Region Roundball Review

February, 2000
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. 

February, 2000
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Important upcoming dates:

News thru Tuesday, February 29


The participants for the 2000 Hall of Fame Classic have been preliminarily announced, according to The Times (one-day link).  4A Highland, 4A Center Grove, 3A Cathedral and 1A White River Valley will all be in attendance for this prestigious annual event.  The official announcement regarding the HOF is to be made tomorrow.

The shortened tournament format this year has complicated somewhat the process of scouting for coaches.  The worst scenario was probably the regional-to-semi-state turnaround, simply because regional opponents were most likely to either be on your schedule, or on the schedule of someone in your area to obtain film.  Not so with semi-state opponents.  But a few coaches are taking the lead in utilizing a practice that football coaches have been employing for years for the state finals  -- exchanging game film with their opponents.  According to the Indianapolis Star, that is just what the 4A coaches of Ben Davis and Valparaiso, and the 2A coaches of Luers and Forest Park decided to do in their pre-tournament meeting yesterday.  

According to the FW Journal Gazette   (one-day link), confirmation is made of the disheartening news that Columbia City senior Connie Myers will be unable to participate in her team's game against Cathedral Saturday after her knee injury was diagnosed as an ACL tear.  Myers injured the knee with less than 6 minutes to go in the semi-state championship game against Griffith.

A few state finals previews are starting to pop up in on-line newspapers around the state as follows:
"Title would cap Ben Davis' run" - The Times
 (one-day link) 
"'Underestimated' Vikings continue to silence critics" - Post-Tribune
  (one-day link) 
"Triton storms into state finals" - Times-Union

The Ben Davis Giants continue to be ranked in USA Today's Super 25 at No. 4.  Two Ben Davis players have also been named to the Top 25 players in the Class of 2001 in the All Star Girls Report, as reported in the Women's Basketball Journal.  Junior Shyra Ely is ranked the top player in the nation in her class, while teammate Ashley Allen is ranked No. 15.

The competitive Porter County Conference has announced its All-Conference selections for the 1999-2000 season as follows:  Melanie Brumbaugh and Tammi Boersma of Hanover Central, Lauren Bechtold, Melissa Stokke and Jen Coates of Hebron, Erica Martin of Kouts, Kim McGinley and Jody Lackey of Morgan Township, Andrea Walker of Wheeler, and Jen Dykiel of Boone Grove.

Post-season picks for Perry and Spencer Counties in southern Indiana are outlined in the Messenger-Inquirer.  Also, senior Jennifer DeWeese (5'7 forward) of South Spencer was named the Perry-Spencer Player of the Year by coaches in those two counties.  All-team selections included Candice Cassity of Perry Central, Erin Smith of South Spencer, Theresa Alvey of Cannelton, and Candy Jarboe of Tell City.

Not all girls basketball news makes it to the on-line versions of newspapers around the state.  As all-conference and all-area post-season selections take place in your area, please e-mail the RRR with the post-season honors and selections in your area so we can post them in our news.  Thanks!

We had reported earlier that coach Diana Wingis of Griffith would be featured tomorrow and Thursday on the Skip Miller prep cable show, but you will not be seeing that broadcast because Wingis did not make the taping.  Again, the interview with Crown Point girls coach Tom May, which was pre-empted last week, will be shown on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m., but only in Lake County. 

In a very savvy move, the Big Ten Conference has decided to return to the Conseco Fieldhouse for the women's tournament for three years starting in 2002, but with a different format.  The tournament will suspend play on the Saturday of each year's tournament so that the girls basketball IHSAA state finals can be played.  The Big Ten will then resume semi-final play on Sunday afternoon, with the championship final on Monday evening.  With all the high school fans in town for the state finals, it might follow that a lot of them just might stick around for one more afternoon to watch some Big Ten action.  Very smart move on the part of Big Ten coaches and administrators who, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, approved the format for final approval by the conference's Board of Directors.  Needless to say, this might be a beneficial setup for the IHSAA as well.  With fans in Indy for the Big Ten Tournament, a few just might find their way to one of the best high school state finals in the nation.

Two former NWI high school players now at Purdue Cal have received recognition in the All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.  Christina Chandler (Portage) was named to the All-conference Team, leading the CCAC in scoring with 17 ppg.  Freshman Melissa Austin (Highland) earned honorable mention.

According to the Muncie Star Press, the Ball State Cardinals qualified for quarter-final competition in the Mid-American Conference Tournament last week with a 94-81 win over Central Michigan.  Instrumental to that win was freshman Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook) who fired up 5 treys on the way to 20 points in the game.  Kitts is currently the third-leading 3-point shooter in the MAC with a .515 percentage from beyond the arc.

According to the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame head coach Muffett McGraw has been named as one of 15 finalists nationwide for the prestigious Naismith Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year award.  

News thru Monday, February 28


The RRR was at the first session of the Warsaw 4A semi-state on Saturday and there was some great action at the Tiger Den that day.  In an all-Norse battle, the No. 4 Valparaiso Vikings took on the highly touted No. 8 Huntington North Vikings, who had to knock off some of the better teams in the state to get to the semi-state, including No. 9 Kokomo and a strong Brownsburg team.  Valpo was no slouch either, having to get past tough Portage, South Bend Washington and South Bend Clay to advance.  The first game went into overtime, and was probably the most exciting finish of the day anywhere in the state.  It looked like the Vikings were on the ropes, but some clutch free throws and a steal by Courtney Rosenbaum gave the tired Vikings a second wind with very little time on the clock.  The steal by Rosenbaum on the inbounds near the Valpo bucket put them in a position to win the game, but as the ticks wound down, the ball was passed around a couple of times before anyone was willing to take the shot.  As the clock nearly expired, senior Erin Sampsel had no such qualms and took it right to the hoop to give Valpo a 2-point lead with :00.5 left on a time-out by Huntington North.   While the place 

was going nuts, the lights cut out on the opposite side of the floor,

 and with just that half-second slice of time remaining, it was decided that in order to get the lighting back up, they'd have to cut all the lights and wait for all of them to come back on "in order to give the teams a fair chance to finish the game with full illumination," as was announced.  All waited for about 15-20 minutes for the gym to reach "full illumination," and the discussion around the gym was how it would be possible for Huntington North to get a shot off from an inbounds opposite their basket in half a second.  When the lights came back on, Huntington North had a decent softball pass to junior long-range specialist, Jamie Grogg, but her shot (from about 4 feet in from the halfcourt) was much too short, and Valpo was able to celebrate a first-round victory a second time.

Notes on Valpo v. Huntington North:  

-- HN's Brandy Strine was very, very impressive, making clutch shot after clutch shot in traffic to keep her team in it in the closing minutes of the fourth period and OT.  It was an outstanding performance for a senior in her last game.  Strine left the game with 22 points and five fouls with seconds to go in OT and received a standing ovation from a very boisterous and very large HN crowd.

-- One of the strangest man-to-man mismatches on the day was at the point guard position between 5'4 Cassie Kline and 6'0 Sampsel (at right).  Although Kline was extremely quick, she was no match for the overhead passing of Sampsel on the perimeter or her height on flashes through the paint.  Can't explain the thinking behind that one.
-- We always hear about the "Big 3" from Valpo, but the unsung heroes on Valpo's squad are hard-working defensive specialists Dana Lippelt and Allison Mosak.  Their sticky perimeter defense, which permeated just about every HN screen, kept sharp-shooters Kline and Jamie Grogg in check throughout the contest.  Kudos also go to Valpo reserve Karen Puplava, who made a key steal in the closing seconds of regulation, putting her team in position to tie the game for the extra period.  
--  The RRR saw a glimpse of the future in two 6'2 reserve underclassmen, who both put in some valuable minutes for their respective teams in the game on Saturday.  Huntington North sophomore Sheree Lauer was looking stronger and more confident from when we saw her in AAU a couple of summers ago.  She gave post players Strine and Natalie Johnson some valuable breather minutes and played aggressive defense.  Also, Valpo 6'2 sophomore Brooke McAfee, a solid post-player-in-training for the Vikes, put in some much-needed minutes in the second half when fellow post mates Rosenbaum and Lee Traynham were in foul trouble.
Lowell v. Snider 

The Lowell v. Snider game looked like trouble from the time of warm-ups when Snider fielded four good-sized players at or near 6'+ compared to Lowell's only interior threat, 6'0 Kelly Schoon.  And when Schoon found herself in foul trouble early, the writing was on the wall.  Although Lowell gave it their all, they were simply out-manned and out-sized at nearly every position.  Add to that the deadly outside shooting of Snider's Suzie Hayden, who lit up the Red Devils for 17 points with 4 treys, and it was a very long game for Lowell.   Even though the Devils suffered on the day, they need to remember there were 11 other teams in NWI that would have given up a school record or two just to be on the floor at Warsaw on Saturday.
Notes on Lowell v. Snider:
-- We simply could not figure out why Snider kept their starters and the press on for over three quarters of the game.  At one point, before Snider subbed with some reserves with 5 minutes left, the gap was 35 points.  That may have been a factor in the evening game, when Snider was hampered by Valpo's intense defense and, according to newspaper and radio accounts, the Panthers tired in the last quarter.  A Ft. Wayne article we have referenced in the next news item may give a clue or two behind that strategy.

