Region Roundball Review

December, 1999
News & Updates


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

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

December, 1999
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Important upcoming dates:


News thru Tuesday, December 28


Kankakee Valley senior Kristen Kruchowski is featured in  The Times coverage of KV's win over Bishop Noll in the Kankakee Valley Holiday Tournament.  Kruchowski scored 18 points and nabbed 3 steals to help her team advance to the championship game tonight.  Kruchowski broke KV's record for career steals of 185 earlier this season.

The Twin Lakes Tournament, featuring a number of very good teams from the Region and around the state, gets underway today.  Luckily for those fans who cannot make the trip to support their teams, Jay Welches, in between his duties as official scorer and public address announcer, will be posting tournament updates directly from the Twin Lakes main gym on our Report Scores board.  Many thanks to Jay for bringing us the latest on this very competitive tournament.

The South Bend Tribune has a mid-season report on the 3A Plymouth Pilgrims, who showed up on the radar screen for the first time last Monday in the ICGSA state poll, and with good reason.  The 6-2 Pilgrims have defeated some worthy opponents, including 3A foe NorthWood and 4A South Bend Washington.  Plymouth will be idle until Monday, January 4, when they take on 2A No. 8 LaVille.

A sad note as the McCutcheon Tournament gets underway today.  McCutcheon athletic directory Michael Landis was killed early yesterday when his vehicle was hit head-on by a woman arrested for suspicion of drunk driving.  Landis was on his way to Florida with his 16-year-old daughter, who was driving, when the accident happened.  Complete details are appearing in the Lafayette Journal & Courier.  Our condolences to the McCutcheon athletic family.

The Indianapolis Star is previewing some of the action for the Hall of Fame Classic with a special report on senior Johna Goff of Franklin.  The Miss Basketball candidate is bringing her complete game to the Chrysler Fieldhouse on Wednesday to give as much trouble as she can to 1A No. 1 Rising Sun in the HOF opener at 9:30 a.m.  Goff is currently averaging 22.4 points, 5.1 assists, 4.4 steals and 4.1 rebounds per game.  The North Newton Spartans, who are representing Northwest Indiana at the HOF this season, will take on 3A No. 7 Franklin at 11:15 a.m.    

The Summit Athletic Conference Tournament begins today at 9:30 a.m., and as far as we can tell from the tournament schedule, the possibility of a face-off between the 2A No. 1 team -- Luers-- and the 4A No. 3 team -- Snider -- could take place in the semi-final round on Thursday.  Both teams are undefeated in the SAC so far this season, with Elmhurst close behind with just one loss.  You can get the complete statistics on teams and players in the SAC at the Ft. Wayne Sentinel.

Former Kokomo Kats standout Tiffany Longworth was named the Kokomo Tribune top female basketball player in Howard County history on Sunday.  Now an assistant coach at Kokomo, after a 4-year stint at Penn State, Longworth realizes for the first time the tremendous impact she had on younger players during her high school career.  

As far as we can tell, there was no ICGSA poll out for this week.  Looks like the raters are taking a week off along with a number of teams around the state.

According to The Times, former Calumet grad, Anissa Magee, is feeling right at home after transferring from Pratt Community College in Kansas.  The junior forward is averaging 8.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season for the Lady Lakers, and is expected to contribute in Purdue Cal's Wimmer Temporaries Classic, which begins today at 6:00 p.m. at the Hammond campus.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star has a preview to Big Ten women's action for Purdue and Indiana.  Purdue dropped to No. 13 in the latest AP poll after losing to No. 3 Louisiana Tech last week.  Coach Curry is looking for some consistency from her perimeter play in order for the Lady Boilermakers to compete in conference play, beginning with Wisconsin on Thursday.  Indiana coach Jim Izzard is happy with his team's play after a win over New Mexico State and is hoping that the victory will give the Hoosiers some momentum heading into their game with Minnesota.  McKee also points out some notes about former Indiana high school players around the country.  UConn's Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) was named Big East Rookie of the Week after her performance against No. 6 UCLA.  She scored 17 points and had 4 assists and 3 steals.  Junior Venus Harmeyer (Center Grove) at Cleveland State had a career high of 19 points, including five treys in a recent win, and junior Andi Speer (Jennings County) is sidelined after a ligament tear in her knee.

News thru Sunday, December 26


Hope everyone had a great holiday.  After a day off, it's back to the basketball newsboard again...


As we did last season at this time of the year, we will be bringing you whatever information we can regarding holiday tournaments taking place locally and around the state.  We will have a special holiday calendar of events for this week in place of our Upcoming Games & Events page, hopefully in place later today.  In the meantime, here are a few details about some of the tournaments taking place this week.

The Gary City Holiday Tournament begins tomorrow and West Side is the odds-on favorite in a fairly weak field.  Besides the Cougars, Gary teams in the tournament include Wirt, Lew Wallace, Roosevelt and Horace Mann.  The first game is tomorrow tonight at 7:00 p.m. between Wirt and Roosevelt, and Tuesday games begin at 4:00 p.m. with Monday's winner playing Lew Wallace, and then Gary West and Horace Mann facing off at 6:00 p.m.

The South Bend Tribune is carrying a preview to a the South Bend Riley holiday shootout, together with a few notes about other teams in the S. Bend area and where they will be making appearances during the holiday week.  Riley Coach Mike Megyesi is enjoying a new season with a new team that is turning heads in his area.  Part of Megyesi's joy is coming from a freshman duo that are currently carrying the Wildcats in scoring.  Freshman Crystal Normal (6'0 F) is averaging 22.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, while freshman Suntana Granderson (5'8 G) is averaging 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.  Teams joining Riley in the shootout at its brand new athletic facility are Mishawaka, John Glenn and one other team we have yet to identify. (The Tribune says that Merrillville will be there, but the Pirates will be playing in the McCutcheon Shootout.) The action begins at 10:00 a.m. between Mishawaka and Glenn.  Also mentioned in the article is the competitive Columbia City Shootout, the Warsaw Shootout (featuring Region power No. 5 Valpo), and the Kankakee Valley Shootout. 

The Times released its Region-area Top 10 for the week yesterday, and let loose in a few of their comments:


The Times Top 10
1. Highland (9-0) - Twelve points?  Is that the best you could do for Lake Station?  Looks like somebody wasn't in the giving spirit this holiday season.  If you can't play nice and share the basketball with everyone else, you'll be banished to the kiddy table for all future holidays.
2. Valparaiso (9-0) - Whatever it is, figgy pudding just can't be good.  But you can be sure most teams would rather force-feed iself a gallon of the swill rather than face the Vikings' vicious halfcourt man-to-man.
3. Portage (7-1) - Where's the love from the state voters?  Even Scrooges like them can see the Tribe's only loss is to No. 1 Highland, can't they?  Nat Yudt needs to stop shooting like Tiny Tim so Portage can start getting some cosmetic wins.
4.  North Newton (7-0) - Peace, love, harmony.  That's what the season's about, not who gets how many shots or who scores how many points.  The Christmas season?  Heck no, we're talking about hoops season.  'Bout time the Spartans figured it out.
5.  Andrean (6-2) - Santa loves gutsy performers.  And there's nothing he likes to see more than a team stand up and its members take a little more responsibility on themselves now that their best player is gone for the season.  For that, this pick comes with a little maroon and gold bow.
6. Munster (6-3) - Twenty-two days.  That's not how long until your local Hallmark breaks out next year's Christmas decorations.  That's how long of a break the 'Stangs will have had when they finally play Clark Jan. 6.  will absence make the heart grow fonder?  something needs to give this team a kick in the pants.
7. Griffith (7-2) - Threw a couple nickels in the kettle last weekend.  The Panthers showed their generosity by blowing a double-digit halftime lead against the 59ers.  Christmas is over, ladies.  Time to get mean and nasty.
8.  West Side (5-3) - Just as the greenhouse was hazardous to Frosty, these Cougars may not want to venture inside the Fort Wayne city limits ever again after back-to-back losses to Snider and Northrop.
9.  Lowell (5-2) - Started off slow, but starting to gain steam.  Second-place finish at Carroll Tournament gives Patti McCormack and gang something to spice up their egg nog.
10. Hebron (8-3) - After years and years and years and years of living on the Island of Misfit Toys, somebody finally threw the Hawks a rope.  They grabbed hold and haven't stopped climbing yet, winning their first South County title this week.


On a side note, Times high school sports reporter and columnist Steve Hanlon, who covered the girls game quite extensively in the Region, is leaving The Times to take a new job with the sports department at the Indianapolis Star.  Not sure what his area of coverage will be, but we'll be keeping an eye out for the Hanlon by-line out of Indy in the future.

