Girls Basketball

DeMuth sisters excited to return to Highland for McLegends XII all-star game

2014-04-30T17:00:00Z 2014-04-30T22:06:11Z DeMuth sisters excited to return to Highland for McLegends XII all-star gameSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

The 2000-2001 girls basketball season was the greatest in Highland's history. The Trojans went undefeated, won the Hall of Fame Classic, were ranked No. 2 in the state and advanced to the Class 4A semistate.

But there was a little-known secret in the program's "Sister Act".

Senior Jenny DeMuth did not get along with freshman Julie DeMuth at all.

"She really didn't like me," Julie said on Tuesday.

"I didn't," Jenny said. "I used to yell at (Highland coach Chris Huppenthal) and tell him to take her out of the game if she was playing bad. I would leave her at the school if she practiced bad, too.

"My dad would have to come and pick her up."

Things, thankfully, have changed.

"We're the best of friends now," Julie said.

On Friday night, the DeMuth sisters will return to Highland to play in the McLegends XII All-Star game, where former college players will take on a selection of the best high school stars in the area.

The tipoff will be at 6 p.m.

And Huppenthal will return from his current gig at Hamilton-Southeastern to the gym where he also made his name known.

"That was a great season and it's going to be fun to come home," Huppenthal said.

While Jenny DeMuth was a star and Indiana All-Star for four years at Highland, it was different for Julie. She played for the Trojans for three years when a political rift blew up, where her mother, Judith, left the district as superintendent and Hippenthal soon followed.

Julie played her senior year at Merrillville before becoming an Indiana All-Star and going to Ball State.

"It's going to be kind of weird going back there," Julie said. "But we had a lot of great fans who supported us during all of that and it will be good to see them again."

Jenny starred at Indiana University upon graduation and she is now a teacher in Tipton, where she coached middle school volleyball. She was an assistant at IUPUI before giving up hoops coaching.

But she said Huppenthal would like for her to coach with him at HSE next year.

Julie is now a lawyer in Chicago, working in the public finance arena.

Both spent so much time in the Highland gym that they were good friends with the janitors there.

"We knew them by name and they knew us," Julie said.

But it is the gym where all the madness started. Jenny made it to two semistates her junior and senior seasons. Julie's Trojans teams made it to the semistate all three years she was there.

"Winning the Hall of Fame Classic was awesome my freshman year," Julie said. "All the history there. We stayed in the Larry Bird Hotel. We were a region team and nobody thought we were as good as we were. But we proved them all wrong."

Jenny agreed.

"When you're going through it you don't realize that people would still be talking about those teams, those games, 12 or 13 years later," Jenny said. "It was a great time and something we'll never forget.

"It will be fun to get out there and play together again."

Jenny also said the sisters will be playing for Jaime Perko, a Highland grad and former area announcer who died of a stroke recently. Perko covered many of those great Highland teams.

"He was a great guy," she said. "We want to remember him as we play."

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