Region Roundball Review
February, 2001
News & Updates
    
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Welcome to the news area of the Region Roundball Review. This page will be updated as information becomes available. If you have any news about girls basketball in the Region or around the State, please e-mail us with your information and we will include it here. Please note that not all links shown here will stay active indefinitely. Many links are to daily on-line publications that change or remove links from their sites on a daily basis. For your convenience, you can use the calendar at the right to access news for a particular day.

Important Upcoming Dates:

2/13 - IHSAA Tournament begins!

February, 2001
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News thru Wednesday, February 28

                        

The field is set for the 21st IHSAA Girls State Finals and there are lots of articles out there in anticipation.  Most are more than one-day links, but one or two may be outdated by the time you click 'em.
  
 WRV to take on defending champions - Hoosier Times
White river Valley finally fulfills destiny - TH Tribune Star
4 reigning champs return to State Finals - Indy Star
Snider gears up to topple Ben Davis - FW Sentinel
Snider, Luers find new fans - each other - FW Journal Gazette


The IHSAA has released rosters, statistics and other information about the eight teams competing in the state finals on Saturday.  


The RRR was at the Warsaw Semi-State on Saturday and caught the morning games between Kokomo and Highland, and Snider and LaPorte.  There was an outstanding crowd on hand, the biggest from Highland with an enthusiastic student section.  LaPorte had a good showing, too, and although their team stumbled in the early going, the Slicer faithful were with them through the whole game.  We've put a Warsaw Semi-State Photo Gallery together with some pretty good pictures of the action that day.  Sometimes the pictures are much better at giving the story than what we can describe in words.  Enjoy.


The South Bend Tribune has some news and notes from semi-state play involving Plymouth, Triton, Glenn and LaPorte.



Highland freshman Julie DeMuth will be a force in the post for Highland the next three years.  (RRR photo)

Although the Region faltered at the Warsaw Semi-State with Highland and LaPorte going down in first-round action, there were a couple of bright spots on the horizon for both teams.  Although the Trojans and the Slicers graduate some pretty valuable seniors, both teams show some promise for the future in two freshmen that started and saw lots of action on Saturday.  Highland frosh forward Julie DeMuth (5'10) looks to have a tremendous future with the Trojans and may be the go-to player for Coach Chris Huppenthal as early as next season.  She's an aggressive and confident player for a freshman, and shows absolutely no fear.  As her game continues to improve and expand, she will be a force to be reckoned with over the next three years.  The other frosh that impresses is 5'5 Slicer Kristin Drabyn, who is shooting somewhere around 95% from the line and is not afraid to take it inside to get the call for her money shot.  She also showed some heads-up play under pressure and will be a leader for the Slicer program the next few years.  Also catching our eye at Saturday's game was Slicer junior Kristy Havens, who came away with top scoring honors for LaPorte with a variety of tough shots.  Be sure to catch her Super Girl picture in our photo gallery from Warsaw.  LaPorte looks to be in good shape with some returning talent for next season, and if the sectional realignments give them a favorable field, you could see the Slicers back at the Semi-State next season.


Speaking of sectional realignments, The Times (updated link) brings up this subject that has been mentioned once or twice on our message board in the past month.  The IHSAA is expected to announce sectional realignments within the next two to three weeks now that a number of schools are making the move up or down in class.  The Merrillville sectional will be no longer as the teams there are expected to be scattered in the realignment wind.  When realignments occur, it is important for the girls side of the game to remember that the changes are mirrored on the boys side as well.  With that in mind, the boys influence will rule when the realignment decision is finally made.  Some scenarios make a north-south break, while others make an east-west break.  The bad news for teams, but good news for the fans, is that you could see girls' powers Crown Point, Lake Central, Valparaiso and Portage all in the same sectional next season.  That's even worse news for teams like Lowell, Merrillville and Hobart who have programs on the upswing, but get tossed into this high octane mix somehow.  Merrillville and Hobart could even end up in the West Side sectional as Highland and Gary Roosevelt move down to 3A with all the Hammond schools.  However this 52-card shuffle comes out, there is certain to be some interesting discussion on the old RRR Message Board when the realignments are released.


According to the Journal & Courier Boiler Station and the Gold & Black website, Warren Central junior Ashley Mays has verbally committed to Purdue.  The 5'8 guard averaged 21.9 points and 9.0 rebounds this season, and had a season-high 40 points against Terre Haute South in January.  Mays, who chose Purdue over Colorado State, Wisconsin and Iowa, is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent next November.


Purdue is also taking an eager look a two other prospects from Indiana.  Junior Sharika Webb of Cathedral and sophomore Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove are profiled together on Bob Richards Purdue Recruiting, and Gearlds is also profiled in Gold & Black.   Both are considered strong candidates for the Lady Boilermakers program.


If you are a student athlete looking to be recruited for a athletic scholarship, it is important that you have taken the SAT or ACT if you are a junior or senior.  SchoolSports.com has good information about which test you should take, and the College Board has all the testing dates and registration deadlines for upcoming tests.  The deadline for the May 5 SAT is quickly approaching on March 7.


Frontier senior Kinsey Lehe has been named the Midwest Conference Girls Basketball Player of the Year.  The capable guard picked up her third consecutive conference MVP award by averaging 23.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.7 steals a game.  The Monticello Herald-Journal gives the complete list of All-Conference players and Honorable Mentions.


The Goshen News reports that NorthWood junior Carol Duncan finished the season as the top scorer in Elkhart County.  The 6'2 junior averaged 17.3 points to go along with 11.0 rebounds per game.  According to the article, Duncan is being recruited by Purdue, Indiana and Ball State, among others.


Terre Haute South senior Kristen Weddle is featured in the Terre Haute Tribune Star.  The talented forward was the leading influence on the Braves' successful season in 2000-2001 and she will be missed greatly by her teammates.  Weddle will continue her basketball career at the University of Toledo, where she will join former THS teammate Courtney Risinger.


The Associated Press carried a story late last week about Wawasee junior Shanna Zolman and her take on a season-ending loss to Ft. Wayne Concordia in relationship to her trek up the career scoring ladder for Indiana.


Canterbury sophomore Lindsey Swanson is profiled in the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel this week.  The multi-sport athlete is averaging 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.0 assists per game.


New Washington guard Monica Tinsley was featured recently in the Louisville Courier-Journal.  The 5'3 senior was the emotional leader and catalyst for the Mustangs on their way to the Loogootee Semi-State.  During her three-year run on varsity at New Washington, the Mustangs compiled an impressive 65-13 record.


According to the South Bend Tribune, three seniors at Bethel College are leading their team into the Mid-Central Collegiate Conference Tournament.  Shaunte Calhoun (Jimtown), Jyll Dingman (Michigan City) and AJ Whitehead (NorthWood) in their years at Bethel have turned around a struggling program.  Whitehead leads the Lady Pilots in scoring at 15.9 points per game, followed by Dingman at 9.1.  Bethel is currently ranked No. 9 in NAIA Division II and have a 27-6 record.


More Purdue news today from the Lafayette Journal & Courier Boiler Station.  Senior Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) is considered a top contender for Big Ten Player of the Year, although she is being challenged by a freshman from Penn State.  Coach Kristy Curry makes the case for her senior leader in this article.  Also, junior Kelly Komara (Lake Central) is interviewed Q & A style by Gball Magazine.  Kelly has some interesting insights on the leap from high school to college basketball.


