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Archive for February 2008

CdA in title game

The No. 1-ranked Coeur d’Alene High boys basketball team held off Eagle 65-57 to advance to the State 5A championship game.

The Vikings will meet the second-ranked Vallivue (22-3), an 83-71 winner over Highland, Saturday at 7 p.m. PST. The game will be webcast live on and broadcast by KVNI.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Idaho - Friday consolation games

Lewiston, Moscow, Clark Fork and Wallace each won loser-out consolation games while Kellogg and Bonners Ferry were eliminated Friday afternoon in the Boise area.

Click the tab below to read more.

Ferris must amp up

Last night Ferris fended off a determined Edmonds-Woodway team, that contested every pass, shot and rebound with an aggressive style that flustered Kentridge the night before and gave the Saxons problems on Thursday. Tonight they face a Bellarmine Prep team with two of the more highly sought after juniors in state.

4A girls east regional gangs up

In an effort similar to last year, girls basketball teams from the east regional are more than holding their own at the State 4A tournament here in Tacoma.

Answers to GU-SMC questions

Still waiting for a call back from Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett, so we have time to squeeze in a couple of links.

Batting leadoff is John Blanchette’s must-read Q&A column on the showdown.

Next, a Dallas writer did get in touch with Bennett, not that it makes me feel any better. And finally, the WCC showdown made Jay Bilas’ weekly watch list.

Cougars run Bears out of Haas


A quick post because it is so late and I need to get out of here. The unedited game story follows.

Ferris moves on

The Ferris Saxons are two wins away from repeating as State 4A champions. They defeated Edmonds-Woodway 59-48, in a lackluster effort, particularly at the free throw line.
Fortunately for the Saxons Erick Cheadle was hot from afar. He had four 3-pointers and 14 points in the first half as Ferris took a 23-10 lead and put the game on cruise control.

Harmeling won’t be playing plus …


Daven Harmeling’s ankle will keep him out of tonight’s game. He told me today he is hoping to make it back for Saturday, but he doesn’t want to hurt his chances of playing in the postseason.

UPDATE: We’re back with more. Read on.

Idaho - state notebook

Click the tab below to read some notes from the State 5A boys basketball tournament.

Kingma sets record

State 4a basketball: Jackson’s Kristi Kingma, who will play collegiately at the University of Washington set a single game girls scoring record today that had stood for 28 years. Kingma scored 43 points beating the old record of 40 set by Joyce Walker of Garfield in 1980. Despite the outburst, Jackson, from Everett, was eliminated from the tournament, 77-74 by Skyview, from Vancouver.

It’s 3:35 p.m. as I write, but were just in the third quarter of the final elmination round girls game and just starting the fourth quarter of the boys, so Shadle Park-Decatur, scheduled for 3:30, won’t be getting underway until after 4 p.m. (team picture day, you know).

Q & A with Kirk Earlywine

Eastern’s Kirk Earlywine took some time earlier this week to look back on his first season as a D-I head men’s basketball coach and discuss gthe future of the Eagles’ program.

You can read the question-and-answer article that appeared in Thursday morning’s S-R by clicking here.

Several questions and answers didn’t make the newspaper because of space limitations, but you can read them by clicking on the entended entry line below.

Zag: SYN, see Pendergraft

Gonzaga senior forward David Pendergraft is wrapping up a career that was equally impressive on and off the court.

Read more about Pendergraft here — and check back in an hour or so for much more. And here’s our quick look at GU’s week ahead and a tour of the WCC.

Elsewhere, there’s an in-depth article on the mess that is San Francisco basketball and Utah assistant Marty Wilson has accepted a head coach-in-waiting position at Pepperdine.

Highlights of State 4A - Day 1

Here’s a look at the first day of State 4A Basketball in the Tacoma Dome.

The winners: Boys - Decatur 49-39, will play Shadle Park 67-43, Federal Way 63-58, will play Lincoln 61-53, Edmonds-Woodway 58-40, will play ferris 68-39; Bellarmine Prep 75-66 will play Foss/Prairie.

Girls - Lake Stevens 67-43, will play Prairie 64-49; Snohomish 49-27, will play Lewis and Clark 46-27; Kentwood 66-46, will play Moses Lake 63-47; Ballard 48-39, will play Graham-Kapowsin/Pasco.

Ferris vs. Garfield

Ferris pulled away after leading 30-24 in the third quarter for a 68-37 win. It was an aerobatic type of game and when DeAngelo Casto got into the high-wire act this one quickly was over.
Saxons made it 36-24 on 3-point play by Erick Cheadle and basket by Jeff Minnerly, stretched it to 50-28 to start the fourth quarter with everyone in sync and it was all over.

Ferris leads Garfield 30-20 at half thanks to the efforts of Jeff Minnerly (14 points) and Erick Cheadle (defense)

The Saxons trailed 10-6 early, but three minutes into second quarter built a 22-10 lead.

