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

Important Upcoming Dates:

5/7 - 14U-18U AAU tournament draw    

May, 2001
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News thru Saturday, May 26


Every once in awhile, an event occurs that puts everything into perspective.  That recently happened for the family, friends and teammates of Mishawaka junior Sarah Schools.  The 17-year-old, while on an all terrain vehicle last weekend, injured herself when the ATV flipped over, landed on her and severed her spinal cord.  After nine hours of surgery, she is now a paraplegic with an uncertain prognosis.  According to the South Bend Tribune, basketball coach Mike Breske has been doing his best to help Sarah, as well as hard-hit friends and classmates to deal with the tragedy, by taking positive action with prayer, counseling and by planning a fundraiser for Sarah in June and a car wash this weekend.  A trust fund has also been set up at MFB Financial (121 S. Church St., Mishawaka, IN  46544).  Sarah is an outstanding athlete who holds "all the school records in girls basketball" at Mishawaka, and is the starting shortstop for her softball team.  She was getting ready to discuss a plan of action with Breske in hopes of attracting the attention of a Division II or III basketball program.  Now her plans are not for "playing basketball or softball, but just walking," says her mother.  Sarah was profiled in an update article in the South Bend Tribune, highlighting the new relevance of her long-time catch phrase, "What's my mission?"  She has been receiving lots of cards and well wishes from friends.  We at the RRR would like to extend those well wishes statewide and have set up an e-mail account for Sarah at  Please take a few moments to let this young lady know that you are thinking of her and wish her the best for a full recovery!

We reported earlier this spring that Forest Park senior Sara Van Winkle would be attending Oakland City University.  We failed to report that teammate Katie Miller will be joining her.  According to the Princeton Clarion, the 5'10 guard/forward is excited about continuing her basketball career with her high school teammate.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Lindsey Warmoth (5'6 G) of Eminence will play at Marian next season, where she will join sister Lori Warmoth.
Kankakee Community College (IL) coach Donnie Denson has informed us that he has three recruits coming to Kankakee next season.  Seniors Laura Brumfiel (5'7 G) of Cambridge City Lincoln, Andrea Engleking (6'0 F/C) of Eastern Hancock and Valarie Zarse (6'1 C) of Tri County have all signed National Letters of Intent with KCC.

More coaching changes to pass along:
Hanover Central is advertising for a new head girls basketball coach.  This will be the third coach in three years for the Wildcats.  Two years ago coach Denny Foster left to take a boys coaching job out east.  He was replaced last year with first year coach Larry Govert, who took Hanover Central to a very respectable 14-8 record.  It is not known why Govert will not return, but whoever replaces him will inherit a strong nucleus that includes rising seniors Julie Moniak (16.8 ppg) and Beth Wendlinger (9.2 ppg), both RRR All-Area honorees.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Amy Cherubini will be the new Pike's girls basketball coach, replacing Beth DeVinney, who is now at Seymour.  Cherubini played four years of college basketball at Indiana University and then played and coached for the ABL Atlanta Glory.  She most recently served as an assistant coach at Saint Louis University.  "We're very excited to add Amy to our staff," AD Shelly Haley told the Star. "She brings a lot of good experience, and I'm glad we were able to bring her in. She's got a lot of enthusiasm."
Princeton has had a second head coach named since the end of the season.  According to the Princeton Clarion, Becky Iunghhn, a 1994 Princeton grad, will take over the program after 5-year coach Victor Smith was fired and new coach Steve Hauger resigned in April after realizing that his new principalship will require more attention than he can give while coaching.
Whiteland has a new coach with the hiring of Bill Hogue.  Hogue replaces 3-year coach Alan Weems and inherits Junior All-Star Megan Liffick for her last season of high school basketball.

Longtime winning St. Francis University coach Bruce Patterson has been hired by Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne to take the Mastodons into their first season as a Division I program.  According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, Patterson initially turned down the job offer when first approached by the IPFW athletic department, but reconsidered after a second approach and talking with his seniors at St. Francis.  Patterson has built an NAIA dynasty at SFU, compiling a 246-101 record, including a NAIA Division II Tournament final appearance, in his 11 years there.  Patterson was also the Mid-Central Conference's 2000 Coach of the Year.  No replacement at St. Francis has yet been named, but on local FW television, it was reported that SFU is considering Gary Andrews of Luers for the position.

Amanda Canal of Southmont was recently named the Crawfordsville Journal Review Athlete of the Year.  A standout in several sports, including basketball, volleyball and track, Canal was a JR First Team selection her senior year. 

The 16U Indiana Warhawks, based out of NWI, were recently featured in The Times.  The Warhawks roster includes three likely solid starters for next season's varsity at Valparaiso, including Brooke McAfee, Brittany Landreth and Kelly Comptom.  Valparaiso loses four senior starters from its 2000-2001 team.

