PLAYERS TO WATCH
The following are the key players from the Region and around the state that will be factors for their respective teams this season. They are not ranked, but are represented by class and shown in alphabetical order.
Kara Austgen (5'7") Andrean - Averaged 11.5 ppg last year and made The Times All-Area Second Team. Could be one of the top guards in the area. Look for her to have a big year.
Jennifer Bayer (6'1") Lowell - One of the leading scorers and rebounders in the Northwest Hoosier Conference last year, averaging 12.7 ppg and 10.9 rpg. Expected to be a force in the post for Lowell this year. Times All-Area selection last year.
Jackie Campbell (5'10") Chesterton - Junior All-Star and All-State candidate, Jackie Campbell returns for a final year with the Trojans. She averaged 13 ppg last year, and is considered one of the best guards in the state. A top college prospect, Jackie just recently made a verbal commitment to play at Colorado State University.
Kristin Cheairs (5'7") Gary West Side - Junior All-Star and All-State candidate, Kristin is one of the top college prospects in the nation. She averaged 16.4 ppg last year. A lightning-quick guard who can create her shots.
Lara Clarkson (6'0") LaPorte - Was selected to the 1997-98 All Duneland Conference team, and one of seven underclassmen to be chosen. Lara averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 rbs. while shooting 50% from the field and 74% from the line last season. She posted six double-doubles with highs of 26 points vs. S.B.Lasalle and 15 rebounds vs. Portage. Lara's first sport is volleyball, and she just recently made a verbal commitment to DePaul to play volleyball there.
Abbey Coons (5'8") Hobart - One of the best guards in the area, Abbey was on The Times 1st Team All-Area last year, despite an injury that kept her out for one-half of the season. During her recuperation, Hobart struggled without her. Averaged 12.2 ppg and is expected to have a great year for the Brickies.
Jeanette Gray (5'10") Valparaiso - Junior All-Star and All-State candidate, Jeanette was also named an AAU All-American this summer. She's a fierce competitor. Averaged 15.5 ppg last year and should be THE dominating player in the Region this year. She is being heavily recruited by Valparaiso University and University of Toledo.
Erin Jedlikowski (6'0") Portage - A Times 2nd Team All-Area selection last year, Erin averaged 13.8 ppg and 7.4 rpg. Expected to be one of the more dominating post players in the Region.
Katie Julian (5'11") Hobart - Times All-Area Honorable Mention last year, Katie, together with twin sister Lauren, is expected to have a big year with the Hobart Brickies. Plays in the post, but can also shoot from the perimeter.
Lauren Julian (5'11") Hobart - Second half of the Hobart Julian Twins, Lauren also figures to be a big part of Hobart's plans this year. A physical post player, Lauren can also score from the outside. Times All-Area Honorable Mention last season.
Jennifer Kutanovski (5'6") Crown Point - Expected to provide senior leadership on a young Bulldogs team this year, Jennifer is an aggressive guard with a scorer's touch. Part-time starter last year, she should have a good year for Crown Point in a leading role.
Erin Miller (5'11") South Bend Riley - A two-time Northern Indiana Conference MVP, Erin has put together a career average of 16.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg. According to Coach Mike Megyesi, his senior Wildcat forward is being recruited by a number of D-1 schools at present.
Lori Moore (5'7") Lake Central - An outstanding soccer player, Lori is an all-around athlete who has played a major role in Lake Central's success on the hardcourt over the last several years. Averaged 6 ppg last year for the Indians, but will be expected to carry the scoring load now that Komara and Kuhn are gone. She had several outstanding games last year, which nabbed her a Times 2nd Team All-Area spot last season.
Meghann Sullivan (6'2") Andrean - One of the leading shot-blockers in the Region last year, Meghann should be a force down low for the 59ers this year. Averaged 9.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg last season. Times All-Area Honorable Mention last season.
Beth Tully (5'9") Crown Point - An All Semi-State Team selection as a sophomore, Beth is an excellent defender who can make things happen. A good penetrating guard who is also a threat from beyond the arc, Beth will take on a leadership role this year for the Lady Bulldogs. Beth is a natural point, where you will probably see her most of the time this year, but has played nearly every position but the 5 for Coach Tom May the past three years.
Shannon Wells (5'10") Merrillville - A real competitor, Shannon was a Times All-Area 2nd Team selection last season. Averaged 11.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg last year. Expected to be one of the scoring leader for her team and one of the better post players in the region this season.
(Also visit our Senior Top 20 page for additional seniors)
BrieAnn Starkweather (5'11") Whitko - BrieAnn had the state's best single game rebound the past two seasons, including last year's 26 rebounds in a single game. She is averaging a double-double for a career, and set a school record for the Lady Wildcats in season field goal percentage last year. BrieAnn has received looks from several colleges.
Rhonda Doud (5'7") Tippecanoe Valley - Rhonda is averaging 17.2 points through the first 10 games of the 1998-99 season and leads her team in steals with 30. She scored a game high 22 (including 4 treys) against undefeated Valparaiso, which is the highest single point total any player has scored against Valpo so far this year.
Class of 2000
Rachel Griffith 5'7" Hammond
Elizabeth Benson 6'0" Bloomington
Class of 2001
Tai Adkins 6'1" Gary West
to Watch Around the State
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Kelly Abbott 5'11" Fort
Class of 2002
Jamie Gutowski 5'7" Andrean
to Watch Around the State
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Melanie Boeglin 5'3" Terre
The inclusion of any player on this page is based upon the humble opinion of the Region Roundball Review pseudo-staff. No other Region reporters have contributed to its formulation.