--  Lowell will lose 7 seniors from this season's squad, and coach Patti McCormack will be rebuilding next season.  Most likely, she will be centering her offense around sophomore Rachel Wielgos, who performed well in the Snider game, picking up 10 points.  Although she didn't light it up like she did at the Merrillville sectional, she made some good shots and played inspired defense throughout the game.

The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette  (one-day link) has a few notes about the girls semi-state tournament, including some comments of lament by Snider coach LaMar Kilmer, who feels that his large-margin victory over Lowell in the early session took the edge off his team's play for the championship game against Valpo.  Looking at Snider's path to the semi-state, it doesn't seem that his team was challenged nearly all the way to the semi-state final.  On the other hand, Valpo escaped several times on its path to the Saturday night game, even trailing a scrappy LaPorte team at sectionals that held a lead over the Vikings in the fourth quarter before Valpo pulled it out.  In each of those close wins, except for maybe the Portage game, the final outcome basically came down to defense.  Valpo's defense was a clinic for the Panthers, even though according to the Ft. Wayne Sentinel, Kilmer believed going into the tournament that his own team's defense "is the best I've seen [Snider] play in the last 10 years that I've been here."  Maybe it will be even better next season if Kilmer's squad can learn to emulate the defensive display they endured on Saturday. 

The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette (one-day link) covers the injury of Columbia City's Connie Myers, who went down with a knee injury in the 3A North semi-state championship game with Griffith on Saturday.  After their leading scorer went down, her teammates stepped up and won the game to advance to the state finals on Saturday.  Myers' status will be determined after she visits a specialist today. 

Sophomore Megan Dossen of 2A No. 1 Luers has been instrumental to her team's advancement in the post-season tournament the past few weeks.  According to the Ft. Wayne Sentinel (one-day link), Dossen poured in 33 points on the day Saturday off the bench against Glenn and North Judson.

The IHSAA has released a short info article about the state tournament this weekend, including ticket information, as well as 2000 Tournament High Games.  Leading the pack is Connie Myers of Columbia City, who scored 37 points against Frankfort in first-round semi-state action on Saturday.  As we noted above, Meyers status for the state tournament is undecided at this point.

The North and South teams were announced recently for the Hoosier Basketball Magazine/Reebok North-South All-Star Classic, to be held on Sunday, April 9, at the Bill Green Athletic Arena in Marion beginning at 2:00 p.m.  Teams are as follows:

North Team

Johna Goff, Mt. Vernon (Fortville), 5'5 G

Suzie Hammel, Lebanon, 5'7 G

Kristi Koselke, North Newton, 6'0 F

Andrea Milliser, Rochester, 5'9 G

Andrea Monroe, Oak Hill, 5'10 F

Connie Myers, Columbia City,  5'10 F

Amie Owsley, Lakeview Christian, 5'7 G

Jessica Reiter, Penn,  6'1 C

Cara Smith, Harrison-West Lafayette, 6'1 C

Stacey White, Seeger, 5'11 F
COACH:  Tracey Hammel of Lebanon

South Team

Mary Blessing, Decatur Central, 5'8 G

Jessica Brock, Rising Sun, 5'11 F

Jennifer DesJean, Perry Meridan, 6'0 C

Kirsti Holloway, New Washington,  5'10 F

Shalicia Hurns, Indy Broad Ripple, 6'4 C

Lynne Johnson, Corydon Central, 5'10 F

Sara Nord, Jeffersonville, 5'4 G

Lindsay Secrest, Bloomfield, 6'2 F

Sara Strahm, Ben Davis, 5'10 G

Anna Waugh, Franklin, 5'8 G
COACH:  Walt Raines of Franklin

The Warsaw Times-Union reports that the Northern Lakes Conference has announced its girls basketball All-Conference picks for the 1999-2000 season.  First teams includes:  Jen Hale and Rebecca Stewart of Concord, Missy Stults of Goshen; Stef Duell of Northridge; Andee Morris, Carol Duncan and Kasey Chamberlain of  NorthWood; Leslie Blackburn and Brandy Swihart of Plymouth; Shanna Zolman of Wawasee; Hilary O’Connell and Nerecia Taylor of Warsaw.  Honorable mention included:  Carin Benge of Plymouth; Lisa Robertson of Goshen; Laura Carlson of Northridge; Kara Kesler and Jenna Rooney of Warsaw; Jessica Leach of Wawasee; and Shelly Stichter of NorthWood.  Coach of the Year is Dave Cox of Plymouth.

The Warsaw Times-Union also reports that the Three Rivers Conference has announced its girls All-Academic picks for the 1999-2000 season.

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel has a commentary regarding the issue of athletics vs. academics.

For all the fans heading out to Indy this weekend for the state finals, you might consider either coming early on Friday or staying another day on Sunday to catch some Big Ten women's  tournament action on either of those days at the new Conseco Fieldhouse.  (Some of you might remember that this was the event that moved the IHSAA girls finals to Hinkle Fieldhouse from Conseco.)  Games begin at noon on Friday and continue throughout the evening, and the Big Ten championship game will be played on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.  For more information, you can go to the Indianapolis Star (game times on sidebar there).

A very nice article about Huntington College senior Amy Bechtel (Fairfield) is appearing the the Goshen News.  Bechtel established new Huntington College career scoring and rebounding records with 2,006 points and 970 rebounds.

There's a very nice article about WNBA Fever's Stephanie McCarty in the Indianapolis Star.  The Fever is gearing up for their first-ever season starting in June.

News thru Friday, February 25


Late news addition:  I thought I'd find a lot more pre-game info on-line later today, but there are very few.  The only additional articles I could find on-line were in the Huntington Herald-Press, which has a North semi-state preview, including information about all four 4A teams at Warsaw tomorrow, and the Anderson Herald Bulletin, which highlights the 2A Frankton Eagles.

Late news addition:  Junior Rachel King of 2A No. 1 Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers will be making her second semi-state appearance in two years tomorrow.  Not a bad stat to put on a basketball resume, but the outstanding guard also has a few other stats to point to.  So far this season, King has broken the Luers career steal record (now at 247) and she also reached the 1000-point career mark against Woodlan in the 2A Woodlan Sectional final, finishing with 26 points. And don't stop there, because King is also on track to break a few more records next season, including the career assists record of 410 (King has 356), the career scoring record of 1281 (King has 1001), and the career rebounding record of 480 (King has 342).

The Indy Star is reporting that the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 40 workout list is out.  From the Region, seniors Kristi Koselke (North Newton), Erin Sampsel (Valparaiso), Mariel Yekich (Lake Central) and Natalie Yudt (Portage) are in the Top 40.  Appearing on the alternates list is NWI senior Tracie Mezera (River Forest).  Congratulations to all of these outstanding players.  The Top 40 workout will be March 5 at Marian College.  The workout is open to the public and two 25-player sessions begin at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and admission is $4.00 per person.

Lowell coach Patti McCormack has to be loving the irony of this, but it's worked throughout the tournament, so why mess with a good thing now?  The Red Devils have been playing with a chip on their shoulder throughout the tournament because they simply cannot get any respect from just about anyone in NWI.  That chip has gotten them through a lot of tough games.  Finally today, Lowell senior center Kelly Schoon got a little bit of press in today's edition of The Times  (one-day link), although it is definitely not the type other players and teams in the area have been receiving for accomplishing less.  But Lowell still can't get any respect.  The Post-Tribune today ranks Lowell as the No. 10 team in the area in its rankings today (see below) and their feature article is on the Gary West Side girls team, that lost to Lowell in the Regional.  By the way, the P-T ranks the Cougars as No. 2 in the area, even after their loss to Lowell.  

The Post-Tribune top teams lists for the week are as follows:

Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Valparaiso
2. West Side
3. Munster
4. Highland
5. Portage
6. North Judson
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Hanover Central
10. Lowell


An on-line preview of South Bend area teams in semi-state action appears on-line for Glenn, North Judson and Triton in the South Bend Tribune.

