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Archive for November 2007

Welcome home, Chris Bruton

CALGARY, Alberta – This one took some grinding. That’s what happens when two high-caliber teams meet.

How appropriate then – in more ways than one – that Chris Bruton would come through in the clutch.

It’s a ‘no-go’ for EWU’s Borden

Eastern ran through a quick practice at Kidd Brewer Stadium this afternoon, and the setting is terrific.

But the injury news wasn’t so good, as Eagles coach Paul Wulff confirmed that sophomore linebacker Makai Borden won’t play in today’s FCS playoff game against Appalachian State because of a severe stress fracture in this foot.

You can more about Borden and today’s game by clicking on the extended entry line below.

GU update

The Zags arrived in Boston, held their walk-through and are currently at the Holland Community Center, where the players are visiting youths and available for autographs for about an hour.

For a wrap-up of Thursday’s overtime win against Saint Joseph’s and a look ahead to Saturday’s date with UConn, click on extended entry.

There is a high of 11 degrees today

Hello everyone. Greetings from Canada, eh.

I’m in Calgary right now after a long day of driving yesterday. We spent the day at Judd Blackwater’s Blood Tribe reservation in Lethbridge, where I met his family and tons of children and adults came out to show their support for the Spokane Chiefs. I’m working on a feature about the event and how Blackwater is a hero of sorts in his community. Stay tuned.

I’ll post my game story after the Chiefs take on the Eastern Conference-leading Calgary Hitmen tonight. Then it’s off to Medicine Hat.

Read on for the latest CHL rankings.

Test awaits Cougs tonight


It’s nice and warm in Texas, but it is Texas. Coming down the interstate from Dallas last night, there was a 5-mile backup caused by a truck losing its load because, according to reports, it was going too fast around a turn. My guess? About 100.

Anyhow, the Cougars practiced in the Ferrell Center (Taylor Rochestie said it reminded him of Utah’s arena; uh-oh) and will have a shoot-around today. We have a basketball link and, oh ya, the coaching search.

Zags pull out road victory

It wasn’t exactly pretty.

In fact, it looked fairly bleak for Gonzaga with 3:37 left and the Zags staring at a six-point deficit inside a raucous Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

But GU responded with a late run, a handful of clutch plays in overtime and a gritty 70-65 victory over Saint Joseph’s on Thursday.

Read an unedited game story below.

WSU talk distraction for Wulff

The Eagles arrived in Boone, N.C., Thursday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup against Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.

You can read an unedited version of the notebook that will appear in Friday morning’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry line below.

Jackrabbits sprint past Idaho

I was tardy in posting this link to our story about South Dakota State beating Idaho in a men’s non-conference basketball game Wednesday.

Click the tab below to see links to other stories about Western Athletic Conference teams.

Baseball season begins in winter

I’m one of a dying breed who believes that every time has a season and that high school basketball and wrestling are winter sports. But there’s still a weekend of football to play and basketball has lapped back into November.

Prep baseball conversations are already beginning. Mike Peterson sent me this about area prospects as published by Baseball Northwest website.

He figured it would be something for you diamond junkies out there to chew on while you await March. The comments are his.

But here’s the deal. Given the inanities and downright nastiness on recent football and basketball sports I’m setting ground rules. Keep the conversation pertinent and inciteful, keep it civil and keep it clean. No bashing of individuals, no “my school’s better than yours” or I’m banning people from further participation.

Philly previews, notes

Arrived in Philadelphia late last night, waited forever for a hotel shuttle and then had a driver who made up a few of those precious lost minutes by ignoring every stop sign _ and one stoplight _ on some mighty narrow streets. Made for an interesting ride for myself and two others, one of whom nearly pulled the hand-rail off with her two-fisted grip.

For a look at GU-Saint Joseph’s from Philly newspapers and other stuff, click below.

Souers thinks Eags can hand with App State

I had a chance to talk with Northern Arizona coach Jerome Souers earlier this week to discuss the challenges EWU faces in Saturday’s FCS playoff matchup against Appalachian State in Boone, N.C.

Souers and his Lumberjacks lost to both quarterfinalists this year, and you can read an unedited version of his take on the game by clicking on the extended entry line below.

Chiefs head out on Central trip

The Spokane Chiefs leave Thursday morning bright and early to head out on their five-game swing through the Central Division. You can click below for my unedited notebook running tomorrow. I’ll be driving up north for Friday and Saturday’s games.

I also thought I’d turn it to the readers to ask for any questions you might have on the Chiefs. I’d be happy to find the answers.

Idaho: Boys basketball

Click the tab below to see a break down of each conference and team-by-team capsules.

It was a day to vent opinions


There’s not as much quantity available today but there is some quality. Call it the day of the dueling columnists.

We have links to all the news out there on Cougar football. And we have some Cougar basketball notes for you.

Eags practice in snow at G-Prep

Eastern practiced on the snow-covered — but lighted — artificial turf at Gonzaga Prep Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s FCS quarterfinal-round playoff matchup against Appalachian State in Boone, N.C.

