East Chicago Central Cardinals
Last year: 18-7, lost in Class 4A Valparaiso Regional final to Penn
Inside the Cardinals
Leading returning scorer: Tiajaney Hawkins, 9.7 ppg
Leading returning rebounder: Hawkins, 5.9 rpg
Star power: Tiajaney Hawkins, So., G/F: The heavily-recruited sophomore is talented enough to play four positions, and she can play them all well.
Newcomer to watch: Shareese Billups, Jr., F: At 5-foot-10, Billups will have to do her part to make up for the losses in the post.
Still on the rise?
East Chicago Central was in need of some changes when coach Eric Kundich took over in 2008. Since then, the Cardinals have gotten better each season, culminating in last season's 18 wins and sectional championship. The question now is whether the program is still on the rise. Kundich will be without the steady inside presence of a Moore sister for the first time. Andrianna, last season's leading scorer and rebounder, has joined big sister Teeuntra at Wabash Valley Junior College. With the departure of Moore and Shanterra Jones also goes 55 percent of the scoring from last season. "We don't believe, this year, that we're going to be rebuilding," Kundich said.!~ David P. Funk