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

August, 2001
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     Important Upcoming Dates:

8/1-9/8 -  NCAA Quiet Period (no off-campus contact)
8/9 -  IHSAA Executive Committee Meeting
8/13 -  First IHSAA authorized contests for x-country, volleyball & soccer

Now you don't have to use as many brain cells to remember how to get here...
Try our new redirect address:
www.regionroundball.com

News thru Monday, August 27

          


Shanna Zolman (left) of Wawasee and Alex Webster (center) of Crown Point played together with Indiana Force in the off-season, but will face one another on December 1 when Wawasee and Crown Point go head to head in the first-ever girls game in the Region Roundball Rumble.  (Photo by RRR)

Region fans, mark your calendars now.  The Times has announced what could be the marquee matchup at the historic Hammond Civic Center in the fourth annual Region Roundball Rumble (no connection to the RRR).  This annual event, pitting Region teams against some of the best competition from around the state, will have its first-ever girls game featuring state scoring leader Shanna Zolman and the Wawasee Warriors against the Lady Bulldogs of Crown Point on Saturday, December 1.  The Rumble will be a good exposure opportunity for Zolman, who has not played in NWI, giving Region media and fans a good idea of her skills when Miss Basketball ballots go out in February.  This will be a competitive matchup, with some history to boot.  Dale Brannock, now an assistant to Wawasee head coach Kem Zolman, was the head coach of the Warriors in 1985, when Tom May and his three-time state finalists defeated Wawasee 48-31 in the state championship final, the only previous meeting between these two teams.  This season's matchup should be a very good one as well, pitting Zolman and a young but experienced returning lineup against the Crown Point returning starter duo of Alex Webster (5'10 G) and Carissa Triplett (6'1 C), bolstered by an experienced group of new CP starters.  Zolman and Webster, both Indiana Junior All-Stars, have played against, and with, each other extensively during the off-season over the past four years and are familiar with each other's skills.  But this will be much more than a matchup between a top scorer and a strong defender.  Wawasee brings a complete game with wing Megan Wallen (5'11) and post players Jessica Leach (6'0) and Jocelyn Higginbotham (6'0).  They are familiar with playing in front of large crowds, as the Wawasee faithful come in droves to watch Zolman do her magic on a weekly basis.  Crown Point lost a good deal to graduation, including 28.0 ppg, but seniors Ashley Plumley (5'5 G) and Janel Heneghan (5'8 F) produced extremely well in their backup roles last season and will pick up the scoring slack.  Throw in the expert coaching of May and Zolman/Brannock, not to mention a 16-year score to settle, and you've got a great game on tap early in the season.  Besides the Wawasee v. CP girls game, which will be the third game on the Rumble schedule, boys games will feature Hammond High v. Winchester, Andrean v. Indianapolis Tech, and Gary West Side v. Lafayette Central Catholic.  



Jennings County standout Jenny Pfeiffer shows her deadly perimeter prowess at the Junior Nationals in Washington, DC, this summer.  Pfeiffer will play for Kentucky in the competitive SEC next season.  (Photo by the RRR)

 Jennings County senior standout Jenny Pfeiffer has made her college intentions known with a verbal commitment to Kentucky.  According to the North Vernon Plain Dealer & Sun, one of the deciding factors for Pfeiffer was the proximity of the UK campus to her home in southern Indiana.  Pfeiffer, who is well known for her hustle and long-range shooting accuracy, was recruited by Kentucky as a shooting guard.  She will play in the competitive Southeastern Conference, against the likes of Tennessee, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Florida.  Kentucky finished last in the SEC last season with a 2-12 record, but are on the rebound with a young team.  Pfeiffer chose Kentucky over interest from Ball State, Xavier, Wisconsin, Colorado State, Southern Mississippi and others.


More news coverage on the recent commitment of Fountain Central senior Candace Dark to Ohio State:
   
Dark sees the light - Buckeye Sports Bulletin
Fountain Central's Dark picks Ohio State - Journal & Courier


Perry Meridian standout Elizabeth Stevens (5'10 G) has transferred to Southport due to health reasons.  According to the Indianapolis Star, the junior wing was encountering a host of allergy problems during last school year due to renovation construction taking place at Perry Meridian.  On the recommendation of her doctor, Stevens made the move.  Stevens (10.0 ppg) will give coach Denise McClanahan a definite boost in the lineup with the graduation of three starters from last season's 17-5 team.


Two schools have hired coaches for the new basketball season.  Eminence has hired Brian Holland to take the place of one-year coach Shane Williams, and South Newton has hired Emily Payne to take over for six-year coach Mark Mayhew


The position of new Edinburgh head coach Thomas Ott is under fire from a member of the Edinburgh school board who has filed a complaint with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, according to the Indianapolis Star.  The board member claims that Ott's job as the football coach will interfere with his duties as the girls basketball coach since the seasons overlap.  He questioned whether or not the same approach would "be taken while filling the men's head basketball coaching position."


