Region Roundball Review
March, 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.

March, 2002
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     Important Upcoming Dates:

3/1  - NCAA contact period begins
3/2  - IHSAA State Finals
3/6  - Miss Basketball ballots due by 5:00 p.m.
3/10  - All-Star coaches announced in the Indy Star
 - Top 40 Workout at Ben Davis High School
3/16  - Junior All-Stars announced in the Indianapolis Star
3/17  - Miss Basketball announced in Indianapolis Star
3/24  - Indiana All-Stars announced in Indianapolis Star
3/26  - NCAA contact period ends

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News thru Wednesday, March 27


The annual Northwest Indiana All-Star Basketball Classic has named the members of this year's East and West Teams.  Members from the East Team are from the Duneland Conference, Northwestern Conference, River Forest and Lake Station.  Members from the West Team are from the Lake Athletic Conference, East Chicago Central, Lake Central and Hanover Central.  This year's Classic will be held on Saturday, April 13 at East Chicago Central High School.  Tip-off time for the girls game is at 4:00 p.m. and tip-off time for the boys game is 6:30 p.m.  Donations of $4.00 can be made at the time of admission.  This year's Classic teams are as follows:

Name Pos. High School


Keiona McBride G Lew Wallace
Michelle Jones G Gary West Side
Alicia Booyer F Gary West Side
Alex Webster G Crown Point
Carissa Triplett C Crown Point
Silvia Montes G River Forest
Lisa Matie G/F Hobart
Nicole Tesseneer G Portage
Brooke McAfee C Valparaiso
Kelly Compton F Valparaiso
Brittany Landreth G Valparaiso
Name Pos. High School


Melissa McGing F Hammond Morton
Jillian Martin G Munster
Jamie Gutowski G Andrean
Stephanie Govert F Andrean
Meagan Austgen G Andrean
Rayna Hare F East Chicago Central
Aimee Stirling G Highland
Traci Jerkins G Highland
Lynette Diaz G Bishop Noll
Emily Johnsen F/C Bishop Noll
Leslie Tyburski G Hammond Gavit


Crystal Hill G Gary West Side
Jaleelah Campbell G/F Horace Mann
Heather Renehan G/F Merrillville
Katie Beckman C LaPorte


The 2002 Reebok North/South All-Star Classic will feature three NWI players this year.  Seniors Brooke McAfee of Valparaiso, Alex Webster of Crown Point and Lauren Bechtold of Hebron will play for the North Team at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, at New Albany High School.  The North Team will be coached by Jill Meerman of Decatur Central and the South Team will be coached by 2002 All-Stars coach Donna Cheatham of Southwestern-Hanover.  Tickets for the event can be ordered in advance for $6.00 each from Classic Director Don Unruh by calling (812) 949-4279.  Tickets will be $7.00 at the door.  The complete rosters for both the North and South teams are as follows:

Name Ht. Pos. High School



Lauren Becthold  5'3 G Hebron Valparaiso
Brigett Branson 6'2 C Turkey Run Indiana
Lindy Carey 5'10 F Leo IPFW
Dana Collins 5'5 G Decatur Central Ball State
Candace Dark 5'11 G Fountain Central Ohio State
Megan Dossen 5'11 F Luers Indianapolis
Erin Guy 5'11 F Twin Lakes IUPUI
Kia Hayes 5'11 F North Central Undecided
Brooke McAfee 6'2 C Valparaiso IUPUI
Cindi Merrill 5'9 G Noblesville Miami (Ohio)
Alex Webster 5'10 G Crown Point Southern Mississippi
Name Ht. Pos. HS / College



Ashley Elmore 6'2 C Jennings County IPFW
Andrea Holbrook 5'10 F Jeffersonville Undecided
Brianna Howard 5'8 F Southwestern (Hanover) Undecided
Jessica Huggins 5'3 G New Albany Undecided
Megan Liffick 5'10 F Whiteland Evansville
Jenny Pfeiffer 5'8 G Jennings County Kentucky
Jessie Scherer 6'0 C Triton Central Evansville
Cyndi Valentin 5'8 G Bloomington South Indiana
Sonya Wahl 6'1 C New Washington Southern Indiana
Sharika Webb 5'7 G Cathedral Purdue
Jessica Wright 6'0 F Cathedral Illinois


According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the sites for the Junior/Senior All-Stars exhibition games has been set.  The "south" game will be played at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette on June 12, and the north game will be played on the home court of Miss Basketball Shanna Zolman in Wawasee on June 19.  Related articles:
Pfeiffer named All-Star - Plain Dealer & Sun
Dark, Branson are All-Stars - Journal Review
Selection as an All-Star brings end to suspense - Indpls Star
Indiana All-Star (Brianna Howard) - Madison Courier

The Richmond Palladium-Item recently named its All-Area Team of local Indiana and Ohio players.  From Indiana, all-area honorees include Kela Bousman of Union City, Laramie Smith and Kim Haffner of Winchester, Katy Baumer of Centerville, Jesica Hildebrand of Cambridge City Lincoln, Angela Willis and Chelsea Caywood of Richmond, Whitney Frame of Randolph Southern, Tiffany Meyer of Northeastern, and Katie Pearson and Sarah Rasso of Union City.

The New Castle Courier-Times also named its All-County Girls Basketball honors recently.  First Team members include Amanda Norris (POY) and Teran Warner of Shelbyville, Megan Spurlock and Lyndsay Padgett of New Castle, and Abbe Trainor of Knightstown.

The NCAA Final Four is set for this weekend, and two Indiana girls are getting to experience the Final Four up close and personal.  Tennessee players April McDivitt (Connersville) and Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) will most likely be in the Volunteers' starting lineup when they face Connecticut on Friday.  You can find complete Final Four coverage on the ESPN website.


News thru Sunday, March 24


The Indianapolis Star announced the roster for the 2002 Indiana All-Star Team today.  Joining Miss Basketball Shanna Zolman will be an offense-oriented contingent that includes five guards, six forwards and one true center.  The All-Star team will gather for a two-week camp beginning on June 9, when coaches Donna Cheatham (Southwestern-Hanover), Denise McClanahan (Southport) and Pam Taylor (Franklin Central) will get a better feel for what they have on the team.  Cheatham will have a handle on the entire process, having coached the All-Stars once before in l986.  McClanahan should be of some help to Cheatham, as she knows quite well the skills of at least five of these players, whom she coached in the Indiana's Finest AAU program for several years.  The All-Stars will take on Kentucky in a two-game series on June 15 in Owensboro and June 22 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and also play exhibition games against the Junior All-Stars on June 12 and June 19 at sites yet to be announced.  Related articles:
South's Boeglin an Indiana All-Star
- TH Tribune-Star
Valentin gets All-Star nod - Hoosier Times
Howard, Pfeiffer make All-Star team - Courier Journal