The Banner Graphic profiles DePauw University junior Lindsey Rush (North Montgomery) and how she made the transition from being a star in high school to a role player on the DePauw team.


News thru Friday, February 23

                        

Well the stage has been set for the semi-state showdowns in all four classes of the IHSAA State Tournament.  There's a real Cinderella story taking place in 4A, where unranked upstart LaPorte has baffled the best of the pundits who tried to predict the entries in the 4A Warsaw Semi-State.  As LaPorte head coach Greg Samuelson said, "Who'd of thunk it?"  Not too many, as LaPorte was not expected to make much of a splash in the Valparaiso sectional to begin with.  The 12-11 Slicers finished second to last in the Duneland Athletic Conference with a 2-5 record, but they get the last laugh as they are the only DAC team left standing in the tournament.  Crown Point, who beat LaPorte by 31 points in January, was the only other DAC team in the hunt before losing to Highland on Tuesday.  But past records or past margins of victory mean nothing now, and LaPorte is making the most of peak play.   Before the sectional, the Slicers stunned 3A power Plymouth with a 2-point win, and suddenly became believers in themselves.  Big contributions by the May-December guard tandem of freshman Kristin Drabyn and senior Brooke Reed, together with the interior play of junior Katie Beckman, has sparked the Slicer run.  Watch for a sea of LaPorte orange and black at Warsaw.  The Slicer faithful know how to make an appearance.  LaPorte faces Ft. Wayne Snider in the second early game.


The Region has three other representatives in upcoming semi-state play.  Of course, No. 2 Highland moves on to face No. 1 Kokomo in the first game of the 4A Warsaw Semi-State for what should be a tremendous battle and a rematch from two semi-states ago.  Kokomo is a very deep team with strong double-digit offensive weapons at just about every position, while Highland relies mainly on the scoring of senior Jenny DeMuth, supported by solid, single-digit scoring from everyone else.  Watch for Kokomo's Hillary Beck to get the defensive assignment on DeMuth.  If she can put the stops on Highland's scoring leader, the Kats will definitely improve their chances for a spot in the night game.  But you can't count out younger sister Julie DeMuth, a freshman who is playing like a veteran with outstanding hustle and savvy play-making ability under pressure.  The Kats have some outstanding ballhandlers, which is not a Highland strength, but the Trojans are strong and deep in the post -- not a particular strength for the Kats.
 
In 3A, Gavit has made believers out of the doubters by ousting Andrean by 10 to advance to the Peru semi-state, where they will face the defensive force of the Plymouth Pilgrims.  Plymouth will be focusing in on Gavit junior Leslie Tyburski, who rang up a nifty 41 points in her team's win Wednesday night, including 24 in the first half.  Looking at the Gladiators' schedule from this season, they have not met a defensive machine like Plymouth yet and will not like the slow-down pace which the Pilgrims like to clamp down on their opponents.  If either team gets to run its game plan, the results could be very frustrating for the team lulled into the other's tempo.  This matchup will be a real interesting contrast in styles.  On the other side of the 3A North bracket are unranked Yorktown and Ft. Wayne Concordia, who upset No. 2 Wawasee to get to Peru.  Wow.
  
In 2A, Hebron advanced to the semi-state at Maconaquah behind the 35 points and winning OT shot of junior Lauren Bechtold.  The 22-4 Hawks will face 16-8 Tipton. who went through a tough Northwestern team to get to the sectional championship.  The Blue Devils have an advantage in having played against some real quality opponents on a regular basis during the season, including Benton Central, Brebeuf, Clinton Central, Kokomo, Alexandria, West Lafayette and Twin Lakes.  They only won one game from that outstanding list, but a challenging schedule like that is bound to pay off dividends in the post-season.  The only common opponent for Hebron and Tipton is Rensselaer.  Hebron fell to Rensselaer by 15 during an early season slump, while Tipton pretty much destroyed the Bombers by 33 points in early February.  Don't know if that means anything, but Tipton is bound to have their hands full on Saturday as Hebron is on a roll.  Whichever team advances will play the winner of the Glenn and No. 1 Ft. Wayne Luers early game.
   
NWI failed to produce a semi-state contender in 1A this season, as the Region's best 1A hope, Kouts, fell to defending state champion Triton on Wednesday.  The Fillies finished a great run this season, however, at No. 6 in the ICGSA Poll.  Triton hosts the 1A North Semi-State, and will be joined by Adams Central, Union City and Clinton Prairie.  The Trojans have to be considered the favorite on their home floor.  What the RRR is wondering is if head coach Mark Heeter is still sporting the women's underwear that brought his team luck in last season's state championship run.  If you missed that one last season, here's the archived article from the Warsaw Times-Union.  (I'm not joking.)


In the southern half of the state, the biggest game on Saturday will take place in first-round 4A action in the great atmosphere at Southport when Ben Davis takes on Terre Haute South.  These two battled it out right before the tournament season, with the Giants pulling off a 1-point upset on the Braves' home court.  The memory is fresh in the minds of both teams and this rematch is most likely to go down to the wire as well.  On the other side of the bracket, Connersville and Castle will battle it out for a chance to go after what will most likely be a very tired opponent in the evening.  But the winner of the second game could also be in a physical pinch as they will have two hours less rest between games.
   
In 3A, Lebanon (15-9) is a surprise coming into the Jasper Semi-State.  The Tigers were expected to do well before the season began, but the winning stride never materialized during the regular season.  Right now they could care less about a mediocre record, and are focusing on a chance to upend 23-0 Franklin County.  They will have their work cut out for them, but if FC is looking ahead to the evening game, Lebanon might pull off a great upset.  On the other side, No. 1 Cathedral will face No. 10 Jasper on host Jasper's floor.  Cathedral is missing the services of scrappy senior Jill Corbett, who broke her leg just weeks ago, but the Irish have pulled together in her absence so far.  Her missing play will be much more noticed as the competition gets tougher at the semi-state level, however.  Home floor advantage for Jasper could be huge.
   
In 2A, Fountain Central will face undefeated Shenandoah, while North Knox goes up against South Ripley.  No. 3 Shenandoah is the obvious favorite in the four-team field.  While Fountain Central has an impressive 21-3 record, the Raiders looks to have had the stronger regular season schedule, with wins over Alexandria, North Semi-State contender Yorktown (by 31), and Mt. Vernon (Fortville).  North Knox could be the biggest threat to Shenandoah, especially since the Warriors upset last season's state runner-up Forest Park to get to the semi-state.
   
Finally in 1A, No. 2 White River Valley will take on the surprise team of unranked Morristown.  At 14-10, Morristown has the worst winning percentage of any team in the tournament other than LaPorte.  But all teams in the tournament are undefeated so far in tournament play, which is all that matters.  The Yellow Jackets will have their hands full with WRV, however, as the Wolverines have been denied their chance at a state final appearance as the favorite for a couple of years running.  In the second game, closely-matched No. 8 Washington Catholic and No. 10 New Washington will tangle it up for a chance at the night game.  The winner of this game will certainly have the disadvantage if WRV cruises through Morristown in the early contest with a chance to rest their starters.