In light of the new IHSAA rules with regard to summer participation, the Indiana AAU organization is asking for input from high school coaches for possible modifications to the AAU girls basketball program in Indiana beginning next summer.  The meeting, set for 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 9 at Perry Meridian High School, is open to all high school coaches. It is hoped that a consensus will be reached, with resulting recommendations to be delivered as formal proposals to the annual Indiana Association AAU Girls Basketball Rules Meeting in October.  Notice of  the September 9 meeting has been mailed from AAU Girls Basketball Chair, Pat McKee, to all Indiana high school coaches announcing this meeting.  If any high school coach is unable to attend but would like to submit input for the meeting, please send your comments to Girls Basketball Chair Pat McKee by email to pmckee77@hotmail.com, by fax to (317-357-8791) or by mail to to the Indiana Association AAU office 1420 Sadlier Circle E. Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46239. 


It's getting close to the deadlines for a number of basketball publications and/or websites, featuring team previews from across the state.
   
High School Sports Publications, which publishes the popular new Indiana High School Basketball Guide, is continuing to beat the streets in an effort to get photos and previews for every high school team in the state for its 2001-2002 issue.  The Guide made its debut last season and is endorsed by the ICGSA and IBCA.  The team questionnaire for the Guide is available online at www.hssp.cc.  Questionnaires must be completed during the first few weeks in September in order to be included in the book.  There is no cost associated with submitting your team's entry.
   
The Indiana Basketball Website Guide, a comprehensive online girls and boys high school basketball directory published by Steve Stremming and S & L Publishing, is seeking the return of its questionnaire from high school coaches at this time.  There is no cost associated with your team's entry, nor with viewing the guide online.  Steve is hoping for the return of questionnaires soon so that the online guide can be ready for the upcoming season.


As mentioned above, the annual Indiana Association AAU Girls Basketball Rules Meeting will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 14.  At this meeting,  elections are held and rules, dates, tournament hosting parameters and other pertinent data are set for the Indiana Association AAU Girls Basketball program for the coming year. This meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Voting, however, is limited to one vote per club for clubs that fielded at least one team in the 2001 program. Anyone may submit a proposal to be considered at this meeting. Proposals must be in writing to the Indiana Association AAU office (1420 Sadlier Circle E. Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46239), but they also will be accepted by fax (317-357-8791) or e-mail (pmckee77@hotmail.com). Proposals should be submitted by October 1.
   
Also, the AAU National Convention is in late September in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. If anyone has concerns that need to be addressed there, they should get them to Pat McKee via e-mail, letter or fax as soon as possible so he may relay them promptly.


North Dakota State head coach and Lowell native Amy Ruley has been diagnosed with breast cancer, according to ESPN.  Ruley, who has coached the Bison to five Division II national titles,  will undergo treatment while still maintaining her involvement in the NDSU women's program.  (Late addition:  The Times covers Ruley's fight with breast cancer.)


If you caught the heading on this page, you might have noticed that we now own a new redirect address that is much easier to remember -- www.regionroundball.com.  We know must of you have our website bookmarked on your computers, but if you're away from home or on a different computer, you can now find us pretty easily.


In preparation for the upcoming season, the RRR has a new Report Scores board ready and waiting for the first games in November.  The link to the board will be accessible from our navigation menu, as well as from the message board navigator on our Message Board page.  No longer will game reports fall off the bottom of the board, and when we link your game recaps to our Scores & Recaps, they will be available for an indefinite period of time.  That way you can re-live the glory (or horror) of those games you want to look back on months later.


We've added a new feature to our Message Board on the far right of the message navigation bar.  Now you can access the fan message boards of a number of women's college teams.  The most active board, by far, is UConn's Boneyard, which has lots of scuttlebutt on some of the top recruits in the country.  Also, links to message boards for Purdue, Notre Dame and Xavier provide a wealth of opinions and "unofficial" information about all of those teams.  If you know of a women's college basketball board that we've missed, just drop us a note and we'll add it to the list.


News thru Tuesday, August 21

        


Fountain Central guard Candace Dark (center) battles two players from Virginia in the Junior Nationals in Washington, D.C. this summer.  Ohio State University liked what they saw there and offered Dark a scholarship to play basketball with the Buckeyes.  (Photo by the RRR)

Fountain Central standout and Indiana Junior All-Star Candace Dark has made her choice official.  The 5'11 guard will attend Ohio State University next season, playing the 2-guard for the Buckeyes.  According to the Crawfordsville Journal Review, Dark chose the Big Ten program over Ball State, Virginia Tech and Xavier.  Dark intends to study medicine at Ohio State, one of the deciding factors in her selection of the Columbus, Ohio, school.  She will join Ben Davis grad Ashley Allen, who will be a freshman guard for the Buckeyes this season.