Name Ht. Pos. HS / College

PPG Avg -
Sagarin Schedule Rank

Shanna Zolman  5'10 G 4A  Wawasee / Tennessee 33.8 - 66
Sharika Webb  5'8 G 4A  Cathedral / Purdue 18.3 - 36
Jessica Wright  6'0 F 4A  Cathedral / Illinois 12.8 - 36
Melanie Boeglin  5'6 G 4A  Terre Haute South / Indiana State 13.8 - 14
Brigett Branson  6'2 F 1A  Turkey Run / Indiana 11.6 - 177
Candace Dark  5'11 G 2A  Fountain Central / Ohio State 20.7 - 168
Megan Dossen  5'11 F 3A  Ft. Wayne Luers / Indianapolis 16.3 - 56
Carol Duncan  6'2 C 3A  NorthWood / Purdue 14.5 - 91
Brianna Howard  5'7 F 2A  Southwestern (Han.) / not committed 19.9 - 224
Cindi Merrill  5'8 F 4A  Noblesvillle / Miami (OH) 23.0 - 29
Jenny Pfeiffer  5'7 G 4A  Jennings County / Kentucky 22.5 - 28
Jessica Scherer  6'0 F 2A  Triton Central / Evansville 20.5 - 232
Cyndi Valentin  5'8 G 4A  Terre Haute South / Indiana 22.0 - 9


For the first time in five years and the fifth time in the 27-year history of the Indiana All-Stars girls series, Northwest Indiana, which includes about 50 schools in a six-county area, was shut out of the Indiana All-Stars selection.  The Region had two strong candidates in Lauren Bechtold of Hebron and Alex Webster of Crown Point, both who were recently named by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association as two of the top ten players in the state.  Things do not look good for the Region next year either, as no area juniors were named to the 18-member Junior All-Stars team named last weekend.  That will make it one All-Star (Jenny DeMuth of Highland) in three years for the Region.  Previous years when NWI was blanked include 1981, 1986, 1987 and 1997.

According to the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel, Prairie Heights senior Katie Todd will be attending NAIA Free-Hardman University in Tennessee next fall.  Todd, a 5'8 guard, scored 916 career points for the Panthers.

More coaching changes have revealed themselves with the close of the season:
Hammond Morton coach Steve Nestich will not be coaching the Governers next season, according to The Times.  The six-year coach was informed this week that his job is being posted for new applicants.  Nestich, who led Morton through four winning seasons at the beginning of his tenure, saw the wins column slip over the past two years, compiling a 63-62 record during that time.  Nestich plans to continue his coaching career at the varsity level.
Hammond Clark has hired Dale Ridgley to guide the varsity program next year, according to The Times.  Ridgley, who replaces outgoing Jim Glowacki, has been a varsity assistant for Glowacki for the past two years. Ridgley, who is also the Clark head softball coach, believes his team will no longer be the doormat of the city with some of the talent coming up and maturing over the next two years.  The past two seasons, the Pioneers went 3-35 and were outscored by more than 30 points per game.

With the boys season coming to an end yesterday at Conseco, the four-class tournament format has again begun to be reevaluated by those in the media and elsewhere.  The IHSAA could be looking to discuss some changes when it meets within the next month.  Related articles:
Class basketball still needs improving
- Pharos Tribune
Three-class proposal returns - The Times
IHSAA could consider proposals to change tourney format again
- Indy Star

The Ft. Wayne News Sentinel has named Lindy Carey of Leo as its PrepSports 2001-02 Girls Player of the Year.  Carey, a four-year varsity player for the Lions, has played four different positions for her team.  She is the career scoring leader at Leo with 1,352 points and averaged 23.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.7 steals per game against a competitive schedule.  The News Sentinel also named its 2002 All-Area Girls Basketball Team.  Members include:
Lindy Carey - Leo
Brooke Boggs - Fremont
Jenny Conkle - Concordia
Kelsey Corbin - Northrop
Megan Dossen - Luers
Leah Enterline - Heritage
Mallory Faylor - Columbia City
Geneva Murdock - North Side
Alena Noel - South Side
Abby Noll - Carroll
Jessica Ramey - West Noble
Savannah Werner - Angola

The Peru Tribune recently named Emily Parkman of Peru and Brianne Sunday of North Miami its County Co-Players of the Year, and Peru coach Tim Hudson its County Coach of the Year.  Parkman averaged 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds on the season, while Sunday led Miami County in scoring with 15.9 points per game.  The Peru Tribune First Team also included Trista Engel of Peru, Megan McClure of North Miami and Rosie Knox of Maconaquah.

Former Notre Dame standout Ruth Riley (North Miami) has been chose to participate in the spring training cam for the USA National Team, according to the Peru Tribune.  The training camp is currently in session and will end on April 10.  Riley is hoping to fill one of the seven open spots on the team.


News thru Wednesday, March 20


According to several publications, the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association has named its All-State players and coaches for the 2001-02 season.  Locally, Crown Point senior Alex Webster and Hebron senior Lauren Bechtold were named ICGSA First Team All-State, and coaches Ken Markfull of Andrean (3A) and Jerry Bechtold (1A) of Hebron were named ICGSA State Coaches of the Year in their respective classes.  Also, North Judson coach Kevin Brown was named an ICGSA District Coach of the Year.  The complete listings are as follows:

Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association 2001-02 Honors

ICGSA All-State First Team

Shanna Zolman, Wawasee
Sharika Webb, Cathedral
Katie Gearlds, Beech Grove
Cyndi Valentin, Bloomington South
Reicina Russell, Terre Haute South
Jenny Pfeiffer, Jennings County
Candace Dark, Fountain Central
Alex Webster, Crown Point
Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Carol Duncan, NorthWood

ICGSA All-State Second Team

Jessica Wright, Cathedral
Cindi Merrill, Noblesville
Brianna Howard, Southwestern (H)
Melanie Boelgin, Terre Haute South
Jennifer Rath, Vincnnes Lincoln
Mandy Geryak, Martinsville
Amanda Engleking, Tri-County
Carrie Smith, Brebeuf
Megan Dossen, Ft. Wayne Luers
Jessica Scherer, Triton Central

State Coaches of the Year
4A - Alan Maroska, Terre Haute South
3A - Ken Markful, Andrean
2A - Donna Cheatham, Southwestern (Hanover)
1A - Jerry Bechtold, Hebron

District Coaches of the Year
District 1 - Kevin Brown, North Judson
District21 - Jeff Hoover, Northwestern
District 3 - Jodie Whitaker, Lawrence North
District 4 - Todd Salkoski, Shenandoah
District 5 - Greg Werner, Washington Catholic

Related articles:
ICGSA 2002 Basketball Award Winners - IHSAA
Bechtold, Markfull honored - The Times
NorthWood's Duncan makes ICGSA All-State - Elkhart Truth
Quick Hits - Indianapolis Star
Coaches name Dark First-Team All-State - Crawfordsville Journal Review

Hebron senior Lauren Bechtold was honored yesterday when the Hebron School Board unanimously voted to retire her No. 21 jersey.  Bechtold scored 1,617 points during her three years at Hebron, the most in school history.  According to The Times, the date of Bechtold's jersey retirement ceremony is yet to be announced.

The Post-Tribune recently had a wonderful series of articles about Title IX and girls sports.  Featured as part of the coverage was the season of the Portage girls basketball team and coach Renee' Turpa.  There is some really interesting reading in there, including supporters and detractors of Title IX and the impact it has had on both girls and boys athletics.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame recently inducted its first women's class into its hallowed halls.  IBHF inductee and former Seymour coach Donna Sullivan reflects on the honor in the Jackson County Banner.

