Region Roundball Review

April, 1999
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, 1999
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News thru Thursday, April 29

According to a tip from one of our regular visitors, and confirmed by the University of Louisville women's basketball coaching staff, Jeffersonville junior standout Sara Nord has given a verbal commitment to be a Cardinal after her senior season of high school basketball. Nord, a 5'5 guard, averaged 22.0 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.9 steals during the 1998-99 season. As a sophomore, Nord broke a school record in 1997-98 with an amazing 210 season assists over 24 games.

According to Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star, Latrice McMichel (5'11 guard) of Indianapolis Tech has signed to play at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas. McMichel averaged 18.4 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 steals during the 1998-99 season. Also, Tiffany Kyser of Culver Academy has signed to play at IUPUI.
With the impending vote on class basketball taking place on Monday, the on-line papers are full of editorial and evaluative pieces on the subject. The most comprehensive offering of articles appears in the Indianapolis Star, where a week-long series looks at the class tournament issue from every aspect imaginable. Also, the IHSAA has released the results of its two surveys conducted in connection with the class basketball topic. The principals' survey came back with an overall 60% vote in support of class tournament play. The other survey, filled out by over 14,500 fans during the season, showed a 53% preference for something other than the multi-class tournament. We will be reporting on the outcome of the IHSAA Executive Board vote on Monday, which looks like it is leaning very heavily toward the status quo of multi-class tournament play.
Ft. Wayne North Side girls head coach Tonya Burns-Cohrs, 36, who we reported earlier this month was pursuing a WNBA career, has had a gigantic pick set on her hopes and dreams after the WNBA cancelled its open tryouts, originally scheduled to take place in Detroit on Friday. The WNBA/player's union dispute is the culprit which has pushed the playing schedule so tight as to preclude the opportunity of picking up any additional players who might wish to try out for a WNBA team. The disappointment for Burns-Cohrs is very real, as she had dedicated herself for the past ten months to getting into WNBA playing shape to attend the tryout. You can read about her thoughts in the Ft. Wayne Sentinel
(one-day link).
The Purdue womens basketball program continues to be in the news with the following coverage:

"Curry embraces challenge of coaching national champions," Lafayette Journal & Courier, - An interesting and revealing Q & A session with Coach Curry.

"Having Curry as new coach makes Purdue's recruiting easier," Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star - With a 5-year contract, Coach Curry is able to sign needed guard recruit.

"Boilers Receive Letter From Parks," Gold & Black Online - JUCO guard signs with Purdue.

"Benningfield Visits Purdue," Gold & Black Online - With post positions a concern after graduation in 2000, the unofficial visit of 6'3 Kentucky high school junior is seen as promising.

The official announcement of the appointment of Tracy Roller and Marsha Frese as assistant coaches at Ball State University was made yesterday, and College Sports News Daily is carrying an article about the background of these two. Roller, a former standout at Crown Point High School and Eastern Illinois, is leaving her assistant coaching position at Valparaiso University after three years to take on her new duties at Ball State. Tabbed by BSU head coach Brenda Oldfield as "one of the finest recruiters in the country," Roller's strengths in home-state recruiting are expected to be a big asset in taking the struggling Cardinal program to the next level. Frese's background as a sports anchor for KALB-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana, is expected to help promote the women's basketball program in the Muncie area and around the state.
For those of you who are interested in seeing some of the new talent headed into the high school ranks during the next few years, the AAU State Tournaments for pre-high school age groups are taking place this weekend. Tournament play will be going on starting Friday night in Indianapolis for Level I 12U and 13U (national qualifier), in Lafayette for Level I 10U and 11U (national qualifer), and around the state at various other locations for all age group Levels II and III (consolation tournaments). For complete brackets and scheduled playing times, visit the Indiana AAU website Tournaments & Draws page.

Good luck to all NWI teams in the AAU state finals! (Go CP Tigers!)

News thru Sunday, April 25

Manchester guard Megan Eckert went scoreless in the first half of the Nancy Rehme/Border Wars Classic in Ft. Wayne last night, but ended up walking away with game MVP honors after she kicked it into high gear in the second half scoring 18 points, 13 coming in the first three minutes of play. Her scoring spurt, together with the efforts of standouts, Amy Waugh of Homestead and Erin Rhodes of Oak Hill, brought the Indiana team back from the dead and a 13-point deficit at the half to gain bragging rights for Indiana with an 87-76 win over Ohio. You can read about the entire game in the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette.

