THE FIRST SILVER ERA
Celebrating 25 years of IHSAA Girls Basketball
Abby Conklin, Charlestown '93
Cheryl Cook, Indianapolis Washington '81
Courtney Cox, Noblesville '89
Tiffany Gooden, Fort Wayne Snider '94
Vicki Hall, Brebeuf '88
Jennifer Jacoby, Rossville '91
Kennitra Johnson, New Albany '99
LaTaunya Pollard, East Chicago Roosevelt '79
Maria Stack, Columbus East '80
Judi Warren, Warsaw '76
Jodie Whitaker, Austin '85
Stephanie White, Seeger '95
As the IHSAA notes and celebrates the 25th year of girls basketball as an IHSAA tournament sport, The First Silver Era team was selected by a 19-person panel that included coaches, broadcasters, sportswriters, game officials and athletic administrators.
Fifty-two different players, whose careers stretch from the inaugural season of IHSAA girls basketball to the present campaign, received at least one vote.
The 12 include Judi Warren, who led undefeated Warsaw to the first state title in 1976 and later coached Carmel to an appearance in the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals.
She is joined by LaTaunya Pollard of East Chicago Roosevelt, who was instrumental in pacing East Chicago Roosevelt to the second state title in 1977 and again in 1979.
Stephanie White McCartyof Seeger, Indiana's all-time leading scorer in girls basketball, is one of five players selected from the 1990s. White led Seeger to a four-year record of 92-7 and four consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances on her way to scoring 2,869 career points.
The 1980s are represented by five players, one of whom still holds the state championship game record for points and rebounds. Maria Stack of Columbus East tallied 42 points and 22 rebounds in a 67-63 overtime loss to Southport in the 1980 state championship game.
All 12 players have been invited to participate in special events at the 25th IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals March 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Hinkle Fieldhouse was the site of the first IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals in 1976. Warsaw defeated Bloomfield 57-52 to reign as the first state champion. Hinkle Fieldhouse also was the site of the state finals in 1977, 1978 and 1979 before the tournament moved to Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. The state finals were played there from 1980 through 1999.
Tickets to the 2000 IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals are available for purchase through the IHSAA office. Two-session tickets, good for all four state championship games, are $15. For more information, contact the IHSAA office (317-846-6601) or refer to the Girls Basketball page on the IHSAA website at www.ihsaa.org.
A look at the 12 players selected:
Abby Conklin, Charlestown, 1993
Talented center ranks No. 2 on the state's career scoring list with 2,616 points and No. 1 on the season scoring chart with 956 points as a senior while leading the Pirates to a 22-4 season and the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals . . . . Selected as the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award recipient . . . Voted Miss Basketball . . . Played collegiately at Tennessee and helped Volunteers to the NCAA title in 1996 and 1997 . . . Now an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.
Cheryl Cook, Indianapolis Washington, 1981
Prolific scorer led the state in scoring as a senior with a 29.7 average . . . Voted Miss Basketball . . . Played at the University of Cincinnati where she was a two-time all-America selection, is still the school's career scoring leader and a member of its athletic hall of fame . . . Played professionally overseas.
Courtney Cox, Noblesville, 1989
Led the Millers to three straight IHSAA State Finals appearances, highlighted by a state title in 1987 and a state runner-up finish in 1988 . . . Contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds in the 1987 state finals victory and tallied 29 points in the 1988 finale . . . Ranks 27th on the state's career scoring chart with 1,869 points . . . Played college basketball and golf at Indiana University . . . Now in private business in Fishers.
Tiffany Gooden, Fort Wayne Snider, 1994
Prolific scorer ranks seventh on the state's career scoring list with 2,198 points . . . Finished eighth in state scoring as a sophomore at 26.2 points per game, fourth as a junior (29.9) and fourth as a senior (28.7) . . . Voted Miss Basketball . . . Played collegiately at the University of Iowa where she was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1995 and ranks 15th on the school's career scoring list . . . Played professionally for the Colorado Explosion of the ABL . . . Now a law student at Iowa.
