Retired hall of fame Titans coach helps guide Spartan girls to basketball tourney title
When Glenbrook North won the Maine East Thanksgiving tourney last week, among the smiling faces for the Spartans was assistant coach Steve Weissenstein.
Yes, Weissenstein the former hall of fame Glenbrook South girls basketball coach.
The Prospect High School graduate was also substitute teaching in the business education department at South this past semester.
"They're my same classes I taught when I was there (full-time)," said the retired Weissenstein, who played varsity basketball for three years at Prospect. "It's like I never left. I just get in the car and drive over to GBN after school instead of just walking over to the gym (at GBS)."
Head coach Nick Capalbo and Weissenstein have the Spartans off to a 4-0 start.
"It's awesome," said Weissenstein, who will substitute at New Trier High School next semester. "They're great kids and the thing is, they're dedicated. They just want to get better. It's good stuff."
Speaking of assistant coaches, on the other side of the scorer's table for the Maine East title game was Amanda Mistretta, the assistant to Blue Demons head coach Nicole Rinaldi.
Mistretta is the Blue Demons' No. 2 all-time scorer with 1,346 points.
"I never thought this would happen," said Mistretta about being back at Maine East as a coach. "I'm so happy to be able to come back here to coach. It's just a great set of kids. "I get along with them great. Since I came from the program I know how it works. It's exciting. I never thought by any chance I would ever get here and be able to be part of coaching in a tournament championship game so it was really exciting."
Mistretta is a middle school special education teacher at Culver School in Niles.
She also scored 1,000 points in her career at the University of St. Francis (Joliet) where she was teammates with current Schaumburg head coach Jacqui Storm Strauch, who also scored 1,000 points in Joliet after graduating from Sandburg High School.
As Maine South's only returning starter, senior Emily Pape has provided plenty of pop for the Hawks. "She has really stepped up for us in so many ways," said Hawks coach Jeff Hamann.
Through the Hawks' first three games, Pape averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 steals.
"We are heavily relying on Emily on both ends of the floor," Hamann said. "We are also excited about our two sophomores (Ava Blagojevich and Meegan Fahy) who are currently in our starting lineup."
Fahy scored in double figures in her first two games against Barrington and Grayslake Central (11 and 10 points respectively) while Blagojevich scored 11 vs. Buffalo Grove. "As both girls become more comfortable, they are only going to get better," Hamann added.
Maine West senior Julia Wolke, a transfer from Christian Liberty, enjoyed a very successful scoring career in her first three years in Arlington Heights. She began this season needing only 34 points to reach 1,000 for her career. Jade Thomas, a 6-2 senior, is averaging 11 points a game for coach Deanna Kuzmanic's Warriors.