Keaton Brumm of West LafayetteThere have been several college signings in the past few days:

West Lafayette senior Keaton Brumm, formerly of Andrean and Crown Point, will be hitting the hardcourt for Indiana University South Bend next season. Brumm, who averaged 15.4 points and 4.7 assists per game for the Red Devils during the 1998-99 season, was named her team's MVP. Brumm was also a Journal & Courier all-area second-team pick and first-team all-Hoosier conference selection.

Whitney Avery of Clinton CentralWhitney Avery of Clinton Central is headed to St. Joseph's College after putting the ink to a National Letter of Intent. The 5'8 guard averaged 19.0 points, 6.1 assists and 4.4 steals as a senior for the CC Bulldogs to help her team to a 16-3 regular season record and a No. 4 ranking in Class A by the end of the 1998-99 regular season campaign.

Sarah Gordon of Prairie HeightsSarah Gordon of Prairie Heights has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Huntington College. The 5'8 guard averaged 20.7 points during the 1998-99 season, leading the Northeast Corner Conference in scoring. Gordon holds seven school records for the Prairie Heights Panthers, including a career scoring total of 1,379 points. Huntington College coach Lori Culler will look to Gordon for offensive contributions of penetration and long range shooting. Gordon hit 59 big ones from beyond the arc during her last season of high school basketball.

The SAC has announced its All-Conference selections in the Ft. Wayne area for the 1998-99 season as follows:

Sarah Ratzlaff, Bishop Dwenger
Rachel King, Bishop Luers
Jennie Moppert, Bishop Luers
Sara Schaefer, Bishop Luers
Laura Hebel, Concordia
Linda Graham, Elmhurst
Maria Marchesano, Elmhurst
Lashonda Conwell, Harding
Julie Stauffer, Northrop
Maggie Bruening, North Side
Antoniette Gregory, Snider
Kia Jones, Snider
Brooke Minniear, Snider

The Indianapolis Star is carrying two feature articles on the impending IHSAA vote on class basketball. The Executive Board is scheduled to make its intentions known at its meeting on Monday, May 3.

"Its shine dulled, high school hoops facing crucial vote"
"This time, the call is for keeps"

News thru Wednesday, April 21

Purdue's Stephanie White-McCarty has taken the first step toward receiving one of the country's highest women's sports honors after she was named the winner of the Honda Award as the top woman collegiate basketball athlete for 1998-99. Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star reports that the award puts her in the running for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which will be presented to the top collegiate woman athlete of the year on June 14 at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention in Reno, Nevada. Last year, Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee was named the cup winner.

High school and college coaches are highlighting the news today, with various hirings, resignations and non-renewals (a nice word for "terminations") around the state. The reasons for his resignation were not stated.

As announced in the The Evening Star, Eastside High School in DeKalb County, varsity coach Lonny Emenhiser submitted his letter of resignation to the school board after six Blazer seasons, during which he compiled a 72-53 record.

In the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel (one-day link), it was reported that the contract of Bellmont girls coach Dave Miller was not renewed by a 5-0 vote of the Adams County School Board. Miller, who coached the Squaws for the past 13 years, had received criticism at the end of the season from parents who were displeased with his coaching style.

The Bloomington Hoosier Times is reporting the promotion of Larry Winters from JV to varsity head girls basketball coach at Bloomington South. Winters coached the JV girls for the past five years and inherits a young, but athletic, team of varsity players.

As we reported earlier, varsity coach Bob White of Southwestern High School resigned his coaching position after school administrators were unable to meet his conditional demands for increased salary and gratis use of Southwestern's gym for his AAU team over the summer. Now, the Indianapolis Star is reporting that the Southwestern School District is taking a look at its pay scale for the position, which comes in at nearly 40% less than the boys varsity coach. Many school districts around the state have corrected this pay discrepancy, yet there are others who are still struggling with the issue. A popular decision that puts less strain on already-strained school budgets is to phase in increases over a period of several years to equalize pay and meet Title IX requirements.

The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette is reporting that Indiana Purdue Ft. Wayne (IPFW) has selected Karl Smesko as it's new women's basketball coach. Smesko comes to Ft. Wayne from the University of Maryland, where he has been an assistant coach for the past year. Before that, at age 26, he coached Walsh University to a 1998 NAIA Division II National Championship after compiling a 29-5 season record. Smesko hopes to bring his winning ways to the IPFW Mastodons women's program, which went 2-24 in the 1998-99 season.

