Region Roundball Review

June, 1999
News & Updates


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

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

June, 1999
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News thru Wednesday, June 30

The final game of the All Stars series in Kentucky was a 91-62 blowout for Indiana, evening out the historical series at 24-24 with this year's sweep by Indiana. A recap of the game appears in the Indianapolis Star. Also, player-specific game coverage appears in the Lafayette Journal & Courier for Kourtney Mennen, and the Connersville News-Examiner for April McDivitt and Kennitra Johnson. Feature articles about several All Stars have appeared in the Indianapolis Star, including articles about Valparaiso's Jeanette Gray and how she has served as a buffer between members of the All Star team and All Star Coach Greg Kirby (Valparaiso), and about Heather Cusick, who displays an outstanding work ethic. The Kokomo Tribune carried an opinion piece about the girls All Star team and the unbalanced playing time allotted to players during the series -- some interesting reading. Also, Heather Cusick of Kokomo reflects on her "All-Sub" experience in another Kokomo Tribune article.

Our coverage of the sectional realignments in last week's news update failed to mention that there was also a major change in the 2A lineups in NWI. With the movement of Hebron from 1A to 2A Sectional 33, North Newton was sent packing to Sectional 34, the sectional of long-time Spartan rival North Judson. That, of course, is great news for last season's semi-state qualifier, Hanover Central, who will be looking to repeat as Sectional 33 champs. With revenge-minded North Newton out of the sectional picture, that should make the path less troublesome for the Wildcats. However, North Newton will definitely face a test against North Judson just to get a second chance at Hanover Central at the regional level. Other major changes occurred around the state with the realignment, including the movement of perenially strong Martinsville and Center Grove to new sectionals. Those changes and others around the state are covered in the Indianapolis Star, Goshen News, Kokomo Tribune, Lafayette Journal & Courier, and Muncie Star Press.
High school coaching changes are being announced in NWI and around the state.

After the controversial resignation of Andy Juscik as head coach of the Bishop Noll girls program, a new face will guide the Lady Warriors next season. Tom Haluska, former girls head coach at Hammond Clark, will look to build the Noll program into a new force to be dealt with in 3A competition in NWI. Haluska will be starting with a young team, but wants to continue with the work Juscik had done to make Noll traditionally competitive. Besides his most recent assignment at Clark, Haluska previously spent time at the JV and assistant varsity level at Noll, Hammond Morton and East Chicago.

Another coaching change in 3A takes highly-regarded Hammond Gavit coach, Diana Wingis, to the head coaching job at Griffith. Wingis will replace Tim Powers, who announced his resignation this past spring. Wingis and the Griffith program have a competitive past, where Gavit and Griffith have gone down to the wire several times in sectional competition. Now Wingis will be working with the Panthers instead of against them. Although Wingis hesitated leaving behind talented junior-to-be Joanne Smith and a strong group of incoming sophomores at Gavit, she is looking forward to coaching a strong group at Griffith. You can read about the Griffith/Gavit coaching change in The Times.

The item here previously announced that NorthWood freshman girls coach Lenny Krebs was to take over the varsity coaching position at Whitko. According to the Goshen News, Krebs has had a change of heart and will stay at NorthWood, but as the boys assistant coach. Thanks to a RRR regular who brought this to our attention.

Brooke Minnear of Ft. Wayne Snider was named 1998-99 PrepSports Girls Athlete of the Year by the Ft. Wayne Sentinel. Minnear, a senior member of the state runner-up 4A Panthers, was Snider's leading scorer with 13.7 ppg during her senior season. A standout in volleyball, and a track participant as well, Minnear earned 10 varsity letters in high school. Minnear will be attending St. Louis University on a full-ride volleyball scholarship in the fall.
According to the Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Abby Luttrell (5'8 F) of Logansport will be playing for the University of Indianapolis in the fall. Luttrell averaged 13.7 points per game during her senior season and was considered a 3-point specialist and team leader.
Becky Schuster, North Newton senior, is headed to Arlington, Texas, with the Indy Rebels for the 17U Nationals beginning July 2.
The 16U teams representing Indiana in the AAU Nationals in Kingsport, Tennessee, did not fare well and two have been eliminated from play so far, while one team continues in consolation play. Indiana third place team Lady Mac Magic was the only team to advance to the championship bracket, but was double-eliminated with losses to Arkansas Cagers (87-86) and LE Just Do Its (72-61). State champ Mohr Magic placed third in opening pool play by 1 pool point and dropped down to the Shootout (consolation) bracket, as did 2nd place Indiana team Eastern Indiana Wolfpack. Mohr Magic is still alive in Shootout bracket play and takes on the Potomac Valley Vogues at noon today, while Eastern Indiana Wolfpack failed to advance to the Shootout bracket with an 89-77 loss to the Kentucky Kangaroos. The Indiana AAU website is following Indiana teams for all age groups at the Nationals tournaments. That info is at and can be found under the "1999 Indiana Teams at Nationals" link.
The official NCAA viewing period of recruits began on June 26 and will run through August 4 for women's college basketball coaches around the nation. The Indianapolis Star fills us in on how three new Indiana coaches are dealing with the transition to their new jobs, while at the same time trying to hit the recruiting trail for the best high school talent in Indiana and around the nation. Kristy Curry of Purdue, Brenda Oldfield of Ball State and Wendy Gatlin of Butler are all making adjustments as they get ready to take the lead with their new college coaching assignments.
Former Indiana high school players on the Women's USA University Team have been key to wins in Spain as the team heads into official University Games competition this weekend. Notre Dame's Ruth Riley (North Miami) and Purdue's Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) are representing the Hoosier State well overseas. Riley has averaged 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, while Douglas was the leading scorer for USA averaging 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.7 assists in a three-game tournament in Spain that ended Sunday. You can read about Riley's accomplishments in the Peru Tribune, and Douglas's contributions on the Fans Only Purdue website.
The Gary Post-Tribune is reporting that former West Side standout, Danielle McCulley, has been selected by USA Basketball for the Women's Pan American Games team. McCulley was the No. 1 pick in the ABL draft last year. The Pan Am team is being coached by Nell Fortner, former Purdue coach, and will compete from July 30 to August 8 in Winnipeg, Canada.
The awards continue to be heaped upon Indiana's greatest female basketball player, Stephanie McCarty, with the announcement that she has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Year. You can read about this award in the Lafayette Journal & Courier. Also, McCarty and former Purdue teammate Ukari Figgs are featured in an WNBA update piece by Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star. Both former Boilermakers are making their marks early on in professional play.
How's this for a deal? Stephanie McCarty's WNBA tea, the Charlotte Sting, has teamed up with the Charlotte Observer newspaper to offer Sting fans a Valupack Night package -- four $8 lower level tickets to the Sting game for $29, plus four hot dogs, four sodas and four popcorns for free. Can't wait until Indy has its WNBA team next year. Move over Pacers!

