Collectively, the 2004 Girls Southern Illinois Lions Club All-Stars are an impressive lot. Their numbers are eye-catching.
The 28 recent high school graduates who have accepted invitations to play in the 24th annual event June 4 at Rend Lake College include: no fewer than six players who achieved Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-State status; four who will play later in the month in the IBCA All-Star Classic; 16 Southern Illinois Coaches Association All-South honorees; eight members of the 1,000-Point Club, and 22 known to have already committed to continuing their athletic careers in the college ranks.
Six stand 6 feet or taller; five others are 5-10 or 5-11. Three averaged 20 points or more as seniors. another 19-plus. Three pulled down 10 or more rebounds per outing. And just for good measure, there is a Valedictorian and National Honor Society members among them.
Because of a change in format a year ago -- teams are no longer determined based on school size or direction in relation to Interstate 57 as in the past -- players from the same high schools may find themselves pitted against one another. Participating coaches, headed by Jeff Hayden (Anna-Jonesboro) and Kelly King (Pope County), will take turns determining their teams Tuesday midway through a mandatory practice in an attempt to prevent any imbalances of recent years.
Tip-off time is 6 p.m. in air-conditioned James (Hummer) Waugh Gymnasium on the Ina campus for this charity event to benefit Benton Lions Club work. Tickets are available in advance from any Benton Lions Club member or the Rend Lake College Athletic Department, as well as at the gate that evening. A boys game will follow around 8 p.m.
Individually, a lot of those impressive numbers may be attributed to the likes of . . .
** For those who trust the state’s coaches to pick the best of the best, expect IBCA First-Team All-Stater Julie Sweetin (Benton), Second-Team selection Bethany Borrenpohl (Okawville), Third-Team selection Jessica Minnick (Carmi-White County) and Fourth-Team reps Morgan Johnson (Benton), Secrets Roberts (Massac County) and Sammi Pitts (Anna-Jonesboro) to shine.
** Sweetin, Borrenpohl and Minnick, along with the game’s tallest performer, 6-2 Laura Rudolphi (Carlyle), will return for the IBCA All-Star format in Bloomington.
** Those who surpassed the 1,000-point career standard include some who shattered it – Johnson with a Rangerette record 1,826, Borrenpohl with 1,600-plus, Sweetin with 1,584, Jessica Bonifield (Carterville) with a record 1,527, Kelsie Clark (Zeigler-Royalton) with 1,279 – and Hilary Barkley (West Frankfort), Kelly Vore (Mt. Vernon) and Amy Williams (Norris City-Omaha-Enfield).
** All of those mentioned, with the exception of NCOE’s Williams, received SICA All-South laurels. Their ranks likewise included Kaci Girten (Benton), Caryn Hill (Vienna), Jami Laird (Sesser-Valier-Waltonville), Sherelle Wells (Mounds Meridian) and Janna Whisenhunt (Mt. Vernon). Teammates Johnson and Sweetin have been SICA All-South teammates all four seasons, also.
** The inside stalwarts include 6-foot Casey Schomaker (Trenton-Wesclin), 5-11 Nyra Taborn (Harrisburg), Rudolphi, 6-1 Minnick and Bonifield, Borrenpohl and Johnson, all 6-0.
** Two other Lady Indians who helped Carlyle to a 64-21 composite the last three seasons are on the squad -- Crystal Timmermann and Megan Roper -- as are Fairfield’s Laurna Cessna, Rachel Marks and Britany Robson; Jamie Prosise of Woodlawn; Brooke Rickert of Goreville, and Angie Sullivan of Thompsonville-Galatia. Erin Albers (Okawville) will be on the bench but is unable to play due to a shoulder injury.
** The top scorers of the bunch? Rudolphi at 22.5 points per game, Bonifield at 20.5, Minnick at 20.1 and Wells at 19.4. Need a rebound? Look for Bonifield (12.7), Pitts (11.2), Johnson (10.1) and Minnick (9.1).
** Schomaker was a Scholar-Athlete all four years and is headed to prestigious St. Louis University. Sweetin is Benton’s Valedictorian, and National Honor Society members include Wells and Whisenhunt.