In case you can't make it out to see the action at the 4A Warsaw Semi-State this weekend, there are a couple of options for you to hear the action.  In Northwest Indiana, you can catch both the Valpo v. Huntington North and Lowell v. FW Snider games on the Regional Radio Sports Network 95.9 WEFM.  The morning session pre-game show begins at 8:35 a.m. CST (9:30 a.m. EST).  If either or both Valparaiso and/or Lowell make it to the Semi-State championship final, pre-game coverage will begin at 6:35 p.m. CST (7:35 p.m. EST).  WEFM will also be giving updates about Griffith and North Judson during their broadcasts.
If you don't live within the NWI listening area,  you can catch the entire day's events at Warsaw on the web courtesy of WAWC 103.5 FM in Syracuse and the
Hickory Husker's Home Court website.  Just hop on over to Hickory Husker's and you'll be able to access the link for the webcast, which begins at 9:30 a.m. EST for the morning session and 7:30 p.m. EST for the evening session.  If you've never listened to a radio broadcast on the web before, we suggest that you prepare before Saturday, because special software is required to listen.  The good news is that the software is free, can be downloaded right from the Hickory Husker website, and installs in minutes.  And for those of you who are going to be there for the games in person, you can relive either the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat (depending on your team's outcome) with archived broadcasts of all three games.  Again, they will be available at Hickory Husker's website.  (Pretty cool, huh?)

According to a few of our sources, head coach Pat Summit of Tennessee has been a very busy girl as of late.  She has been recruiting Indiana hard in the form of Shyra Ely and Ashley Allen of Ben Davis and Shanna Zolman of Wawasee.  Summit was spotted in the stands at the Decatur Central Sectional, and was courting Zolman on campus when the sophomore's family made a trip to UT recently.  She might have the inside track with Zolman, who has made no secret out of the fact that Tennessee is her heart's desire, but she might have a tougher row to hoe with Ely.  According to the February 14 issue of The Women's Basketball Journal, Ely has pared down her college choices to Purdue, Ohio State, Georgia, Connecticut, Tennessee and Duke.  Some think that Purdue might have the inside track, since it is close to the Ely home and because Shyra's brother is also a student at PU.  Without a doubt, she will be a catch for whichever program she chooses.

Some of you in Lake County might have wondered what happened to the Skip Miller prep sports show on AT&T cable this week, which was to feature an interview with head coach Tom May of Crown Point.  The show was pre-empted by pay-per-view rock concerts both nights it was scheduled to appear.  (Some programmers just don't understand how important girls basketball is to its Hoosierland market!  ;-)  According to Skip, reparations have been made for Lake County viewers, who will be able to see the missed broadcast with May next Thursday.  Next week's regularly scheduled broadcast will feature head coach Diana Wingis of Griffith.  Broadcast times, showings and channels are as follows:

(Wingis interview for all broadcasts)
Lake County - Ch. 3 at 8:30 pm
Portage - Ch. 44 at 9:00 PM
Valpo/Chesterton - Ch. 43 at 9:00 pm
Lake County - Ch. 3 at 8:30 pm (May interview)
Portage - Ch. 44 at 9:00 PM (Wingis repeat)
Valpo/Chesterton - Ch. 43 at 9:00 pm (Wingis repeat)

We're all living through this new IHSAA condensed tournament format this season, and its been, let's say, "different."  Personally (and that preceding word indicates some editorializing here) and purely from a webmaster's point of view, this format is very difficult to keep up with and still give teams and players their well-deserved moments in the sun.  Those moments have certainly been fleeting, since this website and other media have really not had much opportunity to give the players and coaches of advancing teams their due in the short turnaround time of the tournament format.  For example, at least 8 sectional champions around the state, some experiencing that honor for the first time in their school's history, were only able to enjoy their titles for 72 hours before they were knocked out of the tournament on Tuesday night.  Not too fair after a season-long effort of hard work and resulting success.  It's over before you know it.  But at least one person in the media likes the format, and his take on this whole thing is in The Times (one-day link) today. 

Notre Dame's Ruth Riley is profiled in the Indianapolis Star today.

News thru Wednesday, February 23


The RRR was at the packed Lowell v. West Side Regional last night and it was quite a game.  Although there wasn't a whole lot of offense goin' on, both teams were in high-defense mode throughout, which made for a lot of turnovers and a quick-paced game.  Outsized at every position, Lowell scrapped and scraped their way to a first-ever Regional win.  Lowell's Kelly Schoon, probably the most deserving but most unheralded post player in all of Indiana, proved once again that getting the win is a lot more important than getting the ink.  

The 6'1 solid and consistent center put in 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the win, all while carrying 3 personals in the second half.  Lowell is the Rodney Dangerfield of NWI high school girls basketball, and they are not a team to be overlooked, exhibiting a hard-nosed, all-hustle style of basketball that is based more on results than finesse.  How many times do you see a 6'2 center get out-rebounded by a 5'3 guard for an offensive putback?  We saw it twice last night.  These girls are on a mission and don't know they're supposed to be intimidated by ranked teams and big names.  From here on out, everything is gravy.

Kouts junior Jenny Howard is featured in The Times as her team heads to the Triton Regional to take on the 16-7 host.  Despite averaging 7.6 points per game this season, the 5'8 forward came up big for the Fillies by scoring 20 points and pulling down 6 rebounds in the sectional championship game against Morgan Township on Saturday. 

Valparaiso junior Allison Mosak is also featured in The Times.  Mosak, a starter and defensive specialist for the Vikings, must manage a hypoglycemic condition while playing basketball.

The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette details the son and father duo who both won girls basketball sectional titles last Saturday.  Wayne Kreiger of Columbia City and his son Scott Kreiger of Canterbury are comparing notes on a daily basis about their respective regional opponents.  Before Scott took his job with Canterbury two years ago, he had coached ten years with his dad at Columbia City.

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that a starting player for the No. 5 Center Grove Trojans has been benched after being arrested Monday night for an underage drinking incident.   This is a most unfortunate situation for the remainder of the Center Grove squad who must face a tough Terre Haute South team tonight.

The Shelbyville News has some notes and outlooks on the sectionals and regionals in the Shelbyville area.

A good number of regional previews are on-line today, which can be found at the following links:
Hanover Central v. North Judson
Valpo v. SB Clay
New Prairie v. Griffith
South Bend area
Center Grove v. TH South
Cathedral v. Franklin
Clinton Prairie v. Tri-County
Wawasee v. Columbia City
Rochester v. Frankfort
Evansville Memorial v. Jasper
Seeger v. North Putnam
Alexandria v. Mississinewa
Ft. Wayne area
Cass v. Ft. Wayne Luers
Huntington North v. Brownsburg

For NWI fans that won't be able to make the mid-week trip to South Bend, Regional Radio Sports and WEFM 95.9 FM will be broadcasting the Valparaiso vs. South Bend Clay Regional Championship tonight with coverage beginning at 6:05 p.m.

Also, Wawasee's WAWC 103.5 FM will be broadcasting the Wawasee v. Columbia City Regional on the web tonight in partnership with the Hickory Husker's Home Court website.  Webcast time begins at 6:30 p.m. EST (5:30 CST).  To get complete information, visit the WAWC website at

News thru Monday, February 21

The nominations for the Junior All Stars, who are selected by the ICGSA, must be in by this Wednesday, February 23.  According to Portage coach Reneé Turpa, ICGSA District 1 representative, a coach must nominate his/her junior player in order to be in the Junior All Stars selection pool. The ballot/form must be in by February 23 to Cindy Lester of Western High School.  After all nominations have been made, a committee of coaches from around the state and representing all classes elect a group of 18 players -- 6 core team players, 6 North players and 6 South players.  The Junior All Stars play two games versus the Indiana All-Stars on Wednesdays before the Indiana All-Star games with Kentucky.  One game will feature the 6 core players teamed with the 6 North players, and the other will feature the 6 core players with the 6 South players.  Any questions should be directed to the ICGSA representative from your District.  Reps are:
District 1 - Renee' Turpa - Portage 
District 2 - Cindy Lester - Western 
District 3 - Judy Warren - Carmel 
District 4 - Pam Shively - Eastern 
District 5 - Bruce Dockery - Evansville Memorial
According to Turpa, in the past there have been many players ineligible for the Junior All Stars because a coach failed to nominate them before the deadline.

The Skip Miller prep sports show will feature head coach Tom May of Crown Point this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights on AT&T Cable.  May just completed his 20th year of coaching with the Crown Point girls basketball program.  Broadcast times and channels are as follows:

Lake County - Ch.3 at 8:30 pm
Portage - Ch.44 at 9:00 PM
Valpo/Chesterton - Ch. 43 at 9:00 pm

According to a short blurb in The Times, tickets for the girls basketball regional game between Lowell and West Side will be on sale today and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lowell. Tickets also will be sold from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in the main office at West Side. Tickets are priced at $5. A West Side fan bus will be available only for those who purchase tickets in advance.