According to The Times, region players Kelly Pero and Heather Renehan will look back on the summer of 2001 as one to remember.  The Merrillville teammates played for the Indiana Stars, coached by Fonso White of Pike, in the Down Under Hoops Classic Tournament in Australia.  In an adventure that included morning jogs on the Australian shoreline, a tournament gold medal, three days in Hawaii, and spotting a dead body at the bottom of a cliff (yikes), the two will have lots to write in their journals about what they did during their summer vacation.  Joining Pero and Renehan on the trip were Ashley Nickel of  West Vigo, Molly Williams of South PutnamLauren Budreau of Benton Central and  Amanda Davidson of Brownsburg, who launched the gold medal winning shot as the clock wound down to win the tournament.  Davidson was named the Tournament MVP, and Budreau and Davidson were named to the All-Tournament Team.  Renehan, a three-point specialist, will return to the Pirates lineup this season as a senior leader.  Pero, whose family is making a move to Hobart, will suit up for her final high school season as a Brickie, giving coach Kristen Peterson some much-needed depth at the guard position with the graduation of three guards, including all-hustle Angela Grabczak (IPFW softball).


Pat McKee of the Indianapolis Star has a round-up of the foreign summer tours that many Indiana high school and college players took part in.  McKee also reports that former Logansport standout Kristen Lowry has transferred from NCAA Elite Eight finalist Xavier to the University of Indianapolis.  Lowry joins an impressive incoming group of eight players for the Greyhounds, which includes Butler transfer Sara Strahm of Ben Davis and AAU All-American Erin Moran of Roncalli.


According to a reliable source, Jill Ransdell of Southport has accepted a full scholarship to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  Ransdell, a 5'8 guard, will join Plainfield grad Leslie Weaver (5'7 G) on the Raiders roster this season.  Playing time in the early going looks like a good possibility for Ransdell, as WSU has graduated three guards, including Chanda Hollingsworth of Carmel and Amber Williams of Ft. Wayne Snider.


Andrean fans will be happy to hear that standout senior guard Jamie Gutowski is on the mend.  The 5'7 top guard and multi-sport athlete is expecting to make her way into the lineup midway through the volleyball season after a second ACL injury and surgery this summer.  Gutowski will be the centerpiece of a low but mighty seven-senior lineup for the 'Niners, which includes Stephanie Govert (5'9 G), Meagan Austgen (5'4 G), Mary Rogers (5'8 F), Liz Cera (5'7 G), Jessica Nadolski (5'4 G) and Jessica Abbott (5'10 F).


The Duneland Athletic Conference, while studying the idea of expansion, is seeking letters of interest from schools who may wish to join the 7-team conference.  According to The Times, the league announced via fax to a list of schools that it is actively seeking members for the DAC.  Interested schools, which are believed to include Lake Central, East Chicago Central, Penn and even Mishawaka, have until September 21 to respond.


The South Bend Tribune continues the discussion regarding the change in next summer's participation rules.  South Bend Washington head coach Marilyn Coddens gives her thoughts on the rule changes.


News thru Wednesday, August 15

        

UConn transfer Kennitra Johnson of New Albany has officially been enrolled to begin classes at Purdue on Monday, according to BoilerStation.  Johnson will not be eligible to play with the Boilermakers until the 2002-03 season, but can practice with the team during the upcoming year.


After being responsible some unfortunate difficulties at Purdue that resulted in a suspension from the team, forward Shalicia Hurns (Broad Ripple) has requested a release from the Boilermakers' program, deciding that she could not complete requirements to re-enter the program.  According to the official Purdue women's website, Hurns was granted the release by head coach Kristy Curry yesterday.  Hurns had a stellar freshman year at Purdue averaging 9.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, as well as being named to the NCAA Championship Finals All-Tournament Team.  According to BoilerStation, Hurns has enrolled at Wabash Valley Junior College in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, where Purdue-committed power forward Sultra Harding (Ben Davis) is also attending.  Both players only have one year of eligibility at the junior college level.