The IHSAA website has a complete listing of the Semi-State pairings, game times and locations on its website, together with a small preview to this weekend's events.


Biggest upsets of the IHSAA tournament so far?  The biggest has to be unranked FW Concordia over No. 2 Wawasee with star Shanna Zolman on Wednesday night 3A action.  Concordia, a team brimming with talented juniors, was expected to be a good team, but not a really great one until next season.  However, they are ahead of schedule and pulled off the miracle win to advance to the 3A North Semi-State at Peru.  The second biggest upset would have to be 3A Yorktown over No. 3 Alexandria in the early going, but understandable as the Tigers lost their senior point guard, Megan Hartwell, shortly into the first quarter of that game.  That would be a tough recovery for any team, and Alexandria simply could not overcome the loss of that leadership and offensive contribution on the floor.  And we can't forget the great run of 1A North Vermillion, overcoming two ranked opponents in No. 4 Turkey Run and No. 3 Eminence before falling to No. 2 White River Valley.  Talk about a tough path in the tournament, North Vermillion couldn't have asked for a tougher one.


There was an interesting twist to the Highland-Crown Point regional earlier this week.  Many of the seasoned girls basketball fans around the state will remember the name Anne Kvachkoff, which belonged to Crown Point's career scorer back in the mid-'80s.  That was when the Lady Bulldogs made three consecutive appearances at Market Square Arena, two which produced state championship trophies.  The CP legend is now known as Anne Equihua, after marrying her high school sweetheart, and has three budding basketball stars of her own.  But before the young Equihua trio made their appearance, Anne had a three-year coaching term at Highland, which she relinquished to then assistant coach Chris Huppenthal to start a family.  At this week's game, some wondered where her loyalties might lie, but to those in CP it is no secret.  Equihua is a die-hard Lady Bulldogs supporter, and even though she enjoyed seeing some of her grown-up elementary students at Highland, she was there to support Crown Point.  The Times had a nice article about Equihua and her feelings about the matchup and the history of the two programs.  Equihua is currently the 7th grade girls basket at Taft Middle School in Crown Point and many believe she will be the natural successor to head coach Tom May when he is ready to hand over the reigns of the Bulldogs program. 


Regional Radio Sports and WEFM 95.9 FM will be broadcasting live coverage of the 2001 Warsaw Semi-State.  Broadcast times begins at 8:45 AM CST, with #1 Kokomo (23-0) taking on #2 Highland (26-0), followed by Fort Wayne Snider (23-2) taking on LaPorte (12-11).  Also, Lake Area AT&T Cable Channel 3 will have delayed broadcast coverage of the Warsaw Semi-State games as long as NWI teams are still in contention.  The broadcast date is Sunday, but times have not yet been confirmed.


Some huge news for Indiana high school girls basketball.  Three -- count 'em -- THREE Indiana players have been named to the short list of 10 players nominated from around the nation for the prestigious Naismith Prep Basketball Player of the Year Award.   Seniors Jackie Batteast of SB Washington and Shyra Ely of Ben Davis, together with junior Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, will wait until April to know who will win the award when it will be announced in Atlanta.   The Warsaw Times-Union has the complete list of players nominated nationally.


The dreaded ACL monster raised its ugly head at one of the worst times of the season for three key players around the state.  An ACL injury is bad enough, but this particular injury during tournament time and ending the high school careers of two seniors, is as unfortunate as it gets.
  
According to a short news note in the Muncie Star Press and as we mentioned earlier, Alexandria senior guard Megan Hartwell went down with the much-maligned injury during her team's sectional semi-final loss to eventual champion Yorktown.  After going down early in the first quarter, the Tigers missed their senior captain on the floor and could not pull off the win.
   
In the southern part of the state, it was reported in the Evansville Courier-Press that Evansville Memorial senior Laura Hartman succumbed an ACL injury in the semi-finals of the 3A Evansville Bosse sectional against the host team.  Hartwell was the second-leading scorer for the Tigers and her absence in Wednesday night's regional loss to Jasper was greatly noticed as Memorial fell by 27 points.
   
Locally, North Newton junior Brianne Harwood did not compete in her team's first-round sectional loss to eventual champion North Judson.  The Spartans' leading scorer and Times Pre-Season All Area forward was on the bench due to an ACL tear and was most definitely missed by her team in a close 69-65 loss to the Bluejays.  Harwood will be back for the Spartans next year when she is expected to again be the offensive force for North Newton in the 2001-2002 season.


Post-season honors are starting to pop up here and there, and the South Bend Tribune reports that Jackie Batteast of SB Washington was named MVP of the Northern Indiana Conference.  Also honored as NIC First Team selections were Jill Barnbrook of SB Adams, Kate Doll of Penn, and sophomores Suntana Granderson and Crystal Normal of SB Riley.  Second Team and Honorable Mention recognitions are also listed in the article.
   
Also in the Kendallville News-Sun, Northeast Corner Conference  honors were announced.  Fifteen players were honored with First Team selections, including three each from NECC season champs Angola and NECC tournament champs Prairie Heights.


Garry Donna of Hoosier Basketball Magazine released his Top 100 Seniors list.  (There are actually 106 listed, but who's counting?)  The Top 40 Seniors (plus 10 alternates), which will be drawn from the Top 100, are expected to be announced in early March.  They will attend HBM's Top Forty Workout, which was originally scheduled for March 3, the day after the IHSAA State Finals, but is now scheduled for March 11 at an Indianapolis location to be disclosed when the Top 40 list is released.  Ten NWI players made the Top 100, including Jenny DeMuth of Highland, Karen Gibson of Gary Mann, Lauren Hansen of Portage, Erica Martin of Kouts, Brooke Reed of LaPorte, Courtney Rosenbaum of Valparaiso, JoAnn Smith of Gavit, Kim Smith of Gary West Side, Andrea Walker of Wheeler and Sarah Zondor of Crown Point.  The complete list is as follows:
  

Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 100 Seniors

Jessica Aldridge - S.B.Clay
Ashley Allen - Ben Davis
Lori Arnold - Washington
Jill/Tessa Bair - Rochester
Jill Barnbrook - S.B.Adams
Jacqueline Batteast - S.B. Washington
Hilary Beck - Kokomo
Julie Beuligmann - North Posey
Leslie Blackburn - Plymouth
Katie Boone - Center Grove
Jessica Bragg - Twin Lakes
Jennifer Brannan - Frankfort
Laura Brumfiel - Cambridge City Lincoln
Meaghan Buis - Eminence
Amber Calhoun - Evansville Bosse
Misti Carpenter - Lapel
Kali Carter - Columbus East
Kasey Chamberlin - NorthWood
Karlene Clapp - West Central
Christine Cox - Carroll-Flora
Emily Creachbaum - Mishawaka Marian
Amanda Davidson - Brownsburg
Jenny DeMuth - Highland
Kate Doll - Penn
Miranda Eckerle - Franklin County
Melissa Elmer - F.W.Northrop
Shyra Ely - Ben Davis
Kate Endress - Evansville Memorial
Andrea Engleking - Eastern Hancock
Katie Freeland - Benton Central
Ebba Gebisa - West Lafayette
Karen Gibson - Gary Horace Mann
Jamie Grogg - Huntington North
Lauren Hansen - Portage
Ricaye Harris - Muncie Central
   