News thru Tuesday, May 22


A few more college commitments, signings and transfers trickled in as the late signing period ended last week.
The biggest news locally was that Hebron all-everything junior Lauren Bechtold committed to Valparaiso University last week.  According to The Times, Bechtold chose the Crusaders over Indiana, Illinois State and Butler.  The speedy 5'4 point guard is looking forward to playing with former Valparaiso grad Jeanette Gray at VU, and is happy that she will be close enough to home to watch her younger sisters play basketball at Hebron while she is at college.  Hebron fans are glad that their star player will still be in NWI so they can closely follow her college career.
East Noble senior Ashley Powell has signed with Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne.  The 5'7 guard was named a Northeast Corner Conference First Team selection, and also represented Indiana in the Nancy Rehm/Border Wars game against Ohio.
Glen Oaks Community College recently announced the signing of two outstanding seniors from Northern Indiana.  Triton standout Betsy Salyer, a member of the two-time 1A State Champion Trojans, "will bring a winning attitude and enthusiasm to Glen Oaks," says head coach Don Price.  "Her strong inside play and ability to step outside the lane and hit the mid-range shot will help with our inside threats."  The 5'11 forward averaged 12.1 points and 11.5 rebounds her senior year, and scored a team high 13 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the 1A State Championship game.  Glen Oaks also signed Jody Byers of Morgan Township. "An all region player, we are excited to have Jody join our lineup," says Coach Price.  "She will add depth to the frontcourt, which was not there last year.  Her enthusiasm and work ethic will benefit GOCC."  Byers averaged 10.8 points per game last season, while shooting 48.1% from the field.
According to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay website, Cleveland State transfer Abby Scharlow (New Albany) will be playing for the Phoenix next season.  The 5'8 guard will join former Indiana All-Star teammate Natalie Yudt (Portage) on the UWGB roster after Scharlow sits out the 2001-02 season to comply with NCAA transfer regulations.  She will have three years of eligibility remaining at UWGB.

Butler transfer Angela Dancy (Indianapolis Arsenal Technical) is the last of the "Butler 5" moving her basketball career to a different learning institution.  The 5'6 guard has made IUPUI her official choice after leaving the Bulldogs program last month.

The north and south locations for the Junior-Senior All Star exhibition games have been announced in the Indianapolis Star.  The "north" location is at Lawrence North High School, which is located about 10 minutes from the northeast border of Indianapolis, and the south location is at Indiana University in Bloomington.  Northern Indiana fans, including the huge Wawasee fan base that follows junior Shanna Zolman, will be hard put to get to these mid-week events to see their favorites play.  After LaPorte boasted one of the best spectator showings in the history of the Junior-Senior All-Stars exhibition series last summer (the place was pretty packed), this move that takes the north exhibition game all the way to Indianapolis is a mystery.  However, hosting these events is no small task, as family hosts must be found to house and feed the members of both the girls and boys Senior and Junior teams.  Admission for the exhibition games on June 13 and June 20 will be $5.00 per person.  The girls games begin at 6:00 p.m.

As they were last summer, senior Shyra Ely of Ben Davis and Shanna Zolman of Wawasee are among 30 players nationwide that have been invited to the USA Women's Junior World Championship Team trials in Colorado.  Last summer, Ely was a team finalist, but did not make the final roster that traveled to Brazil to compete in the qualifying tournament.  According to the USA Basketball website, the trials will be conducted from June 15 to June 18, with the announcement of team finalists on the final day.  As we reported earlier, the Junior World Games will be played in the Czech Republic during July 14-22.

Coaching changes continue to be a focal point during the off season.
New Albany coach Angie Hinton has resigned her head post with the Bulldogs after 12 years with the program.  According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Hinton wants to spend more time with her growing children.  The well-respected coach has one state championship to look back on in her time with the Bulldogs, as well as several Indiana All Stars who passed through her program.  New Albany will be searching for a new coach in the weeks to come.
Eastbrook has chosen Craig Plummer, the former varsity boys head coach at Eastbrook, to take over the program after the departure of Tom Wilson, who left after 15 years as head coach.  According to the Marion Chronicle-Tribune, Plummer plans on taking the program back to a "basics with fundamentals" focus.
Greenfield-Central coach Shari Doud has left to take the head coaching position at Pendleton Heights.  Doud was a 1-year coach at Greenfield-Central and compiled a 13-8 record last season.
Charlestown first-year coach Michelle Ricks has left to take the head coaching position at New Washington.  Ricks went 1-20 at Charlestown last season, but inherits a capable Mustang squad for next season.
First-year coach Vicki McDonald has vacated her head coaching job at Edinburgh.  
Monrovia has hired Ernie Clark to take the head position previously held by Larry Mayes, and North Central (Farmerburg) has hired Trent Olson to take the head position vacated by 3-year coach Terry Willard.
Beth DeVinney, who left Pike and was hired at Seymour, is interviewed in Jackson County Life.  She has some interesting comments about why she took the job at Seymour and makes comparisons to her situation at Pike. 

Just in case anyone failed to notice, there are now less than 150 days until the start of the 2001-02 season...

The realignment of conferences in Northwest Indiana continues to be a topic of discussion in the local newspapers.  The Times had a three-parter about the whole issue not long ago:
Sea of tranquility - stabilization of NWI conferences
Eight is enough? - Porter County Conference
Theory of evolution - NWI conference regroupings since 1989

Three former Region standouts now with the WNBA were recently profiled by The TimesBridget Pettis (East Chicago '89) of the Phoenix Mercury, Monica Maxwell (East Chicago '95) and Danielle McCulley (Gary West Side '93), both of the Indiana Fever, are all making an impact for their respective WNBA teams.  The article gives some interesting inside looks at the league, and how these players perceive the level of play in the professional ranks.