Hoosier Girls Basketball Report director Bryan Alexander has announced the scheduling of the HGBR Fall Showcase.  This observation event will be on September 29th at the University if Indianapolis.  Two sessions will be conducted.  Session 1 will be from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and Session 2 will be from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Dual sessions are in place for the convenience of the players and will be filled on a first come first served basis.  Cost is still $70.  Alexander expects to have over 60 college coaches in attendance, and also Bret McCormick All-Star Girls Report. will be in attendance  The ASGR is the largest recruiting service in the country.  Those in attendance will have the opportunity to be rated by this ASGR as well as HGBR.  Both services will also pick the players from Indiana to attend the Adidas Top 10 camp in July, 2002, one of the premiere recruiting events of the summer.  Players will be evaluated at this camp to narrow the Adidas invitation list, as well as to determine who will be invited to become a member of the Hoosier All-Stars.  This elite club team will be one of 12 clubs from around the country to be sponsored by Adidas.  The Hoosier All-Stars will play at the Deep South Classic in March, the Adidas Big Time in Las Vegas and the Midwest Invitational, as well as other events.  The members of this elite squad will also be given a spot at the Top 10 Adidas Camp.  Anyone interested in being a member of the Hoosier All Stars should contact Bryan Alexander at hoosiergbr@yahoo.com.  Only 2003-2006 graduates will be considered.


Also announcing two exposure events this fall is Nick Ray of Hoosierland Report.  The HR events are at two different locations during the month of September.  On September 9, the HR/Spiece Showcase of Stars will take place at Spiece Fieldhouse in Ft. Wayne at the cost of $50.00.  On September 23, the HR/TSC Top Dog Showcase "Invite Only" will take place at The Sports Center in Plainfield.  Cost for the Top Dog Showcase is $25.00.  Further information about both of these events can be found at the Hoosierland Report website.


The Duneland Athletic Conference is taking a conservative, but wise, choice in looking at its membership.  While Lake Central, East Chicago and Penn are knocking on the door, the DAC is taking their time to answer by forming a membership committee to take a look at the future of the DAC.  According to The Times, the DAC will probably be getting into heavier discussions regarding membership at its next official meeting on September 18.


After making a round of visits to finalists Purdue, Indiana and Xavier, Missy Taylor of Connersville has decided to take her time in making a college decision for the time being.  She has opened up her choices again to include Florida State, Stanford and several others, according to a reprint of a Connersville News-Examiner article on the Mr. Hoops recruiting website.  


According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Indiana-Kentucky Battle of the Bridges was played over the weekend.  Team Hoops from Indiana won the game 65-63 behind the scoring of Jessica Huggins (New Albany) 4, Andrea Holbrook (Jeffersonville) 6, Katie Coulter (Providence) 7, Jill Andres (Providence) 8, Katie Faris (Floyd Central) 4, Sonya Wahl (New Washington) 6, Rachael Dixon (South Central) 9, Ashley Peacock (Scottsburg) 6, Candice Bain (Clarksville) 12, and Emily St. Clair (Scottsburg) 3.


For all you Katie Douglas (Perry Meridian) fans out there, the "Heart of a Champion" player now has an unofficial fan website.


The Indiana Class of 2001 is getting ready to make its mark on the women's college basketball scene, with at least 114 players heading off to college campuses and college basketball around the country this month.  While we have the chance, we'd like to wish each every one of them the best of luck in the classroom and on the hardcourt during their freshman year.  We're looking forward to following them throughout the coming season, and you can too on our College Player Directory.


womenscollegehoops.com has the Class of 2001 on its mind with their Top 21 New Players of Impact for 2001-2002.  Listed among their Top 21 picks are Ashley Allen (Ben Davis) of Ohio State, Jackie Batteast (SB Washington) of Notre Dame and Shyra Ely (Ben Davis) of Tennessee.


There are lots of photos on the Ball State women's website regarding their trip to Sweden.  So far the Cardinals are 3-0 on their trip, the last game a convincing 93-61 win.


News thru Friday, August 10

        

Leo rising senior Lindy Carey has committed to new coach Bruce Patterson at Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne.  According to the Decatur Daily Democrat, Carey, who averaged 15.3 points per game last season, is a two-time All-ACAC selection.  Carey is Patterson's first recruit for the Mastadons since he was hired earlier this summer to take the position.  IPFW is moving from the DII ranks to DI for the first time this fall.


Connersville rising senior Missy Taylor is expected to make a college choice soon, according to Gold & Black Illustrated.  The standout multi-position player has narrowed her choices close to home with Purdue, Xavier and Indiana.


Some of Indiana's brightest young talent was recently invited to participate in the 2001 Blue Star Elite Camp in Terre Haute.  Purdue recruiting site Mr. Hoops has a report on the camp, including reviews of some of Indiana's top underclass players, including Margaret Batteast of SB Washington, Rachel Brockman of Cathedral, Christina Cunningham of Perry Meridian, Amber Harris of North Central, Stephanie Lynch of New Albany, and Receina Russell of Terre Haute South.


According to the Jeffersonville Evening News, coach Butch Troutman of Clarksville has unwillingly stepped down from his head coaching position due to health reasons.  Troutman, who has led the Generals for the past 17 years, suffers from a multitude of ailments that have bothered him for a number of years.
   