Megan Hartwell - Alexandria
Kathy Hay - Madison
Suzie Hayden - F.W.Snider
Erin Heffner - FW Snider
Lexie Henry - Crawford County
Hannah Herrold - South Central (Union Mills)
Jessica Hicks - Manchester
Brandi Hollingsworth - Carmel
Jessica James - Franklin Central
Natasya Johnson - Madison
Erin Joslin - North Knox
Tara Kensinger - Oregon Davis
Rachel King - F.W.Bishop Luers
Alissa Kirby - Mt.Vernon-Fortville
Cassie Kline - Huntington North
Heather Kress - Forest Park
Emily Ladd - Maconaquah
Heather Ladd - Lebanon
Sarah Laird - Shelbyville
Meskhenet Lands - Southport
Kinsey Lehe - Frontier
Nicole Lesko - Jasper
Laura Little - Salem
Emily Loomis-F.W.Bishop Luers
Rebecca Mann - Mooresville
Maria Marchesano - F.W.Elmhurst
Erica Martin - Kouts
Kris Mathes - New Castle
Kim McConaha - Centerville
Ashlee Mennen - Clinton Prairie
Kristan Moore - Rushville
Erin Moran - Roncalli
Racquel Morgan - Anderson Highland
Nicole Mullins - Seeger
Courtney Nicely - Western Boone
   

Brittany Park - Decatur Central
Melissa Pennington - Southport
Nikki Perkins - Lafayette Jefferson
Darren Poe - Martinsville
Christa Ragukonis - S.B. Riley
Brooke Reed - LaPorte
Maria Renner - Decatur Central
Maria Rickards - New Albany
Sara Riedeman - Greensburg
Angie Rodgers - Castle
Ashley Rogers - Clinton Central
Courtney Rosenbaum - Valparaiso
Betsy Salyer - Triton
Shyra Samuels - North Central-Marion
Mindy Schoenlein - Winchester
Julie Shields - Brownsburg
Julie Shirley - Lafayette Jefferson
Mandy Sichting - Martinsville
Tonya Small - Winamac
Jo Ann Smith - Hammond Gavit
Kimberly Smith - Gary Westside
Leslie Smith - Paoli
Kelly Springer - Leo
Nina Stone - Pike Township
Kelly Troxell - Shenandoah
Andrea Walker - Wheeler
Kristen Weddle - Terre Haute South
April Williams - White River Valley
Candace Williams - Lebanon
Sara Van Winkle - Forest Park
Leah Wischmeyer - Brownstown Central
Amy Wisser - Marion
Asjah Zinnerman - Cathedral
Sarah Zondor - Crown Point

*Jill Corbett, Indianapolis Cathedral - Selected but injured

  


Former Decatur Central standout Mary Blessing is making her mark on the college scene.  Since taking over the starting point guard spot a month ago, Blessing has led the Toledo Rockets to nine straight wins and likely the top seed in the Mid-American Conference tournament.  You can read about Blessing's contributions to her team's success on the Toledo women's basketball website


News thru Tuesday, February 13

                        

It's finally time for all the talk to walk the walk.  Sectional action begins tonight at 64 locations around the state, and by the evening's end, at least one ranked team will bite the dust.  In 1A, No. 4 Turkey Run takes on sectional host No. 7 North Vermillion in the state's only ranked matchup tonight.  But that doesn't necessarily mean that one of those two teams will be the only ranked team that falls tonight.  As we know it's tournament time, and anyone caught looking ahead will be looking behind tomorrow morning to figure out what happened to knock them out of the running in the early going.  We will be monitoring sectional results after we return from the Merrillville Sectional this evening.
   
For Region fans, both Merrillville Sectional games will be broadcast on WJOB AM1230 tonight, with the Regional Radio Sports Network (WEFM 95.9) also carrying their "IHSAA Girls Basketball Mission Control" call-in coverage from just about every sectional in the area beginning at 6:05 p.m.
  
Please post sectional results for your team on the RRR Report Scores Board as usual.  Any additional scores you can provide will be greatly appreciated.  Also, as in the past, the IHSAA will post game results as they become available.  The link will most likely be on the IHSAA Girls Basketball page.  Best of luck to everyone!


We have taken the sectional schedule for all ranked teams on the ICGSA Poll a step further this week.  We have color-coded teams as to which semi-state game each will eventually feed into.  It brings to light some interesting facts that boost the chances of a few teams who have little ranked competition in their path on the way to the semi-state championship game.  For example, in 1A, there is only one team receiving votes in the 1A poll that is headed toward the first game in the 1A North Semi-State.  Ft. Wayne Canterbury has a great chance to advance to the semi-state championship game if they take care of business.  In 2A, only two teams receiving votes, Northwestern and Hebron, will be vying for the same 2A North Semi-State Championship berth.  In 3A, No. 3 Franklin County and vote-getter Mitchell are the only two teams receiving votes that will be vying on the same side of the bracket for a bid in the 3A South Semi-State championship game.  And finally, in 4A, No. 8 Ft. Wayne Snider and vote-getters South Bend Riley and Valparaiso, are the only three teams in the ICGSA Poll who will be looking for a chance to make an appearance on the same side in the Semi-State finals.  BUT, and this is a huge BUT, we all know that rankings don't mean a thing once the first whistle blows at tonight's sectional openers!


In case you missed it, the final RRR Region & State Top 12 has been posted.


Central Indiana Sports has come out with its Top 50 Seniors, Top Juniors, Top Sophs and Top Frosh after 2000-2001 regular season play.  Locally, seniors honored include No. 2 Jenny DeMuth of Highland, No. 13 Kim Smith of Gary West Side, No. 21 Courtney Rosenbaum of Valparaiso, No. 23 JoAnn Smith of Hammond Gavit, No. 29 Sarah Zondor of Crown Point, No. 32 Erica Martin of Kouts, and No. 50 Lauren Hansen of Portage.  Juniors honored include Alex Webster of Crown Point, Jamie Gutowski of Andrean, Kim Sliwa of Boone Grove, Jill Kikkert of Kankakee Valley, Lauren Bechtold of Hebron, Lisa Matie of Hobart and Melinda Bunkowfst of North Judson.  Sophs include Lyndee Arnold and Jessica Hamman of Highland, and frosh include Kristin Drabyn of LaPorte, Lauren Hutton of Valparaiso, Belinda Drake and Shanta  Robinson of Gary West Side and Julie DeMuth of Highland.


Along with the sectional coverage that has been appearing on-line around the state (which you can access on our Scores & Recaps page under the Preview heading), several players around the state have been profiled in anticipation of tonight's start of the IHSAA Tournament.
   
In the Franklin County Daily Journal, Whiteland junior Megan Liffick is profiled as her team will face New Palestine in the Greenfield-Central Sectional.  Liffick is the county leading scorer and is on track to break the county scoring record next season, now held by Franklin grad Anna Waugh at 1,595 career points.  Liffick currently has 1,380 career points, which puts her in prime position to overtake the record next season.  Liffick has been receiving lots of mail from a number of colleges around the country, but she is focusing on the Big Ten, and Wisconsin in particular.
   
Jeffersonville senior Jessica Bolduc and the Red Devils are profiled in the Jeffersonville Evening News.  Although not leading the team in any statistical category, Bolduc is providing leadership for a very young team that has exceeded expectations so far this season.  Bolduc is hoping to play at the college level and is looking at Western Kentucky and other schools in South Carolina.
   