News thru Monday, May 14


In a similar format utilized by the Region Roundball Review, the Lafayette Journal & Courier recently named its Big School (4A & 3A) and Small School (2A & 1A) Players of the Year.  Receiving the voting nod for J&C Big School POY is Julie Shirley of Lafayette Jeff.  Shirley averaged 23.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a senior and will continue her ball playing career at Cleveland State University.  The J&C Small School POY is junior Candace Dark of Fountain Central.  Dark averaged 21.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.6 steals and 5.0 assists per game while leading her school to its first-ever regional girls basketball title.  The Journal & Courier also selected a First Team for both big and small schools as follows:

J&C Big School First Team

J&C Small School First Team

Julie Shirley - Lafayette Jeff
Ebba Gebisa - West Lafayette
Kory Tull - McCutcheon
Ashley Green - Benton Central
Jessica Bragg - Twin Lakes
Big School Team Profiles
Candace Dark - Fountain Central
Kinsey Lehe - Frontier
Amanda Engleking - Tri-County
Christine Cox - Carroll
Ashley Rogers - Clinton Central
Small School Team Profiles

More college signings:
We reported not long ago that both Nikki Borys, a 6'0 Crown Point forward, and Jennie Martin, a 5'6 Kokomo guard, signed with Wesleyan University in Marion.  What we didn't know was that Borys and Martin will be joined by three other Indiana players on the IWU roster next season.  According to the Crown Point Star, which gives complete information about Borys and her college choice, Mandy Topp (5'9 F) of Norwell, Abby Wilson (5'11 F) of Northfield and Ashley Lauber (5'8 G) of South Ripley have all chosen to play ball at IWU as well.  This five-member recruiting class will join a 9-22 team that returns last season's starting five, including Munster's Stephanie Gill, and is looking to move up in the Mid-Central Conference.  An interesting side note mentioned in the article is that IWU head coach Steve Brooks first became aware of Borys after seeing her name mentioned at the Region Roundball Review.  As many of you know, our goal from the outset has been to do whatever possible through this website to help NWI and other Indiana players gain scholarship aid through exposure on our website.  Never in our wildest dreams did we think exposure at the RRR could benefit someone so close to our efforts.  Nikki is the teammate and best friend of our daughter Alex.  Make no mistake.  Nikki is the one who gained the scholarship through her abilities and efforts, but it is nice to know that we helped in a small way.  Congrats and best of luck to Nikki in her athletic and academic careers at IWU!
East Noble point guard Ashley Powell (5'7) has signed a letter of intent to play next year at Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne.  IPFW will be making the move from Division II to Division I after next season. Powell finished her career at East Noble with 1033 career points and was named First Team All-Northeast Hoosier Conference and First Team All-Area in the Kendallville News-Sun.  She was also chosen to play in the recent Nancy Rehm/Border Wars All-Star game against Ohio.

Two more have signed with Olney Central Junior College last week.  Alexandria point guard Megan Hartwell (5'6) and Anderson center Jasma Taylor (6'0) will both play for the Knights.  Taylor and Hartwell played AAU together and are excited about playing college basketball together.  Both are profiled in articles appearing on-line at The Herald Bulletin:
Hartwell headed to Olney JC
Jasma Taylor signs with Olney JC

Lots of coaching news lately:

Crawfordsville coach Maggie Wolcott formally resigned last week, and she was promptly replaced by Crawfordsville grad Darren Haas.  Haas, a former assistant coach at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer several years ago, is looking to build some stability in the Athenians' program, according to the Crawfordsville Journal Review.
Roncalli frosh coach Linda Niewedde will take over for retiring head coach Bob Kirkhoff.  Niewedde, who played at the University of Indianapolis, inherits a team that went 12-9 against a competitive schedule last season, including losses to Ben Davis, Perry Meridian, Cathedral, Southport and Brebeuf.  Roncalli loses seven seniors to graduation but returns 5'10 rising senior guard/forward Lindsey Roberson, who will be the offensive force for the Rebels next season.
Former Pike coach Beth DeVinney will take over the reigns of the Seymour program after the retirement of long-time coaching legend Donna Sullivan.  The Pike head coaching position, which DeVinney vacated at the end of the season, has yet to be filled.
 Seven-year New Washington coach Terry White has stepped down to give more attention to his English department chair position at the school.  White compiled a 117-50 record during his tenure and took his 1999 team to the 1A state finals before losing to state champion Clinton Prairie.
Three other coaches will be leaving their programs for reasons not known at this time.  Pam Shively of East Central will step down after 11 years at the helm.  Stan Ward of Greencastle is out after two years, and Jennifer Robinson is vacating the head position at Waldron.

Lori Wynn has resigned the head coaching position at Grace College in Winona Lake.  According to the Warsaw Times-Union, Wynn guided the Grace program to a 14-44 record over two years before stepping down.  Grace will be looking to replace Wynn with a long-time commitment from a new coach.

