2002 Prime Time Classic Participating Teams

2002 Ron Harrison

American Division

George Rogers Clark – Coach Scott True led his Lady Cardinals to a 16-13 record and a district championship in his first year at George Rogers Clark.  The Lady Cardinals graduated their top two scorers in Kelly Nein and Amanda Gill.   They will build around returning Sr. starters 5-5 Audrey Fisher and 5-10 Jamie Keller.  Keller, a senior center, is considered one of the top returning players in the 10th region this season.  They also expect help from 5-5 Fr. Ashley Hewson.

Clinton County – The Lady Bulldogs finished 29-5 last season, lost some key players, but return a lot of talent to enter the 2002-2003 season.  Coach Gary Abbott also picked up a promising transfer, Staci Ross, who could be the missing piece of the championship puzzle.  6-5 Sr. center Angela Brown averaged 17 ppg and 9 rpg last season.  Brown is also an excellent shot blocker.  The Guffey twins return for their sophomore campaigns.  5-5 Amber Guffey averaged 12 ppg and handed out 212 assists last season.  5-6 Paige Guffey scores off the dribble and averaged 15 ppg last season.  Both ladies have the ability to nail the three ball.  5-8 So. Brittany Abbott (the coach’s daughter) averaged 7 ppg, handles the ball well, and has a good understanding of the game.  5-10 Sr. Staci Ross transferred from McCreary Central, where she averaged 12 ppg and 7 rpg last season.  Ross provides additional scoring in the paint, rebounding, and additional interior defense.  Clinton County has experienced performers coming off the bench, including 5-6 Sr. Gina Ferguson, 5-7 Jr. Chloe Sohm, etc.  The Lady Bulldogs had an excellent summer and Staci Ross seemed to integrate well into the lineup and should be a big help.

Daviess County – The Lady Panthers finished 7-20 last season and Charlie Broughton takes over as head coach this season.  They will have some senior leadership in 5-8 Kate Berry and 5-4 Erica Main who played several minutes last season.  They must also get contributions from 5-5 Jr. Lacey Dukes, 5-11 So. Jessica Wilson, 5-4 Fr. Beth Lewis, 5-7 Jr. Wendy Wilkerson, 5-8 Jr. Holly Murphy, 6-1 Jr. Brenda Howard, 5-5 Jr. Courtney Brigance, etc. Dukes averaged 13 ppg her freshman year, but missed last season because of a knee injury. 

East Carter – Coach Hager Easterling’s Lady Raiders suffered a blow when Kasi Mullins transferred to Jackson County, but the cupboard is hardly bare.  The Lady Raiders will be led by 6-0 Jr. Kim Stapleton, who averaged 16 ppg and 11 rpg last season.  Stapleton shot 53% from the floor and 81% from the charity stripe.  Kim has the ability to post up, shoot the three, and can hit the jump hook with either hand.  Other players expected to contribute are 5-5 Jr. Molly Jackson, 5-10 Jr. Amanda Prichard, 5-11 Sr. Mikki Womack, etc.

Harrison County – Coach Mac Whitaker’s Fillies finished 26-8 last season and advanced to the elite eight in the Sweet 16 tourney last season.  Harrison County has a balanced attack and should be strong again this season.  They will be led by 6-0 Jr. Megan Gray, who averaged 18 ppg and 10 rpg last season.  Gray is an excellent defender and has been a starter since the 7th grade.  The Fillies have an excellent senior guard in 5-6 Allison Snedeker.  A young player to watch is 5-9 Fr. Brooke Faulkner, who averaged 10 ppg last season and is an excellent three point shooter. Coach Whitaker must replace graduating seniors 5-9 Shelly Cracraft and 5-10 Kim Furnish but he has an excellent nucleus to continue the Fillies’ winning ways.

