Region Roundball Review

April, 2000
News & Updates
      

 


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

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

April, 2000
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Important upcoming dates:

4/12 thru 5/15 - NCAA late signing period


News thru Thursday, April 27

    

The annual Border Wars in the Ft. Wayne area will take place this weekend, and a couple of articles from the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette are appearing on line regarding the selection process of the team and the final picks.  The Border Wars, officially known as the Nancy Rehm Indiana-Ohio All-Star Classic, will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at Indiana Tech.  The roster looks like this:
   
Nickole Behnke, Homestead
Thyoshi Chambers, Wayne
Summer Cress, Fremont
Nicole Ehle, Woodlan
Sarah Gerber, Norwell
Bridget Horwitz, DeKalb
Julie Johnson, Homestead
Brooksie King, Columbia City
Jennie Moppert, Luers
Michelle Shippy, DeKalb
Carrie Stine, Luers
Sparkle Williams, Snider


Several more signings and commitments have made their way to us:
   
The St. Francis Cougars have signed senior Brandy Myers (5'10 F) of Prairie Heights.  Myers led her team in scoring this past season with 12.6 points and rebounding with 5.1 per game.  The athletic and speedy forward shot 59% from the field, 83% from the line, and is highly regarded as an outstanding pressure defender.  According to the St. Francis staff, Myers fits in perfectly with the Cougars' style of play and they are very excited to have her in their program.
   
According to a reliable source, Jennifer Brock (6'0 F) and Jessica Brock (6'0 G) of 1A fame are bound for Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne.  The Rising Sun twins led their team to the 1A state championship game, where they fell to Triton on a last-second trey in OT.  Jessica averaged 18.4 points, 4.0 assists, 4.1 steals and 9.1 rebounds per game, while sister Jennifer averaged 13.0 points, 2.7 steals and 7.5 rebounds per game as seniors. 
   
Luers senior Carrie Stine has signed with Murray State.  The 5'10 C/F averaged 9.7 points and 7.6 rebounds her senior year at Luers after transferring from Leo.  She helped her team to a second consecutive 2A state championship in March, where she scored 14 points in the title game.
   
Anderson senior Colleen Sargent (5'11 G/F) will be joining sister Shannon Sargent at Huntington College next fall.  According to the Anderson Herald Bulletin, Colleen will play both basketball and volleyball for the Forresters.  Although hampered by injuries throughout her senior year, Sargent averaged 9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists for Anderson during the past season.  Besides athletics, Sargent excels in the classroom, where she carries a 4.13 GPA.


Coach Mark Ziegler has decided to resign his post at Hauser after four years.  According to the Columbus Republic, Ziegler improved the Jets programs during his tenure, going from a 2-17 record his first year to 8-13 the second.  


According to the Post-Tribune, Valparaiso University recently honored its players with post-season awards, and former Miss Basketball Lisa Winter was awarded Most Valuable Player, as well as the Most Improved Player, after her second season at the starting point guard position.  Winter led the Mid-Continent Conference in assists with 5.4 per game.  Winter is part of a 6-member senior group that led the Crusaders to a 72-42 record during the last four years and its first-ever Mid-Con title.  Although Winter has one year of eligibility left due to red-shirting for one year, she has decided to forego her senior year with the Crusaders.  Other award winners were named as follows:
   
Megan Newcomer (NorthWood) - Mental Attitude
Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso) - Best Offensive
Jill Campbell (Chesterton) - Co-Best Defensive
Shantil Robinson (Lawrence North) - Co-Best Defensive
Sarrah Stricklett (Valparaiso) - Leading Scorer


According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier Boiler Station, Purdue junior Katie Douglas will spend the entire summer recovering from surgery she underwent last week to correct ligament damage in her ankle.  Douglas is expected to be ready to practice with her team next fall.


The Fever made its picks in the WNBA draft on Tuesday, and the hopes for a good pick at the No. 26 spot, which was their first of the day, came true.  Looking for a good forward, the Fever picked up Lithuanian star Jurgita Streimikyte.  (Do NOT ask me how to pronounce that.)  According to the Indianapolis Star, Gita, as she will be forever referred to here at the RRR, stands 6'3 and speaks fluent Italian and very little English.  Regardless of the communication issue, the experienced European player can play either forward position and is highly regarded by 2000 Olympics head coach Nell Fortner, who will assume the top coaching spot with the Fever next summer.  Two other players were picked up for Indiana, including Usha Gilmore (6'0 F) from Rutgers and Latavia Coleman (5'10 F), who was acquired through a trade with Houston for Indiana's last two draft picks.  As it stands, here is the current roster of the Fever:
   