The Times also listed its Region-area stats for games played so far this season.  Leaders in all categories are as follows:


Scoring Average 2-pt Percentage
T. Mezera (R. For.) - 22.3 (223)
J. DeMuth (High) - 22.1 (199)
E. Martin (Kout) - 21.0 (168)
S. Spurgeon (KV) - .809
N. Hluska (BN) - .750
E. Coddington - (Grif) - .714
3-pt Percentage Free Throw Percentage
A. Farr (Grif) - .833
D. Kain (Kouts) - .750
J. Lackey (Morg) - .916
N. Borys (CP) - .900
V. Zolmer (Low) - .900
N. Yudt (Por) - .900
Assists Steals
E. Sampsel (Val) - 7.6 (53)
A. Webster (CP) - 5.5 (55)
T. King (Wirt) - 5.1 (41)
T. Humphrey (Ham) - 8.7 (78)
T. King (Wirt) - 5.4 (43)
R. Griffith (CL) - 5.0 (30)
Rebounds Blocks
J. Dykiel (BG) - 13.0 (91)
J. Barnes (Wirt) - 12.8 (102)
L. Mitchell (Cal) - 11.6 (93)
K. Smith (MC) - 3.5 (14)
N. Hluska - 3.3 (10)
K. Smith (WS) - 2.7 (19)

The Shelbyville News is featuring an article about two sophomores who are making an impact for Shelbyville this season -- Kristy Gates and Jessica Scherer.  The sophomore duo are combining for an average of 32.6 ppg and 16.3 rpg to help the Tigers to a great first half of the season.

ESPN has a small piece about the impact college freshmen have had on their programs this season.  Mentioned in the article are Connecticut's Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) and Tennessee's April McDivitt (Connersville.)  The first impending matchup between these two former Indiana high school greats is slowly approaching.  Don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, January 8 when the much-anticipated game between UConn and UT will be broadcast on CBS at 4:00 p.m. ET.

A short preview to today's Notre Dame-Southern Cal game is appearing in on the Fox Sports website.

News thru Friday, December 24


Best wishes for a wonderful holiday
to all of our basketball friends
from around the great Hoosier State.
Peace, joy and happiness to all!


Martinsville senior Leigh Ann Hardin, who was a member of the 1997 and 1998 state champion girls basketball team, was named the Bloomington Hoosier Times High School Female Athlete of the Century.  Hardin has not played basketball the past two years in order to concentrate on her golf game, which has brought her four state championships, including three individual state titles.  Hardin will be attending Duke University next fall and play for the golf team there, but we may not have seen the last of her on the basketball court.  According to the  Hoosier Times, Hardin has also been invited to walk on the Blue Devil women's basketball team there.

The Hoosier Times is also carrying an article about Melissa and Melinda Miles of Bloomfield, who made the IHSAA Final Four the first two years (1976 & 1977) the state tournament for girls was in existence.  Hailed as pioneers of the girls game in the Bloomington area, these two are recognized by the paper as sentimental choices behind Hardin.  Also, mentioned as nominees for the High School Female Athlete of the Century award were basketball players April Traylor and Kristen Bodine of Martinsville, Marla Inman and Carrie Mount of Bedford North Lawrence, and Karen and Darci Redenbaugh of Owen Valley.

According to the DeKalb Evening Star, Garrett senior Courtney Feagler, scored 21 points on Wednesday night in her team's win over Westview, which put her over the 1,000-point career mark.  Feagler also became her school's all-time girls scoring leader earlier in the season when she broke an previous individual mark set at 986 points.  

According to one of our faithful RRR contributers in southern Indiana, New Albany assistant coach, Joe Hinton, husband of head coach Angie Hinton, recently underwent an unscheduled quadruple bypass surgery on Wednesday in Louisville to correct a very serious heart condition.  According to our source, Hinton will be out of the hospital in about a week and is expected to be back on the Lady Bulldogs bench in several weeks.  Best wishes from the Region Roundball Review to the Hinton family for Joe's quick recovery.

News thru Thursday, December 23


Not much in the news today, which is good news for me, since I have a lot of Christmas stuff to catch up on...


The Indianapolis Star is featuring two Indy-area players in its coverage today -- Kristy Gates of Triton Central, and Jessica Farmer of Brownsburg.


News thru Wednesday, December 22


If you didn't catch it yesterday, we posted our Top 12 picks for the week of December 20.  Valpo still headlines our list as the No. 1 team in the Region.

According to sources at the Valpo-Logansport game last night, sophomore standout guard Molly Klotz of the Berries did not play due to an ACL injury.  This makes the seventh ACL girls basketball injury we have been made aware of in the past 20 days or so.  

Ben Davis continues to hold in at No. 6 nationally and No. 4 in the Midwest in the latest USA Today Super 25 national girls rankings.  Again, no other Indiana teams are ranked by the national publication.  The Giants will be tested tonight when they play 3A No. 1 Cathedral in the first-ever high school game at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Times  was carrying some interesting Porter County girls basketball notes yesterday morning.  Here are the highlights:


With a commanding win over Logansport last night, Valparaiso Coach Greg Kirby is just one game away from his 200-win mark as the head coach of the girls varsity program.  Kirby has a career total of 313 wins when you include his 9-year stint with the boys program at Portage.  


The Porter County Conference "New Kids on the Block" Hebron Hawks have drawn the line in the sand for the favored teams in the PCC by starting off their conference record with a perfect 4-0 mark, including two big wins over Kouts and Wheeler.  Because Kouts was responsible for the only conference loss of PCC favorite Hanover Central, the big showdown will be on January 12 when the Wildcats battle for a piece of the PCC conference title.  The grouping of 1A and 2A teams in this conference is a competitive one, and the January 12 PCC game may be a precursor to the outcome of 2A Sectional 33, which includes both Hanover Central and Hebron.  Hebron's Lauren Bechtold scored 32 points in her team's second win over Morgan Township in the South County Tournament last night.  The sophomore poured in 28 points in the second half and two overtimes after being held to just 4 points in the first half.


Last week the following players reached personal career benchmarks as follows:  Portage senior Natalie Yudt surpassed the 600-point mark in her team's win over DAC opponent Hobart.  She currently is logging in at 614 career points.  Senior Bridget Schwoegler of Chesterton recently surpassed the 500-point mark in her team's win over Michigan City.  She is the 12th player in the Trojan program to surpass that mark.  Hanover Central senior Tammi Boersma recently surpassed the 400-point mark when she scored 23 points against River Forest last week.  Jody Lackey of Morgan Township moved above the 800-point career mark in her team's win over Boone Grove.  Westville senior Jacque Drubert moved past the 400-point career mark in her team's loss to Oregon-Davis.  Wheeler junior Andrea Walker scored a total of 40 points in her team's last two outings, placing her third on the Bearcat's all-time scoring list.

A very good article appeared in The Times yesterday about 1A Morgan Township seniors Kim McGinley and Jody Lackey.  The two have been playing sports of all kinds together since kindergarten, and are up to being the go-to tandem in tough situations, although those have been far and few between.  After all, they've got two state championship appearances behind them in basketball (1997-98 runners-up) and softball (1999 champs).  They are facing a tough situation right now, however, with Morgan having its difficulties on a 4-4 season start so far.  The duo feels that they are just at the cusp of a breakout as a team, however, and will be looking for improvement in the coming months leading into the state tournament.  Both McGinley and Lackey have surpassed the 800-point career mark at Morgan.

The IHSAA has released the most recent scoring leaders for games through December 18.  Continuing to hold the top spot is sophomore Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, logging 33.7 ppg.  Not far behind is Amie Owsley of Lakeview Christian at 31.2 ppg, the only other player averaging over 30.  Region area players who are on the list include Traci Mezera of River Forest at 22.6 ppg and Erica Martin of Kouts with  21.1 ppg.

In its press release of yesterday, the IHSAA also recognized the following individuals who recently reached career milestones:


Jenisa Dennis, a senior guard at West Washington, broke the school record for three-pointers in a game Dec. 13 when she hit seven in a 59-39 victory over Henryville.


Erin Evans, a senior at Pike Central, reached the 1,000-point level for her career Dec. 16 against Gibson Southern. She came back with a school-record 38 points Dec. 18 against North Knox. 

Julie Giesler, a senior at Jasper, broke the school's career scoring record Dec. 17 in a 63-56 loss to Evansville Harrison. Giesler moved her total to 1,096 points, surpassing the former mark of 1,079 set by Diana Seng in 1996.

Johna Goff, a senior guard at Mt. Vernon (Fortville), scored the 1,000 point of her career Dec. 14 as the Marauders defeated Triton Central 71-52. Goff scored a game-high 22 points to raise her total to 1,012. She has signed a letter of intent with Ball State University.


The South Bend Tribune had some girls basketball notes in its on-line edition of its sports coverage yesterday.  Included in those notes are items about the Penn Kings(wo)men and their performance as a team so far this season.  Although they suffered an early loss at the hands of No. 5 Valparaiso, they have bounced back to win some big games in the North Central part of the state.  Senior Ball State signee Jessica Reiter leads Penn in scoring at 14.5 ppg. Wawasee sophomore Shanna Zolman's free throw shooting performance is also discussed.   In her last 7 games, she is 53-53 from the line and has missed only 3 charity tosses so far this season.  Goshen 6'0 senior center Missy Stults scored a career-high 32 points on December 11, just 2 points shy of a school record, but broke the school with 21 rebounds in a loss to Northridge on December 14.  Finally, more bad news in the ACL category.  Lakeland senior Kelly Dillon is the latest victim to the dreaded injury, which occured during her team's game with NorthWood.  Dillon recently signed with Indiana university to compete in track.  She was the state 400-meter dash champion  and runner-up in the 200.

