No one expected Jane Addams to start off the way they have, but with Clinton moved to the AA Division, it appears that the 7-0 Lady Jaguars are poised to take their place atop the A Division, thanks to the continued leadership of Tishonna Munden (17.67 PP
Addams started the season with a tough, 55-53, win over Columbus, and then truly showed they meant business with a 62-41 rout over South Bronx, who ended 2006-07 in a tie with Clinton for the Bronx A title. But a 52-50 win over their closest competitors, Bronx Science, on December 11, and a 50-49 win over their greatest rivals at Gompers two days later could be looked at as the week Addams proved they deserve the top spot.
Wins aside, the Lady Jaguars face a tough 2008 schedule. The Wolverines are only a half game behind Addams with the two teams meeting on January 17, at Bronx Science.
But Addams may face even stiffer competition from teams tied for third place (Columbus, South Bronx, and Samuel Gompers).
Columbus has a young team with a lot of experience, coming off a strong B Division season. Despite losing Ishonda McFarland, the team has emerged stronger behind the leadership of Shaunese Crawford (10 PPG, 5.13 APG) and the height of Daveta Anderson (9.88 RPG, 63% Free Throw Shooting) and Asia Wheeler (12.5 PPG, 10.75 RPG). The emergence of Allison Benloss (averaging 10.6 points in the last 3 games) has also sparked Columbus, helping them overcome past demons with a big win over its Evander rivals.
Columbus lost to Addams once, but similarities between the two could make this one big rivalry to watch when the Lady Jaguars travel out to Columbus on January 3, for a rematch.
South Bronx was on top last year and is looking to reclaim its position in the A Division behind strong performances from Vonetta Stevenson (11.14 PPG, 9.14 APG) and Tiffany Thompson (12.86 PPG, 22 RPG, 59 offensive rebounds). A tough 51-20 loss to Evander hurt their chances, but a big 63-51 win over Columbus has kept them in the hunt. Big home games to watch include a battle with Gompers on January 8; a rematch with Addams two days later; and a chance to redeem themselves against Evander on January 17. South Bronx travels to Columbus on January 31.
Inspired play from Carolina Concepcion (11 PPG) and the heart of Arielle Mercado (12.38 PPG) puts Gompers in third place, but the Panthers are not winning the big games. They looked good in the loss to the Lady Jaguars and will have a shot against their rivals at Jane Addams on January 29. A January 15 meeting at Columbus could also be fun to watch.