Henderson County – The Lady Colonels finished 24-6 last season Coach Jeff Haile has several key players returning and could challenge Christian County for 2nd Region supremacy.  5-8 Jr. guard Kera Gibson has averaged in double figures since her freshman days and can shoot the trey. 5-11 So. Whitney Waddell tore an ACL last season and hopefully will be game ready this year.  5-9 So. Ashley Hawkins is a promising young player.  5-6 So. Krista Hatfield, 5-10 Katie Farris, and 5-9 Jr. Courtney Buchanan, are also expected to be key contibutors.

Hopkins County Central – The Lady Storm, coached by Nancy Oldham, should be one of the better teams in the very competitive 2nd Region this season.  They will be led by 6-2 Sr. center Angela Mullins, who averaged double figures in both scoring and rebounding the last two seasons.  Other players expected to be key contributors are 5-9 Sr. Ginny Long, 5-10 Sr. Kellene Pate, 5-5 Jr. Jamie Key, 5-8 Jr. Megan Menser, etc.   This is a very deep, talented team with a 10-12 player rotation.

Jackson County – The Lady Generals finished 34-4 last season, runner-up in the Sweet 16 tourney, and Coach Greg Parrett’s team should be among the elite in the state again this season.  6-7 Jr. center Sarah Elliott averaged 16 ppg, 11 rpg, and blocked 296 shots last season.  This heavily recruited post player gets the job done at both ends of the floor.  5-8 So. Kasi Mullins transferred from East Carter, averaged over 20 ppg last season, and is capable of lighting up the scoreboard.  Also expected to contribute are 5-3 Jr. Whitney Moore, 5-4 Sr. Jeanenna Hignite, 5-8 Sr. Jenna Lakes, 5-8 So. Brittany Bingham, 5-9 Jr. Kenni Lakes, 5-10 Jr. Candrea Bingham, 5-9 Jr. Stisha Rose, etc.  Jackson County lost key players from last season but the cupboard is far from bare for this 13th Region power.  The Generals have a lot of talent returning and with the addition of Mullins they should be a force to reckon with.  (Note: Since these capsules were prepared Kasi Mullins has transferred to Boyd Co.).

Leslie County – Coach Wendell Wilson’s Lady Eagles finished 21-11 last season but graduated six seniors, and star junior Heather Benton had ACL surgery this summer.   Benton, a 6-0 Jr. center, averaged 22 ppg and 14 rpg last season.  Benton has worked hard to rehabilitate the knee and hopefully will be recovered by the regular season.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-6 So. Jessica Miller, 5-2 Sr. Andrea Morgan, 5-7 Sr. Kayla Farmer, 5-8 So. Christina Lawson, 5-7 Jr. Miranda Wilson, etc.  Coach Wilson also has some nice young talent including 5-4 8th grader Cierra Stidham. 

Louisville Butler – The Bearettes are coached by Stephanie Greathouse and should challenge Holy Cross and Pleasure Ridge Park for 6th Region honors.  6-1 Jr. Ashley Lewallen averaged 14 ppg and 7 rpg last season and stepped up her game another notch this season.  Lewallen is an excellent interior passer and has the ability to score inside and out.  5-7 Jr. point guard Mandy Evans is a whirling dervish in the open court, slashing to the basket at will.  Evans is an excellent defender, and as she adds more consistency to her jumper the sky is the limit.  5-8 Jr. guard Megan McGrath is a nice outside shooter who also plays well on defense.  5-4 Jr. Jenna Hedges is also expected to be a key contributor.  5-2 Fr. Nicole Holman, according to observers, is an excellent ballhandler, passer, and defender capable of creating her own shot and is definitely a player to watch.

Madison Central – The Lady Indians are coached by Kent Miller and were the runner-up to Woodford County in the 11th Region tourney last year.  They graduated Jeannie Vorbeck and Tiffany Green but return All-Region performer 5-8 Jr. guard Olivia Terry.  Terry has been a double digit scorer since the 8th grade and should only get better each year.  5-4 Sr. Heather Rose and 5-5 Sr. Lori Parsons also started for Madison Central last season. 