The IHSAA website has a compilation of information about the remainder of the IHSAA tournament, as well as some news bits and tournament trivia about players and teams.  Worthy of mention here is that senior Amie Owsley of Marion Lakeview Christian became the 14th girl in Indiana history to score 2,000 career points. She reached the milestone in a 53-44 semifinals victory over Southern Wells on her way to a 24-point effort. She came back with 23 points in the 54-49 sectional championship victory over host Adams Central. Owsley has scored 2,034 career points and ranks 13th on the state career list. She needs 61 points to reach the top 10.  Also, state scoring leader Shanna Zolman led Wawasee to its ninth sectional title but first since 1986. The sophomore scored 28 against defending Class 3A state champion NorthWood and 24 against finals opponent Angola.  Zolman's season total of 724 points ranks 11th on the state's all-time season chart.

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel has three feature articles that are worth a read.  The first story is about Huntington North's Brandy Strine, and her laundry list of injuries that have not stopped the senior from competing and leading her team into this week's regionals.  The second story is about Carrie White of Manchester and Sidney Bollier of Woodlan.  The two both underwent open heart surgery in the same hospital and the same time to correct similar heart problems over the summer.  They helped each other through recovery and were back on the court to compete this season.  The third story is about the unheralded but all-important assist, and how Lori Melchi of Northrop leads the Ft. Wayne area in assists at 6.84 per game.  This articles begs the point that maybe players should be awarded points for an assist, just like in hockey, where an assist on the play is rewarded the same as scoring the goal.  Interesting concept.

Talking about assists, is there any question that the best basketball teams play TEAM basketball.  While perusing the Ft. Wayne area statistics, it's no surprise that the successful 2A No. 1 Bishop Luers team has three players in the top 5 assist leaders category in the Ft. Wayne area:  Rachel King with 5.81 apg, Katie Merz with 4.60 apg and Jennie Moppert with 3.71 apg.  (Oops.  Their secret for success is now public knowledge!)

You may have noticed that we've added a new Chat Room at the RRR.  We're already in our second version since the first one was not reliable.  Hopefully the current one will do the trick.  We are tentatively scheduling weekly chat sessions for Sundays at 7:00 p.m. CST (8:00 p.m. EST).  If you'd like to join in, drop by this weekend.

According to the Gold & Black website, Purdue head coach Kristy Curry announced last week that she is expecting a child in August.  Curry and her husband, Purdue assistant coach Kelly Curry, believe that raising a child while dealing with coaching duties will be a challenge, but feel that they will be able to pull it off with the help of the Purdue family and a nanny.

News thru Friday, February 18

Junior Katie Boone of Center Grove was featured in the Indianapolis Star on Tuesday.  The versatile point guard has been a leader on and off the floor for the successful Trojans this season, and brings an all-around game with 10.8 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 4.8 rebounds per game.

The South Bend Tribune has an interesting article about conferences in the northeast portion of the state moving to equity in scheduling for girls and boys basketball next season.  A number of topics are discussed, including scheduling, finances and fairness.

The Shelbyville News has some interesting girls basketball notes, including a revelation that Rushville's long-time coach, Cinda Brown, is reconsidering her announced retirement.  There's also some funny stuff about a JV player who found a picture of herself in the sports section of the Indianapolis Star as a representative player of the 2A sectional pairings.  A picture of Triton Central sophomore Jennifer Stewart appeared with those representing the other three classes, including Shyra Ely of Ben Davis for 4A, Johna Goff of Mount Vernon for 3A and Lindsey Warmoth of Eminence for 1A.  There.  We just extended Jessica's 15 minutes of fame for 5 more!

According to assistant coach Tracy Roller, Ball State frosh Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook) broke the BSU record for most 3-pointers made in a game when she knocked down 7 of them Wednesday night in a win over Eastern Michigan.  Kitts also broke her personal college scoring record in that game with 28 points.  The Cardinal program is breaking its own record with every win it makes here on out this season.  Now at 14 wins, that is a new record for most wins in a season in the history of the BSU women's program.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star has the low-down on a very balanced and talented Franklin College team that is bringing some success to the program there.  McKee also gives some news and notes about college players in Indiana and former high school players from Indiana.

News thru Wednesday, February 16

A few ranked teams from around the state saw their seasons cut short last night in some exciting upset games.
4A Sectional Upsets:  The biggest upset in the first round is without a doubt Gary West Side's 45-42 revenge on the No. 2 Highland Trojans.  West Side were the ones that were upset last season when Jenny DeMuth & Co. came back from 10 points down in the final quarter of regional play to tie the game and then win it in OT.  The Cougars have been waiting for the rubber match since last season's ending buzzer.  It was worth the wait for West Side and they will now advance in their own sectional to lay their smothering full-court press on the senior-laden Munster Mustangs, who were beaten by the Cougars during the regular season in a thrilling OT game.  This sectional series could is a meaningful one for seven Mustang seniors and Munster coach Greg Luksich, who is rumored to officially announce his retirement after the Mustangs exhaust play this season.  Some sectional semi-finals set for Friday will definitely knock some contenders out of the picture.  Besides the West Side v. Munster matchup, scores to look for include South Bend Clay vs. Penn, and No. 7 Huntington North v. No. 10 Kokomo.
3A Sectional Upsets:  There were no real first-round upsets in 3A, but the big game on Friday will be at the Beech Grove Sectional, where No. 1 Cathedral faces No. 2 Mt. Vernon.  This game could be of state final quality for the lucky fans in attendance.
2A Sectional Upsets:  No big upsets in 2A either, but unranked Winamac sure gave No. 6 North Newton a scare in a 36-32 win for the Spartans.  Winamac had keyed in on NN's Kristi Koselke and held the Spartans to about half their normal scoring average.  Becky Schuster came up big for NN with 10 points and 10 rebounds, though, and the Spartans live to play another game.  Potential upsets will be worthy of watching for on Friday when Hanover Central will try to take it to the vote-getter Hebron Hawks (both teams have already beaten each other once this season); also, vote-getters North Posey and North Knox will vie for a chance to advance in the North Knox sectional.
1A Sectional Upsets:   Big upset in Sectional 54, where No. 7 host Clinton Central saw their season end in a 43-38 loss to Lafayette Central Catholic.  Jac-Cen-Del surprised vote-getter Lapel in a dominating 47-27 win.  (You can bet the "over-rated" chant was resounding from the bleachers in that game.)  Jac-Cen-Del now gets the opportunity to challenge No. 4 Rising Sun.  Best game ripe for an upset would be Whiting vs. vote-getter Kouts.

The final Central Indiana Sports Girls rankings are out as follows:  

9. HIGHLAND lost to Gary Westside
18. PENN v S.B.C LAY
22. PORTAGE lost to Valparaiso

Center Grove senior Jessica Bochner is featured in the Franklin-based Journal.  The 6'1 forward has battled a number of injuries and medical conditions in order to become an integral part of the Trojan rotation and inspiration to her team.

Columbus East junior Kali Carter is featured in the Columbus Republic.  The 6'0 forward is the leading scorer for Columbus East averaging 18.0 ppg and also leads the team in 3-point shooting percentage at 37%.

The Hickory Husker's Home Court website will be carrying live Internet webcasts of the sectional action at Wawasee this week.  Broadcasts will be archived for future listening as well.  Below is the HHHC webcast schedule: 


Feb. 15 girls 3A sectional semi-finals (2) 5:30  p.m. EST
Feb. 18 girls 3A sectional semi-finals (2) 5:30  p.m. EST
Feb. 19 girls 3A sectional final 7:00  p.m. EST
Feb. 23 girls 3A regional final 6:30  p.m. EST
Feb. 26 girls 3A semistate semi-finals(2) 9:30 a.m. EST
Feb. 26 girls 3A semistate final 7:45  p.m. EST
Mar. 4 girls 1A & 2A championships(2)10:00 a.m. EST
 Mar. 4 girls 3A & 4A championship(2) 6:00  p.m. EST

News thru Monday, February 14


Happy Valentine's Day! 

The ICGSA Poll will be out today.  This will be the final one of the 1999-2000 season.  (Can you believe it's almost over?!?)

We have posted the completed brackets for 2A and 1A on our IHSAA Tourney page.

Central Indiana Sports has released its predicted winners for the IHSAA Tournament, which begins on Tuesday.