Gang that couldn’t shoot straight

If I’d have been facing either Lewis and Clark or Puyallup in a firing squad I’d have liked my chances the way both teams shot today.

But the Tigers - who baffled even coach Jim Redmon - finally got away for a 46-27 victory after leading just 16-9 at half.

Next up Snohomish (20-5) which throttled Bellarmine Prep 49-27. The Tigers and Panthers know each other well, staying at homes over the past several years while playing in a tournament at Snohomish. Redmon said they’ll have to play much better than today to have a chance in tomorow’s 5 p.m. game.

CdA boys in state title game?

Dan Thompson, a sportswriter at the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello, is picking Coeur d’Alene and Highland to reach the State 5A boys basketball championship game.

You can link to his story here.

Click the tab below to see my prediction along with my unedited state tournament story that will be published in Thursday’s newspaper.

Idaho - State boys hoops

Click the tab below to see thumbnail sketches of each team in the five Idaho boys basketball state tournaments.

NOTE: All 5A and 3A games will be webcast live by along with all the state title games Saturday.

Q&A with retiring WCC commish

WCC commissioner Michael Gilleran fielded five questions from a Bay Area newspaper, including the hot topic — could the conference get three NCAA bids if GU or Saint Mary’s doesn’t win the WCC Tournament — and the decade of dominance by Gonzaga.

Here’s a link.

Today’s the day in Tacoma

Today’s the day we find out how great the Greater Spokane League challenge is when State 4A basket ball gets underway.

In the News-Tribune here in Tacoma, Doug Pacey has predicted Ferris and Franklin the favorites with Shadle Park among the six other contenders in boys. Here’s his preview story

Prairie and Lewis and Clark are the girls favorites.

Also check out the boys preview.

A question for Thursday


Tomorrow is a travel day, which means an afternoon flight to Oakland. The Cougars are making their usual circuitous route, from Pullman to Lewiston to Seattle to San Francisco. All I can say is, this time tomorrow, I’ll be enjoying a double-double.

To put you in the mood for this weekend’s road games, here is an unedited version of the story that will appear in the S-R tomorrow about the biggest question the Cougars must answer Thursday night. Read on for the first look, along with some notes.

Idaho all-star games

Click the tab below to see a story about the Idaho state high school all-star games that will be held in March.

Day-after Portland

Rarely has a 22-point win been tougher to come by.

Read more below in my day-after Portland post with notes, quotes and other data from GU’s 73-51 victory on Monday night.

Zags pull away in second half

Gonzaga finished the game with a 34-11 run to rally past Portland 73-51 on Monday night.

Click below for a short game story. We’ll be back in about 45 minutes with a longer version.

Raivio still in sweats

It’s looking extremely doubtful Nik Raivio will be able to play. He is wearing Pilots’ sweats and rebounding for teammates in warmups.

Raivio not sure he’ll play

I was one of the first ones in the Chiles Center, but Portland’s Nik Raivio was already in the building.

Raivio, Portland’s leading scorer, has his right knee wrapped after banging knees with a teammate in practice a few days ago. He said he isn’t sure he’ll be able to play. He has to show coaches and trainers that he can run and move laterally before they’ll give him his uniform. It’s reportedly hanging in one of the assistant coach’s offices.

Raivio said he has a bruised femur. He wasn’t moving smoothly during warmups. Raivio said he isn’t pleased with the timing of the injury.

“Biggest game of the year,” he said, shaking his head.

Zags back in poll; more Raivio

Gonzaga returned to the rankings at No. 24 in the A.P. poll released Monday.
The Zags haven’t been ranked since Dec. 17th, a nine-week absence.

Read on below for more on the polls and much more from Nik Raivio, the subject of an S-R feature in Monday’s paper.

GU takes on a familiar face

Figure I’d better post this now because I’ll be away from the computer most of Monday.

I checked in with Portland’s Nik Raivio, younger brother of ex-Gonzaga standout Derek Raivio, to put together this feature/game advance for Monday’s GU-Portland game.

Click below for an unedited article that will run in Monday’s S-R.

Looking back this afternoon


Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I needed some time this morning for personal stuff (wow, “stuff,” that’s really showing off my vocabulary). Anyhow, as your mom used to say, better late than never.

Read on for links to stories about last night’s loss. The unedited version of my story is below as is Nick Eaton’s video of the postgame conversations.

Vandals lose at UC Irvine

The Idaho men’s basketball team fell 69-55 at UC Irvine in the ESPNU BracketBusters game.

Idaho played without junior guard Mike Hall, who didn’t make the team for conduct detrimental to the team, according to the game report that can be read by clicking the tab below.

Don’t expect any further enlightenment on why Hall didn’t make the trip. Idaho coach George Pfeifer seems to make it a policy to not talk in any detail about conduct matters or injuries.

Finally …

Finally the Spokane Chiefs were hungry enough. Finally they played desperate enough.