News thru Tuesday, June 22

The new IHSAA sectional groupings have been released and there are some major, major changes that will have a tremendous impact on NWI sectional champions in 4A for the next two years, the time period these sectional groupings will be in effect. Crown Point, Lowell, Merrillville, and Lake Central are sitting pretty in Merrillville Sectional 2 with the move of this year's sectional finalists, Munster and Highland, to Gary Sectional 1, where those two teams and Gary West Side will have to duke it out just to get out of their sectional. Gary Wallace (formerly in Gary Sectional 1) and Hobart (formerly in Portage Sectional 3) also will be at Merrillville, while South Bend Washington, a 3A school for the past two years featuring South Bend Player of the Year, Jackie Batteast, moves up to 4A to join Portage, Valparaiso, Chesterton, Michigan City and LaPorte in Portage Sectional 3. Dates for the girls 2000 tournament, which will be completed within a span of 19 days, were announced as follows:

SECTIONAL games will be played in a Tuesday-Friday-Saturday format. Sectional week in 2000 begins on Tuesday, February 15. Sectional championships will be played Saturday, Feb. 19.

REGIONALS will be played the following Tuesday or Wednesday (Feb. 22 or 23).

The eight SEMI-STATE groupings will be Saturday, Feb. 26.

The STATE FINALS will be Saturday, March 4. Eight teams -- two in each class -- will advance to the state finals.

The Indiana All Stars put the defensive screws to Kentucky to come up with a resounding 80-51 win over their neighbors to the south, which puts Indiana within one game of evening out the time-honored series, now at 24-23. Local standout Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso) led the Indiana contingent in scoring with 14 points, which was also good enough to lead all scorers for the game. As a team, the All Stars shot poorly (.328), but used their speed and a smothering trapping defense to put the slower Kentucky lineup on the wire early, forcing 33 KY turnovers. Complete game recaps can be found in a variety of on-line publications, including the South Bend Tribune, Kokomo Tribune, Lafayette Journal & Courier, Indianapolis Star, Bloomington Hoosier Times, and Connersville News-Examiner.
NorthWood senior and Indiana All Star Natalie Will has been chosen as the South Bend Tribune Female Athlete of the Year. Will, who led the 3A Panthers to a high school state championship with running mate Amy Zercher, is headed to Northwestern University. Will was also a standout in volleyball for the Panthers.
An interesting piece is appearing in the Terre Haute Tribune about the role national summer AAU events play in the college recruiting process. Although some AAU coaching practices and team methods have come under criticism by a number of high school and college coaches, college programs still consider the AAU National Tournament one of the most important recruiting events of the year. Included in the article are interesting comments by ISU women's basketball coach Cheryl Reeve, who first saw 9 of her current 13 players at summer AAU events. (Be patient if you jump to the TH Tribune link since it is slow to come up. However, the article is worth the wait.)
Region-area 15U AAU players Lee Traynham (Valparaiso sophomore), Amanda Bernard (Crown Point sophomore) and Alex Webster (Crown Point freshman), who played on qualifying teams in the 15U state tournament over the weekend, will be headed to the 15U National Tournament in Oklahoma next month. Traynham made key post contributions for the Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics' first place finish in the state tournament, while Bernard and Webster made critical contributions for a 3rd place finish by the Wabash Valley Hoosier Hotshots. The 15U national tournament will be held in Oklahoma City, OK, from July 9-17. If you are aware of any other Region high school players headed to AAU national tournaments, please let us know and we will post their names here.
According to comments in the Logansport Pharos Tribune, Stephanie McCarty would very much like to play for the new Indianapolis WNBA franchise team next summer. Anticipating a strong base of support with the great number of girls basketball players in the state, the new franchise would be wise to do whatever necessary, through trades or deals, to get McCarty back home to Indiana. Considered one of the greatest high school girls players to come out of the Hoosier State, McCarty would be a great draw for the new franchise. As of yet, the new team does not have a name, but the Indianapolis Star is reporting that fans have a few ideas for the new team's monniker. (Personally, we think the name of "Pacerettes," suggested by some, is definitely out of the question!)

