Region Roundball Review

June, 2000
News & Updates


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

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

June, 2000
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News thru Thursday, June 29


After turning in her resignation to administration and announcing to her team earlier in the week that she was resigning, head coach Jan Conner of Martinsville informed her team yesterday that she has changed her mind and will remain as head coach of the Lady Arties for at least one more season.   The reason for the change of heart seems to stem from the belief of the Martinsville administration that it would be nearly impossible to find a quality replacement to lead the girls basketball program this close to the start of the school year.   Unwilling to leave her program in such a predicament, Conner has agreed to stay on at least one more season, with help from others to cover the program until she is fully recovered from an upcoming surgery.  This will be Conner's sixth season with the Arties and her silver anniversary year (25th) in her successful coaching career.

According to several sources, Lowell's Katie Porento will be playing at Purdue-Calumet in Hammond next season.  The 5'6 point guard was a key player for the Red Devils, who advanced to the semi-state in 1999-2000 for the first time in her school's history.  Porento finished her four-year varsity career averaging 11.6 points and 3.0 steals per game.

Columbus North guard Leah Speaker has signed with Rhodes College, which is located in Memphis, Tennessee.  Speaker helped lead Conference Indiana Champion Columbus North to a school record tying 19-4 season, and a ranking as high as 9th on the ICGSA Coaches 4A Poll.  Speaker, a 5'6 point guard, started for four years at North, and is North's all time leader in 3-point field goals made, and 4th all time leader in assists.  This past season she averaged 6.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. 

The Michigan City Marquette girls basketball summer camp, run by varsity head coach Ken Cook, is featured in the Michigan City News Dispatch.

The camera shutters were snapping big time during the numerous outings and appearances of the Indiana All Stars this past month.  We've put together a 2000 Indiana All Star Photo Gallery for you to enjoy, with contributions from Alan Stewart of the Corydon Democrat and Brian Sullivan of Franklin College.  Photos of the Junior All Stars are thrown in for good measure.  Enjoy!

A  few more on-line stories are now available about the All Stars:
"Hurns leaves Kentucky hurting" - Kokomo Tribune
"Boyd, Secrest boast largest media presence at All-Stars" - TH Tribune Star
   "Bigger pond, smaller fish" - The Times
   "Indiana All-Stars drill" - The Times

The Purdue Gold & Black website has a "plethora" of women's recruiting news, with info about a number of Indiana high school players, including Jackie Batteast of South Bend Washington, Shyra Ely of Ben Davis, Sultra Harding (currently ineligible) of Ben Davis, and Purdue recruit Shalicia Hurns.  One notable bit of information from the article regarding Ely's visit to Tennessee is that the top junior will most likely not make her college choice known until the early signing period in November so that she can take full advantage of her allowable number of official visits.  The following is a list of all the articles, each interesting in its own right.  
"Women's recruiting - 2001 recruits" - 6/28/00
"Batteast undecided" - 6/23/00
"Ely visits Vols" - 6/19/00
"Senior girls win" - 6/15/00
"Ely makes U.S. team" - 6/12/00

The latest All Star Girls Report 2001 Pre-Summer Top 50 rankings are appearing in the current issue of Women's Basketball Journal, and three Ben Davis players are the only Indiana players listed:  No. 1 Shyra Ely, No. 26 Ashley Allen and No. 45 Sultra Harding (currently ineligible). 

According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Purdue's Candi Crawford (Homestead) has been a busy girl this summer.  Besides working out and spending time as an Indiana Pacers/Fever intern, the senior power forward will also be traveling to Austria, Hungary and Slovakia in August as a member of the Big Ten All Star Team.  

According to The Times, NWI and Lowell native Amy Ruley, the head coach of Division II North Dakota State University, became the first woman in North Dakota history to be named to the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.  Ruley, who boasts an impressive 512-126 record at NDSU in 21 seasons, has led her team to several NCAA Division II national championship titles.

The Fever lost its fifth game in a row last night, losing to the Los Angeles Sparks 82-73.  The bright spot in the loss was the 29 points scored by NWI native Monica Maxwell (East Chicago), a pro career high.  Maxwell's scoring wasn't enough though, with the Fever hitting a miserable 36% from the field, and an even more miserable 65% (23-37) from the line.  Free throws alone could have kept the Fever in it, but an abnormally poor performance from the line sealed their fate.  As of note was the performance of LA Sparks guard and former Purdue standout Ukari Figgs.  Figgs had 9 assists for LA in the game.  You can get the full recap at the Indianapolis Star and the Fever website.

News thru Monday, June 26


According to a Martinsville source, head coach Jan Conner announced her resignation this morning to the Martinsville team and administration.  Health reasons were cited as the reason, as Coach Conner has undergone surgery for knee problems in the past year and faces additional surgery in the coming weeks.  
Conner has been at Martinsville since the 1995-96 season and reached her milestone 400th career victory early in the 1998-99 season.   She had the distinct honor of being the last coach to win a state championship under the one-class system in 1997 and the first coach to win a state championship in the new four-class system in 1998.  Conner coached at two other high schools in Indiana -- Warren Central (1975-77) and Benton Central (1978-92) -- during her 24-year coaching career, and also guided the Benton Central Lady Bison to the state championship final in 1989, where they fell to Scottsburg.  Conner also served as the head coach at Northeast Missouri State between her years at Benton Central and Martinsville.

Indiana All Star Abby Scharlow takes it to the hoop against the imposing presence of Kentucky All Star SeSe Helm at Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday.  Scharlow was outstanding with 13 points in the 89-82 win.  (Outstanding photo by Alan Stewart)

The Indiana All Stars made it a Hoosier State sweep on Saturday with a 89-82 victory over Kentucky's 2000 "Dream Team."  Using a 33-12 run in the closing minutes, including 15 points from Shalicia Hurns and 9 points from Anna Waugh during that run, the Indiana All Stars came from 15 points back to win the game.  This gives Indiana a two-game advantage in the annual series, which now stands at 26-24.  Game recaps and player stories appear on-line, and a very good recap by RRR regular Brian Sullivan can be found on the RRR Message Board.  Special thanks to Alan Stewart, Sports Editor of the Corydon Democrat, for the outstanding photo from Saturday's game.
"Hurns is spark in girls' big rally"
Indianapolis Star
"Indiana girls take two from Kentucky"
South Bend Tribune
"Indiana girls sweep 'Dream Team'"
Bloomington Herald-Times
"Secrest has no regrets after an All-Star career"
Bloomington Herald-Times

"Purdue recruit leads Indiana girls to comeback victory"
Lafayette Journal & Courier

"All-Stars proud of rare Kentucky sweep"
Lafayette Journal & Courier
"Indiana girls sweep Kentucky"
Muncie Star Press
"Boyd, Secrest pass All-Stars to victory"
Terre Haute Tribune-Star

All Star Sara Strahm (Ben Davis) was named the winner of the John Wooden/MCL Cafeteria All-Star Citizenship Award in conjunction with the Indiana-Kentucky All Star series.

