Region Roundball Review
February, 2002
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.

February, 2002
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     Important Upcoming Dates:

2/5  - IHSAA Tournament begins
2/16  - IHSAA Regionals
2/23  - IHSAA Semi-State

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News thru Thursday, February 28

        

As the season winds to a close and the April late signing period gets closer, we can expect more verbal commitments over the next few weeks, especially from those unsigned seniors who have great potential, such as these two:

 

Hammond Gavit senior Leslie Tyburski gave her verbal commitment to Georgetown University on Monday.  The 5'10 guard took her chances by passing up a solid offer from St. Peter's (New Jersey) in the fall, and the gamble paid off.  Averaging 19.4 points and 6.1 rebounds this season, the high-energy senior proved herself to the Georgetown staff on the way to a Gavit career scoring record of 1,367 points.  Tyburski will join Bloomington North grad Nok Duany, who is currently averaging 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a starting junior forward for the Hoyas.
   

According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Twin Lakes senior Erin Guy verbally committed to IUPUI on Wednesday.  The 5'10 wing averaged 18.7 points per game this past season and double figures throughout her high school career.  Having the ability to hit from behind the arc or post up in the paint, Guy was recruited by IUPUI for the positions of shooting guard, small forward and power forward.  Guy was just named as a Top 40 Workout participant and was an Indiana Junior All-Star last summer.



The Hebron Hawks are hoping to bring home more hardware after the state finals this weekend.  Hawk Lauren Bechtold (#21) will be leading the charge for her team against North Vermillion in the first state final game of the day.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)

The big dance at Conseco is the weekend for eight teams still remaining of the 382 teams that hit the floor three weeks ago in this season's IHSAA Tournament.  Of the eight, only two (Luers and Shenandoah) will be making repeat appearances at Conseco.  Last year, many of you will remember that all four state champions were also champions the year  before -- 1A Triton, 2A Luers, 3A Cathedral and 4A Ben Davis.  At least this year, we are guaranteed a minimum of three new state champions.  And even if Luers should pick up their fourth in a row, it will be in a different class.
  
There is a ton of information on all the teams participating this weekend on the IHSAA girls basketball page, including rosters, stats, etc., as well as even more information on team and player history of the IHSAA tournament.  Bob Potosky, of High School Sports Publications, has put together an extensive state finals preview in his Bobwire column which is a great opener to this weekend's events.  Also, lots has popped up on line throughout the week.  So pull up a chair and get yourself pumped for a great weekend of basketball.
  
Central Indiana teams shut out of State Finals - Indianapolis Star
   
4A
'Red's hot, but blue's cool' (SB Riley) - SB Tribune
Riley ready to entertain - SB Tribune
South Side pride - SB Tribune
Reynolds shows great maturity - SB Tribune
Sophomores fill big roles - TH Tribune Star
South ready for something new, not blue: a state championship - TH Tribune Star
Vying for attention (Reicina Russell) - TH Tribune Star
 
3A
Titans will try opponents' patience - Courier Press
Southwestern about to cap its two-hour, five-year trek - Courier-Journal
Dossen, Luers aim for history - FW Journal Gazette
Luers' Hamlin has blossomed in leadership role - FW Journal Gazette
Dossen and Hamlin lead Luers charge to state title - FW News Sentinel
Luers coach is on a mission - FW News Sentinel
Knights unite for success - FW News Sentinel
2 can't-miss events are all net for 1 can-do senior - Indianapolis Star
OCU freshmen know Luers no cinch - Daily Clarion
Titans use toughness to earn shot at 3A title - Courier Press
   

2A
Raiders learn from older siblings - Star Press
Shenandoah swirls experience, youth for another state trip - Star Press
Shenandoah has a bit of an edge in finals experience - Star Press
Shenandoah bench trio a key to team's success - Herald Bulletin
Pressel throws her heart in basketball for Shenandoah - Herald Bulletin
Southwestern preview - Herald Bulletin
From throwing elbows to giving high fives: saga of two freshmen - Courier-Times
One more game for unranked Raiders - Courier-Times
   

1A
Sticks & Stones - The Times

Grounding the Falcons - The Times
No task too tall for Hallberg - The Times
Hoping for clear skies - The Times
Hebron takes on No. 1 for Class A title - The Times
What's Gaelic for 'Conseco' - The Times
Hebron ready to pack up, head south - Post-Tribune (1-day)
Hebron throws speed, Bechtold at North Vermillion - Post-Tribune (1-day)
Hebron bench gaining valuable experience - Post-Tribune (1-day)
Sibling rivalry blossoms into sisterly pursuit of a state title - TH Tribune Star
North Vermillion, Hebron both expected to be there - TH Tribune Star


Hoosier Basketball Magazine has announced its Top 40 Workout invitation list, which also includes 10 alternates, for a total of 50 of the top seniors from around the state coming together for drills and scrimmages on Sunday, March 10 at Ben Davis High School.  There will be two sessions, the first from 1:00-3:00 p.m. (EST) and the second from 3:30-5:30 p.m. (EST).  The early session is expected to be primarily players from the northern and southern sections of the state, with the second primarily featuring players from the central part of the state.  Both sessions are open to the public for a $4.00 admission charge.  The alternates will participate in both drills and scrimmages.  Congratulations to all players who were invited!  (Additional coverage:  Dark, Branson earn Top 40 workout invitations - Journal Review)
  

Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 40 Workout Invitees

 Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Melanie Boeglin, Terre Haute South
Brooke Boggs, Fremont
Brigett Branson, Turkey Run
Lindy Carey, Leo
Heather Caudill, McCutcheon
Dana Collins, Decatur Central
Candace Dark, Fountain Central
Megan Dossen, Fort Wayne Luers
Carol Duncan, Northwood
Ashley Elmore, Jennings County
Amanda Engleking, Tri-County
Amy Freidenberger, Eastside
Mandy Geryak, Martinsville
Jamie Gutowski, Andrean
Erin Guy, Twin Lakes
Brianne Harwood, North Newton
Kia Hayes, North Central (Marion)
Lindsay Houin, Plymouth
Brianna Howard, Southwestern (Hanover)
 
Alternates:
Laura Ellerbusch, Castle
Amy Hayden, Fort Wayne Snider
Jessica Huggins, New Albany
Megan Jones, Ben Davis
Michelle Jones, Gary West
Ashley Hughes, North Vermillion
Amber Johnson, Ben Davis
Megan Liffick, Whiteland
Ashley Mays, Warren Central
Brooke McAfee, Valparaiso
Leslie Mehrlich, Decatur Central
Cindi Merrill, Noblesville
Jenny Pfeiffer, Jennings County
Jennifer Rath, Vincennes Lincoln
Devin Reed, Lawrence North
Jessica Scherer, Triton Central
Stefanie Shrake, Mooresville
Cyndi Valentin, Bloomington South
Courtney Veach, Rockville
Sonya Wahl, New Washington
Sharika Webb, Indianapolis Cathedral
Alex Webster, Crown Point
Chelsea Wessel, Evansville Reitz
Jessica Wright, Indianapolis Cathedral
Shanna Zolman, Wawasee
  
Alternates:
Lindsay Leffert, Lewis Cass
Hilary O¹Connell, Warsaw
Kiyanna Perry, Indianapolis Tech
Danielle Vieira, Cascade
Chasity Williams, Evansville North
* Invitees Jessica Stewart of Rockville and Missy Taylor of Connersville are injured and unable to participate.

Wawasee senior Shanna Zolman has been recognized nationally again with an invitation to the first-ever McDonald's All-American Game to be played at New York's Madison Square Garden on April 4.  Zolman will play for the East Team against future Tennessee teammate Tye'sha Fluker, who will play for the West Team. You can find the complete rosters on the McDonald's All-American website.  Zolman will be a busy girl in April, as she was also invited to play in the WBCA High School All-American game on April 6 in Connecticut.  At least both games are on the East Coast!


The Kokomo Tribune is reporting that Northwestern coach Jeff Hoover is stepping down after 11 years with the Tigers program.  Hoover led the Tigers to a 22-3 season and a Regional final, where Northwestern lost to Highland.  Hoover's Tigers were ranked at #7 in the 3A ICGSA poll at the end of the season.  We'd like to give you more details, but the KT is a subscription-only website.


With the graduation of a stellar, hard-working senior class at Bloomington South, the Hoosier Times is looking ahead to the next Bloomington school expected to make a splash on the girls basketball scene next season - Bloomington North.  With the great freshman duo of center Whitney Thomas and guard Kyle Jarrett, the return of several injured players, coach Steve Goddard is hopeful for things to come.


Mishawaka will not be joining the Duneland Athletic Conference after a vote by the Mishawaka School Board this week.  It looks like Penn will be following suit, after the following announcement appeared on the Penn High School website today:  
    
The Penn-Harris-Madison administration recommends that the school board turn down an invitation to Penn High School to join the Duneland Athletic Conference. "We appreciate the invitation but find that the single division concept proposed by the conference would burden our students and community in terms of travel distance and late night returns to Penn." said Superintendent Vickie L. Markavitch. The board of school trustees is scheduled to vote on the issue tonight at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Educational Services Center.
   

Mishawaka says no to DAC; Penn next? - The Times
Mishawaka rejects DAC membership offer; Penn likely to follow
- Herald-Argus
Mishawaka turns down DAC Penn to decide Thursday - Chesterton Tribune
Penn going to wire with DAC decision - Elkhart Truth


The great success of Terre Haute area teams this season inspired a great editorial in the Terre Haute Tribune Star about the girls game in general.


A few news items and notes from college basketball:
   
Lake Central product and Purdue senior Kelly Komara was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the All Big Ten Team.  Komara is the first Purdue player ever named defensive POY and earned that title by averaging 3.88 steals per game to lead the Big Ten this season.  Jeffersonville grad Mary Jo Noon was named Big Ten Honorable Mention.
   
Ball State and first-year head coach Tracy Roller (Crown Point) have taken team accomplishments to a new height this season after capturing the MAC West Division Conference title.  The Cardinals are 21-6 overall, which sets a new win total for the Ball State women's basketball program.  BSU lines up as the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament which begins on March 6.
   

According to the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel, Michigan State junior Vnemina Reese (Ft. Wayne South Side) has elected to forego her senior year of eligibility next season.  Reese, who redshirted as a freshman, will graduate in May and decided that she would not put off some life plans for a year because of basketball.