News thru Thursday, June 17

The Jr. All Stars took it to the best of the senior class at Center Grove last night, upsetting the upperclass(wo)men 80-71 in a practice game in preparation for the Indiana All Stars' matchup with Kentucky this weekend. Paced by the combined scoring (28) and assists (11) of Jeffersonville junior Sara Nord (headed to University of Louisville) and Franklin junior Anna Waugh, the juniors surprised themselves at the half by hanging with the All Stars and ending up just 4 points behind at the break. That was enough to fire up the juniors, who realized they could play with the best of the senior class, and the underclassmen exploded in the second half to overtake the All Stars by double digits, finishing out with a 9-point win. Portage's Natalie Yudt dropped in 5 points to help the junior cause, while Jeanette Gray of Valparaiso scored 6 points for the seniors. Leading scorers for the Indiana All Stars were Miss Basketball April McDivitt (17) and Kennitra Johnson (11), the only two players for the seniors scoring in double figures compared to five with 11 or more for the juniors. You can view a recap of the game by our Fifth Quarter partner Randy Beckett, as well as coverage by the Indianapolis Star and The Times out of Munster. Several feature articles are appearing on-line about the All Stars, including team coverage by the Indianapolis Star, and individual player coverage of Evansville Memorial's Jill Hartman in The Evansville Courier and Indianapolis Star, and Kokomo's Heather Cusick in the Kokomo Times. The All Stars will be practicing next week at DePauw University before practice games at Kokomo and Connersville, and then will head off to Miami University in Ohio (Cusick's college destination next fall) for more practice before the final contest with Kentucky in Frankfort on June 26.

Jeanette Gray forces #21 Suzie Hayden left as she brings the ball up the court.Last week, the Indiana All Stars were at Valparaiso High School for a scrimmage against a 15U AAU team out of Ft. Wayne and, as might be expected of a game featuring the best of the senior class against a very fine but out-manned freshman and sophomore team, the outcome was a no-contest. The score was kept by halves, the first being 48-15 and the second 43-30, both in favor of the All Stars. Valparaiso's Jeanette Gray led the seniors with 14 points, followed by scoring in double figures by Center Grove's Emily Butler (12), Clinton Prairie's Kourtney Mennen (12) and Cathedral's Jennifer Callier (10). The leading scorer for the 15U Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics (FWO) was Wawasee freshman Shanna Zolman (14), followed by FW Bishop Luers sophomore Rachel King (10) and Martinsville sophomore Mandy Sichting (8).

Although the game was lopsided, there were some interesting items of note. Probably the most obvious item was theEmily Butler drives past defensive opponent freshman Shanna Zolman as she attempts to get past the halfcourt line. absence of New Albany senior Kennitra Johnson. We did find out after the game that even though she had been unable to play in the game due to a conflict, KJ was on her way to Valparaiso for the remainder of the All Star practice. Secondly, the All Stars seem to have some glaring deficiencies in the post, as their inside game was not as dominant as it should have been against a much smaller and weaker inside opponent. The All Stars frontcourt should have dominated the rebounding in this game, but were often out-hustled and out-maneuvered by Jenna Hayes shoots over Ft. Wayne defender Kelly Abbott.smaller, less-experienced post players. This could be a problem for the All Stars this weekend when they will face a huge Kentucky post contingent. The outside game was working for the seniors, however, with Kourtney Mennen and Emily Butler expertly hitting from long range, and April McDivitt was consistent to form with dead-eye passing and court leadership. The Region's own Jeanette Gray was outstanding as well, with tough defense and contributing on the offensive end as well as the All Stars leading scorer.

For the underclassmen, highly touted freshman Shanna Zolman was up and down, at times holding her own against much older and experienced players by shooting off the dribble and zeroing in from behind the arc, but conversely being stripped three times in two minutes by Butler, who put the defensive screws to the freshman. Frustration was high for Zolman, who was keyed in on by the senior defense, but she impressed many who were there and will continue to be one of the top players in the state throughout her high school career. Also for Ft. Wayne, sophomore Rachel King was her usual Energizer Bunny self, never letting up on defense and making things happen for her teammates with great off-the-ball movement. Watch for FWO to make a serious bid for back-to-back state championships with a shot at the title this weekend in the 15U AAU state tournament at North Central High School. You can view additional photos from the Valpo scrimmage here.