Butler University is looking at a net effect after adding one player to its roster, while losing another to transfer. Coming into the Bulldog fold is 5'11 Valerie Burg of Kankakee Community College, who averaged 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while garnering Kodak Junior College All-American status two years running. Leaving the Bulldogs is 5'9 junior Sarah Hurrle ('96 Roncalli), Butler's leading scorer (13.3 ppg) this past season and former Indiana All-Star. She is headed to Western Michigan University, where she will play with one year of eligibility left after sitting out next season. You can get more info on the comings and goings of the Butler womens program in the Indianapolis Star, and a look at the just-completed Butler season at the Butler women's basketball website.
As reported in the Connersville News-Examiner, the sites for the Indiana Jr./Sr. All-Star games have yet to be announced, and Connersville may be in the running with a highly favorable rating after the recent North-South Reebok Classic by those who influence that decision. Typically, those two games are played in diverse districts of the state, usually north and south. This allows an opportunity for a wide variety of girls basketball fans to catch a last glimpse of some of the best senior players in the state closer to home. All-Stars practice begins June 13, and we will bring you the dates and places of the Jr. All-Stars exhibition games to you as soon as they are announced.
News thru Sunday, April 18

With the end of this season also comes the anticipation of next season and speculation as to who some of the top high school players to keep an eye on. USA Today recently named its picks of the top 30 underclass(wo)men in the nation to watch next season, including two players from Indiana -- sophomore Shyra Ely of Ben Davis and freshman Shanna Zolman of Wawasee. Also, Fast Break, a website covering girls and women's basketball around the country, has named Hammond Morton's Cathy Herring as one of the Fast Break Top 40 junior prospects in the nation at No. 37.

Connnersville senior April McDivitt will be playing her last game on the Spartan Bowl hardcourt today in the North-South All-Star Reebok Classic, and she shares some thoughts about that in the Connersville News-Examiner. McDivitt also discusses her schedule for the summer, which includes showing hogs, a pasttime she has been unable to enjoy the past three summers due to the many college basketball camps she has attended.
Another participant in the North-South Reebok Classic today is senior Traci Joslin of the Cambridge City Lincoln Lady Golden Eagles. Traci and her twin sister Staci Joslin led their 2A team to a 51-15 record over the past three years and both will be playing at Hanover College next season. Traci gives her thoughts on getting the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the state today in the Connersville News-Examiner.
Ft. Wayne North Side girls head coach Tonya Burns-Cohrs is following her ambitions to play in the pros by planning to attend the WNBA tryouts in Detroit later this month. Burns-Cohrs was a 1981 Indiana All-Star standout from Leo High School, and played at Iowa State, where her jersey was retired after setting 31 records there. You can read about Burns-Cohrs' plans and background in the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette
(one-day link).
The WNBA held its Pre-Draft Camp this weekend in Chicago, and former East Chicago 5'9 forward Monica Maxwell ('99 Louisiana Tech) and former Gary West Side 6'3 forward Danielle McCulley ('98 Western Kentucky) were in attendance to display their talents in hopes of being selected in the April 27 WNBA Draft. The complete list of hopefuls who attended the camp can be viewed on the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp Participant List. Purdue players Stephanie-White McCarty and Ukari Figgs were unable to attend the camp due to classroom obligations, but both came in for required pre-draft physicals. According to coverage in The Times, Orlando Mystic and former Purdue coach Carolyn Peck has both players on her priorty players list for the draft.
All of us, players and spectators alike, can be thankful that the womens/girls basketball game has evolved to its present-day state. Just take a look at these uniforms to see what we mean. This photo is from 1910 when knee-length skirts, sleeves and Texas-size hairbows were the accepted norm of attire on the hardcourt. (Wonder if those skirts ever got in the way of a really mean crossover dribble...) Although we still see some big hairbows (AAU) and sleeves (LA Tech), we haven't seen a skirt all season long. We bring you this gem just for fun from the WNBA site under its History of Women's Basketball feature.

News thru Saturday, April 17

The Region's Jackie Campbell, Jeanette Gray and Kristin Cheairs will have their hands full at the 11th annual North-South All-Star Classic sponsored by Reebok slated for tomorrow at the Connersville Spartan Bowl. All-American friends and rivals, Kennitra Johnson and April McDivitt, will be teaming up their talents for the South Team, while Campbell, Gray and Cheairs will pool their talents for the North Team. The girls' action is slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. Chesterton's Jack Campbell will be guiding the North squad, and Connersville's Larry Miller will drawing up the X's and O's for the South. You can read a preview article about the Classic in the Connersville News-Examiner. The complete rosters for the North and South teams can be found in our news from April 3.

