2006 Fifth Third Bank Classic Participating Teams

2006 Ron Harrison

Anderson County – Coach Tony Kay’s Lady Bearcats finished 19-11 last season and should contend for the 8th Region championship this season.  Anderson County has depth this season, shoots the ball well, but will have to be aggressive on the boards due to the lack of outstanding height.  5-10 Sr. Erin McKee is a very athletic performer and 5-7 Sr. Beth Chilton can nail the jump shot.  Other key contributors are expected to include 5-8 Jr. Caitlyn Royalty, 5-9 So. Lindsay Fultz, 5-10 Jr. Courtney Milam, 5-10 Sr. Becca James, and 5-9 So. Tiffany Davenport.

Apollo – Coach Jason Power’s E-Gals finished 26-6 last season and should again be a contender for the 3rd Region title.  5-7 Sr. Whitney Odom averaged over 15 ppg last season.  Other key returnees include 6-1 Jr. Ranisha Cason, 6-0 Jr. Jena Johnson, 5-8 Jr. Ellen Gray, and 5-3 Sr. Katie Carpenter.

Assumption – Coaches Bob and Martha Todd’s Rockets finished 26-5 last season and will contend for the 7th Region championship this season.  6-0 Sr. Thia Gholson averaged 14 ppg and 12 rpg last season and is apparently ready to go after recovering from an ACL injury.  The Rockets have a good guard combination in 5-8 Sr. Eileen Kennedy and 5-6 Sr. Amanda Stovall.  Assumption has excellent size with 6-0 Jr. Carrie Minogue, 6-1 Jr. Lauren Huter, 5-11 Sr. Kelsey Smith, and newcomers 6-2 Fr. Lexi Krall and 6-1 Fr. Molly Ernst.  5-5 Sr. Katie Meyer will also log minutes in the backcourt.

Barren County – Coach John Butler’s Trojanettes finished 24-7 last season and this veteran squad should be one of the top teams in the 4th Region again.  5-6 Sr. guard T. J. Thomas averaged almost 12 ppg last season and 6-0 Sr. Bethany Spillman averaged double figures in both scoring and rebounding.  5-9 Jr. Courtney Thomas and 5-10 Sr. Jessica Shelton are also key returning players.

Bellevue – Coach Bev Smith’s Lady Tigers finished 14-8 last season and play in the 9th Region.  The Lady Tigers return two starters in 6-5 Sr. center Mindy Merritt and 5-10 Sr. forward Mallory ReynoldsMerritt led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18.3 ppg and 13.0 rpg.  Newcomer Juniors Alyse Slater and 5-9 Cindy Votel and 5-6 Fr. guard Catherine Kessen will round out the starting lineup.

Butler – Coach Terri Keown’s Bearettes finished 24-8 last season and should challenge for the 6th Region crown this season.  The Bearettes will be led by one of the best players in the state in 5-8 Jr. Tia Gibbs who averaged 19.5 ppg and 6.7 rpg last season.  5-10 So. Tiara Hopper is considered one of the better players in the region and averaged 9.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg last season.  5-6 Jr. Kara Pile averaged 6.7 ppg last season and shot 41% from three point range.  5-11 Jr. Kayla Douglas averaged 4.5 ppg and 3.0 rpg last season.  The Bearettes have several other players capable of logging quality playing time this season.

Christian Academy of Louisville – Coach Don Rice’s Lady Centurions finished 20-10 last season and are always considered a dangerous foe in the always tough 7th Region.  Coach Rice has some proven players returning in 5-7 Jr. Brooke Willoughby (who averaged 11 ppg last season and is expected to start at point guard), 5-11 So. Clair Buchanan (13.3 ppg), 5-10 Sr. Abby Tappendorf (7 ppg), 5-8 Tannis Bachman, and 5-8 Jr. Courtney Smith (9 ppg).  6-1 Fr. Antonita Slaughter is expected to make an impact as she averaged 6 ppg and 5 rpg at Shelby County last season.

Clark County – Coach Scott True’s Lady Cardinals finished 18-9 last season playing in the 10th Region.  Coach True’s team is quick and athletic but is lacking in size.  5-7 Sr. Austina McCaffery returns from a knee injury.  Other key contributors include 5-7 Jr. Adrienne Cates (10 ppg), 5-8 Fr. Jewel Rogers (8 ppg), 5-9 Jr. Whitney Montgomery, and 5-0 Sr. Ashley Knowles.  The Lady Cardinals also expect help in the backcourt from Jr. Claire Parker, So. Brooke Pegg, and Jr. Ginger Wallace.