You can read an unedited version of the story on the Eags’ defensive dominance, of late, that will appear in Wednesday’s S-R by clicking on the entended entry line below.

Idaho announces men’s hoop signing

University of Idaho men’s basketball coach George Pfeifer announced the signing of Erekle Jgerenaia, a 6-foot-8 forward from Tbilisi, the capital of the country of Georgia.

Click the tab below to read more.

Sports editor: Blow up everything Vandal

Idaho Statesman sports editor Mike Prater has riled up University of Idaho football supporters with tongue-in-cheek comments he made Monday on a radio talk show in Boise. His comments were made in reference to the Vandals’ season-ending 24-19 loss to Utah State that was played before an announced crowd of 8,102 at the Kibbie Dome.

Check it out above.

Basketball begins tonight

Ready or not (and neither Lewis and Clark and Ferris are ready), the Greater Spokane League basketball gets underway tonight.

Key game is at Central Valley where Shadle Park comes calling. On Saturday, 1:30 p.m., the Bears host Ferris in the defending state champions’ opener.

In case you haven’t read today’s Spokesman-Review, here’s the preview story and outlook. Below are the on-line capsules

Press conference video

Due to an unbelievable amount of technical difficulties, I wasn’t able to get my Bill Doba press conference video up until now. But here you guys go.

Jim Sterk and Doba talk about Doba’s departure from the WSU football team:

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

KAYU to televise EWU playoff game

Eastern’s 9:05 a.m. FCS playoff game against Appalachian State on Saturday will be televised in the Spokane area on KAYU TV, and is also being aired by Altitude Sports and Entertainment (DirectTV 644, Dish Network 410).

Chiefs ranked first again

It’s unanimous - the Spokane Chiefs are once again the Western Hockey League’s top-ranked team.

Receiving all 16 first-place votes this week, the Chiefs topped the WHL writer’s poll - released by the Western Major Junior Hockey Writer’s Association - for the fourth time in as many weeks. Spokane is on a six-game winning streak, which includes a 5-3 victory over U.S. Division rival and second-ranked Tri-City on Saturday.

Carroll in NAIA semifinals again

NAIA football power Carroll College of Helena, Mont., advanced to the semifinals with a 27-16 win over Morningside (Iowa) College last Saturday.

Former Coeur d’Alene High standout Gabe Le had a big contribution in Carroll’s win.

Click the tab below to read more.

Cougs climb, Zags slip in one poll

Washington State moved up to sixth in the ESPN/USA Today college basketball poll, while Gonzaga dropped from 14th to 19th.

Here’s a link.

More on the rankings and a few Great Alaska Shootout notes below.

The future of Cougar football may be decided today


Sorry this is a little later than usual, but I used the time this morning to drive to Pullman, where I’ve been doing my job. We should have more to report concerning Bill Doba’s future soon. UPDATE: There will be a press conference here in Pullman today at 4:30 p.m. with Jim Sterk and Doba.

Until then, please keep yourself busy with these links.

WSU wins tourney with comeback victory


The third game of Cougar Hispanic College Fund Challenge was a challenge for WSU, with the Cougs rallying to defeat Air Force. Read on for my unedited story.

You could be reading until the next Cup comes around


There is so much to post about concerning the Apple Cup, I’m not sure I have enough time to get to it all before I need to be at the Arena for another Cougar basketball game. But we’ll try.

Read on for links to our Apple Cup stories and links to selected pieces from around the state. Below this post you’ll find about 10 minutes worth of postgame video from Nick Eaton.

Cougars come through

Consdering the Cougars were coming off a dismal loss and the Huskies were coming off a big win.

Considering the Cougars allowed the Huskies to return the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and went three-and-out on their first three possessions to fall behind 10-0.

Considering this game was in Husky Stadium with a loud crowd of 72,888 ready to bury them.

It’s hard to believe how well the Cougars played for the a majority of the final 47 minutes to beat the Huskies in an Apple Cup that ranks right up as one of the most exciting and entertaining as any of the first 99.

Click on the link below for our unedited game story. Unfortunately, there isn’t time to provide more after this 4-plus hour game really pushed deadline.

All-Northeast 1B final

Almira/Coulee Hartline and Odessa put a combined 138 points on the scoreboard to earn a rematch of their Northeast 1B League game earlier this year.

Only this time it’s for the state title, Friday in the Tacoma Dome at 4 p.m. Unbeatem Odessa won 56-6 the fourth game of the season, but that’s the Warrior’s only defeat.

My story is below

Chiefs burn Americans

KENNEWICK – With finesse and irrefutable firepower, Drayson Bowman, Mitch Wahl and Chris Bruton continue to burn their opponents on the ice.

Their timing couldn’t have been better on Saturday night, when the stakes were especially high.

Zags bounce back with big win

Gonzaga rebounded from Friday’s loss to Texas Tech with a decisive 82-64 victory over Virginia Tech to claim third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday.

GU improved to 5-1. Virginia Tech is 2-2.

