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Announcing the Region Roundball Review 2005-06 NWI Senior Seven!
Region Roundball Review

09/05/05 04:07 pm by RRR | Back


by Region Roundball Review
September 5, 2005
Special thanks to Bob Strempka of for the photos!


For the second year in a row, we mark the Labor Day holiday by highlighting Northwest Indiana's top seniors. There are less than 50 days left until the start of the practice season, and a new school year has officially begun. The Region is especially ripe with outstanding senior talent this upcoming season.  In our opinion, these seven young ladies represent the best candidates in Northwest Indiana for Indiana All-Star consideration in 2006, and we ask that you keep an eye on them throughout their final season of Hoosier high school basketball.

The RRR NWI Senior Seven photos and stats will appear on our site masthead throughout the season. We expect all of these senior players to have outstanding performances this year. All seven will carry a great deal of their team's hopes in 2005-06, and they are definitely up to the challenge. As these players go, so will the fate of their teams.


Our 2005-06 NWI Senior Seven, in alphabetical order:


Mallory Gorski (5'5 G) South Central
College plans - Undecided

This 5'5 dynamo made a name for herself in a big way during the post-season in 2004-05. Her exciting heroics lifted her team past No. 10 Argos in a one-point sectional championship win last February. In that game, she scored 39 points, dished 11 assists, nabbed 10 steals, and pulled in 7 rebounds, not to mention hitting THE half-court game winner as time expired and sending the Satellites to the Regional for the first time ever in school history. She helped take the Satellites a step further by dropping in a cool 34 points against No. 11 West Central to advance to the Semi-State. A buzz saw known as three-time 1A State Champion Tri-Central put an end to that run, but there was no denying that Gorski put everyone on notice that she is a force to be dealt with. As a junior, she averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 assists and 5.0 steals per game. She is also the current career scoring (1,042), steals (311) and assist leader (323) in the Satellite's program history.


Sharon Houston (6'3 F) Merrillville
College plans - List includes Purdue, Old Dominian, West Virginia

Although she won't be in action until December due to IHSAA transfer rules, 6'3 lean and lanky post player Sharon Houston will still be one of the top impact players in NWI this season. After an abbreviated junior season, brought about by her disappointment in mid-season coaching changes at Lew Wallace, Houston packed her bags and enrolled at Merrillville. She has been welcomed with open arms and will be an integral part of the Pirates' season plans under new head coach Amy Govert. Houston, who is athletic and a proven scorer, will have a couple of months' practice under her belt to get used to fitting into a system where she is not the only go-to player. She will be joining fellow NWI Senior Seven honoree Brittney Moore in the post and super soph point guard Brittney Cruse in the MHS lineup, both of whom are capable of putting up big numbers in several categories. It could be a banner year for the Pirates, and Houston will be integral to their success. Before the debaucle that became her junior year, Houston averaged 22.1 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game as a sophomore at Wallace. This past summer, she played with The Family team that went 40-1 against the nation's top talent in tournaments across the country. That exposure has created some big-time interest in this player who has a great deal of college potential. Stay tuned for her coming out party when Merrillville travels to Michigan City on December 13 -- Houston's first game in a Pirate uniform.

Erica Humes (6'0 G/F) Valparaiso
College plans - Undecided

She played out of position at point guard last season out of necessity, but that has only made this already versatile player even more of a threat. At 6'0, Erica Humes can do it all for Valparaiso. Her size makes her a mismatch for most perimeter defenders in the area, giving her a tremendous advantage in seeing the floor for the assist or breaking down some of NWI's most vaunted pressing defenses. She can score as many different ways as Bubba can make shrimp -- off the dribble, with her back to the basket, from long range, picking her way through the paint, shaking a defender on a fake, at the free throw line, and even sautéed in garlic. She is a smart and savvy player, which makes her a catch for any Division I program. However, she is also a fantastic soccer forward and could be convinced by some lucky college program to go that route. Humes did an outstanding job leading the Lady Vikings to their fourth straight Sectional Championship last season under Greg Kirby. She averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, not a small feat considering Valpo's average offensive output was only 47.5 points per game. With teammate Cassie Kerns off at UConn this season, this Junior All-Star North Team member will have to contend with a great deal more defensive attention during her senior campaign, but we believe she will be more than up to the task.