As many of you know, our youngest child, Alex, will be a senior player at Crown Point next season.  It so happened, as we were sitting in the waiting room of a car dealer to complete the paperwork on Alex's first car, a defining moment in itself, I came across an article in an April issue of Newsweek that I will keep with me for some time.  (Hopefully the dealership won't notice the missing page!)  I can't tell you how many times my parents, who are both from Europe and alien to some of the finer points of America's subcultures, have looked at my husband and I in disbelief for the past nine years each time we tell them, "No, we won't be home this weekend because Alex is playing basketball in (insert name of tournament location here)."  My parents find this whole basketball culture, together with the time, cost, commitment and injuries that go along with it, some pretty hard stuff to fathom.  Only now that the colleges are making some serious scholarship overtures are they getting the picture.  But even if there were no scholarship at the end of the proverbial rainbow, I don't think we'd give up a minute of what we've experienced during those nine years.  When my oldest daughter Noelle was playing AAU basketball as well, I watched as other families we knew went their separate ways all summer long, each member doing his or her "own thing."  But that was not for the Websters!  We probably spent more time together as a family than we had ever hoped to when our kids reached the age when moms and dads are probably considered, at best, money machines and, at worst, obstacles to freedom.  This article from Newsweek pretty much sums up how we feel about the whole thing.  And I suggest that all of you parents out there print this out, stick it in your wallet, and the next time anyone criticizes you for spending all that time and money on your child's sport, no matter what that sport might be, hand them the article to read.  I don't think they'll have much more to say to you after reading it.  Enjoy!

News thru Thursday, May 10


According to the Indianapolis Star, three more basketball players have committed to college programs.  
Junior Megan Liffick of Whiteland, who is on track to topple the Johnson County scoring record next season, has committed to Division I Wisconsin Green-Bay.  Liffick, a 5'11 guard/forward, led her team in nearly every statistical category last season, including 22.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.  She will join NWI native Natalie Yudt (Portage) on the roster at UWGB.  
Senior Katie Holmes (5'9 G) of Lawrence North will attend Division III Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky, next fall.
Lawrence Central senior Tonya Smith, a 5'0 point guard, will attend Olney College in Illinois next fall.

We were saddened to find out yesterday that NWI high school sports fixture Skip Miller passed away on Monday in Hobart.  Skip, who produced and hosted his own high school sports report radio and television shows from 1990 to 2001, was a tireless promoter of the NWI high school athlete.  Known for his laid-back and loose broadcasting style, Miller was highly appreciated by high school coaches around the area for taking the time to discuss their teams and players in depth.   Skip will be missed by all of us who appreciated and shared his genuine love for high school sports and the athletes who play them.  You can read more about Skip Miller and his contribution to NWI high school athletics in The Times

Hobart is poised to leave the Duneland Athletic Conference after the Hobart school board voted last week to apply for entry to the Lake Athletic Conference.  According to The Times, a 5-2 vote will send the Brickies to the 15-member LAC in order to better compete in a wide array of sports.  Hobart, the smallest school in the DAC, has been a football power for decades and was more than competitive with the tough schedule found against the DAC's much bigger schools.  But while the football program was able to compete, the remaining majority of Hobart sports programs struggled to keep pace with the tough DAC competition.  Hobart produced a very fine girls basketball team in the late '90s that made it as far as the regionals upon the talents of a single class that graduated in 1999.  Even thought the Brickies have not been able to put together a similar team in a few years, the Brickies have had their moments in the DAC since then.  A move to the LAC will certainly make things tougher for Highland and Andrean where Hobart is concerned.  A very good incoming freshman class could be the spoilers for those two LAC perennial powers by the time the conference switch is made and they are juniors or seniors.  The final word on Hobart's entry into the league will be coming when the LAC's athletic directors meet later this month.

Who do you think should join the DAC?  Vote in our poll on the RRR home page. 

Now that Hobart is ready to make an exit, Lake Central would love nothing more than to make a grand entrance into the Duneland Athletic Conference.  According to The Times, Lake Central sent out a "feeler letter" to the DAC school administrators two months ago in anticipation of Hobart's rumored departure from the league.  If accepted, Lake Central would become the largest school in the Duneland with an enrollment of 2,553.  The last time a school was allowed entry was in the early '90s when Crown Point applied to the DAC and was accepted as the eighth member.  East Chicago and Penn are also interested in joining the DAC, according to the Post-Tribune (one-day article).  The Duneland members will have to decide whether they wish to remain a seven-team league, as they had for many years before Crown Point joined, or balance the field again by allowing any one or more of these three schools to join.  In girls basketball, Lake Central already plays six of the current DAC members, but would have to add Michigan City and LaPorte to complete the conference schedule.  Lake Central went 3-3 against DAC teams this past season.  East Chicago also plays six of the current eight DAC teams and went 2-4 against them last season.  Penn would have to make some major scheduling changes to gain a conference schedule.  In girls basketball, Penn played just three DAC teams last season, and will play only two next season as Crown Point has opted out of the Penn Classic.  All three schools would also have to address the issue of number of sports offered at their schools.  DAC schools compete in all 20 IHSAA-sanctioned sports, whereas Lake Central, East Chicago and Penn do not.  Lake Central and Penn lack a gymnastics team, and East Chicago lacks both gymnastics and girls golf teams.

