Two years after being named a first-team all-Canadian by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (comparable to the NCAA in the United States), Cassie Cooke is back to being one of the best women's basketball players north of the border.
Cooke, a 2009 Winters Mill graduate and former Times Player of the Year, has transferred to Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, after playing two seasons with Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia.
And Cooke is making the most of it.
The third-year guard is leading the nation with 28.2 points per game and 3.1 3-pointers made per contest heading into the Bobcats' winter break.
Cooke is also tied for third in the CIS with 4.5 steals per game while ranking 25th with 3.3 assists per game.
She leads Brandon in scoring, steals, assists and rebounds (6.1 per game).
Cooke has scored at least 30 points six times, and 29 points in one other contest. She got especially hot leading up to the break, averaging 35.7 points in Brandon's last three games, including back-to-back 39-point efforts to begin that run.
Cooke was named CIS Female Athlete of the Week after that stretch of 58 points over two contests. That helped the Bobcats snap their 73-game losing streak and string together back-to-back wins for the first time in five years. Brandon is 2-8. To earn the honor, the 5-foot-8 guard also registered a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double in a 76-69 victory over UNBC on Nov. 22. She didn't let up the game after the weekly award, tying a Canada West conference record with nine 3-pointers on the way to scoring 39 on Nov. 28.
BACH IN TUNE: Senior Caitlin Bach (North Carroll) of the Lebanon Valley College women's basketball team has picked things right up where she left off.
The two-time All-Commonwealth Conference selection entered Wednesday averaging a double-double, leading the 24th-ranked Dutchmen with 11.4 rebounds per game and ranking second with 12.4 points per contest.
Bach recorded double-doubles in each of the first three games of the season, including a 14-point, 16-rebound effort in the opener and a 19-point, 11-board showing on Nov. 18.
That helped LVC open the season 4-0 before it suffered its first defeat of the season on Nov. 24 at SUNY-Plattsburgh.
Bach was a first-team all-conference and all-region pick last season, and was a second-team all-Commonwealth selection as a sophomore. The county's all-time leading scorer has played in the NCAA Division III tournament in each of her first three years with the Dutchmen.
BOWL-BOUND TERROR: Seniors Mike Cousar and Joe Rollins of the McDaniel College football team will represent the squad at the 2013 National Bowl Game presented by East Preps at Florida International University on Sunday.
The National Bowl is billed as the only elite non-Football Bowl Subdivision postseason all-star game that is played in front of scouts from several NFL teams along with talent evaluators from the CFL, and arena leagues.
Cousar and Rollins will both play for the Red Nation team and are two of just three Centennial Conference players at the event. Rollins, a running back, finished the season with 1,374 rushing yards to lead the conference, earning first-team All-Centennial honors as well as Offensive Player of the Year. His 137.4-yard-per-game average ranked 20th in Division III at the end of the regular season.
Cousar, an outside linebacker, was an honorable mention all-conference selection. He led the team with 91 tackles, which ranked ninth in the Centennial.
Cousar and Rollins will be coached by Mike Stock, who has been an NFL coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams and Green Bay Packers.
COACH OF THE YEAR: McDaniel women's soccer coach Sandy Lagana has been named the Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Lagana completed her second season with the Green Terror, guiding them to their first Centennial Conference playoff appearance in program history. The Centennial Coach of the Year also led the team into the Eastern College Athletic Conference South tournament.
In the two years since her arrival, McDaniel has improved from 3-11 in 2011 to 7-10-1 in her first season to 13-6-1 this year - the program's first winning season since 2004 and the most wins in a season since 2003.
The offense has improved significantly under Lagana, finishing 2013 in the top two in the conference and top 100 nationally in goals, assists and points. McDaniel finished the season with 43 goals, more than doubling its 2012 total. It was the most goals by a Terror team in a decade.
Lagana will now advance as a candidate for National Coach of the Year against the other seven regional winners. The national award is expected to be announced during the week of Dec. 16.
PIRATE TAYLOR: Junior pitcher Brandon Taylor, a 2011 Westminster graduate, has made East Carolina University's Division I baseball team after participating in the Pirates' fall camp.
Taylor was the starting pitcher in the 2011 state championship game, when he threw four innings of no-hit ball in the last game of the Owls' 23-0 season.
He now joins the top level of college baseball with East Carolina, which currently plays in Conference USA, but will be moving to the Big East in 2014.