Tomorrow the IHSAA will discuss a major change in the sectionals format for the 2000-2001 season, which could have a significant impact on sectional outcomes in the future. According to the Indianapolis Star, sectionals may no longer be held at a neutral site, but on the home court of one of the teams in each game played in the first round of sectional play. This would be a dramatic departure from a single sectional site, as well as a huge change in the way fans will be able to view sectional games. First-round sectional games, which are normally played two a night at one site over 2-3 days, will now be played singly at up to three different sites, perhaps all on the same night.

Another item that the IHSAA will vote on tomorrow is sectional realignments throughout the state. Realignments are necessary, as some schools in the four class divisions have had changes in enrollment that will either raise or lower their classifications. Locally, Gary Wirt and Hammond Morton will be dropping from 4A to 3A classifications, which greatly disrupts Gary 4A Sectional No. 1. Also, with South Bend Washington moving up from 3A to 4A, that might push one South Bend team over to Portage Sectional No. 3, which in turn might send Hobart back to Merillville Sectional No. 2. There is much discussion going on about making an east-west divide at Cline Avenue for the Gary and Merrillville sectionals. If that were to happen, that would send Highland and Munster packing from Merrillville, which would be favorable for Crown Point, Lake Central, Merrillville and Lowell, who would prefer that the Trojans and the Mustangs duke it out in Gary before having to meet either one of those teams later on in the tournament. That could spell trouble for Gary West Side, however, who has enjoyed practically uncontested sectionals for a number of years with weak opponents. Highland toppled West Side last season for the regional title and a chance to advance to the semi-state. We will update you on the realignments when they are announced by the IHSAA.

A Region Roundball Review regular informs us that basketball standouts Lindsey Schultz (Wheeler) and Beth Honaker (John Glenn) will play volleyball at Southern Illinois University and Northen Michigan University, respectively, while Kim Law (Hammond Morton) will play volleyball at the University of Southern Indiana.
The Shelbyville Times reports that Southwestern has hired a new girls basketball coach. James Todor, a sixth-grade teacher and long-time AAU coach at 27 years of age, will assume Southwestern head coaching duties next fall.
How will the WNBA be received in Indianapolis? That remains to be seen, but with Indiana staking claim to the title of the "basketball purist" state, the women's game could do quite well here. You can read about that take on the WNBA's chances for Indiana success in the Indianapolis Star.

News thru Wednesday, June 9

The Indiana All-Stars will be scrimmaging at Valparaiso High School tonight at 7:00 p.m. against the 15U Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics AAU team which placed 3rd in the nation as 14U's last summer. According to the Valparaiso athletic office, the scrimmage is open to the public.

The Terre Haute Tribune is reporting that Terre Haute South standout and Indiana All-Star, Dorcus Lawson, pictured at left and who can be seen tonight at Valpo H.S., has been awarded the prestigious McMillan Award for 1999, an award honoring the top high school athletes in Vigo County. Lawson will be attending Butler University on a basketball scholarship in the fall.
Senior Natalie Will of the 3A Champion NorthWood Panthers was named Outstanding Senior Female Athlete at a recent NorthWood sports awards event. Will, a three-sport athlete and top scholar, is headed to Northwestern next year where she will play for the Wildcats of the Big Ten.
Although it was previously reported by the New Castle Courier-Times that the Hall of Fame Classic would be played at Conseco Fieldhouse in 1999, the planning details for taking the event to Conseco could not be finalized, and the event will remain at the New Castle Fieldhouse, where it has been held since 1990. Girls teams participating in the Classic on Wednesday, December 30, include Franklin, North Newton, Mount Vernon (Hancock Co.) and Rising Sun. The Classic will continue with its one-day format employed in 1998, with both girls and boys teams playing on the same day. Because of the tight scheduling associated with the one-day format, teams who lose games in the first round will not be scheduled to play in any type of consolation game later in the evening.
It is now official -- the WNBA is coming to Indianapolis and they will be looking for local names to add to the roster. The Indianapolis Star reports the details related to the acquisition of one of four WNBA expansion teams announced on Monday. Comments on the new team from former Indiana high school players Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) and Kelly Komara (Lake Central) appear in the Lafayette Journal & Courier. Also, the Bloomington Hoosier Times is carrying a piece about how the Pacers will be promoting the new franchise in Indiana, with some interesting comments about the women's game in general by Indiana Pacer president Donnie Walsh.
With the addition of the WNBA franchise to the Pacer program, the Ft. Wayne Gazette is reporting that Ft. Wayne North Side girls head coach Tonya Burns-Cohrs is again contemplating the idea of getting into playing shape for a shot at a place on the roster when the Indianapolis WNBA team has its tryouts next year. Burns-Cohrs is gun-shy to say the least, however, with her WNBA experience just last month being a not-so-good one. The 36-year-old former Indiana All-Star trained for months to get herself into playing shape for a free-agent tryout with the Detroit Shock, only to get a call the day before tryouts telling her that they'd been cancelled due to the WNBA strike.
Former Purdue player and now WNBA Los Angeles Sparks rookie, Ukari Figgs, was the object of a very nice feature piece in the Los Angeles Times covering the WNBA Sparks.

