Region Roundball Review
August, 2002
News & Updates
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Welcome to the news area of the Region Roundball Review. This page will be updated as information becomes available. If you have any news about girls basketball in the Region or around the State, please e-mail us with your information and we will include it here. Please note that not all links shown here will stay active indefinitely. Many links are to daily on-line publications that change or remove links from their sites on a daily basis. For your convenience, you can use the calendar at the right to access news for a particular day.

August, 2002
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News thru Friday, August 30


University of Southern Indiana head coach Rick Stein has literally hit the womens' basketball jackpot.  Former Connecticut player and New Albany standout Kennitra Johnson has signed with the Division II Screaming Eagles to play beginning in the 2003-04 season, with probably two years of eligibility.  Johnson ends up at ISU after leaving Connecticut for Purdue, and then Purdue for home.  More info at the USI website and in the Evansville Courier-Press.
An interesting note for you Regionnites out there.  Former Merrillville standout Shannon Wells will be playing basketball at Southern Indiana this season with junior status.  She has played three years of volleyball at USI, garnering a number of honors during that time behind the net.  Wells was an All-DAC and All-Area player as a senior forward for the Pirates in 1998-99.

Lewis Cass senior Betsy Bowser will be headed to Cleveland State next fall.

Lewis Cass senior Betsy Bowser is the latest member of the Class of 2003 to commit to a Division I university.  The 5'5 point guard has given her verbal commitment to Duffy Burns of Cleveland State.  Bowser enters her senior season with 949 career points and 235 career assists.  As a junior, the three-year Mid-Indiana Conference honoree averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals on the way to the 2A Regional Finals.
Triton senior Ashli Senff recently committed to the Evansville Aces.  Senff was also being recruited by Bowling Green, Butler, Cleveland State, Wisconsin Green-Bay and Northern Illinois.  The 5'8 guard averaged 20.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season.  She was a member of the two-time 1A state championship team in 2000 and 2001.  Coach Mark Heeter believes that Senff is on track to break the Triton career scoring record of 1563 points.  She currently has 1203 points.

Coach Corey Laster of Taylor University-Ft. Wayne has announced the latest signings for his 2002 class.  Danielle Anderson (5'4 G) of Terre Haute North, Adrian Spahiev (5'4 G) of Ft. Wayne Harding, Joanie Muhlenkamp (5'9 F) of Jay County and Rachel Walden (5'9 F) of Mt. Vernon join already announced Megan Mattson (5'11 F) of Ft. Wayne Snider.

With the season looming on the horizon, more schools are getting around to making their coaching decisions.
According to the DeKalb News-Sun, Cody Ross has been hired as the new varsity coach.  Ross has been an assistant in the girls program for the past three years.  He replaces outgoing coach Mark Rohm.
Covington named boys assistant Troy Bever as it's new head coach.  According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Bever was also a member of the Covington boys team in the '80s.  He replaces three-year coach Terry Field.

South Bend Riley senior Crystal Norman didn't get to go one-on-one with Shaq like she hoped, but neither did any of the other winners in the amazing shot contest put on by Nestle's.  Norman was sidelined due to a back injury she sustained in a bus accident earlier this month, but O'Neal was also unable to get onto the court due to a toe injury.  According to the South Bend Tribune, Norman enjoyed her visit with the NBA MVP just the same.

Mooresville point guard Suzy Doughty is on track to break career assists and steal records for the Pioneers this season.  According to the Indianapolis Star, she is also on track to break some scoring records in soccer.  The standout senior has scored an amazing 15 goals in three games, including 6 against Brown County last weekend.

For those of you keeping track of all the comings and goings, Notre Dame has lost its third player in nine months to transfers.  Guard Allison Bustamante has left team, following the lead of Monique Hernandez and Amanda Barksdale.  Head coach Muffet McGraw now only has 11 players on her roster.

Those of you familiar with recruiting sites know that you rarely get anything from them for free.  An exception to the case may be Gret Swaim's new weekly call-in radio webcast, which focuses on women's college basketball and recruiting.  The 30-minute show will be live each Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. (CST) beginning in October, and can be accessed at the Greg Swaim website.