The Corydon Democrat has a very nice recap of the record-breaking night of North Harrison senior Leigh Carr on December 8, when the Eastern Kentucky signee became the Lady Cats' all-time leading scorer and leading rebounder, both on the same night.  She broke the records of 1,160 points and 638 rebounds about one quarter apart in her team's 77-44 blowout of South Central.

Central Indiana Sports has released its Top 25 girls poll for the week.  Below are their picks, each followed by upcoming games:


1. BEN DAVIS v Cathedral D22, Crown Point D30, v Plainfield-Bloomington South D30
2. CATHEDRAL v Ben Davis D22, v Brebeuf Jesuit D27
3. F.W. SNIDER v F.W. Wayne-F.W. Southside D29
4. F.W. BISHOP LUERS v Harding-F.W. Northside D29
6. VALPARAISO v Mount Vernon-Fortville D30, v Perry Meridian-Warsaw D30
7. JEFFERSONVILLE v Scottsburg D29, v New Washington D30
8. TWIN LAKES v Winamac D28, v Hobart-Elkhart Central D29
9. NEW ALBANY v Richmond D29, Center Grove-Leo D29
10. MOUNT VERNON-FORTVILLE v Rising Sun D29, v Valparaiso D30,v P.M.-Warsaw D30
12. CENTER GROVE v Greenwood D22, v Leo D29, Richmond-New Albany D29
14. RISING SUN v Mount Vernon-Fortville D29
15. PENN v Columbia City D 29, v Connersville D29
16. CORYDON CENTRAL v Southport D28, v Jennings County-East Central D28
18. FRANKLIN v Pike Township D22, v Seymour-New Palestine D22, v North Newton D 29, v Rising Sun-Mount Vernon-Fortville D29
23. NORTH JUDSON v LaPorte D29, v East Chicago Central-Michigan City D29
24. PORTAGE v Western-Howard D28, v Mooresville-Griffith D29
25. COLUMBUS NORTH v Lawrence Central D30
25. BLOOMINGTON SOUTH v Avon D29, v Martinsville-Terre Haute North D29
25. LEBANON v Logansport D29, v Hamilton Southeastern-Huntington North D29

Valparaiso senior Sarrah Stricklett (Valparaiso) was named the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week after her second straight double-double in the Crusaders' win over Illinois State.  Stricklett had 24 points and 16 rebounds in that game.

There is a great article about UConn's Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) at the Huskies Hardcore website.  After getting off to an unbelievable freshman start in the No. 1 program in the country, the grind is starting to take its toll on the former New Albany Bulldog standout.   Johnson had sub-par performances in her team's last two outings, but Coach Geno Auriemma believes the talented freshman will rebound and continue to be an important part of the Huskies NCAA run this season.

Purdue's Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) is closing in on some important career milestones.  In fact, she might outdo former teammate Stephanie McCarty in reaching them earlier in her career.  Douglas is 56 points away from 1,000 career points, 101 rebounds away from 500, 17 assists from 300, and 23 steals away from 200.  If she performs to her averages, the junior could reach three of the four milestones within the next eight games. 

The Hoosier Times of Bloomington is carrying an outstanding photo of IU freshman Jill Hartman (Evansville Memorial) in action during the Hoosiers win over New Mexico State over the weekend.  Coach Jim Izard credited  Hartman and sophomore Jill Chapman with great floor leadership in the second half of the game after IU trailed by 8 at the halftime break. 

University of Southern Indiana junior Nicole McDaniel (Princeton) was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week.  McDaniel scores 11 of her 21 points in the final 6:30 of her team's win over previously unbeaten Truman State last week.  She was 8-10 from the field and picked up 8 rebounds, 5 steals with just 2 turnovers.

St. Joe's senior Angie Hupfer (Pendleton Heights) broke the 2,000 point career mark with 20 points in her team's win over Purdue Cal on December 11.  

News thru Friday, December 17


A game of DAC proportions will be played on Saturday night, when the Crown Point Lady Bulldogs will try to recapture the magic that surprisingly propelled them over then-ranked No. 5 Valparaiso in an unlikely 14-point win at the tail-end of last season, putting the skids on a 9-year DAC title run for the Vikings.  While CP will be looking for the magic, Valpo's so-far unbeatable triad of junior post players Courtney Rosenbaum (13.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg), Lee Traynham (12.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and senior point guard Erin Sampsel (8.6 ppg, 7.0 apg) will be looking for revenge and a good DAC win to put them ahead in the conference title race.  On paper, this matchup looks like a given in Valpo's favor.  The 7-0 record of the Vikings, including a solid win over highly-respected regional foe Penn, has given them a No. 5 spot in the 4A state coaches poll.  They have limited their opponents to less than 30 ppg, and their post game, which is featured in The Times today, is one of the most solid, steady and unselfish in the state.  The Bulldogs have a 4-5 record so far, but that record is deceiving in that CP has one of the most grueling schedules in the state.  All that separates CP from an 8-1 record is an average of 4.5 ppg in losses to 4A No. 4 Highland (3 points), vote-wise 4A No. 15 Portage (3 points), vote-wise 3A No. 15 Plymouth (4 points) and 4A Lowell (8 points).  The entire CP team shooting percentage (33.3%) is way below the expected performance of a Tom May team, which most likely accounts for the poor record.  If they can come out of their slump sometime soon, Crown Point could be a contender.  Both Valpo and CP have something to prove, which should make it a good one.  NWI fans can catch this game at the lively Crown Point gym or on two radio stations that will be covering it -- WEFM (95.9 FM) with color commentary by former CP assistant coach Dan Swift, and WXRD (103.9 FM), both starting at 7:10 p.m.

Hanover Central, who struggled early in the season, pulled a big 86-42 2A win on the road last night against NWI leading scorer Tracie Mezera and River Forest last night.  The Times is carrying the play-by-play on this one, together with a column by Steve Hanlon about some unexplained goings-on within the River Forest camp.  It seems River Forest coach Al Detterline pulled his ace player off the floor with two minutes to go in the third quarter, and with 1:10 left in the fourth, had only one choice left when his remaining bench, except Mezera, had fouled out of the game.  But rather than put Mezera on the floor, he told the game officials, "My team's on the floor," leaving the senior to finish out the night on the bench.  Not sure what this one was all about, but we hope this situation works out for a River Forest team with good potential.

Another 2A team that had its share of team chemistry problems last season, North Newton, seems to have put all personal grudges aside to put together a solid, senior-season effort for a team that has not ever fully realized its collective potential.  According to coach Bob Gonczy, a good deal of that new attitude has been fostered by senior Becky Schuster, who is featured in The Times today.  The 5'11 senior forward/center is leading the Spartans in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 rpg), with solid leadership so far this season.  The 1-2 punch of Schuster and senior guard/forward Kristi Koselke, who will play at Valpo University next season, has carried North Newton to a 6-0 record.

NWI rankings are out today in The Times and the Post-Tribune.  The P-T always seems to be a little behind on the uptake with NWI girls basketball (i.e., not even including game results from 4 days ago in their rankings), but here they are, together with accompanying text by both papers.  Also for your reading pleasure, a link to some NWI girls scuttlebutt in The Times:


The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Highland (8-0) - Like an Olympic-sized swimming pool full of sesame seeds, the Trojans are on a roll - the size of Pavarotti.  Big wins over Munster, Portage, Griffith and Crown Point have the fourth-ranked Class 4A squad singing loud and strong for its meal. 1. Highland (8-0) - Continues to dominate, beating LAC rival Hammond easily.  Just two victories have been close:  Munster (by 7 points) and Crown Point (by 3 points).
2. Valparaiso (7-0) - Since a season-opening 73-55 win over Washington, the vikes haven't allowed more than 34 points.  In those six games, opponents felt like they were shooting medicine balls at a Nerf hoop.  Valpo is allowing a paltry 26.1 ppg. 2. Munster (6-2) - Munster lost an overtime thriller to West Side 56-54 last week and its only other loss was to Highland.  Had a big game with Portage on Tuesday. (RRR? Portage 59, Munster 51)
3. Portage (6-1) - The scary thing isn't that the Indians are 6-1.  What's got the wallpaper rolling up the wall while a scream is heard in the distance and lightning flashes around the skeleton-like trees in the back yard is this team hasn't played a great game yet.  Boo! 3.  Portage (5-1) - Only loss was to Highland and had a big test with Munster on Tuesday. (RRR? Portage 59, Munster 51)  Returned four key players but still looking for some consistency.
4.  North Newton (6-0) - How good are the Spartans?  In their six wins against small-class teams, North Newton has won five of them by 10 or less, four of them by six or less.  Yes, the No. 3 team in Class 2A is good.  but if they wanna go far in the tourney, the bar has to be raised. 4.  Valparaiso (7-0) - Vikes had two easy victories over Michigan City and Tippecanoe Valley.  In latter win, Lee Traynham and Courtney Rosenbaum each had 18 points.
5. Munster (5-3) - The 'Stangs limo has hit a few bumps in the road to say the least.  Even though it's early and there's plenty of time to get on the right track, the talent on this team has yet to live up to the hype.  There is time left on the clock.  But it is ticking. 5. West Side (5-2) - Won overtime thriller against Munster last week, but lost to No. 3 Ft. Wayne Snider.  If this team plays to its potential, it can stay with anyone.
6. Griffith (7-1) - OK, OK, OK.  Sure, the Panthers' schedule isn't as tough as a month-old Spam sandwich, but still, they're winning.  And a 14-point loss to top-rated Highland is a good loss.  Dianna Wingis may have a team ready to do the Class 3A Boogie. 6. North Judson (7-1) - Only loss is to Twin Lakes.  Bluejays have three strong scorers in Kori Glass, Kristie King and Mandy Cooper and are ranked No. 2 in Class 2A.
7.  West Side (5-2) - The Cougars are playing rationed hoops right now.  One day, they can play.  The next, can't buy a basket.  A big win at Munster lets you know this squad is talented.  But the odd-even scenario continued in a tough loss to Chesterton and blowout loss to Snider. 7. North Newton (6-0) - The No. 3 team in 2A has only been tested once in an early season game with Hanover Central.  Becky Schuster and Kristi Koselke big-time scorers.
8.  Andrean (5-2) - The 'Niners are most definitely pining.  With the loss of Jamie Gutowski to a torn ACL, this team is going to have to win with heart and guts and determination.  Many might think the postseason dreams are now dashed.  But this team is tough and will fight. 8. Griffith (8-1) - Panthers' only loss it to Highland and they had two wins over Lake Station and Wheeler last week.  Forward Amber Farr continues to play well.
9.  Chesterton (5-2) - Trojans may have hit rock bottom against Valpo when they scored a whopping 15 points.  That's less than four points a quarter.  What gives?  But wins over West Side, North Judson (RRR? North Judson 66, Chesterton 38 11/26/99) and Wheeler say that this team could be a 15 on the 20-point scale. 9.  Lake Central (4-2) - The Indians were idle last week and last played on Dec. 3.  (RRR? Andrean 59, LC 56 on 12/14/99)
10.  Crown Point (4-5) - These Bulldogs aren't winning big, but they're competing in every game.  And Tom May's early-season bed-of-nails schedule is exactly what he wants.  Three straight three-point losses to Lowell, Portage and Highland prove the team's all right.
10.  Crown Point (4-5) - The Bulldogs won a low-scoring game (45-25) with Merrillville last week.  Junior Sarah Zondor continues to lead and Alex Webster continues to improve.

A team you're not hearing too much about, but which is becoming an unexpected "X" factor in the Porter County Conference, is the unheralded Hebron Hawks.  New coach Jerry Bechtold, together with move-in daughter Lauren Bechtold, have whipped the once non-factor squad into a team to be reckoned with in 2A.  So far the hard-pressing Hawks are 5-3, with 11-point losses to 2A Rensselaer, 3A Kankakee Valley, and a 19-point loss to 4A Crown Point.  The younger Bechtold is a spark for her team, and just last night scored 33 points, nabbed 5 steals and dished 6 assists in an 88-38 win over struggling 1A Washington Township.  The Hawks will be at it again on Saturday night when they lay down their full-court press on another 1A team, Kouts, led by junior scoring ace Erica Martin.  We'll know if the Hawks are for real when they face Hanover Central on January 12.

Late news addition:  The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is featuring Leo junior Kelly Springer, who is verbally committed to Valparaiso University.  The 5'11 forward stayed put at Leo this season even though former teammates Kelly Abbott and Carrie Stine transferred to other Ft. Wayne schools.  So far this season, Springer is averaging 16.2 points and 3.4 steals per game

A preview to a host of games in the Shelbyville area on Saturday can be found in the Shelbyville News.  

A little bit late in the reporting, but The Columbus Republic is featuring an article about the signing of Columbus East senior Karen Force with Cornell.  The 5'7 senior is an outstanding point guard, but her 22-point effort was not enough last night in a 3-point loss to cross-town rival Columbus North.


News thru Thursday, December 16


Portage's win over Munster on Tuesday marked the 150th win at Portage for coach Renée Turpa.  That the win came against a Munster team which was locally ranked over the Indians was a fitting tribute to this coach who has worked very hard to bring respect to her program.  Traditionally the underdogs, no matter how good the record, Portage has finally established itself as a NWI power during the last half of this decade, due mainly to Turpa's efforts.   Playing in the tough Duneland Athletic Conference is always a challenge, and most of the time, the teams within the DAC beat up on each other so badly, that their records do not reflect the true standing they might otherwise receive statewide.  For Turpa to emerge as one of the leaders in the DAC is no small accomplishment.

The latest USA Today Super 25 national rankings have been updated, and undefeated Ben Davis still holds the No. 6 spot.  No other teams from Indiana appear in either USA Today's national or Midwest regional rankings.

The Indy Star is carrying an article about Lebanon senior Suzie Hammel, a transfer from Lafayette Jeff, and how the talented player is enjoying basketball and giving her new team a boost, leading them to a 6-0 start on the season.

The Purdue Gold & Black website reveals that the Lady Boilermakers are recruiting three junior players in-state, including Ebba Gebisa of West Lafayette, Shyra Ely of Ben Davis and Jackie Batteast of S. Bend Washington.  The bulk of the story is about Gebisa, who has been a Purdue fan all of her life.  She recently sat behind the Purdue bench when the Lady Boilermakers upset then No. 7 Notre Dame.

We recently came across the very nice North Harrison Lady Cats website for this season's team.  Featured on that website is senior Leigh Carr, who recently broke the school record for career scoring in that program.  The site has team schedule, photos, player profiles, video clips and more.  

Jeffersonville and Miss Basketball candidate Sara Nord will be in a Hoosier Hills Conference battle on Saturday when they travel to Floyd Central in what should be a good one.  Jeff will be looking for revenge after FC beat them on their own court last season.  FC defeated North Harrison by 21 points over the weekend, the same team that took Jeff into overtime in a 4-point loss.  FC starting guards Tricia Tinius and Jamie Davison, together with 6'2 center Lauren Krausse will try to find some consistency to make this a good one.

As you may have read on our ticker yesterday, two Indiana natives are coming home to play for the WNBA Indianapolis expansion franchise next summer.  Both Stephanie McCarty (Seeger/Purdue) and Monica Maxwell (East Chicago/LA Tech) were acquired by Indy on trade deals made with other expansion teams who had drafted these two players yesterday.  These two should create some interest and draw Indiana fans into the Conseco Fieldhouse next summer to watch the new team.  Tomorrow, the team's name, logo, colors and uniforms will be revealed to the public by team officials.  You can read about these two players making a return to their home state in The Times and the Indy Star.  Also, the player profiles for all the players drafted or dealed for by the Indy team can be found in the Star.

The WBCA has released its RPI (Rating Percentage Index) for college games played through December 14, and the 7-1 Lady Boilermakers of Purdue rank 2nd in the nation with a rating of 0.7034.  Undefeated Connecticut ranks 1st, with a 0.7190 rating.   The ratings are based upon winning percentage, schedule strength, opponents' winning percentage, and opponents' schedule strength.

The GoLadyVols website is carrying a piece by a Tennessee columnist which evaluates the freshman class  at UT and how they are contributing to the Lady Vols success so far this season.  April McDivitt (Connersville) is included in that list.

We saw this one on the Chicago news and wondered if we'd find it on the 'net.  The Fox Sports website reports that a youth basketball coach from Chicago was suspended by the AAU because he played a 10-year-old girl on his 11U boys basketball team in an AAU national tournament in July.  The girl has played with the boys team for two years now.  One of the players on the team, Mikey, says that his female teammate should be allowed to officially play on his team.  "She has a very good jump shot."

News thru Wednesday, December 15


The RRR was saddened to read about the ACL injury of Andrean sophomore standout Jamie Gutowski in The Times this morning.  Gutowski was in a groove during the first quarter of her team's win over Lake Central yesterday, having tallied 9 points and 2 assists with about 1 minute left in the first frame, when the unthinkable happened.  On a simple jump stop as she passed to a teammate, the guard crumbled to the floor in pain and the damage was done.  Gutowski was expected to have an outstanding season for the 59'ers this year, as she had proved herself to be an elite player in NWI during her team's run to the semi-state last season.  Jamie is a fierce competitor and we have no doubt that she will return stronger than ever after surgery and rehab.  Mental toughness is one her game strengths, and that same mental toughness will carry her through recovery and her eventual return.  Strangely enough, another player suffered the same fate in that game, not one quarter later, when Lake Central's Julie Perez crumpled on a similar jump stop move.  These two are just the latest in a number of ACL injuries that have been reported around the state in the past couple of weeks. 