Forwards:  Gita, Gilmore, Coleman and Monica Maxwell (East Chicago)
CentersKara Wolters and Nyree Roberts
Shooting GuardsStephanie McCarty (Seeger) and Gordana Grubin
Point GuardsChantel Tremitiere and Rita Williams


According to the Columbus Republic, a former Indiana high school player was drafted by the Charlotte Sting on Tuesday.  Louisville University senior Jill Morton (North Decatur) was picked 34th overall and will fulfill the Sting's wish for a perimeter shooter.  The 5'5 guard was the top three-point shooter in the NCAA with a 53.5% consistency rate (nearly 4 percentage points better than runner-up Sue Bird of UConn), hitting 69 of 129 attempts.


Speaking of NCAA Division I three-point shooting percentage leaders, three of the top six Division I three-point shooters for the just finished season are from Indiana:  No. 1 Jill Morton (North Decatur) of Louisville, No. 5 April Kirby (Mt. Vernon) of Indiana State, and No. 6 Amy Waugh (Homestead) of Xavier.  Also, an interesting bit of trivia is that 11 of the top 15 three-point shooters for the 1999-2000 season were either freshmen or sophomores.  It looks like the youngsters are pushing college basketball to new heights.


News thru Tuesday, April 25

    

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star recently named its Wabash Valley girls basketball picks.  Unlike a lot of media post-season honors, the T-S picked their First Team by position -- three guards, a forward and a center.  Four of the five picks were Indiana players (the other was from Illinois) as follows:
   
Lauren Dailey (5'11 G) West Vigo
Melanie Boeglin (5'6 G) Terre Haute South
Brigett Branson (6'1 C) Turkey Run
Lindsay Secrest (6'0 F) Bloomfield


The Kentucky All-Stars will be sporting a "tall" look with some firepower at the All-Star series this summer.  A roster from the Louisville Courier Journal gives the story with the following info:
   

Player, High School Height PPG College Choice
Jenni Benningfeld, Assumption 6'3 22.5 Vanderbilt
Allyson Baker, Berea 5'3 19.8 Campbellsville
Kandi Brown, West Carter 5'11 19.3 Morehead
Tamaka Clay, Bryan Station 5'8 19.0 Undecided
Jennifer Flener, Webster County 5'10 14.0 Brescia
Kim Graham, Bowling Green 5'10 21.7 Louisville
Kaneshi Hart, Logan County 6'2 18.9 Memphis
SeSe Helm, Warren Central 6'4 29.3 Kentucky
Leslie Logsdon, Hart County 5'10 24.0 Western Kentucky
Becky Schubeler, Elizabethtown 6'2 16.6 Belmont
Jamie Truitt, Apollo 5'10 22.5 Western Kentucky
Camryn Whitaker, Harrison County 5'9 23.2 Undecided

     
 
According to a short scouting report obtained by one of our RRR readers, here are some of the players who could inflict the most damage in the All-Star series for the Kentucky team, which many consider hands-down the best in that state's history:
   
Jenni Benningfield - Going to Vandy and expected to start as a freshman. She is major college material.
   
SeSe Helm - Brutal on the boards.  Expected to start at Kentucky next year and a big name in the SEC right away.
   
Kandi Brown - Excellent 3-point shooter and 80% free throw career shooter.  She led her high school team, West Carter, to the Kentucky state championship.  Dad was her coach.  Going to Morehead.
   
Tamaka Clay - Has a very good 15-foot jumper. Great defensively, but can at times play out of control.


The all-important decisions regarding summer exposure camps and events are coming up soon for high school players around the state.  Exposure events can be an expensive proposition, especially for juniors- and seniors-to-be looking to go to a number of these events in order to raise their stock with college programs.  Before you send in that deposit, however, be sure and check the NCAA Summer 2000 Women's Certified Basketball Events list to see if the events you are interested in attending are certified as legal viewing opportunities for Division I coaches during the summer evaluation window from July 8 through July 31.  Be wary of events that claim to have "college recruiters" outside of that period, as this does not mean college coaches, but may be referring to for-profit recruiting and rating organizations only.  According to NCAA rules, "basketball coaches at Division I institutions may attend only institutional basketball camps as defined in Bylaw 13.13.1.1 and non-institutional organized events -- such as camps, leagues, tournaments and festivals -- certified under Bylaw 30.16."  The link above gives a list of those certified events.  Most likely, this list is updated periodically as more and more events apply for certification.  As a convenience in checking this list in the future, we have included the NCAA certified events link on our AAU Info page.


Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star revealed some girls basketball news in a recent article about Evansville University's new basketball coach (see next news item). 
  
Arminda Urban (5'7 G) of Pike High School will be playing at Parkland College in Illinois next season.  
  
Georgetown frosh Nok Duany (Bloomington North) has been selected to the Big East All-Star Team, which will compete in Canada May 26-June 4.  You can view the entire Big East All-Stars roster, the team's itinerary, and profiles on each of the players at the Big East Conference website.
   
Finally, Indiana University will be holding a reception open to the public at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday to welcome new head women's coach, Kathi Bennett.  The reception will be at Assembly Hall in the I-Lounge.  IU team members will also be in attendance.


It is official.  The new Evansville University head coach is Tricia Cullop, a 1989 North Knox High School grad, former High School All-American, and Purdue player.  A few articles are appearing on-line about Cullop's hiring in the Evansville Courier & Press., inlcuding the official announcement, a bit about Cullop's background, and reaction from Evansville players.  Cullop comes to the Lady Aces from Xavier, where she was a highly regarded assistant there.  Decatur Central senior Mary Blessing, who committed to the Aces during the early signing period, will be highly welcomed by Cullop, who states she very much wants the versatile guard to play at Evansville.


According to the Muncie Star Press, Ball State recently honored players from its women's program for the just finished 16-13 season.  Awards to former Indiana high school players were made as follows:
   
Amy Zercher (NorthWood) - Cardinal Pride
Christy Jones (Muncie Central) - Rebounding
Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook) - Free Throw Shooting
Shannon Copeland (Evansville North) - Co-Captain
   
BSU also recently announced that it has signed former Union High School player Amy Lindsay, who spent the last two years in the Vincennes University program.  The 6'3 center has impressive numbers with 16.7 points, 11 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.9 blocks and 1.9 steals per game for Vincennes her sophomore season.  Lindsay's height should help the Cardinals, who played without a single player over 5'11 in 1999-2000.  You can read more about Lindsay's signing at the BSU women's basketball website.


Purdue junior Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) was interviewed by ESPN during the Final Four in Philadelphia, and offered up her expectations for next season at Purdue.  It's an interesting read that tells a lot about this tough player's will to improve, even though she is already considered one of the top juniors in the nation.


The WNBA draft is today, and if you're interested in following along, the Fans Only website will be updating draft picks throughout the day.  As we reported earlier, the Indy Fever will not get a pick until about midway through the second round with a No. 26 pick.  It's other picks will be No. 42 in the third round and No. 58 in the fourth round.


News thru Friday, April 21

    

Did you catch the cover of last Sunday's Parade Magazine with Ben Davis junior Shyra Ely on the cover?  OF COURSE NOT!  Actor Laurence Fishburne was on the cover.  But seeing as how the boys Parade All-America first pick was on the cover of the previous Sunday's issue, we thought we'd take things into our own hands and create a cover with the only Parade All-America representative from Indiana on it.  (Pretty cool, huh?)  Ely was named to the Parade Magazine All-America Third Team in its coverage Sunday, to which the magazine devoted a skimpy 3/4 page.  The boys had 2 1/2 pages in the previous issue.  (When will those media editors out there get it?)  Ely is one of only two underclassmen on the entire Parade list.  This, along with a number of other national honors she has received as of late, moves Ely into prime position next season for national Player of the Year awards with a number of organizations and/or publications.  She will have to have a strong summer of basketball to make her case.  As a side note, three recruits headed to Purdue next fall are on the Parade First Team -- Shereka Wright, Erika Valek and Cherrise Graham.  A fourth Purdue signee, Lindsey Hicks, was on the Fourth Team.  For a  complete list of the players named to all four Parade All-America teams, go to Women's Basketball Week at the About.com website.


College commitments and signings continue to make their way to us at the RRR.  According to at least two sources, Marianne Nethery of Noblesville has signed with Loyola University Chicago.  The 6'0 center was the main offensive threat for the Millers this past season.  Also, Noblesville teammate Laura Seifert, 5'7 guard, will be playing for Wittenburg University.  And,  unconfirmed word comes to us that Courtney Lickliter of Park Tudor has committed to Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.  
   
Another reliable source tells us that senior Angie Krach of Leo High School has signed to play basketball at Grace College.  Krach averaged 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this past season for Leo.
    

Finally, the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette recently revealed that former Woodlan grad Kara Moore has transferred across town from IPFW to St. Francis.  Moore will be a junior next season and will play the 2-guard position for St. Francis.  Moore is expected to be a very good fit with the current members of the St. Francis team.