If you haven't heard about this, you soon will.  A new 24-hour college sports TV network is in the hopper and has already received the backing from a large number of conferences and schools across the country, including the Big Ten.  The National College Sports Network will feature 24-hour coverage of college sports, including women's basketball.  Where do I sign up?  Read more at the NCSN website.

It's never too early to be thinking about the upcoming season, and we've been mulling it over ourselves here at the RRR.  As a result, we'll be releasing our Super Senior 25 for 2003 next week.  Stay tuned!

News thru Wednesday, August 21

Power forward Rachel Brockman is much in the news today.  According to two college coaching sources and confirmed in The Tennessean, Brockman has verballed to Vanderbilt.  Brockman recently visited the Vandy campus before the Commodores and new head coach Melanie Balcolm (formerly of Xavier) left on a European tour.  Brockman was being courted by mostly MAC schools prior to this summer, but was not highly recruited by many major D1 schools until an outstanding summer garnered the attention of Big Ten and other major D1 programs recently.  The 6'3 senior will also be playing for a new team this season, as she has transferred from two-time state championship Cathedral to her home district school Noblesville.  According to the Indianapolis Star, Brockman averaged 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds last season, which placed her second in scoring and first in rebounding on a team that graduated two seniors headed to the Big Ten.  The 6'3 senior's departure puts the Irish in a bind in the front court and overall offensively, as Brockman leaves behind a team that returns only three players taller than 5'8 and only one player who averaged over 3.5 ppg.  Returning senior starter Kaitlin Vogtner (6'0 F) averaged 6.2 points and 6.1 rebounds for Cathedral last season and looks to be the go-to player since the Irish lose over 72% of their scoring punch to graduation and/or transfer.

Kankakee Valley senior Amanda DeVries will continue her promising basketball career at Evansville University.  The 6'6 senior committed to the Aces over offers from Butler and Grace College, according to the Post-Tribune last week.  DeVries averaged 11.5 points, 7.5 points and 3.1 blocks for KV last season.

The Anderson Herald-Bulletin has confirmed that Alexandria rising senior Jackie Closser is headed to Butler after graduation.  Closser is the first verbal for new head coach Beth Couture.  According to the article, Closser states that Couture is looking to recruit Indiana players more aggressively to build her program.  Closser, a 5'5 point guard, averaged 17.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 steals last season.

South Bend Riley star Crystal Norman was injured in a bus accident earlier this month, according to the South Bend Tribune.  Norman was looking forward to a one-on-one opportunity with Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers after being named a winner in an "Incredible Shot" contest.  However, her scheduled trip for this weekend to visit the NBA MVP could be cancelled as Norman is nursing injuries that include pulled back muscles and a bruised spinal cord.

The Indiana High School Basketball Guide will be sporting the faces of 13 of Indiana's top girls basketball players this fall.  High School Sports Publications, which publishes the IHSBG, recently released the names of its Tremendous Twenty-Six.  The T26 will come together to be honored and pose for the cover photo later this month.  The 02-03 issue of the IHSBG can be ordered through your team's high school coach or online at  Girls players named to the 2002-03 Tremendous Twenty-Six include the following:

Jackie Closser - Alexandria
Kelsey Corbin - Fort Wayne Northrop
Katie Gearlds - Beech Grove
Missy Glaser - Evansville Mater Dei
Catherine Graham - Southwestern (Hanover)
Suntana Granderson - South Bend RIley
Miranda Green - Pike
Duenna Hendrix - Kokomo
Crystal Norman - South Bend Riley
Amanda Norris - Shenandoah
Receina Russell - Lawrence North
Ashli Senff - Triton
Carrie Smith - Brebeuf

With the hiring of Mike Halliwell as the new North White girls basketball coach, Lafayette Catholic Central is again without a girls basketball coach, according to the Monticello Herald Journal.  Halliwell, who was only with LCC one year, takes the place of former North White coach Craig Shaeffer, who resigned earlier this summer to take a teaching position at West Lafayette.  LCC has had a veritable revolving door spinning through the head coaching position of its girls basketball program the past several years.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Edinburgh girls basketball coach Tom Ott has lost his position after a decision by the Edinburgh school board.  With Ott's dismissal, senior players SaraBeth Drybread and Shelly Burton vow to boycott the girls basketball program by not playing this season.  According to Burton in the Indy Star, "Because of this vote there won't be a girls basketball team."  More:  Coach's status adds to rift (Indianapolis Star)
According to IHSAA Overtime, Speedway has named Alan MacDonald as its new girls basketball coach.  MacDonald previously coached at Indianapolis Ritter from 1983 to 1998.