Clay County – The Clay County Lady Tigers finished 31-2 last season and James Burchell takes over as head coach this season.  Clay County is the early favorite to capture the 13th Region crown this season.  The Lady Tigers have four starters returning in 5-6 Sr. Page Jackson, 5-10 Sr. Maleah Roberts, 5-6 Jr. Stephanie Jackson, and 5-8 Jr. Gemma Gray.  5-4 Jr. Sarah Burchell is expected to be a key contributor and the Lady Tigers have a group of talented young players led by 6-1 8th grader Whitney Belle Jackson.

Elizabethtown – Coach Tim Mudd’s Lady Panthers finished 27-7 last season and should be a top contender for the 5th Region crown again this season.  6-0 So. Alex Jones will be a high-impact player this season.  Other key returnees include 5-7 Jr. Jenna Goblirsch, 6-0 Sr. Angel Lucas, and 5-11 Jr. Alisa Dickerson.  5-8 So. Dorian Downs can shoot the ball from the perimeter.  The Lady Panthers are still relatively young as they have only one senior on their roster.

Fairdale – Coach Larry Bruner’s Lady Bulldogs finished 20-10 last season and should be one of the top teams in the 6th Region this season.  Fairdale will be led by one of the top players in the state in 5-9 Jr. Ceira Ricketts.  5-10 Sr. Whitley Briggs is another top performer for the Lady Bulldogs and possesses the ability to nail the three point shot.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-8 Jr. Nicole Mills, 5-6 Fr. Weynisha Mack, 5-6 Jr. Brittney Wieber, 5-4 Jr. Brooke Thompson, and 5-7 So. Kayla Thompson.

Graves County– Coach Jeff Stokes’ Lady Eagles finished 23-6 last season and is considered one of the top teams in the 1st Region.  The Lady Eagles suffered a blow when it was announced that star guard 5-5 Jr. Brittany Young would not play this season.  However, Graves County is solid defensively and returns several solid players.  6-0 Sr. Jessica Doran is a solid front court player who can score both inside and out.  5-5 Jr. Keshia Starks and 5-7 Sr. Alysha Legate are multi-talented guards.  Other players expected to be key contributors include 5-8 Jr. Molly Clapp, 5-5 Sr. Amanda Clapp, and 5-7 Sr. Andrea Beach.  5-10 Mallory Harrison is back for her senior campaign after suffering two ACL injuries.

Harpeth – The Lady Indians, who finished 32-3 last season, are located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee.  Drew Johnson takes over as head coach this season and inherits some good talent.  Harpeth should be led by 5-7 Sr. Mandy Mendenhall, 5-7 Sr. Salem Richardson, and 5-6 Jr. Holly Flippo.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-6 Sr. Stephanie Lawrence, 5-11 Fr. Karley Miller, and 6-0 So. Emily Erland.

Henry Clay – Coach Scott Cromwell’s Lady Blue Devils finished 23-8 last season and should be one of the best teams in the very competitive 11th Region this season.  Coach Cromwell has high expectations with this group of players with eight of their top nine players returning this season.  6-2 Jr. center Gwen Rucker is a force at both ends of the court and has the ability to run the floor.  Several other players expected to contribute include 5-11 So. forward Brittany Coles, 5-8 Sr. forward Tabnie Dozier, 5-10 Sr. forward Cherrell Hausley, 6-2 So. Annalee Abell, 5-5 Jr. guard Raven Price, 5-6 Jr. guard Demetria Nichols, 5-7 Jr. guard Hannah Blankenship, 5-6 Jr. guard Alex Hamilton, 5-7 So. Summer Decker, and 5-5 Jr. Emma Ault.  The Lady Blue Devils have a strong inside game and could be a force with consistent perimeter shooting.

Highlands– Coach Jaime Richey’s Bluebirds finished 12-16 last season playing in the balanced 9th Region.  6-0 Sr. center Shayna Crowley averaged 11 ppg and 9 rpg last season.  Other key players should include 5-8 Fr. Katie Allen, 5-7 So. Natalie Horner, 5-8 So. Sam Messmer, and 5-10 Fr. Bekah Towles.

Lexington Catholic – The Lady Knights finished 35-1 last season and captured their second consecutive state title.  Coach Jeff Hans takes over as head coach this season.  The Lady Knights graduated two key performers in Nikki Davis and Anaris Sickles, and 6-1 So. center Malik Stevenson reportedly has transferred to Bryan Station.  The cupboard is not bare as they return some very talented players.  5-11 Jr. Natalie Novosel averaged 12.4 ppg and 6 rpg last season.  Novosel gets to the basket and can also score with her jump shot.  5-7 Sr. Keyla Snowden averaged 14.4 ppg last season and shot 42% from the three point arc.  5-8 Jr. Briana Green averaged 12.3 ppg and has the uncanny ability to hit the runner in the lane.  6-0 Sr. Kellie Cash has the ability to step outside and hit the jump shot and 5-9 So. Maggie Wilson can shoot the three-pointer.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-9 So. Shaneque McGhee, 6-0 Jr. Blake Ratliff, and 5-7 So. Danielle Corbett.  The key will be the development of the younger players to fill in with a core of players who have played together for three years.