The Kentucky All Stars, who will be facing a quick, guard-oriented Indiana group this summer, were named in the Louisville Courier Journal on Monday.  Central Indiana Sports has the complete list of Kentucky All Star players on its site if you would like to see who they are.  We are hoping to get an expanded version of that list with heights and positions sometime in the near future.  According to those near the Kentucky border, this particular All Star team is considered to be one of that state's best ever.  Should be a good showdown this summer!


The 8th annual Northwest Indiana Basketball Classic was held last Saturday, and although the local media didn't report the results from the event, a couple of girls basketball faithful were kind enough to give a general recap of the evening's events on our Message Board.  The East team defeated the West, and Portage senior Michele Pickering was awarded the Monica Maxwell Award as the game's MVP.  Valpo's Erin Sampsel won the 3-point shooting contest that evening as well.  The complete rosters for the East and West teams were as follows:
    

East Team West Team
Tracie Mezera - River Forest
Kafayat Davies - Gary West Side
Meghan Yancey - Gary West Side
Michelle Pickering - Portage
Natalie Yudt - Portage
Christina Walters - Lew Wallace
Natalie Hoover - Lew Wallace
Laura Mumma - LaPorte
Kourtnee Morris - Gary Roosevelt
Loren Taylor - Wirt
Erin Sampsel - Valparaiso
Natasha Nichols - Horace Mann
Bridge Schwoegler - Chesterton
    
Coach - Rod Fisher of Gary West Side
Mariel Yekich - Lake Central
Sara Sikich - Lake Central
Cathy Herring - Morton
Susan Hay - Munster
Stephanie Gill - Munster
Inesha Baker - East Chicago
Cari Edmond - East Chicago
LaWanda Mitchell - Calumet
Tracy Simon - Andrean
Rina Molina - Highland
Melanie Brumbaugh - Hanover Central
Kelly Schoon - Lowell
   
   
Coach - Steve Nestich of Hammond Morton

Earlier this week, the Indianapolis Star featured an article regarding the recent East-West Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game at Corydon High School.  Franklin's Anna Waugh was named the game's MVP, leading the East team to a 101-61 win with 20 points and 4 assists.  The article includes a small write-up about the game, together with box scores.


The Marion Chronicle-Tribune published its All-Grant County First Team recently as follows:
   
Amie Owsley, Sr. - Lakeview Christian
(also named Grant County Player of the Year)
Kristen Whitton, Sr. - Lakeview Christian
Andrea Monroe, Sr. - Oak Hill
Tiffany Wright, Sr. - Eastbrook
Jackie Withrow, Sr. - Mississinewa
Amy Wisser, Jr. - Marion
    
Bryan Elliott of Mississinewa and Greg Whitton of Lakeview Christian were named co-Coaches of the Year.


Now that withdrawal is settling in with the close of the high school season, here might be a quick, but short-lived fix.  The release of the first-ever major motion picture revolving around the theme of women's basketball will be released tonight.  "Love & Basketball" is a story about two childhood rivals and sweethearts who both become major basketball stars for their high school, college and pro teams, and how they deal with life's issues and each other along the way.  You can view more details about the cast and story, including a trailer for the movie, at the Love & Basketball movie website.  If the girls' side of the sport is handled correctly in this one, it is bound to become a favorite among the high school player circuit.  (My guess is that the video version will be out just in time for Christmas next basketball season...)


The IHSAA will be voting on May 1 to decide whether or not a number of private schools presently not members of the IHSAA will get the opportunity to apply for membership.  According to the South Bend Tribune, a minor language change in the by-laws will create that opportunity for a number of small Christian schools throughout Indiana if passed.  If the change is allowed, however, it will be four long years before those applying schools can participate in the IHSAA state tournament.  It takes that long for the waiting period to expire from the time of application to the time of inclusion in the IHSAA.  Other rule changes of interest which will be under consideration at the May 1 meeting include (proposed changes in italics):

       

-- A school shall be assigned to a class by the IHSAA and shall enter the IHSAA tournament in that assigned class unless it notifies the Association, in writing, that it wishes to move up one or more classes. This notification shall (1) accompany the submission of the school’s enrollment figures and (2) be effective for the succeeding two years. A school may choose to move up in a specific sport/s.
   

--A player must have participated in five days of organized practice under the direct supervision of the high school coaching staff in order to be eligible for a scrimmage. The five days of organized practice may be waived for those athletes coming directly from a fall sport.

The lengthy list of proposed changes for all sports can be found at the IHSAA website.