In the subscription area of Fullcourt Press, Joe Smith of the Women's Basketball News Service gave a recap of the Junior World Championship trials that were held in Colorado Springs earlier this month.  Two Indiana standouts, Shyra Ely of Ben Davis and Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, were invited to the trials and they are both mentioned in Smith's write up.  
Although Zolman did not make the team, according to Smith, "Zolman is a polished player with fine skills. Her game is well grounded, but she is also very young, and at times her youth showed."  According to Smith, it appeared that the feelings of USA Basketball and the selection committee were that Zolman will have a bright future, but that her time with the Junior Worlds is in the future.  
As for Ely, who made the 15-member cut, Smith said she "is one of the best high school players in the game.  I rank her as the top junior in the country, and she showed her skills throughout the trials.  Ely has all the skills needed to be a superstar -- and she plays hard all the time."  
Another interesting tidbit of information was also included in the article about Purdue point guard recruit Erika Valek, who would have helped what Smith feels is a glaring lack of depth at the point guard position on the team.  Apparently, Valek is a native of Colombia but grew up in Texas, and although she applied for U. S. citizenship five years ago, she has not yet received U. S. citizenship status.  Therefore, she was ineligible to try out for the team.

News thru Friday, June 24


Indiana All Star Kristi Koselke brings the ball up the court during the LaPorte exhibition. The 6'0 guard has been struggling with knee problems during the All Star series. (RRR photo)

Indiana All Star Kristi Koselke is featured in the Post-Tribune today (one-day link).  Although the 6'0 guard has been experiencing some difficulties during the All Star series with knee problems, she is greatly enjoying the All Star experience.  The P-T article discusses an interesting angle to that experience.  Koselke is spending time under the direction of All Star assistant coach Kevin Brown, the varsity coach of North Judson.  North Judson has been a long-time 2A nemesis of Koselke and her North Newton Spartans, but no animosity enters into this association.  Both Koselke and Brown express a great deal of mutual respect for one another.
Also, All Star Jessica Reiter is featured in the South Bend Tribune today.  Reiter, who is bound for Ball State, couldn't be happier with her experience with the All Stars so far.  Reiter has a busy weekend planned, with the final All Star series game with Kentucky set for Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse, followed by her graduation open house on Sunday.  From what I understand, we're all invited... ah, just kidding!  ;-)

The Purdue women's website is getting a jump on the 2000-2001 season with an outlook for the defending Big Ten Tournament Champions.  Big things are expected from returnees Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian), Kelly Komara (Lake Central) and Mary Jo Noon (Jeffersonville), who are part of a core group who will lead the Boilermakers beginning in November.  Purdue brings in six freshmen, who are heavy in guard play, who should make an immediate impact.  Komara will be glad for the extra help, which will allow her to move from the point guard to the two position.

News thru Thursday, June 23


Junior All Star Courtney Rosenbaum of Valparaiso tries to break free from the post defense of Indiana All Star Lynne Johnson of Corydon.  (RRR photo)

The Senior All Stars won their second exhibition game against the Junior All Stars Wednesday night at LaPorte to handily sweep the annual in-state summer series.  Before a very nice crowd, the Seniors strutted their stuff, knocking down 14 treys on an impressive 64% shooting performance (7-11) from beyond the arc in the first half.  The Juniors seemed a bit tentative and out of synch in the first half, and the margin showed it with a glaring 27-point deficit at the break.  To the Juniors' credit, however, that would be the difference at the end of the game, as the Juniors played even with the Seniors going 41-41 in the second half.  This was a good tune-up for the Seniors, who will be facing a more determined-than-ever Kentucky squad on  Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.  If the Seniors can maintain their outside shooting accuracy and continue the level of unselfish play they exhibited last night, they should be tough to beat again.  
Just about everyone had their moments last night, but a number of over-all performances are worthy of mention here:

Miss Basketball Sara Nord goes in for the one-handed layup against the defense of the Junior All Stars. (RRR photo)

Miss Basketball Sara Nord - 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 5 points and just one turnover in 23 minutes of play.  Nord was a confident leader on the floor and, as shown by her assists total, was the playmaker for her team.
Shalicia Hurns - 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in 19 minutes.  Wowed the crowd with some of her reverse hooks and other impressive post moves.
Lindsay Secrest - 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists in 14 minutes.  Went 3 for 4 from beyond the arc in a 3-point clinic, and for her minutes on the floor, gave the biggest bang for the buck.
Anna Waugh - 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals in 19 minutes.  Besides making it work from the offensive end, was all over the place on defense and responsible for a number of the Juniors' 30 turnovers.
Abby Scharlow - 9 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 18 minutes.   A terrific all-around game, doing all the right things at the right time. 

Junior All Star Jackie Batteast not only gets it done on the offensive end, but on the defensive as well.  Here she gets ready to make deadly contact on a shot by All Star Jennifer Desjean(RRR photo)

Jackie Batteast - 14 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 19 minutes.  Silent but deadly, this girl quietly builds her stats throughout the game without too much fanfare.  We really like her work ethic on the floor.
Shyra Ely - 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals in 23 minutes.  Although struggling to find the hole in the first half (as most of the Juniors did), Ely's athleticism kicked in the second for a very respectable finish.
Kate Endress - 7 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes.  Still not fully recovered from a back injury, Endress had the best shot of the game that really pleased the crowd -- a high-arching, 15-foot hook shot that looped through the hoop on nuthin' but net.
Jenny DeMuth - 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 3 steals in 16 minutes.  Like a number of her teammates, DeMuth struggled in the first half but fought her way back to her usual game after grabbing a couple of steals and buckets off of fast breaks.
Rachel King - 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in 20 minutes.  Forever trying to bring her teammates along to the concept of "There's no 'I' in team," King was frustrated for most of the game.   She will be happier next year when this group gets more than one or two practices together and more of a chance to learn how to react to one another on the floor.  As always, King is a positive force on the floor no matter who she's playing for or with.
On-line recaps of Wednesday's game appear in The Times, Indianapolis Star, and South Bend Tribune.  For those of you who are really interested, you can access the entire official stats from last night's game in PDF format. (Yes, these are THE official stats.  I am finally a member of the media that gets access to this kind of stuff.  Woohoo!)  By the way, that PDF document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free here.

Indiana All Star Jessica Reiter handles the hot lights of the camera in a quick interview with a South Bend television station after the game. (RRR photo)

A few side notes & observations from the All Star exhibition:
Being an Indiana All Star may not bring you any fortune, but it can bring you a little bit of fame.  With the exhibition game being close to home, Penn's Jessica Reiter was in the spotlight for a South Bend television station doing a short spot on the game.  Reiter seemed comfortable enough in the hot lights, which is becoming a business-as-usual event for these All Stars.  LaPorte was just one of many appearances the busy baker's dozen have made all around the state during their All Star "reign."  
Portage Coach Renee' Turpa was enjoying the evening watching Indiana All Star and Portage product Natalie Yudt during the game.  Turpa brought along a busload from Portage for the event, which a number of NWI girls programs opted to do.  There was a really nice crowd in attendance for the girls' game, and lots of young players cheering on their hometown favorites.  The Portage contingent was probably a little disappointed that Yudt only saw 13 minutes in the game.  But after spending a good measure of time on the floor against the Kentucky post players last weekend, you can't help but think that All Star Coach Connie Garrett was a little concerned about wearing out a key defensive threat for Saturday's game.  

