Region Roundball Review
December, 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.

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News thru Friday, December 28

Tournament action kicks into high gear around the state today, with the high profile nod going to the Hall of Fame Classic at New Castle.  Opening the action will be Miss Basketball candidate Shanna Zolmanand the undefeated Warriors of Wawasee against 8-4 Frankfort at 10:00 a.m.  That game will be followed by Jennings County (10-2) vs. Shelbyville (9-1).  A slew of preview articles about this tournament are online today.   Lots of good reading:
Golden Bears eager to face test in Classic - Indy Star
Lady Warriors in state spotlight - Goshen News
Wawasee's Zolman has girls' top billing - New Castle Life
Hall Of Fame Classic - Shelbyville News
Zolman one of country’s best - Shelbyville News

In a related article, the Indianapolis Star is reporting how the Shelbyville team has been battling illness all season, which turned out to be caused by the ventilation system at the high school. A fungal infection called histoplasmosis was the culprit, and school was closed on December 17 to clean up the problem.  All but two members of the team and coaching staff have been affected by the bug, which has caused some problems for the Bears in the first half of the season.  This article also has some interesting quotes from Shelbyville coach John Fair regarding two of the senior stars in today's tournament, Shanna Zolman and Jenny Pfeiffer.

Other tournaments are set to get underway this weekend, and teams from Northwest Indiana will be using the outcomes of games against long-distance opponents to measure up against some of the top teams in the state.  
Today, Chesterton and 4A No. 10 Gary West Side will compete in the Big Eight Shootout at McCutcheon, which also includes Homestead, Benton Central, 4A No. 9 Floyd Central, Lafayette Harrison, 4A No. 18 McCutcheon and Cambridge City in the tournament field.  Chesterton opens the action against a good Homestead team at 5:30 local time, while Gary West Side opens against Lafayette Harrison at the same time.   In Momence, Illinois, Hanover Central will defend the Momence Holiday Tournament title by opening against Gibson City (IL) at noon today.  Portage and 2A No. 7 North Newton will be traveling to Monticello to compete in the Twin Lakes Tournament.  The Spartans open the action against Western at 4:00 p.m. local time today, with the Indians taking on the host Twin Lakes at 7:00 p.m.  The tournament field at Monticello also includes Logansport and a very tough 4A No. 17 Mooresville team.
On Saturday, Crown Point will be hosting its 5th annual Lady Bulldogs Holiday Shootout, with the hosts taking on Gary Wallace at 11:00 a.m., followed by a what is expected to be a highly competitive game between Martinsville and Carroll (Ft. Wayne) at 12:30 p.m.  This tournament would be a good one for local teams to take in if they are not playing.  Michigan City will be hosting its own tournament tomorrow as well, with guests East Chicago Central taking on South Bend Adams and LaPorte playing the hosts.  Lake Central travels to the Center Grove Tournament, where they will face 2A power Leo, while host Center Grove takes on Columbus EastAndrean will take on Connersville, who is without its senior star Missy Taylor in the Columbia City Tournament.  Anderson Highland and Columbia City complete the field there.  Valparaiso will challenge 4A No. 6 Warsaw at 9:00 a.m. in the Warsaw Holiday Tournament, which also includes a strong Perry Meridian team and Mt. Vernon (Fortville).
Previews to other tournaments around the state are online:
Talented duo aims for county title, more (Mississinewa) - Chronicle-Tribune
Girls set to battle for county title (Wabash County) -  Plain Dealer
Hoops players won't get break (Franklin, Greenwood) - Daily Journal
Cadets unfazed by pressures at the top (SAC Tournament)  - FW News Sentinel
Area powers take aim at more holiday cheer - South Bend Tribune

Highland recently honored standout grad Jenny DeMuth by retiring her jersey number last weekend.  DeMuth, now a freshman starter at Indiana, was the all-time career scorer at Highland with 1,829 career points.  Thanks to a contributing Highland parent for the photo of the banner which now hangs in the Trojans' arena. 

Several players from around the state have been profiled by various newspapers.

Lake Central sharpshooter Linsey Smith leads the Indians in scoring this season.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)  

The Post-Tribune (one-day link) has a feature article on Lake Central sharpshooting duo Kim Haviar and Linsey Smith.  The two have combined for 46 treys so far this season in 11 games.   In a recent win over Crown Point, the two combined for 37 of Lake Central's 44 points in a huge victory.  Haviar, a junior averaging 12.7 points per game, and Smith, a sophomore averaging 14.4 points per game, give the Indians a formidable perimeter threat for the next two years.
Castle frosh Leah Phillips was the object of two articles recently,  one in the Evansville Courier-Press and the other in the Warrick News.  Phillips, who head coach Mike Virgin states is "one of the top five freshmen in the state," is averaging 18.8 points and scored a season high 30-points a couple of weeks ago against South Spencer.  Phillips credits the seniors on her team for making the transition from junior high to high school basketball as smooth as it has been so far.  Castle is currently ranked No. 12 with a 10-1 record.
Tecumseh junior sensation Julie Briody is covered in the Evansville Courier-Press.  The 6'0 multi-position player was averaging 23.0 points and 11.2 rebounds per game going into the Gibson County Classic this week.   Briody is receiving a great deal of attention from college recruiters and has already narrowed her list to three favorites, including Texas, Kansas State and Colorado State.
Angola junior center Savannah Werner is the subject of an article in the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel.  The 6'1 playmaker in the paint is averaging 21.1 points and 6.7 rebounds for the undefeated 3A No. 8 Hornets. 