The Bloomington Herald-Times has named its All-Area Teams for 2002.  First-teamers include Cyndi Valentin and Megan Casad of Bloomington South, Mandy Geryak of Martinsville, Sarah Thompson of Edgewood and Whitney Thomas of Bloomington North.

Valparaiso University will be hosting Houston tonight in the quarter-finals of the women's National Invitational Tournament.  Valparaiso advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Michigan and in-state opponent Ball State. (Pictures from both games are available on our VU NIT Photo Gallery, courtesy of Jeanette Gray's dad, Gary.)   According to the Valparaiso women's website, tickets for the Women's National Invitation Tournament game Wednesday night between the Crusaders and Houston are on sale at the Athletics-Recreation Center ticket office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and beginning at 5 p.m. prior to the game. All seats are general admission and ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students age 2-18 as well as Valpo students with a current identification card. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. CST in the ARC.  Ticket office hours are Mon-Fri 10-2, 219-464-5233.  They will accept checks, cash, and credit card. (Visa, Discover or Master Card).  Tickets are also available on game day; doors and ticket windows will open one hour prior to tip off.  According to the ticket office, sales are going extremely well.  Group rates are available by calling 219-464-5233.  Related articles:

Houston we have a problem - Post-Tribune
Houston invades ARC on Wednesday - The Times

The Ball State women had a red-letter year in Muncie this basketball season.  The Cardinals, led by former Crown Point standout and Indiana All-Star Tracy Roller in her head coaching debut, racked up a program record 24 wins for the season, including a first-round win in WNIT play, the first ever post-season appearance by a BSU women's basketball team.  Congrats to Tracy and the Cardinals on a great season.  More details:  BSU women's awesome season - Anderson Herald Bulletin

Pat McKee's women's sports notes in the Indianapolis Star mentions the fact that the NCAA tournament featured a plethora of former Indiana high school players, many of whom played key roles for their teams.  NWI representatives in the NCAA tournament included Purdue's Kelly Komara (Lake Central), Indiana's Jenny DeMuth (Highland), Wisconsin-Green Bay's Natalie Yudt (Portage), and Colorado State's Jackie Campbell (Chesterton).


Also noted in McKee's article is that former Munster standout Stephanie Gill lead her Indiana Wesleyan team to the National Christian College Athletic Association national championship.  Gill scored 17 points in the 80-62 championship win over Mid-America Nazarene in Boilings Springs, North Carolina.

Purdue's Kelly Komara (Lake Central) finished her college career with class, logging 14 points, 8 steals, 6 assists and 6 rebounds in her team's loss to Old Dominion on Monday.  The 5'7 guard finishes her career as the winningest player in Big Ten history, with 112 career wins.  She also set the season steal record with 120 this season.  According to The Times, Komara is hoping for a draft bid in this summer's WNBA draft, but will also be finishing up her college studies by student teaching next fall.  The physical education major plans on coaching at the collegiate level in the future.  

Related articles:  
Boilermakers leave legacy of togetherness, hard work
- Indianapolis Star

Boilers' year still special - Lafayette Journal & Courier

Inner circle of Curry's 'basketball family' takes loss hard - Lafayette Journal & Courier

Former Ben Davis state championship team member Kristin Van Valin was named Co-Rookie of the Year for the Wolverine/Hoosier Athletic conference.  Playing center for Spring Arbor University, she was named to the conference all-defensive team as well as all-conference honorable mention.  She averaged 10.5 pts. and 8.7 rpg and led the conference in blocked shots with 100.


News thru Sunday, March 17


Shanna Zolman traded in her No. 24 Wawasee jersey for No. 1 on the Indiana All-Stars team.  (Indy Star Photo)

In this season's no-brainer Miss Basketball voting, Wawasee senior Shanna Zolman made it official by accepting the Indiana All-Stars No. 1 jersey today.  The 5'10 guard, who leaped to the top of the state career scoring charts this season with 3,085 points, was named the hands-down winner in today's Indianapolis Star.  Zolman amassed 215 of the 256 votes cast in the balloting, with the 51 remaining votes spread out among 19 other senior players.  Zolman, who also averaged 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.6 steals per game will lead the Indiana All-Stars, who will be announced next Sunday, against Kentucky on June 15 in Owensboro and on June 22 in Indianapolis.  More coverage:
Zolman named Miss Basketball - SB Tribune
Wawasee's Zolman is state's best - FW Journal Gazette
Zolman runaway pick as Miss Basketball - Hoosier Times

Before the All-Stars take on Kentucky, they will be tuning up with games against the Indiana Junior All-Stars, who were announced in the Indianapolis Star yesterday.  The juniors will be coached by Jon Howell of Alexandria and assisted by Jack Campbell of Chesterton and Janis Hert of Vincennes Lincoln.  The Junior All-Stars will prepare the All-Stars for their games with Kentucky in warmup games set for June 12 in the South and June 19 at a location in the North.  Although the locations of both Junior-Senior games are yet to be announced, it would be a good bet  that the North game will be at the hometown of Miss Basketball Shanna Zolman, where a good crowd would be guaranteed.  The junior class is very strong and is covered at all positions with the following lineup:
Core Team
Katie Gearlds (6'1 G) Beech Grove
Suntana Granderson (5'10 G) South Bend Riley
Miranda Green (5'6 G) Indianapolis Pike
DeUnna Hendrix (5'9 G) Kokomo
Carrie Smith (6'1 F) Brebeuf Jesuit
Reicina Russell (6'6 C) Terre Haute South
North Team
Jacqueline Closser
(5'5 G) Alexandria
Leah Enterline (5'8 G) Heritage
Allison Lindborg (6'3 C) South Bend St. Joseph
Heather Luttrell (5'11 F) Northwestern
Crystal Norman (6'1 G) South Bend Riley
Amanda Norris (5'11 F) Shenandoah


South Team
Tina Bolte (5'7 G) Columbus North
Rachel Brockman (6'3 F) Indianapolis Cathedral
Megan Casad (5'6 G) Bloomington South
Laura Gaybrick (6'1 C) Perry Meridian
Missy Glaser (5'7 G) Evansville Mater Dei
Catherine Graham (5'8 G) Southwestern (Hanover)
More coverage:
Beech Grove star leads Juniors - Hoosier Times

According to the Indianapolis Star, the field of four has been set for next year's Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle on Friday, December 27.  In the morning double-header, a rematch of the 2A state finals will pit Southwestern (Hanover) vs. Shenandoah, followed by Beech Grove vs. Terre Haute South, which will see 2003 Miss Basketball hopefuls Katie Gearlds (6'1 G) and Reicina Russell (6'6 C) battle it out.  More in the New Castle Courier-Times, Madison Courier and Anderson Herald Bulletin.

The Marion Chronicle-Tribune has named its POY and All-Area First Team.  Mississinewa point guard September Harness garnered Player of the Year recognition, while Jenny Wisser of Marion, Amy Berry of Oak Hill, Tabith Meade of Mississinewa and Arlene Friesen of Eastbrook all join Harness on the First Team.  All five players are juniors and will be back to lead their respective teams next season.  Coach of the Year was Mississinewa head coach Bryan Elliott.

