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…waiting to go to the airport and return to the “bitterly cold” northeast. Will say that, whatever weather comes to mind when you think “the Bahamas,” it’s not what we’ve had this week. Nothing like scuba diving w/ a 25mph wind and 65 degree weather. Fleece alert! (and no, I’m NOT complaining, ’cause I’m on vacation! :-)

On the hardcourt:

Don’t wanna jinx’em, but the A-10 regular season title is George Washington’s to lose. (They’ve beaten Dayton both times they’ve played). Tough to beat a team three times in a row, though, so keep an eye on the Conference Championship.

With a win over a Bradford-less Central Michigan, Ball State moves to 10-3 in the MAC, easing in to the top spot in the West. Overall MAC leader Ohio was stunned by Eastern Michigan, 73-61.

That was unexpectedly close: Maine Slips Past Vermont in Women’s Basketball, 57-54 And yes, Women’s basketball risen in standings from two years ago

Two years ago, Maine was one of the worst teams in women’s basketball. Now, Maine has won 10 consecutive games and is ranked no. 23 in the Mid-Major poll.

It is amazing what you can accomplish when everybody is working together and when everybody has the same goals and dreams. It almost took us two years to get to the point where we are right now, and we are not even close to reaching our potential.

People keep asking, “What happened? How can you go from winning four games total to having one of the best seasons a Maine basketball team has had in a long time?” I don’t think there is a simple answer to this question.

A Debbie Antonelli Special: Troy needed OT – and every single one of Ashley Beverly-Kelley’s 46 points – to escape Sun Belt cellar-dwellar Georgia Southern, 99-93. BTW, this is Troy’s first winning season since 2008-09.

Boink! WHB Curse in effect: Rhode Island loses a lead, and then the game, to LaSalle, 47-45.

Speaking of losing leads: Miami must be kicking themselves – they were up 18 at the end of the first half, then lost to NC State courtesy of a last-second three by Len’Nique Brown-Hoskin.

Whomp! The up-and-down #15 Aggies were up against #11 Kentucky, 81-69.

James Madison, #5 Maryland and FGCU are sailing through their conferences. So’s Gonzaga (clinching their 11th straight)  but it’s not been a lark.

It’s been a tough one: SMU women’s basketball already with second-most losses in school history; Can team recover?

When your women’s team is playing six freshmen, your point guard bolts and your go-to player is gone for the season, you celebrate small victories, such as getting three male students through the NCAA Clearinghouse to fill vacancies for scrimmages.

Change has been the lone constant for SMU.

For a young team in a rebuilding year, adjustments have become routine. Each game seems to open a new chapter in the crash course.

Speaking of tough ones: The Gauchos are still win-less.

Hawaii seems to be pulling away in the Big West.

Wondering how probation will impact West Virginia.

No surprise, Debbie likes Kelsey (Mitchell).

“Why isn’t Kelsey Mitchell on the @BigTenNetwork promo on great (freshmen) in the @bigtenconf,” Antonelli tweeted Tuesday night. “She leads nation in scoring!”

Mitchell’s resume is quite lengthy. And her scoring numbers has made Antonelli start to consider if Mitchell has an opportunity at all-time career leading scorer Jackie Stiles (3,393 points). Antonelli has been calling women’s basketball games for 27 years and can’t recall another player to cause her to look at Stiles’ numbers.

“If you are a fan of women’s basketball how could you not like that?” Antonelli told Cincinnati.com.

Yup: Injuries wreak havoc on SEC women’s basketball season

Not an unexpected job opening: Portland State fires Sherri Murrell as women’s basketball coach with five games remaining

In W news: One Knight for another: Breaking Down the Epiphanny Prince-for-Cappie Pondexter Blockbuster and The age-old thought process behind Liberty’s WNBA megadeal plus, what’s really cool: Epiphanny Prince to finish Rutgers degree after trade to NY Liberty

When she stunned the basketball world in 2009 with an unprecedented decision to leave Rutgers one year early to start her pro career, Epiphanny Prince vowed that she eventually would return to school.

That time has come following a WNBA trade Monday that sent two former Rutgers stars back to their homes as Prince was dealt to the New York Liberty, while Cappie Pondexter is joining the Chicago Sky.

In high school news: Two high school girls basketball legends combining to make history at Gilmour Academy

It started with a phone call, seemingly out of nowhere.

That’s how a legendary high school girls basketball coach ended up at Gilmour Academy. That was 10 years ago.