The Richmond Palladium-Item takes a look at what it takes to finance prep athletic programs, which are not allowed by law to be funded by taxpayer revenue.

The Marion Chronicle-Tribune is just one of several newspapers in the past year that have examined the reason for poor shooting percentages in their area.

Former Madison standout Molly Holt recently came back home while playing as a starting guard for Findlay (Ohio) when they defeated Hanover College last week.  The Madison Courier gives the latest information about the 5'8 dynamo, who will score over 1,000 college career points with two national tournament appearances.  The Madison Courier also has a small news roundup of other players in college, including Kathy Hay (Madison) at IUPUI and Sayra Hoskins (Madison) at Franklin College.

You might remember that last year two basketballs autographed by all 61 living Mr. Basketball winners were auctioned off for $17,000 as part of a fundraiser for Triton Central.  This year, a basketball autographed by all 26 Miss Basketball winners is on the auction block.  The Shelbyville News gives an interesting look at the process of locating all 26 ladies to sign the basketball.  Interested bidders should contact Triton High School at (317) 835-3000.

Not related to girls basketball, but interesting just the same.  The recent attempt by a terrorist to bring down an American flight was thwarted with the help of a former Evansville University men's basketball player.  According to the South Bend Tribune, 6'8 Kwame James held the suspect from behind by his shoulders and ponytail for two hours until the flight landed on Saturday. 

News thru Wednesday, December 19

I'm guessing everyone is as busy as we are getting ready for the holidays, so we'll be keeping it brief over the next week or so. (BTW, I started this string of news almost a week ago, so some of it might be a bit behind in timeliness, but not in enjoyment!)

There are a lot of holiday tournaments coming up over the next two weeks, and Steve Stremming of Midwest Sports Publications, gives the following schedule for the annual Lawrence North Girls Basketball Tournament on December 28 and 29:
Friday, December 28
Westfield v. Lebanon - 10:30 am
Evansville Memorial v. Lawrence Central - 12:15 pm (approx)
Bloomington North v. Jasper - 6:00 pm
Lawrence North v. Bloomdale Elmwood (OH) - 7:30 pm (approx)
(Note:  Bloomdale was one basket from the state finals last year in the Ohio Big School Division)

Saturday, December 29

Lebanon v. Evansville Memorial - Noon
Lawrence North v. Jasper - 1:30 pm
For more information regarding this event, contact Steve Stremming at

The decision of Franklin senior Caron Blotch to play basketball this season is profiled in the Johnson County Daily Journal.  The volleyball standout, who has signed with the University of Texas, almost decided to quit basketball to prepare for college volleyball.  Blotch is currently leading the Cubs with 12.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Eminence senior Ashley Houston, a starter for the Eels since she was a freshman, is on the verge of breaking some school records there according to the Indianapolis Star.  At least her coach Brian Holland thinks she is.  Since Eminence is undergoing a construction project, the records haven't been located yet.  Houston is currently averaging 20.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

New Harmony junior Whitney Espenlaub is profiled in the Evansville Courier & Press.  The 5'7 guard is averaging 23 points per game for the 1A No. 6 Rappites.  At the present time, Espenlaub is on track to break the all-time career scoring record of former Rappite Jill Reynolds, who put up 1,470 points during her career.  Espenlaub currently has 1,028 points.

Unlike some schools where coaches want their players to concentrate on just basketball year-round, Zionsville coach Andy Maguire believes that success breeds success.  That is why the third-year coach encourages his player to participate in other sports, according to the Indianapolis Star.  Maguire currently has at least five players on his roster who had great success during the fall season in soccer, golf and cross-country.  He is hoping that success transfers over to his team's basketball season.

According to a sports writer at the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw should be named the new head football coach at Notre Dame.  An entertaining and tongue-in-cheek read.