Check back for the game story in about 90 minutes.

We’ve got a game, here

For much of the first half, it looked like the Cougars would have some catching up to do in the second half.

But a late drive by the Cougars brought them back into the game, and heading into the locker room with a one-point lead, 21-20.

Eagles leave Alaska with a victory

Click below for unedited EWU-Alaska Anchorage game story.

Eagles hold on for win

Eastern Washington won its second game of the year, hanging on for a 64-62 win Saturday over Alaska Anchorage in the 7th-8th place game at the Great Alaska Shootout.

Game story in the next 60 minutes.

Oldies 101.1 FM to carry EWU playoff game

Gonzaga’s basketball loss to Texas Tech on Saturday night has forced a change in the planned radio broadcast of Eastern’s FCS playoff game against McNeese State.

The EWU-McNeese game will air on Oldies 101.1 FM in Spokane at 5 p.m. (PST). Get more details here.

The Apple Cup really messes up a schedule


Honestly, there is just too much to cover this morning. Maybe we can get WSU to push back the basketball game today to say, 4 p.m., just so we can get our work done? No, there’s a conflict at that time? Darn.

Well let’s get to the basketball stuff, then we’ll get to the time conflict that won’t allow the WSU people to give me my nap time. What is it, some sort of parade or band competition? The Apple Cup? Really? That’s today?

Gonzaga suffers first loss

There will be no rematch with Butler.

Gonzaga was outplayed by Texas Tech and suffered a 73-63 loss Friday in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout. A GU win would have set up a showdown with No. 22 Butler, which defeated Gonzaga in the finals of last year’s NIT Season Tip-Off in New York.

Instead, Gonzaga will meet Virginia Tech, which dropped an 84-78 overtime decision to Butler. Game time is 7 PST tonight.

Click below for an unedited GU-Texas Tech game story.

EWU falls again in Alaska

Obviously, being confined to a Holiday Inn in Lafayette, La., to report on Saturday FCS football playoff game between Eastern and McNeese State, I don’t have any first-hand information on EWU’s 61-53 loss to Michigan in the consolation bracket of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage on Friday night.

But you can read Jim Meehan’s game story by checking his “Eagles fall to Michigan” blog entry that was posted earlier.

A chat with some legends


I’m here in the Spokane Arena waiting for the first game of the Cougar Hispanic College Fund Challenge to begin and watching my Internet access go in and out. Kinda cool.

As I said earlier in the week, I wanted to share with you some thoughts Jim Walden and Mark Rypien had this week concerning Bill Doba, Alex Brink and the Cougars. Read on for a transcript of their comments.

Eagles rally falls just short

EWU climbed out of a big first-half hole and closed within 54-53 with 1:27 left before Michigan escaped with a 61-53 victory Friday at the Great Alaska Shootout.

We’ll post the game story in the next hour or so.

Look back, ahead

An update, while watching Michigan put on a shooting clinic against EWU (8 3-pointers and a 34-21 lead at half) and still wondering how Jeremy Pargo got called for a charge while dunking over a WKU player that was trying to get out of his way last night.

Click below.

Last chance for Vandal seniors

Good morning Vandal fans. I trust you had a wonderful holiday and got up bright and early today to start the rush to Christmas.

Keep reading to see the story we ran yesterday on the positive attitude of the Vandal seniors, and more.

Eags back up off-season talk

Happy Thanksgiving out there.

I’m about to head to the kitchen to start carving the turkey, but thought I would post an unedited version of the story about Eastern’s turnaround football season that will run in Friday morning’s S-R.

You can read it by clicking on the extended entry line below.

… and I’m thankful for the Internet


A couple quick notes and the links, though I don’t know if anyone is reading on Thanksgiving. And, oh yah, I miss Glenn too.

Eagles down 12 at half

Eastern Washington was within 12-11 after Adris DeLeon buried a 3-pointer, but the offense went dry and Virginia Tech started connecting from the perimeter.

The result? The Hokies built a 30-18 lead at half behind a stingy defense, five 3-pointers and a 19-14 rebounding edge in the Great Alaska Shootout opener at Sullivan Arena.

DeLeon and Gary Gibson each scored five points for EWU. Virginia Tech’s A.D. Vassallo and reserve guard Malcolm Delaney combined for 16 points.

Sturdy’s no-huddle approach works for Eags

We have a story running in Thursday’s S-R on Eastern’s first-year offensive coordinator and Todd Sturdy and the no-huddle offense he brought with him from the Midwest.

You can read an unedited version of the story by clicking on the extended entry line below.

Vandals face happy Utah State

Spirits are much higher around Utah State after the Aggies ended a 17-game losing streak in football.

What that means for Idaho, when the Vandals end their season Saturday in the Kibbie Dome against USU - a game billed as the “pillow fight” between 1-10 teams.

Idaho coach Robb Akey joked that maybe the Aggies would be overconfident facing a team that has lost nine straight.

But seriously, keep reading.

