Prospect grad Weissenstein still enjoying coaching
When Glenbrook North won the Maine East Thanksgiving tourney last week, among the smiling faces for the Spartans was assistant coach Steve Weissenstein.
Yes, Weissenstein the former hall of fame Glenbrook South girls basketball coach.
The Prospect High School graduate was also substitute teaching in the business education department at South this past semester.
"They're my same classes I taught when I was there (full time)," said the retired Weissenstein, who played varsity basketball for three years at Prospect. "It's like I never left. I just get in the car and drive over to GBN after school instead of just walking over to the gym (at GBS)."
Head coach Nick Capalbo and Weissenstein have the Spartans off to a 4-0 start.
"It's awesome," said Weissenstein, who will substitute at New Trier High School next semester. "They're great kids and the thing is, they're dedicated. They just want to get better. It's good stuff."
Speaking of assistant coaches, on the other side of the scorer's table for the Maine East title game was Amanda Mistretta, the assistant to Blue Demons head coach Nicole Rinaldi.
Mistretta is the Blue Demons' No. 2 all-time scorer with 1,346 points.
"I never thought this would happen," said Mistretta about being back at Maine East as a coach. "I'm so happy to be able to come back here to coach. It's just a great set of kids. "I get along with them great. Since I came from the program I know how it works. It's exciting. I never thought by any chance I would ever get here and be able to be part of coaching in a tournament championship game so it was really exciting."
Mistretta is a middle school special education teacher at Culver School in Niles.
She also scored 1,000 points in her career at the University of St. Francis (Joliet) where she was teammates with current Schaumburg head coach Jacqui Storm Strauch, who also scored 1,000 points in Joliet after graduating from Sandburg High School.
Strauch's Saxons got off to a 2-2 start in their own tournament when they handed Downers Grove South its first loss in four games. Marissa Vodicka, Madi Dolecki and Grace Schluckbier have helped spark the Saxons' defense while Emma Jevtic and Jackie Tuzil have led in rebounding (Saxons outrebounded their opponents in three of the four games). Alyssa Orozco (12.3), Dolecki (9.5) and Symone Harrell (7.8) lead the offense.
Hall of Fame Hersey coach Mary Fendley has a trio of Division-I recruits in different sports: lacrosse, soccer and basketball. Katy Eidle is committed to Michigan basketball, Meghan Mrowicki to Notre Dame soccer and Kelsey Neary to UConn lacrosse.
All three are juniors.
"We have a stellar group of junior all-around athletes," Fendley said. "Their speed and athleticism is a bonus to their legitimate basketball skills,"
Val Allen has been the only senior on the court in the Huskies' first two games (two senior reserves have been unavailable).
Senior Melissa Castro, who played at Christian Liberty Academy, has averaged 12 points for Wheeling in the first four games. "She leads our offense, controls the pace and is able to see the floor really well," said Wildcats second-season coach Beth Christell. "Riana (Hayes) has been nice to have in the post with some key rebounds and put backs. Maya Huelsman (sophomore) has improved in her leadership abilities and has led our team in many areas on the court. We have a great team where multiple people can be in double-digit scoring and rebounding on the same night."
Maine West senior Julia Wolke, a transfer from Christian Liberty, enjoyed a very successful scoring career in her first three years in Arlington Heights. She began this season needing only 34 points to reach 1,000 for her career.
Jade Thomas, a 6-2 senior, is averaging 11 points a game for coach Deanna Kuzmanic's Warriors.
Senior guard Nicole Davis has been setting the tone for Rolling Meadows, offensively and defensively. Her efficient assist-to turnover ratio began with 12 assists and 4 turnovers through three games.
Backcourt partner Emily Galvan is the team's leading scorer (about 15 pg).
Moira Hickey produced one of her best career games against Hampshire with 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Hickey, Alison Sellergen and Roisin Grandberry are tied as the club's leading scorers while Grandberry is tops in rebounding. "We have received important minutes off the bench from Charlotte Errico, Cassidy Pardini, and Emily Romanacce," coach Ryan Kirkorsky added.
Elk Grove's Lili Duckmann has had some big games to start the season. The senior guard had a triple double (30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 steals) in the Grens' opener vs. Niles West. In their second game, against Vernon Hills she had 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and then collected 20 points (three 3s), 7 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 blocks against Antioch.
The Grens hit 14 3-pointers vs. Antioch with Julia Masnica hitting 4 in that game for 18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Plenty of Pape:
As Maine South's only returning starter, senior Emily Pape has provided plenty of pop for the Hawks. "She has really stepped up for us in so many ways," said Hawks coach Jeff Hamann.
Through the Hawks' first three games, Pape averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 steals.
"We are heavily relying on Emily on both ends of the floor," Hamann said. "We are also excited about our two sophomores (Ava Blagojevich and Meegan Fahy) who are currently in our starting lineup."
Fahy scored in double figures in her first two games against Barrington and Grayslake Central (11 and 10 points respectively) while Blagojevich scored 11 vs. Buffalo Grove. "As both girls become more comfortable, they are only going to get better," Hamann added.
Schaumburg Christian senior Summer Reid surpassed 1,000 career points in a victory over Wheaton Academy earlier this season.
Reid started the season with 950 points and tossed in 33 points in a 57-17 victory over Rochelle Zell.
"Many colleges have reached out to her," said Schaumburg Christian coach Learon Reid. "She has not yet made a decision."