Some links to other articles of interest (that I don't have time to preview!):
South Bend area news, notes & stats this week - SB Tribune
Dancing queen (FW Snider senior Amy Hayden) - FW News-Sentinel (great dance poses, Amy!)
Red Devil has found her niche (Jeffersonville guard Dominique Derrick) - Courier-Journal
'Good little players' have grown up (Southwestern) - Courier Journal
April Traylor
(Martinsville), Florida State to challenge Hoosiers - Hoosier Times
girls are No. 1, but Castle close by - Courier & Press rankings

Almost forgot to mention that some bad news was announced early this week out of Colorado State.  Starting point guard and leading scorer Elizabeth English (Rushville) is out for the season after she incurred an ACL tear over the weekend.  Many of you will remember that English suffered the same fate at the start of her senior season in high school, which basically eliminated any chance she had for a spot on the All Star team later that year.

Also, don't forget to check out our Top 12 and Week in Quotes.  Top Games won't make the update this week, but we'll try to get updated for the following week.  Finally, don't forget to check out the rankings at S & L Top 40, Indiana HS Hoopline, and Sagarin, as well as the 2001-02 Scoring Leaders on the IHSAA website.  Enjoy the holidays!!!!

News thru Friday, December 14


The Times Top 10

1. West Side (1)
2. Crown Point (2)
3. Lake Central (3)
4. Valparaiso (4)
5. East Chicago Central (5)
6. North Newton (7)
7. Andrean (6)
8. Highland (8)
9. Portage (9)
10. Hobart (10)
(The Times Top 10)

The Times has one player profile each in their Lake and Porter County editions today.
In Lake County, East Chicago Central senior Rayna Hare, who is anchoring probably the biggest surprise team of NWI, explains how she almost gave up basketball her freshman year.  According to The Times, the day she was moved up to varsity as a freshman, she was so scared that she took the bus home after school instead of going to practice.  Luckily, though, she came back and has been a big contributor for the Cardinals ever since.  Hare is currently averaging 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game.
In Porter County, Valparaiso senior guard Brittany Landreth, who is credited with being the mainstay of Valparaiso's success after a season-opening loss to East Chicago, is profiled mostly for her defensive prowess.  In The Times, the 5'5 guard says that going up against former Valpo standout Erin Sampsel day in and day out two years ago is a big reason that she is a big contributor this season to the Vikings.  Landreth is currently averaging 5.5 points, 3.6 steals, 2.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Post-Tribune Top 10

1. West Side
2. Crown Point
3. Lake Central
4. North Judson
5. Valparaiso
6. North Newton
7. East Chicago
8. Andrean
9. Munster
10. Highland
(Post-Tribune Top 10)

The Post-Tribune has a lot of good girls basketball coverage today, but just like the prince in Cinderella, you'd better get the information you want before midnight, because the P-T does not archive its articles.
A very nice article about Kankakee Valley senior Stacy Spurgeon appears in the Post-Tribune.  Spurgeon, who has been running the point for the Kougars since her freshman year, is on track to break the career assist record at KV.  The 5'6 guard has not received much media attention over the years because of more high-profile teammates and her low scoring statistics, but she is trying to step up her scoring this year because it is needed.  Two of last years starters, Jill Kikkert and Megan Parker, did not return this season -- Kikkert to concentrate on her first sport of volleyball, and Parker due to a family move to Logansport.  Also known as a great defender, Spurgeon is instrumental to the Kougars' success and has led her team in steals and assists the past two years.
Some girls basketball notes appear in the Post-Tribune, with references to Gary West Side, Lake Central and Crown Point, the P-T's top three picks in the area.  Also, Crown Point's less-heralded players -- senior point guard Ashley Plumley, senior linebacker...uh, forward Janel Heneghan and sophomore forward Blayre Reeves -- receive some well-deserved props from CP head coach Tom May.
Last and least important in the Post-Tribune coverage today, but pretty nice in any event, the Region Roundball Review is given a few minutes of fame with some good coverage in the P-T's Timeout section.  Special thanks to Portage coach Renee' Turpa and Andrean standout Jamie Gutowski for their positive comments about the RRR.

We forgot to mention this one yesterday, but it appears that the Hammond school system has decided to tear down both Hammond High and Hammond Gavit and will build a new high school that combines the enrollment of both schools.  Blending the talent of these two schools should be a big boost to the Hammond girls basketball system.  The change is not expected to take place for several years, as the project will have to meet the approval of both taxpayers and the state before anything can be done.  But a new NWI girls basketball power could emerge after the construction dust settles down the line.

Who is this Indianapolis Arsenal Technical team?  We've not heard too much about the Titans coming out of the Indianapolis media, but they've been pretty much speaking for themselves lately.  After playing an extremely tough Terre Haute South team in a "close" 56-45 loss last weekend, the Titans (7-2) are perhaps poised for an upset when they play the Cathedral Irish in the championship finals of the Indianapolis City Tournament on Saturday afternoon.  Tech is led by a duo of young guards in sophomore Crystal Jones and freshman Candace Jones, who scored 26 and 18 points, respectively, in a win over Chatard in the tournament semi-finals last night.  Complete details from last night's tournament games can be found in the Indianapolis Star.

The Terre Haute Tribune Star has more information on the ACL injury to Toledo freshman Kristen Weddle (Terre Haute South).  Weddle is scheduled for surgery next Wednesday.