News thru Monday, February 25

        


Talk about losing your head... physical play was the name of the game for both Highland and Luers in the 3A North Semi-State Championship.  Here Highland's Julie DeMuth is swarmed by four Luers players as she attempts to score.  (RRR photo)

The semi-state weekend brought some great teams together for some great games, and except for North Vermillion's 68-48 win over Loogootee, no team was assured a win going into the fourth quarter in Saturday's semi-state games.  In fact the average margin of victory in those seven other games was just about 5.5 points.  A great day of basketball for fans of the game.
  
The RRR made it to two different semi-states on Saturday, picking up the Highland v. Ft. Wayne Luers game first at Plymouth, and then the North Judson v. Shenandoah  game at Warsaw.
   
Setting the tone early.  Anyone who had seen the post play of Highland and Luers during the regular season knew this game would be a battle down low.  Our guess is that the officials knew that, too, as they let both teams play their game in a very physical contest.  Both Highland sophomore Julie DeMuth and Luers senior Megan Dossen tangled early and often throughout, battling for position in a game where each possession could swing the momentum one way or another for minutes at a time.  DeMuth went to the bench early in the game after drawing blood from a hit to the forehead right above the nose, and was keyed by the entire Luers defense throughout the game, as evidenced by the DeMuth shot captured at right.  But don't be mistaken.  Highland gave back as good as they got in this war.  
   
Four-peat?  With their 12-point win over Highland on Saturday, Luers advances to a state championship game for the fourth time in four years.  Luers moved up from class 2A this season, where they had set a new state record for consecutive state championships with three in 2A.  Not too many were giving the Knights a chance to get that far early in the season.  With a new head coach in Teri Rosinski, a move up in class and the loss of a great senior class, those predictions seemed prolific with some unexpected losses during the season -- except to the Lady Knights themselves, who had other ideas.  If the Knights should be able to repeat as state champs this Saturday, senior Megan Dossen, who played on the three previous Luers state championship teams, could become the first player in Indiana history to play on four state championship teams in girls basketball.
   
Fan turnout.  The Highland contingent was in full force at Plymouth, although in somewhat smaller numbers than last year's tournament run that ended at Warsaw.  They surely outnumbered the Luers fans about four to one on this day though.  Luers, being a private school, does not have the same type of community-based fan support that public schools enjoy.  That certainly wasn't true for both the Shenandoah and North Judson fan following.  The Warsaw gym was packed at both ends for the 2A game, with a number of Hebron fans still in attendance to savor their 1-point win over Clinton Prairie.  Both crowds were loud and rowdy, and there was a lot of testosterone and body language being thrown across the gym between the male classmates of both teams.  (All in fun, of course.)  It was a great atmosphere for the girls on both teams, and a great show of support by both communities.
   
Superfans.  One thing can be said for the Luers superfans, despite their small numbers.  They have a lot of moxie.  Just before the game began, about 25 of them wandered over to the bleachers directly behind the Highland bench to give the Trojans a "special delivery" dose of discouragement during the pregame introductions.  They didn't do too much damage, however, as they were chased away by game personnel before things could get out of hand.
   


FW Luers freshman Stefanie Gerardot brings the ball up the court against the defense of Highland's Georgia Cavouras(RRR Photo)

Who was that girl?  She came out of nowhere and didn't even need a mask and a cape, because who would have expected a freshman to be the leading semi-state scorer for a three-time state champion team?  Luers frosh Stefanie Gerardot (5'9 G), who had a decent rookie season averaging nearly 10 points and 3 assists per game during the season, delivered a 21-point, four-steal performance on Saturday, leading her team in both categories.  Gerardot (pronounced "Jurardough") was eight for nine from the field and two for three from 3-point range.  There is a telling article in the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel about this frosh beyond her  years, who coach Teri Rosinski is convinced can be the best player in the state by the time she is a senior.
   

A game of percentages.  Gerardot was not the only player to deliver an outstanding shooting performance for Luers on Saturday.  The entire team shot 66.7% from the field for the game (18 for 27), while Highland connected on only 14 of 44 for 31.8%.  And while Luers was definitely not stellar from the charity stripe (15 of 26 for 57.7%), Highland was even less stellar, hitting just 8 of 20 for 40%.
   
Going out in styleHighland may have struggled from the field and the line for the most part on Saturday, but senior Traci Jerkins, known around the Region for her bombs from way downtown, gave a career-ending performance to remember.  She did not stray far from her long-range M.O. on Saturday, knocking down five of 11 from 3-point land (45.5%) for a team high 17 points.
   
Take notice.  Besides Gerardot, several other players from the Class of 2005 made their presence known in the north.  South Bend Riley frosh Kendra Reynolds (6'0 F/C), who impresses with an athletic and aggressive approach to the game, scored 20 points and pulled down a team-high 9 rebounds in her team's victory over Northrop.  The Bruins had a frosh of their own who showed up to play.  Jamika Banks (5'10 F), who came into Saturday's game averaging a respectable seven points a game, delivered 13 points and five rebounds for a spark off the bench.  For Shenandoah, frosh guard Chelsea Miller (5'9 G) produced 18 points as the Raiders' leading scorer in a state-bid 57-50 win over North Judson, accounting for nearly one-third of her team's total offense in the game.
  
Triple threat.  How important are South Bend Riley's "Big Three" to the Wildcats game plan?  On Saturday, juniors Suntana Granderson (24 points) and Crystal Norman (19 points), together with frosh Kendra Reynolds (20 points), accounted for all but two of Riley's 65-point total for the day.  Even more interesting is that Riley only logged five assists as a team for the day.  These three can play one-on-one ball.
 
Senior plansNorth Judson seniors Kelly Boyd and Melinda Bunkowfst are considering diverse plans after high school.  The two seniors, who have been deadly in the paint all season for the Bluejays, led the scoring charge on Saturday with a combined 37 of North Judson's 50 points.  According to today's Post-Tribune (not online) the 6'5 Boyd is getting some serious looks from both Butler and IPFW.  Valparaiso has also expressed an interest, but has not been heard from by NJ head coach Kevin Brown lately.  Boyd, who averaged 12.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season, would like to play D1 and is a legitimate talent with seemingly great potential at the college level for a program that is smart enough to pick her up.  Bunkowfst, Boyd's partner in beneath-the-basket crime, plans to get married in June after graduation.
   
Mr. SpeedyMark Smith, who was on hand to do the color commentary for the AT&T broadcast of the Highland game at Plymouth, was spotted semi-state hopping on U.S. 30 Saturday.  After finishing up post-game interviews and jumping into his car to head to Warsaw, the mild-mannered reporter passed up the RRR-mobile going much faster than our 70 mph.  Too deep in thought to notice the "CP DOGS" license tag on our vehicle, Mark breezed by us before we could even get his attention to wave hello. ( We tried to take his picture going by, too, but he was traveling faster than our camera's shutter speed.  ;-)
   


The guys from WJOB caught in the act at the Plymouth Semi-State.  For those of you who frequent our message board, that's Steve Fowler on the far right.  (RRR photo)

We've got you covered.  Besides the AT&T telecast of the Highland game, no less than five radio stations were on hand to broadcast the day's events from Plymouth.  From the Region, WHLP 89.9 FM and WJOB 1240 AM did the play-by-play for fans who couldn't attend the game.  This is a great time for girls to be a part of the game.  Coverage hasn't always been as thorough as it has been over the past few years.  Hats off to all the radio and television stations that broadcast the semi-state finals around the state.
   
We hooked up what we could yesterday in terms of online coverage, but there was more today.  Be sure to check our Scores & Recaps page for complete reading on Saturday's games.  We also have some pictures from both the Highland and North Judson games.  Not our best work, but better than nothin'!  Hope you like the new slideshow format.
   
3A Plymouth Semi-State Slideshow - Highland v. FW Luers
2A Semi-State Slideshow - North Judson v. Shenandoah


The online newspapers are already on the ball, with some news and notes of what happened over the semi-state weekend, as well as some previews heading into this weekend's state finals.
   
No time for rest as Riley faces one more test - South Bend Tribune
Hebron hits new heights - Post Tribune (one-day)
Team turnaround for Hebron - The Times
Back to state (Luers) - FW News-Sentinel
Northrop run out of tournament - FW News Sentinel
Raiders seek repeat of tourney success (Shenandoah) - Star Press
They're back (Shenandoah) - Anderson Herald Bulletin


Not online, but the Post-Tribune is reporting today that Hammond Gavit senior Leslie Tyburski is closing in on an offer from Division 1 Georgetown University.  The 5'10 guard averaged 19.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season.  


If you missed the announcement on our message board, Pat Aikman, director of the Indiana All-Stars Series, passed along the following information:
   
The ballots for the coaches went out yesterday via e-mail to the athletic directors. The ADs are then supposed to give the ballot to the coaches. This is the first time--for the sake of economy--that we have tried e-mail. Some of the media ballots will go out this way, too, and the rest will go regular mail. The ballots are due back Wed., March 6. Miss BB will be named March 17 and the rest of the girls team on March 24.


The post-season awards period is in full swing, and several publications are making their top picks known:
   
The LaPorte Herald-Argus has named New Prairie senior Meghan Pilarski as its Player of the Year.  She is joined by teammate Macara Hostetler, Oregon-Davis junior Britta Johnson, Glenn junior Angie Nifong and LaCrosse senior Sara Koselke on the Herald-Argus First Team.
   