Edinburgh has named Tom Ott as its new coach to replace former one-year coach Vickie McDonald.  According to the Columbus Republic, Ott, who is also the Edinburgh football coach, takes on his first high school basketball coaching assignment, although he has coached over the years in the military during the '70s and '80s, and youth and AAU teams in Indianapolis.
   
Crawford County has named Hal Pearson as its new head coach.  


The ongoing process of changes to the Lake Athletic and Duneland Athletic Conferences made one more step this week with the official approval of Hobart to enter the LAC.  It will be several years before Hobart becomes a full-fledged LAC member and completely leaves the DAC, but Lake Central, Penn and East Chicago are wringing their hands with anticipation of entry into the Duneland.  The Chesterton Tribune has a retrospective on Hobart's involvement in the DAC over the past 30 years.


As so many college programs do in the off-season, Ball State women's team has left on a trip that will allow them to play several games overseas as a team-building activity.  The Cardinals arrived in Stockholm Wednesday, and will play five games in cities across Sweden over the next eight days.  Indiana players on the BSU roster include Johna Goff (Mt. Vernon), Laurie Kitts (Eastbrook), Amy Zercher (NorthWood) and Jessica Reiter (Penn).  Incoming recruits Kate Endress (Evansville Memorial) and Jessica Aldridge (SB Adams), and transfer Dorcus Lawson (Terre Haute South), are precluded from going on the trip by NCAA rules.  Complete online coverage of the BSU trip, including photos, journals and itineraries, can be found at the following links:
   
BSU's women going overseas - Muncie Star Press
BSU women's basketball arrives in Stockholm - Ball State University


IHSAA commissioner Blake Ress was interviewed by the Indianapolis Star this week on a variety of issues.  There are some interesting insights within the article pointing to the current philosophies that are being acted upon by the IHSAA.


According to the South Bend Tribune, former Notre Dame team captain Sheila McMillen, from Rochester, is now an assistant coach at Northwestern University. She previously was an assistant at Western Michigan.


For those of you who follow Big Ten women's basketball, huge news out of Illinois this week.  Leading scorer and probable Big Ten MVP Allison Curtin has left the Illini program due to a dispute with head coach Theresa Grentz.  Illinois was considered to be one of the contenders to Purdue's repeat in the Big Ten race this upcoming season.  (State Journal Register)


If you haven't been there lately, the Gball Magazine website has a lot of fun reading about high school and college basketball issues from around the country, as well as helpful articles about recruiting, skills and other aspects of the game.  It's a  S-L-O-W  time of the season, and this site could keep you busy for an afternoon or so.


News thru Wednesday, August 1

                                     

       


Turkey Run rising senior and Junior All Star Brigett Branson has committed to play for the Hoosiers of Indiana.  (Photo by the RRR)

Two top players in the Class of 2002 have made their college intentions known.  Indiana's Finest teammates, Brigett Branson of Turkey Run and Sharika Webb of Cathedral will be opponents in the Big Ten starting with the 2002-03 season.  Branson, a 6'2 forward, has committed to the Hoosiers of Indiana over Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Toledo, Ball State and Miami (Ohio).  Webb, a 5'7 guard, has committed to the Boilermakers of Purdue.  Webb's commitment made news in the Lafayette Journal & Courier and Gold & Black Illustrated.   Both schools are heavily recruiting Indiana players this summer.  Besides Branson, the Hoosiers have commitments from senior Cyndi Valentin of Bloomington South and junior Leah Enterline of Ft. Wayne Heritage.  Purdue currently has commitments from seniors Carol Duncan of NorthWood, Ashley Mays of Lawrence Central and Sultra Harding, formerly of Ben Davis.


Former New Albany standout and 1999 Miss Basketball runner-up Kennitra Johnson has made her intentions known that she intends to leave the University of Connecticut program before the new school year begins.  According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier,  Johnson has her sites set on the Lady Boilermakers of Purdue.  Johnson was highly recruited by Purdue during her high school career, but coaching changes there and the lack of a coaching appointment at the time of the early signing period of Johnson's senior season prevented the standout guard from going with what was widely known as her first college choice.  With this transfer involving two of the top women's programs in the nation, the news covering this KJ's departure from UConn has been extensive:
   
UConn gives Johnson release - Hartfort Courant
Johnson one step closer to Purdue - Lafayette Journal & Courier
UConn coach miffed at Johnson
- Lafayette Journal & Courier
KJ plans the break - The Hartford Courant
KJ may transfer from UConn to Purdue - New Haven Register
Geno does his part - Hartford Courant


St. Francis University in Ft. Wayne recently signed two Indiana post players for next season.  Former Luers standout Carrie Stine will transfer from Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne, and Lindsay Mitchener, a 5'9"  forward from Eastside, who plays softball at St. Francis, will take on basketball duties as well beginning this season.  Mitchener averaged 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds during her senior year in high school, and Stine was an all-SAC player who was a member of the 1999 and 2000 2A State Championship Luers teams.  According to new St. Francis head coach Gary Andrews, "Both of these players will really help our program."