Castle coach Mike Virgin, in a surprise announcement, has resigned his head coaching positions with the Knights.  Citing the new IHSAA summer participation rule in the Evansville Courier Press, Virgin believes that he cannot give the type of commitment now expected of coaches during the summer months.  Virgin compiled an 83-37 record during his five-year tenure, which also included four sectional championships, two Southern Indiana Athletic Conference titles and a regional title.

Good news and bad news for Indiana colleges this week:

Indiana University, in its first-round NCAA game against Conference USA opponent Texas Christian University, left the Big Dance early in a 55-45 grind-it-out loss.  The Hoosiers only shot 23 percent from the field and turned the ball over 20 times in the 10-point loss.  In her final game as a Hoosier freshman, local product Jenny DeMuth of Highland logged 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.  More coverage: 
 TCU spells defeat for Indiana - Hoosier Times

Fairy tale over, but not to be forgotten - Hoosier Times
Hoosiers Fall in Defensive Struggle - IU Website
Both Purdue and Notre Dame advanced in first-round NCAA victories earlier this week.   Purdue handily defeated Austin Peay 80-49 and will play Old Dominion tomorrow in second round play at Purdue.  Senior Kelly Komara (Lake Central), who is doing her best to keep her final college season alive, scored 17 points and added 6 rebounds and 6 steals in the win.  Notre Dame polished off opponent New Mexico Friday in a 58-44 win.  National Freshman of the Year Jackie Batteast (SB Washington), who has been sidelined the second half of the season with a foot injury, returned in the win to score 13 points, pull down 5 boards and pick off 2 steals.  The Irish will face No. 6 seed Tennessee today in second-round play at Tennessee.  More coverage:
Komara leads Boilers blowout - The Times
Komara, Purdue steal show in NCAA opener - Post-Tribune

Purdue Pounds Austin Peay, 80-49, In NCAA First Round - Purdue Website

Boilermakers take first step - Journal & Courier
Purdue defense stymies Austin Peay standout - Journal & Courier
Motivational tactics contribute to impressive Boilermaker victory - Journal & Courier
Irish Down Lobos, 58-44 - ND website
Women's Basketball To Face Tennessee In NCAA Second Round Matchup - ND website
Second half saves Irish - SB Tribune
ND must put end to homecourt run of angry Lady Vols - Indianapolis Star
In NIT action, Valparaiso won 77-69 over Ball State in a rare in-state post-season showdown.  Valpo received a huge, huge boost from freshman Jenna Stangler, who came out of nowhere (actually off the bench) with 18 points after averaging just 1.4 for the season.  Former  Valpo HS standout Jeanette Gray led the charge with 19 points.  The Crusaders pulled off the win with 56% shooting from the field despite 22 turnovers.  They will host NIT opponent Houston on Wednesday night in Valparaiso, which will be a great opportunity for NWI fans to see a post-season college game.
Stanglerís surge spurs VU victory - Post-Tribune
Boone plays Hammelís part - Post-Tribune
Valparaiso eliminates Ball State women - Star Press
BSU Overcome by Valparaiso in WNIT - BSU website

The DePauw women fell in the first round of the NCAA Division III Final Four Tournament in Terre Haute on Saturday.  The Tigers lost 69-54 to St. Lawrence, and then finished with a third-place win over Marymount 65-58.


Tigers' title road blocked - TH Tribune Star
DePauw defeats Marymount 65-58 to finish third in Division III - DePauw website

News thru Wednesday, March 13



The Northwest Indiana contingent of the 2002 Top 40 Workout pose for a photo after the first session.  From L-R, Lauren Bechtold of Hebron, Brooke McAfee of Valparaiso, Jamie Gutowski of Andrean, Michelle Jones of Gary West Side, Brianne Harwood of North Newton and Alex Webster of Crown Point. Below, All-Star Coaches Donna Cheathm, Denise McClanahan and Pam Taylor watch the players go through drills. (RRR Photos)

The RRR was at the first session of the Top 40 Workout for the Class of 2002 on Sunday and it was great fun to watch players we have known and followed for the past four years all together in one place on one day.  After checking in, each player had her picture taken in an Indiana All-Star jersey in anticipation of the All-Stars announcement on March 24, when the pictures of the All-Star team members will be published.  From there, the seniors all received Top 40 Workout t-shirts, color-coordinated into teams of six and seven.  After a welcoming speech by Hoosier Basketball Magazine owner Garry Donna, the players were introduced one at a time to a supportive crowd of about 300-400 spectators.  Top 40 coaches helping out that day were also introduced, as well as Indiana All-Stars Director Pat Aikman and this year's All-Star coaches, Donna Cheatham of Southeastern (Hanover), Denise McClanahan of Southport, and Pam Taylor of Franklin Central.  
After all the formalities, North Central coach Alan Vickrey, who directed both sessions, put 31 of the state's top seniors through a schedule of spirited drills and scrimmages.  Players were divided into teams or positions for the different drills, which lasted about one hour.  The remainder of the time, four teams scrimmaged each other in a round-robin setup in 8-minute and 6-minute running clock periods.  As might be expected, some players played up to their potential, while others did not.  But there was no lack of effort on any player's part.  From our point of view, no players really hurt their chances, with everyone making the effort to give their best.  Unfortunately, McCutcheon guard Heather Caudill twisted her ankle halfway through the session and was not able to continue.  Hopefully it was just a minor sprain.
The girls all seemed to have a great time, and it was fun for all of them to see each other before heading off their different ways.   There wasn't a whole lot of individual play in the first session (didn't stay for the second), and it was nice to see some players setting picks and screens for their teammates, something you don't ordinarily see in these types of events.  Overall, the play was pretty unselfish, which speaks volumes about this group as a whole.  Although it is not really known how much of an impact performances at the Top 40 have on the final selection process, it was good to see that the event might definitely have an impact on the futures of some of the players there.  A number of college coaches were in the stands to get a look at some of the best seniors who had not yet committed to playing at the next level.
As a parent who was there to see her daughter participate, I just wanted to give a public thanks to Garry Donna, Pat Aikman and all the coaches volunteering their time to give these girls a chance to see and spend time with each other in this type of celebratory setting.  From the announcer's play-by-play to the final recognition of the girls as a group, this was a good memory for all of these girls to take away with them from their final high school season.
We have a small Top 40 Photo Gallery from the first session for you to view.  Also, here were the teams for the both sessions:

First Session
Red Raiders
Lindy Carey 5'10
Lindsay Houin 5'10
Sonya Wahl 6'1
Heather Caudill 5'7
Jamie Gutowski 5'8
Ashley Houston 5'8
Jessica Huggins 5'4
Green Giants
Megan Dossen 5'11
Brianna Howard 5'8
Brooke McAfee 6'2
Amanda Engleking 5'3
Shanna Zolman 5'10
Chasity Williams 5'3
Yellow Yankees
Brianne Harwood 5'7
Chelsea Wessel 5'11
Amy Freidenberger 6'0
Lauren Bechtold 5'4
Melanie Boeglin 5'6
Michelle Jones 5'8
Blue Blazers
Brooke Boggs 5'9
Alex Webster 5'10
Carol Duncan 6'1
Jennifer Rath 5'8
Cyndi Valentin 5'8
Amy Hayden 5'10

Top 40 Workout organizer
Garry Donna of Hoosier
Basketball Magazine makes
his introductory comments at
the start of the first session.