USA Today recently announced its girls state players of the year and top girls underclassmen.  Three Indiana players topped the lists of all three.  Shyra Ely of Ben Davis, who was previously announced the USA Today Player of the Year, was also named the Indiana Player of the Year.  Junior Shanna Zolman of Wawasee tops the list of top junior underclassmen, and sophomore Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove tops the list of sophomore underclassmen in the nation.

According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, both Lakewood Park Christian in Auburn and Covenant Christian in Indianapolis have become full-fledged members of the IHSAA under the new "one-year wait" rule for new members.  The rule was instituted at the April 30 meeting of the IHSAA and changed the waiting period for accepted applications from three years to one.  Both schools applied during 1998.  In girls basketball, this will mean that both teams will be eligible for Class A sectional play beginning with the 2001-02 tournament instead of the 2002-03 tournament as previously determined by the IHSAA.

Paoli has a new coach for the 2001-2002 season.  Former Austin standout Mandy Lueking will take over the reins of the Lady Rams program, according to the Bedford Times-Mail.  Lueking, who excelled at St. Louis University and was invited to try out with the Detroit Shock after her college career ended, will take over the program after the departure of former coach Amy Amstutz.  Lueking was a student assistant last season at SLU and was also an assistant coach at Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis before heading back to Indiana.

Ft. Wayne Snider is still accepting applications for a head girls basketball coach. Interested people should contact FW Snider athletic director Mike Hawley at 219-425-7575, no later than May 22.  Former coach LaMar Kilmer announced his retirement plans near the end of last season.

The South Bend Tribune has an article about the difficulty athletic directors are having in juggling schedules and hiring officials with the recent changes made by the IHSAA.  With the tournament changed from a three-week to a four-week schedule, any regular season games previously scheduled for that first week of the tournament must now be moved.  

USA Basketball has announced that former Florida State junior April Traylor (Martinsville) is one of 36 college basketball players invited to attend the 2001 USA Basketball Women's National Team Trials in Colorado.  The four-day trials will be held from May 18-21 and finalists will be chosen for the 12-member team at the completion of the trials.  The USA Basketball Women's National Team will compete in the World University Games from August 22 to September 1 in Beijing, China.  The Games are held every two years and USA has won 11 medals -- 4 golds, 6 silvers and 1 bronze -- in 12 appearances.

The Flyer Group has an article about Sara Strahm making her move from Butler to Indianapolis Univeristy.  The former Ben Davis standout also visited Ohio University before deciding on the Greyhounds program.
Also, the move of former Center Grove outstanding performer Lisa Eckart from Evansville University to Indiana University is now official.  According to the IU women's website, Eckart will play the four position for the Hoosiers next season under former Evansville coach Kathi Bennett.  Eckart discusses her decision to leave Evansville in the Johnson County Daily Journal.

According to the Indianapolis Star, an upstart group is trying to appeal to coaches and administrators around the state to join the Indiana High School Athletic Congress (IHSAC), a new but undefined organization intent on taking over the duties of the IHSAA.  Unhappy with the way the IHSAA has administered its duties the past decade, the group will announce its complete intentions publicly later this month.

The Indiana BMV is currently surveying Indiana residents to see which design they would like to see on the back of their automobiles beginning in 2003.  One of the designs depicts two kids playing basketball against the backdrop of an Indiana farm sunset.  If you look real closely, the child shooting the basketball COULD be a girl with her hair pulled back.  (A tiny bump on the back could be the ponytail... or a wrinkle in the shirt.  Take your pick.  Maybe I'm imagining things.)  In any event, if you would like to vote for one of the new license plate designs, visit the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.  No deadline is given for the voting, but the winner will be announced on June 1.

The NCAA has made some changes to the college rules for women's basketball next season.  All are minor, but we thought we'd pass them along anyway.  The officiating emphasis in the women's game will continue to be hand checking and post play, with extra special attention paid to the 3-second lane violation in an effort to reduce the amount of physical play in the paint.

The Indianapolis Fever is in the middle of pre-season camp, and coach Nell Fortner and player Stephanie McCarty (Purdue/Seeger) are talking playoffs already in the Indianapolis Star.  After a disappointing season with the Fever last summer, McCarty has been working hard in the off-season to increase her strength in order to compete with the elite in the WNBA.

We saw this one linked to the message board at Hickory Husker.  It's a pretty humorous editorial by the Sports Illustrated staff at CNN about the banning of dodge ball at a number of schools around the country.  Whether you agree or disagree, it's a pretty humorous take on the whole issue.

News thru Thursday, May 3


After a tumultuous spring that has seen an exodus of college players unhappy in their college situations, three transfers from Indiana colleges have made their plans known for the fall.  
Former Butler player Dorcas Lawson (Terre Haute South) has chosen to continue her playing career at Ball State University.  According to the BSU website, coach Brenda Oldfield calls Lawson "a versatile player with unlimited potential.”  Lawson was the leading scorer for Butler last season at 7.4 points per game.
Lawson's former teammate at Butler, Sara Strahm (Ben Davis), has decided to join the women's program at the University of Indianapolis.  Strahm, a 5'10 forward, will give a huge boost to the Indianapolis program and will complement a very nice 2001 recruiting class that includes Amanda Davidson of Brownsburg, Erin Moran of Roncalli, Amy Wisser of Marion and Laura Abel of Washington.
While Lawson and Strahm are staying close to home, Indiana transfer Anna Waugh (Franklin) has chosen to hop half-way across the country to Montana State University next fall.  At the MSU women's website, head coach Robin Potera says that Waugh "will be our version of Jackie Stiles.  She is an unbelievable three-point shooter and can penetrate, as well."  Waugh came off the bench at Indiana to average 6.5 points, and was second on the Hoosier team with 31 treys.