Finally, the Louisville Courier-Journal features Floyd Central Ashlee Lytle and her contributions to the Lady Highlanders this season.  Lytle has served as the teams spiritual and emotional leader on the court, while averaging 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on 56% shooting.  Lytle is receiving interest from Bellarmine, Indiana Southeast and Maryville (TN).


Western Boone senior Courtney Nicley was recently named an ESPN School Sports Athlete of the Week for breaking the single-game scoring record with a 47-point performance in a game against Rossville, as well as breaking the 1,000-point barrier the same week in a game against Crawfordsville.


It's a bit outdated, but the Full Court Press had some great comments about Indiana v. Illinois teams in its Top 50 National Rankings after the Chicagoland Classic.  At that time, FCP had ranked Terre Haute South at No. 5, Ben Davis at No. 11, and Kokomo at No. 48.


According to the Notre Dame women's website, senior Ruth Riley (North Miami) was recently named a finalist for the Naismith Award to be presented on April 7.  Riley was also named the Big East Player of the week for the fourth time this season for her 29-point, 12-rebound performance against Pittsburgh last week.


The GoLadyVols website has a great editorial about women's college basketball in comparison to the NBA.  Some great reading with a lot of good quotes from Indiana native John Wooden.


For the third time this season, Indiana's Jill Chapman (Blackford) was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week.  Chapman averaged 22 points and 6 rebounds per game in wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State.  Besides Chapman, three other former Indiana high school greats have received Big Ten Player of the Week honors so far this season -- Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) of Purdue (twice), Lisa Shepherd (Richmond) of Penn State, and Shalicia Hurns (Broad Ripple) of Purdue.


News thru Friday, February 9

                        

In case you haven't dropped by for a few days, you might not know that we've been having some pretty miserable problems with our ever-popular Message Board this week.  We've got it back up and running, but unfortunately we are currently unable to access messages posted prior to today.  The problem seems to be with our internet hosting service which claims that the message board is being used so much, that the program used to call up the message list is slowing down the entire server.  Therefore they disabled the file that executes the command to bring up the message list.  Although the RRR message board is viewed close to 1,500 per day on average, we find it hard to believe that we are the root of their problems.  Along with smallwebsolutions.com, there are more than 300 other sites sitting on the same server.  Anyway, until we get this dispute settled, we will have to start anew.  So post away, keep it on subject (please) and enjoy!


Well the big news of the week took place on Monday when the IHSAA released the pairings for the IHSAA Tournament.  It must have been a record-setting day at the IHSAA website, because the RRR itself had a record-setting 10,600+ page views that day.  There will only be one team that prevails in each of the four classes when it's said and done, but what makes the tournament so exciting is that there is hope in even the team with the most miserable season record that there is a chance for glory and redemption in the post-season.  There are a lot of first-round matchups in all the classes to make for some exciting first-round action, but the most intriguing has to be in 4A where No. 1 Kokomo will host No. 5 Huntington North.  What makes it even more interesting is that the Vikings ended the season on a pretty sour note with a 9-point loss, their largest of the season, to No. 8  Ft. Wayne Snider on Tuesday.
   
Locally, the anticipated Sectional 1 championship between Highland and Gary West Side (barring any major upsets) has most girls basketball fans talking.  The IHSAA tournament series between these two stand at 1 and 1, with Highland upsetting the Cougars in regional play two years ago, and West Side sticking it right back at the Trojans the following year at the Gary West sectional.  The Cougars have been all over the map this season in terms of consistency, but they will be primed for this NWI marquee event and give the Trojans all they can handle in offensive speed and a smothering, swarming defense.  Highland's youngsters will have to keep their cool under pressure to survive, but they've been there before this season with two pressure-cooker wins in the Hall of Fame Classic over Cathedral and Center Grove.  Until the big event on Saturday, you can put in your two cents as to who will win it on our current fan poll found on the RRR home page.
   
Other local sectional pairings that have the rest of the Region talking include Valparaiso and Portage, Hobart and Crown Point, and Kankakee Valley and Andrean.  Valpo and Portage will meet in a Ground Hog Day nightmare matchup, duplicated from one year ago.  In that one, Portage just missed knocking eventual state runner-up Valpo out of the tournament with consecutive misses on free throws with one second left on the clock.  One would have tied it, two would have won it, but neither freebie hit its mark.  (Coach Renee' Turpa is still occasionally waking up in a cold sweat over that one.)  This time around the result could be just as close, since we know that at tournament time, anything can happen and you can just about lay money on the fact that it will.  At Sectional 2 in Merrillville, Hobart will try to avenge a loss to Crown Point after losing to the Bulldogs by 22 just last week.  The Brickie consensus was that they could have performed much better in the game that gave the Bulldogs the DAC outright, and they are probably right.  The 'Dogs will have to have their game faces glued on from game one if they are to survive for their first sectional title in four years.  Four seniors on the roster who have never won a sectional title in any sport will be a big incentive for Crown Point, but if they can get past pumped-up Hobart, they will most likely have to go through Lake Central and Merrillville to clinch the title.  Even though they are big favorites to win at Merrillville, three games against three highly dangerous teams is not exactly a walk in the park.  Finally, in 3A New Prairie Sectional 18, Andrean will face the tall and taller Kougars of Kankakee Valley.  Andrean does not match up well at all with KV as their tallest post player is 5'10, while the Kougars sport a 6'6, 6'2 and 6'1 triple-headed post threat.  The officials will play a big part in this mismatch, and if Andrean can get position and the calls early, they might be able to hang on to advance.


The Times in Munster has put together an outstanding preview to this season's sectionals for NWI teams.  Take your pick from the list below.  (These links will change after today.  We'll get them updated when the time comes.)
   
Running the pick-it fence at 'em (Highland season revisited)
Curtain call (Highland/West Side)
Sectional 1 at Highland
Sectional 2 at Merrillville
Sectional 3 at Valparaiso
Sectional 17 at Calumet
Sectional 18 at New Prairie
Sectional 33 at Wheeler
Sectional 34 at North Judson
Sectional 49 at Morgan Township
Sectional 50 at Culver


Highland coach Chris Huppenthal got a good scare, as did the parents of senior Jenny DeMuth, when the senior was fouled clean but hard on a breakaway layup in Highland's game with Hobart on Tuesday.  The 5'11 Miss Basketball candidate ended up coming out of the game with a pretty nasty bump to the head, which was later diagnosed as a mild concussion.  Coach Hupp is confident that DeMuth will be sectional ready, however, and she may even play in tonight's game against Lowell.  The thought of a tournament run without DeMuth was just a temporary nightmare for the Trojans, who will most likely face West Side next Saturday night in the finals of Sectional 1.


Watch for changes in the final ICGSA Poll due out Monday.  Losses by 4A Huntington North, 3A Plymouth and Jasper, 2A North Knox and 1A Turkey Run and Kouts will most likely create a bit of a poll shuffle as we all head into the IHSAA tournament.  The 47-45 loss Plymouth suffered at LaPorte last night brought out the best in Slicer freshman Kristin Drabyn.  The 5'6 guard connected for 18 points in the win, her career high, and also sank the winning free throws with 3 seconds on the clock to ice the win.