Second Session
Red Raiders
Megan Liffick 5'11
Stefanie Shrake 6'0
Leslie Mehrlich 6'0
Sharika Webb 5'7
Courtney Veach 5'5
Hilary O'Connell 5'8
Kiyanna Perry 6'2
Green Giants
Candace Dark 5'11
Devin Reed 5'7
Jessica Scherer 6'0
Dana Collins 5'5
Ashley Mays 5'8
Danielle Vieira 5'11
Yellow Yankees
Erin Guy 5'11
Jessica Wright 6'0
Brigett Branson 6'2
Ashley Hughes 5'7
Jenny Pfeiffer 5'8
Megan Jones 5'4
Blue Blazers
Kia Hayes 6'0
Cindi Merrill 5'8
Ashley Elmore 6'2
Mandy Geryak 5'8
Amber Johnson 5'6
Lindsay Leffert 5'8

Indiana All-Stars Director
Pat Aikman is introduced to
the crowd.



According to a very reliable source, three more players have committed to Franklin College.  Emily Parkman (6'0 F) of Peru, Heather Caudill (5'7 G) of McCutcheon, and Linsey Roberson (5'8 G/F) of Roncalli have all made their intentions known to join the Cubs next fall. 
Also, during the announcements of the first session of the Top 40, it was revealed that 5'8 Vincennes guard Jennifer Rath is headed to Vincennes University and 5'3 Evansville North guard Chasity Williams will be playing for Lincoln Memorial next season.

Lots of season-ending honors by media and other organizations are popping  up in cyberspace and in print:
The Times recently announced Hebron senior Lauren Bechtold as its 2002 Player of the Year for taking her team to the state finals and a near state championship win.  Bechtold averaged 19.3 points, 8.0 assists and 3.4 steals per game her senior season.  The Times also announced its All-Area Team with bios and interesting comments from fellow honorees.  The All-Area Team is composed of junior Lyndee Arnold of Highland, frosh Shanee' Butler of Horace Mann, sophomore Julie DeMuth of Highland, junior Amanda DeVries of Kankakee Valley, senior Jamie Gutowski of Andrean, senior Rayna Hare of East Chicago Central, senior Brianne Harwood of North Newton, senior Michelle Jones of Gary West Side, senior Brooke McAfee of Valparaiso, senior Leslie Tyburski of Hammond Gavit, and senior Alex Webster of Crown Point.
The Lake County Star recently named its 2002 Girls All-Defense Team.  First Team members were Alex Webster of Crown Point, Kelly Boyd of North Judson, Kelly Compton of Valparaiso, Lauren Bechtold of Hebron and Lyndee Arnold of Highland.  The Defense Bench consisted of Brooke McAfee of Valparaiso, Brianne Harwood of North Newton and Cassie Pruzin of Crown Point.
The Michigan City News-Dispatch named New Prairie senior Meghan Pilarski as its 2002 Player of the year.  Pilarski averaged 15.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game her senior season.  The News-Dispatch also named Sara Koselke of LaCrosse, Katie Beckman of LaPorte, Alison Kessler of New Prairie, Macara Hostetler of New Prairie, and Amanda Loving of Chesterton to its All-Area Girls Basketball Team.
The South Bend Tribune All-Star Game was played last Thursday, and New Prairie senior Meghan Pilarski was named MVP of the All-Area Team, while Amanda Lechlitner of Penn was named  the MVP of the All-Metro Team.  The All-Area Team won 95-58.
The Crawfordsville Journal Review has named Fountain Central senior Candace Dark as its Player of the Year.  Dark averaged 21.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 5.0 steals per game this past season.  She is joined on the All-Area First Team by junior Krystal Parker of North Putnam, senior Brigett Branson of Turkey Run, senior Britney Froedge of Crawfordsville and junior Brittany Lee of North Montgomery.
The Vincennes Sun-Commercial has selected Vincennes senior Jennifer Rath as its Player of the Year.  Rath averaged 19.6 points per game for her career.  Also selected to the VSC All-Area Team were Katie Stuckey of Vincennes Lincoln, Jill Hughes of North Knox, Chelsea Gugliotta of North Knox and Ashley Worland of South Knox.

Several online sources  have some great photos from the state finals a week ago.  We hope to get ours up over the next couple of weeks.
Southern Indiana High School Basketball
Central  Indiana Sports
The Madison Courier (2A)

According to the parent of a St. Joseph's College player, head coach Lynn Plett has resigned his position with the Pumas program.  Plett has been at St. Joe's for the past eight years and guided his team to a 9-18 record this season.

Some excitement for Indiana college teams over the weekend.
Three Indiana teams were seeded Sunday in the NCAA bracketing process.  Purdue received the highest seed at No. 2 in the Mideast Regional, while Indiana is seeded at No. 9 in the East Regional and Notre Dame at No. 7 in the Midwest Regional. (You can get a printable copy of the NCAA brackets here.)  Two other Indiana colleges, Ball State and Valparaiso, received bids in the National Invitational Tournament.  Ball State will host Louisville, while Valparaiso travels to the University of Michigan, both on Wednesday, March 13.  If you live anywhere within decent driving distance of the Muncie area, that BSU v. Louisville game should be a great one to get out and see.  
DePauw University has earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Final Four in Terre Haute by knocking off two higher-seeded opponents over the weekend.  Former NWI produce Katie Imborek (Lake Central/Hammond Gavit) scored a career-high 20 points in the Final Four qualifier, while Huntington North produce Sarah MacKay led the Tigers with 21.  This is the first time the DePauw has made it to the Final Four, which will be held in Terre Haute at Rose-Hulman on March 15 and 16.

Notre Dame frosh Jackie Batteast (South Bend Washington) was recently named the Big East Rookie of the Year.  The highly-regarded forward was also named as the only freshman finalist for the 2002 Division I Kodak All-American Basketball Team.  The team will be announced on March 28.  More in coverage on the Notre Dame women's basketball website.
Valparaiso freshman Katie Boone (Center Grove) was the only Crusader named to the Mid-Continent Conference All-Tournament Team over the weekend.  Boone averaged 

News thru Wednesday, March 6


2001-02 State Finals Quick Facts

1A - North Vermillion 45, Hebron 42
2A - Southwestern (H) 70, Shenandoah 64
3A - FW Luers 51, Gibson Southern 37
4A - Terre Haute South 63, S. Bend Riley 42
Pat Roy Mental Attitude Winners
1A - Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
2A - Brianna Howard, Southwestern (H)
3A - Jamie Elpers, Gibson Southern
4A - Darci Rector, Terre Haute South
1A AP All Tournament Team
Kayla Hinkle (MVP), North Vermillion
Lauren Bechtold, Hebron
Allison Hughes, North Vermillion
Lynn Poncsak, Hebron
Jen Marshall, Hebron
2A AP All Tournament Team
Catherine Graham (MVP), Southwestern
Amanda Norris, Shenandoah
Brianna Howard, Southwestern
Julie Brawner, Southwestern
Teran Warner, Shenandoah
3A AP All Tournament Team
Michelle Hamlin (MVP), Ft. Wayne Luers
Megan Dossen, Ft. Wayne Luers
Ashley Nelson, Gibson Southern
Stephanie Gerardot, Ft. Wayne Luers
Michelle King, Ft. Wayne Luers
4A AP All Tournament Team
Reicina Russell (MVP), Terre Haute South
Crystal Norman, South Bend Riley
Suntana Granderson, South Bend Riley
Melanie Boeglin, Terre Haute South
Kristen Clary, Terre Haute South