According to an article in the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, Wawasee and Warsaw dodged a bullet of sorts when Huntington North was placed in the Ft. Wayne area sectional by the IHSAA realignment committee.  According to the article, the committee was unsure what to do with Huntington North, as it is not conveniently located near either sectional grouping.  However, since Huntington North is closer to Ft. Wayne than Warsaw, where the sectional will most likely be held, Carroll (Allen), which is a Ft. Wayne school, was shipped off with the Warsaw grouping.  Had Huntington North been sent to the Warsaw sectional grouping, the Tigers would have gone from the lambs to a den of lions after being the perennial sectional favorite for many years.

Lebanon senior Brittany Hickson has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Ancilla College, according to the Lebanon Reporter.  Hickson, a 5'3 point guard, averaged 6.0 assists per game her senior season and was named to The Lebanon Reporter's Boone County Super 5.  According to Ancilla coach Dave Liverance, "The biggest thing our team needed is a point guard and Brittany fits that perfectly.  She is a go-getter and she'll be a lot of fun to have with us."

Although not designated as for men's or women's basketball, the South Bend Tribune has a short notice that Ancilla College will be hosting a basketball workout for interested senior athletes this Sunday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. at Glenn High School.  To confirm details, you can contact the Ancilla College athletic office by phone at 219-936-8898 or by e-mail at  Ancilla College is a small Catholic independent located just west of Plymouth, Indiana.

The Hickory Husker website Coaching Rumor Mill reports that the Union County head coach opening has been filled by Tony Gulley.

Articles continue to appear around the state regarding the latest IHSAA changes.  Most of the articles include comments from local coaches:
 IHSAA tinkering again with tourney - Shelbyville News (a good read)
IHSAA drops summer supervision - Kokomo Tribune
Tinkering with class basketball - Times-Mail

According to USA Basketball, Connecticut coach Geno Aureimma has been renamed the head coach of the 2001 USA Junior World Championship Team.  The 12-member team, comprised of United States citizen players born after January 1, 1982, will be selected at trials to be held June 15-18 at the U. S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Once selected, the team will practice and then compete in the 2001 FIBA Women's Junior World Championship during July 14-22 in Ostrava, Brno and Prague, Czech Republic.  Last summer, Indiana standouts Shyra Ely of Ben Davis and Shanna Zolman of Wawasee were invited to the trials, but both did not make the cut for the final team.  No announcement has been yet as to whether these two, or any other Indiana player, have been invited to attend the June trials.  The complete roster of last year's qualifying team players, who are still eligible to compete this summer, can be found at the USA Basketball website

Although it was reported last week on the Indiana AAU website that eight teams had entered the 18U state tournament, that number was recently corrected to show 12 team entries, which ups the count of national qualifying teams for 18U from two to three.  The breakdown of qualifying teams that will be heading from Indiana to the AAU nationals in each high school age group this summer is as follows:
18U (12 entries) - 3 qualifiers
17U (16 entries) - 2 qualifiers
16U (40 entries) - 3 qualifiers
15U (48+ entries ) - 4 qualifiers
14U (48+ entries) - 4 qualifiers

The Kokomo Tribune reports that the Dayton Lady Hoopstars team of Disney fame will take on Indiana's Finest 13U in an exhibition game on Sunday, May 20 at 4:00 p.m. at Memorial Gym.  Other activities to be held that day include a Hoopstars clinic for grades 1-8 and an AAU Jamboree featuring several local AAU teams.

News thru Wednesday, May 2


In an unexpected move by the South Bend school district, South Bend Riley varsity coach Mike Megyesi and 159 other teachers in the district have been informed that they will not have their teaching contracts renewed for the 2001-2002 school year.  According to the South Bend Tribune, Megyesi is one of five head coaches in the South Bend school system who has become of victim of a RIF (Reduction In Force) directive.  There is a possibility that Megyesi will retain his teaching position once school budgets and state funding are determined throughout the summer and into next fall, but waiting out the possibility makes it extremely difficult for any teacher who is unwilling to gamble a life's income against a possible call back.  State law requires school systems to notify teachers of non-renewals before May 1.  South Bend Riley is in a position to challenge for a state run in 4A girls basketball next season with the return of rising juniors Suntana Granderson and Crystal Normal, along with the promise of an outstanding freshman about to enter Riley's halls next fall.  Megyesi, who has been a teacher at Riley for two years, will have to decide whether or not to move on.  And if he does, who within the South Bend system can take the reigns of this program on the rise?