And finally the Chiefs gave their home crowd what they’ve been waiting for all season – a home win against their long-standing rivals.

Read on for the rest of my unedited game story.

Idaho - state boys hoop pairings

Click the tab below to see the first-round matchups for the Idaho state high school boys basketball tournaments.

Idaho - 4A and 3A state wrestling

Click the tab below to read my unedited Idaho 4A and 3A state wrestling story. I’ve also attached the results for all the state title and placing matches for 5A, 4A and 3A.

Cougs down by one at halftime

HALFTIME: 24 Arizona, 23 WSU

Somehow — yes, somehow — No. 17 Washington State is within one point of the visiting Arizona Wildcats tonight at Beasley Coliseum.

The Cougars shot 28 percent (7 for 25) in the first half, flat-out missing shots in a high-foul game. With 6:20 left in the half, the Cougars trailed by nine.

Eagles need help to make BSC Tournament

Hey, I’m back.

And after seven days on a cruise ship in the Mexican Riviera and a two-day holdover in San Diego, I’m also severely sunburned, in desperate need of a liver transplant and even more confused about the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball race than I was when I skipped town.

Observations from Kennewick

Greetings from sunny Columbia Basin
Entering the second day of East 4A regional competition, six teams are still playing. Three secured state berths last night, three others are going for two other trips to Tacoma on Tuesday.

Idaho - boys postseason


Click the tab below to see the updated pairings of the 5A Region I, 4A Region I, 3A District I and 1A District state-qualifying boys basketball tournaments.

Idaho - state rasslin’

Click the tab below to read my unedited state wrestling story from Friday action.

At the bottom of the story are the weight-by-weight results of the semifinals for 5A, 4A and 3A.

WSU-Arizona video preview

From their post-game press conference Thursday, the Cougars talk about their next opponent: Arizona. Here’s Taylor Rochestie, Kyle Weaver, Robbie Cowgill, Derrick Low, Aron Baynes and Tony Bennett.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Class, practice and Pargo

I was in the middle of this post when Gonzaga send out a release on extending its TV package (see post below) with KHQ and FSN.

Anyway, a few leftovers from Wednesday’s media day and a few minutes with the always entertaining Jeremy Pargo.

Baynes livens up game, Beasley crowd


Thank goodness for Aron Baynes.

In a drawn-out, drag-out, possession-by-possession game, Baynes came through with a play that not only lifted the spirits of the Beasley crowd, it gave every working journalist in the building something to write about – and ask about. For what came of their efforts, read on.

Cougars freeze out Sun Devils


I’m sure you saw it (if you have access to one of the myriad Fox sports channels). The ASU freshmen played like, well, freshmen. And the Cougars played defense like, well, the Cougars we’ve come to know the past two years.

It all added up to a 59-47 WSU win. Read on for my unedited game story and some Web-only notes.

Cougars wrestle for halftime lead


It took both teams a few minutes to adjust to each other. But during those first few possessions, it was Washington State with the upper hand.

Fighting against Arizona State’s zone defense, the Cougars opened up a quick seven-point lead. The big men cut inside quickly and the guards passed enough to disrupt ASU’s zone, and the points in the paint came easily.

ASU needs this one


Let me get right to it. This is a game that may make or break Arizona State’s NCAA hopes. A win over the 17th-ranked Cougars on the road? The road to the postseason just got easier. A loss? The door may bang shut.

So expect ASU to play with a fire. But there is a flip side to that as well. Read on.

Second round of 1B today

First day of State 1B basketball was a success, with eight of 10 area teams winning. But it’s too bad, given tradition and history, - and I’ve addressed this before - that District 9 and District 7 schools, given their proximity, were thrust against each other so early.

In today’s girls tournament quarterfinals, Almira/Coulee-Hartline plays Colton at 4 p.m. after first-day wins. And St. John-Endicott meets Garfield-Palouse in the 9 p.m. nightcap. It would have been nicer if they were split until the semifinals.
The Eagles beat Curlew on the first day and Tekoa-Oakesdale and Cusick boys squared off right away.

At least the Nighthawks and fellow first game winner Garfield-Palouse don’t meet until the semifinals and there could be an all Whitman County final if Rosalia gets through a tough half bracket.

Odessa’s boys rebounded from a first-day loss to oust North River 52-37.

Worrying about it won’t change a thing


There is a lot of consternation out there about Tony Bennett’s future, with some people upset (jokingly, I think) with me about something I wrote yesterday. But I mean it. Don’t worry about it. Nothing is going to happen until the season is over.

There is enough to worry about right now if you are a Cougar fan. First up is Arizona State, a team than believes an upset of 17th-ranked WSU would be a big boost toward the NCAA tournament. In other words, the Sun Devils are highly motivated.

Idaho - state wrestling

Click the tab below to see my unedited Idaho high school state wrestling tournament preview.