If you're looking to take in boys game before the season ends, you might consider Andrean at Lake Central tonight for a special event.  Lake Central will induct former girls basketball standouts Kristina Divjak and Leslie Rossa into its athletic hall of fame during ceremonies the game. The 1995 graduates led Lake Central to the IHSAA girls basketball state championship in 1994.


The Times has final comments on The Times Top 10, while the Post-Tribune also ranks its picks for the area, which stack up as follows:
  

The Times Top 10

Post-Tribune 

1. Highland
2. West Side
3. Crown Point
4. Valparaiso
5. Portage
6. Andrean
7. Gavit
8. Hebron
9. North Newton 
10. Kankakee Valley

1. Highland
2. Crown Point
3. West Side
4. Valparaiso
5. Gavit
6. Hebron
7. Andrean
8. Portage
9. North Newton 
10. Kankakee Valley



Valpo senior Lee Traynham is featured in today's Post-Tribune for her defensive expertise.  Here Traynham is on the offensive at last season's semi-state at Warsaw.  (RRR photo)

The Post-Tribune profiled two area players in their Time Out pullout section today, although neither article is available on-line unfortunately.  Valparaiso defensive enforcer Lee Traynham is described as the best defensive player coach Greg Kirby has ever coached, and that's saying a lot from the coach that has created one of the most-feared defensive programs in the state.  Traynham is a serious player and a serious student, but the student takes precedence over all else.  She will not play basketball in college, but will most likely receive a "free" (translate to "hard-earned") ride nonetheless.  She ranks as No. 1 in her class with a 4.3 GPA and will probably have her pick of higher educational institutions in the country.  Wherever she goes, Traynham hopes to pursue a career in biology or environmental science.
  
The second profile is on Andrean junior Jamie Gutowski, who has reestablished herself as one of the elite players in NWI after suffering an ACL tear her sophomore year.  Gutowski is carrying the load for the 59'ers (15-5) this season, averaging 17.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.4 steals through 20 games.  After a dream freshman season in which her basketball and volleyball teams advanced to the semi-state and her softball team won a state title, the reality of sophomore and junior years not as successful have sunk in.  Gutowski hopes to turn that around with a good run in the 3A tournament beginning next week when Andrean takes on tall Kankakee Valley in the New Prairie sectional.


Senior Nicole Lesko of Jasper has verbally committed to Columbia University in New York.  The 5'10 forward held educational opportunities as her first priority and basketball a close second in selecting Columbia.  Lesko recently became only the third girl in Jasper history to reach the 1,000-point mark.


According to the Hoosier Times, Martinsville senior Allison Harris (6'0 F) has verbally committed to St. Francis in Ft. Wayne.  Harris has become a solid part of the Artesian post attack that has Martinsville peaking late in the season.  


The Cathedral Irish will be winging their way through the upcoming tournament without the heart and soul of their team, senior Jill Corbett.  Corbett broke her leg at practice last week and underwent surgery the same evening, receiving a pin in her lower leg to help correct her unfortunate condition.  The 5'10 forward, who will be attending Vanderbilt in the fall, is expected to be ready for conditioning in April.  Cathedral will definitely miss Corbett's all out play, but the 3A No. 1 Irish have not missed a beat since she was sidelined, with victories over Plainfield and Perry Meridian.


The IHSAA released its updated State Scoring Leaders and Single-Game Individual Bests for the week.


The following milestones were acknowledged recently by the IHSAA:
   

Stan Benge, girls basketball coach at Ben Davis, celebrated his 300th career victory Feb. 1 as the Giants defeated Brebeuf 83-46. Benge is in his 16th season, all at Ben Davis. He directed the Giants to the IHSAA Class 4A state championship in 2000.

 

Laura Brumfiel, a senior at Cambridge City Lincoln, became the school’s career scoring leader Feb. 3 while scoring 13 points in a 72-38 loss to Eastern Hancock. Brumfiel left the game with 1,155 career points, breaking the previous record of 1,150 points by Kylie Thornhill. Brumfiel also is the school’s career assists leader with 405.
   
Carroll (Fort Wayne) clinched its first Northeast Hoosier Conference girls basketball title Jan. 27 with a 67-40 victory over Bellmont.
   

Larry Kahle, girls basketball coach at New Harmony, celebrated his 100th career victory Jan. 11 as the Rappites defeated Mount Vernon.

    

Tara Kensinger, a senior at Oregon-Davis scored the 1,000th point of her career Feb. 1 against Elkhart Baptist. Kensinger scored 17 points in the game. She also brought her career rebounding total to 958.

    

Meghan Lunsford, a senior at Cambridge City Lincoln, broke the school record when she connected on seven three-point goals Feb. 1 as the Golden Eagles defeated Cowan 65-27.

    

Brooke McKee, a senior at Southwood, broke the school’s girls basketball career scoring record Jan. 31 against Eastbrook. She scored 24 points in the game and brought her career total 1,039. The previous record was 1,028 by 1977 graduate Rhonda Martin.
     

Courtney Nicley, a senior at Western Boone, broke the school’s single-game scoring record Jan. 30 as the Stars defeated visiting Rossville 79-53. Nicely scored 47 points, and broke the standard of 44 set by Laura Burns in 1997-98. Her father, Paul Nicley, set the school’s single-game record for boys basketball with consecutive 47-point games in 1975-76. Courtney Nicley followed her single-game explosion with a 22-point effort Feb. 2 against Crawfordsville that gave her 1,015 points for her career.

    

Kelly O’Donnell, a senior at Indianapolis Scecina, established a school record Jan. 30 with seven three-point goals in a 77-35 loss at Warren Central.

    

Angie Rodgers, a senior at Castle, became the first girl in school history to score 1,000 career points. She reached the plateau Jan. 29 in a 55-53 loss to Evansville Memorial while scoring 24 points. Rodgers has signed a Division I basketball letter of intent with Florida Atlantic.
   
South Bend Riley clinched its first Northern Indiana girls basketball title since 1979 with a 61-51 victory over South Bend Clay on Feb. 2.
   
Wawasee won its first outright Northern Lakes Conference girls basketball title since 1984 and set a school regular with its 20th victory of the season in an 86-51 victory Feb. 2 at Northridge. The Warriors (20-0) finished league play at 7-0.


According to East Noble head coach Andy Ross, senior guard Ashley Powell (5'7) scored her 1000th career point in a 53-51 win over Bishop Dwenger.  Accomplishing the feat, fittingly on senior night, Powell scored 19 points to become only the third girl in school history to reach the 1000-point plateau.


Martinsville head coach Jan Conner was recently honored by publications around the state as she heads into her final IHSAA tournament as a high school coach.  Conner will be retiring after this season and has plans to become a motivational speaker.  The fiery and respected coach currently stands at an amazing 442-71 high school career win-loss record, with tenures at Warren Central, Benton Central and Martinsville.  You can read more about Conner's storied career in the Indianapolis Star, Lafayette Journal & Courier, and the Martinsville Hoosier Times.


As of last count, Luers senior Rachel King has broken just about every record held by previous players in the Knights program.  Before she has left the program, King will add to her career totals of 1421 points, 482 rebounds, 474 assists and 325 steals.