Lexington Christian Academy – The Lady Eagles finished 20-7 last season and Coach Jason Seamands moved over from the boy’s head coach to take over as the girl’s head coach this season.  The Lady Eagles have good talent returning and will probably play a more up-tempo style this season.  5-7 Sr. point guard Emily London shoots the ball well, defends, and has excellent court vision.  5-9 So. Anna Martin has excellent shooting range.  5-9 So. Courtney Clifton has good all-around skills, and 6-1 So. Clara Mitchell who is a force in the paint.  6-0 Fr. Sarah Beth Barnette has excellent size and can shoot the outside shot.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-10 Sr. Markia Wilson, 5-6 Jr. Hillary Thornton, and 5-9 So. Kelsey Ach.  The Lady Eagles have young talent and a veteran point guard and if they develop depth they could be dangerous down the stretch.

Lincoln County – Coach Don Story’s Lady Patriots finished 19-8 last season, graduated several seniors, but should still be competitive in the 12th Region this season.  Some players expected to be key contributors include 5-6 Sr. Shakelia Miller, 5-5 Sr. Andi Martin, 5-8 Sr. Sabrina Spears, and 5-10 So. Keira Henderson.

Manual – Coach Stacy Pendleton’s Lady Crimsons finished 24-5 last season and are expected to challenge for the 7th Region title this season.  Coach Pendleton has four starters returning and should be led by 5-11 Jr. Brittany Wilson who averaged 16 ppg and 11 rpg last season.  Other top players include 5-7 Sr. Ladajar Baker, 5-7 Jr. Danielle Woodmore, and 5-5 Sr. Lakesha Perry.  Other players expected to log quality minutes include 5-4 Jr. Alesha Johnson and 5-8 Jr. TeAira Epps.  The Lady Crimsons have two freshmen with good size in 6-2 Fr. Brittney Turner and 6-0 Fr. Zakiyah Shahid-Martin.

Mason County – Coach Paula Buser’s Lady Royals finished 24-8 last season and return a talented cast of players primed to challenge for the 10th Region crown.  5-7 Jr. guard Lacey Cline (15.6 ppg), 5-9 Jr. De’Sarae Chambers (14.3 ppg), and 5-8 Jr. Kasey Litzinger (11.7 ppg) are all capable of putting up big numbers.  Other players expected to play key roles include 5-7 Sr. Torrey Chambers, 5-8 Fr. Kelle Menke, 5-5 Sr. Megan Reese, and 5-4 Sr. Kasey Hale.

Mercy Academy – Coach Mark Evans’ Jaguars finished 26-6 last season and will attempt to defend their 7th Region title despite having only one senior on the roster.  The Jaguars lost five key seniors and two of their top juniors, 5-10 guard Paige Kaelin and 5-11 forward Kelly Cox, are coming off ACL injuries.  Despite all this and another brutal schedule, this team will develop into a regional contender.  Coach Evans will get contributions from a host of players including 5-7 Sr. Shawna Culver, 5-8 Jr. Katie Wiedmar, 5-7 Jr. Lara Protenic, 6-1 Jr. Hope Thomas, 5-8 Jr. Amy Wimsatt, 5-7 Jr. Liz Allen, Kaelin, and Cox.  The Jaguars also have a good group of underclassmen including 5-8 So. Catherine Montano, 5-10 So. Jordan Hall, 5-8 Fr. Therese Montano, 5-7 Fr. Malisa Cruz, and 5-9 Fr. Madison Hardy.  This team, albeit young, has talent and if they can rebound could mature into a very good team by tourney time.

Montgomery County – Coach John High’s Indians finished 28-7 last season and captured the 10th Region title for the second year in a row.  Coach High returns a talented veteran group that hopes to make it three in a row.  5-9 Sr. Courtney Danis (15.5 ppg) and 5-8 Jr. Maggie Prewitt (12.7 ppg) are the leading scorers from last year.  Other key returnees include 5-6 Sr. Jenna High, 5-6 So. Mackenzie Lee, and 5-7 Sr. Natasha Thomas.  6-0 So. Brooke Colliver and 6-1 Fr. Mary Jehlik should provide some much needed height up front.

Muhlenberg North – Coach Mike Harper’s Lady Stars finished 25-7 last season and should once contend for the 4th Region title this season.  6-1 Jr. Rachel Underwood is a force in the paint as she averaged 10.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg last season.  Other key players include 5-7 Sr. Heather Mitchell, 5-8 Jr. Abby Steele, and 5-5 Jr. Whitney Gaston.