NOTE: The state wrestling brackets will be updated immediately following each round. You can see the brackets by going to will webcast live all three days of action at state. director/owner Paul Kingsbury will have two cameras panning the action at the Idaho Center. He will also focus on specific matches if viewers e-mail their requests.

State 1B hoops tip-off

The Spokesman-Review checked in with the Rosalia boys, making their first trip to State since 1981.

The Spartans play North River at 12:30 today in the Yakima Sundome. The Mustangs were featured in The Yakima Herald.

To keep abreast of the State 1B tournament, which already features an upset of the top-ranked boys team and a win by the Almira/Coulee-Hartline girls, check here.

Asbury returns to Pepperdine

This has been rumored for roughly two weeks, but it’s about to become official. Tom Asbury is returning as coach of the Pepperdine Waves.

And in a growing trend in college basketball, it looks like the Waves already have Asbury’s replacement in mind: Utah assistant Marty Wilson, a former Pepperdine player and Waves assistant under Asbury.

More here and here.

Chiefs top Rockets

The Spokane Chiefs were patient in this one. They didn’t start out that stellar - neither team really did - but the Chiefs stayed with it and showed poise down the stretch in their 2-1 comeback victory over the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday night.

Read on for my unedited game story.

Harden, Bayless invade Pullman


Once again a couple of high-profile freshmen will lead their teams into Pullman this weekend, James Harden of ASU and Jerryd Bayless of Arizona. And once again we decided to write about them.

You can read the unedited version of tomorrow’s S-R story now, along with some web-only notes from the Pac-10 media call. Just keep reading.

CdA girls shave heads


An assembly was held
Tuesday morning at Coeur d’Alene High to
honor the girls basketball team winning the State 5A title Saturday.

The school’s four administrators and school
resource officer paid off a bet and had their
heads shaved. They agreed to get their hair cut
to the nub if the Vikings won state.

CdA coach Dale Poffenroth succumbed to peer pressure and had his head shaved as well. Here’s a picture of the girls pruning Poff’s head.

Viking senior Deanna Dotts is seen here taking a turn whacking some hair.

The photo is courtesy of Julie Stark.

President’s Day brings out visitors


Good morning. I hope the day dawns as bright where you are as it did on the Palouse. Read on for what’s happening this fine Tuesday.

Half: Bulldogs up 25-20

Micah Downs hit a 3-pointer just before the horn sounded to give Gonzaga a 25-20 halftime lead over San Diego on Monday night.

More below.

Game-day morning

For a game preview and a couple of quick player and team notes, click below.

A couple of things

Exciting couple of days for the Spokane Chiefs.

First, they beat Tri-City 3-1 in Kennewick on Saturday night to close the U.S. Division gap to six points, then the Americans lost 4-3 in overtime tonight to Seattle. Trailing by six points in the division race, the Chiefs have three home games this week - including another Saturday night special with Tri-City.

Also, the Best of the West results came out today. I wrote up a little story for tomorrow’s section, but the complete results are below.

Basketball gets serious

Regionals are upon us as Ferris and Lewis and Clark take the key step toward defending their respective boys and girls state championships

On Friday the Saxons (22-0) stayed perfect with their easiest win yet over Shadle Park (19-3) for the district championship, as did the Tigers (22-0) with an easy win over Shadle Park (18-4).

Here are the pairings for Tuesday’s first round of regionals.

State wrestling results

Good morning. Before I head to Sea-Tac for the flight home, here are the results from last night’s State wrestling tournament, Mat Classic XX in Tacoma.

Good day for wrestlers

Greetings again from Tacoma
Big day for Spokane area wrestlers.
GSL had five champions, Brian Owen and Anthony Rivera from University, Tyler Cochran from Central Valley and Philip Smith from Mead in 4A Clete Hanson from East Valley in 3A. Bears finished third and Titans tied for fourth.

Deer Park won its first state title in any sport in 2A and Lakeside had a near-record with 233 points. Republic won its first wrestling title as well. Stories will be in tomorrow’s S-R.

WSU at Oregon post-game video

This video’s a tad longer than usual (about 3:10), but I talked to a lot of Cougars and they had a lot to say about their victory over Oregon in McArthur Court. Here’s Tony Bennett, Kyle Weaver, Derrick Low, Aron Baynes, Taylor Rochestie and Robbie Cowgill.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Cougars turn in year’s best performance


This was about as good as the Cougars could do. They played their best game of the season – considering the venue, the importance, the opponent – and exorcised some Oregon ghosts.

I’ll tell you, I haven’t seen players as happy about a win this season. This one meant a lot. OK, back to why we’re here. My unedited game story follows. And, by the way, I know why the Cougars won. Dick Bennett is coming out this week to watch, according to Tony, and he didn’t want to come out after a defeat. At least that’s what he told his son.

Cougars drop Ducks with defense

After the jump is my quick gamer. Gotta split for the post-game video.