If summer basketball is any indication of future success, Lebanon has a bright future.  The rising freshman class at Lebanon, under the direction of head coach Tracey Hammel, posted a 30-2 record this past summer.  According to the Indianapolis Star, the six frosh players led the team to a state AAU championship and second place finish in a national tournament.

According to head coach Jeff Marlow, Caston junior Whitney Townsend has been released for athletic competition after a visit with her doctor on August 12.  According to Marlow, "She will slowly work her work back into volleyball and hopefully be ready for basketball."  Townsend was severely injured in a car accident earlier this spring and there was some question as to whether or not she would be able to return to athletics.

Ancilla head coach Dave Liverance recently announced the signing of Nichole Cox to the Lady Chargers lineup.  Cox, a 5'9 guard from Plymouth who graduated in 2001, was a member of the State Runners-Up Pilgrims team that challenged Cathedral for a state title in 2001.  Cox averaged 5.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists during her senior season.

Former NorthWood star Amy Zercher has announced that she will forego her last season of college ball at Ball State.  According to the Elkhart Truth, Zercher has decided to focus all of her attention on her studies in preparation for graduate studies beyond her senior year in college.  Zercher started in 57 games during her freshman and sophomore years at BSU and averaged 9.5 points and 7.1 rebounds during that two-year period.  Last season, Zercher averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 26 games.

Former Martinsville standout and Butler transfer Kristen Bodine is still rehabbing from an ACL injury as the basketball season approaches.  According to the Bloomington Herald-Times, the Indiana University guard is on the mend and expects to be in the lineup in November.  However, she doesn't expect to be full strength until January.  The 5'11 versatile point guard will have to wait until after this upcoming season to find out whether or not she still has one additional year of eligibility left due to the injury.  Bodine sat out the 2000-01 season after her transfer from Butler and then was injured just three games into last season before having to view the season from the sidelines for the second year in a row.

The Webster family made a 13-hour trek to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, over the weekend to deliver daughter Alex to the welcoming staff at Southern Mississippi.  This was a tough one for mom and dad, with their youngest leaving the RRR staff to return to an empty nest!  Just wanted to wish all the college freshmen best of luck at their new locations and with their new teams.  As we told Alex, study hard, give it your all and have fun!  Go Golden Eagles!


News thru Sunday, August 11


North Newton standout Brianne Harwood has given local college team Purdue Cal a huge shot in the arm.  According to The Times, the high-scoring forward will play for the Lakers this upcoming season.  After setting a number of records at North Newton, including career points at 1,312, Harwood could set some more records at the Hammond campus close to home.  The Lakers, 10-21 last season overall and 4-6 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, are hoping for an improved season with Harwood and a more experienced lineup, which includes last year's leading scorer Sarah Bacan (Griffith).

Coaches in the Duneland Athletic Conference are talking in The Times about the new home-and-home format that is to be put into practice beginning with the 2003-04 school year.  The new format will cause some scheduling difficulties for teams that have had a wide variety of non-conference games on their schedules for a number of years, including some holiday and early-season tournaments.  New DAC member Lake Central is looking at doing away with its early season-opening tournament that traditionally brings Kokomo to LC's home floor.  More:  Changing their ways - The Times

As the impending school year moves closer on a daily basis, some coaching hires are being finalized.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Decatur Central has hired Tom Gliva to take the place of Jill Meerman, who stepped down as head coach this summer.  Gliva comes to the Hawks from a 40-93 career at Indianapolis Ritter over the past seven years.  Meerman still continues her duties as assistant athletic director at DC.
Brebuef also announced it has hired a new coach, according to the Indianapolis StarKendall Virgin, who served as an assistant for outgoing coach Teressa Lewis for two years, has landed in the driver's seat for the Braves this season.