Some future Michigan City area stars were recently mentioned in the Michigan City News-Dispatch.  The Michigan City American Legion 11U team qualified for the upcoming AAU 11U State Tournament in Terre Haute.  While the high school level AAU teams are just getting underway with off-season competition, the younger players have been at it since January, some even earlier.  For a complete list of the teams that have qualified for the various levels of state AAU competition, visit the Indiana AAU website.  The weekend of March 27, the 12U and 13U regional competition begins at eight different locations around the state.  If you live near Columbus, Fishers, Franklin, Lafayette, Perry Meridian, Warren Central or Warsaw, check the AAU website for times and gym locations to catch a glimpse of the rising stars in 12U and 13U Indiana girls basketball.  The state meet for all four age groups will take place the weekend of May 5-7.


Speaking of AAU, we've cleared the decks on our Report Scores posting board, and any of you who are interested in passing along any info regarding game recaps or general information from the off-season are more than welcome to on that board.  The Indiana AAU state tournament season for high school age players will be here before you know it, as signified by the roster deadline coming up soon on May 12.  Also, we are continuing to get rosters on our AAU Directory.  Be sure your team is listed, too!


With Kathi Bennett headed to Indiana University, the Evansville athletic office has been conducting a search for a new head coach.  According to the Evansville Courier & Press, one of the leading candidates for the job is Xavier assistant coach, Tricia Cullop.  Cullop is a North Knox graduate and former player at Purdue that is receiving high marks among the whopping 70 applicants interested in the position.   


The Indianapolis Fever is not looking forward to the upcoming WNBA draft.  After trading away their No. 10 pick to Miami for homestate star Stephanie McCarty, the Fever is looking at pick No. 26 on draft day.  According to the Indianapolis Star,  the Fever is looking for some offense in a perimeter shooter and a power forward.  The pickings most likely will be slim when the team gets its first selection, which is expected to take place midway through the second round.


News thru Thursday, April 13

    

In yesterday's issue of the Post-Tribune, Valparaiso coach Greg Kirby was named its 2000 Coach of the Year.  Kirby led his team to a 25-2 season and the 4A state championship game.  Kirby was also named the P-T Coach of the Year in 1996, the last time Valparaiso made a state championship appearance.


The Full Court Press recently released its Regional High School Rankings for the Midwest, and Ben Davis was ranked No. 2 in the Midwest, while Valparaiso was ranked No. 15.  (The rankings are not yet available on the non-subscription area of their website.)


The late signing period began yesterday, and a number of commitments and signings are starting to pop up.  The late signing period continues through May 15.
   
Lakeview Christian senior guard Amie Owsley has signed with NAIA Indiana Wesleyan University, reuniting her with LCHS teammate Kristen Whitton.  Combined, the two guards scored 3,475 points during their high school careers (2,076 for Owsley and 1,399 for Whitton), and led Lakeview Christian to three consecutive Class A sectional championships, and two regional championships in their sophomore and senior seasons. 
     

Three southern Indiana seniors have commited to Franklin CollegeJenny Cramer (5'11 G/F) of Franklin, Rachel Naugle  ( 5'11 G) of Corydon Central, and Sarah Nobbe  ( 6'3  C) of South Decatur will all become Franklin Grizzlies next season.  Nobbe is a question mark for the Franklin women's program at this time in that she's undecided as to whether she will play two sports or concentrate solely on volleyball.  But with a 1350+ SAT score, a 4.0 GPA, and No. 1 class ranking, she was the recipient of Franklin's only full academic scholarship, so she is a definite somewhere within the Franklin athletic program.
     
The Princeton Clarion reports that three southern Indiana seniors have committed to the colleges of their choice.  Kelly Livingston has made official her intention to sign with Oakland City University.  The 6-0 forward averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 assists per game her senior year.   Pike Central senior Erin Evans has also committed to the Lady Oaks program at Oakland City U.  Evans averaged 21.0 points per game as a senior.  Finally, Livingston's NE Dubois teammate, Missy Merkel, has committed to Vincennes University.  The 6-1 center, who averaged 23.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, has opted to attend the two-year program at Vincennes to take advantage of a robotics program there. 


The Terre Haute Tribune Star is reporting that Morgan Township's Kim McGinley will be signing with Indiana State University, but not for basketball.  The senior is being recruited for the Sycamore softball team.  According to the article, McGinley was looking for an opportunity to play two sports -- either softball and basketball or softball and volleyball -- and had offers from Valparaiso and Colorado State for softball, but opted for ISU.  It is unclear if McGinley will be playing a sport other than softball for the Sycamores.