Winamac senior Shallon Bowden signed a National Letter of Intent at her school on Wednesday to play at Bethel College next fall. Bowden, a 3-time Winamac MVP with a 3.7 GPA, is expected to help fill the gap created by Bethel's top-scoring graduating senior. You can read about Bowden's signing in the Logansport Pharos Tribune.
Although it seems that many college scholarships are going to the taller guards around the nation these days, there is still hope for the vertically-challenged in the world of basketball with the signing of 5'5 guard Jennifer Turner of Terre Haute North by Division II University of Charleston. Turner, a 4-year standout for TH North, was hooked up with the Charleston program through Tom Jacoby, Turner's AAU coach and father of former Purdue star, Jennifer Jacoby. You can read about Turner's college choice in the Terre Haute Tribune Star.
Coach Bob White of Southwestern High School resigned his coaching position after school administrators were unable to meet his conditional demands for increased salary and gratis use of Southwestern's gym for his AAU team over the summer. White, whose standout daughter Delena White graduates this year, was rumored to be leaving with the exit of his talented daughter from the team. Delena will be playing at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Missouri, next fall. You can read about White's resignation in the Shelbyville News.
As the end of school draws near, schools around the state are making plans for the varsity team camps to be allowed by the IHSAA for the first time this summer. Although attendance at summer camps cannot be required of players as a condition for making a team during the school year, summer conflicts will be leaving athletes with some tough choices. The summer camps are a topic of an article appearing in the Shelbyville News, with comments from several coaches about the impact the camps will have on coaches, players and programs.
Both Purdue and the University of Southern Indiana (USI) are looking to junior colleges to fill empty slots on their rosters, and it looks like both are making some headway.

Purdue is currently in the hunt for a talented guard with the exit of Stephanie White-McCarty and Ukari Figgs from the Lady Boilermaker lineup, which leaves a gaping hole in their penetrate-and-dish offense. The Purdue coaching staff has its eye set on Shinika Parks, a 5'9 guard from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. As reported in the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Parks is scheduled to visit the Purdue campus next weekend.

USI has already accomplished its mission with the signing of former Indiana All-Star and Princeton High School standout, Nicole McDaniel, who will transfer from Olney Central Junior College next fall. Daniel, a 5'9 forward/guard, averaged 13.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 4.0 steals this past season for Olney. You can read about McDaniel's transfer in the Evansville Courier & Press.

Purdue fans, it's time to mark your calendars. The home opener for the Lady Boilermakers is set for November 21 at Mackey Arena against Vanderbilt.
If you've been waiting for the 10U, 11U, 12U, and 13U state tournament brackets for Levels I, II and III to be posted at the new Indiana Association AAU site, wait no longer. They are now available for viewing and printing at or http:/

News thru Friday, April 16

North Newton junior standout Kristi Koselke has verbally committed to play at Valparaiso University after her senior season next year. Koselke, a 6'1 guard, averaged 18.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game this past season and will be playing with the Center Grove 16U AAU team this summer. Koselke plays point guard for the North Newton Spartans, a position at which Valparaiso struggled this season with attrition and injuries. You can read about Koselke's choice of college in today's Times, as well as additional information in a previous feature article that appeared in The Times earlier this season.

Senior guard Abbey Coons of Hobart has been chosen as the Post-Tribune/Coca-Cola girls basketball Leadership Award winner for 1998-99. Coons, who carries a 4.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale, is headed to Notre Dame, where she intends to take a shot as a walk-on for Muffett McGraw's nationally-ranked Lady Irish. Coons averaged 15.7 ppg and led her team to its first sectional win ever in Hobart girls basketball history.
The Muncie Star Press has chosen Eastbrook's Laurie Kitts as its 1998-99 Player of the Year for East Central Indiana. The 5'11 Kitts, who was the 1997-98 state scoring leader at 28.9 ppg, will be attending Ball State this fall, where she will give a boost to the Cardinals struggling program. While averaging 27.5 ppg and 11.7 rpg this season, Kitts broke the Grant County girls scoring record in February.
With Eastbrook's Laurie Kitts, NorthWood's Amy Zercher and two other freshman recruits headed to Ball State, new head coach Brenda Oldfield, will have the basis for setting a new tradition at Ball State. The Lady Cardinals have had only one winning season in the past 21 years. Oldfield, together with new assistant Tracy Roller, will have their work cut out in terms of building a new reputation for the BSU program to gain the interest of potential home-state recruits. But that is just what Oldfield intends to do. You can read about her strategies to bring Ball State into the circle of competitive Indiana women's college teams in the Muncie Star Press.

News thru Thursday, April 15

(Happy 18th Birthday, Noelle!)