Ft. Wayne Snider point guard Lydia Harris will join teammate Suzie Hayden at Taylor University next fall.  The 5'3 senior averaged 10.5 points, 5.4 assists, 4.5 steals and 2.1 rebounds per game on the way to an appearance in the 4A state finals. 
The South Bend Tribune reports that three South Bend Washington players have signed to play basketball at the college level.   Senior Tiffany Watford, who also played at South Bend Adams for three years before transferring to Washington, will be attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta.  Watford, a 5'7 guard, averaged 14.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals during her three years at Adams.  Washington senior Toccara Wilson, a 5'8 forward, will attend Ancilla College.  Wilson tore her ACL early in the season of her senior year.  Finally, Washington's Tiffany Johnson will attend Sienna Heights University in Michigan.  Johnson, a 5'4 guard, was the Washington defensive MVP her senior season.
Hanover Central senior Kelly Garrett (5'4 G) has been offered and accepted a scholarship to run cross-country at Evansville University.
Ft. Wayne Dwenger guard Colleen McNutt (5'6) has signed to play softball at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

A few more articles are appearing on-line regarding the IHSAA latest rule and tournament format changes, with comments from local coaches:
Four back on the floor - Kokomo Tribune
Four-week hoop tourneys return - Terre Haute Tribune
IHSAA decisions draw mixed reactions - Crawfordsville Journal Review
'Organizational nightmare' over for area schools - South Bend Tribune


According to USA Today, the National Federation of State High School Associations has made some basketball rules changes for the 2001-2002 school year.   The changes, none of which are earth-shattering, are outlined in the article.

News thru Tuesday, May 1


The IHSAA pretty much surprised everyone yesterday with a close 11-7 vote that will lift all restrictions on players and coaches during the summer in all IHSAA sports.  No "three-player" rule, no limitation on coaches instructing their players in the summer, and no easy decisions for players who must choose between playing for a summer school team or an all-star AAU team.  (Not to mention choosing between basketball and any other sport that is organized by a school coach during the summer.)  According to The Times, the lifting of summer restrictions was just one of 43 proposals looked at yesterday by the IHSAA Board of Directors.
As laid out in The Times, the IHSAA also voted on changes to the IHSAA basketball tournament, eliminating the mid-week two-team regional for a Saturday four-team regional, extending the tournament season from three weeks to four weeks, and overlapping the girls and boys tournaments for a week.  According to the Indianapolis Star, former Martinsville coach Jan Conner looks to be on the warpath on this issue.  Conner rightfully believes that the overlap is a slap in the face to girls basketball, taking the focus of fans and media off of the girls state finals and placing it directly on the boys sectional finals being played the same day across the state.  As the retired Conner states in the Star article, "There's nothing they can do to me now," and she is considering contacting legal experts to see if Title IX issues are being violated with the new format.
In another change, the IHSAA voted to allow teams to move up in class beginning with the next reclassification year in 2003-04.  The option can be sport-specific and is basically a way to quiet all the one-class proponent school programs.  Now the coaches from smaller schools who have been lobbying for a return to the one-class tournament will have an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.  It will be interesting to see which schools take up the IHSAA's offer on this one.
In addition to the press release from the IHSAA outlining the changes, you can read more in the following newspapers:
IHSAA:  Schools can choose - The Times
Summer hoops restrictions lifted - The Times
 IHSAA basketball tourney format lengthened 1 week - Indy Star
IHSAA adopts 4-week tourney - Marion Chronicle-Tribune
IHSAA retools tournament format - Louisville Courier-Journal
IHSAA eliminates midweek regional - Johnson County Daily Journal
Hoops tourney again 4-week affair - Columbus Republic

News thru Friday, April 27


We've recently been made aware of a huge number of signings and commitments, 24 in fact, from around the state.  (Thanks to Brian Sullivan of Franklin College for most of this list.)  Here are the latest players heading off to college basketball next season and the related news and notes that we received or could find:

Player Name



High School


Mandy Topp F 5'9 Norwell Indiana Wesleyan
Topp averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game and was named to the First Team of the Northeast Hoosier Conference.  Topp finishes her career at Norwell as the 5th leading scorer in school history
Brittany McElya F 5'11 Danville Lake (IL)

Lake is a junior college that has been to the JUCO Nationals for two years running.

Laura Abel





Kelly Abbott



Carroll (Allen)


Melia Bodkin





Laura Brumfiel



Cambridge City Lincoln

Kankakee Community (IL)

Annie Prescott
('00 grad)



Warrick News

Olney Central

Amber Snodgrass



Warrick News

Olney Central

Takesha Jagoe



Evansville Bosse
Warrick News

Olney Central

Emily Creachbaum



SB Tribune

St. Mary's

Lisa Cowper



S. Bend Riley
SB Tribune

Purdue Calumet

Ashlee Gordon




IU Southeast

Suzie Hayden





Hayden averaged 11.0 points and 3.7 assists on the way to a state finals appearance.

Zinnerman, Asjah G 5'6 Cathedral Murray State

Zinnerman averaged 8.9 points, 3.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals on the way to at 3A state championship.  Zinnerman helped her team get to the state finals three consecutive years, and won it the last two. 

Lexie Henry



Crawford County


Betsy Hummel





Heather Kress



Forest Park


Ashley Lytle



Floyd Central

IU Southeast

Leslie Smith





Sarah VanWinkle



Forest Park

Oakland City

Danielle Walker F 5'11 North Harrison Oakland City
April Williams G 5'8 White River Valley Southern Indiana

Williams was a key contributor to the state finals run of White River Valley this season, averaging 8.1 points per game.