Morton senior Cathy Herring was honored at her team's last home game when her #31 jersey was retired in a pre-game ceremony.  Herring went on that night to score 33 points in a win over Calumet, which put her over the 1400 point career mark.  She currently is the leading career scorer for both girls and boys basketball at Morton High School with 1430 points.

Long-time high school sports enthusiast Skip Miller, who has a weekly cable show on AT&T Cable, will be interviewing Chesterton girls coach Jack Campbell this week.   The show will air twice on each channel (Wednesday and Thursday nights) as follows:

Lake County:  Ch. 3 @ 8:30 pm
Portage:  Ch. 44 @ 9:00 pm
Valpo/Chesterton:  Ch. 43 @ 9:00 pm
Skip is always looking for coaches to interview in the NWI Region.  If you would like to contact Skip for a future interview, he can be reached by e-mail at or you can telephone him at (219) 947-1008.

According to family members, Bishop Luers Junior All-Star candidate Rachel King broke the Ft. Wayne Luers record for career steals Thursday in a lopsided 82-15 win over New Haven.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Wawasee sophomore Shanna Zolman is on track to break the state career scoring record set by Stephanie White of Seeger in 1995. 

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is featuring an article about Homestead's Julie Johnson and Nickole Behnke, who have been playing the game together for a very long time.

Huntington North could have used the bye in their own sectional this week for a little recuperation time.  Unfortunately, they start sectional action on Tuesday against Anderson.  Two starting players on the Viking team are healing broken noses suffered in their double OT battle with Columbia City last week.  Both Brandy Strine and Natalie Johnson were nursing their nasals last week when they lost their final regular season game to Ft. Wayne Snider 66-50 on Snider's Senior Night.  Strine managed to lead her team with 21 points in the losing effort despite her facial injury and a wrist she sprained in practice, but Johnson did not play because she had to have surgery to repair her nose.  (Girls basketball is not for sissies!)  You can read the details in the Ft. Wayne Sentinel.  

The Kokomo Tribune is featuring a number of varsity freshmen in the area in an article about the excellent feeder systems in Howard County.  

Several more sectional previews popped up on-line over the weekend and today.  You can view them from our Scores & Recaps page under the "Game Previews" heading.

The Muncie Press has some comments regarding the sectional alignments in the Muncie area, as well as the optional format being used this season by some sectional schools for tournament play which puts first-round games at a variety of sites.  In line with this subject, we've created a new poll on our home page about this year's tournament format.  Which feature of this year's tournament format do you dislike the most?  Voice your vote in the poll on our home page.

According to The Times, St. Joseph's College senior Angie Hupfer (Pendleton) set a new career scoring record of  2,307 points for the Pumas with a 15-point performance in a road game against Southern Indiana University over the weekend.  The 5'11 forward is averaging 23.9 ppg, which is currently the second-highest scoring average in the nation in NCAA Division II.  Last season, Hupfer was the leading Division II scorer in the nation and was selected as Division II Pre-Season Player of the Year earlier this season.

Former Center Grove standout Liz Stansberry was featured in the Franklin-based Journal.  The 6' junior forward is making quite an impact on the Murray State women's program after transferring from Vincennes University junior college.

News thru Friday, February 11


We've put together a few sectional previews for NWI, together with some previews for sectionals of interest around the state.  Today's previews are for the 4A sectionals at Gary West Side, Merrillville, Portage, Huntington North, Terre Haute North, and Jeffersonville.  Previews for 3A, 2A and 1A will be forthcoming.  We've also put together the 4A brackets and 3A brackets in a format that may be too cumbersome to view all at once or print out, but which is a better view as to where the ranked teams are situated and how the sectionals will pair off from regionals into both the North and South Semi-State venues.  The 2A and 1A brackets will also be available by the end of the weekend.  Once we start getting scores for all the sectionals next week, these brackets will be updated with scores and advancing winners.  To get to the links for the brackets and previews, we've added new links on our dark blue navigation bar and the drop-down menu entitled "IHSAA Tourney".  If your sectional is not previewed by us, feel free to post your own preview on our Message Board.

The big showdown in the Gary West Side sectional is previewed in The Times with interviews from Highland's Jenny DeMuth, West Side's Kim Smith and Munster's Susan Hay.  Also, the finish to the regular season in the Lake Athletic Conference is discussed in The Times in its Prep Beat.

According to the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame's Muffett McGraw was at center court yesterday to watch SB Washington junior Jackie Batteast score 27 points to destroy SB Riley 75-48 for a one-third share of the Northern Indiana Conference title with Penn and SB Clay.  All three teams were 7-1 in conference play.  It is no secret that Notre Dame would love to convince Batteast to make a hop, skip and jump over to the nearby Irish women's program.  Batteast is being highly recruited by a number of top programs around the nation.

The Times and Post-Tribune top teams lists for the week are as follows:

The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. West Side
4. Munster
5. Portage
6. North Newton
7. Chesterton
8. East Chicago
9. Griffith
10. Hebron
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Portage 
4. Munster
5. West Side
6. North Judson
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Hanover Central
10. Hebron


Kokomo coach Charlie Hall has to be feeling good about the future after his JV team racked up an 18-0 season with a 52-25 win over Carmel on Tuesday.  According to the Kokomo Tribune, Hall is 111-16 with the Lady Wildkat varsity and JV programs during his three seasons as head coach.  An interesting preview of things to come include the unusual presence of three sets of sisters, two sets of which are cousins.  They will be turning the Kokomo Wildcats into the Kokomo Sister Act during the next several years.  Sister starters Gretchen Hendrix and Carrie Hendrix supply the 1-2 freshman-sophomore punch on JV, while sophomore cousin Mica Hendrix ably comes off the bench.  Mica's sister Deunna Hendrix is a freshman for the varsity Kats and has worked her way into the starting lineup.  Now, add to the mix JV freshman Whitney Beck, who is the younger sister of junior standout Hillary Beck on varsity, and you have a Kokomo sister act to the third power.

The Franklin based Journal reports that a number of coaches, athletic directors and officials believe that the game of basketball is suffering around the state due to the fact that fewer and fewer promising young officials are unwilling to continue as referees due to the abuse of hostile crowds.  The younger referees are just unwilling to endure the insults and, as a result, do not get the experience they need to become good officials.  There are some interesting viewpoints in this article from some of the veterans.

Sectional previews continue to appear on-line around the state and we continue to link them on our Scores & Recaps page under the Game Previews heading.  Lots of interesting reading there.  (New links are continually added to the bottom of that list.)

The IHSAA scoring leaders list is out for games ending February 5.  Locally Traci Mezera (24.1 ppg) of River Forest, Jenny DeMuth (23.3 ppg) of Highland and Lauren Bechtold (21.8 ppg) of Hebron appear on the list.

The IHSAA has released a bevy of career milestones in girls basketball as follows:

Angie Becker, a senior at Shenandoah, broke the school's career scoring record Feb. 1 with nine points in a 74-39 victory over Union (Modoc). Becker moved past 1985 graduate Mary Beth Acra who scored 1,003 points.

Rebekah Forsyth, a freshman at North Central (Farmersburg), broke school record for rebounds in a game Jan. 31 when she grabbed 26 against Linton-Stockton.

Susan Hay, a senior at Munster, became the school's career scoring leader Jan. 28 against Griffith. She left the game with 898 career points, bettering the standard set by Ellen Blackmun in 1990.

Lynne Johnson, a senior at Corydon Central, broke the school's career rebounding record Feb. 3 in a 104-18 triumph over Clarksville. She left the game with 609 career rebounds, bettering the mark set by Crystal Martin in 1985. In the same game, teammate Ashley Haub broke the school record for season assists, running her total to 113. Clarksville also set team records for points in a game and margin of victory.

Kristi Koselke, a senior at North Newton, surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for her career Jan. 29 with 16 points in a 52-45 victory over Kankakee Valley.

Cherelle Lampkins, a senior at Muncie Burris, became the school's career girls basketball scoring leader Feb. 1 with 15 points in a loss to Yorktown. Lampkins left the game with 1,031 career points. The former record was 1,027 by Ann MacMillan in 1998.

Maria Marchesano, a junior at Fort Wayne Elmhurst, became the first girl basketball player in school history to score 1,000 points. She did it Feb. 4 with 20 points as the Trojans defeated Fort Wayne Concordia 57-53. She left the game with 1,019 career points and is averaging 18.4 this season.

Kim McGinley, a senior at Morgan Township, became the fourth player in school history with 1,000 career points. She reached the plateau Feb. 1 with 14 points in a 72-21 triumph at Washington Township.