Junior All Star Jackie Batteast reacts to a comment by Natalie Yudt as they both prepare to battle for a rebound on a free throw attempt.  Could this be one of Natalie's secret strategies to keep her opponents off guard?  ;- )  (RRR photo)

Yudt didn't seem to mind, chumming and joking with a number of players on the floor during warmups and free throws in the game.  You can't help but notice that this Senior All Star team is one that is enjoying the All Star ride and each other very, very much, and that camaraderie shows in their play as a team.
   An interesting statistic we noticed after last night's game was the blocked shot totals -- Juniors 7, Seniors 0.  The Junior team has a number of incredibly gifted athletes who just happen to play basketball.  This category was a glaring one to support that observation.  You won't find a class of athletes within the past few years that can compare to the Class of 2001.  Next year's All Star team will be a fun one to watch once they get some time to pull together as a team and have a full complement of guards.  Ely, Batteast, Ashley Allen and Ebba Gebisa all have hops.  Throw into the mix the athletic wing play of DeMuth and missing All Star candidate Kristen Weddle (who had an untimely ACL injury that kept her out of the running for the Junior team --we think she'll be there as a senior), and you have a team that will be very hard to keep up with next summer.  
Spotting Shyra Ely in Tennessee shirt and shorts after the game, we checked with the Ely family as to whether or not a college choice had been made.  It was a false alarm, however, and was only evidence of the top level forward's participation in the recent Tennessee camp.  We can only imagine what a workout the Ely phone will be getting on July 1 when the phone contact period begins.  But it looks like Ohio State, Purdue and Tennessee (in no particular order) have the inside track at this point.  Wonder if they'll make the long distance calls to Argentina this summer while Ely is playing for the USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Team?  Our guess is that they'd try to contact her even if she were playing on the dark side of the moon...

The Johnson County Journal has a very nice article about Center Grove senior Katie Boone and her decision to accept a full ride to Valparaiso to play in 2001-2002.  According to the article, Boone also considered Duquesne, Dayton and Bradley before making her choice.

The 14U Mohr Magic Carver team, who won the state championship in their age division last weekend, is featured in an article in the Kokomo Tribune.  

The Terre Haute Tribune is carrying a piece about the change in Illinois High School Association rules that allow high school coaches 25 days of summer instruction with their players.  It's an interesting read that may indicate a possible response to the change in NCAA rules that have cut back on men's summer recruiting by college coaches.  As high school coaches get more control over the off-season playing situations of their players, the NCAA gets what it wants -- less involvement by unscrupulous AAU coaches (a small percentage overall).  You can bet the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association will be taking a look at Illinois for future proposals to the IHSAA. 

The Ft. Wayne News Sentinel reports that the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame will have a touring exhibit over the next three years that will visit over 300 school districts around the state.  The exhibit will be housed and transported in a double-wide trailer that can expand to more than 1,000  square feet.  State championship memorabilia, information about famous Indiana players and interactive activites will be a part of the exhibit.

News thru Wednesday, June 21


A few days late, but not a dollar short, the Kokomo Tribune has an excellent write up on the Indiana All Stars win over Kentucky last Saturday.  Quoted in the article is All Star assistant Heather Cusick (Kokomo), who is currently a player at Miami (Ohio) and was a 1999 Indiana All Star herself.  Cusick credited a strong long-standing girls basketball tradition in Indiana with league basketball as a contributing factor in the win.  Unlike Kentucky, a number of the Indiana All Stars played organized basketball at a very young age, and that skills foundation paid off in the win on Saturday with shooting and ball-handling fundamentals.  Also, the Johnson County Journal out of Franklin has another excellent write up on the game.

The 14U and 15U AAU state finals were held over the weekend and, as expected, Indiana's Finest walked away with the 15U championship, while Mohr Magic Carver (formerly known as Kokomo Carver) took the 14U championship for a third year in a row.
The much-lauded 15U Finest team will make a bid for a national championship when they head to Amarillo, Texas, in July.  Not many teams, including a number from older age groups, have come close to competing with this outstanding group.  One team who will be anticipating a challenge from IF at Amarillo is the Dayton Hoopstars, who finished in 2nd place at the 14U nationals last summer.  The Hoopstars feature Connersville incoming junior Missy Taylor, who was the Ohio 14U AAU Player of the Year a summer ago.  Taylor's team defeated Indiana's Finest by 15 points late in championship bracket play last year, and the Finest have not forgotten the loss that knocked them down into the loser's bracket for their eventual demise.  The Finest is shored up this season with a few new players and will be hoping for a rematch with Taylor and the Hoopstars in about a month.  Other teams qualifying over the weekend for the 15U nationals include Shooting Stars of Western Indiana, Indiana Warhawks, and Bloomington MoHoops.
Mohr Magic Carver, based out of Kokomo, managed an amazing three-peat with a 78-70 win over Indiana's Finest in overtime.  Carver will be hoping to make a better showing at the nationals in Monroe, Louisiana, after being eliminated after three games in championship bracket play last summer.  They were the only 13U team from Indiana to compete in the championship bracket that year.  The other teams qualifying for this year's 14U nationals include HSE/Circle City Gems, Indiana's Finest Red, and Indiana's Finest Black.  One team that fell just short of qualifying, the Shelby Shooters, are featured in an article in the Shelbyville News.
All results from the 14U and 15U Division I and II state tournaments can be found at the Indiana AAU website.

The memory of late Purdue player Tiffany Young will be honored with the construction of the Tiffany Young Youth Center in Hillsboro, Alabama, where Young grew up.  Before her senior year at Purdue, Young was killed when a drunk driver collided into the passenger side of a car in which she was riding in Gary, Indiana.  The Indianapolis Star reports that Young's parents have received promises for funding for the center through various corporations and state and federal officials who are willing to contribute toward the $4-5 million cost.

As you could tell from our home page, the RRR will be undergoing some changes over the next few months.  We hope you like our new color scheme and format.  If you have any suggestions or run into any difficulties with any of the changes, be sure and let us know!

News thru Saturday, June 17


Center Grove rising senior Katie Boone verbally committed to Valparaiso University after a visit there during the Crusaders' elite camp.  Although Boone was unable to participate due to stress fractures in both legs, the trip confirmed what she already thought she knew -- Valpo is where she wants to play after high school.  Boone is accepting a full-ride to Valpo and has an excellent chance for playing time her freshman year.  Valpo saw the graduation of a number of seniors and will be rebuilding over the next two years.  Boone will be joined by Leo rising senior Kelly Springer, who committed before her junior season to attend Valpo.