The South Bend Tribune has named Wawasee senior Shanna Zolman and South Bend Riley junior Suntana Granderson as their Players of the year.  Coaches of the Year were Jeff Hull of South Bend Adams and Kevin Brown of North Judson.  Rounding out the squads for the annual All-Metro v. All-Area showdown (set for March 7 at Bethel College) are:
   

South Bend Tribune All-Star Game - March 7 @ Bethel College

All-Metro
Suntana Granderson
(POY), SB Riley*
LaQuesha Taylor, SB Adams
Heidi Superczynsski, SB Adams
Ashley Woodlee, Penn
Amanda Lechlitner, Penn
Missy King, SB Riley
Dionna Topps, SB Riley
Heather Weaver, Mishawaka
Kara Barth, SB LaSalle
Monica Mitchell, Elkhart Central
Heather Cook, Elkhart Memorial
Crystal Norman, SB Riley *
Allison Lindborg, SB St. Joe*
Margaret Batteast, SB Washington*
Corey Andrzejewski, Mishawaka*
Emily Williams, Marion*
Aimee Litka, SB St. Joe*
Sarah Schools, Mishawaka (honorary)

All-Area
Shanna Zolman (POY), Wawasee**
Carol Duncan, Northwood
Meghan Pilarski, New Prairie
Melinda Bunkowfst, North Judson
Kelly Boyd, North Judson
Lindsay Houin, Plymouth
Hilary O'Connell, Warsaw
Jennifer Emenaker, Argos
Christy Joseph, Knox
Amber Feldman, Triton
Tabitha Pratt, Tippecanoe Valley
Stacy Stevens, Culver*
Ashli Senff, Triton*
Rebekah Parker, Tippecanoe Valley*
    

*cannot participate in game as underclassmen
** cannot participate due to participation in two other all-star events

   
The Goshen News has named its first, second and third teams for the season.  Player of the Year Shanna Zolman is joined by Carol Duncan of NorthWood, Jessica Ramey of West Noble, Crystal Yoder of Lakeland and Shanna Hoogenboom of Goshen.  Coach of the Year is Kem Zolman of Wawasee.


Porter County Conference

Lauren Bechtold (MVP), Hebron
Jennifer Marshall, Hebron
Lynn Poncsak, Hebron
Kim Sliwa, Boone Grove
Val Olis, Boone Grove
Ashleigh Greichen, Washington Twp.
Christi Gladdis, Washington Twp.
Alyse Bruszewski, Wheeler
Shanna Beach, Morgan Twp.
Sara Koselke, LaCrosse

All-conference announcements are taking place all around the state, and rather than give a conference-by-conference list, we've started a thread on our message board for everyone to report All-Conference awards.  However, we will report NWI conference results here.  Please feel free to add your conference awards and results to the thread.


Conference members use all types of voting methods to reach their all-conference selections, but at least one conference -- the Ohio River Valley Conference -- is considering revamping their voting methods after a great deal of controversy in this season's selections.  More in the Madison Courier.


Indiana University head coach Kathi Bennett is back on the sidelines after spending time away from her team due to a neck injury in a car crash on February 8.  Bennett broke the second vertebrae in her neck and is now making a recovery with a walking halo that keeps her neck aligned with her back.  Bennett came back to contribute from the sideline and honor her seniors players at the last IU home game of the season yesterday.  More in the Hoosier Times.


News thru Thursday, February 21

        


Things continue to look up for Shanna Zolman, who was recently nominated for the second year in a row for the prestigious Naismith Award.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)

For the second year in a row, Wawasee senior Shanna Zolman has been nominated for the prestigious Naismith Prep Basketball Player of the Year Award.  Last year, Naismith winner Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) and nominee Jacqueline Batteast (SB Washington) were nominated along with Zolman for the award.  Let's hope for a second Indiana winner in two years!  Complete details and other nominees can be found in the South Bend Tribune.


T-minus two days and counting until the Semi-State games on Saturday.  Here's the latest online:
   
 Riley on verge of State Finals - SB Tribune
South seniors lead with attitude - Tribune-Star
Versatile Gophers create winning formula on court - Lafayette Journal & Courier
(check for more articles on our Scores & Reports)


Well, the invitation list is set for the Duneland, with Lake Central, Penn and Mishawaka getting the nod to join.  Lake Central looks like they'll be jumping at the chance, but Penn and Mishawka are still mulling it over.  All schools will have to state their intentions by March 1.  More coverage:
   
Coaches see both sides of possible move to DAC - SB Tribune
Questions swirling on league issues - SB Tribune
Athletes concerned about travel time, too - SB Tribune
LaPorte coaches react to revamped Duneland conference - Herald-Argus
Penn, Mishawaka, Lake Central invited to join DAC - Chesterton Tribune


After being ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25, Bloomington South fell off the radar screen after losing to Terre Haute South, who now appears in the No. 20 spot.  TH South is also listed as the No. 6 team in the Midwest.


Boy, when you think you're having a string of luck, there's always someone who has it worse.  The Shelbyville News has a feature article about Bishop Chatard coach Dawn Grinnage and her trials and tribulations this season.


Former Highland standout Jennifer Kaczka was named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar Athlete First Team.  The Wichita State standout has a 3.143 GPA to go along with her contributions on the court of 16.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season.  More at the Wichita State women's basketball website.


Franklin College freshman Jenny Cooper (Connersville) will be sitting out the rest of the season after a season-ending ankle sprain resulted in five torn ligaments so severe that they popped a hole in her skin.  According to the Johnson County Daily Journal, Cooper has many months of rehabilitation before she can compete on the basketball floor again.  The Grizzlies will miss her, as the rookie was averaging 10.0 points per game to go along with 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals.  Franklin College (21-5) is in the midst of the HCAC Tournament, where they beat first-round opponent Bluffton by 38 points.


As they did last year, Tom and Sandy Howley from Shelby County were relentless in their mission to get autographs on a basketball to be auctioned for charity.  Last year it was the signatures of all the former Mr. Basketball winners still living.  This time around, they've secured the signatures of all 26 Miss Basketball winners.  The male version of this unique memorabilia was auctioned off for $17,000, with all proceeds going to Triton Central athletic programs.  The Howleys are hoping for similar results with the female version.  The Indianapolis Star has some interesting tidbits of how some of the signatures were secured.


The college career of Anderson University senior Rachel Miller (Anderson Highland) is the subject of an article in the Anderson Herald Bulletin.


News thru Wednesday, February 20

        


West Side soph Belinda Drake goes in for the score against Valparaiso in the first game of the Valparaiso Regional.  Many more pictures are in our Valparaiso Regional Photo Gallery(Photo by Bob Strempka)

An exciting weekend of regional action has produced the Final Four pairings for this weekend's semi-state events.  The RRR was at the Valparaiso Regional where three very good games, the first going to double overtime, were attended by a really nice crowd at both midday and evening sessions.  
   
The first game between Valpo and Gary West Side was an absolute marathon.  There were so many clutch baskets made by different players throughout game for both sides.  Valpo's Brooke McAfee had an especially great final high school outing with 22 points.  West Side's Michelle Jones almost matched McAfee in scoring with 20, and sophomore Karima Davies also pitched in 18 for the West Side cause.  It was a great effort by the mostly senior lineup for Valpo, with only seven Viking players making it onto the floor during the 40-minute game.  A deep West Side roster simply wore down the Vikings in the end, and the much-heralded Cougar freshman class, especially Ashley Gates (14 points off the bench for the day), lived up to the hype, contributing some clutch shots when they were needed most.
   
The final game of the day between South Bend Riley and Gary West Side was a thriller as well, going down to the wire.  Some outstanding performances from a number of players were significant, most notably from Riley frosh Kendra Reynolds, who came up with some huge offensive and defensive plays late in the game.  With Riley's Big Three -- Reynolds, Suntana Granderson and Crystal Norman -- doing most of the scoring (59 of Riley's 66 points), the Wildcats were able to overcome a 5-point deficit very late in the game to walk away with the championship hardware.  West Side's Jones was phenomenal, scoring 28 points, including two consecutive treys in the waning seconds of the game.  One sour note at the end of the evening was when the Riley fans rushed the floor, trampling one of the Wildcat players.  We couldn't see who she was, but she had to be helped off the floor with what looked like a knee injury.  Hope she is okay. 
   
We took A LOT of photos to share with everyone, and our roving photographer Bob Strempka was snapping away as well.  You can view all the photos of the action on our Valparaiso Regional Photo Gallery.  Also, new pictures were added to the Portage Sectional Photo Gallery as well with shots from the Valpo v. Chesterton, Hobart v. Crown Point and Valpo v. Crown Point games.  Thanks to Bob Strempka for a fine job!  


We've updated the Scores & Recaps page with some new online articles from regional action over the weekend.  (It took a couple of days for some of them to show up online.)  Can't help but think that the RRR has become a great scouting resource for coaches around the state looking to find out information about teams from out of their area.


The schedule for this weekend's semi-state games is now set.  Game 1 at each location will begin at 1:00 p.m. (local time for each location), while Game 2 at each will begin at 3:30 p.m.  All tickets are $7.00.
   
WARSAW
Game 1 – Class A Hebron (24-2) vs Clinton Prairie (21-4)
Game 2 – Class 2A North Judson (24-1) vs Shenandoah (21-3)

PLYMOUTH
Game 1 – Class 3A Highland (21-5) vs Ft. Wayne Luers (19-5)
Game 2 – Class 4A South Bend Riley (23-3) vs Ft. Wayne Northrop (17-8)

SOUTHPORT
Game 1 – Class 2A North Putnam (22-2) vs Southwestern (Hanover) (23-2)
Game 2 – Class 4A Ben Davis (19-8) vs Terre Haute South (23-2)

SOUTHRIDGE
Game 1 – Class A North Vermillion (23-1) vs Loogootee (18-6)
Game 2 – Class 3A Brebeuf Jesuit (25-2) vs Gibson Southern (23-4)


As expected, media coverage for this weekend has already started:
   
Riley girls headed to 4-A Final Four - SB Tribune
Area teams ready to try semistate (Loogootee, Southwestern) - Courier-Press



GREAT JOB GUYS!  Jaime Perko (left) and Mark Smith did the AT&T cable broadcast play-by-play for both the Valpo v. Crown Point 4A sectional final and the Highland v. Western 3A regional final.  The broadcast staff from Regional Radio Sports (below L-R) of Bob Potosky, Dave Miller and Mike Knezevich. (Photos by Bob Strempka)

The IHSAA tournament action of NWI teams has been covered extremely well so far by the great Region media.  Complete play-by-play of the sectionals at Portage and West Side, as well as the Valparaiso Regional, were broadcast on WHLP 89.9 FM.   Updates from other sectionals and regionals were passed along throughout the radio broadcasts.  The Crown Point v. Valparaiso sectional final was broadcast on AT&T Cable television, as well as the Highland v. Northwestern Regional final.  The Highland game was broadcast Saturday evening and will be broadcast again on Wednesday (tonight) at 7:00 p.m.  Can't say enough about the great job the newspapers, radio and television teams are doing in covering girls basketball this season.  Again, all of us in NWI should be extremely thankful for all the extra-mile efforts by those making this coverage possible.  WHLP will be broadcasting from the 3A and 4A Plymouth Semi-State this weekend, and if they can get enough commercial sponsorship, the games at the 1A and 2A Warsaw Semi-State will be broadcast as well.  Anyone interested in advertising with the Regional Radio Sports Network to make that Warsaw broadcast possible can call Bob Potosky at 219-663-2221 ext. 18.  (Although I'm not sure there will be anyone left in Hebron to hear the game on the radio... they'll all be in Warsaw!)
   