Shenandoah point guard Tracie Hancock takes it in against the Luers defense at the 2A State Finals last March.  She will be playing at Kaskaskia Junior College this winter.  (Photo by RRR)

Shenandoah senior point guard grad, Tracie Hancock, (shown at right) has signed to play basketball at Kaskaskia Junior College in Illinois. Hancock was a 3-year starter at Shenandoah and holds school records for most assists in a game, season, and career.  Hancock was a key component to a Raiders team that went 25-1, losing only to Ft. Wayne Luers in the 2A State Championship game.  She will play for first year Kaskaskia Blue Angels head coach Zach Loll.


 Indiana's Finest 16U, with a big assist from Wawasee pick-up Shanna Zolman, finished in second place yesterday with a 98-93 loss to Team North Carolina at the Junior Olympic Games held in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  The Finest lost one game in pool play to SW Texas Best, but went undefeated up until the end, including a win over Texas Best and Team NC to advance to the championship game.  The Finest lost to Team North Carolina in the "first" championship game, but since bracket play required double-elimination, the Finest got a second chance to win it all in a second game against the NC team, but lost by 5 points.  The Finest silver medalists that competed at the JO games include Zolman, Sharika Webb of Cathedral, Dominque Dorsey of Bloomington North, Candace Dark of Fountain Central, Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove, Carrie Smith of Brebeuf, Brigett Branson of Turkey Run, Heather Luttrell of Northwestern, Cindi Merrill of Noblesville and coach Denise McClanahan of Southport.


According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, former Columbia City standout Connie Myers (5'10 G/F) has signed with the women's basketball program at Northern Kentucky University.  Myers attended Indiana University after graduating in 2000, but did not play basketball.  Her high school career was abruptly ended as a senior after she suffered an ACL injury on the way to the 2000 3A state finals in a semi-state win over Griffith.


According to the LaPorte Herald-Argus, LaPorte senior Krysti Havens (5'8 G), who made a tremendous showing at the Warsaw semi-state last season, has committed to play volleyball at the University of North Carolina-Asheville next year.  Havens could become a pivotal player for the Slicers this season, who lost leading scorer Brooke Reed to graduation and sophomore point guard standout Kristin Drabyn to a family move to Avon near Indianapolis.  Havens averaged 6.1 points per game last season, but will likely see a much more expanded role this season.



Kankakee Valley senior Jill Kikkert will forego basketball in favor of concentrating on volleyball in the 2001-02 season.  (Photo by Bob Strempka)

Kankakee Valley, who was expected to be a force in 3A this season in NWI, may not be the power they were hoping to be in 2001-02.  Effective interior threat Jill Kikkert (6'2 F/C, 10.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) has reportedly decided to forego her final basketball season to concentrate on her primary sport, volleyball.  Kikkert is considered one of the top hitters in NWI and will most likely go to a high-level Division I volleyball program.  Also a blow to the Kougars is the family move that takes KV senior standout Megan Parker (5'10 F) to Logansport.  Parker was an integral part of a balanced KV attack, averaging 7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last season.


USA Today recently ran an article about some of the Indiana girls who participated in the Nike All-America Camp at IUPUI. We reported earlier that several players were invited, but there were more Indiana girls in attendance than we reported the first time around. Besides Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove and Sharika Webb of Cathedral, also in attendance were AAU teammates from The Family, Amber Johnson of Ben Davis, Jessica Wright of Cathedral, Ashley Mays of Warren Central, and Reicina Russell of Terre Haute South. Also, Missy Taylor of Connersville represented Indiana, bringing the number of Hoosier participants to eight, accounting for nearly 10% of the 87 players in attendance.  Other articles about individual players:
   
Zolman brings stardom to camp - Louisville Courier-Journal
Nike Camp helps Hoosier star toughen up for try at three-peat - Louisville Courier-Journal
News and notes from Nike Camp - Gold & Black Illustrated
2001 Nike Camp Scouting Report Players 1-40 - Mr. Hoops Recruiting
2001 Nike Camp Scouting Report Players 41-87 - Mr. Hoops Recruiting


Two Hoosier juniors were profiled recently in Gold & Black Illustrated with respect to their interests in Purdue.  Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove and Reicina Russell of Terre Haute South both attended the Nike Camp in Indianapolis, where they were interviewed by GBI.  According to the article, Gearlds has already received scholarship offers from both Purdue and Notre Dame.  Both are high on Gearlds short list, along with Tennessee and Duke.  Russell is looking at Purdue, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Stanford.


