Region Roundball Review
August, 1998
News Archives

News thru August 31, 1998

Confirming our report in a earlier edition of the Region Roundball Review News, the Hobart School Board has named an in-house replacement for departing girls varsity coach Moe Rhody, who chose to resign the post earlier this summer. Phil Misecko, previously the Hobart freshman girls coach, was selected for the position. Misecko is a former player from Portage High School's 1988 semi-state boys basketball team and did his student teaching under Highland girls coach, Chris Huppenthal. Misecko will be inheriting a talented squad with eight seniors and one junior, most of which are three-year starters. The expectations will be high for this team and its first-year varsity coach after a disappointing 14-8 injury-plagued season in 1997-98.

Tiffany Longworth, a 1993 All-Star and two-time MVP on Kokomo's state championship teams in 1992 and 1993, has returned to the Kokomo Kat fold. She will take over the varsity assistant coaching position under head coach Charlie Hall. Longworth, who played college ball for Big Ten regular season and conference champion Penn State University, hopes to create a coaching link between her Kokomo successes of the past and the Lady Kats' season of the future. The 1998-99 Lady Kats team is expected to be a legitimate contender for the state crown this upcoming season. For Longworth, it may be deja vu all over again.

News thru August 30, 1998

An interesting quote made by IHSAA Commissioner Bob Gardner appeared in the Gary Post-Tribune earlier this week. When discussing the class basketball format as experienced by the girls last year, including the Lake Central-Gary West Regional (which was the highest-attended game outside of the state finals), he had the following to say:

"Most schools say their girls basketball programs have reached a level where they don't need to use doubleheaders [at the regional level] because they would lose gate revenue. We have tried to elevate the girls status by scheduling tournament games on primetime weekend days and set the example for the schools. Some conferences have already committed to a rotating schedule to get girls games on the weekend. We are interested in exploring that."

One wonders if Gardners closing comments might indicate future IHSAA regulations with regard to equity in scheduling. It is doubtful, however, since gate revenue would be the stumbling block. The Duneland Athletic Conference, an all 4A conference, currently "encourages" scheduling equity in basketball, but does not require it. It would be great if scheduling equity could be achieved around the state, regardless of class or conference.

As as follow-up to a mention earlier in the Region News, Martinsville junior Leigh Ann Hardin, a member of both the 1997 and 1998 state championship basketball teams, will not be coming back to play for the Arties this year. This past weekend, Hardin made her first appearance on the professional golf circuit at the LPGA State Farm Rail Classic in Springfield, Illinois, for which she qualified after capturing the U.S. Girls' National Junior Championship earlier this month. Hardin, who was the sixth (wo)man off the bench for the Arties last year, looks to have a very bright future in golf. In a recent Bloomington Hoosier Times article, Hardin was quoted as saying that she hopes to play professional golf as a career in the future, but wants to go to college first. Head varsity coach Jan Conner was quoted in the Indianapolis Star as saying, "She's one of the most competitive kids I've ever seen and I don't blame her one bit for not playing. If you have a million-dollar swing, you're not going to take a chance with it." We'll be following Hardin's progress in upcoming years.
The Women's Basketball News Service, in its 1998-99 preseason awards, recently named former Region standout Kristina Divyak ('94 Lake Central) to the All-American Third Team. Divyak led the Big Ten Conference in scoring last year as a junior at Northwestern. Also making an appearance in the awards was Purdue's Stephanie White-McCarty ('94 Seeger), who was named to the All-American First Team. The Purdue team was listed No. 4 in the WBNS preseason Top 25 poll.

Additional college player news has 5'9" Natalie Glaser ('96 Evansville Mater Dei) transferring from Division 1 St. Louis University to Division 2 University of Southern Indiana in Evansville this year. Glaser, who will retain sophomore status in eligibility, will play shooting guard or small forward at USI.

Evansville Memorial senior Jill Hartman (5'11"), a Region Roundball Review Top 20 pick, has made a verbal commitment to attend Indiana University next fall. She will join former Evansville Harrison standout, Staci Mueller, on the IU team. Hartman averaged 23.4 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in leading Evansville Memorial to the Class 3A semi-state championship game last year.
The 3A Tippecanoe Valley head coaching position, which was vacated by Mindy Metzger three months after she was hired for the position, has been filled by an in-house candidate, Gary Teel, the former TV freshman girls coach. Teel feels that he will have a good perspective for the players he has coming up through the ranks by way of his participation in the TV summer basketball program. He will be looking to improve on last year's 9-12 record. Teel has been at Tippecanoe for one year, but coached at the middle school level for 20 years prior to that in the Whitko school system.

News thru August 24, 1998

Reliable word has it that the Hobart School Board will be voting to appoint a new head coach and assistant coach for the Hobart Lady Brickies this week. Look for someone from in-house to fill the position vacated by Moe Rhody earlier this summer. The Lady Bricks are looking forward to a promising season in 4A with a very strong senior class.