Eags preparing to defend the run

Eastern Washington’s football team practiced on the artificial turf at Gonzaga Prep Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s FCS playoff opener against McNeese State in Lake Charles, La.

The Eagles have no lights on their practice fields, and Woodward was too chewed up following Saturday’s win over Weber to be used.

You can read an unedited version of the EWU footall notebook that will appear in Wednesday’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry line below.

Bethay signs with Shock; Stevens inks AFL deal

Fullback/defensive lineman Katon Bethay has re-signed with the Spokane Shock for the 2008 season while veteran defensive lineman Jerome Stevens, who signed with the Shock on Nov. 7, inked an AFL contract with the Kansas City Brigade.

Alaska preview

Click below for an unedited S-R preview _ it includes Gonzaga and Eastern Washington info _ of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Transfers: Here we go again

The rumors in the blog-o-sphere that Lewis and Clark sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday would become a Ferris Saxon are true.

Tom Yearout confirmed that he left the team and enrolled at Ferris on Friday when the LC was traveling to Seattle. It was verified by Ferris activities coordinator Mike Syron.

Grizzlies’ Hauck named BSC coach of year

Montana’s Bobby Hauck has been named the Big Sky Conference’s football coach of the year.

You can read more here.

Chiefs hold on to top ranking

The Spokane Chiefs scored a hat trick Monday, earning their third-straight top ranking in the Western Hockey League poll released by the Western Major Junior Hockey Writer’s Association.

The U.S. Division-leading Chiefs are on a four-game winning streak and are atop the Western Conference with a 17-3-1-2 record, 37 points and an .804 winning percentage through 23 games. They earned 16 of 18 first-place votes and 393 total points in the poll.

Chiefs make roster moves

You’ve all been wondering when it will happen, and what the details would be. Here it is.

The Spokane Chiefs have released goaltender James Reid from their roster and he is awaiting reassignment. Reid will remain on the Chiefs 50-player protected list.

The Chiefs also traded forward Cody Esposito to Red Deer for 18-year-old forward Luke Betts.

Read on for more.

A couple of items (UPDATED)

Click on the entry below for a couple of links from the Spokane Shock and a release about former Shock defensive lineman Devon Parks signing an AFL contract.

Bowman named WHL Player of the Week

Chiefs forward Drayson Bowman earned Player of the Week honors, the Western Hockey League announced today.

Read on for more from the release. I’ll have poll results for you later today.

Vandal kickoff moved up

Because the Utah State-Idaho football game has been picked up to be broadcast by Altitude Sports, kickoff has been moved up to 12:30 p.m. It will be the last game for 15 seniors.

Big Sky honors Nichols again

Eastern Washington quarterback Matt Nichols has been honored for the second consecutive week as the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Wulff among Robinson finalists

Eastern Washington football coach Paul Wulff has been selected by The Sports Network as one of 16 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award.

Get more details here.

Eags like playoff chances against No. 2 seed

Eastern Washington coach Paul Wulff and Eagles quarterback Matt Nichols made themselves available Sunday afternoon to comment on Eastern’s berth against No. 2-seeded and unbeaten McNeese State in this year’s FCS playoffs.

You can read an unedited version of the story that will appear in Monday’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry line below.

Shocking day leaves WSU frustrated and disappointed


Looking back from a few hours removed, the 52-17 loss was one of the more shocking results I can remember. Read on for the reasons behind why we are writing that this morning – and for the links.

Zags selected for Maui ‘09

Gonzaga is heading back to the Maui Invitational in 2009. GU defeated Maryland and Michigan State (109-106 in triple OT) before falling to UConn 65-63 in Maui in 2005.

Read more here.

EWU makes strong case for FCS playoff berth

Quarterback Matt Nichols overcame some horrible weather condiditons to throw for 256 yards and four touchdowns as Eastern Washington knocked off Big Sky Conference rival Weber State 38-16 on Saturday to bolster its chances of receiving an at-large berth in the upcoming Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry below.

And don’t be shy about weighing in with your opinion on whether the Eags — winners of four straight to close the regular season — deserve a chance to test themselves against the nation’s best.

There go the bowl hopes

The Cougs lost. Pretty badly. The 52-17 fall to the Oregon State Beavers this evening shut down WSU’s chances to finish the season 6-6, hence eliminating the Cougars’ chances of making a bowl game.

It was an ugly game. Check out my quick gamer here.

Vandals: it wasn’t pretty

The Vandals aren’t ready for primetime football, they’re not even close, and the Boise State is primetime.

It seems like there is so much to say and so little room to say it.

For now, we’ll just leave you with the unedited game story I just filed for tomorrow’s paper. Maybe the best thing to do is to answer questions you may have after watching the 58-14 debacle.

Martin Stadium wet and empty

Ten minutes before kickoff, it was pouring rain on noticeably empty Martin Stadium bleachers.

A ways to go for Bennett’s team


Two posts this morning. This first one is going to concentrate on basketball, looking back to last night’s defeat of the Vandals.