Newport Central Catholic – Coach Christie McDonald’s Thoroughbreds finished 13-15 last season without any seniors.  This year the Thoroughbreds should rebound and be among the top teams in the 9th Region.  5-8 Sr. Shannon Klei is capable of putting up big numbers and 6-0 Jr. Whitney Cundiff is very solid in the paint.  5-6 Fr. Courtney Sandfoss is expected to make an immediate impact in the backcourt.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-3 Sr. Lacy Mile and 5-8 Sr. Mallery Dunn.  Coach McDonald also has other players who should log quality playing time this season.

Pike County Central – Coach Stephen Butcher’s Lady Hawks finished 17-14 last season, return all their players, and are expected to be one of the best teams in the 15th Region again.  The Lady Hawks have a high-scoring duo in 5-8 Sr. Hayley Ratliff (22 ppg) and 6-0 Jr. Kayle Lowe (17 ppg) .  Other players expected to be key performers this season include So. guard Abby Coleman, Fr. guard Hannah Thompson, and Fr. guard Holly Harris.  There is only one senior on the roster and more than half the roster is made up of freshmen and sophs.

Rose Hill – Coach Pam Euton’s Lady Royals finished 27-8 last season and was runner-up to Lexington Catholic for the state championship last season.  Rose Hill enters the season attempting to defend their 16th Region crown and getting back to the state tourney in Bowling Green.  The Lady Royals return two of the best players in the state in Emily Queen and Laura TerryEmily Queen is a 6-1 Sr. who averaged 17 ppg and 10 rpg last season.  6-1 Sr. Laura Terry averaged 22 ppg last season.  Rose Hill also needs a big season from sparkplug guard 5-6 Sr. Britt Faulkner.  Coach Euton will need to get help from other players including 5-8 So. Leah Terry, 5-5 Jr. Alison Hamilton, and 5-9 Sr. Lindsay Adkins.

Sacred Heart Academy – Coach Donna Moir Sacred Heart Valkyries finished 19-12 last season and are considered one of the favorites to capture the 7th Region championship.  6-2 Sr. center Elizabeth Campbell averaged 16 ppg and 11 rpg last season and has extended her range to the three-point line.  6-1 Sr. wing player Caroline Klein creates matchup problems for opponents on both ends of the floor.  5-11 Sr. forward Katie Kopple runs the floor well and is capable of putting up big numbers.  5-9 Sr. forward Sarah Miles has an excellent mid-range shot and is a good rebounder.  5-8 Sr. guard Sarah Askin is a pure shooter and the staff expects major contributions from 5-5 Jr. point guard Whitney Ising and 5-6 Jr. Kathryn Denbow.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-9 Jr. Megan Moir, 5-10 Jr. Liz Wasz, and 5-8 Jr. Danielle Lavender.  Coach Moir has some promising young players in 5-10 So. Brandi Haney, 5-6 Fr. Katie Petrino, 5-6 Fr. Lindsay Gahm, and 5-6 Fr. Autumn Miller.  While this is a talented veteran squad, some of the young players could challenge for quality minutes during the season.

Southwestern – Coach Tim Rice’s Lady Warriors finished 18-11 last season and is expected to be one of the top teams in the 12th Region this season.  Southwestern should be led this season by 5-9 So. Devin Fothergill and 5-10 Sr. Jasi Flynn, who averaged double figures in scoring last season.  5-10 So. Heather Overton, 6-0 So. Stephanie Salyers, 5-8 So. Ashley Fowler, and 5-10 Sr. Chasidy Zimmerman.  This team has a good blend of veteran performers and underclassmen.  The Lady Warriors also should have good perimeter shooting.

Warren East – Coach Angie Anderson’s Lady Raiders finished 17-13 last season and is expected to be one of the top teams in the 3rd Region this season.  6-2 So. Ashley Rainey exploded on the scene last season, averaging 24 ppg and 14 rpg as a freshman.  The Lady Raiders have a good supporting cast including 5-5 Sr. Andrea Moore.

Wayne County – Coach Tim Pyle’s Lady Cardinals have a lot of experience returning from a 21-9 campaign even though there is only one senior on the roster.  Wayne County should be a contender for the 12th Region title this season.  5-9 Sr. Heather Stearns and 6-0 So. Meg Latham led the team in scoring last season.  5-9 Jr. Rachel Bristow transferred in from Monticello and is expected to help in the front court.  5-9 Jr. Courtney Duncan and 5-8 So. Kayla Jones are also expected to be key performers, and Coach Pyles expects to start 5-4 8th grader Kayla Bowlin at point guard.

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.kyprephoops.com.