Edinburgh head coach Thomas Ott is coming under fire again this season.  According to the Indianapolis Star and Franklin County Journal, Ott will face the Edinburgh School Board tomorrow after it was discovered that he was convicted of a felony in 1990.  Ott was the object of controversy last year when he accepted both football and girls basketball coaching jobs at Edinburgh.  At that time, claims that Title IX violations were taking place by having Ott hold both positions were fended off over time.

Now that the NCAA summer observation period is over, college coaches are working hard on pursuing their top recruits by mail, fax and phone, many from Indiana.  We can probably expect the announcements of more recruits' future plans as they finalize their lists or make their intentions known much sooner than the early signing period in November.  We have a few tidbits on several Indiana players from a variety of sources.

Cathedral's Rachel Brockman could take her high-flying game to Vandy.  The rising senior is considering a number of schools in the Midwest.  (RRR Photo)

Although rumors from several places indicated that she was a lock for Indiana, Cathedral power forward Rachel Brockman (right) is indicating that she is still looking at most of the Big Ten schools (excluding Ohio State) as well as Vanderbilt.  According to the Tennessean, the 6'3 power rising senior recently made a trip to the Vandy campus to watch the Commodores practice for a pre-season trip to Europe.
point guard and defensive specialist Crystal Fawley has committed to Ancilla College.  Fawley, a rising senior, was the unheralded complement player in the backcourt to teammate Shanna Zolman for the past two years, providing the defensive concentration that the Warriors needed on the perimeter while Zolman did her thing.

St. Mary of-the-Woods has completed its recruiting class for 2002.  Jena Crone (5'9 G/F) of Monrovia, Candice Haines (6'0 C) of Westfield, Rachel Wilson (5'9 F) of Linton, Melissa Stith (5'8 G) of Jay County, Crystal Bernard (5'5 G) of Arlington, and Jamie Elpers (5'6 G) of Gibson Southern join already announced recruits Darci Rector (5'6 G) from Terre Haute South and A. J. Smith (5'8 G/F) of Terre Haute North.

You may remember that rising junior point guard Whitney Townsend of Caston was severely injured in a car accident this spring.  According to Coach Jeff Marlow, Townsend has made significant improvement since the accident and recently had her halo removed and now wears a neck brace as she continues to recover.  She will be wearing the neck brace until the end of this month.  According to Coach Marlow, "There no word yet on when and if she will be released for athletic competition, but she is doing well in her recovery."  Best wishes to Whitney as she returns to school this fall.

The recent Nike All America Camp was covered extensively by Mr. Hoops Purdue Recruiting.  A player-by-player review is given in the four-part series of articles, with mentions of Indiana players Christian Cunningham of Perry Meridian, Reicina Russell of Lawrence North, and Brandi Carter of Indianapolis Manual.
2002 Nike Camp Player Scouting Reports I
 2002 Nike Camp Player Scouting Reports II
 2002 Nike Camp Player Scouting Reports III
 2002 Nike Camp Player Scouting Reports IV

Shenandoah power forward Teran Warner was featured in a recent Star Press article with regard to helping the 17U Indiana's Finest team capture a national title. As reported here earlier,  Warner recently committed to Ball State.

An interesting article appeared recently in the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette regarding whether girls preferred to be coached by men or women.  An interesting read.

According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, former Purdue standout and Lake Central grad Kelly Komara will be dribbling around the Boiler capital tomorrow morning in an effort to bring attention to the 2002 World Basketball Championships, to be held in Indianapolis later this month into September.  Komara, together with high school players Liz Honegger and Sarah Houston of Lafayette Jeff, Breanne Evans of McCutcheon and Katie Shipp of Lafayette Harrison will be a part of the Dribble & Dream Tour, which is scheduled to travel through 16 cities and towns around the state in anticipation of the 2002 WBC.  Complete information about the championships can be found at the 2002 World Basketball Championships website.

Two exposure opportunities are coming up in September.
Hoosier Girls Basketball Report will be hosting the adidas Fall Midwest Explosion at the University of Indianapolis on Sunday, September 29, from 11-5 pm.  Cost of the event will be $75. Players will have three games with licensed high school and college officials. All players will get an adidas t-shirt. Full concessions will be provided. The University of Indianapolis will charge a $2 fee at the door. Over 175 players and over 50 college coaches are expected to attend. Contact HGBR director Bryan Alexander directly for an application at or 877-754-3229.




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