According to a recent press release by the IHSAA Board of Directors, Hanover Central girls basketball coach Dennis Foster has been suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior for an undisclosed period of time or number of games. Although the exact incident the resulted in the suspension was not stated in the summary, actions of Foster and one of his players after the team's game with Eastern at the Maconaquah Semi-State are most likely responsible. (See Ft. Wayne News-Sentinal article.) A Hanover Central player was also suspended from further athletic participation in the 1998-99 school year and her letter of apology was accepted and noted by the IHSAA Board. The Hanover Central administration reported to the IHSAA that it will exclude two fans from all Hanover Central girls basketball contests until January, 2000, as well. Hanover Central administration was commended by the IHSAA for its prompt reporting and handling of the situation.
The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Butler University is expected to announce the appointment of Wendy Gatlin, an assistant at Iowa the past two seasons, as its new head women's basketball coach. Gatlin is expected to take the Butler program to new heights, with Top 25 team status as the goal of the Butler athletic office. Comments by former Martinsville standout, Kristen Bodine, are included in the Star article by Pat McKee. Also impacted by the appointment of Gatlin is Kelly Kuhn (Lake Central), who just completed her freshman year at Butler.
The WNBA is finally getting down to business of the new season after settling its dispute with the players association for the season set to begin in June. Issues of allowing now-defunct ABL players into the league has been settled as part of the agreement, allowing each franchise to select up to three ABL players on this year's roster, and an unlimited number of ABL players for next year's team. The WNBA will also expand the league by four teams next summer. Complete details regarding the settlement can be viewed in the Indianapolis Star.

News thru Tuesday, April 13

Valparaiso University women's basketball assistant coach, Tracy Roller, has submitted her resignation and will be leaving the Crusader program to serve as an assistant coach to newly appointed Ball State head coach, Brenda Oldfield. Roller is highly regarded by the Valpo program and a number of Valpo recruits (and their parents) as an inspiring and energetic component to the Valpo coaching staff. Roller stated that "it was a very emotional decision to leave (the Valpo) staff and the great team that we will have coming back next season. I will really miss the Region and especially the players on this team." Roller, a former high school standout at Crown Point in the late l980's, is looking at the move to Ball State as a wise one for her college coaching career and her ultimate goal of a head coaching position in the college ranks sometime in the future.

The Terre Haute Tribune Star and the Lafayette Journal-Courier are both offering up their picks for All-Area girls basketball players for their respective parts of the state.

The Terre Haute Tribune Star has put together its All-Vigo County High School Girls Basketball First and Second Teams, with TH South senior Cara Stuckey (pictured at left) voted MVP for Vigo County. The Tribune Star also has a number of individual awards, including TH North senior Jennifer Turner as Best Shooter, TH South senior Joileen Brewer as Best Rebounder, Stuckey as Best Passer, TH South junior Sarah Beykirch as Best Defensive Player, and TH South sophomore Kristen Weddle as winner of the Sportsmanship Award.

The Lafayette Journal-Courier has chosen Clinton Prairie senior Kourtney Mennen as Girls Basketball Player of the Year in the Lafayette area. All-Area First and Second Teams were also named. Both Mennen and Mennen's coach, Connie Garrett (who was named the JC Coach of the Year), place Mennen's talents in a class with former Lafayette-area greats Stephanie White and Jennifer Jacoby. Region fans might be interested to know that former Crown Point and Andrean player, Keaton Brumm, was named to the JC All-Area Second Team.

The issue of class sports still broils in the background of girls basketball post-season awards and area all-star games statewide. Depending upon which publication you read, the arguments for the multi-class system and the single-class system are each gaining support. Two articles are appearing on-line today regarding the topic, one indicating growing support for multi-class in the Shelbyville News and one indicating growing support for single-class in the Indianapolis Star. The decision on this issue, which will greatly impact next year's girls basketball state tournament and ultimately season schedules around the state, will be made by the IHSAA Executive Board at its meeting on May 3.
The Shelbyville News is also carrying an interview with IHSAA Executive Commissioner Bob Gardner on a round of IHSAA topics, including summer team camps conducted by high school coaches, the possibility of mandatory heart testing as part of preseason physicals, and a new coaching education program for non-teaching coaches.
Senior Monica Maxwell (East Chicago) of Louisiana Tech University was recently named to the 1998-99 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana Second Team for the third straight season in a row. Maxwell came on very strong at the end of her last college season to help LA Tech to the Elite Eight, where the Lady Techsters lost to eventual National Champ Purdue.
Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star brings us up-to-date on several issues with regard to women's basketball, including the negotiations between the WNBA and the players' union, as well as post-season honors and status of several Indiana-based or homestate college players, including Notre Dame sophomore Kelley Siemon, St. Joseph's junior Angie Hupfer (Pendleton Heights), and Earlham junior Vicki Painter (Heritage Hills).