Cougars fight to halftime lead


The first half was a defensive showing for the Cougars, limiting Oregon’s notorious perimeter shooting to 1-for-6 and grinding the Ducks’ offense to the end of the shot clock.

Washington State has taken over Oregon’s game, hitting 5 of its 11 attempts from beyond the arc. But the Cougars shot 40.7 percent from the floor.

Oregon shot 55.6 percent.

Lake City wrestler rebounding

Lake City High sophomore wrestler Marcus Banducci is in the lightest of classes at 103 pounds. But five months ago, he started losing weight, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

Click here to read a story in the Handle Extra about Banducci.

Ancient building, ancient thoughts


Not too long to game time here at Mac Court, and other than the fact I’m writing on a computer, I can pretend I’m Jim Murray from 1968, because this court was around then. Actually, it was around in 1938 as well.

So I’m going to write my post as if I was a sportswriter from the 1938 Spokane Chronicle. Read on.

Big game in Oregon


Game day. Eugene. Mid-February. The Cougars. The Ducks. Mac Court. Read on.

Chiefs fall in shootout

I’ve been up since 6 a.m. - which for me is ridiculous. I’m a night owl. But I’m in Tacoma covering the state wrestling and gymnastics championships, and just finished for the day.

I checked on the Spokane Chiefs, only to find they’ve lost another shootout - 3-2 at Everett - and fallen seven points behind Saturday’s opponent - the Tri-City Americans - in the U.S. Division race.

Since I didn’t get to watch online tonight, I’ll refer you to Nick Patterson’s blog from the Everett Herald. If you watched, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Shoot - go ahead and share them even if you didn’t see the game.

Also: anyone heading to Kennewick tomorrow?

State girls: CdA wins, Post Falls stumbles

The Coeur d’Alene High girls basketball team will seek the 5A state championship Saturday that has eluded it the past two years.

The Vikings handled Twin Falls 63-48, while Vallivue did likewise with Post Falls, 61-50.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Video preview: WSU at Oregon

I grabbed some stuff Tony Bennett, Taylor Rochestie and Derrick Low said Thursday (after beating Oregon State) about Saturday’s basketball game at Oregon. Here’s what they had to say:

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Daye, Zags ready for USF

Gonzaga begins a big two-game road trip with Saturday’s contest at San Francisco.

Read an unedited S-R preview below.

Lessons to be learned even in victory


Though it wasn’t the prettiest win of the season, WSU’s players wanted to remind everyone in the post-game interview scrum that it was a win. And a road win to boot.

Read on for links and comments.

Moore’s double-double leads Eastern to win

Brandon Moore scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Eastern Washington knocked off Weber State 69-57 on Thursday night. Click here to read more.

Idaho: First-day notebook

Click the tab below to read some notes from the Idaho girls state basketball tournaments.

State girls: Pocatello tops Lakeland

The Lakeland High girls basketball team fell short Thursday in a State 4A tournament opener in Boise.

Click the tab below to read Jim Meehan’s unedited game story.

Cougs hand Beavers record 14th loss

My quick gamer from WSU’s win over OSU tonight is after the jump. Time for some video.

On the road

It’s no secret that the Spokane Chiefs didn’t have a very good time last weekend. They lost three straight U.S. Division contests and fell six points behind the Tri-City Americans for first in the division and Western Conference standings.

But as you’ll see in my unedited story below, coach Bill Peters and his team have moved on and are looking forward to two more division contests this weekend. Read on.

Idaho: State girls

You can’t win a state championship without winning the first game, so to that end the Post Falls High girls basketball is in good shape.

While there were some nervous moments at the start and the end, the Trojans held up, stopping Highland of Pocatello 54-49 Thursday afternoon at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

Sophomore Katelyn Loper scored a game-high 23 points as she made 15 of 15 free throws. Teammate Jenny McVeigh had 14 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots.

I’ll post my game story later.

South Side pride

As my colleague, Dave Trimmer, pointed out in this story, it was the South Hill’s day to crow when awards were handed out at the Youth Awards Luncheon Wednesday.

A year that produced amazing state championship rewards hailed the accomplishments of Ferris and Lewis and Clark girls basketball and Tigers football.

Boys: CdA trips Lake City

This will go down as one of the most bizarre finishes I’ve seen in 24 years of covering high school athletics.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

I’ll try to post some more thoughts on this game Thursday from the state girls basketball tournament.

Idaho: State notebook

Click the tab below to read some more notes about area teams headed to the state girls basketball tournament that we didn’t have space for in my state preview story for Thursday.

Idaho girls: A look at state

Media throughout Idaho exchange capsule information about the teams they cover.

So with the state girls basketball tournaments upon us - 1A begins Wednesday - click the tab below to see a closer look at the teams headed to the state tournaments.

Morrison update, Pargo honored

As mentioned previously, we checked in with Adam Morrison earlier this month when the Bobcats faced Golden State in Oakland.