Vicki Hall, Brebeuf, 1988
Dangerous all-around player who was effective inside and outside. . . Scored 603 points during her senior season, which ranked 10th at the time on the state season chart . . . Voted Miss Basketball . . . Played collegiately at Texas and was a member of the U.S. Pan American team in 1991 . . . Now playing professionally in Europe.
Jennifer Jacoby, Rossville, 1991
A take-charge playmaker, she ranks fourth on the state's career scoring list with 2,344 points. . . Her 709 points in 1990-91 rank 12th on the all-time season chart . . . Voted Miss Basketball . . . Played collegiately at Purdue University and professionally in the American Basketball League . . . Now an assistant coach at Indiana University.
Kennitra Johnson, New Albany, 1999
The go-to guard averaged 20.9 points while leading the Bulldogs to a 28-0 season in 1998-99 . . . Scored a game-high 18 points in the 1999 Class 4A state championship as New Albany defeated Fort Wayne Snider 46-41 . . . Her most memorable performance came in the 1999 Southport Semi-State championship showdown with Connersville where she tallied a career-best 47 points in a 66-61 double overtime thriller over Connersville . . . Finished with 1,837 points, ranking 31st on the state's career list . . . Now a freshman at the University of Connecticut.
LaTaunya Pollard, East Chicago Roosevelt, 1979
A dominating player long considered to be ahead of her time after leading the Rough Riders to four straight Sweet Sixteen appearances and three trips to the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals . . . Roosevelt's four-year record with Pollard as the star was 92-2, with both losses coming in the tournament to state championship Warsaw teams . . . Scored 36 points as a sophomore in a 66-35 victory over Mt. Vernon of Fortville in the 1977 state championship game . . . After losing to Warsaw by one in the 1978 semi-state opener, she led Roosevelt to another state title in 1979 with Final Four victory margins of 30 and 25 . . . Played collegiately at Long Beach State, earning all-America honors and the Wade Trophy as the nation's outstanding player in 1983 . . . Chosen to play for the U.S. Olympic team in 1980 . . . Played professionally in Italy . . . Now living in Houston.
Maria Stack, Columbus East, 1980
Her state championship game performance as a senior in 1980 ranks as one of the greatest efforts in Indiana basketball history . . . Tallied 42 points and 22 rebounds in a 67-63 overtime loss to Southport, totals that still rank as championship game records . . . Hit 14 of 35 field shots and 14 of 20 free throws . . . Played collegiately at San Diego State and Gonzaga, where she won the Naismith Award.
Judi Warren, Warsaw, 1976
Spunky guard's play in the 1976 IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals launched a new era of Indiana high school basketball and it remains an endearing moment in the game's history . . . Hit five free throws in the final 64 seconds to ice a 57-52 triumph over Bloomfield before a crowd of 7,362 that far exceeded expectations . . . Chosen as the first IHSAA Mental Attitude Award recipient . . . Voted first Miss Basketball . . . Played collegiately at Franklin College . . . Has been a girls basketball head coach for 20 seasons, the last 12 at Carmel where she guided the Greyhounds to a state runner-up finish in 1995.
Jodie Whitaker, Austin, 1985
High-scoring guard was first girl in state history to score 2,000 career points . . . Her total of 2,095 ranks 10th on the current state chart . . . Scored 789 points as a senior, tops in state history at the time and still ranks fourth . . . Selected as the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award recipient . . . Voted Miss Basketball . . . Played collegiately at the University of Kentucky . . . Coached at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., before returning to Indiana where she's in her third season as coach at Lawrence North.
Stephanie White McCarty, Seeger, 1995
Indiana's career scoring leader in girls basketball with 2,869 points . . . Her season scoring totals of 886 (senior year) and 838 (junior year) rank second and third on the state's season scoring chart . . . Averaged a state-record 36.9 points in 1994-95 . . . Led Seeger to the Sweet Sixteen four consecutive seasons . . . Earned national player of the year honors and was voted Miss Basketball in 1995 . . . Played collegiately at Purdue, highlighted by the 1999 NCAA title . . . Played one season (1999) with the Carolina Sting of the WNBA and now a member of the Indiana Fever . . . Serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Seeger this season where her sister, Stacey, is a senior.