News thru Monday, June 7

A number of high school players from around the state participated yesterday in the 16U through 18U AAU Regionals in South Bend and at Center Grove High School in Greenwood. The Indiana AAU website will be updating the 16U-18U state tournament brackets within the next few days with pool winners from yesterday's Regional games. However, we have an early report from Fifth Quarter partner Randy Beckett, who attended the Center Grove Regional. (Winners are in red.)

Game 1 (17U) - South Madison Indiana Thunder v. Mohr Magic - Mohr Magic wins by a large margin.

Game 3 (17U) - Southeastern Indiana Hustle v. Noblesville - Noblesville takes it over Hustle by 16+. (Please note - this is a corrected item.)

Game 7 (16U) - Pittsboro Ice v. Jr. Bronchos - Pittsboro Ice, who lost to Junior Bronchos 60-57, were coached by Nick Ray of Hoosierland Report. Jessica Stewart (5'8 G) of Rockville, a freshman, scored 19 points in the first half before coming up with her fourth foul. Despite a foul disparity of 16-3 in the first half, a 16-0 FT shooting edge by the Junior Bronchos & playing without two of their top scorers due to foul trouble. The Ice were able to make it a nip-and-tuck game throughout. Jessica Bragg (5'5 PG) of Twin Lakes was too fiesty defensively and nailed some big shots to help the Junior Bronchos produce, what appeared to be, the upset.

Game 9 (16U) - Mohr Magic Pride v. Pittsboro Ice White - The Pride went on a 22-0 run early on to defeat the Ice.

Game 22 (16U) - Pittsboro Ice v. Indy South Stars - Pittsboro Ice won the 2nd game over Indy South Stars behind another strong performance from Jessica Stewart.

Game 26 (16U) - Indy Stars (seeded 9th) v. Lady Mac Magic (winner of Game 8) - The seeded Indy Stars fall to the Magic due to the fine play of backcourt Johnna Goff of Mt. Vernon, Sarah Reideman of Greensburg, and Melissa Pennington of Southport. The Magic will not be a team that anyone will want to face early on in the state tournament.

Game 27 (16U) - Hoosier Hoops (seeded 4th) v. Mohr Magic Pride (winner of Game 9) - The Pride opens it up in the second half to defeat seeded Hoosier Hoops in the second half. The Hoops only trailed 26-24 at the half. The Pride team did not qualify for Division I last year and, as a result, were unseeded this year. The Pride picked up several outstanding players, including Abby Scharlow and Maria Rickards of New Albany, Kathy Hay of Madison, and Hillary Beck of Kokomo. (Visit the Mohr Magic website.)

Game 32 (16U) - Eastern Indiana Wolfpack (seeded 3rd) v. Lady Mac Attack (winner of Game 14) - The Wolfpack smashes the Lady MacAttack by about 60 points.

Game 33 (16U) - Indiana's Finest (seeded 6th) v. Indiana Lady Magic (winner of Game 15) - After an ugly first 7-8 minutes of play with the score under double figures for both teams, the Finest downs the Magic by a large margin.

For those of you who enjoy visiting the Hoosierland Report, updates on that site will be taking place on the Hoosierland Report Fan Forum there since webmaster Nick Ray is experiencing some difficulties posting regular web page updates on the site from his summer location. We have added that forum to the Region Roundball Review Message Board Navigator for your ease of use. The Hoosierland Report forum is designated by "HR" on the navigation bar there.
Lots of Hoosier connections in WNBA news today:

According to Pat McKee and the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis will be getting one of four new highly-prized WNBA expansion franchises in 2000. The team will play at the new Conseco Fieldhouse, slated for opening later this year. Indianapolis and the surrounding areas are considered a good market for a WNBA team, with high interest in Indiana high school girls basketball and Purdue women's basketball. Supporting comments from Martinsville High School coach Jan Conner are included in the Star article, citing the advantage of having professional players in-state who can serve as role models for Indiana high school and college players. The WNBA season runs from June through August this year and will, for the first time, have an extended playoff schedule. The schedule for televised WNBA games this summer can be found in the Bloomington Hoosier Times.

Former Purdue player Stephanie White-McCarty (Seeger) will now be known as Stephanie McCarty, dropping the hyphenated "White" from her last name, according to the Fast Break WNBA Camp News for the Charlotte Sting. Also, Charlotte Smith (Benton Central) of the Sting has suffered a sprained ankle this week in practice and her status has been termed "day to day" at this point. The Sting opens their 33-game regular season against the Washington Mystics and Chamique Holdsclaw on Thursday June 10. In the Sting's first pre-season game against Phoenix, McCarty scored 7 points in 9 minutes of play. That impressive first game earned her a start in the second game against Phoenix, where she logged 6 points, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots in 30 minutes of play. So far McCarty is shooting 100% from the field and from the free-throw line. You can follow McCarty and Indiana native teammate Christy Smith at the official WNBA Sting website.
Another former Purdue player, Ukari Figgs (pictured between her back court pro teammates Tamecka Dixon and Penny Toler at left), is also making her mark in the WNBA pre-season. The quick and talented point guard started for the Los Angeles Sparks in her WNBA debut against the Detroit Shock on May 29 and logged 14 points, 3 assists and 2 steals in 22 minutes of play. Figgs has become a favorite with the Sparks media office in LA, and is featured on the official Sparks website in their Weekly Mailbox feature, where Figgs replies on-line to questions from fans across the country. Figgs discusses what it will be like to play against former Purdue teammate Stephanie McCarty on June 19 when the Sparks travel to Charlotte.
The Indianapolis Star is reporting that the new Womens Basketball Hall of Fame opened its doors yesterday, inducting a number of women's basketball historical and contemporary greats, including Pat Summit of Tennessee, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Cheryl Miller, and Senda Berenson Abbott, the "mother of women's basketball" who adapted Naismith's game for girls in 1892. The Hall of Fame is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and offers 32,000 square feet of basketball "herstory". You can view the entire list of 25 inaugural inductees in the Star article.

