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Archive for May 2008

Spokane holds off Lightning 52-42

Spokane built a 24-point lead early in the second quarter and it looked like another rout of Stockton was inevitable.

But the Lightning, 70-12 losers to Spokane in early April, staged a comeback and took the lead twice before the Shock pulled out a 52-42 win Saturday night at the Arena.

Read on below for an unedited game story.

Pargo wraps up camp

As mentioned in the previous post, here’s an article on Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo that will run in Saturday’s S-R.

Click below for the unedited version.

Kennedy, Griffitts Jack Blair MVP and Inspirational

Brittany Kennedy was Most Valuable Player and Griffitts named Most Inspirational during Thursday night’s 15th Jack Blair Memorial Washington/Idaho Girls AAU All-Star Basketball Classic.

Kennedy, from Lewis and Clark’s three-time state champions, led scoring in the Metro All-Stars 74-70 win over Idaho Player of the Year Griffitts’ Region All-Stars.

The game, pitting the area’s best players from neighboring states against each other is named after the late former Central Valley basketball coach, Spokane Stars co-founder and LC administrator, helps fund a scholarship in his memory.

This was the 15th annual game and 15th Metro All-Stars win.

What a year this was

2007-2008 will go down as perhaps the most incredible in Greater Spokane League history and the two-year run of state title success is one that may not be duplicated. We had unforgettable performances from a senior class that produced a wealth of state team title and MVP efforts.

One more time Spokane: Rob Keefe

Former Shock standout Rob Keefe is back in town, taking advantage of the Philadelphia Soul’s bye week.

We caught up with Keefe, who is expected to attend Saturday’s game with Stockton, and filed an unedited feature article that can be accessed in extended entry below.

Idaho preps - wrapping up the year

I’m not good at farewells. I remember as a kid I never liked saying goodbye when it was time to leave grandma’s house and make the trek home.

I still don’t like to say so long as a fortysometing. But things do end, and so we salute the athletes and teams of the 2007-08 school year.

*** Click here to see the story about our Idaho Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

*** Click here to read my year-ending column.

*** Click here to read about the end of a highly successful coaching run at Lake City.

Eags land 6-10 center from Cochise College

Eastern Washington has signed John Clark, a 6-10 center from Cochise College to national letter of intent.

You can get more details here.

And you can catch up on what’s happening with former Eagles forward Henry Bekkering here.

Gilliam looks for milestone interception

The Spokane Shock returned to work Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s home contest with Stockton. The Lightning made news of their own Tuesday, firing head coach Doug Murray.

Click below for an unedited Shock notebook — the first item is on Sergio Gilliam’s pursuit of the Shock’s single-season interception record — that will run in Wednesday’s S-R.

Video: Spokane welcomes home the Chiefs

Hi all.

Here is my video from the Chiefs rally Monday at Spokane Arena.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

CHIEFS WIN

UPDATED 7:05 p.m.

Jessica is busy tying up loose ends in Ontario and catching a flight back to Spokane, so here I am. Beyond the jump is her game report on the Chiefs’ Memorial Cup victory.

Here is the link to the story on the S-R website, and here is Jessica’s side article on goalie Dustin Tokarski, who was named Memorial Cup MVP.

Tracksters overcome hurdles

Few thoughts before I head to the airport for the trip home. Glancing through the track agate it occurred that this was a particularly impressive state meet for local hurdlers.

No softball happy ending

There was no happy ending for Shadle Park in its bid to become Spokane’s first two-time Greater Spokane League softball champion.

Eastlake got the better of a 4-1 victory in the finals despite being outhit 6-to-4. The Wolves bunched three of them in the fifth inning for three runs and pitcher Stephanie Fox kept Highlanders hitters off balance for much of the game with an assortment of breaking pitches - screwballs and drops - and by working the perimeters of the plate.
“They had great pitcher and I’ll give it to you they have a really solid team,” said Fox. “But going into it we figured, why can’t we be champion.”

Herewith is my unedited story about Saturday’s games.

Shadle soph a champion

StarTrack, the State 4A and 3A track meet, was cruising along as a good but not great day for the Greater Spokane League.

As expected, Ferris’ Kelly McNamee kickstarted things by defending her State 4A high jump title, but she never got untracked to make a run at the elusive 6-foot barrier, ending her season in happy disappointment (that makes sense in track).

Then Shadle Park sophomore Andrea Nelson stole the show, not for what she did on the track. Read the unedited story below. And click here for results. For the 2A/1A results out of Tacoma, go here and for the 2B/1B results out of Cheney, it’s here.