Junior All Star Sara Riedeman (Greensburg) attempts to get her hand on the ball being shot by Senior All Star Suzie Hammel (Lebanon) in an exhibition game at Jeffersonville Wednesday.  (Photo by Brian Sullivan)

The All Stars will take on Kentucky today in Frankfort in what will be a contrast of lineups.  While the Indiana All Stars will rely heavily on the quickness and scoring of their guards, the Kentucky All Stars will pound it down low to take advantage of a roster with height and power, including 6'3 Miss Kentucky Jenni Benningfield and 6'4, 220-pounds SeSe Helm.  Expect a positioning battle on both ends of the court between Helms, who is headed to Kentucky, and 6'4 Shalicia Hurns (Broad Ripple), who is headed to Purdue.  Kentucky believes that this particular team is one of the best in Kentucky All Star history and have been talking up a sweep of the 2-game series for some weeks now.  But as in the past few years, Kentucky's weakness at the guard position could be key.  Indiana plans to use pressure defense to try to foil Kentucky's plan to take a lead in the cumulative series that is now tied at  24-24.  The Lexington Herald-Leader has a preview of the game from a Kentucky perspective, and the Lafayette Journal & Courier profiles head coach Connie Garrett of Clinton Prairie in a feature article.   The Indianapolis Star has player profiles for both Kentucky and Indiana.  Here is the lineup for both teams:



Name High School Ht. PPG College


Sara Nord 
Johna Goff 
Sara Strahm 
Anna Waugh 
Lynne Johnson 
Lindsay Secrest 
Natalie Yudt 
Kristi Koselke 
Jessica Reiter 
Shalicia Hurns 
Abby Scharlow 
Jennifer DesJean 
Suzie Hammel 
Mt. Vernon
Ben Davis 
Corydon Central 
North Newton 
Broad Ripple 
New Albany 
Perry Meridian 
Ball St.
N. Illinois
Wisc.-Green Bay
Ball St.
Cleveland St.
No Name High School Ht. PPG College
Jenni Benningfield 
Allyson Baker 
Kandi Brown 
Tamaka Clay 
Jennifer Flener 
Kimberly Graham 
Kaneshi Hart 
SeSe Helm 
Leslie Logsdon 
Becky Schubeler 
Jamie Truitt 
Camryn Whitaker 
Louisville Assumption 
West Carter 
Bryan Station 
Webster County 
Bowling Green 
Logan County 
Warren Central 
Hart County 
Harrison County 
Morehead St.
Memphis St
W. Kentucky 
W. Kentucky
W. Kentucky 


Special thanks to Brian Sullivan for providing us with some pix from the Jeffersonville All Stars exhibition game on Wednesday.  Here are a few more.

Junior All Star Maria Rickards prepares to inbound the 
ball against the defense of Indiana All Star Kristi Koselke.

The All Stars listen to instructions from head coach 
Connie Garrett (Clinton Prairie) during a timeout.

At the finish of the exhibition game,
Junior All Stars Ashley Allen, Nina Stone and  
Jill Corbett
(we think) wish the All Stars good
luck against Kentucky.  

There is an interesting article in the South Bend Tribune today about Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw and the help she has been receiving from offensive guru Tex Winter, who is assisting Phil Jackson with the Lakers as they pursue an NBA championship.  McGraw started running Winter's triangle offense about 8 years ago and has used the creator of the offense as a mentor for running it with her Notre Dame squad.

News thru Thursday, June 15

The Senior All Stars took on the Junior All Stars last night at Jeffersonville High School and came out victorious in a 98-85 win.  Details in the Indianapolis Star  indicate that game high scoring honors for the seniors went to Anna Waugh of Franklin who tallied up 15 points.  Miss Basketball Sara Nord logged 13 points and 6 assists on her home floor, while Broad Ripple's Shalicia Hurns produced 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals.  Local players Kristi Koselke of North Newton and Natalie Yudt of Portage made contributions of 9 and 6 points, respectively.  For the Junior All Stars, Shyra Ely and Ashley Allen both chipped in 17 points apiece to lead their team in scoring, while local products Jenny DeMuth (Highland) and Jackie Batteast (SB Washington) chipped in 8 and 12, respectively.  The All Stars travel to Kentucky this weekend for the first of the two-game series.  On Wednesday, June 21, the All Stars take on the Junior All Stars at LaPorte High School before facing Kentucky for the final game in the series on Saturday, June 24.

NWI Senior All Stars Kristi Koselke (North Newton) and Natalie Yudt (Portage) continue with their All Star diary entries for The Times with an interesting inside look at the daily activities of the All Star team.  Koselke is also the object of a feature story in The Times today about how she optimized her chances for becoming an Indiana All Star by coming up big at the right times.

In The Times sports notes today, it was mentioned that Morgan Township girls basketball head coach Jeff Edwards has announced he will resign his coaching position to spend more time with family.  Edward makes No. 4 on a list of Porter County Conference girls basketball coaches who have departed after the 1999-2000 season.  That list includes Edwards, Dennis Spoor of Wheeler, Candy Wilson at Boone Grove and Bob Duzan at Washington Township.  Must be something in that Porter County water.

According to the Huntsville Times, Pike point guard Alex Osborne will be playing basketball for Alabama A & M next season.  According to the article, the 5'5 guard averaged 10 points, 8 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds per game in 1999-2000.

The Columbus Republic is carrying a piece on Greensburg senior Sara Riedeman's recent verbal commitment to Western Kentucky.  The article states that Riedeman also considered Marquette, Louisville, Iowa, Drake and Indiana State before making her choice.

The Connersville News-Examiner has an article today about 1999 Miss Basketball April McDivitt and her adjustments to college life at Tennessee her freshman year.  She has been back home in Connersville for the past month, but keeping busy.  The News-Examiner also has an article about McDivitt leading a group of young basketball clinic participants in the Connersville area. 

Decatur Central senior Mary Blessing, who is headed to the University of Toledo to play basketball, was recently also named the Super Team  Player of the Year by the Indianapolis Star.  Blessing's talents in three different sports are reviewed in the article by Pat McKee.

According to the Crawfordsville Journal Review, Turkey Run senior Blair Branson, a big part of her team's success during the basketball season, will be playing softball at IUPUI as a college freshman. 

Although she just recently graduated, Luers player Jessah Martin finally received a final ruling on her eligibility to play basketball after the IHSAA denied her the opportunity to play during the regular season in 1999-2000.  The Indianapolis Star reports that Martin could have played during the regular season, but that the Luers athletic administration felt it was too great a chance to take.  If Martin had been found ineligible, the school would have most likely had to forfeit any games in which Martin participated. 

Although it has not yet been officially announced, former IU assistant coach Jennifer Jacoby is hard at work at the Miami (Ohio) women's basketball office, where she has accepted a new position as second assistant coach.  Jacoby,  a former standout at Rossville and Purdue, recently left the IU program when new head coach Kathi Bennett brought in her own coaching staff.

News thru Tuesday, June 13

Lots and lots of stuff today.    


Ben Davis junior Shyra Ely was named as one of 15 finalists vying for a spot on the 12-member Junior World Qualifying team. (RRR Photo)

According to the USA Basketball website, Ben Davis junior Shyra Ely has distinguished herself as one of the top players in the nation with a nod from the USA Basketball organization.  She was selected to be one of 15 finalists for the team that will eventually represent the USA in the Junior World games.  Ely was one of only three high school juniors named as a finalist on the mostly senior squad.  The finalist roster will be pared down to 12 during a training camp that will take place from July 14 to July 23 in Colorado Springs and Miami.  The 12-member team will then compete in the qualifying Junior World games in Argentina July 26-30.  The USA Basketball website also mentions that Ely was named the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year.  Wawasee sophomore Shanna Zolman, who was one of only two high school sophomores invited to the Junior World team trials this past weekend, was not named to the list of 15 finalists.