News thru Sunday, April 11

The East-West NWI All-Star Classic last night in East Chicago showcased some of the Region's best senior girls basketball talent. Kristin Cheairs of West Side (16 points), walked away with game MVP honors while helping the East Team defeat the West Team 68-60. The East Team also had balanced scoring from Jackie Campbell of Chesterton (11 points), Abbey Coons of Hobart (11 points), and Erin Jedlikowski of Portage (10 points). The West Team was led by Lori Moore of Lake Central (12 points) and Clatossica Williams of East Chicago (8 points). Jackie Campbell won the 3-point shooting contest, draining 25 treys in two rounds of the 3-point halftime shooting competition. Campbell will be attending nationally-ranked Colorado State University next fall.

Kennitra Johnson and April McDivitt continue to rack up the honors individually, while raising the stock of Indiana high school girls basketball on the national scene. Both were named to today's Parade Magazine All-America High School Teams -- Johnson to the First Team and McDivitt to the Second Team. The Parade Player of the Year is Nina Smith of Iowa.
The Boilermaker Basketball Recruiting website maintained by Bob Richards is carrying a recruit profile on 6'2 Shyra Ely, Ben Davis sophomore sensation, who is high on Purdue's list of recruits for scholarship year 2001. Ely, who was featured in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated for Women as the top sophomore in the country, averaged 19.3 ppg and 11.4 rpg during the 1998-99 high school season.
De Pauw 5'8 senior guard Kelly Morrison (Huntington North '95), was recently named a Division III Women's Basketball 1st Team All-American by Columbus Multimedia. Morrison, who holds every 3-point record at DePauw, averaged 17.9 ppg, and boasted a 3-point shooting percentage of .500 on 83 of 166 attempts, and a free throw shooting percentage of .905, going 76 for 84 from the line. Morrison was also named the Columbus Multimedia South Player of the Year. You can read all about Morrison on her DePauw player profile page. Region-area fans might be interested to know that one of Morrison's teammates is former Lake Central guard Katie Imborek, who racked up 22 game appearances during her college freshman season, the second most by any DePauw freshman. You can also view Imborek's player profile at the DePauw Women's Basketball Homepage.
MS NBC News is carrying an opinion piece on the state of women's basketball and how that relates to the WNBAPA (the women's players union) dispute with the WNBA. Some excellent reading.

News thru Friday, April 9

Nearly two weeks ago (see news of March 31), we passed on the names of those players who were selected for the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association (ICGSA) First Team. The IHSAA has tracked down the ICGSA Second Team selections as well, and they are as follows:

Jennifer Callier, senior, Indianapolis Cathedral
Baranda Collins, senior, Austin
Heather Cusick, senior, Kokomo
Julie Geisler, junior, Jasper
Kirsti Holloway, junior, New Washington
Lynne Johnson, junior, Corydon Central
Dorcas Lawson, senior, Terre Haute South
Kristin Lowry, senior, Logansport
Bethany Miller, senior, Princeton
Maria Recker, senior, DeKalb
Jennifer Turner, senior, Terre Haute North
Amy Waugh, senior, Homestead
Delena White, senior, Southwestern (Shelbyville)
Natalie Will, senior, NorthWood
Shanna Zolman, freshman, Wawasee

The late signing period for women's college basketball started on Wednesday, April 7 and will continue through May 15. We have become aware of the the following players who have put their signatures to National Letters of Intent in the past two days:

Lello Gebisa (6'5 C, West Lafayette) has signed with Duke University. Gebisa averaged 19.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game. Also on Gebisa's short list before she decided on Duke were Northwestern and Michigan. You can read about Gebisa's choice in the Lafayette Journal-Courier and the Indianapolis Star.

Schmeyko Bolden (5'11 F, Evansville) Bosse has signed with Southeast Illinois Junior College in Harrisburg, Illinois. Bolden averaged 19. 5 points and 9 rebounds per game during her senior season. Although she was looking early on at some Division I schools who had shown an interest, Bolden chose to go the junior college path due to grades and test scores which would prohibit her playing at a Division I school next fall. You can read about Bolden's college choice in the Evansville Courier & Press (one-day link).

Amanda Adams, (5'3 G, Madison) has signed to play basketball for The University of New Orleans Privateers in the Sunbelt Conference. Adams was the leading scorer for the Madison Cubs, who were runners-up in the 3A South Semi-State. Adams averaged 13.7 points, 3.7 assists, and shot 53.6% from 2-point range. You can view more information about Adams at the Madison Lady Cubs web site.

For additional signings so far for 1999 seniors, go to the Indianapolis Star.