Muhlenberg North – The Lady Stars finished 27-6 last season and advanced to the semifinals of the Sweet 16 before losing to state champion Sacred Heart 65-64 in two overtimes.  Coach Mike Harper loses four senior starters but retains 6-2 Jr. center Jade Perry, who averaged 17 ppg and 9 rpg last season.  Perry is being heavily recruited by the major colleges and will have to improve her numbers this season to compensate for graduation losses.  Muhlenberg North expects contributions from 5-7 Sr. Ashley Wilcox, 5-7 Sr. Kendall Gunn, 5-10 Jr. Jillian Fortney, 5-7 Jr. Megan Whitaker, 5-7 So. Veronica Peercy, 5-10 Fr. Candace Garrett, etc.  The presence of Perry makes the Lady Stars a slight favorite in the 3rd Region.  Coach Harper has some good players at his disposal and this team should gel during the season.

Newport Central Catholic – The Thoroughbreds, coached by Christie McDonald, finished 26-6 last season and return four starters.  The Thoroughbreds’ tallest player is only 5-11 but have the depth and experience necessary to offset this weakness.  5-11 Jr. Nicole Chiodi is a smooth operator at point guard who averaged 17 ppg and 8.6 rpg last season.  Chiodi has a fine overall game and can either penetrate for the score or nail the jumper.  5-8 So. guard Jayme Thiem averaged 14 ppg and is a definite “go-to” type of performer.  5-9 Sr. Heather Maudlin should provide an inside threat.  5-7 Jr. guard Jenny Prigge, 5-10 Jr. forward Jenna Ziegler, and 5-8 Jr. forward Tricia Bertke should be key contributors this season.  The Thoroughbreds should challenge for the top spot in the 9th Region this season.

Russell – The Red Devils are coached by Anna Chaffin and should have one of the 16th Region’s top backcourts in Christina Williams and Kala Faulkner.

Sacred Heart – The Valkyries, coached by Donna Moir, finished 37-1 last season, won the Sweet 16 championship, and should be ranked No. 1 in the state entering the season.  This deep, talented squad will be led by 6-2 Jr. Crystal Kelly, who averaged 16.5 ppg and 10.8 rpg last season.  Kelly also recorded 103 steals, 101 blocked shots, and 81 assists, usually only playing three quarters of the game.  Kelly had an excellent summer and is being heavily recruited by the major colleges.  5-11 Sr. Becca Kopple averaged 10 ppg, was third team all-stater, and expects to be back full strength after missing the summer schedule with a knee injury.  Becca’s sister, 5-10 So. Taylor Kopple, had an excellent summer and is a star in the making.  5-8 Sr. Krisha Byron may play in the shadows of her highly touted teammates but this young lady has range on her jumper and can pass the ball.  5-7 So. Carly Ormerod was named tourney MVP at the Sweet 16 last year and can shoot, pass, and is an excellent floor general.  Kristina Kleinert is a 5-9 Sr. swingman who can get the job done both on offense and defense inside or outside.  5-6 Jr. Connie Ferch has a consistent jump shot and plays solid defense.  5-7 Sr. Kristin Windchy is a solid scorer and rebounder.  The Valkyries have several sophs including 5-10 Kelsey McCarty, 5-9 Meredith Wade, 5-6 Katie Kiper, 5-8 Jackie Distler, etc. who should provide depth this season.  Coach Moir will certainly not let her team fall victim to complacency but there are several teams in the Bluegrass who could challenge Sacred Heart for state basketball supremacy this season.

Wayne County – Coach Tim Pyle’s Lady Cardinals finished 24-8 last season and made an appearance in the Sweet 16 tourney.  The Cardinals lost four seniors but have talent returning.  They play an aggressive match-up zone defense and can slow down most opposing offenses.  5-7 Sr. Trisha Gothrup should provide outside scoring.  5-11 So. Ashley Bell has 887 career points and has the ability to play several positions.  Bell should be a rising star in the 12th Region.  6-0 Sr. Claudia Parris Baker is an excellent inside player who works hard for her points. Baker could be the leading scorer in Wayne County’s history by the end of the season.  Several other players should contribute, including 5-8 Jr. Kenita Ball, 5-5 Fr. Lindsey Dishman, 5-9 Fr. Latoyia Green, etc. Wayne County is the defending region champion but this year should be a real battle with Mercer County, South Laurel, and Somerset anticipating good seasons. 