The Lake Athletic Conference recently honored two female athletes as 1999-2000 Athlete of the Year and Girls Scholar Athlete of the Year. Cathy Herring of Hammond Morton received the athlete honor, while and Kelly Schoon of Lowell received the scholar athlete honor.

The 16U, 17U and 18U Indiana AAU State Finals were in Center Grove this past weekend, and although we personally spent most of our time with ice packs, crutches and spandex wraps, we did catch some of the action, but not as much as we'd hoped.

Ashley Allen (Ben Davis) of The Family fends off a near steal by Jenny Demuth (Highland) of Mohr Magic.  The Family barely escaped a 19-point comeback by Mohr Magic that nearly tied the game with less than a second to go in regulation. (RRR Photo)

The 16U tournament, which we found ourselves observing during most of our visit to Center Grove, had the best championship final of the weekend.  What was a nip-and-tuck game early on looked to be a blowout by the second half when The Family took a 20-point lead over Mohr Magic behind the L-O-N-G range shooting of Ben Davis junior Ashley Allen.  The athletic guard set the tone early, hitting The Family's first basket of the game on a three-pointer from about 7-8 feet in from the halfcourt.  Allen's range seemed to have no bounds, and she delighted the crowd (except those pulling for Mohr Magic) with a series of several more beauties from just as far away.  Toss in the creative and consistent scoring of South Bend Washington junior Jackie Batteast, and the Family held its largest margin in the game about three minutes into the second half.  It looked like it was all but over, but some careless ball handling by The Family and a series of steals and scores by Mohr Magic slowly brought the game within reach.  A scoring run keyed by Terre Haute South junior Kristen Weddle, Highland junior Jenny DeMuth, Mt. Vernon junior Alissa Kirby and Center Grove junior Sarah Eckart, put Mohr Magic in a position to challenge at the end of the game.  Coming down to the last play of the game and a three-point deficit for Mohr Magic, DeMuth let one loose from beyond the arc with 0.4 on the clock.  It didn't fall, but lo and behold Allen had fouled DeMuth on the shot, putting her on the line with a chance to tie the game.  Unfortunately the first freebie fell out, the second went in, and then the third dropped in, too, although most likely it wasn't supposed to for a possible Mohr Magic putback.  That was pretty much it, with the score standing at 81-80, but miraculously The Family inbounded the ball to a receiver down court, she dribbled once and put it in -- all in 4 tenths of a second -- for a final score of 83-80.  Amazing.  National qualifiers for this age group are Mohr Magic, Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics and Hoosier Hotshots (who will be attending by default since The Family opted out of going to nationals).  The 16U nationals will be held from July 7 through July 15 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Lady Mac head coach Liz Turner gives instructions during a timeout to Sara Riedeman, late in the game, while No. 10 Katie Boone and No. 43 Angie Epps (both of Center Grove) listen in.  Lady Mac captured the 17U state title with a big win over defending champ Mohr Magic. (RRR Photo)

The 17U final was a less climactic affair, but the crowd supporting eventual champion Lady Mac Magic was enjoying every moment in an 80-57 win over last year's 16U champion Mohr Magic.  This one was sweet for Lady Mac after losing to Mohr Magic in the semi-final round last summer for a championship game bid.  Lady Mac's Johna Goff (Mt. Vernon/Ball State) was impressive at the guard position for the Mac, as was Miranda Eckerle (Franklin Central) in the post.  Mohr Magic's best shooters were having a hard time finding the middle of the hole, and just could not seem to connect to get anything going.  From my seat, I really enjoyed watching Lady Mac head coach Liz Turner, who expertly guided her team from the sidelines and during timeouts.  National qualifiers for this age group are Lady Mac Magic, Mohr Magic and Eastern Indiana Wolfpack, who squeaked by a strong Indiana's Finest team 67-66 to nab the last qualifying spot.  The 17U nationals will be held in Clarksville, Tennessee, from July 14 through July 22.
Unfortunately, we were unable to get to any of the 18U games, which were at a close-by but separate venue.  The champion in that tournament was Indiana's Finest, who won over Indiana Storm (Grimes) by a score of 54-46.  Both teams qualified for the nationals, which are also in Clarskville at the same time as the 17U nationals.  The third qualifying team was Jabokis, who took third place on a forfeit by the Boilerbackers (Brockett).


Missing floor action this weekend due to injuries were Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics center Mandy Sichting (left) and Mohr Magic guard Alex Webster(RRR Photos)

There were some noticeables missing from 16U and 17U action over the weekend for various reasons.  In the 16U tournament, Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics sorely missed offensive leader Shanna Zolman, who was at the Junior World trials, and Martinsville post player Mandy Sichting, who was dressed, but did not play due to a broken left ankle she received during the Aim High Tournament in Michigan over the Memorial Day weekend.  Ft. Wayne received another blow late in its loss against Mohr Magic when Noblesville guard Cindi Merrill left the game with what looked like a side-lining shoulder injury.  FWO qualified for nationals regardless, behind the strong play of Rachel King, Suzie Hayden, Lee Traynham and Amy Hayden, but will need to do some quick healing to be ready for nationals in less than four weeks.  Zolman's return to the lineup will definitely make a difference for this never-say-die team.
Also in the 16U tournament, The Family was without the services of Shyra Ely, who we mentioned earlier was at the Junior World qualifying team trials in Colorado Springs.  Her team managed to take the title over Mohr Magic without her, although it ended up being a close one.  Mohr Magic could have used the additional ball-handling and distribution services of Crown Point guard Alex Webster in that final game, but Webster went down with a nasty right ankle sprain early in her team's quarter-final game against Indiana's Finest, sidelining her for the duration.  Webster is expected to be back in the lineup by the time nationals roll around.
In 17U play, Indiana's Finest was definitely missing the top-notch play of Evansville Memorial forward Kate Endress, who is resting a stress fracture in her back.  Indiana's Finest fourth-place finish by a single point knocked them out of the running for the last qualifying spot for a trip to nationals.  Lady Mac Magic rallied throughout to take the tournament with limited services from Center Grove point guard Katie Boone, who is also nursing stress fractures in both of her legs.  After a few weeks of rest, Boone is expected to be a greater factor for Lady Mac at the nationals competition in just under five weeks from now.
We took quite a few pictures at the state tournament.  Because we couldn't include too many of them here, we have put them on a separate page for your viewing enjoyment.  Finally, it was nice to meet many of you who took the time to seek us out at Center Grove over the weekend.  Thanks for all of the kind comments!

As the All Stars series approaches, some news and features about the All Stars are appearing on-line.  The series against Kentucky begins this Saturday in Frankfort and then moves to Indianapolis the following Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.  Locally, the senior All Stars will take on the Junior All Stars on Wednesday, June 21, at LaPorte High School -- a great opportunity to see some of the best the state has to offer in high school girls basketball at a location convenient to NWI fans.  This Wednesday, June 14, fans in the Jeffersonville area will get to see the seniors and juniors face off at Jeffersonville High School in an exhibition game as well.
The Times is carrying diary entries from Natalie Yudt and Kristi Koselke during their experiences with the Indiana All Stars.  
The Franklin Journal has a feature about Franklin's Anna Waugh and her role on the All Star team.