The season officially ended on Sunday with the crowning of the 2001-02 IHSAA State Champions - 1A North Vermillion, 2A Southwestern (Hanover), 3A Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers, and 4A Terre Haute South Vigo.  You've probably already read all of the online coverage play-by-play of the games (we've updated links on our Scores & Recaps page through today), but as we do every year, here is our own take on the day's events.
Fire and ice.  For those of you who are up in our corner of the state, you know what the weather was like Saturday morning.  We woke up at 5:00 a.m. to nearly a half foot of falling snow and a lot of hesitation about heading to Indy for the state finals.  We love high school girls basketball, but we also like the idea of being grandparents someday.  After talking it over, we decided we'd give it a try by checking the road conditions on I-65.  Those conditions were definitely not great, but passable with slow-going care and caution on slick and icy coverage down to Rensselaer.  (Did anybody see a snow plow or salt truck at all during that stretch on the highway?  We didn't.)  The fire and passion the Hebron faithful have for their Hawks definitely did not keep them away.  Driving 2-1/2 hours to attend the earliest game of the day (set for 9:35 a.m. local time), this tiny blue-collar community wouldn't even have let a 24-inch blinding blizzard keep them from supporting their hometown heroes.  With a town population of just about 3,600, we think it would be safe to say that at least three-quarters of the entire town made up the red and black sea in attendance at Conseco Saturday morning.
Sign of the times.  Anyone that entered Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday encountered new attendance rules that were not in place last year.  With the recent drastic changes in life as we know it, all those who sought entry to the arena were subject to a cursory search before being allowed in. With the same security procedures taking place in a number of venues, such as airports and other events where large numbers of people are present, no one seemed bothered in the least. The rules for the media were stepped up this year as well.  As the end of the first game neared, Conseco officials informed photographers near the floor that absolutely no one would be allowed on the floor after the game for getting those trophy shots, etc. They even went so far as to bring out a restraining rope on the baseline to keep us off the floor.   The floor access restriction and rope were relaxed as the day went on when more than a few photographers who had covered the state finals for years made their opinions known.  Just a few moments of down-to-earth reality on a day filled with high-flying basketball dreams.

Official Mike Waisnora walks off the floor after receiving his recognition plaque from an IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Theresia Wynns.  (RRR Photo)

Where are you when we need ya, man?  Answer: On the floor, but out of uniform.  Longtime respected girls basketball official Mike Waisnora of Crown Point was honored by the IHSAA at center court in between the third and fourth quarters of the 1A game with the 2002 Outstanding Official Award for 26 years of excellence in girls basketball officiating.  After Mike received his award together with a hearty round of applause from the Hebron contingent, a lone voice from the Hawks crowd called out, "Mike, get  your stripes on man. We need you out there!"  By the end of the third, Hebron's aggressive man-to-man saw two of its starters with four fouls and one other with two, while North Vermillion's uncharacteristic zone defense had only two players with more than one foul.  As it was, Mike couldn't suit up for a girls state finals even if he wanted to.   By IHSAA rules, he has already reached his career limit of three state finals assignments.
What if...  Much has been (curiously) made in the papers of the decision by Hebron coach Jerry Bechtold to not go to his daughter Lauren for the last shot in the game.  With just three ticks left on the clock and down by one, Coach B made the decision to use Lauren as a decoy, knowing that the Falcon defense wouldn't ever let his daughter see the ball, let alone touch it, on the final play of the game.  (This story kind of reminds me of the scene in the state finals of "Hoosiers" when Gene Hackman tells his team that Jimmy Chitwood would be the decoy on the last play of the game and they all disagree with him. But this wasn't Hollywood.)  As it turned out, no one would ever know if that was the right decision or not.  It became a moot point when the ball was stolen by North Vermillion on the Hebron inbounds pass, thereby leaving everyone to wonder what if?  But the "what if" that should be asked is, "what if the ball had gotten into Hebron's hands on the inbounds play," not whether or not the plan devised by the coach for the last shot was the right one.  Does anyone really think that North Vermillion would have allowed the ball to end up in Lauren's hands on an inbounds pass?  Not likely, and then time would have run out with no shot taken, and the burning question would have been, "Why didn't Coach go to someone other than Lauren when he knew she'd be covered like bees on honey?"  Don't agonize over this one, Hebron.  No player on your team could have made the game-winning shot without possession.  It was a great effort on a memorable day.  That should be the lasting impression you take with you from Saturday, not any "what ifs" zeroed in on by the media.


Lauren Bechtold gets a hug from dad and coach, Jerry Bechtold, after she fouls out of the game with :01 to go.  (RRR Photo)

Showing appreciation.  Of all the games on Saturday, the 1A game was probably the only one that was still up for grabs during the final minute, which made for the most exciting finish of the day.  Coaches, when conversely leading by a large margin in a game of this magnitude, like to substitute their starters, especially seniors, one at a time so each can be recognized by their hometown fans.  Players, on the other hand, and especially seniors, don't want it to end and would prefer to stay on the floor until the last buzzer.  Neither coach nor player got what they wanted in this game.  Although Hebron fans did get a chance to recognize their biggest Hawk hero Lauren Bechtold before the game was over, it was not under circumstances coach, player or fans liked at all.  The 5'4 senior dynamo was forced off the floor with just :01 on the clock after she picked up her fifth foul in the game to stop a breakaway layup by North Vermillion's Sherri Norman.  That fifth foul came long after Bechtold received her fourth foul less than 30 seconds into the third quarter, which limited the usually high-energy, aggressive guard to cautious play for the last half of the game.