News thru Thursday, December 13


The three most dreaded letters of the alphabet in girls athletics -- ACL -- became the focus of at least two more Indiana players last week.  Michigan City standout Nikki Neulieb, who was the senior scoring leader for the Wolves the past two years, will be sidelined the remainder of the season with an ACL tear incurred in last week's loss to South Bend Riley.  Neulieb will be trying to rehab after surgery to at least play part of the softball season this spring, a sport at which she also excels.
At Toledo, freshman Kristen Weddle (Terre Haute South) tore the ACL in her left knee in a 3OT loss to Xavier.  Weddle, who suffered an ACL tear in her right knee at the start of her junior season of high school, will miss the remainder of her freshman season with the Rockets, according to the Toledo Blade.  It is uncertain whether or not she will be able to redshirt and retain a year of eligibility.  Through Toledo's first eight games, Weddle had started once and averaged 3.1 points on 42% shooting and 1.3 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game.

There are quite a few big games coming up tonight and this weekend that may determine eventual conference winners and/or preview possible post-season match ups.  The big game tonight is 4A No. 13 Huntington North at 4A No. 1 Kokomo tonight.  The Vikings dropped a big L on state-ranked South Bend Riley last week, and they are ready to take on another opponent in the Kats.  So far this season, 4A No. 1 Kokomo has outscored opponents by an average margin of 26 points per game.  Many think that Kokomo will roll over the Vikings, especially since the game is on their home court, but Sagarin predicts that this will be a close one.  Kokomo currently has a rating of 91.71, while Huntington North is right behind at 91.17.  Using Sagarin's formula, Kokomo only gains a 3.5 point edge since this game is on their home court.  Should be a great game, and as the preview in the Huntington Press says, "Fasten your seatbelts"!
Other games of note coming up this weekend that will likely have either conference or post-season consequences down the line:  

3A No. 1 FW Concordia @ 3A No. 9 FW Luers - This could be the first of three meetings between these two 3A powers.  Besides Friday's regular season game, the Summit Athletic Conference Tournament begins on the 26th, with these two teams in opposite brackets.  Also, a post-season Regional match up is possible in February.
3A No. 6 NorthWood @ Plymouth - These two Northern Lakes Conference powers will be battling it out, but it might be for a third place finish, depending on how both teams perform against the 4A big girls at No. 4 Wawasee and No. 6 Warsaw.  Either way, it will be for 3A supremacy in the NLC.  The NLC has to be the all-around toughest conference in the state this season.
Highland @ Hammond Gavit - Although the Lake Athletic Conference fate of these two is pretty much sealed (both have lost to LAC rival Munster), they will be sizing each other up in preparation to survive 3A Sectional 17 later in February.
4A No. 9 South Bend Riley @ 4A No. 7 Gary West Side
- Both of these teams will most likely have their conference championships clearly in hand soon, but sizing each other up for a possible showdown in a February IHSAA Regional will certainly be part of this weekend's meeting.  The question is whether or not either team will be giving away all the strategy just for a regular season win.
4A No. 6 Warsaw @ 4A No. 4 Wawasee - This one has implications all over the place.  The NLC regular season title is definitely at stake this weekend, but these teams will most likely meet each other three times this year.  The NLC Tournament is later this month and both teams reside in Sectional 5, which is bound to be a bloody battle with other challengers like Carroll (FW) and Columbia City in the mix.  Anyone  knows its nearly impossible to defeat a strong opponent three times in one season, which the loser in Saturday's game can pin some hopes on for the post-season.
Valparaiso @ 4A No. 18 Crown Point - No matter the records of these teams in any given year, this is always the Duneland Athletic Conference lynch pin game of the season.  Both teams are 2-0 in the DAC, and have played competitive schedules coming into this weekend's game.  An all-DAC lineup in Sectional 2 makes a win in this game important for the mental edge in February.

John Harrell's Indiana HS Basketball is now following some interesting statistics that compare teams based upon sectional groupings for 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A.  Each comparison shows the win-loss record against sectional opponents, class opponents and overall.  Another interesting feature at this site is the State Team Statistical Leaders.  We all tend to focus in on player stats during the season, but team stats are pretty interesting in their own right.  Right now, Top 50 leaders are Southwestern (Hanover) with 92.00 ppg in offensive average, Valparaiso with 31.75 ppg allowed in defensive average, and Southwestern (Hanover) again with  47.25 ppg in average margin of win.  So far this season, the 2A No. 1 Rebels have scored four games of 100 points or better, with the highest game total being a 108-55 win over Rising Sun.

According to the Goshen News, NorthWood center and Purdue signee Carol Duncan recently surpassed the 1,000 career point mark in her team's win over Elkhart Memorial last week.  Also in the Northern Lakes Conference, Shanna Zolman of Wawasee moved past the 2,500 point plateau last week in a game against Goshen.  NorthWood and Wawasee will square off in the first round of the NLC tournament next Tuesday. 