National Division

Barren County – The Trojanettes are coached by John Butler and should be one of the better teams in the 4th Region this season.  The Trojanettes have one of the most exciting players in the state in 5-7 Jr. point guard Patrika Barlow.  Barlow averaged 16 ppg last season, is jet quick, and has all the skills.  They should also get help from seniors Ashley Perkins, Ashley Browning, and Jessica Spillman.  

Butler County – The Lady Bears are coached by Christy Higdon and should be one of the top teams in the 3rd Region this season.  They should be led by seniors Susan Embry and Juleah Green who should be among the top players in the region.  5-7 Sr. Susan Embry is an excellent three point shooter who can also create her own shot.  5-9 Sr. Juleah Green averaged 17 ppg last season, has good range on her jumper, and possesses good court awareness. 

Cawood – The Trojanettes are coached by Jame Burkhart and finished 22-8 last season.  Cawood should be one of the top contenders to challenge Jackson County for the 13th Region crown this season.  The Trojanettes will be led by 5-9 Sr. forward Savanna Wynn, who averaged 20 ppg last season and can score both inside and out.  6-0 Jr. center Amanda Miracle averaged 11.5 ppg last season.  Cawood should also get contributions from Sr. Brittany Lloyd, Sr. Lori Osborne, Jr. Natasha Boggs, Jr. Jeri Lynn Howard, Jr. Amanda Mills, So. Whitney Rhymer, Fr. Sierra Wynn, etc. 

Christian County – The Lady Colonels finished 29-1 last season and Coach Don Dillard returns all five starters from last year.  Christian County plays excellent defense, runs the floor well and have upgraded their schedule which should make them tourney tough for the postseason wars.  They will be led by 6-0 Fr. Arnika Brown, who averaged 14 ppg last season and has all the skills and athletic ability to become a very special player.  5-10 Jr. Corky Stiger averaged 18 ppg last season and absolutely thrives in an up-tempo game, 5-6 Jr. guard Shaleea Petty averaged 12.6 ppg last season.  Coach Dillard will get Sr. leadership from 5-9 D’Errica Jones who averaged 11 ppg last season.  They should also get key contributions from 5-8 So. Anita Sanchez, 5-11 Jr. Jana Betts, etc.  The Lady Colonels enter this season with the confidence of knowing they can play with any team in the state and have set their sights on a state title.

Hart County – Coach Tommy Adams’ Lady Raiders graduated senior stars 6-2 Krystal Gardener and 5-4 Laura Shelton, and while they will be 5th Region contenders and not favorites this year they will still have a nice team.  5-11 Sr. Christina Priddy, 5-8 Jr. Kellie Childress, 5-6 Sr. Jessica Smith, and 5-8 So. LaShonda Haskins form a solid nucleus.  The 7th/8th grade program finished 32-3 last season and Coach Adams expects four freshmen (5-10 Rachel Romance, 5-5 Jessica Baker, 5-8 Whitney DeVore, and 5-8 Mary Beth Jewell) to contribute.

Holmes – The Lady Bulldogs, coached by Casey Sparrow, lost six seniors to graduation including “Miss Basketball” Erica Hallman.  Leading returnee 5-8 Sr. Jonna Patterson suffered a knee injury this summer but hopefully will be recovered by the regular season.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-5 Sr. Deidre Moore, 5-9 Jr. Ashley Wimzie, 5-6 Sr. Ambria Jackson, 5-5 So. Deanna Jackson, etc.  Holmes has some talent returning and some nice newcomers and should be very competitive by the end of the season.