Click below for an unedited article that will appear in Wednesday’s S-R.

Also, Jeremy Pargo earned WCC player of the week honors for the second time this season. More here.

Day-after Lions

Gonzaga took care of business Monday, hanging an 83-50 loss on Loyola Marymount at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The victory kept GU (19-6, 8-1 WCC) in a first-place tie with Saint Mary’s. San Diego is tied with those two clubs in the loss column.

Click below for our day-after post.

Chiefs fall in goalfest 2008

How do you score seven goals and lose a hockey game? Ask the Spokane Chiefs.

Read on for my unedited game story from Monday night’s 9-7 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Zags-Lions gamer

Well, I was trying to wait out the Saint Mary’s-Santa Clara and San Diego-San Francisco games, but click below for an unedited game story from Gonzaga’s 83-50 victory over Loyola Marymount on Monday.

As I post this, San Diego leads 52-45 with 6:40 left and Saint Mary’s is in front 47-43 with 6:58 left.

Eagles fall short at NAU

The Eastern men’s basketball team had a couple of big rallies, but couldn’t make it happen down the stretch, losing at Northern Arizona on Sunday 68-64. Click here for the story on the EWU website.

LMU next up for Gonzaga

Gonzaga returns to the court against Loyola Marymount tonight at 5. The Zags defeated the Lions 91-68 on Jan. 12th to open West Coast Conference play.

Here’s a link to the S-R preview.

A couple of quick notes below

Less than a month to go before Shock training camp

Just watched the Comcast On Demand special that recapped the 2007 Spokane Shock arenafootball2 season.

What can I say? I’m a night owl. Read on if you’d like.

Day-after Waves

We’re getting to this post early because I’m glad to report I have dad/daughter plans for most of Sunday.

So, we’ll wrap up GU’s 101-59 pounding of Pepperdine on Saturday with notes, quotes, etc. below in extended entry.

Huge weekend of wrestling

Those who follow wrestlng closely probably guessed as the season went on that the Spokane area was pretty good. Turns out after this weekend’s regionals our wrestlers are REALLY good.

To wit: This was the most lop-sided Greater Spokane League 4A showing in 36 years of regional meets with the Columbia Basin League (potentially not good since next year the CBL will have 11 teams to the GSL’s 6 or 7 and may change the regional format).

Gonzaga-Pepperdine gamer

Click below for my unedited game story on GU’s 101-59 victory over Pepperdine on Saturday.

Idaho: State girls pairings

Click the tab below to see the first-round pairings for the Idaho state girls basketball tournaments.

The pairings became complete with Coeur d’Alene’s 52-46 win over Lewiston on Monday.

Zags roll past Pepperdine

Gonzaga moved back into a tie for first place in the West Coast Conference with a 101-59 rout of Pepperdine on Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The Bulldogs (18-6, 7-1) are tied with Saint Mary’s (20-3, 7-1) atop the WCC. San Diego is 6-1 heading into a Monday night game against San Francisco.

Jeremy Pargo had his third career double-double (13 points, 12 assists) and his second this season. Micah Downs, coming off two scoreless games, poured in 18 points in 16 minutes and Austin Daye had 17 points in 18 minutes. Daye, who had nine rebounds, narrowly missed a double-double.

The Zags led 47-28 at half and cruised in the second half.

It was GU’s second rout of Pepperdine this season. Gonzaga won 92-57 in Malibu last month.

Back with the game story in about 75 minutes.

WSU-USC post-game video

The guys were back in good spirits at the press conference today after WSU trounced USC. Here’s Tony Bennett, Kyle Weaver, Taylor Rochestie, Robbie Cowgill and Derrick Low.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Cougars’ defense shines in first half


It’s been a while since the Cougars finished the first half with a 10-point lead. But at halftime, they had shut down USC’s offense and capitalized with their own.

Kyle Weaver (leading with nine points) and his team stormed Beasley, shooting 52.2 percent and limiting the Trojans to 36.4 percent.

GU offense under Few

We took a closer look at Gonzaga’s offense this season — overall and in end-of-game and end-of-shot-clock situations — and compared it with the often prolific Bulldogs’ teams from the past.

Click below for a link and a few more details that we didn’t get into the paper version.

Video: Reserves contribute behind the scenes

To go along with Vince’s feature on Chris Henry, I made this video about the WSU men’s basketball reserves. Enjoy.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Trojans topple CdA girls

The Post Falls girls basketball team upset No. 2-ranked Coeur d’Alene 46-45 to capture the 5A Region I championship Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Chiefs game postponed

Blizzard-like conditions on Snoqualmie Pass will prevent the Spokane Chiefs from taking the ice tonight for their scheduled Western Hockey League matchup with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Eags secure first league road win

It didn’t come easy, but Eastern Washington did manage to secure its first Big Sky Conference road win of the season Thursday night, beating Sacramento State 59-57 on a couple of late free throws by freshman Trey Gross.