The Times recently linked up all of their preseason coverage for NWI girls, complete with individual team previews and much more.  This is an excellent resource for anyone looking for information about NWI girls basketball.

The skills and leadership needed to run the point are examined in the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel.  Mentioned in the article are Abby Noll of Carroll (FW), Kelsey Corbin of Northrop and  Brooke Boggs of Fremont.

The Summit Athletic Conference Holiday Basketball Tournament is on the horizon, and for the first time in a long time, Ft. Wayne Luers is not seeded as the No. 1 team.  This year the honor goes to 3A No. 1 Ft. Wayne Concordia, coached by Janet Bahr.  According to the FW Journal Gazette and the FW News-Sentinel, Bahr believes that despite her team's spotless record (8-0) and a No. 1 ranking in 3A, her Cadets have not yet proven they are worthy of a No. 1 seed.  The schedule for the tournament, to be played at Northrop, is as follows:
Thursday, Dec. 27
No. 8 Wayne vs. No. 9 Harding, 9 a.m.
No. 7 Bishop Dwenger vs. No. 10 North Side, 1 p.m.
No. 4 Snider vs. No. 5 South Side, 5:45 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28
No. 3 Northrop vs. No. 6 Elmhurst, 9 a.m.
No. 1 Concordia vs. Wayne-Harding winner, 1 p.m.
No. 2 Bishop Luers vs. Dwenger-North Side winner, 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 29
Semifinal 1: 9 a.m.
Semifinal 2: 10:45 a.m.
Championship: 6:15 p.m.

The Indianapolis Star has compiled its statistical leaders for the season so far.  Although the scoring for the first category isn't listed, there is plenty of information there to look over just the same.  Currently, Alexandria frosh Jodi Howell is leading or in the top 10 of five of the eight listed categories of scoring, field goal accuracy, 3-point accuracy, free throw accuracy, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

4A No. 1 Kokomo moved into the USA Today Super 25 rankings this week.  Terre Haute South, who lost to Bloomington South a few weeks ago, fell from the Preseason Top 25.  In the USA Today Regional Rankings, three Indiana teams appear in the Midwest rankings, with Kokomo at No. 4, Bloomington South at No. 7 and Cathedral at No. 8.

The South Bend Tribune named its athletes of the week.  All four are girls basketball players.  Honored are junior Stacy Stevens of Culver, Jennifer Emenaker of Argos, sophomore Kim Sacha of Mishawaka and freshman Katie St. Clair of SB St. Joseph's.

Again, don't forget to check our Week in Quotes for last week's games.  They are certainly entertaining.

Last year, not long after Jackie Batteast had signed with the Irish, the RRR asked Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw how she thought the South Bend Washington standout would fit into ND's lineup.  At the time, McGraw believed it would take some time for Batteast to adjust to the quickness and physical play of the college game.  But Batteast, happily for McGraw, has made the adjustment much faster than expected.  The South Bend Tribune has a feature piece on the freshman forward describing how she has become Notre Dame's go to player early in the season.  With perimeter sharpshooter Alicia Ratay receiving a great deal of defensive attention, Batteast is getting her opportunities.  Other than a 2-point performance in her opening game, she has tossed in 15.1 points per game over the last seven games as a starter.

Former Columbus East standout Karen Force, now a sophomore guard at Cornell, is making a name for herself with the Big Red.  In the Cornell Classic last weekend, Force scored 16 points and nabbed a program record eight steals in a championship victory over Coppin State, which earned her MVP honors for the tournament.  Tuesday, the 5'8 guard was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performance in the Classic and for a performance the previous Monday that included 12 points and 7 assists in a win over St. Francis (NY).  But Force wasn't done.  She was also named the winner of the 2001 Jeff Stenstrom Memorial Award on Tuesday, presented to the student-athlete who best exemplifies leadership qualities through dedication and strength of character during his or her freshman year.  Force is currently averaging 13.0 points, 3.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.4 rebounds in 30.4 minutes of play per game for Cornell.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star reports that former Highland standout Jennifer Kaczka was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the week at Wichita State.  Also, freshmen Jackie Batteast  of Notre Dame (South Bend Washington) and Miranda Eckerle (Franklin) of Eastern Kentucky, both received rookie honors in their respective conferences last week.

News thru Friday, December 7


The Times Top 10

1. West Side
2. Crown Point
3. Lake Central
4. Valparaiso
5. East Chicago Central
6. Andrean
7. North Newton
8. Highland
9. Portage
10. Hobart
(The Times write up)

Boone Grove senior Kim Sliwa can put one more milestone behind her after scoring her 1,000th career point last night.  Sliwa downed 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a win over PCC foe Washington Township while setting the personal record.  You can read Sliwa's comments about reaching the milestone in The Times.