One of the other premier national camps, held the same weekend as the Nike All-America Camp, is the Adidas Top Ten Camp in Pittsburgh, PA. Indiana invitees included seniors Candace Dark of Fountain Central, Brigett Branson of Turkey Run, Jenny Pfeiffer of Jennings County, and Molly Martin of Terre Haute South. Rising juniors invited to the camp included Leah Enterline of Ft. Wayne Heritage, Kelsey Corbin of Northrop, and Julie Briody of Tecumseh.   During the Adidas Camp, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review threw a variety of questions at the college coaches observing the talent there.  The questions run the gamut, but give an insight to some of the thoughts making the rounds among college coaches around the nation.


It was with interest that we noted the mention of another ACL injury in the Louisville Courier-Journal article linked above.  According to interviewee Amber Johnson of Ben Davis, point guard Megan Jones of the Giants may miss a good deal of the upcoming season with a knee injury.  We would like to begin keeping track of injuries prior to and during the season.  If you know of anyone who has a significant injury that could impact their team, please let us know, and we'll include it on our new RRR Injured List, appearing in the near future.


A number of coaching situations have been resolved or have opened up in the past couple of weeks.
  
According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Mike Halliwell, the former boys coach at North Knox, has been hired as the new coach at Lafayette Catholic Central.  Halliwell replaces Alan Schrope, a 3-year veteran of the LCC program.  With the hiring of Haliwell, the athletic administration at LCC is hoping to elevate its girls basketball program to the level of success of its boys program.
  
Ft. Wayne Harding head coach Cleveland Inge has vacated that position to become the an assistant at Ft. Wayne Concordia.  Three-year coach Greg Whaley has vacated his position at Jac-Cen-Del, and has been replaced by Scott SmithGary DeSmet has been hired as the new coach at LaCrosse, replacing two-year coach Ken Roslansky.  Two-year coach Teresa Nolley has left her head position at Loogootee, as did Barry Schrock at New Haven.


Old news but still of interest, the 17U and 18U AAU Nationals concluded a couple of weeks ago, and Indiana made a pretty good showing by a few of the teams in contention. The 18U Lady Mac Magic showed some grit with a 7th place finish utilizing a roster made up of basically six guards and one forward. Despite being outsized in just about every game they played, Lady Mac pounded the opposition most of the way and was recognized with the placement of Erin Moran (Brebeuf/Indianapolis University) on the 18U All-American roster. Other members of Lady Mac Magic include Katie Boone (Center Grove/Valparaiso University), Sara Reideman (Greensburg/Western Kentucky), Melissa Pennington (Southport/Vincennes University), Jill Ransdell (Southport), Kate Endress (Evansville Memorial/Ball State) and Nina Stone (Pike/Western Michigan). The 17U Mohr Magic finished in 9th place in the AAU Nationals in Orlando. Highland grad Jenny DeMuth (Indiana) was named to the 17U AAU All-American roster for the second year running.


A couple articles of interest:
   
Verdict still out on recent IHSAA rule changeThe Jackson County Tribune

Specialization fosters burnout theory - Indianapolis Star


Notre Dame's Ruth Riley (North Miami) recently returned to the Hoosier State while playing for the Miami Sol against the Indiana Fever last weekend.   According to the South Bend Tribune, six busloads of fans from the South Bend area made the trip to Indy to see her play against former teammate Niele Ivey, who is the starting point guard for the Fever.  Miami won the game 69-63, with Riley scoring 9 points.


The IU women's basketball staff  will be hosting the Bennett Family Coaches Clinic on Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, at Assembly Hall.  The featured speakers are IU head coach Kathi Bennett, her father Dick Bennett, former men's coach at Wisconsin, and her uncle Jack Bennett, the current men's coach at UW Stevens Point.  Brochures for this event will be in the mail within two weeks for girls and boys high school coaches, college coaches, AAU coaches, etc.  The cost is $80.00 and Nike is also a sponsor of the clinic. Included on the agenda are on-court demonstrations, roundtable talks, etc.  Anyone seeking additional information can call IU assistant coach Trish Betthauer at 812-855-3954.


News thru Tuesday, July 17

                                     

       


Rising junior Katie Gearlds (Beech Grove) impressed at the 16U AAU Nationals with a string of outstanding performances, which landed her on the 16U AAU All-Americans list.  (RRR photo)

The 16U AAU Nationals concluded play over the weekend, and the highest finish by an Indiana team was by Indiana's Finest, which finished in a tie for 15th place with a 5-2 record.  Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove was named to the list of 16U AAU All-AmericansMissy Taylor of Connersville, playing with the Dayton Hoopstars, was also named an All-American.  The River City Rockers, who did not qualify for Championship bracket play, advanced to the Shootout Final Four before being eliminated.  The Rockers went 5-3 in tournament play.  Mohr Magic was eliminated in Shootout play, finishing with a 4-2 record at nationals.
   