You can read the story that ran in this morning’s S-R here, and check out the account of the game that EWU has on its website here.

Smoothing the Waves

The WCC has had two mid-season coaching changes, including Pepperdine, which visits Gonzaga on Saturday.

The Waves changed hands from former coach Vance Walberg to Eric Bridgeland three days after GU hammered Pepperdine 92-57 in Malibu last month.

Bridgeland, the interim coach, is just 1-4 since his promotion, but the Waves have been competitive. Read more about Bridgeland’s efforts to guide the Waves through a stormy time here.

UPDATE: Click here for an article at Saint Mary’s road-heavy remaining schedule.

Against UCLA, 37 minutes just isn’t enough


For some reason this took a while. But here is my unedited game story that will appear in the S-R tomorrow. It’s late enough that this is all I’ve got. I’ll post some more tomorrow.

Cougs bring A-game in first half


If it weren’t for an official review, the Cougars would be leading the Bruins 29-26 at halftime. But Taylor Rochestie’s buzzer triple was too late.

Nevertheless, Washington State had momentum heading into the locker room. The Cougars found their offense. They found their defense. They found their A-game again.

I wonder if the Pac-10 would fly me in?


How’s this for tidbit: The officials for tonight’s game had to be flown from Spokane to Pullman. The Pac-10 chartered a plane to bring them here. Guess it’s better than call your own.

How will tonight’s game play out? How do I know? But read on and I’ll share some thoughts.

Chiefs top CHL poll

The Spokane Chiefs are no longer just the top-ranked team in the Western Hockey League.

The Canadian Hockey League Top Ten was announced today, and the Chiefs moved into the top spot. Here’s a link to the results.

Idaho preps

A few things Idaho prep-related here.

First, here’s a notebook. The first item is about a women’s coaching summit that the Human Rights Education Institute is hosting in Coeur d’Alene later this month.

Second, here’s a feature story about Lakeland’s Camille Reynolds in the Prairie Voice. She’s a fearless shooter and has grown into a leader for the Hawks.

Third, click the tab below to see some bio on our two local football players - Levi Buckles of Post Falls and Byron Hout of Lake City - who signed letters of intent Wednesday.

For your football reading

Here’s a list, compiled by Doug Pacey at The News-Tribune in Tacoma, of all the football players signed so far from state high schools.

Too much for one post to cover?


I wasn’t real sure how to do this. Should I have two posts, one with the football news, one with basketball? Of should I just go with one post, divided in two? Or just mix all the links by publication?

Or is the wind going to knock out my connection or my power, so I would have nothing at all? Guess you’re going to have to read on to find out what I decided – or whether the elements won.

Eags sign 21 football recruits

First-year Eastern Washington football coach Beaul Baldwin announced the signing of 21 recruits to national letters of intent on Wednesday.

You can read an unedited version of the story the will appear in Thursday’s S-R by clicking on the extended entry line below and a more detailed account of the signees that is on EWU’s website by clicking here.

What does WSU need for the second half?


Instead of looking back at the halfway point of the Pac-10 season, I elected to look ahead. The Cougars’ 5-4 record isn’t what they were looking for, especially considering the wins early on, but it isn’t something to panic about. Unless they continue to have the little breakdowns that led to the last two defeats.

With that in mind, we talked with a few people who might know best what WSU needs to do to have a better record down the stretch. The unedited version of the story that is the outgrowth of those conversations follows.

WSU announces Wulff’s first class


The Paul Wulff era is officially underway, with WSU announcement of 24 – that number could still grow – kids who signed letters of intent to play football next year. You can find a list of the players along with some information on each one here.

For more, read on, where I’ve posted the story that will appear in the S-R tomorrow. Nick Eaton will also be posting later today a video of Wulff’s press conference.

Football fans today are like kids in a toy store


Let’s see. It’s Feb. 6. There are about two miles of snow on the ground. And yet it’s a big day for college football.

Heck, even the NFL is done (don’t give me the Pro Bowl, that’s more circus than football) by now. But because it’s letter-of-intent day, football fans from Florida to Seattle are as excited as an 8-year-old at Christmas. Read on for more on that and on college basketball.

Catching up with David Peed

Sorry about this late post, but I forgot to link to the story on former EWU basketball standout David Peed that appeared in Tuesday morning’s S-R as part of our Then-and-Now series.

I caught up with Peed over the phone last week. You can read about our discussion here.

3A teams lost in the hoopla

Lost in the hoopla of the 4A portion of the Greater Spokane League has been the efforts of the league’s 3A boys teams. And more’s the pity.

Mt. Spokane and North Central are gearing for two showdowns. The first will end the regular season on Feb. 19, the next will determine seeding for the regional tournament Feb. 26, 29 and March 1 in Richland.