Whiteland senior Megan Liffick broke the Johnson County scoring record last night, as described in the Johnson County Daily Journal Liffick broke the record in a 67-61 loss to Columbus North, during which she scored 26 points to push her career total to 1,599 points.  The record was previously held by Anna Waugh of Franklin with a career total of 1,595 points.

The New Prairie girls team is off to a fantastic start, as described in the LaPorte Herald-Argus.  Ever since an opening season win against 4A LaPorte, the Cougars have been on a roll behind the efforts of senior Meghan Pilarski.  So far the senior forward is averaging 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

After losing four starters last season, the Columbia City Eagles suffered through a 7-13 season, the only losing season for 25-year head coach Wayne Kreiger.  But according to the Ft. Wayne Sentinel, the Eagles are definitely on the rebound with a 5-2 start so far this season.  One of the reasons for the upswing is the return of senior Beth Moore, who sat out last season for reasons of her own.  Many of us remember Moore as the pig-tailed sophomore who showed no fear at the 3A state finals in 1999-2000.  So far this season, Moore is averaging 10.8 points on 50% shooting from the field.

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel also profiles some "master impersonators" that are helping their teams by taking on the roles of players that their teams will face on the floor.  Ft. Wayne Concordia, the only preseason No. 1 team that has not faced defeat yet this season, uses the services of seniors Stephanie Nahrwold and Sarah Hockemeyer to simulate game conditions.  These two take their job seriously and go as far as to scout their opponents' best players to better mimic their tendencies and strengths for practice.  Coach Janet Bahr believes that these two dedicated seniors, who have seen limited minutes at game time, have a lot to do with the Cadets' current 7-0 record.

The IHSAA released its first 2001-02 Scoring Leaders for the current season.  Who is leading the pack?  No big mystery there.  Shanna Zolman of Wawasee maintains her record-breaking pace with an average of 33.4 points per game.  She is followed by frosh phenom Jodie Howell of Alexandria with 30.6 ppg.  Currently, there are 10 seniors, 11 juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen averaging over 20.0 ppg during the first few weeks of games.  Not a single player from NWI shows up on this week's scoring leaders.   Coaches, if one of your players is putting up 20 or better per week, be sure to get her stats in to the IHSAA for next week's listing!

The IHSAA also released some achieved milestones for players and coaches around the state this week as follows:

Audra Blackford, a junior guard at Triton Central, broke the Shelby County girls basketball record for single-game scoring with 45 points against Morristown on Nov. 21.

Alan Maroska, girls basketball coach at Terre Haute South, recorded his 300th coaching victory Nov. 9 in a 97-40 triumph over South Vermillion.

Kim McMillin, a junior guard at North Harrison, broke the school’s single-game scoring record Nov. 10 with a 43-point effort against Eastern (Pekin).

Freshman Erin Nigh of Morristown is profiled in the Shelbyville News.  The 5'11 forward is averaging 9.8 points per game and had a season high 17 points in a win over Cambridge City last week.

Jennings County standout Jenny Pfeiffer is profiled as a High School Hero this week in nationally-distributed Gball Magazine.

The Huntington North Vikings are in the middle of a three-game stretch that will have them playing three Top 10 teams in two weeks.  After a loss to No. 9 Warsaw last weekend, the Vikings will face No. 7 South Bend Riley tonight before a trip to No. 1 Kokomo next Thursday.  This grueling stretch of games is reviewed and previewed in the Huntington Herald-Press.

Don't forget to check our Week in Quotes from last week's games.  Interesting stuff.

The effect the new IHSAA summer basketball rules may have on AAU basketball is discussed in the Johnson County Daily Journal.

School spirit and pride are examined in an editorial by a writer at the Richmond Chronicle-Tribune.  

Former Highland star Jenny DeMuth will have her No. 33 retired at Highland's game with Penn next week, according to The Times.  The runner-up to Miss Basketball last season, now at Indiana, has moved into the starting lineup for the Hoosiers.  According to the Hoosier Times, DeMuth received the starting nod after starting point guard Kristen Bodine (Martinsville) tore her ACL four games ago. Although DeMuth has been having some problems with her long range shooting in early season games, IU coach Kathi Bennett says DeMuth has been "dynamite" on the defensive side of the ball.

Eastern Kentucky University Lady Colonel Miranda Eckerle (Franklin County) was named the Ohio Valley Conference Rookie of the Week for the week of December 3.  Eckerle helped Eastern Kentucky post a 3-0 record last week with wins over Bowling Green, Elon and High Point. She finished the week with 29 points, 14 rebounds and four steals.

Murray State University freshman Brittany Park (Decatur Central) is leading her team in scoring and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the recent Indiana University Tournament.