And a second totally unexpected phone call led to the daughter of a former Ms. Ohio Girls Basketball Player of the Year playing for that same coach at the Catholic prep school in Gates Mills.

That’s how Bob Beutel, with 644 career victories, ended up coaching Naz Hillmon, one of the top freshman girls basketball players in Northeastern Ohio. Hillmon is already receiving attention from Division I colleges. The 6-foot-2 center is averaging 18 points, 14 rebounds and more than four blocks per game.

How about this: Alden-Hebron makes history with 5-player roster

Alden-Hebron’s “Fab Five” huddled on the bus ride home and talked strategy after winning the school’s first postseason title for any Giants basketball team – boys or girls – since 1957.

Hannah Behrens, Bailey Ogle, Hannah Warren, Tally Lalor and Emily Webber have played exclusively for the past 13 games as the Giants’ roster has dwindled from eight players to five. Kelsey Baker, A-H’s tallest player at 6-foot-2, moved away, and sophomores Brittany Standish and Sam Mendez suffered knee injuries and cannot play until cleared by doctors.

Congrats: Swin Cash earns Chuck Cooper Award for ‘extraordinary’ service

Admittedly, Swin Cash once had no clue who Charles “Chuck” Cooper was or what he represented.

She grew up in the same region and played the same sport, but as someone born nearly 25 years after Cooper played his final professional basketball game, the name of the first African-American player drafted into the NBA didn’t resonate.

So last year, when Cash was told that she was going to be honored with an award named after Cooper, she did some research. What she found was a legacy that she works to this day to strengthen and uphold.

WATN? TV spot highlights Markham basketball star Sutton-Brown

Tammy Sutton-Brown has a true story to tell.

It’s one the 37-year-old Markham native revealed that changed her life — all for the better — when she elected to attend a high school that offered a well established girls’ basketball program rather than go to one closer to home.

Thus began the road for the 6 ft. 4 in. centre in becoming one of the top Canadian basketball players hailing from the Greater Toronto Area that tipped off when she was a Grade 9 student at Markham District High School and then earning a collegiate athletic scholarship south of the border at Rutgers University.

But that’s not where it ended.

A little history: Women’s basketball pioneers honored at UAF

It’s no surprise Nanooks women’s basketball players Victoria Elleby and Stephanie Toumson asked Linda Dolney for her autograph after Saturday’s game.

Forty years ago, Dolney and her teammates paved the way for the current women’s basketball team.

That moment in history and several others were recognized Saturday at a remarkable gathering of women.

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Nice piece in the NY Times by William Rhoden on the Rose Classic, an under-19 girls basketball tournament now in it’s eight year.

What is striking is the number of fathers who have been involved with their daughters.

Rich Santiago has two daughters, ages 24 and 12, who play basketball. His older daughter, now a coach at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, was a scholarship athlete at the University of Texas at El Paso but never competed in the Rose Classic.

Santiago said the evolution from the time his older daughter began playing and the increasingly competitive climate that the Rose Classic symbolizes has been incredible. “The skill sets are so much higher at a real early age,” he said. “My youngest daughter is so much better than my oldest daughter was when she was 12. You can find training in fundamentals and skills at a real early age — you didn’t have that before.”

Wasserman adds to their W portfolio:

Lindsay Kagawa Colas, Wasserman vice president, action sports and Olympics, will represent Delle Donne, a guard/forward on the Chicago Sky. Delle Donne previously was represented by her brother, Gene Delle Donne.

With the signing, Colas now represents 14 WNBA players, including Brittney GrinerMaya MooreDiana Taurasi and Sue Bird.

Delle Donna has endorsement deals with Nike, DuPont and nutritional supplement company Genesis Today. Colas, who represents basketball players both for playing contract work and marketing deals, said she plans on working to expand Delle Donne’s portfolio of corporate partnerships.

You might remember Kagawa (Colas) from her Stanford volleyball days. In 2008, the Bleecher Report’s Darren Heitner wrote about Kagawa his Agent Spotlight after she made the Contra Costa Times’ Marcus Thompson II drool while writing his piece, Sports agent no devil but wears Prada. Swish Appeal noticed Kagawa (Colas) in December, 2012: WNBA players and their agents: Who represents WNBA players? In April of this year, she was named to Sports Business Journal’s list of women “making their names.”

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For Nazareth, a Loss Not Reflected in the Score

They lost their coach in January and will lose their school in June.

And Thursday night in Brooklyn, the Lady Kingsmen of Nazareth lost their city basketball crown.

