By Doug Halberstadt
As the calendar hits the middle of November, both the boys’ and girls’ high school basketball teams around the area have already been practicing for a couple of weeks. Most are busy preparing for upcoming holiday tournaments prior to the start of the conference schedule.
Tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 16), the Rockton Hononegah girls begin their season on the road in Hampshire, Ill. For senior Elizabeth Jordan, this game marks the beginning of her transitional journey from the high school game to playing Division I college basketball. Yesterday, Jordan signed a formal letter of intent to play for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh University is in Bethlehem, Pa., and plays its games in the Patriot League. The Lehigh women’s basketball team has had tremendous success the past few years. The Mountain Hawks are the three-time defending Patriot League regular season champion and are coming off their third-straight 20-win season, the most consecutive 20-win seasons ever in program history.
Lehigh went 21-11 last season, which included a WNIT berth, its third postseason appearance. In the previous two seasons, the Mountain Hawks went 55-11 en route to a pair of Patriot League titles and consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.
Jordan is an outside shooting specialist. Last season, she averaged just more than 9 points per game. Most of those came from beyond the 3-point arc. She was second in the league with 83 three-pointers made. Her backcourt partner, Lindsay Carroll, led the league with 87 three-pointers.
This season, Jordan will be expected to step in to a leadership role, along with fellow senior Nicole Smith. The two seniors will be looking to fill the void left by the graduation of Carroll and last season’s scoring leader, Brea Edwards.
Following tonight’s game, there will only be around 25 to 30 games left in Jordan’s and Smith’s high school careers. Smith has already committed to play collegiately at the University of Iowa.
With two Division I college-bound hoopsters starting for the Lady Indians this season, they are expected to put up big numbers in the win column. Something tells me with the outside shooting skills of Jordan and the inside presence of the 6-foot, 4-inch Smith, that won’t be an issue.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Nov. 16-22, 2011, issue