Weather takes a bite out 2B, 1B track times

Spent the day in the wind and rain out at Eastern Washington University, where the 2B and 1B schools were battling on the first day of the State Track and Field Championships.

If you read on, you’ll be able to access the unedited version of my story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.

Pargo still deciding on pre-draft camp

Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo apparently has an invite to the NBA pre-draft camp, but hasn’t decided if he’ll attend.

More on Pargo and GU below.

Idaho - state track

Click the tab below to read my unedited first-day story from state track in Boise.

Mullennix to be back for a sixth year

COUGARS

Defensive lineman Matt Mullennix, from Liberty High in Spangle, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA this week.

Mullennix lost most of the 2004 season to an injury, then suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2006 in preseason practice, the same day a Glenn Kasses story appeared in The Spokesman-Review.

Spurgeon sibling rivalry paid off

Good morning from Kitchener, where much to my dismay I’m up earlier and earlier every day. But today there’s a great reason for it. I’m heading to Toronto with the team to check out hockey’s Hall of Fame and the Wayne Gretzky Restaurant. We will also take in the Blue Jays-L.A. Angels game tonight.

For your reading enjoyment today, I’ll direct you to a summary from last night’s Belleville-Kitchener game - the final round robin contest of the Memorial Cup - and a feature I wrote yesterday on Chiefs defenseman Jared Spurgeon. Let me know what you think (or if for some reason the links don’t work).

We will be in Toronto all day, but The Spokesman-Review has overnighted me a camera and I’ll be working on something for both the Sports section and page A1 on Saturday.

Earlywine bags JC big man

Eastern Washington men’s basketball coach Kirk Earlywine has signed another junior college recruit.

You can read more on the 6-foot-8, 280-pounder here.

Another item that might be of interest to EWU basketball fans is this story on former Eagles assistant men’s basketball coach Brian Priebe, who has landed a job on Brad Huse’s staff at Montana State.

Idaho - state track

Here is this week’s North Idaho track honor roll. Click the tab below to see it.

Here’s a link to this week’s state honor roll.

The state meets begin Thursday afternoon. I’ll have more on the state meets in Thursday’s newspaper.

WCC eyeing Thursday/Saturday hoop schedule

I just filed an article on a likely change to the WCC basketball schedule. The WCC appears ready to adopt a Thursday/Saturday conference schedule instead of the current Saturday/Monday format.

The change wouldn’t diminish the WCC’s TV arrangement with ESPN. Games would be televised on Thursday nights (and an occasional Saturday)instead of the WCC being the nightcap on Big Monday.

Click below for an unedited article (UPDATED VERSION BELOW) that will run in Wednesday’s S-R, as well as schedule and charter plane updates.

Chiefs through to the Memorial Cup championship game

The Spokane Chiefs have a date on Sunday afternoon, they just don’t know who they’ll be trying to take out yet.

Thanks to an assist from the Bellevlle Bulls on Monday night - which you can read about here - the Chiefs are assured a spot in Sunday’s Memorial Cup championship game. Spokane’s final game in round robin play is tomorrow night against the Gatineau Olympiques.

There’s also an unedited advance you can read below.

Stage set for state sports

The fields are filled for state sports that this weekend cap the 2008-09 high school season.

It all begins in Bellingham Tuesday on eight golf courses where local hordes descend for 10 state tournaments.

There were come-throughs and letdowns during the weekend as might be expected.

Chiefs still unbeaten at the Memorial Cup

We’d seen plenty of offense in the first two games of the Memorial Cup, so I’m certain I’m not the only one who was ready for some stingy defense and a bit of a goaltender’s duel.

It took me a long time to post, I know. This three-hour window I have is wonderful, except I work better under pressure. But I’m finally ready to share my two stories I just filed for tomorrow’s paper.

Please do share your thoughts.

Shock hold off Tri-Cities, 59-56

Spokane has relied on defense most of the season. The offense took its turn on Saturday.

The Shock scored on its first nine possessions and needed every point to hold off Tri-Cities 59-56 at the Spokane Arena.

Click below for an unedited game story.

CV, University fall

It wasn’t a good day for Greater Spokane League baseball teams.

The Central Valley Bears jumped ahead early but couldn’t add on and lost 4-3 in eight innings to eventual regional champion Richland.

And U-Hi never got its offense started and couldn’t stop Redmond’s in a 15-0 loss.

For an unedited version of my story that will run tomorrow in the S-R, read on.

State golf on Tuesday

Bellingham’s the place to be on Tuesday for state golf, particularly if you have ties to Lewis and Clark.

Courses in the Bellingham area host all classification tournaments boys and girls. The Tigers have the numbers to chase a couple of titles. They advanced four boys and four girls to the 4A events. Steve Bergum tells their tale in his weekly golf column in The Spokesman-Review.