Chiefs power past Pats

When you compare it to the nine games they rattled off from Oct. 12 to Nov. 2, the Spokane Chiefs three-game winning streak isn’t anything to start bragging about.

Drayson Bowman’s scoring streak, however, is shaping up to be a different story.

The Chiefs’ left-winger found the net twice Friday night to score in his eighth-straight game and Chris Bruton added a goal and an assist as Spokane powered past the East-leading Regina Pats with a 4-2 Western Hockey League victory in front of 5,812 Arena fans.

Another second-half surge takes Cougs to 3-0

Six Cougars had more than 10 points tonight.

Idaho’s Jordan Brooks led all scorers with 14.

It didn’t balance out.

(Read on.)

EDIT: I’m working on some post-game interview video right now. Stand by.

Quick look at UC Riverside

Click below for some info on Saturday’s GU-UCR game.

Red-hot Weber next up for Eags

Eastern Washington University is, perhaps, one win away from earning an at-large berth in the FCS playoffs, but a win over Weber State on Saturday is essential.

You can read an unedited version of the game advance that will run in Saturday’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry below.

Gridders onward and upward

Ferris and LC football teams take their next and perhaps most difficult step in Saturday’s State 4A playoffs.

The Saxons face a team of behemoths in Graham-Kapowsin who want to pound you until faced with 8-man fronts so tight they can loft a scoring toss over the top.

The Tigers face a befuddling team in Inglemoor which runs a spread offense with Wing T principals, all the better to confuse you.

Busy day with lots of rain on the way


There’s a lot to get to today, so let’s not waste any time talking about the weather, though it is supposed to be wetter than Seattle here this weekend and that seems to be bothering … no, no, let’s get to the links and stuff.

Eags’ comeback dumps Highlanders

Eastern Washington gave Kirk Earlywine his first win as an NCAA Division I head coach Thursday night at Reese Court.

You can read an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Friday’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry line below.

And don’t forget to check back for some additional post-game comments from Earlywine and his players tomorrow.

Playoff talk off limits at EWU

Eastern football coach Paul Wulff has put playoff conversations off limits for his Eagles heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale against Weber State.

You get more details, along with some additional Big Sky Conference notes and information on the FCS Playoffs pairings show that will air Sunday afternoon on ESPNU by clicking on the extended entry line below.

Some Broncos aren’t laughing

At least one Boise State player doesn’t think Robb Akey is too funny.

That’s OK, but if you read the comments at the end, that’s where you realize that way too many people don’t have an perspective on sports.

Seniors ready for final Martin Stadium game


Good morning. There was a boatload of news yesterday, most of which was posted here. So we’ll move forward quickly, with the emphasis on football.

Cowen to play for Team West

Jared Cowen is heading to London in December.

London, Ontario, that is – and not for vacation purposes.

One of several rookies making a splash this season in the Western Hockey League, the Spokane Chiefs defenseman will play for Team West at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge beginning on Dec. 29.

Read on for the rest of my unedited notebook, which will run in tomorrow’s S-R and some extra notes.

Eags mum on new basketball signees

I had hoped to have some news on Eastern’s basketball signees today, but was informed that first-year coach Kirk Earlywine won’t have any announcements on that front until later this week or next.

I’m not sure what to read into that, but stay tuned. I’m sure the NCAA’s on-going investigation into the program produces some major uncertainties about the number of scholarships that will be available.

Idaho girls basketball

Click the tab below to see a break down of each conference and team-by-team capsules of North Idaho teams.

Cougars sign numerous basketball players


A quick note about letter of intent day. The Cougar men received LOIs from the five guys who gave them commitments: Marcus Capers, Michael Harthun, Klay Thompson, James Watson and Nick Witherill. Coach Tony Bennett will be talking about them soon.

The Cougar women signed seven players – we know, there aren’t that many scholarships open right now, but there will be next fall – including Lexie Pettersen from Shadle Park High, Katie Grad, Jessica Oestreicher, April Cook, Danielle Lenoir, Jazmine Perkins and Rosie Tarnowski. Read on for copies of the releases about the men and women.

College Sporting News honors Nichols

College Sporting News has named Eastern Washington University quarterback Matt Nichols as one of its four national NCAA Football Championship Subdivision players of the week.

Nichols, a sophomore from Cottonwood, Calif., threw for 317 yards and five touchdowns in last Saturday’s 52-24 rout of Big Sky Conference rival Northern Arizona and posted an efficiency rating of 273.3 — the fourth highest this season among FCS quarterbacks.

You can read more details here.

Davis’ dad improving

Theo Davis made his Gonzaga debut Tuesday night, playing the final two minutes and scoring two points in an 80-43 win over Idaho.

It’s been a difficult couple weeks for Davis, who was sidelined by an infection in his foot and then left the team last Thursday after his father suffered a stroke in Toronto.

More below from Davis and other GU-Idaho notes.

More views of Cougar comeback … and football


Not a lot available, of course, about Cougar basketball, as we were the only guy who covers WSU on a regular basis in Boise last night.