Roundball Review
Special Report

With the 2000 All Stars series upon us, we at the RRR got to wondering about the 1999 Indiana All Stars and how they fared during their first year of college basketball.  Every one of the 13 players from the All Star Class of 1999 played for Division I programs around the country.  How did they do?  We have the answer in our RRR Special Report, which takes a good look at how each of the 1999 Indiana All Stars performed in their rookie college year.  It's a pretty thorough report that we think you'll enjoy, so be sure to take a look...

According to the Franklin Journal, the following athletes, who also happen to be girls basketball players, were recently nominated as candidates for the Johnson County Daily Journal Athlete of the Year Award.  The winner of the award will be announced at an upcoming Daily Journal awards banquet.
Erin Ashbrook - Whiteland nominee
Dana Derrico - Edinburgh
Jenny Cramer - Franklin

News thru Friday, June 9


Just a few last-minute notes before we head off to Center Grove for the weekend. 
A reliable source tells us that Greensburg junior Sara Riedeman has made an early verbal commitment to attend the University of Western Kentucky on a full scholarship after an unofficial visit last week.  The UWK coaching staff has been following Riedeman's progress closely for the past year and are very pleased to receive a commitment at this point in time.  The 5'6 point guard is known for her long-range accuracy and all-out play.  You can catch her this weekend at the 17U State Tournament on the competitive Lady Mac Magic, and also with the Indiana Junior All Stars at Jeffersonville later in the month.

In a wise and surprise move, Ben Davis junior Shyra Ely has changed her mind and will attend the Junior Olympic trials in Colorado Springs this weekend.  Ely's name is now listed on the USA Basketball website as one of the attending invitees.  Ely will benefit greatly from her exposure there, getting the opportunity to challenge herself against 41 of the top players under 18 years of age in the nation.  This creates a twist of sorts at this weekend's 16U AAU state tournament, where Ely will be sorely missed by The Family.  However, with Indiana Junior All Star core members Ashley Allen (Ben Davis) and Jackie Batteast (SB Washington), and point guard sparkplug Asjah Zinnerman (Cathedral), the cupboard is far from bare!

We reported earlier that Lady Mac Magic 17U guard Katie Boone (Center Grove) would be a question mark for this weekend's state tournament due to a stress fracture in her foot.  That question mark is now a period.  She will not play.  Instead of a foot injury, this capable point guard is suffering from stress fractures in both of her legs.  She is expected to be back in action, however, after the second week in July.

 By the way, if you're at Center Grove this weekend and get the chance, look for us and say hello.  We'll be tagging along with the 16U Mohr Magic team all weekend with digital camera in tow.

News thru Wednesday, June 7


After weeks of rumor, it is now official.  According to the IU women's website and the Bloomington Hoosier Times, Butler transfer Kristen Bodine, a former member of Martinsville's two-time state champion girls basketball team, will transfer to Indiana University.  After taking serious looks at Valparaiso, Wisconsin and IU, Bodine made her choice and should be a good fit for the Hoosiers under new head coach Kathi Bennett.  According to NCAA guidelines, Bodine will have to sit out the 2000-2001 season, but will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2001-2002.  When she becomes eligible, the 5'11 guard will supplement a backcourt that will include incoming freshman Anna Waugh (Franklin).

Calumet College of St. Joseph recently announced the signing of 5'9 forward LaWanda Mitchell (Calumet) and the transfer of Jacqueline Carter (Gary Wirt) from John A. Logan College.  Mitchell, who was the leading rebounder in the Lake Athletic Conference during the 1999-2000 season, averaged 14.4 points per game.  Carter comes to Calumet College as one of the 1997 leading scorers in NWI with a 26.0 average.

There is some interesting news on the 'Net today regarding Ben Davis standouts Shyra Ely and Ashley Allen.  A story at the Gold & Black website, quoting Ben Davis head coach Stan Benge, has Ely paring down her list to just two colleges -- Purdue and Tennessee.  The Purdue recruiting staff, who has been after Ely hot and heavy for the past three years, finds themselves in an enviable position compared to a number of programs that were vying to bring Ely to their respective schools.  Considered one of the top three players in her class in the nation, Ely is also a top student and comes from a strong family support system -- two dynamics which weigh heavily in the success factor of the college athlete.  On a side note, Ely was just recently named by Full Court Press as a 2000 High School All-American Second Team pick at small forward.   She was one of only two underclassmen who made the four FCP All-American teams.  
Also mentioned in the Gold & Black article is the recruitment of Ely's teammate Allen by Purdue.  Apparently, the level of that effort by the Purdue staff has fallen off in recent months, probably due to the finalized signings of a strong group of guards coming to Purdue next season.  However, the extremely athletic and long-range shooter is getting strong interest from programs that more closely fit her style of play, such as Georgia.  As a testimony to Allen's athleticism, the junior recently placed fourth in the long jump at the IHSAA track meet with a jump of 18'1.75".  Some of us would almost swear we've seen her jump that high on the basketball court, too.
A final mention in the article was in reference to Ben Davis student Sultra Harding, Ely's 6'3 cousin who transferred to school in Indiana last year and was expected to join her cousin on the floor for their last year of high school.  After playing a year of JV at Ben Davis, it was discovered that Harding had no years of high school eligibility left since that was her fourth year of high school competition.  As a result, Harding will not be wearing a Ben Davis uniform next season as expected.

Manchester head coach Keri Nichols, a former assistant under Martinsville head coach Jan Conner, announced last week that she will be stepping down from her post to pursue a master's degree in health and wellness promotion at Southwest Missouri State in Springfield.  While she is pursuing her degree, she will also take on the duties as varsity head coach at Greenfield High School in Missouri.  No replacement for Nichols has been named, as this was a fairly unplanned decision on her part.  According to the Warsaw Times, Nichols coached the Squires to a 25-18 record during her two-year tenure.

According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, Kalei Enterline has been hired as the new varsity girls basketball coach at Heritage High School. Enterline served as the girls junior varsity coach this past season. He replaces Susan Weimer, who resigned after nine seasons with the Patriots and a career record of 107-72.

The 16U, 17U and 18U AAU state finals are slated to begin on Friday evening at Center Grove High School this weekend.  If you can get away to attend, it would be a great opportunity to see just about every top player in Indiana in those age groups. 

The outside scoring of 16U Indiana's Finest Megan Liffick (Whiteland) will need to be a factor if her team is to advance past the quarter-finals of the 16U AAU state tournament .