Steve Neff, in his 23rd season as girls basketball coach at NorthWood, celebrated his 400th career victory Feb. 1 as the Panthers defeated Warsaw 50-43 and clinched a tie for the Northern Lakes Conference title with Plymouth and Warsaw. Neff's record through the Warsaw victory stood at 400-97, all at NorthWood. He guided the Panthers to the IHSAA Class 3A title in 1999.

Sara Riedeman, a junior at Greensburg, passed the 1,000-point mark for her career Feb. 1 against Lawrenceburg.

Lindsey Secrest, a senior at Bloomfield, broke the school record for points in a game Feb. 5 with 49 in a 66-65 victory over visiting Owen Valley. Secrest, who moved her season scoring average to 30.0, hit 15 of 24 field goals, including six of nine from three-point range.  She also was 13 of 13 at the foul line.

Mindy Tilford, a senior at Zionsville, broke the school record for three-pointers in a game Jan. 29 with five against Harrison (West Lafayette).  She also owns the school's season record with 32 to date.

The Columbus Republic reports more news on the legal status of the eligibility issue surrounding Ft. Wayne Luers senior Jessah Martin.

The IHSAA website had a record number 20,333 page hits on its site on Monday with the release of the girls basketball draw and results from the girls swimming state tournament heat sheets.  The Region Roundball Review set its own record with 11,679 page hits on our site Monday.  Gee, ya think Indiana is interested in high school girls basketball?!?

According to the Muncie Star Press, Ball State freshman Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook) tied a Ball State record yesterday with 6 treys in a 70-53 win over Marshall.  Kitts was 6-11 from 3-point range and finished with 8 of 16 shooting from the field for 22 points, which tied her career high.  BSU is now 13-9 on the season, which is only the 6th time in school history that a women's Cardinals team has won 13 or more games in a season.

News thru Wednesday, February 9


It's National Girls & Women in Sports Day today, so take a moment to appreciate and thank the pioneers you might personally know who have brought us to the level of girls athletics today.  The Indianapolis Star has a few comments from some of those pioneers in honor of the occasion, including Cinda Brown of Rushville, Jan Conner of Martinsville and Donna Sullivan of Seymour.

After being at the center of a legal battle with the IHSAA, Ft. Wayne Luers transfer Jessah Martin is ready to take the court with the 2A No. 1 team in the state as the tournament season approaches.  According to the Ft. Wayne Sentinel, Martin will suit up for the Knights' opening round game against Harding in the Woodlan Sectional, two days after the one-year anniversary date of her last participation in an IHSAA-sponsored sport at Bellmont.  Martin has been at the center of a legal battle with the IHSAA after she stated that she transferred from Bellmont due to hardship.  Martin recently won the legal battle, but that is moot since she now meets the one-year requirements as prescribed by IHSAA rules for participation.  The already strong Luers backcourt will be bolstered by Martin's presence as an additional outside shooting threat.

More sectional previews from around the state are on-line today.  Again, you can access them on our Scores & Recaps page under the "Game Previews" heading.  We will begin our own sectional previews tomorrow beginning with 4A competition.

A few season-reflective notes are appearing in the Goshen News as we head toward the tournament season.

The list is not yet available to non-subscriber members at the Full Court Press, but this website has released its list of top 40 juniors from around the nation in the Class of 2001.  Heading up the list in the No. 1 spot is Indiana's very own 6'2 Shyra Ely of Ben Davis.  No other Indiana players are listed.  Full Court Press also ranks Ben Davis as the No. 6 team in the nation in its weekly national poll.

The latest Central Indiana Sports Girls rankings are out as follows:  

2. CATHEDRAL v Rushville F12
2. HIGHLAND v Lowell F11
8. CENTER GROVE v Jeffersonville F11
10. TWIN LAKES v North Newton F10
11. ROCHESTER v Winamac F9
12. JEFFERSONVILLE v Center Grove F11
14. CORYDON CENTRAL v Lanesville F10
15. DeKALB v Norwell F10
16. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL v Washington F10
18. PENN v South Bend Adams
19. MUNSTER v Whiting F11, v Calumet F12
20. PORTAGE v Lake Central F10
20. JASPER v Forest Park F10
21. LEBANON v Clinton Prarie F10
24. FRANKLIN v Greenwood F11]
25. NORTH JUDSON v Pioneer F10
25. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON v South Bend Riley F10

We missed mentioning this one the first time it appeared, but Portage's Lauren Hansen was front page preps coverage in a January issue of the Post-Tribune.  The 5'11 junior is one of two power post players for the Indians that give them the complete game that has devastated a number of opponents this season, most recently the NorthWood Panthers in the Penn Shootout.  Hansen will take a 13.1 points per game average into the Indians' first-round sectional game against No. 2 Valparaiso.

Notre Dame coach Muffett McGraw sees no letdown on the horizon in her team's performance as the Lady Irish head into the backstretch of their schedule after a big win over No. 18 Boston College.  Notre Dame is on a roll and, according to the South Bend Tribune, Coach McGraw believes her team has their eye on the prize.  (Sidenote:  McGraw was spotted over the weekend at the Penn Shootout where the Notre Dame coach came to support her good friend, Portage coach Reneé Turpa, during the Indians' victory over NorthWood.)

News thru Tuesday, February 8


Well, the sectional draw is out and the basketball gods have not been kind to a number of top teams in NWI. 
4A Sectional 1 at Gary West Side - Probably the prize for the worst draw goes to No. 2 state-ranked Highland, who must face off with Gary West Side in what will be a regional rematch from last season, and then most likely take on LAC nemesis Munster in the semi-final just to get a chance to get into the championship game against likely opponent East Chicago.  This draw is a killer and coach Chris Huppenthal must be wondering what he did in a former life to deserve this one.  
4A Sectional 3 at Portage - The next worst draw in NWI goes equally to Portage and Valparaiso, who will meet each other in the first round of the Portage Sectional.  The winner must then face one of two dangerous DAC teams, Chesterton and LaPorte, teams which both Portage and Valparaiso have already beaten this season.  The team that makes it through those two games will most likely meet sitting-pretty South Bend Washington, who only has to get past a struggling Michigan City team to reach the championship game.  (But we all know what Michigan City did last tournament to an unsuspecting Portage team, don't we?)
4A Sectional 2 at Merrillville - Lake Central and Crown Point, two of the three favorites in this wide open sectional, will face off in first-round action on Friday for a berth in the championship game.  The third favorite, Lowell, pulled the easy first game against a struggling Gary Wallace team, but Hobart, who will have to get past improving Merrillville, is looming in the wings and might have different ideas about letting Lowell get to the championship game without a real battle.  Lowell coach Patti McCormick has to be liking her chances at this point, however.
2A Sectional 33 at Hanover Central - PCC rivals Hanover Central and Hebron could meet in second round action for a third meeting this season.  So far the they have beaten each other once during the season already.  
2A Sectional 34 at Rensselaer Central - A North Newton v. North Judson final is almost a lock in this one.  The spoiler could be the host, who will take on North Judson on Friday.  This sectional should produce one of the best championship games in NWI on the 19th.
By the way,  in case you're the only person left that hasn't seen the draw, you can view it in its entirety at the IHSAA website.

Sectional previews from around the state are abounding on-line today in a number of publications.  You can access them on our Scores & Recaps page under the "Game Previews" heading.  We will be releasing our own tournament brackets and previews for sectionals in NWI, as well as some of the more interesting ones around the state, up until sectionals begin on Tuesday, February 15.

The ICGSA poll is out with very few changes in the top teams in each division.  The final poll of the season will be out next Monday, the 14th.

In case you missed it, our RRR Top 12 and Best Upcoming Games & Events have been updated for the week.

Central Indiana Sports has released its Top Sophomore & Freshman list, which includes a number of NWI players.

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel highlights Southern Wells guard Hayley Gentis and how she is dealing with a shooting slump.  As Gentis goes, her team goes, and it's been a rough go since the start of the year, but the senior is determined to help her team win their remaining season games.

The Madison County All-Tournament Team was named by the Anderson Herald Bulletin.  Team members are as follows:  Kylie Schmink, Kelli Carter and Amy Davis of Frankton, Megan Hartwell and Jackie Closser of Alexandria, Lindsay Galbraith and Racquel Morgan of Anderson Highland, Kristen Daugherty and Kelly Huntzinger of Pendleton Heights, Jasma Taylor of Anderson, Karleigh Huff of Lapel, and Monica Abernathy of Elwood.

For all of us who wonder, the Ft. Wayne Sentinel explores what exactly is said by coaches at halftime.

The Franklin based Journal is featuring another article about Silver Era selection Columbus East grad Maria Stack and her contributions as a girls basketball pioneer.