Even with a National Championship under their belts and the controvery of a new coach settled, the Purdue Lady Boilermakers and their new coach continue to be in the forefront of statewide and national news. The following are some of the better stories we found as the '98-'99 Lady Boilermakers celebrate their final days together:

"Boilermaker players impressed with new coach" (Journal & Courier Boiler Station) Kelly Komara, Katie Douglas, Candy Crawford and Stephanie White-McCarty relate their first impressions of new Head Coach Kristy Curry.

"A ‘Creole’ feeder system for Purdue" (Kokomo Tribune) - Great interview with LA Tech Head Coach Leon Barmore about Kristy Curry's departure (among others) from the Lady Techsters program to Purdue.

"No 'I' in team -- or Purdue" - ESPN - On-line article by ESPN special correspondent, Mechelle Voepel, about why Purdue is the best TEAM in the nation.

News thru Wednesday, April 7

The Associated Press All-State selections are in, and Jeanette Gray of Valpo has been honored with a First Team selection, together with April McDivitt, 5-7, Sr. (Connersville), Kennitra Johnson, 5-8, Sr. (New Albany), Shyra Ely, 6-1, So. (Ben Davis), and Jill Hartman, 5-11, Sr. (Evansville Memorial). You can view the complete AP selections at the Indianapolis Star. Region-Area players who were named to various AP All-State lists are as follows:

High Honorable Mention: Kristin Cheairs, 14.8 ppg (West Side), Jackie Campbell, 18.1 ppg (Chesterton), Jenny DeMuth, 19.5 ppg (Highland), Abbey Coons, 15.7 ppg (Hobart), and Jamie Gutowski, 8.8 ppg (Andrean).

Honorable Mention: Erin Jedlikowski, 12.4 ppg (Portage), Erica Martin, 21.1 ppg (Kouts), and Tracie Mezera, 24 ppg (River Forest).

Both April McDivitt and Kennitra Johnson have been named by USA Today to its All-USA Second Team. The USA Today Player of the Year is 6'4 Nina Smith of Waterloo, Iowa, who will be attending Wisconsin University next fall. Also named by USA Today to its Third Team was Alicia Ratay of Lake Zurich, Illinois, who will be attending Notre Dame next season.

For those players who are contemplating pursuing a college basketball career, there is much you need to know in achieving your goals. The Coach's Edge web site is a great place to get a wide variety of info on the college scholarship game. Visit their College Bound Basics section to get valuable information on a variety of topics, including campus visits, National Clearinghouse basics, the ever popular and confusing rules surrounding the National Letter of Intent, as well as other related topics. This is one of the best sites on the web with valid and worthy info for the high school athlete pursuing a college scholarship. Lots of great info for high school coaches, too.
Local news coverage of players recently selected to the Indiana All-Stars:

Heather Cusick, Kokomo Times
Kristen Lowry, Logansport Pharos Tribune
Natalie Will & Amy Zercher, The Goshen News

Ball State University has named its new coach. Brenda Frese Oldfield, an assistant at Iowa State for the past two years, will take the reigns of a program that has gone 54-127 in the past seven seasons under former coach Robyn Markey, who resigned last month. Oldfield will be inheriting some high school talent next fall in the form of Amy Zercher (NorthWood) and Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook). You can read about Oldfield's selection in the Indianapolis Star.
Finally, Hanover Central players and fans might be interested in a piece at the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinal that appeared back in March (we just found it) about the finish to the Hanover Central/Eastern game. The claim is that one of Hanover's senior players tried to deck an official after the game. Some interesting coverage... or is it fiction?

News thru Sunday, April 4

Happy Easter!

The selections for the Indiana All-Star Team have been announced and only Jeanette Gray of Valparaiso made the cut of players from the Region. The entire roster of the Indiana All-Stars can be viewed at the Indianapolis Star, as well as an article featuring the thoughts of All-Star head coach, Greg Kirby (Valparaiso) about the team. Congratulations to Jeanette on a great honor to represent all the players from the Region. You can read Jeanette's reaction to being selected for the All-Star Team in The Times. This article also discusses the absence of both Jackie Campbell (Chesterton) and Kristin Cheairs (Gary West Side) from the All-Star roster. The All-Star games will be June 19 at Market Square Arena and June 26 in Frankfort, Kentucky. To purchase tickets for the game at Market Square Arena call (800) 669-7827, extension 1231.
Both Kennitra Johnson (New Albany) and April McDivitt (Connersville) made a good showing for Indiana high school basketball yesterday in the WBCA All-American High School game in Hartford, Connecticut. Johnson walked away with MVP honors for the Red Team with 16 points and 6 steals (a new WBCA All-American game record), and McDivitt had 10 assists, 5 points and 2 steals for the White Team. You can read about the outstanding performances of both of these players in an article appearing in the New Haven Register.