News thru Thursday, June 3

Memorial Invitational Tournament

The 15U Lady Mac/Silverstreaks were Champions in
the Blue Division, posting an 8-0 record.

15U Lady Mac/Silverstreaks
Tops in the Blue Division

The Lady Mac/Silverstreaks put together an outstanding 8-0 run in the 15U Blue Division to bring back championship honors while representing the Hoosier state. Victories included wins over Dayton Lady Hoop Stars (74-61), Lady Legit (80-65), Ohio Hoops Red (63-35), Stream Way Air (65-50), North Coast Hawks (97-38), Northwest Indiana Magic (60-33), Urbana IL (64-43), and the Ohio Sting (71-54) for the championship win. Team members of the Silverstreaks include Shannon Abney (Decatur Central), Sarah Bowling (Southport), Dana Brock (Plainfield), Laura Bullington (Franklin), Mandy Geryak (Martinsville), Brooke Gutzwiller (Batesville), Allison Harris (Martinsville), Meghan Ruesch (Martinsville), Lisa Shipley (Decatur Central) and Candace Williams (Lebanon). Coaches for the Silverstreaks are Jessica Henry and Phil Henry. (Special thanks to Team Rep Rex Harris for providing the photo and Silverstreak game info!)

FWO's Rachel King (#24) of FW Luers
and Erin Heffner (FW Snider) battle the
Northwest Wizards' Stephanie Swanson (left)
and Nikki Borys, both of Crown Point, for a
rebound in pool play. (You guessed it --
no fouls called on this play...)

1998 14U Grand Champion
Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics makes an early exit in the 15U Red Division playoffs

The outstanding 15U team of Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics (last year's 14U AAU state champ), led by fab frosh Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, marched through pool play in convincing fashion, only to lose to pool runner-up and 1999 Michigan AAU State Champ Livingston Sting 54-48 in the first round of the playoffs. In one of the more interesting match-ups in pool play, the 15U Mohr Magic team featuring Highland's Jenny DeMuth (right) led FWO at the half by employing a full court press that had FWO on its heels. In the second half, FWO made the adjustments it needed to win by a decent margin in the end to maintain a perfect 5-0 record in pool play.

Shyra Ely is unsuccessfully pursued on the fast
break by the PA Hoopstars defense.
She shoots... she scores 18 points in the game.

Hoosier Hotshots 15U gets
the monster pool

The 15U Hoosier Hotshots, who included Sports Illustrated top-ranked sophomore Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) on its MIT roster, drew the monster pool of the Red Division. Besides facing the Livingston Sting, which went on to defeat Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics in the playoffs, the Hotshots also had to contend with last year's Blue Division champion and Wisconson 15U state runner-up C & S Express, as well as All-Ohio Black, a very serious contender for the 15U Ohio state title. All-Ohio defeated pool runner-up Mohr Magic by 13 in the first round of the playoffs. In the second round, All-Ohio Black went on to defeat for the second time pool runner-up Livingston Sting (after the Sting put away Ft. Wayne Orthopaedics) in a neck-and-neck game which was decided in the last 60 seconds of play. As you might guess, the Hotshots were 2-3 in pool play, but gave their pool opponents some respectable competition. Region players on the Hotshots include Crown Point's Alex Webster and Amanda Bernard. The Hotshots will have game recaps on their site later this week.


MIT Review

The Memorial Invitational Tournament (MIT), held mainly at facilities on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, brought together some of the best high school talent in the midwest for three days of top AAU competition. Indiana teams did fairly well, although some of the expected top contenders did not make it to the finals of their divisions. We didn't get to catch as many games as we'd hoped with our own hectic game schedule to follow, but we did get glimpses and shots of some Region and Indiana teams and players who were in attendance.

Mohr Magic 17U takes Olympic Division with just 7 players

The Mohr Magic 17U team made a fine showing for the Hoosier state by taking on some of the best talent in the nation and walking away with the Olympic Division title -- all this with just 7 players! The MIT Mohr Magic roster included Heather Cusick (Kokomo), Suzie Hammel (Lebanon), Anna Waugh (Franklin), Trish Fleming (Westfield), Elizabeth Benson (Bloomington North), Shanie Smith (Tri-Central), and Emily Hammes (Westfield).

Center Grove 16U wins its pool, but is eliminated in the first round of the playoffs

Center Grove, last year's second-place finisher at the state AAU tournament, made an impressive showing in pool play, but faltered in the playoffs to the runner-up from their cross-pool in the first round. Region players on Center Grove include seniors-to-be Erin Sampsel (Valparaiso) and Kristi Koselke (North Newton).