For those of you outside of the WHLP listening area, the Plymouth Semi-State games will also be broadcast via the Internet by Hoosier 103.5 FM.  The state finals on March 2 will be broadcast via the Internet by Hoosier 103.5 as well.  More details can be found on the Hickory Husker website.


Wawasee senior Shanna Zolman will be the sole Hoosier representative in this year's Phoenix/WBCA High School All-America Game, to be played on April 6 in Hartford, Connecticut.  (Details on the WBCA website.)  Zolman is one of 20 players on what the WBCA is describing as possibly "one of the best groups of talent we have ever assembled."  The game will be televised live on ESPN2.  Also, the South Bend Tribune is reporting that Zolman will have her jersey retired in a ceremony during Friday's halftime of the Wawasee v. Tippy Valley boys game.


The Porter County edition of The Times has lots of news, notes and season-end stats on Porter County girls basketball.


The ICGSA 2002 Academic All-State and Academic All-State Honorable Mention lists have been released.  ICGSA academic honors were based upon a combination of GPA, SAT scores and class rank.  Only those seniors who were nominated by their coaches were considered.  Congratulations to all seniors around the state who were able to attain high academic achievements during a hectic high school sports career.  Locally, the following girls basketball players were named as all-state academic achievers.  
   

ICGSA Academic All-State & Honorable Mention (NWI honorees)

All-State
Megan Austgen
, Andrean
Jackie Cooper, Andrean
Elizabeth Cera, Andrean
Jamie Gutowski, Andrean
Katie Beckman, LaPorte
Amanda Masterson, LaPorte
Alexis Vargas, Hammond Morton
Megan Diaz, Valparaiso

Honorable Mention
Stephanie Govert, Andrean
Megan Cohorst, Boone Grove
Val Olis, Boone Grove
Alexandria Crumble, Calumet
Alex Webster, Crown Point
Lauren Chappell, Griffith
Stephanie Wanicki, Highland
Amanda Stoops, Hobart
Chrissy DiCostanzo, Munster
Jillian Martin, Munster
Heather Hutton, Valparaiso
Brooke McAfee, Valparaiso
Brittany Landreth, Valparaiso
    


If anyone ever doubted it, the Region plays defense with a capital "D".  According to the always-interesting game stats site Indiana High School Basketball, seven of the top 15 defensive teams hail from Lake and Porter Counties.  The always tough Valparaiso defense leads the state in limiting their opponents' scoring, averaging 35.46 points allowed per game this season.  The top 15 list is as follows:
   
DEFENSIVE AVERAGE
1. Valparaiso 35.46 
2. Griffith 35.86 
3. North Putnam 36.17 
4. Whiting 36.33 
5. Borden 36.48 
6. Highland 36.54 
7. Fountain Cent. 38.13 
8. Union City 38.52 
9. Angola 38.71 
10. Wash. Catholic 38.95 
11. Hebron 39.00 
12. Crown Point 39.18 
13. Gibson Southern 39.41 
14. TH South 39.52 
15. Calumet 39.68


Whiteland senior Megan Liffick has been named the Daily Journal Johnson County Player of the Year for the second year in a row.  Liffick "shattered" the county scoring record by 278 points this season.  The Daily Journal also named the members of its All-County Team, which include Liffick, sophomore Adrienne Squire of Indian Creek, senior Morgan Goode of Franklin, senior Lindsay Atkinson of Greenwood and junior Erin Ladyman of Center Grove.


Decatur Central senior Dana Collins was recently interviewed by GBall Magazine with respect to her recruiting experiences.  Collins is headed to Ball State next fall, and was also recruited by Loyola, Bowling Green and Toledo.


After losing to a good North Putnam team on Saturday, Triton Central coach Larry Pringle put speculation to rest that he would be resigning.  According to the Indianapolis Star, Pringle will be back, trying to find a more positive end to his career at TC.


In case you missed out on ordering the highly-touted 2001-02 Indiana High School Basketball Guide, published by High School Sports Publications, you can now download the entire guide online by conference.  I can't recall any publication making their book available online at no cost.  Kudos to HSSP for making this available to everyone around the state.  The downloads require Adobe Acrobat for viewing.  The entire index can be found the the HSSP website.  


Duneland Athletic Conference principals met last night to decide whether or not the league will expand after membership applications from Lake Central, East Chicago, Penn, Elkhart Central and Mishawaka were submitted.  According to the Post-Tribune, one member school is stating that at least one new school will be admitted to the conference.  More on the subject:
   
Will area team win Duneland lottery? - SB Tribune
   
UPDATE:  The Times has announced that Lake Central, Penn and Mishawaka have all been invited to join the Duneland.  Those three schools have until March 1 to make a decision.


Purdue's Mary Jo Noon (Jeffersonville) was the subject of GBall Magazine's One on One column recently.  Noon suffered stress fractures in her foot and a torn ACL during her career at Purdue, but now she is flying high as a solid contributor for the Boilermakers.


For the first time in her career, Toledo's Courtney Risinger (Terre Haute South) is this week's West Division Player of the Week.  In a pair of wins over Northern Illinois and Akron, Risinger averaged 24.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.  She connected on 71 percent of her shots from the floor, including 68 percent from 3-point range.  The senior guard tallied a school-tying eight 3-pointers en route to a season-high 30 points in the team's win over the Huskies.  The last of her triples was the game-winner, breaking a 53-53 tie with eight seconds left in regulation.  In the game, she went 10-of-13 from the field and was a blistering 8-for-10 from beyond the arc.  Against Akron, she had 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, four rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes of action.


 

News thru Friday, February 15

        

Before we talk about anything here, an important newsflash:

The 2A Regional originally scheduled for Adams Central HAS BEEN MOVED to South Adams in Berne.


The entire girls basketball community is gearing up for a weekend of 4-team regionals, the first time girls basketball has been seen this format for regional play since the 1997 IHSAA Tournament under single class.  The RRR will be at the Valparaiso Regional where the  hosts will take on Gary West Side in the first game of the day, followed by South Bend Riley and Penn.  Here's our take on the key factors to the games at Valparaiso tomorrow.  (Sorry it got a bit long.)
  


SB Riley's Crystal Norman is  one-half of the dynamic duo that leads the Wildcats in scoring for the season with 38.4 points per game combined.

Draw - The way the draw matched up the four sectional winners feeding into this regional couldn't have been any better for the fans or any worse for Penn and Valpo.  Both teams would have loved a first-round meeting, allowing West Side and Riley to wear each other out in their high-tempo, no holds barred approach to basketball.  The winner of the slow-paced game would have been well-rested and ready to control the evening game.  But, with the draw as it is, no team in this regional has an advantage based upon the draw, other than the winner of the first game getting a couple of hours extra rest before the evening final.
   
Tempo - Both first round games in this regional will be extremely interesting, as you couldn't find two more contrasting styles in Indiana high school girls basketball than Valparaiso/Penn and West Side/Riley.  But which two teams have the style advantage going in cannot be determined until everyone gets a feel for how the officials will be making the calls.  If the games are called close, watch for Valpo and Penn to gain the upper hand with a methodical tempo and trips to the charity stripe.  If the officials let the teams play, both Valpo and Penn could suffer considerably, as neither is well-equipped to get into an offensive, up-and-down the court showdown.  If Gary West Side and Riley make it to the finals, get out the heating pad because your neck will hurt after an evening of watching the back and forth action.  If Penn and Valpo make it to the finals, bring along a book to read during alternating possessions, because it might be one of the most slow-paced, plodding games you'll see all season.  If a game of mix-and-match styles is the result in the evening, again tempo (dictated by the way the game is called) could very well determine the winner.
   
Roster depth
- With two games in one day for the morning winners, depth will play a key role for every team in regional play.  However, with the full-court, run-and-gun tempo of Gary West Side and South Bend Riley, any of the four teams could be lagging by the second quarter of the evening game.  Gary West Side and Penn may have the advantage here, as both rely on a balanced attack and expect scoring off the bench.  Conversely, Valpo and Riley may have the disadvantage, as they rely on a short player rotation and just 2-3 key players to make their teams go.  Seniors Brooke McAfee and Kelly Compton, the Vikings' offensive bread and butter in the post for Valpo, will have to be fresh in the evening game for the Vikes to be successful.  The one advantage is if they do make it to the second game and are tired, their close-range shots won't be as affected by fatigue as much as the Riley perimeter shooting of juniors Suntana Granderson and Crystal Norman could be.  
   


Gary West Side's Michelle Jones is the Cougars leading scorer, averaging 16.6 points per game.  (RRR Photo)

Offense v. defense - Both Penn and Valpo rely upon their controlled defense to win games.  Valpo ranks first in the state for least points allowed at 34.30 per game, and Penn isn't far behind at 39.91 points allowed.  Neither team is known for its shooting prowess, which will definitely be a problem if they cannot dictate game tempo.  However, Riley and Gary West Side are all offense, with a good bit of defense thrown in for good measure.  With two of the state's top gunners in Norman (20.8 ppg) and Granderson (17.6 ppg), only four 4A teams in the state scored more per game this season than Riley's 65.88 point average.  Norman lit up the nets for 43 points in her last outing, exceeding the 42-point school record set by Granderson earlier this year.  Keeping tabs defensively on both shooters will be a challenge even for the vaunted defenses of Penn and Valpo, especially since both present matchup problems with their size at 5'10 and 6'1.  However, the key to Riley is that they are so dependent upon these two.  Gary West Side, not far behind Riley in offensive average at 65.50 points per game, conversely relies on a very balanced attack that goes deep through their bench.  Only senior Michelle Jones averages in double figures (16.6 ppg), with seven players averaging 4.0 or more points per game.  Four of those players, including Jones, shoot better than 46% from the field.  But don't be fooled, the Side is comes in waves at you with their defense, too.  On a two-game day, with a deep bench that produces on both offense and defense, the Cougars will be a handful.
   