Nick Ray of Hoosierland Report is doing a nice job of covering the AAU nationals for all age groups.  Check his site daily for updates on the 17U and 18U competition, which got underway over the weekend.


The Nike Elite Camp gets underway this week at IUPUI in Indianapolis, and several Indiana elite participants will be there.  Senior Shanna Zolman of Wawasee, senior Sharika Webb of Cathedral and junior Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove will all be displaying their tremendous basketball skills.  No great discoveries of unknown talent will be made at this camp.  It is considered the premier event for the elite of the elite in high school girls basketball nationally.  All the big names in college coaching will be there as well -- not necessarily to see the players, but to be seen by the players they are hoping will come to their programs.  Webb, who is featured this week in Gold & Black Illustrated, reveals that she will be making an unofficial visit to Purdue later this week.  Webb is leaning heavily toward the Boilermakers, but is holding off on a commitment for the time being. 


A few coaching assignments have come our way. 
   
 Charlestown has named athletic director Tony Hall as the new girls coach there.  Hall replaces Michelle Ricks, who recently took the job at New Washington.  According to the Jeffersonville Evening News, Hall was the girls coach at Charlestown for four years before leaving the job just one year ago to take on AD duties.  Hall's appointment did not come without some controversy.  Several Clark County board members suggested that there might be a conflict of interest since Hall is also the athletic director at Charlestown, according to the Evening News.  However, the concerns were not enough to sway the entire board, and Hall was appointed.
   
Greenfield Central has named Donna McCarty as the new head coach of the Cougars.  Medora has hired Jonathan Crossley, a Ball State graduate, as the varsity girl’s basketball coach.   Also, Tri has named Charlie Byrket as its new coach.


New Ft. Wayne Luers coach Teri Rosinski is ready to "grab hold to" the shooting star of the Knights.  Rather than shying away from the pressures of maintaining the high level of the Luers program, Rosinski is relishing the opportunity.  You can read her thoughts on taking over the Luers program in the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette.


Ancilla College announced last week  that they have acquired eight players from the Class of 2001, including a Northwest Indiana small school standout.  Jenny Howard (5'9 F) of  Kouts is joined by Megan  Baumgardt (5'4 G) and Brittany Hickson (5'2 PG) of Lebanon, Jessica Vandry (5'10 F/C) of New Prairie, Toccara Wilson (5'7 F) of South Bend Washington, Sara Siemen (6'1 F/C) of Concord, Tonya Roddy (5'8 F) of Fremont, and Kara Taylor (5'10 F) of East Noble, who will all be wearing Charger uniforms in 2001-02.  
     
 Head coach Dave Liverance, who was hired late in the recruiting season a year ago,  feels that this just might be the class to get Ancilla over the .500 mark after a challenging first season.  “When I started out recruiting, I really felt we might be at least one more year away from a .500 team,” said Liverance. “But I really feel that with the number of quality players from well-coached and highly successful high school teams, that we can compete in the upper levels of the conference."  Ancilla, a two-year junior college located in Donaldson, Indiana, finished 5-21 in women's basketball last season.  This recruiting class should help tremendously.  Liverance added that the cooperation of area coaches  has made recruiting much easier.  “I have traveled much of the northern part of the state in watching and recruiting  potential student-athletes. Talking basketball with the coaches is one of the extra pleasures you experience in visiting high schools,” Liverance said.  “We want to build a genuine relationship with the high schools, and we would like student-athletes to think of Ancilla first when they consider continuing their education."


Well, it took some doing, but we've finally finished our long-awaited update of the College Player Directory.  Believe it or not, former Indiana players are playing at over 115 secondary education institutions around the country, and the RRR is now linked to over 100 of them on the directory page.  We're pretty sure that we've probably missed a few players here and there, so please pass along any additions or corrections that you might be able to help us with.


Not long ago we reported that Indianapolis will be getting the Women's Final Four in 2005, but we just discovered that Terre Haute will be hosting the Final Four in 2002 and 2003 -- the NCAA Division III Final Four, that is.  According to D3Hoops, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will be acting as Final Four host for two consecutive seasons.   Region fans might be interested to know that it is possible that two former NWI players might make an appearance in the D3 Final Four next season.  Meg Sullivan (Andrean) and Susan Hay (Munster) both play for four-time Division III National Champions Washington University.  Sullivan had 7 points and 2 blocks in the national championship game in March. 


The Johnson County Journal recently ran a series of articles about injuries that many of you might find interesting.
   
Knee is tough but not invincible
Female athletes familiar with knee injuries
Athletes must deal with injuries



 

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