ISU sophomore Abbe Brauman has decided to leave the Sycamores due to her lack of success with the women's basketball program there.  According to the Terre Haute Tribune Star, Brauman is looking for another school at which to play during her college career. 

According to the Muncie Star Press, Ball State head coach Brenda Oldfield has a very close relationship with her assistants, and one in particular.  Assistant Marsha Frese is Oldfield's younger sister and the two have put together a great sister act that has transformed the Cardinal women's basketball program.

News thru Friday, February 4


A preview to the Penn Shootout, featuring Penn, NorthWood, Portage and Crown Point, is in the South Bend Tribune today.  This is the third year for this event between these four highly-respected girls basketball programs.  Crown Point (9-9) will face NorthWood (14-3) in the first game of the day at 11:00 a.m. EST, and then Portage (15-3) and Penn (14-3), potential regional opponents, clash at 12:45 p.m. EST.  NorthWood challenges Portage in the evening opener at 6:30 p.m. EST, while Penn and Crown Point lock horns in the last event of the day at 8:15 p.m. EST.  JV teams from all four schools are also scheduled to play.  This should be an outstanding late-season, all-day event for spectators.

The Times and Post-Tribune top teams lists for the week are as follows:

The Times Top 10 Post-Tribune Best 10
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Munster
4. Portage
5. West Side
6. North Newton
7. Lake Central
8. Chesterton
9. Griffith
10. Hanover Central
1. Highland
2. Valparaiso 
3. Portage 
4. Munster
5. North Judson
6. West Side
7. North Newton
8. Griffith
9. Lake Central
10. Crown Point


The articles are not on-line, but several NWI players and teams are featured locally in area prep sports news today.  The Valpo team and its three leaders, Erin Sampsel, Courtney Rosenbaum and Lee Traynham, are front-page material in the Post-Tribune, while junior Andrea Walker of Wheeler is profiled as a hard worker in the Porter County Conference.  Andrean's Tracy Simon, the last of the strongest players for the '59ers, is profiled in The Times.  Although the senior is playing on a probable torn cartilage, she is not willing to relinquish her season just yet.  She currently leads her team at the point guard position after two Andrean point guards before her were sidelined for the season due to injuries.

We have not been able to get the numbers on this one, but Randy Beckett of Fifthquarter informs us that freshman Katie Gearlds broke sister Amy Gearlds' single season school scoring record in a win over Scecina last night.  Unfortunately, updates have not been made to the Indianapolis Star today for games played last night.  We'll fill you in on the particulars when we get them.

The Shelbyville News is highlighting two Southwestern sophomore guards, Lyndsey Burt and Beth Hammond.  Southwestern coach James Todor believes the two will be a force to be reckoned with by the time they are seniors.

Columbus North senior Sarah Kerkhof is profiled in The Columbus Republic today.  The 5'9 forward leads her 15-2 team in scoring (16.8 ppg), rebounding (6.2 rpg), and wisecracking.  The Bull Dogs are in line to break several school team records, including most wins.

A funny look at the demise of the jump shot has been hiding at the Ft. Wayne Sentinel all this week.  Hopefully you'll be able to catch it before it is replaced with another article.

Former Columbus East star Maria Stack is highlighted in the Columbus Republic after being named an IHSAA First Silver Era girls team member.  The 1980 Miss Basketball scored 1,528 career points and still holds the state championship game records in points (42) and rebounds (22), stats she logged when her team lost to Southport in overtime in 1980.  Stack is now a supervisor at the Johnson County Detention Center where she helps troubled teens get their lives back on track.

The Shelbyville News takes a look at the season standings of the teams in the Mid-Hoosier Conference -- Shelbyville, Triton Central, Morristown, Southwestern and Waldron.

The Johnson County Journal is carrying a piece about the low number of athletes affected by the release of student athlete grades for the first semester. According to the article, only eight total Johnson County students attending Indian Creek, Center Grove, Franklin, Whiteland, Edinburgh and Greenwood, failed to make the grade.  This is in comparison to the 203 student athletes (nearly 40 percent) that are ineligible to compete in the Indianapolis Public Schools.

There will be few updates to the RRR tomorrow as we will be at the Penn Shootout.  Coverage will resume on Sunday.

News thru Thursday, February 3


According to the Indianapolis Star, the IHSAA has released the first six names of the 12-member First Silver Era honor team.  Those selected include the first Miss Basketball Judi Warren, a Warsaw graduate and now a coach a Carmel High School.  The first round of six, who are profiled by the IHSAA, include the following:
Judi Warren - Warsaw ('76)
Cheryl Cook - Indianapolis Washington ('81)
Tiffany Gooden - Ft. Wayne Snider ('94)
Jennifer Jacoby - Rossville ('91)
Jodie Whitaker - Austin ('85)
Kennitra Johnson - New Albany ('99)
Updated - The IHSAA released the remaining six names of the 12-member team as follows:
Stephanie White - Seeger ('95)

Abby Conklin - Charlestown ('93)
LaTaunya Pollard - East Chicago ('79)
Courtney Cox - Noblesville ('89)
Vicki Hall - Brebeuf ('88)
Maria Stack - Columbus East ('80)

Updated - Seymour coach Donna Sullivan is profiled today in the Columbus Republic.  The 30-year coach for the Owls reminisces about girls athletics before the IHSAA began to sanction girls participation in sports.  Sullivan was the Indiana All-Star head coach in 1989 and her team once made an appearance in the Final Four during the 1986-87 season.  Sullivan also serves as Vice President representing Girls Basketball in the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, which formulates the state poll each week.

Updated - According to the Indianapolis Star, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) moved into its new digs on Tuesday in Indianapolis, and they are wasting no time in making their presence known.  In partnership with local businesses an other sports organizations, such as the IHSAA and WNBA Fever, the NFSHSA is hosing a celebration of National Girls & women in Sports Day today at Union Station.  Pike High School is also getting into the act with 300 female high school athletes receiving tshirts and attending forums.  The official National Girls & Women in Sports Day will be celebrated nationwide next week on Wednesday, February 9.

Updated - St. Mary-of-the-Woods senior Ginger Griffin (West Vigo) has become her college's all-time leading scorer with 1,109 points.  She also holds the school record for rebounds with 645.  The Terre Haute Tribune Star is carrying an article about the 6'0 center.

Morgan Township senior Kim McGinley joined the 1000 Point Club Tuesday when she scored 14 points in a win over Washington Township.  

Mt. Vernon senior Johna Goff became the Marauders' career scoring leader in a win over New Castle Tuesday night.  Goff scored 31 points to set a new record of 1,266 career points.

NorthWood coach Steve Neff logged his 400th career win with a 50-43 victory over Warsaw Tuesday night.  The win also gave the Panthers a three-way share with Warsaw and Plymouth for the Northern Lakes Conference.  That win pushes his career win average to .801 over 23 years.  You can read about the game in the Warsaw Times-Union.

No. 1 Ben Davis appears again in this week's  USA Today Super 25 rankings.  The Giants hold firm at their position last week at No. 4 in the nation, as did every other team in the Super 25.  Currently the Giants are 19-0.  Sara Strahm,  who missed the Carmel game with a pulled quadricep muscle, should be back in practice later in the week and play next weekend, according to Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Lebanon senior Suzie Hammel is getting some personalized shooting instruction this season from one of Indiana's most prolific shooters - Rick Mount.  In fact the entire Lebanon team has been benefiting from Mount's expertise since the beginning of the season, when Mount was invited by Hammel's mom and Lebanon head coach, Tracey Hammel, to attend team practices to help her team.  Mount has become a fixture on the Lebanon bench during the past few weeks and was at the North Montgomery game when Hammel went 17-for-21 to score a career-high 50 points.