Here is the complete list of the state qualifiers. Congratulations to all!

Good start in softball

What would a 4A softball season be without a post-season matchup between Shadle Park and University? The teams failed to connect in the district finals as had been the case the previous three years, but they’ll play today, 10 a.m. in the eastern regional tournament semifinals.

Greater Spokane League softball teams nearly swept the first round of 4A regional play at Franklin Park Friday, reversing last year’s outcome when only Shadle Park was victorious.

The Highlanders edged Moses Lake 1-0 and Titans scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 3-0 win over Walla Walla, avenging last year’s tourney opening loss to the Blue Devils. Central Valley topped Pasco 5-4. Mead nearly made it a clean sweep, losing 1-0 to Columbia Basin champion Richland, a game scoreless until the sixth.

CV plays Richland in the other semifinal in the summer sun today. Mead faces Pasco at noon. Also at noon, Mt. Spokane plays Kamiakin in the 3A tourney at Franklin and North Central plays at 2. p.m.

Shock, Fever meet again

Spokane puts its unbeaten record on the line against Tri-Cities at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Read on below for an unedited game preview.

First for Friday

COUGARS

Just a quick note today, with a couple links.

UPDATED: Second chance for pair of Chiefs

Let the games begin! The Memorial Cup kicks off today with the host Kitchener Rangers taking on the Gatineu Olympiques. The Spokane Chiefs’ first round-robin matchup is Saturday afternoon against the Belleville Bulls.

There are a handful of links and some reading material below. Also, those of you that have asked questions - I’ve done my best to answer them below.

Shock lose assistant coach

Shock assistant coach Matt Sauk is leaving the team to take another shot at quarterback in the AFL. He’s joining the Arizona Rattlers, who recently lost one of their QBs to injury, but plans to return to Spokane at the conclusion of the AFL season.

More here and here.

Greetings from Kitchener

The Spokane Chiefs (and one caffeine-buzzed beat writer) have arrived in Kitchener, Ontario, after a 3-1/2 hour chartered flight. No layovers, our own security checkpoint (meaning no lines) and a 4 to 1 passenger-flight attendant ratio.

Not a bad day at all. Except it’s pouring rain here. Oh well. Wouldn’t want it to feel like vacation or anything.

So here’s the deal. I’ll have stories posted here whenever I’m done writing them. Make sure and let me know if all of you back in Spokane (or wherever you are following the Chiefs from) have any questions. I’ll do my best to fnd the answers or I’ll make something up (just kidding).

For some reading material now, check out my feature on Bill Peters that ran today and the sidebar that went with it.

Idaho - prep track

Click the tab below to see this week’s North Idaho track and field honor roll.

State-qualifying meets are Friday and Saturday. The 5A and 4A teams are at Volmer Bowl in Lewiston; the 3A teams are at Timberlake; and the 1A teams are at Kootenai.

Here is a link to this week’s state honor roll.

Watch the Chiefs live at Memorial Cup

The Spokane Chiefs have announced that each game of the MasterCard Memorial Cup will be available to all Comcast customers on channel 78 as well as to Comcast Digital Cable customers with the Sports Tier package on NHL Network channel 419.

Exceptional pitching six

My pitcher story finally made it in The Spokesman-Review on Sunday. Don’t know how many got a chance to read it, but here ya go. All six made the playoffs and four are still playing as of today (Rusty Shellhorn and Trevor Shull of CV are in Wenatchee today with a chance to join Billy Moon and Tyler Olson of University at state). Shellhorn, in two playoff games allowed three hits and one run. With him on the mound CV has a chance against anybody they play.

Idaho - state baseball, softball

Click the tab below to see the first-round pairings for the State 5A, 4A and 3A baseball and State 5A, 4A and 3A softball.

Davila gets it done

Shock receiver Raul Vijil beat me to it — he beat several Boise defensive backs Saturday night, too — when his post-touchdown celebration included grabbing a Happy Mother’s Day sign and displaying it to an appreciative audience at Arena.

So, we add our Happy Mother’s Day wishes here.

And here’s a link to John Blanchette’s column on the ever-changing quarterback position in af2. The topic warmed up in Spokane last week as Nick Davila moved in as the starting quarterback.

Video: WSU rowing prepares for Pac-10s

COUGARS

UPDATED 5:21 p.m.

In Sunday’s paper, there will be a feature from me on the WSU women’s rowing team. Its top boat, the varsity eight, is ranked fourth in the nation. I’ll be posting a link to the article Sunday.

But here, first, is a video I produced on the rowing team.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Here’s my feature in Sunday’s paper on the WSU rowing team.

