Sunday, March 7, 2004

Long shots suit Henderson

College update: Already Loyola's career trey leader, junior is closing in on 1,000 points

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Before she left for Loyola University, junior guard Ciara Henderson thumbed through the women's basketball media guide and rested her finger on the career 3-pointers record. It read: Claire Molloy (1991-1995), 171.

That's all Henderson needed to know.

"I've always been a shooter," Henderson said. "I wanted to shoot for that, too."

The Boone County grad required less than three seasons to make good on her goal, breaking the record Feb. 19 and surging to first place in the Ramblers record books. She drilled six treys in a home thriller against Butler, burying the final 3-pointer - the record-breaker - in overtime as Loyola won 88-85.

Loyola junior guard Ciara Henderson.
Henderson has 179 career 3-pointers and leads the Horizon League in 3-pointers made. Monday she was named to the conference's second team with fellow guard Meskhenet Lands, the first time in 12 years Loyola has garnered a tandem honor.

Loyola coach Mary Helen Walker has long called Henderson her "diamond in the rough." Henderson got few looks at the college level, but Walker seized the chance to bring Henderson to Chicago and pump life into the offense.

"When I recruited her coming out of high school, I knew 'C' was a good 3-point shooter, but I liked her for all of her game," Walker said.

Henderson hasn't spent much time perfecting her 3s lately. She focused instead on her mid-range shooting game before the Ramblers lost to Detroit Thursday in a Horizon League Tournament quarterfinal.

Her 12 points a game, the second-best average on the team, have come from varying spots on the court, but when she's in a jam she always likes to go with her bread-and-butter 3-pointer.

"Right-side wing," Henderson said. "That's definitely my favorite spot."

By the time she graduates, Henderson anticipates being the program's 15th 1,000-point player. She's only 45 points shy of the mark.

The records have started crumbling around her, thanks in part to the confidence Henderson has found with her team. A shy, reserved player at first, she impressed Walker with an impassioned locker room speech after the Ramblers beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee - the Horizon League's No. 2 team - Feb. 21.

Henderson's confidence in herself has not wavered, though she doesn't practice anything special to hit her mark. Her only trademark is sinking a 3 before each practice ends.

"I've never questioned myself when it comes to shooting," Henderson said.

"Every time I let (the ball) go, I think it's going in."


The Wittenberg women's basketball team has won two NCAA Division III Tournament games for the first time, behind Haley Warden (Indian Hill), the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Warden leads the Tigers in scoring (14.5 points a game) and rebounding (9.8). Warden, the NCAC Tournament MVP, was a first-team pick, and senior Amber Bishop (Batavia) was a second-team choice. The Tigers beat Messiah 51-48 in the Tournament's second round Saturday and play Scranton in the sectionals Friday or Saturday.

• Arkansas' Alison Zeinner (Colerain) earned All-Southeastern Conference honors after placing eighth in the 5,000-meter run (16:57.05) at the SEC Indoor Track Championships.

• Butler senior guard Nancy Bowden (CHCA) was named to the Horizon League's first team and all-defensive team. She averaged 11.6 points, 6.5 assists, 3.7 steals and 3.4 rebounds during the regular season and led the league in steals and assists.

• Flagler College basketball player Nicole Barnes (Mercy) was named Florida Sun Conference Player of the Year. She was second in scoring in the league (15.8 points) and made the all-conference first team.

• Norwich University sophomore guard Geoff Hensley (McNicholas) was named first-team All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference and junior forward Marc Jones (Princeton) was named second-team all-conference for men's basketball.

• Mount St. Joseph senior center Tom Luther (Moeller) has been selected to the All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball team. Luther led the Mount in scoring and rebounding this season. Senior teammate E.J. Engelkamp (Ross) was selected HCAC honorable mention.

• Mount St. Joseph freshman 149-pound wrestler Jason Roush won his weight class at the Division III Midwest Regional and represented the Lions at the NCAA Tournament. Teammate Josh Kozuszek finished third in the 133-pound division while 125-pounder Rob Dearwester (Harrison) and 141-pounder Ron Helm each placed sixth at the regional.

• Mount St. Joseph senior center Virginia Grace (Colerain) has been selected all-HCAC. Teammates Katie Swart (Batavia), a junior forward, and Emily Day (Seton), a junior guard, were HCAC honorable mentions. Guard Nekeala Richardson (Hughes) was named to the all-freshman team.

• Mount Vernon Nazarene basketball player Andy Dunn (Lakota West) was named to the American Mideast Conference South Division first team after leading the Cougars in scoring at 20.2 points a game.

• University of Rochester senior forward Andy Larkin (St. Xavier) has been named first-team All-University Athletic Association in men's basketball.

• Miami University junior designated hitter Paul Frietch (Moeller) was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week and sophomore pitcher Graham Taylor (Dixie Heights) was named Pitcher of the Week after the RedHawks went 2-1 at Furman.

• Miami senior hockey player Greg Hogeboom was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Offensive Player of the Week after scoring a goal in two games against Western Michigan.

• Miami sophomore Cindi Merill was named the MAC East Player of the Week for the fourth time this season after helping the RedHawks to their first regular-season conference championship in 14 years.

• Wittenberg junior Tina Valerius (Mount Notre Dame) is a member of the sprint relay team that set a school and North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Relays meet record in a time of 4:22.57.



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