Experience - The Vikings step into tomorrow's regional with the most tournament experience under their belts.  During the fabled run to Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2000, seniors McAfee, Compton, Brittany Landreth and Heather Hutton were along for the ride as sophomores.  They just finished playing to a nearly packed house at the Portage Sectional, where the atmosphere was hot and heavy, so they know how to play in a pressure-packed environment.  Gary West Side had the experience of playing in a very hostile Highland gymnasium last year at the Regionals, where they lost a heartbreaker in OT.  It doesn't get any crazier than that game for experience under the belt; but don't forget there is a bevy of freshmen on the West Side roster that have yet to experience what will take place tomorrow.  Riley was at the high-exposure McDonalds Prep event in Chicago this season which will help them as well.  Penn, however, was not really involved in any high-exposure, high-atmosphere events similar to Regionals. This shouldn't be a problem for their seniors, who are seasoned performers, but the underclass contingent of Penn's player rotation may experience a bit of the jitters before feeling comfortable on the floor. 
   
Strength of schedule - Interestingly, none of these teams ranks higher than 66th in Sagarin's strength of schedule rankings.  (See chart below.)  Experience against some of the tougher teams in the state should be helpful to those teams who pulled out wins in late-game situations.  
    

Teams Gary West Valpo Penn SB Riley
Sagarin Rank 32 28 62 18
Schedule Rank 146 66 81 112
Offensive Avg 65.5 47.0 47.6 65.9
Defensive Avg 46.3 34.3 39.9 45.4
Avg Margin 19.3 12.7 7.7 20.5

    
Claims to fame - Each team has accomplished  some major claims to fame for the season.  Valparaiso won the Duneland Conference in a  7-0 sweep.  Penn defeated (at the time) No. 1 Kokomo in a huge upset in January.  Besides a good showing against Whitney Young in Chicago, Riley defeated both Penn and Gary West during the regular season.  West Side, who has seen their sectional dreams taken away two years running, finally brought home the sectional hardware last weekend, but will have to prove to the doubters that two double-digit losses to 4A power McCutcheon doesn't mean they shouldn't be respected.
   
Team keys - Each team will have to make sure they accomplish some key goals if they are to win:
  


Valpo's Brooke McAfee (left) will need to stay out of foul trouble for the Vikes to advance in Regional play.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)

Valparaiso - Against the Side's full court pressure, the Vikings will have to do a better job of taking care of the ball than they did against sectional opponent Crown Point, who forced Valpo into 20 turnovers for the night.  Every possession will be critical from this point on, and the Vikes can't win if they lose possession before they get a chance to shoot the ball.  Post players Brooke McAfee, and especially Kelly Compton, who is probably the most critical piece the the Valpo offense, must stay out of foul trouble.  Also, Valpo's bench will have to contribute with some big minutes and at least 10 points to give Valpo a win.
   
Gary West Side - The Side will have to bring its intensity not just once, but twice if they make it out of the morning round.  With young players who are new to this type of environment, that might be a problem.  Although the Cougars are famous for their smothering "Speed Kills" defense, they will have to take care of the ball after they get the steals and convert on those opportunities when they get them.  Gary West will have to play in-your-face defense against Valpo's post players to wear them down and disrupt that patented high-low post offense.  A physical game, if allowed, will benefit the Cougars tremendously.
   
Penn - The Kingsmen will have to keep their fingers crossed that someone on their roster is hitting shots tomorrow.  A streaky offense will not see a second game, especially against Riley's sharpshooters.  Keeping track of Norman and Granderson will be a Herculean task, but not impossible.  If Penn can't control the tempo, though, it will be over earlier than later for the Kingsmen.
   
South Bend Riley - Riley will need to keep doing the things they've done all season to get to the second round.  There can be no let up or overlooking an opponent that they've already beaten.  Even an early lead could be threatened late if the heads get a little big in the process.  Playing straight-up defense, hustling after loose balls and playing team ball are necessary to move on.
  
OKAY, OKAY.  We know.  Too much information!


Pull up a chair and sit back for a ton of reading on the upcoming regional weekend:
   
General Coverage
Area matchups highlight girls regional tourneys - Post Tribune
Scouting area girls basketball regionals - The Times
 
2-minute drill (news and notes) - The Times
Crunch Time - FW News-Sentinel
Rumbling on to regional - Anderson Herald-Bulletin

4A Valparaiso Regional
Pleased to meet you (Valpo, West Side) - The Times 
Patience pays off for Compton (Valparaiso) - The Times
 
Valpo-West Side matchup pits top defenses - Post Tribune
A net gain for Riley (Coach Mike Megyesi) - SB Tribune
Riley won't take Penn for granted - SB Tribune
   Herculean effort required (Penn) - Elkhart Truth
   
4A Huntington North Regional
Yo-Yo Northrop - FW News Sentinel
Trojans, opponent new to regional atmosphere - Star Press
   
4A Bedford North-Lawrence Regional
Team's two big keys - Tribune Star
South faces stiff regional competition - Hoosier Times
New Albany prepares by scrimmaging boys - Courier-Journal
  
3A Twin Lakes Regional
Addition by subtraction works for Highland - Post Tribune
   
3A Peru Regional
Indians try to keep cooking (SB St. Joseph's) - SB Tribune
Rituals work well for quirky Cadets (FW Concordia) - News Sentinel
   
3A Greenfield-Central Regional
Top-ranked Alex faces unfamiliar opponent - Star Press
Family reunion adds to excitement of Alex tourney run - Star Press
   
3A Jasper Regional
Panthers forward making much noise with her play (North Harrison) - Courier Journal
     
2A Triton Regional
North Newton's iron lady (Brianne Harwood) - The Times 
   
2A Speedway Regional
Big three plus Little Three equals success (Triton Central) - Indy Star
Positive approach pays dividend for Park Tudor - Indy Star
Mustangs, Cougars set for revamped regional - Journal Review

2A South Adams Regional
Indians concerned with their own play (Mississinewa) - Chronicle Tribune
Experience not an issue for young Raiders - Star Press
   
1A Caston Regional
Gladdis gets the message (Washington Twp.) - The Times 
Culver now in underdog role - SB Tribune
Culver's Stacy Stevens standing tall - SB Tribune
   
1A Lapel Regional
Containing Tri-county standout top priority for Clinton Prairie - Journal & Courier
Wes-Del recapturing its success - Star Press

1A Southwestern (Shelbyville) Regional
Falcons, T-Birds set to battle in Class A regional - Tribune Star

1A Loogootee Regional
Borden gearing up for title run - Evening News
Borden trying to come down after winning sectional title - Evenng News
Blackhawks made history with sectional win (Springs Valley) - Courier-Journal


A couple of college commitments have crossed our desk during the past week.
   
Winchester point guard Laramie Smith (5'5) has committed to Franklin College.  Smith led the Golden Falcons to an 18-5 record, finishing out the season in a sectional final loss to Shenandoah by a score of 57-35.  Smith chose Franklin over several D1 and D2 programs on the East Coast.
   
Also, according to the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Arlington senior Shanda Smith has committed to sign with St. Francis in Ft. Wayne.  Smith, a 6'0 guard/forward, helped her team to a 11-8 record this season.


The Post-Tribune is still continues with its Top 10 on a weekly basis.
   

Post-Tribune Top 10

1. West Side
2. Valparaiso
3. Crown Point
4. North Judson
5. Highland
6. Andrean
7. Lake Central
8. East Chicago
9. North Newton
10. Hebron
P-T Top 10 girls teams

 


The South Bend Tribune recently announced the Northern Indiana Conference selections for all-conference honors.


The Top 100 Girls Finalists for the McDonalds All-American Game were announced today.  Making the list from Indiana are Ashley Mays of Warren Central, Jenny Pfeiffer of Jennings County, Sharika Webb and Jessica Wright of Cathedral, and Shanna Zolman of Wawasee.  Also, 29 others from Indiana were nominated in the first round of voting, including NWI seniors Lauren Bechtold of Hebron and Alex Webster of Crown Point.


Bryan Alexander of Hoosier Girls Basketball Report will be conducting a spring exposure event at the University of Indianapolis on March 17th at 10am.  Dubbed the "Midwest Explosion",  this event will draw from the best talent in the Midwest.  All participants will be guaranteed three games.  College and high school officials will be used.  Expecting 175-225 players and 60 college coaches.  Cost is $70.  Anyone who hasn't attended in the past and would like an application can email Bryan at hoosiergbr@yahoo.com.


Ball State, which has been on a roll and is atop the MAC standings, received 8 votes in the latest Associate Press women's college basketball poll.  The Cardinals are on track to break a number of season records if they continue their winning ways under first-year head coach Tracy Roller (Crown Point).


Franklin College recently honored its undefeated women's team of 25 years ago.  Lots of good reading about the "days of long ago" in the Johnson County Daily Journal.


News thru Friday, February 8

        

Two coaches resigned after the first round of sectional play on Tuesday.
   
Floyd Central coach Bill  Krammes, who compiled a 74-73 record over his 7-year tenure as head coach for the Highlanders, handed in his resignation the morning after a 73-56 first round loss to New Albany Tuesday evening.  Krammes, who saw his team ranked as high as No. 9 in the 4A ICGSA poll during the season, cited two reasons for his resignation -- the expectations of a larger time commitment than he is willing to take away from his family with the new summer rules, and his belief that he is not sure that he can take the FC program any higher than what it is presently.  Krammes leaves behind a strong nucleus for his replacement, with all five starters and 10 of FC's top 12 players returning from a 12-9 season.  In an article in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Krammes made it very clear that his decision had nothing whatsoever to do with his players.
   
Boonville head coach Jim Little tendered his resignation also, although his decision to resign was made midway through the season.  According to the Evansville Courier & Press, Little decided that he would resign before his daughter became eligible to play at the high school level.  His daughter will be a freshman next season, and he would prefer to watch her play instead of coach.


In case you missed it on our message board yesterday, Hoosier Basketball Magazine released its Top 100 Seniors list yesterday.  HBM's annual Top 40 Workout, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 10 at Ben Davis High School, will include invites culled from the Top 100 list.  Twelve NWI seniors (shown in bold below) were named to the list.
    

Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 100 Seniors

Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Megan Bess, Danville
Melanie Boeglin, Terre Haute South
Brooke Boggs, Fremont
Kela Bousman, Union City
Sarah Bowling, Southport
Brigett Branson, Turkey Run
Melinda Bunkowfst, North Judson
Ashley Buses, New Palestine
Lindy Carey, Leo
Andrea Case, Norwell
Heather Caudill, McCutcheon
Courtney Cervenka, West Central
Dana Collins, Decatur Central
Jenny Conkle, Fort Wayne Concordia
Katie Coulter, Providence
Candace Dark, Fountain Central
Melissa DeVore, Clinton Prairie
Megan Dossen, Fort Wayne Luers
Carol Duncan, Northwood
Laura Ellerbusch, Castle
Ashley Elmore, Jennings County
Amanda Engleking, Tri-County
Katie Fehsenfeld, Brebeuf Jesuit
Amber Feldman, Triton
Kara Feller, Franklin County
Lauren Ford, Lawrence North
Amber Forkert, Jac-Cen-Del
Lynn Freeman, Bloomington South
Amy Freidenberger, Eastside
Mandy Geryak, Martinsville
Ashley Green, Benton Central
Lindsey Guenin, Northfield
Jamie Gutowski, Andrean
Erin Guy, Twin Lakes
Brianne Harwood, North Newton
Amy Hayden, Fort Wayne Snider
Kia Hayes, North Central (Marion)
Stacy Hinkle, Tipton
Andrea Holbrook, Jeffersonville
Lindsay Houin, Plymouth
Ashley Houston, Eminence
Brianna Howard, Southwestern (Hanover)
Jessica Huggins, New Albany
Ashley Hughes, North Vermillion
Jill Hughes, North Knox
Star Jackson, Southport
Amber Johnson, Ben Davis
Hollie Johnson, Bedford North Lawrence
Tiffany Johnson, Frankton
Megan Jones, Ben Davis
Michelle Jones, Gary West
Christy Joseph, Knox
Mercedes Kays, Frankfort
Megan Lane, Morristown
Lindsay Leffert, Lewis Cass
Megan Liffick, Whiteland
Rachel Loehr, Evansville Memorial
Molly Martin, Noblesville
Lisa Matie, Hobart
Leah Matusiak, Oregon-Davis
Ashley Mays, Warren Central
Brooke McAfee, Valparaiso
Leslie Mehrlich, Decatur Central
Cindi Merrill, Noblesville
Becky Miller, McCutcheon
Tiffany Miller, Carroll (Allen)
Ashley Myers, Carmel
Chasidy Myers, Columbia City
Caroline Nelson, Fort Wayne Blackhawk
Angela Newkirk, Salem
Hilary O¹Connell, Warsaw
Kiyanna Perry, Indianapolis Tech
Jenny Pfeiffer, Jennings County
Melissa Ponsler, Rushville
Tabitha Pratt, Tippecanoe Valley
Jessica Ramey, West Noble
Jennifer Rath, Vincennes Lincoln
Devin Reed, Lawrence North
Jessica Scherer, Triton Central
Leah Seevers, Angola
Stefanie Shrake, Mooresville
Lauren Sims, Sullivan
Kim Sliwa, Boone Grove
Laramie Smith, Winchester
Stacy Spurgeon, Kankakee Valley
Jessica Stewart, Rockville
Darby Sturtevant, Hamilton Southeastern
Nicole Tesseneer, Portage
Erin Trees, Clinton Central
Leslie Tyburski, Hammond Gavit
Meghan Tyree, Mitchell
Cyndi Valentin, Bloomington South
Courtney Veach, Rockville
Danielle Vieira, Cascade
Sonya Wahl, New Washington
Sharika Webb, Indianapolis Cathedral
Alex Webster, Crown Point
Chelsea Wessel, Evansville Reitz
Jenni Wheeler, Frankfort
Stephanie Wideman, Taylor
Chasity Williams, Evansville North
Ashley Woodlee, Penn
Jessica Wright, Indianapolis Cathedral
Cassandra Young, Rossville
Shanna Zolman, Wawasee

Also released yesterday was the updated Midwest Sports Publishing Post-Season Top 100 Seniors, Juniors, Sophs and Frosh.  Region senior players ranked on the first four teams by MSP include:
   
First Team
Alex Webster
of Crown Point
Lauren Bechtold
of Hebron
Michelle Jones
of Gary West Side
Jamie Gutowski
of Andrean
   
Second Team 
Carissa Triplett of Crown Point
Brooke McAfee
of Valparaiso
Kelly Boyd
of North Judson
   
Third Team 
Jillian Martin of Munster
 Lisa Matie of Hobart
Melinda Bunkowfst
of North Judson
   
Fourth Team 
Kim Sliwa of Boone Grove
 Katie Beckman of LaPorte.  
   
High mention for the juniors was Lyndee Arnold of Highland.


Post-Tribune Top 10

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

Andrean's Jamie Gutowski is profiled in the Post-Tribune today (one-day link).  The 5'8 senior guard is finally getting back to her old form after suffering a second ACL tear during the summer.  The timing couldn't be any better, as the 59ers start sectional play tonight against Wirt.


And still the endless discussion goes on, this time in the Indianapolis Star, about whether or not Shanna Zolman will "actually" break Damon Bailey's scoring record if she surpasses the 3,134-point mark during tournament play.  Just 73 points off of breaking the record, Zolman would have to get all 73 points tonight if opponent Columbia City has its way.  The two will face off for the second time this season.  The first round went to CC in a 71-68 win at home.  On a neutral court, the Warriors believe it will be a different story this time around.  With all things being equal in terms of court neutrality, Sagarin predicts an 8-point Wawasee win.  (But then, Kokomo was supposed to beat McCutcheon by 4, according to Sagarin...)


The storied season of the Benton Central Bison is examined in the Lafayette Journal & Courier.  After losing two players to injuries at the start of the season, and then their coach, Sandy Herre, at mid-season, the Bison took awhile to make some major adjustments.  But with a great bye draw in the 3A Western Sectional, the Bison, especially seniors Ashley Green and Holli Brouillette, start a new season where the slate is wiped clean at 0-0 tonight.  With junior Lauren Budreau back at the point after recovering from a lingering knee injury, the Bison are poised to make up for an unexpected turn of events during a disappointing regular season.


A few more previews to tonight's sectional action are online:
   
North, South hope to earn title matchup - Bloomington Hoosier Times
Arties to battle No. 3 Braves - Martinsville Reporter-Times
Washington Catholic hopes slump's effects long gone - Courier & Press
Jeff isn't fazed by underdog role - Louisville Courier-Journal


Scottsburg senior Ashley Peacock is profiled in today's Louisville Courier-Journal.  One of only two seniors on the Warriorettes roster, Peacock worked hard and stuck out a losing string in junior high when many of her teammates decided to quit.  Scottsburg, who beat Jennings County in their season opener, and who lost to Jeffersonville, Columbus East and Bedford North Lawrence by less than 5 points, is the odds-on favorite to take the 3A Corydon Sectional.  Scottsburg faces the hosts in the second sectional game tonight.


According to the Bedford Times-Mail, the Bedford North Lawrence Lady Stars will be without starting center Chelsea Swalls, who suffered an ACL tear in Tuesday's victory over Seymour.  This is the second center the Stars have lost this season.  Courtney Gilstrap, who held the starting center position for the Stars at the beginning of the season, also succumbed to a season-ending injury.  The timing couldn't be any worse, as BNL will face New Albany tonight in the first game of the evening at New Albany.


The Jeffersonville Evening News makes its case for New Washington senior Sonya Wahl to be selected as an Indiana All-Star.  Wahl is currently ranked fourth on the IHSAA State Scoring Leaders with 24.8 points per game.


The latest USA Today Super 25 rankings have undefeated 4A No. 1 Bloomington South ranked as the No. 3 team in the nation behind Lynwood (CA) and Ribault (FL).  


News thru Thursday, February 7

        

The big news around the state coming out of Tuesday's IHSAA Sectional first round was the OT fall of 4A #5 Kokomo to upstart #12 McCutcheon on the Kats own floor by two points.  (Good coverage of the game is in the Lafayette Journal & Courier.)  The Mavericks look to have a clear path to a sectional championship, unless, of course, there is another upset in the Kokomo Sectional crystal ball.  Other upsets of note around the state included unranked Twin Lakes (16-6) over 3A #10 Frankfort (16-7),  unranked Northridge (8-13) over 3A #14 New Prairie (18-4), and unranked Park Tudor (9-11) over 2A #7 Indian Creek (17-4).  All in all, six ICGSA ranked teams fell in first-round action, with four more ranked-on-ranked teams guaranteed to be out of contention after tomorrow night.


A few other teams had brushes with elimination on Tuesday.   Most notable was 3A #1 Alexandria, who pulled out a 55-53 victory over unranked Delta to advance in the Elwood Sectional.  The complete story can be found in the Anderson Herald Bulletin.


Probably the most exciting sectional overall Tuesday night was at the 2A Speedway Sectional.  Both games went into overtime, with Park Tudor taking out Indian Creek 51-49 and Speedway overcoming Monrovia 49-47.


In the most freakish incident that took place Tuesday, Knightstown junior Abbe Trainor, who logged 13 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots in an exciting 33-32 win over North Decatur, was inadvertently run into by a North Decatur player while Trainor was celebrating the win, resulting in a torn ACL for the center.  Knightstown will face Eastern Hancock without her in the first game at the 2A Triton Central Sectional tomorrow. 


After all the complaining that took place on our message board over the past few months about teams being ignored by the ICGSA voters, I wonder how many of those teams would trade their first-round sectional wins for a higher ranking?  Just ask Kokomo, Frankfort, New Prairie and Indian Creek which they would prefer.


There was lots of online articles about Tuesday's games, and although we linked up a bunch yesterday, we found even more today.  So take a second look on our Scores & Reports page for more reading.  (If you don't see the new links, refresh the page.)



Merrillville senior Heather Renehan gets a shot up despite the attacking defense of Valpo's Erica Anderson (#33) and frosh Lindsay Humes(RRR Photo)

The RRR was out at the Portage Sectional (a/k/a the Duneland Conference Sectional) Tuesday night and picked up a few shots of the action there, which included games between Portage and Chesterton, and Valparaiso and Merrillville.  (See our Portage Sectional Photo Gallery.)  We also have a few thoughts on Tuesday night's games.
   
Whistle City.  The night's action produced two (too) long games that saw 75 fouls called and a combination of exactly 100 foul shots taken on the night.  In fact, victorious Valparaiso picked up one-half of it's 50-point game total from the line, most of them coming in a first half when the game was pretty much still in question.
   