** After this, Johnson will return June 5 for an All-Star Volleyball showcase at RLC and will then take her spiking skills to NCAA Division I Southern Mississippi. Rudolphi will take her cage talents to Indiana State, Sweetin is accepting Southeast Missouri State’s offer and Minnick, the Evansville Courier’s Southeast Illinois “Player of the Year,” will move a few miles to compete for Southern Indiana.
Guards Prosise and Laird will be making their debuts on the Lady Warrior court where they will be playing the next two seasons. Those who can count on a return as Juco rivals include the John A. Logan trio of Girten, Roberts and Whisenhunt (Clark will become a Lady Vol softball player); Kaskaskia’s trio of Borrenpohl, Roper and Timmermann (Taborn will become a Blue Angel volleyballer); Shawnee’s Wells and Cessna with Lewis and Clark.
Girls Southern Illinois Lions Club All-Stars
Player Pos. Ht. School Pts. Reb.
ERIN ALBERS F 5-10 Okawville 5.0 3.1
HILARY BARKLEY • F 5-9 West Frankfort 16.5 6.0
JESSICA BONIFIELD • C 6-0 Carterville 20.5 12.7
BETHANY BORRENPOHL * • C 6-0 Okawville 15.0 6.1
LAURNA CESSNA G 5-7 Fairfield 8.2 3.0
KELSIE CLARK • G 5-7 Zeigler-Royalton 15.0 6.0
KACI GIRTEN • G 5-6 Benton 10.5 2.0
CARYN HILL • G 5-8 Vienna 14.8 5.1
MORGAN JOHNSON • • • • C 6-0 Benton 14.1 10.1
JAMI LAIRD • G 5-8 Sesser-Valier-W. 16.7 5.6
RACHAEL MARKS F 5-9 Fairfield 9.2 5.1
JESSICA MINNICK * • • C 6-1 Carmi-White Co. 20.1 9.1
SAMMI PITTS • • • F 5-10 Anna-Jonesboro 13.7 11.2
JAMIE PROSISE G 5-6 Woodlawn 7.2 5.1
BROOKE RICKERT F 5-7 Goreville 6.2 3.8
SECRETS ROBERTS • F 5-9 Massac County 16.6 7.8
BRITANY ROBSON G 5-7 Fairfield 6.1 4.2
MEGAN ROPER G 5-9 Carlyle 6.7 --
LAURA RUDOLPHI * • C 6-2 Carlyle 22.5 6.8
CASEY SCHOMAKER C 6-0 Trenton-Wesclin 12.9 8.4
ANGIE SULLIVAN F 5-8 Thompsonville-G. 9.4 8.5
JULIE SWEETIN * • • • • G 5-11 Benton 15.2 6.8
NYRA TABORN F 5-11 Harrisburg 6.5 7.0
CRYSTAL TIMMERMANN G 5-6 Carlyle 3.0 --
KELLY VORE • • G 5-9 Mt. Vernon 11.0 7.6
SHERELLE WELLS • • G 5-7 Mounds Merdian 19.4 7.2
JANNA WHISENHUNT • G 5-6 Mt. Vernon 9.0 4.1
AMY WILLIAMS F 5-11 NCOE 12.1 8.0
INVITED BUT NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY
JENNIFER CUNNINGHAM G 5-6 Pope County
KASSIE DREW * • • G 5-11 Anna-Jonesboro 30.7 8.3
EMILY GOLDMAN • G 5-7 Eldorado 13.5 4.0
EMILY PETREA • F 5-10 Salem 16.5 7.4
KANDACE ROBERTS • • • G 5-8 S-V Waltonville 12.5 3.4
ASHLEY ROBISON G 5-5 Sparta -- --
TRACIE SCHMALE • F 5-11 Okawville -- --
JACKIE SCHMIDT • F 5-11 Marissa-Coulter. 17.7 7.8
TAYLER SCHUTT G Harrisburg -- -- KRYSTAL STEIN * • G 5-6 Nashville 12.0 --
EMILY STOCK G 5-5 Carterville -- -- JESSIE JO WARNER • C 6-0 Murphysboro 13.4 9.6
• Southern Illinois Coaches Association All-South * Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Classic
Coaches -- Jeff Hayden (Anna-Jonesboro) and Kelly King (Pope County)
Assistant Coach –-- Rachel Schwartzkopf (Sesser-Valier)