The game didn't match the hype, but the girls game in general received a media boost Tuesday night in the much anticipated 3A matchup between defending state champ NorthWood and state scoring leader Shanna Zolman's Wawasee Warriors.  The Black Swish came out on top 61-48, which included a suffocating 38-10 lead for the Panthers at halftime.  NorthWood junior Kasey Chamberlain held Zolman to four points in the first half on a box-and-one defense that held Zolman to 15 shots from the field for the entire game.   Zolman finished with 26 to save her team from a total drubbing, but received little help from her young, stage-struck teammates.  According to the S. Bend Tribune, no less than 4 television stations, 2 radio stations and 3 newspapers made the game one to remember for the 2000 fans in attendance.  Four colleges -- Illinois, Wisconsin, Butler and Michigan State -- also made it to the game to watch the sophomore do her thing.  NorthWood was led by it's own sophomore standout Carol Duncan with 15, who may have benefited with a good performance in front of the colleges in attendance as well.  Another recap of the game appears in the Elkhart Truth.

While all the media attention was focused on the NorthWood-Wawasee game in that area of the state, perhaps the media should have sent a reporter or two to the Plymouth at S. Bend Washington game last night.  The real top dog in 3A in north central Indiana just may be the Pilgrims, who surprised Junior All-Star candidate Jackie Batteast and 4A Washington in a 56-55 come-from-behind win to up their record to 6-1.   The Pilgrims have continued to topple quality teams, including an 1l-point win over NorthWood, a 2-point win over 1A No. 8 Clinton Prairie and a 3-point OT win over 4A Crown Point.  Plymouth's only loss was to 2A No. 2 North Judson by 10.  Leading scorer for Plymouth last night was Brandy Swinehart with 14.  Batteast led all scorers with 21. 

There is still another 3A team in the north half of the state that may be the one that will face defending champ and south favorite Cathedral in the 3A state final this season.  Twin Lakes, currently ranked No. 3 with an unblemished record after a 73-54 win over Benton Central last night, is on a mission, and we're not sure anyone can stop them.  The Indians have a very balanced attack with three players averaging double digits -- Julie Goad (14.8), Ashley Jordan (12.0) and Jessica Bragg (10.3).  Twin Lakes is featured in the Lafayette Journal-Courier, with some interesting  comments by Coach Kim Bilskie.  The Indians are hosting one of the better holiday tournaments this season on December 28-29, which will feature Elkhart Central, Hobart, Portage, Western, Griffith, Mooresville, and Winamac.

The latest Indiana scoring leaders have been released by the IHSAA in their press release of 12/15/99.  Leading the pack again this week is Wawasee sophomore Shanna Zolman at 34.8 ppg, but is followed closely by senior Amie Owsley of Lakeview Christian at 32.1 ppg.  The top (and only) leading scorer from the Region is Jenny DeMuth of Highland in the 16th spot at 22.3 ppg.  The press release includes season best marks for points, rebounds and 3-pointers in a single game.  Also included in the press release are  milestones for the following players:


Leigh Carr, a senior at North Harrison, became the school's career scoring and rebounding leader Dec. 9 in a 77-44 triumph over South Central (Elizabeth). Carr contributed 23 points and 14 rebounds in the victory. Carr broke the scoring mark of 1,160 held since 1985 by Julie Swarens and the rebounding record of 638 set in 1981 by Linda Smith. Carr has signed a letter of intent to attend Eastern Kentucky. 


Kate Endress, a junior at Evansville Memorial, scored the 1000th point of her career Dec. 3 in the Bishop Althoff (Belleville, Ill.) Shootout. Through games of Dec. 11, her total stood at 1,062.


Bridget Pluta, a senior at South Bend St. Joseph's, broke the school record for points in a game Dec. 7 when she scored 46 in a 64-53 victory over Elkhart Central.


Shanan Szklarek, a senior at LaVille, reached the 1,000-point mark in her career Dec. 8 when she scored 29 points against New Prairie. In a game Dec. 6 against South Bend Washington, Szklarek scored 35 points while hitting 15 of 18 field shots.

News thru Tuesday, December 14


Here's our weekly review of the ICGSA Poll standings:


In 4A, Ben Davis lost one first-place vote, most likely after their close 4-point win over Perry Meridian.  That other vote was picked up by New Albany, who continues to roll through its schedule in convincing fashion.  Center Grove and Columbus East dropped after losing games during the week, and Huntington North fell off the Top 10 radar after losing to Kokomo, who replaced them at No. 10.  NWI teams Highland and Valpo, who were snubbed in the preseason polls but are proving themselves on a weekly basis, are making a good showing at the No. 4 and 5 spots, respectively.


In 3A, the top 3 continue to hold firm while the rest play musical rankings.  NorthWood fell off the Top 10 list after dropping a conference game to Plymouth, who picked up a couple of votes in the poll.  Lebanon, featuring  Lafayette Jeff transfer and Indiana All-Star candidate Suzie Hammel, have moved into the 3A elite at the No. 10 spot.


In 2A, defending state champ Luers lost two first place votes to North Judson, who continues to impress with some large-margin wins.  NJ's only loss this season has been to 3A No. 3 Twin Lakes, and they are pushing Luers in total poll votes, being just 2 votes behind.  As in 3A, the 2A leaders are holding strong, while the rest of the field changes on a weekly basis.


In 1A, No. 1 Rising Sun and No. 2 New Washington are leaps ahead of the others in total poll points, but No. 3 White River Valley, who picked up 19 votes from last week, is closing in on the leaders.  Kouts is on the fringe of the Top 10, coming in at the first runner-up spot with 11 votes.

There are several good games going on around the state tonight, including the much-hyped NorthWood v. Wawasee matchup in the Northern Lakes Conference.  It will be pitting last season's 3A state champs NorthWood against the girls scoring leader in the state, sophomore Shanna Zolman of Wawasee.  Wawasee is coming off of a disappointing weekend of basketball when they were eliminated in the first round of their own tournament in a 24-point thrashing by 2A Garrett in the first round of tournament action.  NorthWood, who just dropped out of the 3A Top 10, will be trying to redeem themselves after losing their first conference game to Plymouth by 11.  This could be a very entertaining night of basketball.  NorthWood brings a more balanced and experienced attack to the table, as well as their own sophomore sensation, center Carol Duncan.  Wawasee, facing the only team that is (was) state-ranked on their schedule this season, has the single ace in Zolman, but start three freshmen and another sophomore who are still learning how to handle the hype that comes along with their popular teammate.   This game will be broadcast on TV in the north central area of the state at 11 p.m. (ET) on WHME-TV (Channel 46).  You can read game previews for this mega-matchup in the South Bend Tribune, and yesterday's edition of the Elkhart Truth.


Another good game tonight in the Region is Munster at Portage.  These two teams are ranked closely behind Highland in the local newspapers, and this should be a battle.  Munster will be trying to reestablish their status among the elite teams in NWI after a tough loss to Gary West Side.  Portage will try to continue a good streak of wins to gain more respect both locally and at the state level.  A great mid-week game that should see a lot of long-distance scoring with 3-point specialists Susan Hay from Munster and Natalie Yudt from Portage.

The two links above also include some information that is noteworthy.  As we reported last week, S. Bend St. Joe's Bridget Pluta had a killer game against Elkhart Central last week, draining 14 straight buckets on the way to a record-breaking 46-point performance.  According to the South Bend Tribune, Pluta is nearing another record, this one for career scoring.  She is just 50 points away and if she holds true to her her average of 27.5 ppg over the next two games, could reach the magic mark in the Indians' games later this month.


Also, the Elkhart Truth had a great deal of girls basketball news yesterday that should be noted.  Senior Rachel Weaver of Bethany Christian is featured as that paper's Student Athlete of the Week.    Also, LaVille senior Shannon Szklarek has a great basketball heritage that made her 1,000 point career mark more meaningful.  She is the great-grandaughter of Elkhart High School legendary coach John Longfellow, Sr., who posted a career record of 364 wins in 23 seasons.  The Martinsville team, who suffered a loss at the hands of Penn over the weekend, made a side trip to Notre Dame.  Great quotes in that short story from head coach Jan Conner.  Finally, there is some great information about holiday tournaments taking place in the northern part of the state at Twin Lakes, Goshen and Columbia City.

Manchester junior Jessica Hicks made an impression in the Wawasee Tournament held over the weekend.  The 5'10 forward was 8 for 10 in the championship game for 19 points to pull out a 9-point win over Garrett.  According to Manchester Coach Keri Nichols, "Jessica was great for us.  Her numbers did not jump out, but she did a lot of little stuff that people don’t really notice.”  The coaches in the tournament noticed, though, as Hicks walked away with MVP honors for the tournament.  Other players named to the all-tournament team were Ann Harms (Manchester), Shanna Zolman (Wawasee), Emily Creachbaum (Mishawaka Marion), Courtney Feagler and Jayma Smith (both of Garrett).

The Indianapolis City Tournament is underway, and as might be expected, 3A No. 1 Cathedral is the outright favorite.  The Indianapolis Star previews the tournament, which began last night and will continue through Saturday's championship game.