April McDivitt of 18U Indiana's Finest
looks to pass under heavy pressure from
Dayton Hoopstars Black. IF did not make
an appearance in the Olympic Division finals,
but made a respectable showing with a
short-handed crew.

MIT Notes and Observations

The MIT has competition second to none in the Midwest and draws some of the best teams and high school players from Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and even Canada. Every team competing in the MIT leaves the event with a good idea of what it takes to compete at the national level, and AAU teams around the state will be making adjustments over the next two weeks to correct exposed team weaknesses before the AAU regional and state tournaments.

Although this is a great event in terms of taking team play to a more competitive plateau, some improvements to the MIT are warranted in order to keep the great teams and players coming back year after year.

Officiating seems to be a constant complaint at the MIT, with officials participating in an officials' camp in conjunction with the MIT. The emphasis seems to be only to stick to the schedule, and as a result, some of the obvious calls of the game are not made in order to save precious time. Even though three officials are assigned to every game, the rough play gets out of hand more often than necessary due to the lack of blown whistles.

My personal bugaboo, the All-MIT voting, seems to be as inconsistent as ever, with different procedures taking place from gym to gym. And the No-Roster-In-The-Program, No-All-MIT-Recognition-For-You rule is an injustice to the players who get the votes but are ineligible because their team roster does not appear in the program. When will the application form clearly state that a team roster is required? Nearly half of the teams in the tournament did not submit rosters for the program.

Finally, the Monday finals games featured a number of tournament staff deserters, including officials, scorekeepers and timers. After getting that far in the tournament, the hope would be that the finals games would be well manned and officiated in order to give the playoff teams the best conditions possible for the championship game. Not so.

We hope the MIT staff will try to make some corrections to this tournament which has such great competition.

And with that said, it was great fun to spend an entire weekend with a bunch of other people from around the Midwest who are as nutty about girls basketball as we are!

(If anyone would like to contribute additional results from the MIT, please e-mail the Roundball Review with your info.)



The Mohr Magic 15U defense puts the screws to the Sharpshooters from Ohio.

According to Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star, the girls IHSAA State Finals will not be played in the new Conseco Fieldhouse, but will most likely be played at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in 2000. The change will come about due the new three-week tournament format that was announced by the IHSAA last month and a scheduling conflict at Conseco. The girls state finals games would have been played on March 11, 2000, under the old four-week format, but will now be played on March 4, which is the day Conseco Fieldhouse is scheduled to host the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament championship game. The conflict will send the IHSAA tournament packing to an alternate location, which looks to be Hinkle Fieldhouse at this point. Conseco, in order to accommodate the IHSAA girls tournament in 2001 and beyond, will not bid to host the Big Ten Tournament in the future if the events conflict.
Zionsville has hired former Western Boone girls basketball coach Andy Maguire to take over the Lady Eagles program that was 7-14 a year ago. Maguire, who had coached Western Boone to a 73-32 mark in his five seasons there, takes over for Charlie Jones, who resigned after only one year.
From Randy Beckett of Fifth Quarter: Connersville's boys varsity basketball coach Howard Renner has resigned, which could have implications on the girls program. Two questions are now to be answered over the summer. Will girls varsity coach Larry Miller apply for the now vacant position? Sources have told us that it is not likely. Second, will Howard Renner retain his teaching position at Connersville High School, which would allow daughter Maria Renner to return as a Spartan next season? The 5'10 sophomore was Connersville's leading rebounder last season and could be considered the team's top returning starter. A recent article in the Connersville News-Examiner leads us to believe the Renners will stay in the Connersville community.
Jennings County is currently interviewing to fill the vacancy for their girls varsity basketball coaching position. Contact Athletic Director Stephen Arnholt at (812) 346-8068. Application deadline is tomorrow, June 4th.
Connersville 6'0 senior and three-year basketball starter, Beth Windhorst, has signed to play volleyball for the Vincennes Trailblazers next year.
The Lafayette Journal & Courier is carrying a WNBA piece about former Purdue coach and players Carolyn Peck, Stephanie-White McCarty and Ukari Figgs. Peck explains why she passed up her two Purdue players in the WNBA draft, and the coaches from the Charlotte Sting and Los Angeles Sparks relay up-to-date information about Purdue's two WNBA draftees and how they are adjusting to the pro game.

News thru Friday, May 28

The Kokomo Tribune is reporting that Jennifer Grimes (5'9 G) of 3A Western, will be playing both basketball and volleyball at Division III Franklin College next school year. Grimes, an All-County player in both sports, averaged 11.0 points per game for the Western Panthers and led her team in rebounds and steals during the 1998-99 season.