In the 16U tournament, returning state champion Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics will be feeling the hurt without the services of team leader Shanna Zolman (Wawasee), who will be at the Jr. Olympic trials in Colorado Springs, and 6'2 junior Mandy Sichting (Martinsville), who recently broke her ankle.  Don't count them out, however, as they have a very solid core of players, including Rachel King (Luers), cousins Suzie Hayden and Amy Hayden (FW Snider) and Lee Traynham (Valpo), who know how to win under adverse conditions.  Their main competition in this tournament will be The Family (Shyra Ely and Ashley Allen of Ben Davis, Jackie Batteast of SB Washington), Mohr Magic (Jenny Demuth of Highland, Kristen Weddle of Terre Haute South, Ebba Gebisa of West Lafayette), and Indiana's Finest (Nina Stone of Pike, Megan Liffick of Whiteland, Kali Carter of Columbus East).  The deep Mohr Magic and Indiana's Finest are on a collision course in the quarter-finals, figuring to be one of the better games on Saturday afternoon.  The winner of that game will most likely meet FWO in the evening semi-finals for what should be another excellent matchup.  The Family is expected to come out of the other bracket to the championship game on Sunday with little resistance.  The top three teams in this tournament will advance to the 16U Nationals at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in mid-July. 

17U Indiana's Finest forward/center Jessica Reiter (Penn/Ball State) will most likely meet challenger Indiana Storm in quarter-final competition Saturday morning.

In the 17U brackets, Mohr Magic Pride returns to defend their state title with a boatload of talent, including Abby Scharlow (New Albany), Stacey White (Seeger), Kathy Hay (Madison) and Hillary Beck (Kokomo).  Their main competition in the top bracket is expected to come from the winner of the quarter-final game, most likely pitting the loaded roster of Indiana's Finest (with locals Susan Hay of Munster and Courtney Rosenbaum of Valpo) against the equally competitive roster of Indiana Storm (with locals Sarah Zondor of Crown Point and Jamie Gutowski of Andrean).  That expected quarter-final battle will take place Saturday morning.  In the bottom bracket, Eastern Indiana Wolfpack, featuring Richmond twins Ashley Koester and Courtney Koester, will have to fend off probable semi-finalist Lady Mac Magic (Johna Goff of Mt. Vernon, Katie Boone of Center Grove, Sara Riedeman of Greensburg) on Saturday evening, although Boone may be a question mark with a stress fracture in her foot.  The top three teams in this tournament will advance to the AAU 17U Nationals at Clarksville, Tennessee, in late July. 

18U Boilerbackers' Jamie Grogg (Huntington North) will be looking to bury a few of her signature 3-pointers this weekend.

The 18U competition will be abbreviated as it is each year, with only twelve teams in contention for the state title.  Mohr Magic (with local talent Becky Schuster of North Newton) returns to defend its title.  One of the more interesting early games will be late Friday evening between Indiana Storm (Anna Waugh of Franklin) and the FW Boilerbackers (Jamie Grogg and Cassie Kline of Huntington North).  Kline and Waugh will go head-to-head in what should be a classic.  Whichever team comes out of that battle will face Indiana's Finest (Julie Goad of Twin Lakes, Lauren Dailey of West Vigo) on Saturday at noon for the lower bracket semi-final berth.  Both semi-finals in this tournament will be worthy of viewing, and with the way the competition is scheduled, you should be able to catch at least one semi-final game in each of the three age-level tournaments Saturday evening, all at Center Grove High School.  The top three finishers in the 18U tournament will also advance to the AAU 18U Nationals at Clarksville, Tennessee, in late July.
Our picks for the best games of the weekend (with probable contenders):


Game Time/Day Center Grove Location
18U Game 2
Indiana Storm v. Boilerbackers
9:30 p.m. Friday Custer-Baker MS
16U Game 7
The Family v. Indy West
9:30 p.m. Friday CGHS Main
16U Game 8
Magic City Express v. DeKalb Hoopsters
9:30 p.m. Friday CGHS Old
17U Game 14 (quarter-finals)
Indiana's Finest v. Indiana Storm
10:15 a.m. Saturday CGHS Upper #1
18U Game 12 (quarter-finals)
Indiana's Finest v. Winner of Storm/Boilerbackers
12:00 noon Saturday CGMS #2
16U Game 14 (quarter-finals)
Indiana's Finest v. Mohr Magic
1:45 p.m. Saturday CGHS Upper #1
17U Games 21 & 22 (semis) 5:15 p.m. Saturday CGHS Main & CGHS Old
18U Games 15 & 16 (semis) 7:00 p.m. Saturday CGMS #1 & #2
16U Game 21 (semis)
Indy's Finest/Mohr Magic Winner v. Ft. Wayne Ortho.
8:45 p.m. Saturday CGHS Main
17U Championship 10:15 a.m. Sunday CGHS Main
18U Championship 10:15 a.m. Sunday CGMS #1
16U Championship 2:00 p.m. Sunday CGHS Main


Clark Elementary students Sarah Condra and Alli Sink will make an early claim to their 15 minutes of fame while representing the Pacers in the NBA 2ball Championship competition to be held before the first NBA finals championship series game in Los Angeles.  According to the Franklin Daily Journal, Condra (10) and Sink (11) qualified for the national competition by winning the city level championship.  Besides the opportunity to compete in LA, the two are featured in an NBA commercial that will be run on Nickelodeon cable advertising a 30-minute special about all of the 2ball competitors.

The Fever won their second regular game of the season with an 80-59 win over the Miami Sol at Conseco.  East Chicago's Monica Maxwell continues to be a strong contributor to the Fever's exploits so far this season, scoring 15 points in this one.  The Indianapolis Star has the recap of the Indy expansion team that averaged somewhere around 10,000-11,000 fans for its first two home games.

News thru Thursday, June 1


News regarding a couple of signings have come our way.
Columbus North senior Sarah Kerkhof has signed with the University of Indianapolis to play for the Greyhounds next season.  A Top 40 participant, Kerkhof led the 19-4 Columbus North Bulldogs in scoring (16.4), rebounds (7.0), and steals (4.2) this past season.  The 5'9 forward joins former high school players Angel Hall (Anderson Highland), Emily Hammes (Westfield), Abby Luttrell (Logansport), Elizabeth Ramsey (Greenfield Central), Laura Schmalstig (Mt. Vernon) and Allison Sturtevant (Hamilton SE) on the U of I roster.
Rossville senior Ashley Shockey has signed with McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  According to the Frankfort Times, the 5'6 point guard averaged 6.0 points and, more importantly, 6.1 assists per game for Rossville as a senior.

After we reported here last week that Stephanie Gill of Munster was headed to Indiana Wesleyan, one of the local papers picked up the news from our site and published it soon after.  On Sunday, a retraction appeared, saying that Gill had not committed to any program as of that date.  Although we've requested an update, we have not yet heard back from the women's head coach at IWU, who sent us the original announcement regarding Gill.  If we get additional information, we will pass it along to you. 

Don Price, head coach at Glen Oaks Community College located in Centerville, Michigan (near the Indiana border northeast of Elkhart), is looking for a few high school senior players, especially those who play the 4 and 5 positions.  Price was just hired about six weeks ago and, as a result, got a late start on recruiting.  High school coaches or other interested parties can take a virtual tour of the campus at the link above and can contact Price by e-mail at  Former Indiana players who played at Glen Oaks last season include Brianne Buckland and Abbey Clark of Huntington North, Tammy Roth of Norwell, Valerie Pratscher of Merrillville, Jeana Borkholder of Clinton Christian and Brandi Campbell of Jimtown. 