Rough Week.  Many were surprised to see Chesterton take Portage by 20 points in the first game.  The Indians looked a bit flat from the outset, which could be attributed to a brutal all-day tournament at Penn the previous Saturday.  The Indians won one and lost one in the Penn Classic, and a Friday night stayover for Portage (we all know how much sleep kids get on overnight road trips) extended the event to two days for coach Renee' Turpa's Tribe.  Portage was the only out-of-town participant in the event that also included South Bend St. Joseph's and Mishawaka.  Don't be surprised if you see the Indians find a replacement gig the week before sectionals in the future.
   
Up-and-Comers.  Although Portage looked flat in that first game, that is not to take anything away from an up-and-coming Chesterton team.  The Trojan youngsters, who have only one senior and three juniors on the roster, pressed from the opening tip to the final buzzer.  The strategy was effective, causing Portage to cough up the ball 16 times -- in the first half; 26 for the game.  However, like exuberant puppies with too much energy, Chesterton committed 20 fouls and managed to turn the ball over 25 times themselves.  This is definitely a team that is on its way up, however, and once that non-stop energy is harnessed by Coach Jack Campbell, this team will be a definite Duneland Conference favorite.  The RRR really likes the talent and demeanor of this team, which displays a good combination of size, quickness and potential.  Point guard Cat Campbell, coach Jack's daughter, is a vocal floor leader and plays the game with heart and passion.  Junior forward Mandi Loving is agile around the boards and can finish in traffic.  Little Holly Melton, a 5'2 guard, handles the ball extremely well and can make the drive and is fearless against even the biggest post defenders.  Junior Shea Bardeson always finds a way to score, and although she won't be with the Trojans next season, senior Jackie Squires has been a steadying influence on the younger players.  After one-and-one-half seasons of taking their lumps, the Trojans are now giving back their fair measure.  In their game against favorite Valparaiso tomorrow night, the Trojans are a dangerous opponent with nothing to lose.
   
Other DAC Youngsters.  The future of the DAC is in good hands by all accounts of Tuesday's games.  Some of the other underclassmen who have a bright future in the DAC and performed well Tuesday are soph point guard Lauren Hutton (5'4) and freshmen posts Cassie Kerns (6'2) and Lindsay Humes (6'2) of Valparaiso, sophs Nicole McDonald (5'6 G) and Emily Safstrom (5'4 G) of Portage, and soph Marshay Jolly (5'10 G) and freshmen Melissa Borom (5'1 G) and Brittany Ursery (5'4 G) of Merrillville.  All played significant minutes on Tuesday.
   
Mardis Gras Luck.  We're just guessing, but Chesterton coach Jack Campbell, who is usually a pretty dapper and conservative dresser, showed up at Tuesday's game with a shiny gold string of Mardi Gras beads around his neck, most likely a post-season good luck charm.  The beads served a dual purpose on Tuesday, however, when the coach grabbed the beads and twisted them up around his neck like a noose after one of his players made a not-too-smart foul, indicating that the Trojans were hanging themselves with errors.  Campbell, despite showing periods of  frustration with his young charges that night, is clearly enjoying this young group.
   
Keeping the PeaceCat Campbell is the third daughter Jack Campbell has coached at Chesterton.  We think he's found a system to keep the family peace during games.  Although vocal at times, Jack leaves the heavy-duty "encouraging" of Cat to his assistant Fred Mitchell.   During one such occurrence of "encouragement," dad just sat back, listened and then grinned to himself when his daughter turned and rolled her eyes.
   
Pins-and-Needles.  Although the large contingent of Valpo Lady Vikings faithful at Tuesday's second game would probably never admit it, most seemed to be on pins-and-needles for two-and-one-half quarters, especially when Merrillville tied up the score at 23-23 with about five minutes to go in the third.  But in what has seemed to be the Vikings trademark MO as of late, Valparaiso came through again with a strong finish.  A 27-2 run from the even-up mark insured a second round appearance in tomorrow's second round. 
   

In the Shadows.  Although much has been written about the Valpo Vikings this season, less than more has been said about senior power forward Kelly Compton.  The 5'11 brick house (both physically and mentally) is extremely vital to the success of the Vikings, which is very noticeable when she is off the floor.  The vaunted Valpo high-low post game, the bread and butter of coach Greg Kirby's game strategy, simply does not work the same without her.  So far on the season, Compton has 186 points, 95 rebounds and 47 assists.  For a team that averages just 47.7 points per game in offense, those numbers are significant.
   


Merrillville seniors Julie Seagraves (left) and Heather Renehan give instructions to their teammates to cover an inbounds play late in the game.  (RRR Photo)

Senior Swan Song.  A number of seniors saw their last high school games on Tuesday, and none made better use of that last chance to perform than Merrillville senior Heather Renehan.  Also one of those players who has been overlooked by the media, Renehan has been a consistent performer for the Pirates the past four years.  A perimeter scoring specialist, Renehan was the reason the Pirates were in it for three quarters.  Hitting two treys and going 10 for 10 from the charity stripe, Renehan gave a typical career performance in her last game, leading Merrillville with 16 points.  You could definitely tell she did not want the night to end.  With about two minutes to go, coach Joe Poteet sent in three subs in between two Valpo free throws, and Renehan was mouthing to herself that she did not want to leave the game.  None of the subs were for her and she spent another minute on the floor before Poteet subbed for her and fellow senior Julie Seagraves, giving the Merrillville fans an opportunity to show their appreciation for their seniors one last time.
   
On Tap.  In tomorrow's games, Chesterton will take on Valparaiso at 6:00 p.m., while Hobart and Crown Point tangle for the second time in two weeks at 7:30 p.m.


The Hoosier Times examines the school record-breaking undefeated regular season (20-0) of the Bloomington South Panthers.  


The DeKalb News Sun has a couple of notes about the 3A Ft. Wayne Dwenger Sectional and the 4A Warsaw Sectional for some interesting reading, including comments from Wawasee coach Kem Zolman and his opinion of what kind of performances he expects from daughter Shanna Zolman in the IHSAA Tournament.
   
Out of Left Field (3A)
In the Arena (4A)


A Highland parent recently forwarded a photo of the Lake Athletic Conference champs for display here.  Highland swept the field on their home floor to walk away with the hardware for the first ever LAC Tourney.  Sophomore Julie DeMuth led the way, scoring a career high 30 points in the championship game against Hammond Gavit last Friday.  On Tuesday, Highland advanced to the second round of sectional play with a commanding 64-15 win over Hammond Clark, while Gavit plays its first game against Hammond Morton in the bye game.   A rematch of the LAC Tourney championship game between Highland and Gavit could be on tap Saturday evening.


According to Wichita State University head coach Zareth Gray, senior forward Jennifer Kaczka (Highland) became WSU's all-time rebounding leader in the 72-64 loss at Indiana State.  Needing six boards against the Sycamores, Kaczka hauled down 11 caroms to give her 891 for her career.  She surpassed Theresa Dreiling who hauled down 885 rebounds during her four years as a Shocker from 1979-1983.  Kaczka ranks No. 6 all-time in the Valley, needing 13 to surpass Drake's Tricia Wakely (903 from 1993-1996).  In Active Career Leaders in the Missouri Valley Conference, Kaczka is #2 in career scoring with 1370 and #1 in career rebounding.


Just a note to all of you AAU coaches out there, the 2002 information packets were mailed out last week.  If you did not receive one, you can either download the documents from the Indiana AAU website or contact Melissa Webb at the AAU office in Indianapolis to receive your packet.


News thru Tuesday, February 5

             


Crown Point senior Carissa Triplett will be taking her outstanding post skills to St. Francis University next fall.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)

Crown Point senior Carissa Triplett committed to the University of St. Francis in Ft. Wayne on Sunday.  The 6'2 center will be welcomed by the NAIA Lady Cougars, who currently start a 5'9 center and 5'8 power forward.  Triplett came to Crown Point last year after playing as a varsity starter in Kentucky since the 7th grade.  (Allowable in the Derby state.)  Triplett is currently averaging 10.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game for the 14-6 Bulldogs.  Triplett was also recruited by Division I Wofford, among others.  St. Francis head coach Gary Andrews, formerly the three-time 2A state championship coach at Luers, has led the Cougars to a 22-6 record so far this season, which has put them at a two-game advantage in the Mid-Central Conference.


ICGSA No. 4 Kokomo sharpshooting junior Anne Thatcher has verbally committed to Indiana State University, according to the Terre Haute Tribune Star.  The 5'9 guard will join brother Joe on the ISU campus, who is a pitcher for the Sycamores.  Thatcher is currently averaging 11.1 points per game for the balanced Kats attack, and has made 42 treys so far this season. 


We missed this one earlier, but speedy Hobart point guard Amanda Stoops has signed with St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer to run the 400 hurdles in track.  Stoops is a big part of the Brickie offense this season, and is also their hard-playing defensive specialist.  Stoops and fellow senior Lisa Matie (5'9 G/F) have anchored a very strong group for coach Kristen Peterson that has improved greatly from the start of this season.  Matie has not yet announced her plans for next year, but is being recruited by a number of college programs.


After the first round of sectional play tonight, there will be nearly 128 teams that will see their seasons end for 2001-02.  Four of those teams are currently ranked by the ICGSA.  The ranked-team showdowns tonight include:
   
4A #5 Kokomo v. #12 McCutcheon
3A #2 Brebeuf v. # 8 Beech Grove
1A #5 Rockville v. #11 Turkey Run
1A #6 Clinton Prairie v. #10 Tri-Central
   
Several sectional preview articles online today:
   
What the future may hold (Hebron) - The Times
Cascade succeeds as a team - Indy Star
4A sectional loaded with talent - Indy Star

Area girls basketball teams start tourney action Tuesday - DeKalb News Sun
Area girls teams set for sectionals Tuesday play - Noble Evening Star
Area girls teams set for sectionals Tuesday play - Steuben Herald-Republican
McCutcheon battles No. 5 Kokomo in rematch - Lafayette Journal & Courier
GIRLS' BASKETBALL SECTIONAL PREVIEW - Marion Chronicle Tribune
Alexandria, Delta face off tonight - Star Press
Sectional opponents looking to knock off powerful Union City - Star Press
Shenandoah, Winchester favored at Centerville - Star Press
Girls basketball sectionals ready to tip off - Richmond Pal-Item
Rematches abound at Centerville Sectional - Richmond Pal-Item
Patriots hope their postseason run avoids the familiar ending - Richmond Pal-Item
Coaches agree Union City is the favorite - Richmond Pal-Item
New faces, new places at girls sectionals - Johnson County Daily Journal
Second season - Terre Haute Tribune Star
Cougar girls taking nothing for granted in sectional - Bloomington Hoosier Times
Sectional at Danville there for the taking - Hoosier Times
WRV, Shakamak, Linton open sectional play tonight - Hoosier Times
Favored Lady Braves to kick off tourney play (Indian Creek) - Martinsville Reporter-Times
Eminence hopes to play NV sectional darkhorse - Reporter-Times
Lady Stars to face Seymour in sectional opener - Bedford Times-Mail
Coaches: Sectional a new game - Louisville Courier-Journal
Mater Dei coach not sure what to expect - Courier-Press


The Porter County edition of The Times has a plethora of notes on Porter County girls basketball heading into the IHSAA Tournament.  Most interesting might be the breakdown of the Region sectional predictions based upon the Sagarin Ratings.  Porter County teams can thank Times correspondent Keith Nuest for his diligent tracking of Porter County teams over the years in this ongoing feature.