According to the Hoosierland Report, Terre Haute South Junior All-Star candidate, Kristen Weddle, has been evaluated as having suffered an ACL injury over the weekend.  This is a tough break for the outstanding junior, as well as the THS team, as they were starting to get noticed for their outstanding play and even picked up 5 votes in the latest state poll.  This will most definitely put a big hurt in the THS lineup and the timing couldn't be any worse.  On Friday they will be facing a determined Center Grove team who is looking to set things right after an unexpected loss to Bloomington South last week.

Some news from the college front:


Playing with a broken nose in two of Xavier's three games this past week, freshman Amy Waugh (Homestead) still managed to average 9.3 ppg, 6.0 apg and 4.3 rpg as the Musketeers improved to 7-1 overall.  The gutsy Ft. Wayne native nailed two free throws to force the first overtime period in XU's 77-71 double-overtime loss to Cincinnati on December 5.  Waugh ranks 17th in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with 11.1 ppg., and ranks first in the conference with a .486 three-point field goal percentage.  Waugh's outstanding week earner her a second Rookie of the Week citation.


Jamie Sturgell (North Judson) continued her improved play for Franklin College last week in a tough loss to Centre College.  Jamie came off the bench to drill 3 three-pointers and finished with a career-high 11 points and a couple of rebounds.  Sturgell is currently Franklin's top guard off the bench and with 3 more three-pointers will already move into the top 15 in school history in career threes.


The Gold & Black website is carrying some bits and pieces about former Indiana high school players at Purdue.  Interesting stuff.

In closing today, we've had a couple of complaints here and there about the timeliness of updates on this website at this busy time of the year.  I would just like to thank everyone who understands that we are a volunteer-run website and are doing our best to keep all of you informed of basketball happenings around the state.  We hope you all continue to enjoy this non-subscription website in the spirit that it is maintained.  Thanks to those of you who are helping us out by sending news and on-line news links for us to share with our readers.  It is greatly appreciated.  (And don't forget to take time out to enjoy friends and family in between basketball games during the holiday season!)

News thru Friday, December 10


Will the REAL West Side Cougars please stand up?  Wednesday night the Region got a glimpse of what the Cougars can be when junior power forward Kim Smith exploded for a so-far-best performance of 18 points, 15 rebounds and 8 blocks against locally ranked No. 2 Munster.  Even though the Cougars had gotten off to a good 4-1 start (except for a surprising loss to rebuilding Chesterton), the highly touted Smith had been struggling.  She put all doubts to rest last night against a very good Munster team.  On the other side, Munster guard Susan Hay had 21 points (3 treys) and center Rachel Merkell had 14 points and 8 rebounds.  Looking ahead, Sectional 1 competition at West Side in February will be outstanding and could be the toughest sectional in the state with West Side, Munster and state-ranked No. 4 Highland all in the mix.  

West Side's Kim Smith is featured in the Post-Tribune today, where it is explained that she is making the adjustment from being a power player in the post to an outside playmaker for the Cougars.  According to Coach Rod Fisher, the 5'10 junior is one of the strongest players he's ever had, but her size will limit her ability to be recruited for post play in college.  As a result, Fisher is putting Smith in a different role this season and she is responding to the challenge.  An improved change of attitude is helping the junior realize her team worth, which doesn't lie just in scoring.  She is making an effort to get the ball inside to her teammates to help balance the team scoring.  Working on an outside shot has been one of Smith's most difficult transitions, especially with the defensive attention she is given, but she is adjusting.  According to the article in the Post-Tribune, Smith is being recruited by Xavier, Wisconsin, Wright State and Iowa, but is leaning toward the first two.

West Side travels to Ft. Wayne Snider, ranked No. 3 in 4A, on Saturday for another tough test.  The Snider Panthers are looking to repeat their state championship appearance this season behind some solid play from last season's returning players.  One of those players, Ft. Wayne Snider junior point guard Lydia Harris, is making an impact for the Panthers this season.  The 5'4 guard has emerged as a team leader, a key trait that coach LaMar Kilmer is looking for with the graduation  of team-leading seniors from last season's team.  You can read about Harris in the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel.

NWI girls basketball fans can catch a few games on the radio waves this weekend.  Tonight, the Hammond at Highland game will be broadcast on WJOB (1230 AM) beginning at 6:00 p.m., while the DAC matchup between No. 7 Valparaiso and Michigan City will be broadcast from Valpo beginning at 7:10 p.m. on WXRD (103.9 FM).  On Saturday, Valpo is on the air waves again when they host Tippecanoe Valley.  Coverage will be on WXRD (103.9 FM) beginning at 12:10 p.m.

S. Bend Riley's high-scoring ways were curtailed on a poor 13-of-45 shooting night Thursday in a 62-44 loss at Penn.  Riley freshman scoring duo Crystal Norman (17 points) and Santana Granderson (9 points) came in 18 points below their combined average of 44 ppg through their first five varsity contests.   The game was Penn's first NIC win, and was mainly fueled by 6'1 senior forward Jessica Reiter, who scored 24 points (6 treys), 13 of which came in the last quarter.  You can read the entire game recap in the South Bend Tribune.

Three South Bend area players were named South Bend Tribune Athletes of the Week.  Sophomore guard Sarah Schools of Mishawaka, senior Shanan Szklarek of LaVille, and junior guard Keri Certisimo of Penn were all honored for their outstanding performances last week.

Eminence senior Lindsey Warmoth was featured in the Indy Star yesterday.

Central Indiana Sports has released its Top 25 girls poll for the week, which has quite a different take on teams around the state.  Below are their picks, each followed by upcoming games:


1. BEN DAVIS v Marion County Tourney
2. CATHEDRAL v Roncalli D11
3. F.W. SNIDER v Gary West Side D11, F.W. Concordia D14
4. F.W. BISHOP LUERS v F.W. Wayne D14
5. S.B. WASHINGTON v S.B. Clay D9, Plymouth D14
6. COLUMBUS EAST v Shelbyville D9, Jeffersonville D11
7. HIGHLAND v Hammond High D10
8. CENTER GROVE v Bloomington South D9
9. VALPARAISO v Michigan City D10, Tippecanoe Valley D11
10. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL v Evans. Bosse D9, Boonville D13
11. TWIN LAKES v Benton Central D14
12. JEFFERSONVILLE v Columbus East D11
13. RISING SUN v Southwestern D11
14. MT. VERNON (Fortville) v Hamilton SE D11, Triton Cen. D14
15. PENN v S.B. Riley D9, Martinsville D11
16. NORTH NEWTON v River Forest D9, Rensselaer D10
17. NEW ALBANY v Scottsburg D9, Jennings County D11
18. BROWNSBURG v Harrison- W.L. D11, Plainfield D14
19. JASPER v Vincennes Lincoln D9, Evansville Harrison D11
20. FRANKLIN v Plainfield D10, Whiteland D11
22. FRANKLIN CENTRAL v Marion County Trny, Southport D14
23. PIKE TOWNSHIP v Marion County Trny, Lawrence N. D14
24. PERRY MERIDIAN v Marion County Tourney
25. PLAINFIELD v Franklin D10, Brownsburg D14
25. CORDON CENTRAL v Austin D8, Silver Crk D11, S. Central D14 

The Post-Tribune has released its NWI 10 Best with accompanying evaluations as follows:


1. Highland - The Trojans won two games last week.  One easily against LAC rival Griffith and withstood upset threat from Crown Point 53-50 on December 4.
2. Munster - The senior-dominated Mustangs are one of the top 10 Class 4A teams in the entire state, and their only loss was to Highland.
3. Portage - The Indians withstood a major scare from Crown Point, escaping with a 41-38 win December 3 with a 15-point fourth quarter.
4. North Judson - The Bluejays' only loss was a 5-pointer to Twin Lakes and have handily beaten the five other teams they've played.
5. Valparaiso - Overcame a bad shooting game to beat Chesterton 39-15 on December 4.  Vikes still have one of the best defenses around.
6. North Newton - The Spartans have three players in double digits (Becky Schuster at 16.0 ppg, Kristie Koselke at 13.0 and Brianne Hardwood at 10.5).
7. West Side - For the Cougars, Meghan Yancey, Kim Smith and Arianne Robinson are stepping up in a big way to fill the scoring void left by graduation.
8. Griffith - The Panthers' only loss so far was to Highland, but they face another big test next Friday night against Lake Athletic Conference rival Andrean.
9. Lake Central  - The Indians lost a close game to Riley on December 4 and they face another test on December 14 against Andrean.
10. Crown Point - The Bulldogs' record does not look good, but two losses last week were to No. 1 Highland and No. 3 Portage, each by just three points.