Dee Dee Jernigan (5'11 G/F) East Chicago
College plans - List includes Purdue, DePaul, Rutgers, Arizona

Wow! The world is a platter stacked high with all kinds of basketball delicacies for this high-potential guard. Delaquese (Dee Dee) Jernigan is one of the best players to come through NWI in some time. After a summer at the nation's top-talent tournaments, at the prestigious Nike camp and at the USA Basketball Youth Developmental Festival, Jernigan is a much sought after college recruit. Curry & Co. at Purdue are keeping their fingers crossed that the Boilermakers continue to stay at the top of Jernigan's list after official visits take her to points all over the country this fall. This young lady is simply a pleasure to watch. Her athleticism has a grace which belies its actual raw strength. Explosive when she turns it on, Jernigan becomes a woman among girls in the high school game. Super quick and deadly on the dribble, her already considerable talents will be taken to new heights at the next levels, including the WNBA, and we can't wait to see her success. Last season, Jernigan, together with NWI Senior Seven teammate Kelly Watts, elevated the Lady Cardinals program back to elite status in the state. As a junior under head coach Ron Edmonds, she averaged 18.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.8 steals per game during a 21-4 season. That performance earned her Junior All-Star Core Team status during the summer, together with numerous postseason all-state honors.

Brittney Moore (6'3 F/C) Merrillville
College plans - Xavier

What you don't realize until you first see this 6'3 super power in action in the paint is that, despite her size, Brittney Moore is pretty darn quick -- powerful quick. Not your proto-typical high school center with slow foot speed and limited strength, high school officials would be best to call a boy's game against Moore instead of a girl's game. And that is the only thing that has held back this tough competitor. When a girl of this size and strength makes a move to the basket, she can't help but displace smaller players, especially when she is being double- and triple-teamed. But she will have just one more year of high school ball to put up with the frustrating calls, and when new teammate Sharon Houston joins the Pirates in December, teams will not be able to collapse on Moore like they have in the past. Moore's future in college is where she will get the greatest opportunity to display her considerable talents, and we think Xavier is lucky to get her. As a junior, this All-Duneland Conference and Junior All-Star North Team member averaged 10.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game while helping her team to a 12-10 season. That record is expected to improve considerably in 2005-06 when the Pirates find their offensive rhythm with Houston in the lineup.

Erica Simpson (6'1 F) Gary West Side
College plans - Undecided

Smooth and talented Erica Simpson first made a name for herself as a sophomore when she had a coming out party of sorts at the Big-8 McCutcheon Holiday Tournament. Looking through the box scores back here in NWI, everyone was asking, "Who is this E. Simpson that is putting up the big numbers for the Cougars?" Out of the blue (and orange), she averaged 19.7 points over three games. It didn't take us long to find out that Simpson was a special talent, as she continued to be a big contributor to the Gary West Side offense that 22-3 season. For the past two years, which included a trip to Conseco for the 4A State Finals last season, Simpson has been surrounded by a bevy of players that have gone on to the college ranks, including Belinda Drake, Karima Davies, Michele Hamblin, Ashley Cheairs, Farren Congress and Isabell Rhenwrick. This season, the Cougars will belong to Simpson and she will have to carry a great deal of the load. Gary West Side, usually known for its patented Rod Fisher balanced offense, will most likely have to rely on Simpson to put up some heady numbers in order to stay competitive. But Simpson has no problems finding the hole (31 points against No. 8 South Bend Washington last season) and shows up when it counts (36 points in two Regional tournament games), so she is not adverse to the challenge of putting the Cougars on her shoulders for the upcoming season. As a junior, she averaged 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while helping Gary West to a 23-5 season and first-time trip to the state finals.