Alexandria frosh Jodi Howell is receiving a lot of attention from the media this season, and with good reason.  The 15-year-old guard is featured in the Indianapolis Star for her outstanding stats for the 3A No. 1 Tigers, which include 25.9 points and 4.6 steals per game, along with .515 accuracy from the field and .889 from the free throw line.


Along with other conference moves around the state, Churubusco is considering a move from the Northeast Corner Conference to the Allen County Athletic Conference.  More in the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette.


The Marion Chronicle Tribune spotlights the unheralded players in their area that are quietly making their teams contenders.  Featured in the article are Sierra Jordan of Marion, Libby Hiple of Oak Hill, Brittany Williams and Christy Mellor of Mississinewa, and Ashley Moore of Eastbrook.


The Indiana All-Star hopes of Whiteland senior Megan Liffick are covered in the Johnson County Daily Journal.


Jeffersonville senior Andrea Holbrook is featured in the Louisville Courier-Journal as the 4A #9 Red Devils head into sectional play this Friday.


Wawasee assistant coach Dale Brannock is featured in the Richmond Pal-Item.  The former Wawasee head coach came back to the Warriors bench for one reason and one reason only -- to coach and experience the phenomenon of Shanna Zolman.


Former West Lafayette star Ebba Gebisa was profiled recently in the Lafayette Journal & Courier before her Wisconsin Badgers took on the Boilermakers of Purdue on Sunday.  Gebisa had suffered a high ankle sprain several weeks ago and even though just a freshman, is sorely missed by her team on the floor, according to UW coach Jane Albright.   The Boilermakers came out victorious over the Badgers, who have now lost  five straight games after going 7-0 in league play to start the Big Ten season.


According to Decatur Central coach Jill Meerman, former DC standout Brittany Park, now a freshman at Murray State University, was back-to-back Rookie of the Week in the OVC.  She averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 4.5 three-point field golas per game in her last two games. Brittany had a game high a career high 23 points hitting 5-6 from three point.



News thru Friday, February 1

             
After suffering two untimely ACL tears in opposite knees, Andrean senior Jamie Gutowski proved that she definitely has what it takes to play Division 1 basketball with a verbal commitment to Valparaiso University last week.  The 5'8 guard has certainly had more than her share of setbacks in a stellar career that will only get better with good health at the college level.  According to The Times, Gutowski selected the Crusaders because they stuck with her throughout her injuries and maintained a high level of interest from the beginning.  Gutowski will join Hebron guard Lauren Bechtold and Lawrence North standout Devin Reed to add to the strength of the VU backcourt for the next four years.  Gutowski is averaging 14.5 points and 5.0 assists per game this season despite limited minutes due to her knees not being 100%.  She also hit the 1,000 point mark of her career last night in a LAC Tournament loss to Hammond Gavit.


The Times Top 10

1. Valparaiso (2)
2. West Side (1)
3. Crown Point (4)
4. Highland (5)
5. Lake Central (8)
6. Andrean (3)
7. Hobart (8)
8. EC Central (6)
9. Hebron (9)
10. Hobart (7)
The Times Top 10

The Times' Jeff Carroll gives his annual post-season predictions today.  No real upsets are predicted by the familiar face at prep sports events, but it is some good reading for the favorites and great bulletin board material for the challengers.
   
The Times also has its sectional previews today, with their usual pre-tournament teams.  Coverage is by classes, although we could only find the Class A Sectional Preview online.   Therefore we've listed the pre-tournament All-Sectional Team picks for those who don't get the Munster daily:

Sectional 1 - West Side
Michelle Jones, Gary West Side
Jillian Martin, Munster
Kim Haviar, Lake Central
Linsey Smith, Lake Central
Rayna Hare, EC Central
   
Sectional 2 - Portage
Marshay Jolly, Merrillville
Brooke McAfee, Valparaiso
Lisa Matie, Hobart
Carissa Triplett, Crown Point
Alex Webster, Crown Point
 
Sectional 17 - Highland
Julie DeMuth, Highland
Lyndee Arnold, Highland
Leslie Tyburski, Hammond Gavit
Genae Glasper, Hammond Gavit
Lynette Diaz, Bishop Noll
   
Sectional 18 - Calumet
Jamie Gutowski, Andrean
Megan Austgen, Andrean
Kiki Bytner, Calumet
Clarissa Farr, Griffith
Shanee' Butler, Gary Mann
   
Sectional 25 - North Newton
Brianne Harwood, North Newton
Kim Sliwa, Boone Grove
Val Olis, Boone Grove
Julie Moniak, Hanover Central
Kassie Koselke, North Newton
   
Sectional 49 - Washington Twp.
Sylvia Montes, River Forest
Amanda Alexander, River Forest
Becca Papach, Whiting
Christi Gladdis, Washington Twp.
Ashleigh Griechen, Washington Twp.
   
Sectional 50 - Hebron
Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Jennifer Marshall, Hebron
Britta Johnson, Oregon-Davis
Leah Matusiak, Oregon-Davis
Shanna Beach, Morgan Twp.


Post-Tribune Top 10

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

Gary Mann freshman Shanee Butler is featured in today's Post-Tribune (one-day link).  The 5'5 guard leads NWI in scoring with 22.8 points per game.  Although she attended a feeder middle school for Gary West Side and spent a great deal of time with West Side players and coaches in AAU, Butler is happy at Mann after a family move.  She is hoping to be a big part of a program that is building something special there.


The Post-Tribune (one-day link) also has a few news and notes about girls basketball in the Region, including info about CalumetHebron and Valparaiso.


According to The Times, South Central coach Dan Dunbar officially resigned his position as head coach of the Satellites on January 16, but is still volunteering his time by taking statistics for the 4-15 team.  Citing personal reasons, Dunbar indicated that a "difference of opinion" with the SC principal indicated to him that this was the correct move.  Assistant coach Rachel Weaver will finish out the season as the interim head coach and plans to apply for the job permanently in the spring.


The Muncie Star Press has some girls basketball news and notes, including local Sagarin ratings by sectional.


Much speculation has been made lately as to whether or not Wawasee Miss Basketball lock Shanna Zolman can break the career scoring record of Damon Bailey, which stands at 3,134 points.  Zolman is 134 points off the record, with one regular season game still on the schedule tonight against Northridge and at least one tournament game against Columbia City on Tuesday.  Although a loss on Tuesday would put an end to her scoring run, a three-game appearance in that difficult Warsaw sectional could put her over the top.  The Louisville Courier-Journal recently interviewed Bailey to get his thoughts on someone moving in on his career record, which he set while at Bedford North Lawrence.


Probably THE most important regular season-ending game will take place tomorrow when the Hoosier Hills Conference will be decided in a game between 4A No. 8 Jennings County (17-2) and No. 6 Jeffersonville (18-1).  These two teams will also face each other in the first round game of the New Albany Sectional on Tuesday.  The Louisville Courier-Journal has a preview of this high-powered 4A South matchup.



Yes, Lauren Devich of Bloomington South (holding ball) and Alex Webster of Crown Point (back row middle) were teammates in second grade when they played in CP Pups Basketball.  Lauren, who moved to Bloomington in grade school, plays point guard for her 18-0 team that is poised for a state championship run in 4A.

Bloomington South guard Lauren Devich is profiled in the Hoosier Times today.  The unheralded point guard for the 4A No. 1 Panthers is truly a floor captain on both offense and defense.  What many may not know is that Devich was destined to be a member of the Region girls basketball community until her family moved to Bloomington when she was in grade school.  In fact, the Websters coached Lauren when she played in the Crown Point Pups Basketball league (see photo).  Bloomington South will put its undefeated record on the line tonight when they travel to the gym of a dangerous Decatur Central team.  (Good luck in the tournament, Lauren!)


Although you see a lot of griping on the RRR Message Board about officials on any given day, the Post-Tribune (one-day link) has an article about two of NWI's best in Mike Waisnora and John Goss.  Although Goss chooses not to officiate girls basketball, Waisnora will be named the IHSAA Official of the Year for girls basketball at the state tournament in March.  Fair and composed, Waisnora is highly respected by coaches in NWI and around the state, and rarely gets noticed by fans in attendance --the mark of a good official.  Although it would be great to see Waisnora on the floor at this year's state tournament, he has reached the limit for both girls and boys state finals games, having done three apiece.


You might have missed this one unless you live in the southern portion of the state, but University of Evansville is considering dropping its Division I status due to a $2 million budget shortfall in its athletics department.  Needless to say, this is a huge shock to four Division I women's basketball signees from the Class of 2002.  Megan Liffick of Whiteland, Jessica Scherer of Triton Central, Courtney Veach of Rockville and Jessica Stewart, also of Rockville, have all signed on to become Aces next fall.  However, if the U of E does decide to drop to a lower NCAA division, Liffick will be looking to go elsewhere, according to the Johnson County Daily Journal.  TC's Scherer might also consider a change if the unthinkable happens, according to the Shelbyville News.  Evansville has an enrollment of 2,230 students, making it one of the smallest enrollment D1 schools in the country.  


We've centralized our coverage for the IHSAA Tournament with our new IHSAA Tourney page.  We've included printable, one-page "brackets" for each class, together with all the local coverage we could find on the sectional draw.  We'll be adding to it as the tournament continues, and (hopefully) keep current with the scores and team advancement on the bracket pages.  Best of luck to everyone!!!



 

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