But there are a few things we can link to and talk about.

Cougars score one for the offense


The first road win was earned on the offensive end tonight – did you ever think you would read those words about a Tony Bennett team? The 74 points given up was the most ever by a TB team in a win, and the 86 points was the most his team has scored in regulation.

Read on for the unedited version of my story, along with some notes.

GU-Idaho game story

Gonzaga improved to 2-0 with an 80-43 victory over Idaho on Tuesday. GU led just 36-30 at half, but limited the Vandals to 13 second-half points.

According to GU’s sports information department, GU allowed 15 second-half points to Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a 92-42 win during the 2001-02 season and 16 to San Francisco in the first half of a 92-50 victory in 2003-04.

Click below for an unedited game story.

Woah there, Zags

Well, I hadn’t seen something like that in a while. Going into the second half, the Bulldogs were up just six points: 36-30. The final score? Well, let’s just say it was a little lopsided.

Read on.

(And stay tuned for a post-game interview video.)

Shock add two more

The Spokane Shock roster continues to grow.

The Shock announced today that offensive lineman Seth Cook and defensive lineman Roderkus Wright have been added to their 2008 roster.

Idaho prep football finals

Click the tab below to see the matchups for the Idaho high school state football championships.

All six title games will be Web cast live on

Off to cover basketball


Headed to Boise and we’ll try to post later, but here are a couple things for the early folks.

Some reading material

Good morning.

Just woke up to find a couple of links on tonight’s opponent, the Prince George Cougars. Jim Swanson of the PG Citizen has this story on the Cougars’ four-game slide and one on injuries.

Eags lose big again in “ Pit”

Eastern’s basketball teams lost big again on Monday night, falling to New Mexico 92-57 in the “Pit,” but it sounds like the Eagles did some good things early.

You can read the game story filed by EWU’s sports information director Dave Cook by clicking here.

Chiefs remain atop WHL poll, Kelner suspended

For the second straight week, the Spokane Chiefs were voted the top team in the Western Hockey League poll released Monday by the Western Major Junior Hockey Writer’s Association.

Brink up for another award; Collins questionable


A couple of quick notes and links …

• Alex Brink is a finalist for a national sportsmanship award.

• Jed Collins is in a boot, but head coach Bill Doba hopes he’ll be able to practice by Thursday. If he can, then he’ll play Saturday. Still, list him as questionable.

Great volleyball weekend

In case you didn’t see the story in Sunday’s The Spokesman-Review, it was an all-GSL final at the State 4A volleyball tournament when Mead and Lewis and Clark squared off for the second year in a row.

The Panthers captured their fifth straight state championship, unprecedented in the tournament, but the Tigers made massive strides at the end of the season to make it a euphoric second weekend in the Yearout household.

Monday morning blues


As per usual on Monday morning, there’s not a lot to link to directly concerning WSU. But we’ll give you what we’ve found, along with a couple of bonus links concerning basketball and football.

Zags roll, two scheduled for surgery

Gonzaga opened its season with an impressive 77-54 drubbing of Montana on Sunday. GU played without three players _ Josh Heytvelt, Steven Gray and Theo Davis _ and could be without at least two of those players for as long as six weeks.

Much more below, including an unedited game story.

Zags up on Grizzlies at half

Talk about a lopsided game. Up 44-25 at halftime, the Zags have been suffocating Montana on defense and shooting over the Grizzlies on offense. Montana rarely got inside, attempting many 3-pointers but sinking few.

It’s essentially what one might expect from a match-up between the 14th-ranked Bulldogs and Montana, who went 17-15 last season. If you don’t remember, Gonzaga’s record was 23-11.

Getting to the core of the Cougars


For the past 24 years I would tell anyone who would listen John Blanchette has a way – an unmatched way, actually – of getting to the core of an issue. He did it again Saturday night from the Cougar game.

Blanchette’s column is just one of the links we have for you. And only part of the commentary. Read on.

Huge win for the Eagles

Eastern Washington used a big first quarter to spring past Northern Arizona in Big Sky Conference matchup that had post-season playoff consequences.

Some postgame stuff from WSU’s 33-17 win

I didn’t get this post up sooner because I’ve been scrambling to get video for some post-game multimedia. Below is a compilation of clips from post-game interviews with the players. We’ll also have an audio slide show coming, too.

Here’s a link to my quick gamer. Vince’s is on the way; I’m watching him write as we speak.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Slideshow from Friday’s game

View slideshow of photos from Friday night’s matchup between Washington State and Eastern Washington.

GU update

Our phone calls went unanswered Friday night and thus far Saturday morning, so the only official word regarding GU’s injuries came in the school’s release for Sunday’s season-opener with Montana.

More below.

A look back at last night’s hoops


We had so many posts concerning the WSU and EWU basketball game, it seems redundant to go there again, but we have to because we a) need to link to the stories and b) we have a couple of thoughts.

Shock add former Eagle

No, not Raul Vijil.

The Spokane Shock have added two-way lineman Harrison Nikolao to their 2008 roster.