Shenandoah junior Amanda Norris goes in for two of her 30 points on Saturday morning.  (RRR Photo)

Carrying the load.  Although Shenandoah was not able to get over the Southwestern triple-hump of Catherine Graham (20 points), Brianna Howard (19 points) and Julie Brawner (18 points), Raider junior Amanda Norris had the most dominating offensive performance during the early session.  The 5'11 forward accounted for nearly 70% of the Raiders' 64-point offense, scoring 30 points and assisting on 15 more, not to mention four steals for good measure.
En fuego.  The 2A game was the most accurate shooting game of the day.  Southwestern shot a sizzling 56% from the field, while Shenandoah shot a very respectable 43%.  The hottest player of the game was Rebel junior Catherine Graham, who was 6-7 from the field, including 3-4 from three-point, and 5-6 from the free throw line.  Don't be surprised if you see Norris and the gritty Graham on the Junior All-Stars squad this summer.  Both impressed and are definitely gamers.
Coaching firsts.  Two novel coaching firsts were achieved on Saturday.  In the 2A game, Southwestern coach Donna Cheatham became the first coach to win state championships at the helm of two different programs.  Cheatham took home the hardware back in 1989 when she guided Scottsburg to a championship win under the one-class system.   Cheatham also has the distinction of being the winningest coach in girls basketball history with a record of 458 wins and 116 losses over a 27-year career.  Ft. Wayne Luers coach Teri Rosinski is the first former Miss Basketball ever to win a state championship as a head coach.  Rosinski was the leading scorer and mental attitude winner for her Norwell team at the Final Four in 1977.  But her team never made it past the early session that year, losing to Mt. Vernon (Fortville) by three points.  This year's trip to the state finals had to be a sweet and triumphant return for the first-year Luers coach.
Multi-tasking.  The Big Ten Tournament was held at Conseco over the weekend, with a day off on Saturday to make allowances for the IHSAA State Finals.  A number of Big Ten and other Indiana-based coaches made the most of the opportunity, attending the state finals to check out the rising talent there that day.  We chatted briefly with Ball State head coach Tracy Roller, who was comparing notes with former BSU coaching associate Marsha Frese, now an assistant for sister Brenda Oldfield at Minnesota.  Both programs are enjoying unprecedented success in their respective programs, although the Badgers were ousted early in the Big Ten Tourney.  Ball State, co-MAC Conference season champions, will begin conference tournament play today and Roller is optimistic.  The Cardinals will be battling for an NCAA berth, most likely only achievable with a conference tournament championship.

Luers center Megan Dossen gets a complimentary facial from a Gibson Southern player on her way to the bucket.  (RRR Photo)

Let's get physical.  As it usually happens at this level, the referees let a lot of physical play go for several reasons.  First of all, the philosophy should be that the players decide the outcome of a championship game, and not the officiating.  Second, 8,000+ fans don't travel all the way to Indy to see a free-throw contest.  Third, the state finals is on a time schedule without a whole lot of leeway for long, drawn out games, especially if one of those games should go into overtime.  After all, these games were broadcast live around the state and the programming had to stay within a certain time slot.  For the most part, the lack of whistles was not a factor in any of the games (although Hebron fans might have strong opinions otherwise).  But the 3A game had to be the most physical game of the day, with the 4A game a close runner-up.  None of the physical play seemed to be mean-spirited on the part of any team, but with the heightened tensions and a state title at stake, the play did seem to get out of hand at some points.  A (re-)broken nose and a few body slams were all within the flow of the 3A game.  That, combined with 53 total turnovers and a less than stellar shooting night for both teams (15-44 for Gibson Southern and 19-48 for Luers), made the 3A final a grind-it-out game for players, coaches and spectators.
Lasting impressions.  During the awards presentation after the 3A game, I noticed these four young ladies watching with tears as the Gibson Southern girls were awarded their second place medals and trophy.  Although you don't see her tears in this photo, the second one from the left simply could not stop tearing for several minutes, truly feeling the pain of the girls she most likely idolized throughout the season.  There is no doubt that there were plenty of young girls in the arena on Saturday who took away lasting impressions from the day's events, some who will carry those memories for years to come.  I don't know if most high school girls who play the game know just how much of an influence they are on the young girls whose eyes and ears follow their every move and word.
What is it?  There were a lot of great school mascots at the state finals on Saturday, including a great species symmetry between the red Hawk of Hebron and the blue Falcon of North Vermillion. (Would have loved to see them go bird-on-bird at halftime.)  But at least one mascot raised a question in this reporter's wandering mind. It wasn't exactly the burning question of the day, but still one of those odd moments within the greater scope of events that kind of stuck with me.  With the name of the 3A Gibson Southern team being the Titans, I can't really believe that I was the only one at Conseco trying to put a species identity to the GS cheering mascot, a brown, yogi-bear looking kind of creature with horns... or maybe ears.  (Sorry the picture is so small, but I was afraid to get any closer. ;-)  Perhaps one of the great mysteries of the Indiana high school girls basketball tournament this season.


Just try to stop this!  South Bend Riley couldn't.  TH South's Reicina Russell banks off another bucket on the way to a game-high 31 points.  (RRR Photo)

Belle of the Ball.  If the state finals is the Big Dance, then Terre Haute South's Reicina Russell was the Belle of the Ball.  If high school basketball is a girls game, then Russell didn't belong there because she was a woman among girls.  And if anyone was partying in Indianapolis on Saturday, it was Russell who had a coming-out party of her own.  The 6'6 center simply owned the paint in the 4A final and made it look, oh so easy on the way to breaking three 4A state finals records in points (31), blocked shots (7) and field goals made (14).  (Don't forget to toss in 15 rebounds either.)  Russell was the reason the Braves took home a title on Saturday, as she was the single mismatch on the floor in the game.   The Wildcats of South Bend Riley more than held their own everywhere else, but they didn't have an answer for the 6'6 Russell, who scored 20 of South's 30 first-half points.  Riley's tallest player, Crystal Norman at 6'1, was part of a triple-team on Russell throughout the second half that cut her offensive production nearly in half (11 points), but with all the attention down low, the South guards were now wide open to finish the job.


Small victories.  The frustration on the faces of the Riley players was evident throughout the game.  Slashing guards Crystal Norman and Suntana Granderson, who were used to having their way in drives to the hole throughout the season, had to make major adjustments with Russell's long arms in between them and the basket.  After having shots swatted away in the first half, both guards were able to get past the towering Sequoia with some major moves, which even MJ would have been proud of.
A friend in need.  Terre Haute South's second most powerful weapon, senior Melanie Boeglin, was struggling in the first half, picking up three fouls, committing three turnovers and missing three shots for zero points by the time her team headed into the locker room at the half.  When the team emerged and began warmups, Boeglin still could not find her comfort zone, as just about every long shot she put up was missing its mark.  Teammate Reicina Russell, seeing her good friend's frustration, came over, put her arm around the senior and gave her a short pep talk.  Boeglin nodded her head, went out to the far right corner and promptly drained a long shot.  The body language spoke for itself as she headed back to the bench, and in the second half Boeglin regrouped for a very solid performance, hitting one of two shots from the field and 7 of 8 from the charity stripe to finish with 10 points, 6 assists and 5 steals in the game.
One is the loneliest number.  Much has been said about the officiating in Saturday's games, especially by those who believe that their teams could have received more beneficial calls; but I haven't heard one mention about the fact that there was only one female official involved in Saturday's games.  That official, Judy Phillips, worked the 4A final.  Her regular season partner, Kelly Dennis, was sitting next to me on the floor, taking pictures of the officials in the game.  (She said she didn't know why she was chosen to take the pictures, since game spectators have told her on more than one occasion that she's blind and can't see a thing. ;-)  Dennis mentioned that there were only three female officials that worked the entire tournament series this year, and Phillips' lone assignment at the state finals was representative of the fact that there are simply not enough female officials who stick with the game.  (It takes nine-plus years to get a state assignment.)  Don't be surprised to see a future feature on the RRR that will give high school girls all the information they need to become IHSAA licensed officials.  This would be a great outlet for those players who may not have the skills to play the game at the next level, but who love the sport and would like to stay involved.  The IHSAA is crying for new officials, and coaches would be doing everyone a favor by encouraging their headiest players to give officiating a try.

