THE WOMEN'S basketball team at Navy is making the most of its last season in Division II.
The women's athletic program will move to Division I next September. The basketball team and several others will play in the Patriot League, and in preparation for the move second-year coach Jerry Hutchison made up a schedule with close to half the opponents being from Division I.
Despite last night's 82-67 loss to Georgetown, this has been a season of success for the Navy women (14-6), who saw their school-record 11-game win streak snapped.
Angie Dobbs, a 5-foot-9 junior who went to Perry Hall High, is the Navy leader. She's averaging 20.8 points -- thanks in part to 40.4 percent marksmanship from three-point range -- and with 1,062 points, including 23 last night, is already the academy's No. 4 all-time scorer. Dobbs also averages 4.4 rebounds, and is second on the team in assists and steals.
"She's a complete player," Hutchison said. "She's an outstanding shooter from three-point range, but she goes inside with the ball very well."
Kim Cowling, a 5-11 forward out of Dundalk High, is one of the plebes on the roster. She began starting midway through the season. She's averaging 4.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds.
For most of the win streak, Navy was under the guidance of Debra Schlegel, a first-year assistant coach. Hutchison had to leave the team Jan. 2, when his wife and three children were involved in an auto accident while visiting relatives in Little Rock, Ark.
Five-year-old John-David suffered two broken bones and Jerrica Hutchison, 8, was in a coma for eight days. Her father wasn't going to leave Little Rock without her, and the family returned to Annapolis together Jan. 21. Jerrica, a third-grader at Tyler Heights Elementary, is recuperating nicely from a severe brain injury.
Navy goes after another Division I rival Saturday (2 p.m.), when it plays at UMBC.
* The Middies didn't have the state's longest win streak. That distinction belongs to Frostburg State, which improved to 17-1 with last night's 85-62 victory over Waynesburg, the 16th straight for the Bobcats. They can tie the school record for consecutive wins by beating Salisbury State Saturday in Frostburg.
The Bobcats revolve around their twin towers. Nicole Bashaw, a 6-1 sophomore center from Fairfax, Va., is averaging 19.5 points and 9.9 rebounds, and Sheila Colbert, a 6-0 senior forward from Middleburg, Va., is at 17.5 and 9.9. She's Frostburg's all-time leading scorer.
Unbeaten in the Eastern States Athletic Conference, the Bobcats are not mentioned in the latest NCAA Division III rankings.
* Kristie Kantowski, a senior forward out of Glenelg High, became the latest Johns Hopkins player to score her 1,000th point. She did so in a big win over Gettysburg Tuesday that most likely will put the 15-5 Blue Jays in the Middle Atlantic Conference Southern Division playoffs.
With a 19.0 average, senior guard Julianne Rolapp continues to lead Hopkins. Kantowski is at 12.6, and another Glenelg grad, sophomore forward Sylke Knuppel, is down to 9.0 after being slowed the last two weeks by an ankle injury.
Hopkins is at home Sunday (noon) against the nation's No. 4 team, Washington University of St. Louis, Mo.
* The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference indoor track and field championships will be held tomorrow and Saturday at Swarthmore (Pa.) College. Morgan State is the defending champion, but the Golden Bears will be without Lisa Shands, a junior from Poly who is nursing a stress fracture. She would have been favored in the 800 and 1,500 meters.
Morgan State still has Nicole Brackeen, a transfer from Oklahoma State who looms large in the 200 and 400.
The first-ever Northeast Conference championships for women will go Sunday at Fairleigh Dickinson. Barbara Witola, a senior sprinter from Zambia, is the top potential point-getter from Mount St. Mary's.
* A pair of sophomores, Maryland's Kristen Ragans and Towson State's Gabby Linarducci, shared the all-around title at the state championship gymnastics meet at Navy. Both had scores of 37.75, and the personal best meant a lot to Ragans, who is in her first collegiate season. She's a transfer who never competed at Penn State.
Linarducci and her Towson State teammates get Massachusetts Sunday (2 p.m.) at the Towson Center.
* In case you hadn't noticed, there were no male athletes mentioned here. After all, it is National Girls and Women in Sports Day.