Eastside junior Amy Freidenberger is profiled in the Ft. Wayne Sentinel.  The 6'0 forward is averaging 15.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, putting her in second and first, respectively, for those categories in the Northeast Corner Conference.  Against Harding very early in the season, Freidenberger attained season highs of 24 points and 18 rebounds.


The South Bend Tribune has individual and team statistical leaders for its area through games of February 3.  


Seymour senior Maggie Goodpaster is profiled in the Louisville Courier-Journal.  Goodpaster set a school record six 3-pointers in  a loss to Providence earlier this week.


Make a mental note.  S & L Publishing will publish its Top Senior and Junior List on Monday, February 12, 2001.


The Miami University women's basketball website reports that sophomore Heather Cusick (Kokomo) was recently honored by the Mid-American Conference as the MAC East Division Player of the Week.  Cusick averaged 20 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds in games against Kent State and Ball State.


Xavier sophomore Amy Waugh (Homestead) has returned to the Musketeers lineup after rupturing her Achilles tendon in October.  According to her family, after 114 days of therapy and determination she is now back on the court.  Waugh rehabbed for 5-6 hours a day, seven days a week to make it back into the game she loves.  Even though she was told it would be 6 months before she would be ready to step on the court, the determined Waugh did it in three and one-half months.  Waugh's first appearance back on the court was on February 2 when the Musketeers took on Florida State, where she played for 18 minutes and dished out 3 assists.  Xavier looks to be a contender in this season's NCAA tournament and is currently ranked No. 13 in the latest AP poll.


The South Bend Tribune has an interesting look at a day in the life of No. 1 Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw.  If you've ever wondered about the day-to-day of a Division 1 head coach, this is a great peek into that elite arena.


News thru Thursday, February 1

                     

Heading into this weekend's big showdown between Terre Haute South and Ben Davis, the Braves are ranked the No. 5 team in the country by Fox Sports Top 50Kokomo is ranked No. 44.  Ben Davis dropped out of the Top 50 from the No. 11 spot after losing to Center Grove, however they are ranked ahead of Kokomo at No. 6 in Fox Sports Midwest Rankings.  Fox Sports also has State-by-State Rankings, with Luers at No. 3, Highland at No. 4, Ben Davis at No. 5, Cathedral at No. 6 and Gary West Side at No. 7.  Also, USA Today ranks Ben Davis as the No. 15 team in the country and TH South at No. 19.
   
The Braves v. Giants game could be THE biggest game this season, although these two teams could, and most likely will, meet again at the Southport Semi-State.  To get to Southport, however, Ben Davis will have to show some consistency to get past opponents such as Decatur Central, Southport, Franklin Central and/or Lawrence North.  The Giants have proven they can get up for the big games, although they couldn't get the job done at Center Grove.  For a trip to the big show, South will have to deal with Center Grove, Bloomington South and Martinsville.  Some pretty formidable opponents for both teams.  But for now, the focus is on Saturday between two teams - one based on athleticism and star power and the other based on teamwork and unbelievable depth.  It will be a classic.


The Times has a very nice article about Erica Martin of Kouts and her relationship with second cousin and assistant coach Becky (Gesse) Harper.  Martin will break Harper's Porter County career scoring mark with her first points tonight against Michigan City Marquette, making her the all-time career scorer for both girls and boys in Porter County.  Martin and Harper have had a relationship for the past 10 years, when Harper started giving pointers to Martin as a second-grader.  Both are looking forward to tonight's game and the new record.


Official IHSAA Tournament Information was released Tuesday for the upcoming tournament.  It pretty much gives all the information we already knew, but does include tournament format and ticket information for all levels of the tournament from sectionals to state finals.  Also, it appears that the tournament draw might be available a little bit earlier -- at 1:30 p.m. EST -- than first reported.  The IHSAA also released its latest State Scoring Leaders and updated Single Game Individual Bests.  The IHSAA also marked the following milestones of individuals (who have not had their accomplishments noted here previously):
    

Theresa Alvey, a junior at Cannelton, scored her 1,000th career point Jan. 27 as the Bulldogs defeated Lanesville 63-51. Alvey scored 24 points in the game to move her career total to 1,012. She is the first girl in Perry County history to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a junior.

 

Emily Creachbaum, a senior at Mishawaka Marian, broke the school’s single-game scoring record Jan. 29 in a 62-58 victory over South Bend LaSalle. Creachbaum scored 37 points, eclipsing the previous mark of 35 points she set in 1999-00 and tied earlier this season. (Game report from the South Bend Tribune)

 

Amanda Engleking, a junior at Tri-County, scored the 1,000th point of her career Jan. 20 against Rensselaer. She scored 21 points in the game, and moved her career total to 1,026.

 

Alissa Kirby, a senior at Mt. Vernon (Fortville), became the sixth player in school history to score 1,000 points. She tallied 21 points and dished the assist on the winning basket as the Marauders defeated visiting Hamilton Southeastern 66-64 on Jan. 27.
    

 Nina Stone, a senior at Pike, tied the school’s single-game scoring record and broke its career standard Jan. 27 as the Red Devils defeated visiting Bloomington North 70-44. Stone scored 40 points in the game and boosted her career total to 1,243. The previous record was 1,217 set by 1979 graduate Deena Jones. Stone shares the single-game record with Stephanie Weaver.  The unselfish Stone is featured in an article as the Indianapolis Star Athlete of the Week, where she discusses the possibility of being selected for the Indiana All Stars.


The South Bend Tribune has some news and notes for the week, including a preview to the South Bend Riley v. South Bend Clay conference showdown on Friday, more on Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, and statistics from the South Bend area, where SB Washington's Jackie Batteast averages an amazing double-double in scoring (25.4) and rebounding (16.0).  Wow.


The SB Tribune also named its Athletes of the Week recently, honoring Missy King of South Bend Riley and Tiffany Trusty of North Judson.


The Goshen News has some girls basketball notes on teams in the area, including Westview and Wawasee.


The Ft. Wayne Sentinel examines how the full-court press is working for several teams in its area, including Ft. Wayne Concordia and Luers.  Speaking of Luers, Queen of Stats Rachel King, has set the Luers all-time record with her 485th rebound against Elmhurst, breaking Sara Scheafer's record.  The Knights also won their third straight conference championship.


According to the Lebanon Reporter, Western Boone senior Courtney Nicley scored 47 points in a win over Rossville to break a school record for points scored in a single game.  Ironically, she matches the boys Western Boone record, set by her dad in l976, also against Rossville.  Nicley will attend Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne next season on a basketball scholarship.


The Shelbyville News looks back on the careers of seniors Sarah Laird and Jenni Ross of 3A No. 8 Shelbyville.


Northeast Dubois junior Cori Vaal is making a huge impact as a sophomore for her team this season, and she points to her dad and sister Kami Vaal (Kentucky Wesleyan) as the reasons why.  According to the Evansville Courier Press, the 5'10 combo guard/forward is averaging a sizzling 22.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game.


The Muncie Star Press gives a status report on Indiana's Jill Chapman (Blackford) and her transition from high school to Big Ten basketball.  Chapman, a 6'5 junior, has started every game she has played in at IU so far.


Lots of Purdue women's news and notes on the Gold & Black website.  Also the Mr. Hoops Boiler Basketball Recruiting website is currently following the high school careers of juniors Sharika Webb of Cathedral, Missy Taylor of Connersville and Carol Duncan of NorthWood.  Purdue has six scholarships available for the Class of 2002.