Also, former Shock DB Alex Teems and OL Amos Lamb both signed AFL contracts with Cleveland (formerly the Las Vegas Gladiators). DL Elbert Shumake, who the Shock signed on October 5th, was signed by the AFL’s Georgia Force.

Lake City dethroned

The Capital Eagles knocked off the Lake City Timberwolves 38-24 in the State 5A football semifinals Friday at Boise.

Click the tab below to read Greg Lee’s unedited game story.

WSU grabs win from Eastern

Did you expect any different? The 10th-ranked Cougars returned to Friel Court tonight with a decisive 68-41 win over the Eagles. It was mostly smooth sailing for the Cougs, though they let some slick shots slip through their defense.

I’ve got Vince’s gamer up online. Also, I’ve written a little more here, if you “read the rest of this entry.”

Here’s coach Tony Bennett and some of the players talking about the win.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

WSU women lose to Portland

It wasn’t pretty. But in their 70-40 loss to Portland, the WSU women improved their play over exhibition games, coach June Daugherty said.

She was most concerned about her team’s rebounds: The Cougars had 32, the Pilots had 48. Both teams struggled with turnovers. WSU tallied 22 — a generous estimate — and Portland made 20.

Fans started filing into Beasley Coliseum in the last few minutes of the women’s game to watch the 10th-ranked Cougar men, who tipped off just now — at 6:36 p.m.

Two items of multimedia after the jump!

Playoff time this weekend

It’s Ferris vs. Mead tonight and Lewis and Clark against Woodinville tomorrow as State football playoffs begin in earnest.

Can Clarkston derail top-ranked Prosser? Will Pullman and Colville’s playoff experience stand them in good stead in 2A? Will Lakeside solve Royal this time around in 1A?

And can the Northeast 2B regain prominence?

These questions will be answered soon.

Dueling goalies unite Chiefs

Here’s the link to my feature on Chiefs’ goaltenders Kevin Armstrong and Dustin Tokarski that ran in today’s section.

When you’re done, answer this: What do you think of the Chiefs’ goaltender situation? Do you prefer one guy over the other?

Can Eagles afford a loss?

Much of the conversation around the Big Sky Conference this week centered on whether the league deserves to get a second team in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs this year.

That’s the lead subject my Big Sky notebook, but you can get a jump on Friday morning reading with this link.

Club volleyball tryouts near

The Evergreen Region of USA Volleyball is holding an open house for players and parents Monday at the Valley HUB (formerly Sports USA), E19619 Cataldo in Liberty Lake.
Open house is an opportunity to talk to a variety of area club directors and coaches about the upcoming season, teams and tryouts. First tryouts are Tuesday.

Club volleyball offers a wide range of opportunities for both girls and boys, from youth developmental to national traveling teams.
USA Volleyball and Evergreen Region function to promote the growth of volleyball. Visit or call 235-6285 for details about the open house.

Wulff’s gut feeling paid off again

Eastern Washington football coach Paul Wulff has learned to trust his gut when it comes to evaluating recruits.

And in the case of Aaron Boyce, Wulff’s gut got it right again.

Will the Cardinal ruin Dad’s weekend?


Good morning from the Palouse, where the sun is shining (not really, but at least it’s not foggy or rainy like Spokane) and the day looks bright (that’s my feeling, anyway).

We’ve got a few things for you this morning as the week winds down and Stanford comes to town. What do you think? Is this one going to be tougher than it appeared at the beginning of the season? Tougher than it appeared after the Huskies ran all over the Cardinal last week? My feeling is yes on both. The Stanford team that beat USC might just show up this Saturday.

A handful of updates

The Spokane Shock, past and present, have been busy the past two days inking deals around the AFL and af2.

Among the transactions: Jerome Stevens will be back for a third season with the Shock, two standouts from last season - Kelvin Morris and Anthony Brown - joined the AFL’s Utah Blaze while Ed Ta’amu, a member of the Shock’s 2006 ArenaCup championship team, re-signed with the Kansas City Brigade. Two new players were also added to the 2008 roster.

Read on for parts of the press releases.

Idaho prep football

I’m shocked - shocked I tell you - that there hasn’t been more conversation about this week’s semifinal games.

In 5A, Lake City travels to Capital on Friday (this will be webcast live on

In 4A, Nampa visits Lakeland on Saturday.

In 3A, Timberlake ventures into hostile territory when it takes on defending state champ Fruitland on Saturday.

In 1A Division II eight-man, Kootenai goes to Salmon River.

Question: Which teams do you think will win?

Earlywine still short on players

The manpower situation for Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team heading into Friday night’s season opener against 10th-ranked Washington State in Pullman remains dismal.

The long and the short of it


Boy do we have some stuff for you today. From the Review to the Honolulu Advertiser, we’ve got stories.

We also have some thoughts from Tony Bennett and June Daugherty’s press conferences yesterday and football practice. Read on. By the way, this might be the longest, most time-consuming post of the year.