Tri-West High School senior Teah Sonicksen (6'1 F) has signed to play women's basketball at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. Sonicksen finished her career as the Lady Bruins' all-time leading rebounder with 238. She averaged 12.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg and shot 64% from the floor in leading her team to a 21-4 mark, as well as conference and a 2A regional championships. Sonicksen is expected to give Mercyhurst some tremendous help with her inside shooting touch, rebounding and defensive shot-blocking capabilities.
LaPorte will be losing a good portion of its team's brain trust to graduation this year. LaPorte senior players Sarah Mendelowitz, Sasha Miller, and Lisa Tegt were all named co-valedictorians for LaPorte High School. Mendelowitz plans to continue her education at MIT majoring in chemical engineering, Miller plans to attend Vanderbilt to study biology, and Tegt will be attending Miami Univeristy of Ohio to study business. (Congratulations, girls!) The LaPorte coaching positions, which were vacated by the resignations of head coach Mark Wilson and assistants John Dearing and Janie Ulmer, have not yet been filled. Reportedly, there have been some quality candidates, but LaPorte currently has no open teaching positions at the high school. An announcement of the new head coach, however, may be made within the coming weeks.
In other LaPorte area news, Bridget DeCordial was named Player of the Year by the Herald-Argus in its first ever All-Area Team selections. The senior guard averaged 16.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 4.0 steals for the season. "I challenged her this year to play like a senior, and she has," former LaPorte coach Mark Wilson said. "She's definietely our leader on the floor, our go-to-girl. She's the kind of girl who can create her own shots." The 1998-99 Herald-Argus also named All-Area teams as follows:

First Team - Bridget DeCordial (LaPorte, 5'4 Sr.), Janice Belzowski (New Prairie, 5'11 Sr.), Jessica Bunton (New Prairie, 5'9 Jr.), Chastity Zellers (John Glenn, 5'5 So.), Jennifer Traub (John Glenn, 5'10 Sr.)

Second Team - Lara Clarkson (Laporte), Crista Bulger (Westville), Jessica Yagelski (Michigan City), Mary Kate Hattenberger (M.C. Marquette), Beth Honaker (John Glenn)

Honorable Mention - Ryan Dunleavy (M.C. Marquette), Tara Kensinger (South Central), Hannah Herrold (South Central), and Alaina Neff (LaPorte).

If you haven't checked already, the AAU regional and state draws are now available at the Indiana AAU website for downloading and printing. The AAU regionals are slated for June 6 for 16U, 17U and 18U, while the 14U and 15U regionals are to take place on June 11-13, all at various locations around the state.
A good number of Indiana high school players will be playing in the popular and competitive Memorial Invitational Tournament (MIT) at the Michigan State University campus in Lansing, Michigan, over the Memorial Day weekend. We will be there and hope to bring you some highlights and photos from that tournament. Last year nearly 200 teams competed in the MIT, featuring some of the top players in the nation. If your AAU team is headed to Michigan and you'd like a bit of information about some of your opponents, you can view last year's tournament MIT results to get a handle on the competition and key players.
With the decision to move to class basketball, a number of urban high schools are feeling the class-crunch, with few tournament assignments now being made to large-gym, urban schools. The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette
(one-day link) is reporting that the Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA), a coalition of athletic directors and superintendents from mostly large, inner-city schools, is seeking some answers from the IHSAA as to the representation of urban school districts on the IHSAA Board of Directors. They are asking for new lines to be drawn to increase the likelihood of equal representation from those districts. This move grows out of the continuing argument about class sports and its effects on attendance, revenue and team traveling issues. The IUSA claims that the one-school, one-vote philosophy is contrary to democratic principles and unfair to the greater number of IHSAA athletes in the state. The IUSA cites as an example the 1996-97 school year class basketball vote where 219 schools voted in favor of class basketball, representing 89,856 students, while the 156 schools which voted against class represented 146,207 students.
New Ball State assistant coach Tracy Roller (formerly of Valpo U.) gives an interesting and insightful interview in the Post-Tribune regarding her upcoming challenge to bring Ball State's womens program out of the depths of the college ranks into the upper echelon of the better Division I college programs in Indiana and the nation. Roller, a former Indiana All-Star and Crown Point standout in the mid-80s, is known for her in-state recruiting abilities which nabbed Valparaiso some top Indiana players in the past few years, including Valparaiso's Jeanette Gray. Ball State is looking to tap those recruiting talents to attract in-state high school stars to help the ailing Lady Cardinal program in the future. They will get some immediate help from 1999 standout recruits Amy Zercher (NorthWood) and Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook), who have both signed with Ball State for next season.
Three Indiana college players have been selected to play on the 1999 USA Women's World University Games Team. Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) and Camille Cooper of Purdue, and Ruth Riley (North Miami) of Notre Dame will be traveling with the team to Spain to compete against teams from around the world. The World University Games, open to athletes ages 17-28, are July 1-13 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. You can get the complete story, list of team members and player profiles at the USA Basketball website, as well as a recap of the trials, which includes photos and information about some of the other Indiana players who were invited to tryout, but were not selected for the team.
Former Purdue assistant coach Seth Kushkin has been picked up by the Ohio State womens basketball program in its efforts to meet the goal of becoming a Big Ten and national contender. Kushkin, a highly regarded and well-liked assistant while at Purdue, will take on the primary responsibilities of coaching, recruiting and scouting. Kushkin was key to Purdue's breakdown of opponents' offenses, and helped the Lady Boilermakers develop their trademark defense that helped them win a national championship.

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