The latest Central Indiana Sports Girls rankings are out as follows:  


The IHSAA announced several milestones in its latest press release:
Angie Becker, a senior at Shenandoah, became the second girls basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points with a 12-point performance Jan. 27 as the Raiders clinched the White River Conference title with a 76-61 victory over Lapel. Becker left the game with 1,000 points, three short of the school record set by Mary Beth Acra in 1985.  (Note:  Becker became the all-time leading scorer in Shenandoah in a 74-39 win over Union on Tuesday night.  Game recap in the New Castle Life.)
Melanie Brumbaugh, a senior at Hanover Central, became the first girls basketball player in school history to score 1,000 points Jan. 27 in a 61-32 victory over Boone Grove. She scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the game while moving her career scoring total to 1,001.
Kirsti Holloway, a senior at New Washington, became the school's career scoring leader with a 26-point effort against Crothersville on Jan. 25. Through games of Jan. 29, she had moved her career total to 1,863. The previous record was 1,818 by Glenn Bower in 1990.
Ashlee Lauer, a junior at South Ripley, broke the school's career scoring record against Oldenburg Academy. Lauber has since moved her career total to 814. The previous record was 773 by Katie Graves in 1996.
Andrea Monroe, a senior at Oak Hill, became the second girls basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points. She reached the plateau Jan. 19 with 17 points in a 50-43 victory over Southwood.
Crystal Norman, a freshman at South Bend Riley, broke her own school record for points in a game with 40 in a 69-66 victory over Mishawaka on Jan. 27. Norman, who is averaging 23.6 points a game, had scored 39 points earlier in the season against LaPorte.
Amie Owsley, a senior at Marion Lakeview Christian, became the Grant County all-time girls basketball scoring leader Jan. 29 with a 38-point effort as the Lions claimed a 67-53 victory over Tri-Central. Owsley left the game with 1,889 points, surpassing the former record of 1,886 set by Laurie Kitts of Eastbrook in 1999. Owsley also moved into a tie for 23rd on the state's career list and ranks No. 1 among active players. She needs 111 points to become the 14th girl in state history with 2,000 career points.
Bridget Pluta, a senior at South Bend St. Joseph's, became the first girls basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points. She reached the plateau Jan. 25 against Penn. Through games of Jan. 29, she had scored 1,005 points.

According to an article on the Franklin College women's basketball website, there are two former Indiana high school players vying for Heartland Conference (D-3) Freshman of the Year.  The two candidates are Anderson University frosh Christy Clodfelder (Delta) and Franklin College frosh Sayra Hoskins (Madison).

News thru Wednesday, February 2


The ICGSA poll held a few surprises Monday, with some movement in just about every division.
In 4A, Valparaiso fell two notches to No. 4 after dropping a close game with unranked Lake Central.  Surprisingly, Huntington North did not move upward, even though they beat a very good 2A Luers team, but the Lady Vikings picked up 15 additional votes from the coaches.  Kokomo dropped out of the top 10 after getting schooled by unranked Richmond in a 27-point drubbing.  Previously unranked Terre Haute South moved into the No. 9 spot, even though they are minus a possible 2001 Indiana All Star candidate for the remainder of the season.  Locally, Highland moved to the No. 2 spot, picking up 7 votes, and Munster and Gary West continue to appear in the runners-up column with several votes apiece.
In 3A, the top 6 are unchanged, but Mt. Vernon picked up an additional first place vote.  Evansville Memorial moved up two to No. 7, although they might slide back down next week after dropping a close one Monday night to Castle.  Plymouth appears in the Top 10 for the first time this season in the bottom spot.  As has been the case most of the season, no NWI teams are receiving votes in 3A.
In 2A, North Newton dropped to No. 4, even though they picked up two wins in the past week.  Leo and Eastern Hancock make an appearance in the Top 10 for the first time this season at No. 9 and 10, respectively.  For NWI, Hebron and Hanover Central both received votes in the runners-up category.
In 1A, the top 5 remain the same, with two undefeated teams, No. 1 White River Valley (15-0) and No. 3 Northeast Dubois (17-0), still in the hunt.  Clinton Prairie re-emerges at the No. 10 spot, while Kouts falls to the runners-up category.

According to Rochester coach Scott Mills, senior Andrea Milliser has verbally committed to attend St. Joseph's in Rensselaer on a full basketball scholarship.  Milliser was a member of the victorious Junior All Star team at Center Grove last summer where she scored 13 points in only 11 minutes of playing time.  The 5'9 guard has been instrumental in leading the Zebras to a 15-0 record and a 4th place ranking in class 3A this season.  She is averaging 15 ppg, while shooting 39-92 (42.4%) from three point range and 35-57 (61.4%) from two point range.  According to Coach Mills, she averages 1.26 points every time she shoots the ball and is also carrying a 2.3/1 assist/turnover ratio.  Milliser is also averaging 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals while averaging 23 minutes of play per game.  Milliser will join Valpo's Erin Sampsel, who just last week also committed to the St. Joseph's program.

The IHSAA will hold the girls basketball sectional draw on Monday, February 7.  Sectional lineups will be released on the IHSAA website by 1:00 p.m. CST.  We will be providing our own link on the RRR home page to the sectional draw as soon as it becomes available.  Should be another record day of hits on the IHSAA website.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the SB Washington Senators, lead by Indiana Jr. All Star candidate, Jackie Batteast, have a chance to clinch a share of the their first-ever Northern Indiana Conference championship when they face defending NIC champion Penn Thursday.  All holding 5-1 conference records at this time, Penn and SB Washington will also vying with over-achieving SB Clay, who upset the Kingsmen early last month.  Also mentioned in the article is the fact that NorthWood coach Steve Neff, coach of last year's 3A State Champs, will be looking for his 300th career win when his team faces Northern Lakes Conference foe Warsaw tonight.  Neff's career record at NorthWood so far is 399-97, which translates to an impressive .757 winning percentage.  NorthWood will also be vying for a three-way share of the NLC season title.  Currently Warsaw is 5-0 in league play, while NorthWood is at 4-1 and Plymouth at 5-1.  Neff's run for a 300th win is also profiled in The Goshen News (one-day link).

The Ft. Wayne Sentinel is carrying a feature article about East Noble's Ashley Powell and her efforts to encourage Lakeland opponent Kelly Dillon, who suffered a torn ACL that ended her senior high school season.  Powell wrote Dillon a letter from a "been there" perspective.  She was almost relegated to the injured list after an ankle injury early in the season, but a misread x-ray brought a reprieve that has put the guard back on the floor.  

The IHSAA has released the State Scoring Leaders for the week ending January 29.  Shanna Zolman of Wawasee continues to lead all scorers with 33.1 ppg, although she was held to a career low 13 points in a loss to Plymouth late last week.  From NWI, River Forest senior Traci Mezera ranks 8th in the state at 23.9 ppg, while Highland junior Jenny DeMuth logs in at 16th with a 23.1 ppg average.

According to the Johnson County Journal, Center Grove sophomore Ashley Buckingham is leading the No. 7 Center Grove Trojans in the all-important offensive rebound category with 59 total offensive rebounds total and 6.6 rebounds per game.  The 6'1 frontliner is part of an outstanding frontcourt for the Trojans which includes Jessica Bochner, Angie Epps, and Jennifer Gandolph.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the State Senate Rules Committee has forwarded the IHSAA bill to the full Senate for further action.  Citing the issue of accountability, the committee voted unanimously to put the issue on the Senate floor for debate and voting.  The bill, among other things, would create a nine-member board with power to overturn decisions by the IHSAA.

Don't forget to tune in the Tennessee at Connecticut rematch tonight on ESPN at 6:00 p.m. CST featuring the two top high school seniors from last season, Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) of UConn and April McDivitt (Connersville) of Tennessee.  UConn won the first meeting of these to national powers in January.  The Go Lady Vols and Husky Hardcore websites are both carrying previews to the game.

According to the Post-Tribune (one-day link), former Miss Basketball and Valparaiso University point guard Lisa Winter has announced that she will forego her last year of college basketball eligibility to marry her fiancé and move to the Indianapolis area, where she will continue her education.  Winter, a transfer from Ball State after her freshman year, has been a key player for the Crusaders this season, averaging 4.5 assists per game.

NWI and 1974 Lowell alumnus Amy Ruley, head coach at DII North Dakota State for 21 years, surpassed the 500-career win mark over the weekend.  She is only the third DII women's coach to accomplish that feat.  Ruley boasts an unbelievable winning percentage of .802 during her tenure at NDSU, including five -- count  'em -- five DII  national titles.  Ruley is profiled in The Times (one-day link) today.

A very innovative program will be taking place with the Big Ten women's program and Indianapolis area middle schools during January, February and March.  According to a story on the Big Ten website, 19 middle schools will be paired with a Big Ten women's basketball team during the Big Ten season all the way through the conference tournament on March 2-5 at Conseco Fieldhouse.  The students will follow scores and statistics and utilize math, geography, art and music skills in the partnership program.  The lessons will culminate with attendance of the schools at the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.  Pretty neat way to get young students interested in following the women's basketball programs while applying it to their daily school skills.

Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star reports on the Saint Francis women's program and their quest for a NAIA Division II national title.  Former Ft. Wayne players contributing to that effort are Brenda Schlegel (Heritage), Amy Parrett (Luers) and Shannon Dunbar (Leo).  McKee also reports a few notes regarding Indiana State freshman Kourtney Mennen (Clinton Prairie), Murray State senior Heather Bates (Connersville), and St. Joseph senior Angie Hupfer (Pendleton Heights).


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