Zags await Emporia State

Gonzaga opens the men’s basketball season with an exhibition contest against Emporia State Wednesday at 5 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Click below for a short, unedited advance of the game that I filed for Wednesday’s S-R.

NOTE: The version below has been updated post-practice at about 7:05 p.m.

Eags climb in poll

Eastern Washington has moved up to No. 20 in The Sports Network’s FCS rankings. Click here to see the complete rankings.

According to Fox, Oregon is overrated


Before I return to Pullman, here are a couple links. They cover football and basketball.

Cross country business as usual

It was business as usual for area cross country runners who had another dominant showing on Saturday. Schools won three state team championships and had three individual winners in Pasco.

North Central, won the 3A title, Mead won 4A to extend the GSL championship streak to 20 years and Central Valley - if Bryce Aguilar had stayed healthy - might be three of the top four boys teams in state overall. And Shadle’s Andrea Nelson is in a league of her own.

Justin Rose, Colville, Matt Cronrath, Odessa and St. George’s boys, for the second straight year also won titles.

Chiefs top Seattle

In their third game in three nights the Spokane Chiefs used two third-period goals on their way to a 5-3 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Sunday in Seattle.

Here’s a link to Jim Riley’s game story in the Seattle Times, and you can read on for the simple game details.

Idaho prep football

Click the tab below to see the semifinal matchups in the Idaho prep football playoffs.

Note that Lakeland’s 4A game has been moved from Friday to Saturday afternoon at Corbit Field in Rathdrum.

Will FCS take two from the Sky?

Montana clinched at least a share of its 10th consecutive Big Sky Conference football championship on Saturday, but the big news in our region was Eastern Washington’s win over Northern Colorado.

Fans excited for basketball season

Turns out there were a lot of fans lining up before today’s WSU basketball game. Fancy that. I talked to a few of them and made a short video.

Click the link below to watch the video.

More for Eagles hoops fans

Eastern Washington’s rout of Pacific in Saturday’s exhibition men’s basketball game was hardly unexpected. But it was rather shocking that the Eagles were able to dress only seven players.

You can read the short game story that appeared in Sunday morning’s S-R by clicking here, but because of space limitations, details leading to Eastern’s lack of manpower were limited.

Here’s the skinny:

All good things come to an end

Well, it certainly wasn’t due to a poor performance, but regardless, the Spokane Chiefs’ nine-game winning streak is over.

Vandals fall again

Another football game, another valiant effort, another loss for Idaho.

Keep reading for the unedited version of the story for Sunday’s paper.


Greater Spokane League 4A football teams swept all three preliminary games against Columbia Basin League foes for an unprecedented sweep of the state berths.

GSL, CBL teams break even

Six games into the crossover football games between Greater Spokane League and Columbia Basin League football teams, the leagues have split.

But the CBL has a leg up on state qualifying following Southridge’s 30-14 3A win at East Valley. Tomorrow, North Central coach Grady Emmerson returns to face his alma mater when the Indians play in Kennewick in the other 3A GSL-CBL encounter.

And, of course, Ferris hosts Moses Lake, Lewis and Clark is at Richland and Mead at Wenatchee for 4A state bids.

Chiefs have tough weekend ahead

The Spokane Chiefs will put their eight-game winning streak on the line this weekend with three tough games in three nights.

The Chiefs, ranked second in the media poll this week, host Seattle tonight and play the Thunderbirds in Seattle on Sunday, with a home game against the top-ranked Vancouver Giants on Saturday at 7.

Steve Ewen’s (Vancouver Province) Dub-Hub blog has this entry about backup goalie Kraymer Barnstable earning the start against Spokane. Seem bizzare, considering starter Tyson Sexsmith is the top goalie in the league? Ewen explains why it could give the Giants something to rally around.

That’s all I have for now, I’ll be heading to the Arena soon.

Vandals face La Tech

Maybe it’s fitting that Idaho football coach Robb Akey got into a little lost in the forest simile when talking about Louisiana Tech, this afternoon’s Vandal opponent at the Kibbie Dome.

(The Bulldogs, fresh off a rare road win, are hopeful they are pointed in the right direction.)

Big Sky notes

The Big Sky notebook that will run in Friday morning’s S-R includes a short article on Eastern Washington’s senior center Charlie Wulff and his realtionship with his uncle Paul Wulff.

The unedited version appears in the extended entry below.

Football playoff time

This is the week that determines which teams from the Greater Spokane and Northeast A Leagues qualify for state.

Ferris is home Saturday against Moses Lake, Lewis and Clark is in Richland and Mead in Wenatchee in 4A games and East Valley hosts Southridge Friday and North Central is at Kennewick Saturday in 3A.

Lakeside and Colfax stay home, Kettle Falls and Freeman are on the road against the Caribou Trail

Idaho Prep Page

Click the tab below to see this week’s Idaho Prep Page menu.

Vandals’ Jackson an artist without the football

Idaho running back Deonte Jackson tattoos defensive backs by day and designs tattoos at night.

And he had more to say.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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