LaRue County – Coach Peter DiStefano’s Lady Hawks finished 16-13 last season and could challenge for the 5th Region title this season.  They will be led by 6-4 Jr. Tamara Shelton, who averaged 20 ppg last season.  She has excellent post moves and can score with either hand.  5-9 Sr. Britni Embry mans one forward position, will hit the open jumper, and rebounds well.  5-8 Sr. forward Ashley Gardner is an excellent shooter with range.  5-9 Jr. guard Kaelyn Brown can shoot, pass, and is an excellent defender.  5-5 Jr. point guard Lorann Howell can shoot the three ball and can find the open man.  5-5 Jr. April Cundiff is a very athletic player who penetrates well to the basket.  5-8 So. Brandy Meers can play either the 2 or 3 position and is an excellent defensive player.  The Lady Hawks will get key minutes from 5-7 So. Nicky Miller, 5-10 Fr. Danielle Brown, 5-4 Jr. Tela Embree, and 5-10 Jr. Andi Peeler.  The Lady Hawks return all five starters and expect to use their depth, experience, good shooting, and size to challenge for regional honors.  

Lexington Catholic – The Lady Knights, coached by Greg Todd, finished 29-3 last season and return a deep, talented squad who should challenge for the top spot this season.  Lexington Catholic will be led this season by 6-0 Sr. Chelsea Chowning who averaged 17 ppg, 8 rpg, and is one of the leading candidates for “Miss Basketball”.  5-11 Sr. guard Sarah Schell averaged in double figures the last two seasons and plays a very intelligent, solid all-around game.  6-1 So. Shannon Novosel added 11 ppg last season and is a very solid post performer.  Novosel possesses a nice shooting touch, rebounds well, and is a rising star.  Catholic received a setback when 5-6 Sr. Regina Carney suffered another knee injury possibly costing her the season.  Catholic will also get contributions from 5-7 So. Lesley Server, 5-10 Jr. Laura Bell, 5-7 Jr. Megan Mendenhall, 5-3 So. Dani Yanelli, 5-9 So. Aimee Bruckner, etc.  Greg Todd has two talented newcomers, 6-0 Fr. Anaris Sickles and 5-7 Fr. Nikki Davis, who will be future stars in this program.  Catholic had an excellent summer campaign, only losing to Sacred Heart in the state AAU championship

Louisville Mercy Academy – Coach Mark Evans’ Jaguars normally utilize a 10-12 player rotation and wear opposing teams down on both ends of the court.  6-0 Jr. center Katie Willinger scores well underneath, hits the boards, and provides an inside presence on defense.  5-5 Sr. point guard Lauren Parrish averaged 14 ppg last season and is an excellent ball handler and floor general.  The Jaguars will get contributions from several players including 5-8 Sr. Erica Hardy, 5-6 Sr. Lorie McDonald, 5-7 So. Courtney Hall, 5-7 Jr. Laura Rather, 5-9 Sr. Brittany Kittel, 5-11 Jr. Kate Ulanowski, 5-7 Sr. Sarah Darnell, etc. This is a very deep, talented squad and Coach Evans will dress 16 players for the varsity.

Mercer County – The Mercer County Lady Scotties finished 25-7 last season and Coach Chris Souder’s squad should be one of the favorites to claim the crown in a very competitive 12th Region.  The Lady Scotties can go 12 deep and should be led by 5-5 Jr. point guard Courtney Watts. Watts does a great job of dishing out assists and will get after you on defense.  Coach Souder can get help from several players, including 5-8 Sr. forward Ashley Webb, 5-4 Sr. guard Nina Pike, 5-8 Jr. forward Leslye Johnson, etc.  

Notre Dame Academy – The Pandas are coached by Cheryl Darpel and should challenge Newport Central Catholic for 9th Region supremacy this year.  The Pandas should be led by 5-9 Sr. guard Marquise Hanser, who averaged 14.8 ppg last season and has the ability to score in a variety of ways.  They also get excellent outside shooting from 5-9 Sr. Jennifer Witte and 5-3 Jr. Kirsten Leininger.  Coach Darpel should get key contributions from 5-9 Sr. Stephanie Hornsby and 5-11 Jr. Jessica Albanese.  Ms. Leininger recently suffered an ACL injury but hopefully will be able to return late in the season.

