Michelle Armstrong (12)
Jill Rakoczy (12)
Katie Julian (12)
Lauren Julian (12)
Julie Mandon (11)
Kankakee Valley:
Jessica Bell (12)
Kristen Kruchowski (11)
Erica Martin (10)
Lara Clarkson (12)
Bridget DeCordial (12)
Alaina Neff (12)
Jennifer Bayer (12)
Shannon Wells (12)
Michigan City:
Aishiz Nichols (12)
Jessica Yagelski (12)
Morgan Township:
Megan Hefner (12)
Kim McGinley (11)
Stephanie Gill (11)
Susan Hay (11)
North Judson:
Kristie King (11)
North Newton:
Sara Christenson (11)
Crystal Meeks (11)
Becky Schuster (11)
Michele Pickering (11)
Natalie Yudt (11)
River Forest:
Tracy Mezera (11)
Erin Sampsel (11)
Lindsey Schultz (12)
Thespena Kollintzas (11)

If we have inadvertently left someone off of the region area list of honors (it was a LONG and small-font list), please let us know, and we will add any missing names to the list.

The Valpo University women's team played against a collection of former college players in an exhibition for their opener last night. The question of who will start at the point for Valpo was answered when Lisa Winter (Huntington North) took the floor for the Crusaders at the one position. This was the first game Winter has seen for some time, since she was forced to sit out a season after transferring from Ball State to Valpo after her freshman year. Point is not Winter's natural position, and even though she played well, Coach Keith Freeman is hoping she can take better care of the ball and improve on the turnover/assist ratio which showed up as a 6/2 statistic after yesterday's game. Winter admits that she's not a true point and that ball-handling is not her forte. The Crusader's only true point guard on the team, after losing last year's point Mo Drabicki to graduation, is freshman Julie Bigler (Ft. Madison, IA), who is missing the start of the season with an injury. Former college players from Indiana that outscored the Crusaders 77-69 included, among others, Jennifer Jacoby (Rossville/Purdue), Tiffany Longworth (Kokomo/Penn State) and Cari Stover (Kokomo/Valparaiso). Both Longworth and Stover are first-year assistant coaches for the Kokomo Wildkats this season.

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