We've been hearing rumblings all summer about a possible 6'3" Top 50 transfer from Colorado coming to 4A Lake Central this school year. This would certainly help Coach Tom Megyesi replace the loss of Indiana All-Star graduating senior Kelly Kuhn (6'2"). Checking last year's roster, none of the expected returning players from LC's varsity or JV stands over 5'9". No confirmation yet, but with the start of the school year, we should be getting the truth on this one soon.
In our news research, we came across an item on the USA Today web site that was announced in July, but which we don't recall having been publicized locally or at the state level. So, we'll pass it on here for anyone (like us) who missed it.

Honors awarded by USA Today were given to the following high school players in Indiana. (All are graduated seniors unless otherwise indicated.)

All-USA Third Team - Kelly Komara (5'7") Lake Central

Indiana Co-Players of the Year - Kristen Bodine (5'9") and April Traylor (5'9") both Martinsville

Indiana Honorable Mention - Kyle Black (5'10") North Central; Abbe Brauman (6'1") Brownsburg; Melissa Cochrane (6'3") Bloomfield; Shyra Ely (6'0") Ben Davis FR; Bryn Gallagher (6'1") Columbus East; Lello Gebisa (6'4") West Lafayette JR; April Kirby (5'5") Mt. Vernon; Kelly Kuhn (6'2") Lake Central; Monica Ingram (5'8") Ben Davis; Kara Meyer (6'0") Southridge; Karin Morrisroe (5'6") Morgan Township; Mary Jo Noon (6'5") Jeffersonville; Abby Salscheider (5'10") Bluffton; Anna Waugh (5'11") Franklin; and Dana Western (5'11") Lebanon.

News thru August 20, 1998

Based upon comments IHSAA Commissioner Bob Gardner made while on a a visit in Gary yesterday, the Post-Tribune reports that the IHSAA is looking to make changes to the existing high school basketball tournament. Based upon a recognized decrease in attendance and revenue, the IHSAA is hoping to implement immediate changes this season. The article stated that some of the changes being considered by the IHSAA are: going back to a three-week tournament, having four teams at regionals and state finals, not having boys sectionals and girls semi-state games on the same day, moving boys semi-states to gyms in high shcools instead of colleges, and having regional doubleheaders. The IHSAA is also looking at taking a "football-like" approach to choosing tournament sites as to geographic issues, as opposed to the present system that uses class as the driving force behind tournament site selections. With regard to going back to the traditional tournament, Gardner stated, "I don't think that in this day and age, you can afford to do that. You have to treat all sports as equals and just accept it as part of the decision-making process."

The state's leading girls scorer last year, 5'10" Laurie Kitts of 2A Eastbrook, has made a verbal commitment to play at Ball State after her senior year. Kitts, who averaged 28.5 ppg last year, was also recruited by Wright State, Valparaiso and Taylor. She was recruited by Ball State for the 2 position, and will be working on conditioning and quickness to increase her chances for playing time with the Cardinals. Kitts will try to retain her state scoring crown while playing her final year of high school basketball for the Panthers, who went 10-16 last season under Coach Tom Wilson.
You might have noticed in your travels through our web site that one of our areas includes links to several high school team sites. I recently visited the 4A LaPorte Lady Slicer web page, and I suggest that you take a look there, too. Coach Dearing has compiled quite a library of interesting information there for visitors to browse through. If you'd like to take a look for yourself, go to our High School Team Links, where you will find the link to the Lady Slicers. We are still looking for additional team web sites to link to our site. If you are aware of any, please pass them on.
Some of you might have noticed a subtle change in our home page logo the past few days. Although we are primarily covering the players and teams in Northwest Indiana, we are also covering many teams and players in the northern half of the state. To reflect that, we have changed our state logo to make that statement symbolically. We would encourage all fans, coaches and players to feel free to submit news and information to us, even if you feel that your part of the state is not the focus of our site. We'd be happy to share your news with the Indiana girls basketball community regardless of geographic location.

News thru August 17, 1998

Following in her brother's Big Ten footsteps, 4A DeKalb sharpshooter, Maria Recker, has made a verbal commitment to attend Michigan State University next year. Maria, sister of former Mr. Basketball Luke Recker (who presently plays for Bobby Knight at IU) is looking to make a name for herself at MSU in Lansing. She will be joining two other Indiana standouts, Abby Salscheider of Bluffton and Vnemina Reese of South Side, who will both be playing as freshmen this year at Michigan State. Maria was recruited for the 2 position by the Spartans, who went 11-16 last season. There she can show off the dead-eye shooting skills that sent her to the IHSAA 3-point shooting contest as a state finalist two times. Maria has 1,075 career points heading into her senior season under DeKalb Coach Mark Rohm.