Owensboro Catholic – The Lady Aces are coached by Tom Campbell and are expected to challenge Muhlenberg North and Apollo for the 3rd Region crown this season.  Catholic will be led by 6-3 Jr. center Rachel Howard who averaged 14 ppg and 7 rpg last season.  5-5 Sr. guard Haley Riney averaged 8 ppg last season and 5-9 Sr. forward Kelly Warren averaged 7.6 ppg. Other players expected to contribute are 5-7 Sr. Tara Robertson, 5-7 So. Lindsey Durbin, 5-10 So. Kathryn Howard, 5-6 Jr. Natalie Kaelin, 5-8 Fr. Brittany Rumage, etc. Sr. Lauren Troutman suffered an ankle injury but should be available late in the season.

Rockcastle County – The Lady Rockets are coached by Chrysti Noble and finished 18-9 last season.  Rockcastle County has one of the 13th Region’s and state’s best young backcourts in sophs. Tara Rowe (10.7 ppg) and Johnna Abney (13.2 ppg).  5-11 Sr. Ashley Mink returns at center and 5-9 So. Heather Hammond is back at one forward position.  Other players expected to contribute are Jr. Lauren Clontz, So. Katie Parsons, Fr. Ashley Lunsford, Rachel Stocker (transfer from Madison Southern), etc. 

Somerset – The Briar Jumpers are coached by Judie Mason and this team has the talent to surprise some people in the 12th Region this year.  Mason suffered through a losing record last season but should rebound this year.  Somerset should be led by 5-9 Sr. Whitney Alderdice, 5-6 Sr. Amy Honeycutt, and 5-7 So. Madison Flowers.  Honeycutt can play either guard position and can score either on the drive or jump shot.  Alderdice is a versatile player who had a great summer and should be ready for an excellent senior campaign.  5-7 So. Madison Flowers had a good freshman campaign and looks like she could be a good one.  The Briar Jumpers should get key contributions from 6-0 Jr. Meg Stevenson, 5-9 Jr. Katie Irvine, and some promising young players including 5-9 7th grader Caroline Clay.

South Laurel – The Lady Cardinals are coached by Konnie Snyder and are yet another team competing for the 12th Region crown.  6-0 So. Taran Johnson averaged 10 ppg last season and is very athletic.  5-8 Jr. Jennifer Hamblin is a very hard worker and team leader.  5-9 So. Morgan Barley scored a team high 30 points in a district game last season and is an excellent rebounder and defensive stopper.  Other key players will include 6-0 Sr. Kendall Bauer and 5-7 So. Mallory Jones.

West Carter –Coach John “Hop” Brown’s Lady Comets have made an appearance in the Sweet 16 for five consecutive years and should contend for the 16th Region again this year.  They lose a lot of talent in graduated seniors 5-8 Kayla Jones and 6-1 Megan Hillman, but the cupboard is hardly bare.  5-6 Sr. guard Megen Gearhart averaged 17 ppg last season and is one of the leading candidates for “Miss Basketball”.  Gearhart can score either on slashing drives to the basket or on long range jump shots.  5-6 Jr. guard Stephanie Hall can shoot the ball, and forwards 5-11 9th grade Brandi Rayburn and 5-9 Sr. Brooke Mullis will be key contributors.  5-11 Sr. Jenise James is also expected to help this season.  West Carter may struggle early because of their graduation losses, but they have Gearhart, senior leadership, and enough returning talent to put up a strong defense for their 16th Region crown.

Please send your comments and questions to Ron Harrison at prephoops@yahoo.com.

Ron Harrison’s reports on this and other basketball events appear on http://www.angelfire.com/ky/prephoops.