“There are a lot of hard tears falling in our locker room right now,” Lauren Best, a Nazareth assistant, said after her team was stunned by Christ the King, 54-53, at Bishop Ford High School. The loss came in the semifinals of the Catholic High School Athletic Association Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls tournament.

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WHAT A REBOUND!- Once in a coma, Kansas high school girl now back on basketball court

Maggie Meier would cradle the beach ball in her hands and, with perfect form, shoot it through her the arms of her sister, who had formed a makeshift hoop.

Swish.

The only thing out of the ordinary? Maggie Meier was in a coma.

“I have never seen anything like it,” said Dr. William Graf, Meier’s neurologist. “The act of shooting a basketball must have been ingrained as one of Maggie’s basic instincts — her basketball shooting motion came back to her even before she was able to stand up or walk again.”

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Naz coach gives first comments on recruiting investigation in Post Q&A

Apache Paschall has been mostly quiet on the topic of the league investigation looming over his head. The Nazareth coach has been under a strict gag order from his principal to not address the pending decision by the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Eligibility and Infractions Committee.

But Tuesday night, on the eve of what is expected to be his judgment day, Paschall sat down for an exclusive interview with The Post. In this Q&A, the head man of the nationally ranked Lady Kingsmen addresses everything from the investigation to his health to how this season has been the hardest of his decade-long career.

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Speaking of streaks,

from the Geneva Patch’s end-of-the-year list: No. 2 of 2010 Sports: Girls Basketball Streak Reaches 57

Editor’s note: Craig Brueske’s No. 2 pick for Top 10 Sports Moments of 2010 is another heart-tugger. Geneva coach Gina Nolan is battling breast cancer even as she coaches this season. She is one heck of a basketball coach and human being.

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Golf was her career, basketball her 1st love – Kyle O’Brien Stevens joins her father in Indiana basketball Hall of Fame

Golf turned out to be the right choice. O’Brien Stevens went on to an accomplished career in college and in the LPGA (1981 Rookie of the Year).

But she was also a standout basketball player at North Central High School and has been named one of 10 inductees in the women’s class of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

O’Brien Stevens averaged 26.3 points and 7.9 rebounds as a senior at North Central in 1975-76 and was named to the first Indianapolis Star Indiana All-Star team.

“Frankly, it was pretty remarkable what we had for Indiana girls basketball back then,” she said. “There were quite a few areas of Texas that weren’t nearly as progressive. I played on our sorority team with three other girls who played in high school and we killed everybody.”

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from Glenn as he puts the Spotlight on SoCal’s basketball powers

When you are the No. 1 team in the land, you’d think there wouldn’t be much to occupy your mind much beyond simply continuing the flow of winning, conquering and celebrating. But try being No. 1, and having No. 2 just down the road. And try blotting out the fact that No. 2 beat you once during each of the past two seasons.

You think Alexyz Vaioletama and her Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) teammates don’t ponder or talk about Brea Olinda (Brea, Calif.)?

“We do,” says Vaioletama, herself the No. 14 prospect in the 2011 class and a USC signee.

Often?

“Often,” Vaioletama confirms.

How often?

“Every day,” Vaioletama says.

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five girls basketball storylines you’ll want to follow, including:

1. Ed Zink landed the Beavercreek head coach position by default. He applied for the open sophomore boys and varsity girls positions, and the only other applicant insisted that he wouldn’t coach girls. Thirty-five seasons later, Zink is just seven wins away from becoming the state’s all-time wins leader. “I just thought it was a couple years deal,” he said. “My goal was to become the head football coach at Beavercreek.” Instead, his girls hoop career record is 651-171, all with the Beavers.

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that doesn’t mean I’m done!”

Leta Andrews is on the brink of becoming prep basketball’s all-time win leader – Granbury (Texas) girls basketball coach needs 5 wins to surpass record for either gender.

During the 2005-06 season, she set the girls’ record when she reached victory No. 1,218. That night she was presented a crystal plate by Robert Hughes of Dunbar (Fort Worth, Texas), who holds the national boys record with 1,333 victories.

She thanked him, then quickly added, “Coach Hughes, now I’m going to start chasing you.”

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from HoopGurlz: Look back to look forward

Through the years, the recruiting landscape has shifted dramatically.

The evolution of recruiting legislation generally has been an effort to address the needs of the student athletes or a response to the growth and changes in the recruiting process itself. What has also happened is an often shortsighted and kneejerk reaction to issues without understanding the residual effects and long-term impact of that action.

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