4A South Bend Riley Coach Mike Megyesi (yes, "much younger" brother of Lake Central girls varsity coach Tom Megyesi) sounds optimistic heading into the upcoming season. According to an e-mail he recently sent us, incoming 5'11" senior Erin Miller is being recruited by a number of D-1 schools. Erin has a career average of 16.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg, and has been the Northern Indiana Conference MVP two years running. Coach Mike is also looking forward to fitting a new player into his game plan, a 5'9" sophomore transfer from North Carolina by the name of Krista Ragukonis. Krista played the point for a large high school in Wilmington, NC, where she averaged 17 ppg and 8 rpg. Look for SB Riley to make some noise in the NIC this year. Thanks for filling us in, Coach, and please keep us updated about the happenings in South Bend high school girls basketball.
Mindy Metzger, hired at 3A Tippecanoe Valley as head girls coach this past May, has submitted her letter of resignation even before the season begins. Tippecanoe is now looking to fill the position vacated by Metzger as soon as possible. Serving as JV coach last season, Metzger compiled a season record of 14-6 at TV. She was promoted to the varsity coaching position when former coach Mike Walters resigned at the end of last season. Metzger graduated from Tippecanoe in 1992, where she still holds several TV girls basketball records.

 News thru August 11, 1998

Region 2A Wheeler High School (located directly west of Valparaiso) is currently looking to fill several spots in its high school girls basketball program under head coach Dennis Spoor. Openings for girls varsity assistant, JV and C Team coaches are available. Interestingly, these 3 positions are just a few of the 17 -- yes, 17 -- coaching positions available in a variety of sports for the upcoming school year at Wheeler. This school system has seen some turmoil in its boys basketball program recently, with a changeover in personnel for the head spot three years running. Wheeler has a very active school board.

Two outstanding players from the basketball class of 1999 are putting college-choice questions to rest before the upcoming season. Word is that forwards Kristy Thomann (5'10") of 1A North Vermillion and Erin Rhodes (6'1") of 2A Oak Hill have announced their intentions to attend Indiana State University next year. ISU has been doing some heavy home-state recruiting the past couple of years, as Thomann and Rhodes will be joining 1998 graduates Shana Sparks (5'11") of Connersville, Abbe Brauman (6'1") of Brownsburg, and April Kirby (5'5") of Mt. Vernon, who all head to ISU this fall.
While most basketball players are hitting the courts on the AAU and tournament trail over the summer, Martinsville incoming junior guard Leigh Ann Hardin has been hitting the links. Hardin, 6th (wo)man off the bench for two-time state champ Martinsville, is an elite junior golfer. On Sunday she captured the 1998 U.S. Girls' National Junior Championship in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, winning the championship round by 2 strokes. Over the summer, Hardin has placed in the top 10 in nine national tournaments across the country, capturing the championship title in 4 of them.
Semi-finalist 2A Manchester High School (located 30-35 miles southwest of Ft. Wayne) last month announced the hiring of Keri Nichols, who may now be one of the youngest head girls basketball coaches in the state. Nichols, 23, was hired to fill the position vacated by 27-year-old Jody Shewman last spring, who accepted the head coaching position at North Miami. Nichols comes with some name-dropping credentials, having served as the head JV coach under state champ Martinsville varsity coach Jan Conner the last three years. Manchester posted a 21-4 season last year, finishing out the season in the 2A north semi-state finals with a loss to Bluffton. Although the Squires lose three starters to graduation from last year's team, leading scorer Megan Eckert (18.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg) returns as a senior under new coach Nichols.

 News thru August 6, 1998

Moe Rhody surprised many in the Region when he resigned as head basketball coach for the Hobart Lady Brickies. Hobart, who will return all five starters and several key reserves, is expected to be one of the powerhouse teams in the Region this year. The senior class of this team, which has been playing ball together year-round since the 6th grade, will see their last chance for a breakout season. Hobart anticipated that breakout season last year, but with injuries to key players, including senior scoring ace Abbey Coons, the 1997-98 season-to-be fell short of expectations. As of this date, no replacement for Moe has been named.

Terry Quinn resigned early this summer as head basketball coach for the Andrean Lady 59'ers. Assistant Coach Ken Markful will take his place. Andrean is expected to be a 3A powerhouse this year in the Region. The addition of freshman and top athlete Jamie Gutowski will only help their cause. Watch for Andrean to challenge all of the top Region teams this year.
Beth Lapaich, former Laporte Lady Slicer and Indiana All-Star, will walk-on at Purdue this year after transferring from Butler last year. Lapaich, a 6-foot-plus savvy scorer and passer, could give the Lady Boilers some valuable minutes in the post.
Miss Basketball Kelly Komara of Lake Central will join the Purdue Women's Team when they depart for Europe on August 11, for a five game, 11 day trip to England, France and Switzerland.
After 2 years in the ABL, Jennifer Jacoby, former Rossville and Purdue star, has taken an assistant coaching job with the Indiana University Lady Hoosiers.
Wawasee incoming freshman and standout player Shanna Zolman will see a familiar face on the bench this upcoming season. Zolman's dad, Ken, was named head coach for the girls varsity team this past April, filling a position that has seen four different coaches in three years. During the past 10 years, Coach Zolman served as the boys assistant varsity and junior varsity coach at Wawasee and Bloomington South, where he racked up an overall career record of 72-66. Watch for Wawasee to be a factor in the 3A race the next four years with this father-daughter duo leading the way.

April McDivitt, the odds on favorite for Miss Basketball in 1999 has given a verbal commitment to play for Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee. Vol's assistant coach, Al Brown, is a Connersville native.

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