The Indianapolis Star is carrying a review of the North/South All Star game held recently at Marion High School.  The article has complete box scores from the game in which the South defeated the North 102-94.  Pressure defense seemed to be the difference in the game, with the North giving up 34 turnovers to the South's 16.  The leading scorer for the North was Jessica Reiter of Penn with 20 points and for the South, Lynne Johnson of Corydon with 17 points.


A weekly newspaper from Kokomo and the surrounding area, the Kokomo Perspective, recently named Hillary Beck the area girls basketball player of the year.  Also, the Kokomo Tribune recently released its all-area team:
   
Hillary Beck
(Kokomo)
Blair Boles (Northwestern)
Betsy Bowser (Lewis Cass)
Brooke Burkholder (Western)
Stacey Childs (Eastern)
Lyndi Cruikshank (Peru)
Deuanna Hendrix (Kokomo)
Heather Luttrell (Northwestern)
Casey McLeod (Tipton)
Ashley Rogers (Clinton Central)
Nina Spitznogle (Lewis Cass)
Steph Wideman (Taylor)


The All Mid-Southern Conference picks were recently made as follows: 
   
Lynne Johnson of Corydon
Leigh Carr of North Harrison
Laura Little of Salem
Treasure Miller of Charlestown
Leah Wischmeier of Brownstown
Sarah Winchester of Austin
Kaelin Hall of Charlestown
Jennifer Ashton of Corydon
Rachel Naugle of Corydon
Joy Clark of Scottsburg

Coach of the Year:  Tony Hall of Charlestown
Player of the Year:  Lynne Johnson of Corydon


According to the Frankfort Times, sophomore Hotdog guard Jenni Wheeler attended the NCAA Youth Education through Sports (YES) clinic last weekend at the new NCAA Hall of Champions facility in Indianapolis.  Wheeler was there representing her Frankfort sectional championship team as its outstanding participant.  The NCAA clinic was offered free of charge to participants as one of its community outreach programs.


A new IHSAA commissioner has been named to replace departing Bob Gardner, who is taking on COO responsibilities for the National Federation.  Assistant IHSAA commissioner Blake Ress will assume top duties at the IHSAA office on July 1.  Ress, a former principal from Martinsville High School, is looking forward to taking on the responsibilities and challenges associated with the IHSAA.   You can read about Ress in the Indianapolis Star, Post-Tribune, and South Bend Tribune.


According to the Indianapolis Star, the University of Indianapolis has named a replacement coach for Lisa Hicks, who became U of I's health and P.E. chair.  Replacing Hicks will be former Purdue player, Teri Moren.  Moren, also a graduate of Seymour High School, was a Northwestern assistant coach last year after previously serving in the same capacity at Butler University for six years.  


For those of you who were following the NCAA Tournament, the Lady Vols website has a few interesting tournament notes, including a quote by UT frosh April McDivitt on the loss to Connecticut.


Finally, as a service to players and college coaches, we are trying to compile a 2000 AAU Directory as a way for college coaches to find athletes they are interested in watching and following during the summer observation period.  If you would like to have that information available to college coaches, please take the time to enter your team's information in our directory.


News thru Monday, April 10

    

River Forest senior Tracie Mezera was named today in the Post-Tribune (one-day link) as its girls basketball Player of the Year.  Mezera was the leading scorer in NWI this season, averaging 25.9 points per game, and finished her high school career with a grand total of 1,566 points.



Two NWI players were on the Indiana honorable mention list in USA Today's post season girls basketball honors on Friday.  Although no seniors were listed on the USA Today first through third senior teams, underclassmen Shyra Ely (Ben Davis), Shanna Zolman (Wawasee), and Katie Gearlds (Beech Grove) were listed on its Top Underclassmen to Watch list.   The USA Today Indiana Player of the Year honor went to Ashley Allen of Ben Davis.  Making the USA Today honorable mention list for Indiana were Jackie Batteast (SB Washington), Jennifer DesJean (Perry Meridian), Ely, Kate Endress (Evansville Memorial), Gearlds, Johna Goff (Mt. Vernon), Suzie Hammel (Lebanon), Shalicia Hurns (Broad Ripple), Lynne Johnson (Corydon), Brooksie King (Columbia City), Rachel King (Luers), Sara Nord (Jeffersonville), Jessica Reiter (Penn), Courtney Rosenbaum (Valpo), Erin Sampsel (Valpo), Abby Scharlow (New Albany), Lindsey Secrest (Bloomfield), Sara Strahm (Ben Davis), Anna Waugh (Franklin), Sharika Webb (Cathedral), and Zolman.