News thru Tuesday, December 4


Crown Point's Alex Webster (15) attempts to draw a charge in the paint on Wawasee's Shanna Zolman in the first quarter.  Webster was called for the foul, but Zolman missed the first of two free throws.  And so that was how it went on throughout the game.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)  

Saturday's Region Roundball Rumble, sponsored by The Times,  was a game to remember for those in attendance at the Hammond Civic Center.  In a classic showdown between two highly-publicized guards, the crowd was not disappointed as Wawasee star Shanna Zolman (26 points) and Crown Point standout Alex Webster (23 points) went head-to-head in a scoring duel that saw Zolman's Warriors come out on top in a 55-48 win.  With several lead changes throughout the first half, Wawasee took control in the third quarter behind the athletic play of Wawasee junior Megan Wallen, who wowed the crowd with a reverse bank through traffic 1:15 into the third quarter, opening up a 15-2 Wawasee run and a 9-point advantage with :30 to go in the quarter.  Crown Point rallied late with a bucket by junior Keri Cuculich and a trey by Webster with 5 seconds left, shrinking the Wawasee lead to four.  One minute into the fourth it was a one-point game after Cuculich sank the second of two freebies, and frosh Jill Weiand buried a back-door bucket off a dish from fellow frosh Cassie Pruzin.  But two key turnovers and four missed free throws by CP over the next three minutes while the Warriors went on a 7-0 run, turned the tide and CP never recovered.  With two minutes left and Wawasee in a stall, all CP could do was foul to end the game.

Crown Point's Alex Webster gets a shot off for two of her 23 points as she is double-teamed by Wawasee's Megan Wallen (left) and Jessica Henderson(Photo by Bob Strempka)  

The atmosphere at the Civic Center was classic Indiana basketball, with Wawasee's girls even mentioning that the sliding garage door at one end of the court was reminiscent of Hoosiers.  Lots of NWI players and coaches, who weren't obligated on a game night, were in attendance to see Zolman in her first and last NWI appearance.  Crown Point was grateful for the support displayed by Region players, coaches and fans during the game, and despite the loss, the Lady Bulldogs made the Region proud by limiting Indiana's best offensive threat Zolman to 9 points below her impressive 35.5 average.
Although most of the attention went to the performances of Zolman and Webster, whose scoring pretty much cancelled each other out, Wallen's second half performance was probably the game winner for the Warriors.  The 5'11 forward scored 10 of her 15 points in the final half, and had several key steals that turned the tide of the game in Wawasee's favor at crucial times.  She is one of the reason's that Wawasee should not be discounted as a one-player team.
Both teams walked away with a lot from this game.  Wawasee, who had not been challenged on its schedule up until this point, realized that they could win a close game with some heads up play against a good team.  Crown Point, who had two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and Webster on the floor together for nearly the entire third quarter, saw its potential to become a great team by the end of the season with some work and more experience.  Lady Bulldogs coach Tom May played 14 deep on his bench in the game.
Much talk was made after the game of these two teams possibly meeting each other at the 4A Semi-State in February, but you can bet that ICGSA-ranked Gary West Side, South Bend Riley, Kokomo, and Warsaw might have a thing or two to say about that.  Wawasee and Warsaw will play in the same sectional, with Kokomo on the horizon at the regional level if the Warriors make it out.  Crown Point, if they can get past teams like Valparaiso and Hobart, would have to get past either or both Gary West Side and South Bend Riley at the regional level in order for these two teams to meet again.
There was a lot of good online coverage for this game in The Times, Post-Tribune, Warsaw Times and Indianapolis Star.  We have a great Region Roundball Rumble photo gallery from Saturday's game, as RRR's contributing photographer extraordinaire Bob Strempka was in attendance to shoot away the entire night.  

The ICGSA Poll is out, and several changes in all classes showed up this time around.  We won't go through them all since we have other news today.  Don't forget to check out the RRR Top 12, as well as our Top Games for the best games to be played this week!  Also, be sure to catch up with the rankings at S & L Top 40, Indiana HS Hoopline, and Sagarin.

Tonight's Valparaiso at Andrean game will be televised on AT&T Lake Area Channel 3 on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  Both teams are currently receiving votes in their respective division polls from the ICGSA.  Andrean, which relies heavily on its guard play, comes into tonight's game with a 2-1 record, while Valpo, a post-oriented team, also sports only one loss with a record of 4-1.  Should be a good one.
Also, the Region Basketball X-Tra schedule for December has been released.  This week's X-Tra will include an interview with Wawasee star Shanna Zolman and her dad/coach Kem Zolman.  They will also be showing highlights from the Wawasee win over Crown Point in the Region Roundball Rumble Saturday.
Lake Area Channel 3 - Thursdays 11:35pm / Friday 4pm
Hammond Area Channel 15 - Thursdays 9pm / Friday 4pm
Valparaiso Area Channel 43 - Thursdays 11:05pm
Portage Area Channel 44 - Thursdays 9pm / Saturdays 9am