According to a short mention in The Times, Highland point guard Corrie Kaczmarek will be attending St. Joseph's college in Rensselaer next fall to play soccer.  Kaczmarek was instrumental to Highland's outstanding run the past three years, and averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 assists during her senior season.  The Websters will forever remember Corrie as the Highland player that nailed the coffin shut on Crown Point in this season's Regional with three well-timed and deadly three-pointers.

Coaches and parents, as you can see a great number of players are getting scholarship aid to attend college next fall.  There is a community college in southern Michigan that is very, very interested in offering scholarship aid to Indiana players in order to build its roster.  This college is willing to discuss players that are being overlooked by other programs and have potential for development.  If you know of a player that is interested in college basketball and a chance at a scholarship, please contact us and we will put you in touch with the coaching staff there.

Several coaches are encountering changes regarding their careers:
 Two-year Griffith head coach Dianna Melby, who also coached at Hammond Gavit for five years, has decided to resign her position.  According to The Times, Melby is expecting a child in September and also wishes to spend more time with her 12-year-old son, who is now getting into competitive athletics as well.  Melby compiled a 31-18 record at Griffith.
The Indianapolis Star recently reported that Bloomfield coach Paula Fettig was asked to resign, refused and was let go several weeks ago.  Fettig led Bloomfield to a Class A state championship in 1998 and has been at Bloomfield since 1994.  During her seven-year coaching term, Fettig amassed a record of 100-54, going 5-15 this past season.
Pike coach Beth DeVinney recently resigned her first head coaching position with the Red Devils after five seasons.  While at Pike, DeVinney led her teams to an overall 55-47 record and an impressive 13-8 record this past season against a competitive schedule that included Bloomington South, Perry Meridian, Southport, Martinsville and Decatur Central.
We continue to keep tabs on coaching positions around the state on our Revolving Door coaching page.  Recent openings include Carmel, where one-year coach Dan Renihan has resigned, and West Central, where two-year coach Denise Fitzgerald has also left.  Recent hirings for open positions include Bob Windlan at Anderson Highland and Tim Hudson at Peru.

It's now official.  Well, almost.  Kankakee Valley and Wheeler are now the 14th and 15th members of the Lake Athletic Conference, the largest conference in the state.  According to The Times, all that is left to make it formal is the receipt of the welcoming letter to the principals of both schools from the LAC.  And that's in the mail.  With so many member schools, the LAC has decided to have Black and Blue Divisions for each school that will not be based upon enrollment or location, but will vary from sport to sport depending on the competitiveness of each team.  Although Wheeler and Kankakee will not become full members of the LAC for a year or two (until scheduling can be taken care of), the Black and Blue Divisions will go into effect for both girls and boys basketball for 2001-2002.  Expect to find Highland, Andrean, Gavit, Munster, Lowell and either Calumet, Griffith or Noll in the more competitive Black Division.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, a number of Indiana players, seniors and underclass(wo)men, will be playing in the inaugural Twin Bridges Basketball Classic tomorrow at Bellarmine University.  The players representing Indiana are as follows:
Maria Rickards and Amanda Sizemore, New Albany
Lexie Henry, Crawford County
Rachel Perkins, Columbus North
Ashlee Lytle, Floyd Central
Angie Rogers, Castle
Ashley Jordan and Jenny Cooper, Connersville
Lori Little, Salem
Coach -- Angie Hinton, New Albany
Jessica Huggins
and Savanna Jones, New Albany
Angela Newkirk, Salem
Brianna Howard, Southwestern
Emily Wright, Floyd Central
Katie Coulter, Providence
Laura Ellerbusch and Hattie Schnacke, Castle
Jenna Rhodes, Silver Creek
Donique Derrick, Jeffersonville
Coach -- Jeff Wise, Charlestown

West Lafayette standout Lello Gebisa of Duke, has decided to leave the Blue Devils program due to a lack of playing time.  According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Gebisa will be searching for a school closer to home.  Sister Ebba Gebisa, an Indiana All-Star, committed to Wisconsin earlier this year.  Wisconsin just announced several days ago that sophomore center Nina Smith has decided to leave the program, which might create some interesting possibilities for the Gebisa family.

The Johnson County Daily Journal describes how Indian Creek varsity head coach Dana Scott tries to keep in shape in order to keep pace with her girls basketball team.

In case you didn't catch it on our message board or the AAU website, Indiana Association AAU recently announced that the 17U and 18U divisions will not need to play through a regional to advance to the state tournament on June 8-10.  Only 16 teams were entered in the 17U division and 8 teams in the 18U division, requiring no playoffs.  Due to the low numbers in 17U, only the top two teams in that division will qualify for the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida, this summer.  Numbers were down in the 16U division as well, and only three teams will advance to the AAU Nationals in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The 16U division was eight short of the required 48 team entries to qualify four teams to advance to nationals.
Also, those 15U and 16U teams entered in the May developmental tournaments have had site changes for this tournament that will take place in about two weeks.  The 15U division will play at New Castle instead of Southport, and the 16U division will play at Franklin instead of New Castle.


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