The Northland Athletic Conference recently released its girls All-Conference selections.  They are as follows:  Nicole Avery (Argos), Jill Hattenberger and T. J. Merrion (MC Marquette), Tara Kensinger, Leah Matusiak and Andrea Minix (Oregon-Davis), Tracie Mezera and Silvia Montes (Rier forest), Tarah Kitchell and Kristin Busse (South Central), and Jacque Drubert (Westville).


South Bend Washington junior Jackie Batteast was recently the object of a short feature in the March 27 issue of the Women's Basketball Journal.  According to the article, Batteast is leaning heavily toward Notre Dame and Purdue on her list of college choices, which also include every Big Ten and Big East program.   According to SB Washington coach Marilyn Coddens, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois have shown very heavy interest in Batteast.  The outstanding junior averaged 21.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 3.2 assists and 2.7 steals per game.  Batteast also carries a 3.9 GPA.


According to a reliable source, it was announced at the Reebok North/South All Star Classic on Sunday that Abby Scharlow of New Albany has verballed to Cleveland State, while Jennifer DesJean committed to attend Ballarmine next fall.  The two Indiana All Stars are members of a senior class that has a number of very good players who have not yet committed to a college program.  The NCAA late signing period begins this Wednesday and will continue through May 15.  You can view our entire list of committed seniors so far on our College Commitments & Signings page.


Yorktown senior Jama Gilmore was named the Muncie Star Press Player of the Year yesterday.  The 6'5 senior, who first picked up organized basketball just five years ago, set numerous records at Yorktown and will play for the Jaguars at IUPUI next season.


According to the Hoosier Times, Bedford North Lawrence coach Jay Ritter is stepping down from his coaching duties there to spend more time with his family and pursue a master's in education.  Under Ritter's two-year term with BNL, the Stars were 31-12.  No replacement for Ritter was named in the article.



Northwestern's Kristina Divjak (left) played her last college game against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament early in March.  (RRR Photo)


Former NWI great and Indiana All Star Kristina Divjak (Lake Central) ended her Northwestern career at the Big Ten Tournament in March.  The fifth year senior was only able to play in seven games her final season due to a chronic knee injury that kept her off the floor the entire season in 1998-99.  Divjak left the Wildcat program with a school record in free throw percentage (.851) and placed second in 3-point field goals (219) and percentage (.409) and seventh in career scoring (1,640).  Divjak gave her final performance her best shot playing limited minutes in Northwestern's 72-39 final season loss to Michigan at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.  Despite her short 14 minutes on the floor, Divjak lead the Wildcats in scoring for that game with 9 points.  Northwestern could have used more of Divjak's minutes during the 1999-2000 season, going 7-21 overall and 3-13 in the Big Ten.  The communications major was a two-time co-captain for the Wildcats and scored a career-high 35 points against Penn State during her junior year.


A very interesting article is appearing in the Indianapolis Star regarding an upcoming vote by the NCAA to change the way Division I basketball recruiting is allowed and scholarships given.  Several changes being considered include the following:

  • Limiting new scholarships each year to just four;

  • Reducing or eliminating summer recruiting with changes in the summer recruiting calendar; and

  • Correlating the number of scholarships allowed for each school to the graduation rate of its basketball program.

These changes could have a dramatic effect on summer AAU programs and how players are recruited in the future.  The idea is to get the emphasis of recruiting back into the academic setting of the high school arena instead of the all-star arena of AAU and other summer programs.


News thru Thursday, April 6

    
The annual Northwest Indiana Basketball Classic High School All Star game will feature senior players from Lake and Porter Counties on Saturday, April 15, at East Chicago Central High School.  The girls game begins at 4:00 p.m., followed by a 3-point shootout competition before the boys' game at 6:30 p.m.  Admission is $4.00.  According to the Michigan City News-Dispatch, players from Porter County include Erin Sampsel of Valparaiso, Laura Mumma of LaPorte, Natalie Yudt of Portage, and Bridget Schwoegler of Chesterton.  As soon as we get a complete roster for the game, we will publish it here.