2001-02 State Finals Attendance

1A & 2A Session - 8,159
3A & 4A Session - 9,161
Total Attendance - 17,320

Attendance.  The state finals attendance at Conseco was not the greatest this year.  Although each team brought a big hometown contingent, very, very few of them stayed after or came early to watch any games other than their own. The black curtains were drawn on the upper deck and the only section that seemed completely filled was the lower and upper levels of the Terre Haute South section in the evening game.  Even though class sports has created new opportunities for teams and players across the spectrum, personally I really miss the all-day event of one-class basketball.  Under the old format, there was much to talk about in between sessions -- the early performances and how the intensity of the morning games, whether high or low, would impact the evening game, etc.   There really isn't a whole lot of continuity to the day for the casual fan attending the state finals anymore, and it would be great if the IHSAA could find a way to integrate the state finals into a full-day event instead of a single game event for each class.  Is a two-class system in the future?  If it is, I don't think many would object, and maybe we could get back to a state finals format that would be more interesting for fans of the game who don't have a stake in the outcome.
Inspiration or distraction?  Because the boys sectional championship finals were scheduled for the same night as the girls state finals, any school with a team at Conseco on Saturday had its sectional final moved to Monday.  Of the eight schools at the finals on Saturday, five -- Terre Haute South, Ft. Wayne Luers, Gibson Southern, Shenandoah and Hebron -- had boys teams in the sectional final game.  Results from Monday?  Three lost, two won.

New IHSAA Sports Information Director Jerry Baker is doing an outstanding job in making information accessible to everyone on the IHSAA website.  For the first time this year, complete tournament notes, box scores, play-by-play scripts and play analyses are available online.  If you want to get the complete details from any of the four games on Saturday, go to the IHSAA Girls Basketball page.

We took over 200 pictures on Saturday, some good, some not so good.  We hope to have most of them available over the next couple of weeks.  

According to a media handout from the Indianapolis Star at the state finals, the following is the timeline for all Indiana All-Stars activities:

3/3  - Indiana Junior All-Stars to be selected by the ICGSA. Players selected for the teams will be contacted by Pat Aikman, Indiana All-Stars Game Director. (No mention was made of when the teams will be publicly announced.)
3/6  - Deadline for All-Star ballots at 5:00 p.m. (today!)
3/10  - The head coach and two assistant coaches for the 2002 All-Star team will be announced. Those selected will be in attendance at the Top 40 Workout.
3/10  - Top 40 Workout at Ben Davis High School
3/17  - Miss Basketball will be announced in the Indy Star
3/24  - Indiana All-Stars announced in Indianapolis Star
6/9  - Indiana All-Star team reports to DePauw University for a two-week camp
6/12  - All-Stars v. Jr. All-Stars at a location TBA
6/15  - Indiana v. Kentucky in Owensboro, KY
6/19  - All-Stars v. Jr. All-Stars at a location TBA
6/22  - Indiana v. Kentucky at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

The South Bend Tribune All-Star Classic is tomorrow night, and they have a slew of articles related to the event:
Metro, Area All-Stars to clash at Bethel
Judson's Boyd Area's center of attention

Metro has visions of Granderson

Sun sets on Shanna Zolman era

North Judson's Brown plans to keep it simple

First-year Adams coach a 'basketball junkie'


Area Underclassmen


Metro Underclassmen

The Indianapolis Star has announced Cathedral senior Sharika Webb as its City Player of the Year.  She is joined on the City First Team by teammate Jessica Wright, Heritage Christian sophomore Cassie Freeman, Indianapolis Tech sophomore Crystal Jones and Indianapolis Manual junior Brandi Carter.

The Wabash Plain Dealer is reporting that Northfield junior forward Jessica Mast has been named the Wabash County Player of the Year.  Joining Mast on the All-County First Team are Northfield point guard Lindsey Guenin, Manchester's Heather Terflinger, Wabash's Jenny Dawes and Southwood's Denae Gibson.

The Shelby County Player of the Year is Jessica Scherer of Triton Central.  She captures the honor for the third straight year in a row.  Joining Scherer on the Shelby County First Team are two of her teammates, senior Kristy Gates and junior Audra Blackford, as well as Shelbyville junior Katie Douglas and Shelbyville sophomore Gretchen HaehlTriton Central coach Larry Pringle was named the Shelby County Coach of the Year.  The Shelbyville News also named its top players of the year.
Scherer captures 3rd MVP title
Best of the best named to all-county
TCís Pringle voted coach of the year

The Shelbyville News names top players

The Jeffersonville Evening News has named New Washington senior Sonya Wahl as its Player of the Year for the second year in a row.  The 6'1 center averaged 23.1 points per game on a team that lost three significant starters and gained a new coach in Michelle Ricks.  The article states that Wahl is has verbally committed to the University of Southern Indiana.  The Jeffersonville News also named its All-Clark County First Team, which besides Wahl consists of Providence senior guard Katie Coulter, Jeffersonville junior forward Lauren Stewart, Borden junior guard Jessica Johnson, Clarksville sophomore Candace Bain, and Jeffersonville senior center Andrea Holbrook.  

Several former Hoosier high school players were honored by the MAC Conference early this week.  Miami's Heather Cusick (Kokomo) was named the MAC Player of the Year, and also MAC First Team.  The junior averaged 17.6 points, 5.8 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.5 3-point field goals per game, ranking among the MAC's top two in each category. Toledo's Courtney Risinger (Terre Haute South) was named to the Second Team.  Ball State freshman Kate Endress (Evansville Memorial) was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.  More on the MAC website.

Also, first year Ball State head coach Tracy Roller (Crown Point) was named the MAC Coach of the Year, according to the Muncie Star Press.  Roller led her team to its most successful season in school history, which included the MAC West Division Conference title.

Valparaiso University freshman Katie Boone (Center Grove) was named the Mid-Continent Conference Newcomer of the Year last week, while teammates Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso) and Amber Schober (Plainfield) were named Second Team All-Conference.  MCC champion Valparaiso head coach Keith Freeman was named Coach of the Year.  Unfortunately, the Crusaders fell short in what would have been the program's first ever NCAA bid in a loss to Oakland in the championship of the MCC Tournament yesterday.

The IU Hoosiers, along with starters Jenny DeMuth (Highland) and Jill Chapman (Blackford), secured a berth in the upcoming NCAA Women's Tournament by knocking off all the favorites on the way to the Big Ten Title Monday evening.  An inspiration for the Hoosiers was head coach Kathi Bennett, who was on the sidelines coaching despite being hampered by a heavy "halo" brace keeping her neck vertebrae in place after an auto accident last month.
IU puts on dancing shoes - Hoosier Times
Winning means everything to Indiana - Hoosier Times
Going Dancing... - IU women's basketball website

For all of you AAU coaches out there dealing with the new school team classifications, the Indiana AAU website has the latest rules changes with regard to player eligibility for all teams.  These changes were just implemented within the past two days, so hopefully this will clear up a few questions many of you have had regarding the new classifications.


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
'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
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

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

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)
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
Lindsay Leffert, Lewis Cass
Hilary OĻConnell, 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.

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