GSL 4A playoff picture

The top three Greater Spokane League boys 4A basketball district playoff berths are set, but there’s still plenty of suspense before the final two nights of regular season play, tonight and Thursday, are over.

McKenna new Prep coach

Gonzaga Prep “lifer” Dave McKenna has been hired as head coach to continue the winning Bullpups football tradition.
“Or else my tenure won’t be long,” he said with a laugh.
Click here for the story posted at

Gaels edge Gonzaga in OT, 89-85

On the toughest road trip in the West Coast Conference, Gonzaga played two thrillers, three overtimes and finished 1-1.

The Zags lost to Saint Mary’s 89-85 in overtime Monday, two days after defeating Santa Clara 87-82 in double overtime.

Click below for my unedited S-R game story.

Bulldogs fall in OT

Click below for a short article on Gonzaga’s 89-85 overtime loss to Saint Mary’s on Monday night.

Pre-tip notes

About 25 minutes from tipoff and McKeon Pavilion is probably a two-thirds full _ and already rocking. Capacity is 3,500.

Some notes in extended entry below. Check back here for a halftime update.

I bet the Patriots didn’t find it Super


Just a quick post this morning because, with Super Bowl Sunday taking up all the space in the nation’s sports sections, there wasn’t any room for much in the way of WSU news.

For what I was able to find, read on.

Mills primed for showdown with Gonzaga

Finished up a feature on likable Saint Mary’s freshman point guard Patty Mills, who has taken the Gaels to an 18-3 record and a national ranking.

“There are people comparing him to Tony Parker and saying he’s a sure-fire NBA guy,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They haven’t had great point guard play in the last couple years, but now they do.”

Click below for the unedited Mills’ article that will run in Monday’s S-R.

If you want to read more, here are the links


How many of you really want to read about Saturday’s overtime loss to Stanford? I mean really, not just out of habit? Raise your hand. OK, I see enough, I’ll do the links.

Just thought you might want to skip this one.

Gonzaga-Santa Clara game story

OK, just filed the game story from one of the most improbable finishes I’ve ever witnessed.

Santa Clara’s Brody Angley inexplicably fouled with 0.3 seconds left and GU’s Steven Gray made two free throws to send it to overtime. Gonzaga outlasted the Broncos 87-82 in two overtimes to remain unbeaten in WCC play.

An unedited game story is below in extended entry. I’ll have a day-after post in the morning and a feature on Saint Mary’s point guard Patty Mills for Monday’s paper.

Zags win wild double-OT thriller

It got so crazy there at the end of regulation, and the first overtime and much of the second overtime, that I forgot to post a quick post-buzzer update.

Gonzaga survived in double overtime, 87-82, in front of a packed house of 4,500 at the Leavey Center on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (17-5) remain atop the WCC standings at 6-0, thanks to the work of a couple of true freshmen.

Steven Gray hit two free throws with 0.3 seconds left and Austin Daye made a series of key plays at both ends of the court in the extra sessions to lead GU to the victory.

Santa Clara dropped to 11-10, 3-3.

Check back for the game story in about 60 minutes.

WSU-Stanford post-game video

Talking about WSU’s loss to Stanford here are Tony Bennett, Kyle Weaver, Derrick Low, Robbie Cowgill and Stanford’s Brook Lopez.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Already getting loud at Leavey

Sections 108 and 109 were nearly full of students, most wearing gray Ruff Riders t-shirts, at least 45 minutes before tipoff at the Leavey Center.

They heckled Josh Heytvelt, the first Zag on the court with 59 minutes left on the clock in pre-game warmups, with a chant of ‘Shrooms.’ Heytvelt ignored it and went about his pre-game routine.

More below and come back later for our game story.

Cougs fall in overtime thriller

Quick gamer after the post.

The Cougars failed to clinch an overtime match at home, losing their second in a row and third in four games.

Another match-up change

The news is — one minute before tipoff — that Stanford’s Anthony Goods will not play after twisting an ankle at the Washington game Thursday. He is the Cardinal’s second-leading scorer with 11.6 points per game.

As Vince pointed out below, Goods provides a threat on the perimeter the Cardinal doesn’t really have without him.

Fourteenth-ranked Stanford comes to Pullman


Here’s a quick post with links to advances for today’s game. Later we’ll get to the particulars of the matchup.

There hasn’t been a second-consecutive loss in Tony Bennett era


As I promised earlier today, here is an unedited version of the advance that will run in tomorrow’s paper.

Idaho preps, and more snow

The 5A Region I girls basketball tournament begins tonight - at least part of it does.

The Lake City vs. Post Falls game at 5:45 is still a go, but the Lewiston/Coeur d’Alene game has been postponed until Saturday at 1 p.m.

Most everything is postponed and or canceled tonight. I’ll add more to this post soon.

Click the tab below to read more.

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About this blog

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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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.

Recent work by Chris

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

Recent work by Sean

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

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