News thru Saturday, April 3

A legion of NWI players will get their last hurrah in high school girls basketball in the Northwest Indiana Basketball Classic, set for Saturday, April 10, at 4:00 p.m. at East Chicago Central. Two teams of senior players representing the East and West areas of the Region are as follows:

East Team West Team
Gerri Harper, Roosevelt
Francis Malone, Roosevelt
Kristin Cheairs, West Side
Tamara Smith, West Side
Tamara Somerville, West Side
Jackie Campbell, Chesterton
Bridge DeCordia, LaPorte
Shannon Wells, Merrillville
Abbey Coons, Hobart
Erin Jedlikowski, Portage
Jessica Yagelski, Michigan City
Kim Law, Morton
Jenny Taylor, Morton
Lori Moore, Lake Central
Jennifer Bayer, Lowell
Christy Koby, Hanover Central
Clatossica Williams, EC Central
Tynisia Fair, Hammond
Angie Zemen, Highland
Laura Jelski,  Highland
Melissa Austin, Highland
Meghann Sullivan, Andrean
Stacy Jones, Bishop Noll
LeTisha Adams, Griffith

Jackie Campbell of Chesterton, Kristin Cheairs of West Side and Jeanette Gray of Valparaiso are all slated to play for the North Team in the upcoming Reebok North/South All-Star Classic in Connersville on April 18. Chesterton Coach Jack Campbell will be acting as the head coach for the North team as well. The game will be at the Spartan Bowl at 2:00 p.m. The complete rosters for the North and South Teams are as follows:
North Team South Team
Jackie Campbell, Chesterton
Kristin Cheairs, Gary West Side
Heather Cusick, Kokomo
Lello Gebisa, West Lafayette
Jeannette Gray, Valparaiso
Laurie Kitts, Eastbrook
Kristin Lwory, Logansport
Kourtney Mennen, Clinton Prairie
Maria Recker, DeKalb
Amy Waugh, Homestead
Amy Zercher, NorthWood

Coach: Jack Campbell, Chesterton

Emily Butler, Center Grove
Jennifer Callier, Indpls Cathedral
Cortney Cooper, Martinsville
Jill Hartman, Evansville Memorial
Jenna Hayes, Indpls Roncalli
Kennitra Johnson, New Albany
Traci Joslin, Cambridge City
Dorcas Lawson, TH South
April McDivitt, Connersville
Erika Roudebush, Hamilton SE
Kristy Thomann, North Vermillion

Coach: Larry Miller, Connersville

April McDivitt of Connersville (headed to Tennessee) and Kennitra Johnson of New Albany (headed to UConn) will square off today for the second time this season in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-American Game, being played in Hartford, Connecticut. McDivitt will be playing for the White Team and Johnson will play for the Red Team. The game is being broadcast today on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. locally. You can read about Johnson's Connecticut appearance in the New Haven Register (link expired, sorry), where University of Connecticut fans will be getting their first good look at one of their newest recruits. The Hartford Courant (link expired, sorry), another Connecticut newspaper, is also carrying an interesting article about some of the players appearing in today's WBCA game. It discusses some of the challenges those players had in making their final college choices. The article also names Tennessee recruit Kara Lawson, of Springfield, Virginia, as the Naismith Player of the Year, an award for which McDivitt was a finalist.
The Kokomo Tribune is giving their selections for 19th annual Howard County Coaches-Kokomo Tribune Girls All-County Basketball Team, including Heather Cusick of Kokomo as Player of the Year.
Purdue freshman Kelly Komara will be expected to take on a larger role on Purdue's team next season, where she will step into the starting point guard position. With the departure of Stephanie White-McCarty and Ukari Figgs, Komara will be key to Purdue's backcourt play. You can read about Komara's expected role next season, as well as her thoughts on the championship game at the Gold & Black web site.
High school recruits around the state have been watching with interest the search for a new head coach at Purdue. The wait is over with the naming yesterday of Kristi Sims-Curry as the new head coach to replace departing Carolyn Peck. Sims-Curry is coming from the coaching staff at Louisiana Tech, where she has been an assistant for the past three years. Sims-Curry's husband, Kelly Curry, who also assisted at LA Tech, will now become an assistant for Purdue. Purdue assistant coaches Pam Stackhouse and Kerry Cremeans will remain on staff, although assistant coach and defensive-strategy specialist Seth Kushkin will be leaving. You can read all about Coach Sims-Curry in the Indy Star article by Pat McKee or at the Gold & Black web site, covering Purdue sports.

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