Mercy's Vogtman centers on success Girls basketball: The Magic sophomore is fashioning a fine follow-up to a strong freshman season.

February 02, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Don't talk to Jamie Vogtman about the sophomore jinx. She says she's never heard of it.

Her game certainly shows no sign of it.

Mercy's 5-foot-11 center said she hasn't felt a lot of pressure to live up to a stellar freshman season in which she averaged 10.7 points and 11.2 rebounds. Still, she is fully aware of what's expected of her.

"When you're a freshman and you make a mistake, people say, 'That's OK. She's only a freshman,' " Vogtman said. "When you're a sophomore, you've really got to think. Those mistakes aren't OK anymore. You've got to play hard every game, and you've really got to keep your head."

Vogtman has done all of that and more. She leads the No. 2-ranked Magic (16-2) in scoring (14.7) and rebounding (8.6).

Her presence inside and especially her rebounding have been the key to more than one Magic victory this season.

"Jamie has been the go-to girl," said Shannon Cohen, the Magic's second-team All-Metro point guard. "She just knows when to go in. She has great timing and she gets the rebound."

Vogtman's contributions were especially critical early on when the Magic's outside shooters struggled with their shots.

On Jan. 10, Vogtman turned in her most impressive performance in a 53-48 win at Bullis Prep (D.C.).

With Cohen serving a suspension for picking up two technical fouls in the previous game, Vogtman took over. She scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds, five blocks and three steals.

"I like to be a team player, but in certain games, you have to step up and take charge," said Vogtman. "I was kind of on fire in that game and I stayed in the groove. They got me the ball and that was a great win for us."

Her best board game came a week later when she grabbed 22 rebounds in a 52-45 win over John Carroll. Even though she struggled offensively, finishing that night with 11 points, Vogtman didn't let it affect the rest of her game.

"You look at Jamie and you see an awful lot of composure for a sophomore," said John Carroll coach Kathleen Shannon. "She really helps that team maintain an emotional balance. I've never seen her upset. She has the same expression on her face whether they're up by 20 or down by 20."

Her composure comes from a quiet inner confidence. She's not flashy, but she knows she can play with anyone in the Catholic dTC League, which boasts the top four teams in The Sun's Top 20 poll.

The four-year AAU veteran has carried on a family tradition since she was was 10. Both of her parents played basketball in high school -- mother Nancy (Hoerl) at Mercy. Her father, Jim, and brother, Jason, a Loyola graduate and freshman at Lebanon Valley (Pa.), went on to play in college.

If she ever had any doubts about her own talent, they were erased last summer at the invitation-only Women's Basketball Coaches Association Camp at Western Maryland College.

"They had 200 of the best girls on the East Coast," said Vogtman. "I learned I could play up with that competition. A lot of those girls were a year older than me."

Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion has seen improvement in Vogtman's game especially in her defense and her post moves.

"She's not just getting the ball and driving right away," said Marion. "She's turning and looking at the basket and taking the open shot when she has it, and she's moving the ball around. Jamie made a name for herself last year, and she knows she's got to add some other things to her game."

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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