It was a blast from Indiana girls high school basketball past Wednesday night when the Lady Boilers put together a great team effort against No. 7 Notre Dame at Mackey Arena to upset the Irish 71-61 and raise their status in the Final Four hunt.  Three former Indiana high school greats were the catalyst for PU's win.  Junior Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) put on a gutsy 39-minute, 21-point, 8-steal performance after it was questionable whether or not she would even play.  The junior guard/forward was injured last week when she took a hard fall directly to the knee in the Tennessee game.  Purdue point guard Kelly Komara (Lake Central) was good for 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, and center Mary Jo Noon (Jeffersonville) stepped in when teammate Camille Cooper drew foul trouble and scored 8 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in 16 minutes, all the while maintaining the defensive intensity to curtail ND scoring machine Ruth Riley (North Miami).  Cooper also defended Riley well, holding the preseason All-American to 11 points, while scoring 19 points of her own.  The best recap of the game on the web appears at Gold & Black.  Also, Boiler Station is carrying an article about Purdue junior Candi Crawford (Homestead) and her outstanding contributions to the Lady Boilers this season so far.

News thru Wednesday, December 8


Kankakee Valley senior Kristen Kruchowski set two school records in her team's win over Calumet last night.  The guard broke KV records for steals (185) and free throws (162) on a 15-point, 3 assists and 5 steal performance.

Senior Bridget Pluta of S. Bend St. Joe's set a school record for single-game scoring with 46 points in a win over Elkhart Central last night.  The sharpshooting 5'11 forward had 30 points in the first half on 14 of 17 from the field, and knocked down 14 straight at one point.  Pluta also was good for 10 rebounds and 3 steals in the effort, and is now averaging 27.9 ppg and 9.7 rpg.  Also for St. Joe's, junior Carol Webber is averaging 8.6 assists per game.  View the South Bend Tribune recap of the game here.

A 3A situation to keep an eye on in north central Indiana that could impact tournament play expectations in February:  Last night No. 9 NorthWood was knocked off by unranked Plymouth 53-42.  Brandy Swihart led the Pilgrims with 16 points and 8 rebounds and had some help from Lesley Blackburn, who was good for 13 points and 3 steals.  Leading scorer for NorthWood was center Carol Duncan with 22.  Young and improving Wawasee, led by state scoring leader Shanna Zolman,  will test Plymouth on January 7 and NorthWood on December 14.  (That is a corrected date from what was here previously.)  Should be some good games.

We'll all find out just how good Gary West Side is tonight when they take on host and locally ranked No. 2 Munster tonight.  The Cougars have been up and down so far this season, with wins over SB LaSalle and Hobart, but also endured a stunning 5-point loss to Chesterton.  Watch for a scoring battle between Munster senior Susan Hay and West Side junior Arianne Robinson.  The outcome of this game could be an indication of things to come in competitive Sectional 1 in February, which also includes state-ranked Highland.

The IHSAA has released its 1999-2000 Scoring Leaders list.  At the top is 5'9 sophomore Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, who is clipping along at a 37.0 ppg average through six games so far this season.  The next nearest scoring average is 28.0 ppg by senior Lindsay Secrest of Bloomfield.  The only NWI player on the list is Traci Mezera of River Forest, who has logged a total of 159 points in 7 games for a 22.7 ppg average.  The IHSAA has also released its 1999-2000 Single Game Bests list, with leaders around the state in single-game scoring, rebounding and 3-pointers. 


Girls basketball milestones were also listed in the IHSAA news release for December 7 as follows:


Theresa Alvey, a sophomore at Cannelton, set school records for points and three-point goals in a game Nov. 27 when she hit 10 treys on the way to a 45-point effort as the Bulldogs defeated Evansville Day 78-53 in the championship game of the Cannelton Holiday Tourney. Alvey hit 17 of 34 from the field, including 10 of 17 three-pointers. In the same game, Cannelton junior guard Brandi Glenn broke the school's single-game assist record with 16.


Becky Bruner, a senior at South Central (Elizabeth), reached the 1,000-point mark for her career Dec. 2 in a 66-23 victory over Graceland Christian. Bruner scored 28 points in the game. She is the school's career scoring leader.


Natasya Johnson, a junior at Madison, broke the school record for points in a game Nov. 26 against Southwestern (Hanover) when she tallied 42 while hitting all 18 shots from the field. She also hit six of 11 free throws.


Stacey White, a senior at Seeger, scored the 1,000th point of her career Nov. 30 and finished with 21 as the Patriots defeated Riverton Parke 61-35. White is the sister of Stephanie White, who scored a state-record 2,869 points from 1991-1995 at Seeger.

The IHSAA has been busy on its website recently, and has just released its long-awaited on-line version of the IHSAA School Directory for all senior and junior member schools in the state.  It is an excellent resource for all coaches, fans and media, and includes one feature that does not appear in its hard copy version - e-mail addresses and school website links.  A very welcome addition to that website.

Valpo freshman Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso) had a career high 18 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Lady Crusaders past IU for Valpo U's first win ever against a Big Ten school in 12 tries.  You can read more in The Times.

The South Bend Tribune is carrying an interview with Connie Murdock, who recently departed the Purdue women's program.  The 6'2 junior is considering enrollment in four programs that had recruited her when she was a high school senior.

News thru Tuesday, December 7


The ICGSA Poll is out for the week with no real sweeping changes.


In 4A, Jeffersonville dropped 4 spots to No. 8 after a 9-point defeat at the hands of 3A No. 7 Corydon Central on Saturday.  Center Grove continues its movement upwards, rising to No. 4 from last week's position at No. 6.  The Trojans catapulted to that No. 4 position with 83 votes after receiving just 12 votes and being on the waiting list just three short weeks ago. All top 7 teams in 4A are currently undefeated, including NWI's Highland (No. 4 tie) and Valparaiso (No. 7), who both moved up one position from last week's poll.  Huntington North moves up to the Top 10 for the first time this season with 12 votes, and Munster is just behind on the waiting list with 10 votes.


In 3A, Twin Lakes (3-0) moved up by default after both Franklin and Evansville Memorial dropped a spot with a loss for each last week.  Griffith, the only NWI team appearing on the list, still hangs in with 1 vote.


In 2A, there was some movement in the bottom half of the Top 10, and Southwestern (Hanover) is back in the Top 10 after an absence of two weeks.  North Judson and North Newton still stand strong at No. 2 (127 votes) and No. 3 (110 votes), respectively.


In 1A,  Clinton Central dropped two pegs to No. 4 after a 1-point loss to 2A Northwestern on Saturday.  Triton moves into the Top 10 for the first time this season.

A few thoughts about this week's ICGSA Poll:  If the IHSAA state tournament were to begin this week, six of the top seven teams in 3A would all be battling it out in the South bracket, with No. 3 Twin Lakes having only to contend with the Nos. 8, 9 and 10 teams down the line.  In 2A, five of the six top teams would have to duke it out in the North bracket, including No. 2 North Judson and No. 3 North Newton, who are in the same sectional this season, together with Rensselaer Central, who is also receiving poll votes.  No. 4 Seeger would be sitting atop the heap in the South bracket with only Nos. 7, 8 and 9 to worry about.

Best game coverage opener last week by a sportswriter:  "If it were a horse, they would have shot it.  If it were a car, they would have had it hauled off to the scrap yard.  But it was a basketball game, so they had no choice but to play it."  (The Times' Sean Hayden on Valparaiso's 39-15 win over Chesterton on Friday.  The score after the first quarter was just 4-2.)


Best coach's comment this past week:  "We hit a couple of lucky shots."  (Chesterton Coach Jack Campbell's response after he was asked how his team scored just 15 points in their game with Valpo.)

It was a family affair when visiting Lake Central lost to host South Bend Riley 67-47 on Saturday.  In what was Lake Central's second loss of the season, brothers Tom Megyesi (Lake Central) and Mike Megyesi (SB Riley) faced off from opposite benches, and the younger Megyesi came out with bragging rights for the year.   SB Riley has been enjoying some success this season, even after losing two high-scoring players from last season, Erin Miller to graduation and junior Christa Ragukonis who transferred to 4A No. 9 Brownsburg.  The 1999-2000 season outlook for the Wildcats was looking grim, but a talented freshman tandem in Crystal Norman (5'10) and Santana Granderson (5'8), materialized to more than fill the void.  As we reported last week, these two recently combined for 60 points in a 101-94 OT win over LaPorte in November (Norman - 25 rebounds), and they made their presence known again on Saturday against LC with a combined 45 points.  The word is getting out, and South Bend Riley appeared in Monday's ICGSA 4A state poll "receiving votes" category. 

In other South Bend action, an outright shoot-out took place Thursday of last week when undefeated South Bend Washington, featuring All-State candidate Jackie Batteast, and Elkhart Memorial battled one another for a Northern Indiana Conference win.  The Panthers and Batteast came out on top 75-69, but players from both teams must have had their arms on ice after the game.  Between the two teams, 174 shot attempts had been taken, including 54 trey attempts.  (That's just about 1 shot every 10 seconds.)  Batteast was the leading scorer for SBW with 20 points and 19 rebounds, while 5'3 guard Irenna Coleman was high scorer for Memorial with 25 points, including 5 treys.

The Indianapolis Star is carrying a preview to the 16-team Marion County tournament, which will be taking place at a number of locations around the county starting tomorrow.  All teams in the tournament will be looking to upset 4A No. 1 Ben DavisSouthport will be the Giants' first opponent tonight at  7:30 p.m. at Pike High School.