Kelly Watts (5'10 G/F) East Chicago
College plans - Undecided

If East Chicago and Dee Dee Jernigan have been flying high for the past two season, then Kelly Watts has been the wind beneath their wings. Often overshadowed in the media by her highly-touted backcourt mate, Watts has quietly earned the respect of Cardinal opponents and the EC faithful with her work ethic and steady, reliable play. She is a blue collar player and a difference maker who simply does what is asked of her and is happy to see her team succeed. That attitude and her considerable talents should land her a fine Division I scholarship. We will most likely see Watts more in the state spotlight this season as the Cardinals will have a better chance to pass their perennial foe Gary West Side in the IHSAA Tournament, now that the Cougars have graduated the bulk of their talent. The unheralded Watts is one of the area’s toughest players and has a tremendous nose for the ball off the boards. She is versatile in that she can play either the shooting guard, shooting forward or power forward positions with ease. The All-Area player creates match-up problems for post defenders who aren't adept at protecting the perimeter, or guards who are not as quick or tall to defend the post. As a junior, Watts averaged 13.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while helping the Cardinals to a 21-4 record.




This page has been viewed 28 times.

by Mickey | 26 Oct 2005 05:22 am
isabell rhenwrick will play this season for the university of indianapolis. that is where she is attending school now

by tdiddy | 11 Oct 2005 11:57 am
Shanee is also on the basketball team as well.

by tdiddy | 11 Oct 2005 11:54 am
Shanee Butler is attending Paine College in Augusta Ga it is a private HBCU ( is a member of the volleyball team they are 23-1 the basketball team won the conference championship last year and went to the division 2 national tourney they return their top 8 players including the tournament MVP.

by nate | 30 Sep 2005 01:00 pm
with all of these commits where is Butler?

by coach | 28 Sep 2005 02:58 pm
i agree with you Butler has really set the standards for a true ball player. she has a big impact on my girls basaketball team at Pulaski, knowing that she was a player here and having her articles all over the school. she has a lot of people that dosen't want her to be successful, but as long as she keeps her head on the right path she's the next angela hamblin. everyone at pc wants her to know we are proud of what she's accomplished so far in her life, and keep working hard for her goal. i ask my players who they favorite athlete was and one said Butler because of her inspiring words in her articles and she showed me the one Butler said ACHIEVEMENT IS LARGELY THE PRODUCT OF STEADILY RAISING ONE'S LEVEL OF ASPIRATION AND EXPECTAION

by keisha taylor | 28 Sep 2005 03:22 am
i see people love looking at this web site, so if anybody knows where Butler is or talks to her. Give her my email and let her know i really respect her as a ball player and she has lots of young children and even teens looking up to her, don't disapoint appoint us like most ahtletes in gary have done. my daughter got cut from her team and her confidence of b-ball went down but after she met BUTLER after her game, she got the love back for the game. i played at Roosevelt in 87' so i know a player when i see one. I can tell my daughter that Butler is a real player not one who looks at playing as just scoring, and most people criticize her for doing what absolutely right thinking about winning before being a star. now you news paper people comment on that.

by keisha taylor | 28 Sep 2005 03:02 am
you newspaper people aren't good for nothing i've been wondering where butler is for a while and you guys can't respond. if it was something negative you guys will have it all over the papers. angry

by mike | 22 Sep 2005 04:03 pm
do any of you newspaper people know what school butler is at i would like to know too. i just viewed this web site because i was talking to a friend and they told me to have a look!

by t | 21 Sep 2005 04:33 am
who is isabell rhenwrick playing for, it isnt university of indianapolis like ya'll said i dont see her on the roster.

by keisha taylor | 21 Sep 2005 04:26 am
i would like to know where shanee is because she's the reason my little daughter decided to play basketball after i took her to one of her games. if any body finds out please email me, my daughter really looks up to her and i wpold love to know where she is!

by naomi bell | 20 Sep 2005 05:30 am
where is Butler?

by beebee | 20 Sep 2005 05:26 am
shanee butler is in college you gys always try to live her out but she'll be the one who come up big in college this year just wait and see!


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