On Sunday, the Louisville Courier Journal named the results of its own state-wide All-State Team poll of high school coaches it conducted.  Receiving the most votes with 42 was Miss Basketball Sara Nord of Jeffersonville.  Close behind with 36 votes was New Albany's Abby Scharlow.  The entire list of All-State selections as they appear in the CJ are as follows:
     

First Team Second Team Third Team
Sara Nord
Jeffersonville
Abby Scharlow
New Albany
Lynne Johnson
Corydon
Shanna Zolman
Wawasee
Mary Blessing
Decatur Central
Sara Strahm
Ben Davis
Shyra Ely
Ben Davis
Suzie Hammel
Lebanon
Anna Waugh
Franklin
Johna Goff

Mt. Vernon
Kate Endress
Evansville Memorial
Lindsay Secrest
Bloomfield
Jessica Brock
Rising Sun
Melissa Merkel
Northeast Dubois
Connie Myers
Columbia City
Shalicia Hurns
Broad Ripple
Kirsti Holloway
New Washington
Jessica Reiter
Penn
Ashley Allen
Ben Davis
Leigh Carr
North Harrison
Erin Sampsel
Valparaiso
Erin Evans
Pike Central
Jackie Batteast
SB Washington
Jama Gilmore
Yorktown
Courtney Koester
Richmond
Stacy White
Seeger
Erin Stackhouse
Springs Valley
Amie Owlsley
Lakeview Christian
Katie Gearlds
Beech Grove
Jenny DeMuth
Highland
Region area players listed as All-State Honorable Mention in the CJ include:  Melanie Brumbaugh of Hanover Central, Kori Glass of North Judson, Kristi Koselke of North Newton, Tracie Mezera of River Forest, Courtney Rosenbaum of Valparaiso, Joann Smith of Hammond Gavit and Natalie Yudt of Portage.

   


Also in the Courier Journal coverage of its All State poll, the profile on Lebanon's Suzie Hammel mentioned that the sharpshooting senior has verbally committed to attend Valparaiso University next season.  Hammel averaged 21.2 points, 6.5 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game.  Also, the profile on Abby Sharlow revealed that the New Albany senior is being recruited by Cleveland State and North Carolina Asheville.  Sharlow averaged 20.0 points and 5.3 rebounds this past season.  Both seniors were recently named to the Indiana All Star Team.


The Reebok North/South All-Star Classic is scheduled for this Sunday, April 7, when 20 of the top seniors in Indiana will display their talents, some for the last time at the high school level.  The game will be played at 2:00 p.m. at Marion High School and will be followed by the boys All-Star game.  The event is coordinated by Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Garry Donna.
    

North Team South Team
Johna Goff, Mt. Vernon (Fortville)
Suzie Hammel, Lebanon
Kristi Koselke, North Newton
Andrea Milliser, Rochester
Andrea Monroe, Oak Hill
Jessica Reiter, Penn
Cara Smith, Harrison (W. Lafayette)
Sara Strahm, Ben Davis
Brandy Strine, Huntington North
Stacey White, Seeger
Coach: Tracey Hammel, Lebanon
Mary Blessing, Decatur Central
Jessica Brock, Rising Sun
Jennifer DesJean, Perry Meridian
Kirsti Holloway, New Washington
Shalicia Hurns, Broad Ripple
Lynne Johnson, Corydon Central
Sara Nord, Jeffersonville
Lindsay Secrest, Bloomfield
Abby Scharlow, New Albany
Anna Waugh, Franklin
Coach:  Walt Raines, Franklin

   


Two articles are appearing on-line regarding the upcoming Converse/Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Corydon High School.  The Franklin Journal and Evansville Courier both report on the All Star rosters for East and West teams, as well as game times.  The Journal also reports additional information on the upcoming Reebok North-South All-Star Classic at Marion High School (see above).


The Lafayette Journal & Courier recently named its All-Area Team and Player of the Year.   Harrison senior Cara Smith received top honors as POY, while Kinsey Lehe of Frontier, Julie Goad of Twin Lakes, Stacey White of Seeger, Julie Shirley of Lafayette Jeff and Ebba Gebisa of West Lafayette were named to the J & C First Team.  Coach Ed Niehaus of Frankfort was named J  & C Coach of the Year.


The Frankfort Times has a very nice and lengthy review article about the seasons of teams in the Frankfort area, as well as results from area balloting for an All-County Girls Team.  Name to the team, in order of balloting, were:
   
Heather Allen, Sr. - Clinton Prairie
Lindsey Holden, Sr. - Frankfort
Kristin McClaran, Sr. - Clinton Central
Jenni Wheeler, So.  - Frankfort
Denise Burkle, Sr. - Rossville
Sarah Jacoby, Sr. - Clinton Prairie


With the retirement of long time coach Leon Barmore from the Louisiana Tech women's program, it would only be natural for the Techsters to go looking for someone familiar with their program to take the helm.  One head coach with a deep familiarity with the LA Tech program is Purdue's Kristy Curry, who took the head post with the Lady Boilermakers at this time last season.  Curry was Barmore's right hand assistant just a season ago.  But according to the Boiler Station website, Curry is not interested in the job.  She currently has a 5-year contract with the Boilers, which includes a buyout clause for any other program wanting her services.


 

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