You can follow the season of Franklin's Miss Basketball candidate Anna Waugh at her new website.  So far this season, Waugh is averaging 19.8 ppg.

Mark your calendar:  The IHSAA draw for sectional brackets will be on February 7.

For NWI high school fans that have never been to a women's college game, here is your chance to see a good game at a very convenient location.  Indiana University plays at Valparaiso University tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the VU Athletics-Recreation Center in a matchup that should be pretty interesting.  Valpo is coming off of a very big victory over conference nemesis Oral Roberts, and Indiana just put away Ball State over the weekend in the Big Four Classic at ISU.  The centerpiece of the action will be sophomore Jill Chapman (Evansville Memorial) of IU, who drained in 35 points and hauled down 21 rebounds against BSU on Saturday.  That performance garnered the soph co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors. You can read a preview to the game in The Times today.

Coach Pat Summitt gets her team calmed down when Wisconsin takes the lead in the second half.  (RRR photo)The RRR drove 3 1/2 hours (partly through a snow blizzard) to the absolutely beautiful Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday to see Tennessee head coach Pat Summit win her 700th coaching career game.  Two Indiana players in that Tennessee-Wisconsin matchup were part of the event to make it an even more interesting game for us to watch.  Wisconsin's Kyle Black (North Central) and Tennessee's April McDivitt (Connersville) saw time on the floorWisconsin's Kyle Black (North Central) gets ready for the action to begin against Tennessee's Ace Clement.  (RRR photo) together and matched up to go head-to-head for about two minutes in front of a crowd of nearly 12,000.  Black also spent some time guarding Tennessee's Ace Clement (photo at right), who is a tall 5'11 point guard for the Lady Vols.  The Lady Badgers made a game of it in the first half and part way through the second, but Tennessee's athleticism and stamina outdid Wisconsin in the long run.  Wisconsin, which has a stellar post duo in 6'3 Jessie Stomski and 6'4 Nina Smith, suffered with below par guard play.  Several Badger turnovers on successive possessions gave Tennessee the momentum they needed to stretch out the lead.  Tennessee, with more athleticism and quickness at all positions, simply outran the Badgers in transition.  With Clement in foul trouble, McDivitt saw 19 minutes on the floor and had 2 points, 1 steal, 1 assist and 1 rebound, while Black saw 7 minutes and hit one critical trey in that Wisconsin scoring surge in the second half that gave the Badgers a short-lived 3-point lead.  Tennessee won the game 85-62 to give their coach her 700th career win.

Notre Dame's Ruth Riley (North Miami) burned the nets for 32 points on Sunday in an 85-68 win over Liberty for the championship in the Wachovia Women's Invitational, Richmond, Virginia.  That stellar performance garnered the 6'5 center MVP honors at the tournament, as well as Big East honors as Co-Player of the Week.  Riley is currently maintaining an amazing 73.8% shooting average from the field in 6 games so far this season.  Notre Dame travels to Purdue on Wednesday to play the Lady Boilermakers at 7:30 p.m.

Miami (Ohio) freshman Heather Cusick (Kokomo) was named MVP of the Roger L. White Invitational this past weekend at Northwestern University.  Miami beat New Hampshire 67-57 in the opening round with Cusick scoring a team high 16.  In the championship game, she scored 23 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished 6 assists and committed only one turnover as the RedHawks beat Northwestern 75-62.  Miami has won four straight after opening the season with losses to Kentucky and Santa Clara.  Miami faces Butler on Saturday.

Pat McKee covers IUPUI junior Elizabeth Ramsey (Greenfield-Central) in The Star today.  Ramsey was not highly recruited in high school, but began as a walk-on at the University of Indianapolis to become a valuable piece to the equation for the women's program there.  So far this season, U of I is 4-1 and Ramsey is averaging 16.8 ppg and 8.1 rpg.  McKee also gives a few bits of information on other Indiana college players, including Murray State junior Liz Stansberry (Center Grove), Xavier freshman Amy Waugh (Homestead) and St. Joe's senior Angie Hupfer (Pendleton Heights). 

According to the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, The Big Four Classic, an 8-year ongoing event involving a day of games between Purdue and Indiana State, and Indiana and Ball State, was played for the last time over the weekend when Purdue and Indiana kept their combined winning streak alive, taking it to 16-0.  The event is being abandoned by Purdue, who will be adding a more high-profile game to their schedule next season in its place.  Indiana State and Ball State will still be involved in another all-Indiana event next season to replace the Big Four.  They will join Valparaiso and Butler to play in the new Hoosier State Classic, to be played at ISU's Hulman Center on December 9, 2000.  Sounds like a great day of basketball in what should be some very competitive games.

Because one-half of the RRR staff is in Calgary, Canada, the RRR Top 12 and Best Upcoming Games  & Events will not be posted until probably tomorrow.

News thru Saturday, December 4


The Post-Tribune came out with its TimeOut 10 Best yesterday as follows:


1. Highland
2. Munster
3. Portage
4. Valparaiso
5. Griffith
6. North Judson
7.  Lake Central
8. North Newton
9. Gary West Side
10. Crown Point


So far, Highland and Valpo have unblemished records and are ranked No. 5 and No. 8, respectively, in the ICGSA 4A state poll.

North Judson's Kori Glass was featured in the Post-Tribune yesterday.  The versatile 6'0 senior guard/forward, who is averaging 18.2 ppg so far this season, has narrowed her college choices to Valpo and Butler.  Glass is being recruited to play the point guard position at Valpo, a position that she is not too comfortable with, but which she is considering.  So far this season 2A No. 2 North Judson is 6-1, with convincing victories over 3A and 4A schools, and Glass is leading the way.

Purdue 6'2 junior forward Connie Murdock (S. Bend Clay) has been released, pursuant to her request, by Coach Kristy Curry of the Purdue women's basketball program.  Murdock has only seen the floor twice so far in the 1999-2000 Lady Boilermakers campaign, and played in 18 games as a freshman and 17 games as a sophomore, averaging 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds during that time.  She will have one year of eligibility left if she transfers to another program.  You can get the entire details of the release at the official Purdue women's website.

News thru Thursday, December 2


Noblesville senior center Marianne Nethery is featured in the Indianapolis Star today.  Nethery is the Millers' go-to at crunch time, and so far this season, she has delivered, most notably in Noblesville's upset of Connersville last week when she had 16 points in the OT victory.  Also, the Star is featuring Center Grove senior forward Jessica Bochner.  The 6'0 Bochner has been battling a number of injuries over the years, but her gutsy play despite painful conditions has helped propel her team to a No. 6 ranking in the last ICGSA poll.  Finally, 5'11 Leslie Mehrlich has surprisingly stepped into a leading role for Decatur Central, according to Pat McKee of the Indy Star.  Expecting to be without any solid play at the post position this season, the Hawks were happy to find out that the sophomore would be a key contributor this season.  So far Mehrlich is averaging 15.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and Decatur Central is off to a 3-0 start.

On Tuesday night at Culver High School, Andrea Milliser joined the 1000-point club with her second 3-point basket of the night.  According to coach Scott Miller, the game was stopped and Milliser was given the game ball, which she delivered to her parents in the bleachers.  She finished the game with 11 points, all in the first half.  The Lady Z's bolted to a 47-14 halftime lead and won the contest 83-44.  


Also on Tuesday, Seeger's Stacey White surpassed the 1,000 point mark with a 21-point performance in a 61-35 win over Riverton Parke.

The December 3 scheduled DAC meeting of Hobart and LaPorte has been postponed to a later date due to the death of former Brickie football coach Don Howell.  The game has been rescheduled for January 26.

Former Lake Central standout and Indiana All-Star Kelly Kuhn had a great game against Notre Dame last night, but it wasn't enough to help her team win against the Irish, who pounded the Bulldogs 77-57 after smarting after a loss to Illinois on Sunday.  Kuhn had 18 points and led all players with 12 rebounds in the loss, while Notre Dame's Ruth Riley (North Miami) scored 14 points and had 7 blocks in only 19 minutes of play.  An article yesterday in The Times described Kuhn's outlook on the game and how she would be counted on to deal with Riley.  An interesting sideline to the article mentions the close relationship Kuhn has struck with former Martinsville foe Kristen Bodine, Butler's starting point guard.  Kuhn and Bodine played one another in the 1998 4A state finals and it was Bodine and the Artesians who came out on top.  To say the least, it was a hostile and hotly contested game.  But they are "best friends" now, according to Kuhn, having shared a lot of the frustrations that they went through together last year as freshmen.  Bodine is averaging 10.3 ppg and 3.8 apg so far for Butler.

The Huskies Hardcore website is carrying a really great article about freshman Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) and the respect she has gained early on with her teammates to get the job done.  In Connecticut's game against No. 14 Illinois on Tuesday night, Johnson had 18 points and was 4 for 4 from the arc in the second half.

Pat Summit's take on the Purdue-Tennessee battle is appearing in the Indianapolis Star today.  Revenge might be on the minds of the Vols after Purdue opened their season with a win over the then defending National Champs last season.  The situation is reversed, with Purdue defending its title in this meeting.  Should be an interesting game.

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