Maria Tamburrino learned early in her high school career at Jacobs about the importance of rebounding.
“My coach, Ed Haugens, put a lot of emphasis on rebounding,” she said. “We had rebounding goals every game, and if we didn’t meet them, we had to run.”
In practice, Tamburrino recalled numerous drills to improve the team’s rebounding.
“We did a lot of them,” she said with a laugh.
Rebounding is something Tamburrino, now a college junior at NAIA Roosevelt University in Chicago, has helped earn her an important role for the Lakers, a program that is only 3 years old.
Tamburrino’s 7.9 rebounds a game leads Roosevelt (16-4), which set a school record Thursday for wins in a season. She also is second on the team in scoring (13.5 points a game) and 3-pointers (25), while contributing 16 blocked shots and 1.95 assists and 1.8 steals a game.
“I love being able to contribute in a lot of different ways,” Tamburrino said.
Those contributions have not been lost on Roosevelt’s head coach.
“Maria has been our best all-around player,” Lakers coach Robyn Scherr-Wells said. “She has really grown her game a lot. She’s a player who can do a little bit of everything.”
The 5-foot-11 Tamburrino, while playing both forward spots, has improved her scoring average by nearly four points a game from last season.
“We use her inside and outside,” Scherr-Wells said. “She can shoot the 3 and she can score under the basket. We take advantage of a lot of mismatches with her.”
Tamburrino’s biggest improvements, however, have come on the defensive end. She fouled out of five games last season and led the team with 103 fouls.
“She worked hard on her defensive positioning,” Scherr-Wells said.
One area where Tamburrino hasn’t needed much work, though, is rebounding.
“She’s all over the floor,” Scherr-Wells said. “She can rebound like nobody I’ve ever coached. She has a great eye for the ball.”
At 11-2, Roosevelt is in a three-way tie for the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference lead with Cardinal Stritch and Olivet Nazarene.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Tamburrino said.
Despite being so close to the program’s first 20-win season, the Lakers are not focused on that milestone.
“We want to win our conference, so how many wins that takes is the number we want,” Scherr-Wells said.
Tops at Truman: D-II Truman State senior defensive back Richie Schumacher was a second-team selection to the 2012 Don Hansen All-Super Region Three football team this season.
A Crystal Lake South graduate, Schumacher ranked fourth in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a team-high 110 tackles. He also had two interceptions, two blocked kicks and six tackles for loss. Schumacher’s 20-tackle effort Oct. 27 against Pittsburg (Kan.) State was the most tackles in a game for a Truman player in 11 years.
Schumacher also was chosen to the Daktronics All-Region second team and was a first-team All-MIAA pick.
Tournament MVP: D-III Lake Forest College’s junior women’s hockey goaltender Stacey Dierking was named the Most Valuable Player of the sixth annual Codfish Bowl on Jan. 4 at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Dierking, a Crystal Lake Central grad, saved 29 of 30 shots in the tournament, during which Lake Forest (5-2-4) shut out Plymouth State, 5-0, in the opening round. In the championship game, Dierking made 13 saves in a 5-1 victory against the host school.
Dierking nearly posted back-to-back shutouts, but UMass-Boston managed a goal with 30 seconds remaining in the championship game.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column and a blog about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.com, check out his On Campus blog at McHenryCountySports.com and follow him @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.