The Marion County Tournament starts tonight, with a number of teams capable of walking away with the hardware on Saturday.  According to the Indianapolis Star, undefeated teams Lawrence North and Brebeuf Jesuit open the action at Franklin Central.  Lawrence North is ranked No. 6 in 4A, while Brebeuf boasts a No. 7 ranking in 3A.  Other teams facing each other in the opening round are Franklin Central and Southport, Warren Central and Pike, Decatur Central and North Central, Ben Davis and Indianapolis Lutheran, and Perry Meridian and Beech Grove.  Last year's tournament winner, Franklin Central, shocked Ben Davis in the finals to hand the Giants their first loss of the season last year. 
Online previews to other games coming up this week:
Bloomington North at Seymour
- Hoosier Times
Martinsville next obstacle for BNL Lady Stars
- Hoosier Times
Lady Colonels visit Castle in battle of unbeatens
- Courier Press


FW News Sentinel
 Power Poll

1. Concordia
2. Carroll
3. Huntington North
4. Leo
5. Luers
6. Columbia City
7. Northrop
8. Snider
9. Angola
10. Dwenger

Ft. Wayne Concordia senior Jenny Conkle is featured in the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel.  The savvy senior is averaging a team high 14.0 points per game so far this season, up from 10.8 last season.  Although she could be the first girls player in her school's history to score over 1,000 career points, Conkle has her eye on the bigger picture with nine other seniors on the roster capable of putting the ball in the bucket.  The Cadets are currently ranked No.1 in 3A.  

The South Bend Tribune has some notes on Penn coach Terry Tulchinsky, who is back on the sidelines for the Kingsmen after suffering a heart attack in August.  Penn, which is known for its outstanding defense, looks to Tulchinsky for that defensive expertise.   The same article also reports on Emily Williams of Mishawaka, who is averaging over 6 blocks a game in the first six games so far this season.  The sophomore totaled 118 blocks as a freshman last season for the Cavemen.

Marion freshmen Tanika Mays and Tiffany Seacott are profiled in the Marion Chronicle-Tribune after both pulling down double-figure rebounds in Marion's win over Anderson Highland on Saturday.  Both freshmen stand 6'0 tall and could increase their rebound totals once they improve their fundamental rebounding skills, according to head coach Ron Vermillion.  Vermillion believes, despite a 3-3 start, that the Giants will have great potential to do a few things when the tournament season rolls around in February if his two freshmen continue to develop.

The Jeffersonville Red Devils are off to a 6-0 start, and the Louisville Courier-Journal profiles the team and coach Chad Gilbert, who has his  young team playing hard.  Sophomore guard Amy Austin (13.0) leads six players who are averaging double figures so far this season in a well-balanced Red Devil attack.

Borden junior Jessica Johnson is also profiled by the Louisville Courier-Journal.  The standout guard is a three-sport athlete (volleyball, track) as well as an outstanding student with a 4.4 GPA.  Johnson is currently averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the 4-1 Braves.

Former Kokomo standout Heather Cusick was named the MAC East Division Player of the Week.  The Miami (Ohio) guard averaged 22.5 points last week, which included a memorable off-balance trey at the buzzer that tied the Redhawks game with Valparaiso in regulation, giving Miami a chance to eventually win the game in overtime.  Also against Butler, Cusick was 4 of 5 on three-pointers in an 86-68 win.  This is the fourth time that Cusick has received Player of the Week honors in the MAC.
Also in college action, Wisconsin Green Bay sophomore guard Natalie Yudt (Portage) came off the bench midway through the second half against Eastern Michigan Saturday and was a key factor in a 65-64 win.  Trailing by one with 8:40 to go, Yudt drained a three-pointer to give the Phoenix a 49-47 advantage.  Then, two plays later, Yudt assisted on a field goal to give the Phoenix a 5-51 tie with 6:30 left.  UWGB never trailed in the win after that point. 
Cleveland State freshman Nikki Perkins (Lafayette Jeff) scored 10 points as the starting point guard in a loss to # 20 ranked Wisconsin. 

Coach Kathy Bennett of Indiana University has a few comments about Hoosier signee Brigett Branson of Turkey Run in the Terre Haute Tribune Star.  The article also has some notes on Terre Haute South grad Courtney Risinger, who is averaging 14.3 points per game at Toledo.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star reports that two former Indiana players are making a big impact at AP No. 12 Colorado State.  Jackie Campbell (Chesterton) and Elizabeth English (Rushville) are both starters for the Rams and are burning up the nets from three-point land.  English averages 63% from the arc, while Campbell is shooting 53%.  They are both putting up good numbers with English averaging 14.8  points and 5.6 assists per game, while Campbell averages 8.6 points and 3.0 rebounds.

The Ft. Wayne News Sentinel has an interesting article for parents about how to prepare for and participate in the recruiting process with their student athletes.  It has some good advice for parents of younger high school players, which is when the process should start to be most effective with good results.

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). 



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