The official list of accepting invitees for the upcoming Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team Trials has been released, and although two Indiana players were invited, only one accepted.  Wawasee sophomore Shanna Zolman will forego the AAU 16U State Finals to attend the Jr. World Championship Team trials in Colorado Springs.  Ben Davis junior Shyra Ely chose not to accept the invitation to the trials.  You can see the complete list of accepting invitees from around the nation at the USA Basketball website.

Mohr Magic's Molly Kemmerer (Perry Meridian) tries to get her hand on a loose ball under some heavy pressure -- literally -- from a Canadian Stars player at the Detroit Shock/Aim High Tournament in East Lansing.  You guessed it!  No foul was called.

The RRR staff spent the holiday weekend in East Lansing at the Detroit Shock/Aim High Invitational Tournament held at Michigan State University and Aim High Academy.  Lots of Indiana teams were in attendance at this event, which was hosted by a new organizer this year.  The old organizer took his event to the Detroit suburbs, along with a number of the competitive teams that were regulars at the M.I.T. of years past.  The competition was definitely diluted, and although our experience with the new version of this event was a decent one, some of the old problems of poor officiating and scheduling snafus seemed to surface for others. 
A number of Indiana teams worked their way into the championship finals, the results of which you can find at the Aim High Memorial Tournament Results web page.  Of the 22 championship game finalists, ten teams were from Indiana - four 1st place and six 2nd place.  Competition was separated into two divisions for each age group to make the teams as well-matched as possible.  Green Divisions had the highest-level competition, while White Divisions matched up for some competitive games talent-wise.

Jessica Hicks (Manchester), of the 18U Boilerbackers, gets ready to grab an entry pass in the bracket round of the Aim High tournament.

In the 17U/18U Division, the 18U Boilerbackers went through pool play undefeated, but fell in the semis of championship play.  Last year's 15U AAU state champ Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics, with standouts Shanna Zolman (Wawasee) and Rachel King (Luers), qualified for bracket play on Monday with a 4-0 record in 17U/18U pool play, but opted to head home early.  Mohr Magic 16U was also undefeated in pool play and got by Indiana's Finest to reach the championship game in the 16U Green Division.  Mohr Magic also opted to go home before the championship game to accommodate teammates preparing for school finals.  Mohr Magic and Indiana's Finest, matching up some of the best juniors in the state in Kristen Weddle (Terre Haute South), Jenny DeMuth (Highland), and Ebba Gebisa (West Lafayette) for Magic and Nina Stone (Pike), Kali Carter (Columbus East) and Daren Poe (Martinsville) for the Finest, are on a collision course for a rematch in the quarter-finals of the 16U AAU State Tournament in Saturday play at Center Grove High School.  This would be a good one to catch if you get the chance.  This game was a close one in this tournament, but with key players missing from both teams.  It will be interesting to see these two teams go head-to-head with complete rosters.
Kurt Patterson's 15U Boilerbackers made a good showing in the 15U Green Division, finishing second, while Indy Select finished first in the White Division.  Jim Campbell's Magic City Express, with a nice showing by Jenny Cooper (Connersville) in the game we watched, took the 16U White Division.  

A good showing was made by the 13U and 14U Mohr Magic teams, who were both entered in the 14U Green Division.  The 13U's dropped an emotional one to eventual division champ Michigan Monarchs in the semi-finals round.  After leading by about 8-10 points with four minutes to go, the Monarchs put on a smothering press that evaporated that lead and more by the end of the game.  The 14U Mohr Magic Carver team played in the championship game, but the Monarchs must have been on a roll and emerged victorious in that one as well. 
In the younger age groups, Indiana's Finest took two championships, finishing first in the 12U Green and White Divisions.

Fans of the girls game in Northwest Indiana and around Terre Haute will be happy to know that two players who missed the majority of the 1999-2000 season due to ACL injuries are back in action.

Indiana Storm's Jamie Gutowski (Andrean) looks to make a pass over the defense.  Gutowski is making a comeback from an ACL injury she sustained early in the 1999-2000 season.

Jamie Gutowski (Andrean) was at Michigan State playing for the 17U Indiana Storm, and although she is not completely back to her usually all-out form, is without a doubt on her way.  Gutowski, one of the top players in her class in NWI, succumbed to an ACL injury in a game against Lake Central about a third into the season.  One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a knee injury are lateral moves that push the knee to the limit.  Gutowski is a free-wheeling player, and until she feels confident in that lateral mobility, will be experiencing some frustration with what she can and cannot do on the floor.  But like most good players working through injuries, she was still able to contribute to her team's effort in the Aim High tournament.  The Storm came out as the No. 2 seed in the 17U/18U Division with only one loss in pool play.  It was great to see Gutowski back in action.  She should be 100% by the time the 2000-2001 season rolls around, and even though her Andrean team suffered without her, they also benefited in that a number of inexperienced players had to step up their play with Andrean's main offensive threat sitting on the bench.  With that extra time spent on the floor by those younger players, watch for Andrean to be a 3A contender in 2000-2001. 

Kristen Weddle (Terre Haute South), of the 16U Mohr Magic, shows that she is nearly back to full speed this summer after sitting most of the season on the bench due to an ACL injury.

The other player, who is a bit ahead of Gutowski in recovery from her ACL injury, is Terre Haute South 5'11 junior forward Kristen Weddle.  Weddle, who is probably one of the top three players in the junior class, definitely lost out due to the timing of her injury.  Weddle would have been a no-brainer for Junior All Star Core Team honors had she not been injured early in the high school season, missing too many games to get the nod at the time the team was named.  She is in outstanding form now, even though icing up after every game, and continues to get better with every outing.  At Michigan, she was named to the All-Tournament Team in the 16U Green Division and was a key offensive threat for Mohr Magic.  Weddle will be a pivotal player for Terre Haute South next season.  The Lady Braves are expected to be a contender and give Metropolitan Athletic Conference 4A frontrunners Ben Davis and Center Grove something to worry about.  Besides Weddle, THS returns Recina Russell, the 6'5 frosh blocking machine, and a solid backcourt in sophomores Darci Rector, Melanie Boeglin, Molly Martin and Kristen Clary.  Throw into that mix incoming 6'2 freshman Katelyn Bishop, who is also a volleyball standout at the national level, and it looks like the Giants and Trojans do have something to be worried about.

The Post-Tribune revealed today that a new athletic conference for Northern Indiana may be in the works.  At an exploratory meeting set for today, five schools will be represented to discuss the possibility of forming a new conference.  They include Kankakee Valley, Mishawaka Marian, North Newton, South Bend St. Joseph's and Culver Military Academy.  Two other Region schools -- Andrean and Bishop Noll -- were invited to send representatives, but will not.  Both are content with being members of the Lake Athletic Conference.

With the Fever's first regular season game scheduled for tipoff at 7:00 p.m. tonight, the Indianapolis Star has pulled out all the stops in their coverage with a number of related feature articles about the team, women's basketball in Indiana and the WNBA.  Here's the complete list:
"With no history, there are no expectations"
"Indiana's newest basketball team deserves a chance to attract fans"
"Expansion will be put on hold, allowing lesser teams to catch up"
"Community involvement is crucial for team, league"
"Fever radio announcer knows how to call game"
"Fever have strong Olympic link"
Related articles are also appearing in the Lafayette Journal & Courier and the Evansville Courier.


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