If you're not going to be at home this evening, be sure to set the VCR for the No. 2 Connecticut at No. 3 Tennessee game tonight on ESPN.  Local broadcast time is 6:00 p.m.  The rest of the Indiana will watch the game at 7:00 p.m.  Unless you've been in Siberia for the last three years, you will know that the always hot matchup between Tennessee's April McDivitt (Connersville) and Connecticut's Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) always adds an Indiana flavor to this battle. You can read a preview to the game at the CNN Sports Illustrated website and GoLadyVols website.  Also, the Husky Hardcores site has a preview to the point guard matchup in what should be a fantastic game.


News thru Monday, January 29

                     


Kouts senior Erica Martin is set to break the Porter County career scoring record on Thursday when the Fillies host Michigan City Marquette.

Kouts senior Erica Martin scored 27 points in a win at Wheeler on Saturday to hit the uncanny mark of 1,642 career points.  Why so uncanny?  That point total tied her for the Porter County career scoring record, which just happens to be held by Martin's second cousin Becky (Gesse) Harper, an assistant coach at Kouts.  According to The Times, Martin was pulled from the game after hitting her last shot with under two minutes to go, which will allow her to break the scoring record at home when her team hosts Michigan City Marquette on Thursday.


Tom May's 16-2 Crown Point Lady Bulldogs wrapped up their first-ever Duneland Conference championship with a 22-point win over Hobart on Saturday.  Holding the Brickies to their lowest point total of the season in a physical 47-25 win, Crown Point put themselves in the record book by sweeping the DAC field with a 7-0 conference record.  Crown Point had won numerous conference championships in the now defunct Lake Suburban Conference in the '80s, but after moving to the much more competitive DAC in the early '90s, had gone without a conference title until this season.  S & L Publishing Prep Sports last week honored Crown Point's "Triple Threat" of Alex Webster, Carissa Triplett and Sarah Zondor as their Athletes of the Week.  The three combined for 46 points in a Duneland Conference win over LaPorte on January 19.


Our RRR Region & State Top 12 have been posted for the week.  Also, there is a good number of great matchups this week, and we've previewed 20 of them, starting with tonight's Castle at Memorial game, on our Top Games & Upcoming Events.


The ICGSA Poll will be out later today.  Expect to see some movement in all classes with key losses on all four boards, especially in 1A.  Also, the latest Sagarin Ratings have been updated through Saturday's game results, and the S & L Publishing rankings are out as well.


Just a reminder... the IHSAA State Tournament draw will take place one week from today at noon (EST) at the IHSAA offices in Indianapolis.  Draw results are expected to be available sometime around 2:00 p.m. (EST).  We will make a link to the draw available from the home page at the RRR as soon as it is available.


After sitting out the first half of the season with stress fractures in both legs, Lowell junior Rachel Wielgos is back on the floor for the Red Devils.  She has given her team a boost in their past three outings, all wins for the previously 0-8 Devils.  Her best performance yet was a 20-point barrage in a 64-6 win over Lake Station Friday.  During Wielgos's absence and a punishing first half schedule (Crown Point, Andrean, Hobart, Merrillville, Gavit and North Newton), 6'0 freshman Lisa Schulfer has carried the brunt of the Lowell offense.  She is happy to have the offensive help and leadership of Lowell's only returning varsity starter back on the floor again.  Lowell's next game is against Lake Central on Friday.


Another first-time conference champion was made last week, when Clinton Central came away with a 49-34 win over Clinton Prairie for the Hoosier Heartland Conference championship.  The 1A No. 8 Bulldogs and coach Linda Barnett were recently profiled in the Kokomo Tribune.  


Lebanon assistant coach and former Lafayette Jeff head basketball coach Jim Hammel passed away due to a heard attack last week.  Hammel's wife Tracey Hammel is the head coach at Lebanon, where she and her husband coached daughter Suzie Hammel last season to a successful season. Suzie Hammel now plays at Valparaiso University and was on the road in Utah when she learned of her father's death. To honor her father, she played that night and scored a career-high 18 points off the bench.  (The Times)  The Lebanon Reporter explains the grief that the Lebanon team and school are enduring due to their sudden loss of a well-respected and well-liked coach and friend.   Also, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reports on Hammel's impact on the Jeff program during his tenure there.  Lebanon's game with Southmont scheduled for last Friday, was cancelled.  Our condolences to the Hammel family.


Huntington North seniors Cassie Kline and Jamie Grogg were recently profiled together in the Ft. Wayne Sentinel.  A perfect complement to one another's strengths, the two have teamed to take North to a 14-3 record so far this season.  With their sights on another semi-state appearance, assist-specialist Kline and 3-point specialist Grogg are putting in long hours of extra work with hopes of leading their team deeper into the tournament this season.


Columbus North underclassmen Tina Bolte and Katie Kuperus were recently profiled in the Columbus Republic.  The two youngsters are leading the way for their team this season and are expected to make North a contender for the next few years. 


Seymour head coach Donna Sullivan, an icon in Indiana girls sports, will be retiring after 31 years with the Owls after this season.  Sullivan was honored Saturday evening at her team's game with Rushville.  The Jackson County Banner has a recap of Sullivan's career at Seymour.


It was a wild and wooly night at Medora High School last week when six of Medora's eight players fouled out of the game, leaving just two players, one of whom was injured, to finish out the last three minutes of the game.  According to the Jackson County Banner, 30 fouls were called on the Hornets and just 12 called on the visiting Eagledale Warriors.  Two of those 30 fouls were technicals called in the last minutes of the game.  One can only wonder why.  ;-)


Many of you will remember Courtney Koester, who was one-half of the Richmond 5'3" twin attack with sister Ashley Koester last season.  Both refused scholarship offers to a variety of schools in order to attend their school of choice, Northwestern University near Chicago.  Courtney was not to be dissuaded from playing college basketball, however, and showed enough skill and hustle to secure a spot on the Northwestern roster as a walk-on.  Northwestern can use all the help they can get with a 4-14 record so far this season.  Koester (NWU profile) has played in 16 games, starting in one so far, and is averaging nearly 12 minutes a game.  She shares the NWU roster with 1999 Indiana All Stars Emily Butler of Center Grove and Natalie Will of NorthWood, both starters for head coach June Olkowski.  Butler currently leads the Wildcats in scoring at 12.0 points per game, while Will is fifth in scoring at 6.2 points per outing.


Indiana University's Rachael Honegger (Lafayette Jeff) is balancing the life of a college student, Big 10 basketball player and mother all at once, and is making it work.  According to the Hoosier Times, Honegger gets lots of help from grandparents and friends so that she can finish school and still compete in college basketball.  Honegger's 17-month-old son, Isaiah, is the team's self-appointed mascot and cheers his mom on at IU games.


Webmaster Earl Mishler was profiled recently in the Lafayette Journal & Courier for his efforts in promoting the high school game on his website, E.T. Pearl's Basketball Corner.  Mishler, who also is a sportswriter for the LaPorte Herald-Argus and The Elkhart Truth, has compiled a history of high school basketball dating back to the early 1900's.  He also updates his site daily with scores for both girls and boys basketball, and is a constant and accurate resource for the RRR scores page.



 

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