Idaho: Lake City tops Post Falls

Defending 5A state champ Lake City will get a chance to repeat after the Timberwolves topped Post Falls 10-5 in a Region I winner-to-state-loser-out game Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Idaho preps - busy week

UPDATED: Friday

The chase for state baseball, softball, golf and tennis berths takes center stage this week.

Click the tab below to see what’s happening in the various state-qualifying tournaments.

Round two for district ball

Favorites advanced during the first round of Greater Spokane League baseball and softball.
Today things get more serious.

District rivals University and Central Valley face off in both sports.

Heytvelt on the mend; more on Mangisto

Gonzaga forward Josh Heytvelt, who missed the first 11 games of the 2007-08 season following surgery on a stress fracture in his right foot/ankle, had another operation on the same foot/ankle last week.

More on Heytvelt and 2009 recruit Mangisto Arop below in extended entry.

Idaho - preps

Click here to read an Idaho prep notebook that appeared on the Prep Page today.

Here’s a feature in the Prairie Voice today about Timberlake multiple-sport standout Nick Puckett, who will do track in college.

Chiefs win Western Hockey League title

After a 4-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday night, the Spokane Chiefs are Western Hockey League champions for the second time in franchise history.

Next up for Spokane is the Memorial Cup in Kitchener, Ontario from May 16th through the 25th. But first, enjoy the reading material from Lethbridge, Alberta, below.

Also - Chiefs fans can welcome the WHL champion Spokane Chiefs and the Ed Chynoweth Cup to the Spokane Arena tomorrow morning between 7 and 8 a.m. The team is leaving tonight to travel back home to Spokane. The bus will stop at Avista Stadium and receive an escort through downtown Spokane before arriving at the Arena. Fans are welcome to join the caravan from Avista Stadium and help escort the team to the Arena. Fans can also welcome the Chiefs when they arrive at the Arena with the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

APR spillover

COUGARS, VANDALS

I thought I’d offer up the opportunity to answer any of your questions about Tuesday’s APR news on WSU and Idaho. So, if you have a question, feel free to add a comment with it and I will try to answer your question as soon as I can.

In the meantime, here is where you can find the APR reports on all the NCAA schools. It’s pretty self-explanatory once you get there.

Beyond the jump are some numbers I collected myself for some easy reading.

Arop commits to Gonzaga

Gonzaga has landed a 2009 commitment from 6-foot-5 guard Mangisto Arop.

Click below in extended entry for my unedited article. I’ll probably add more later as well.

Click here,here and here for more information on Arop.

UPDATED: Chiefs one win away from league title

I’m replacing my unedited story with the link to the story that was printed in today’s section from the Spokane Chiefs 2-1 overtime victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Tuesday night that gave Spokane a 3-0 lead in the Western Hockey League championship.

Keep sharing your thoughts. Thanks.

Charges recommended against Roof

COUGARS

PULLMAN - Pullman Police have recommended one second-degree assault charge and five fourth-degree assault charges against Washington State defensive tackle Andy Roof.

The recommendations, sent this week to the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office, are the results of a weeklong investigation after Roof, 22, was arrested outside a house party April 16. Second-degree assault is a felony, whereas fourth-degree assault is a gross misdemeanor.

Police allege Roof assaulted - punching or head-butting - six people early that morning after he was refused entry into the party. Alcohol was involved, police say.

The second-degree recommendation stems from Roof’s alleged assault of a victim who suffered broken facial bones, said Pullman police Sgt. Dan Dornes. The other five recommendations are for Roof’s alleged assault on five other victims.

Roof’s future on the WSU football team was still undecided, football spokesman Bill Stevens said Monday. The coaches will take appropriate action after gathering enough information.

WV’s Kenney one of state’s best in discus

To get you fired up for the track and field post season, as if Mother Nature’s cooperation wasn’t enough … West Valley’s Ashley Kenney threw the discus 152-feet last week, making her the 20th girl in state history to break the 150-foot barrier. Her throw is 16th all-time and second in Spokane history behind the 160-10 that Dory Reeves of Lewis and Clark had in 1989. Kate Hutchinson of Pullman went 160-5 in 2002.

Read the extended entry for more track news and notes.

Ex-Little Leaguers shine at Lake City

Here’s a Then & Now story about some of the players on the special Coeur d’Alene Little League team that came within three outs of qualifying for the World Series in Williamsport, Pa., in 2002.

Six of the players were part of Lake City’s 2007 5A state championship team, and they hope to lead the Timberwolves back to state.

On the road to Lethbridge

Well, I will be as soon as I feed you some reading material. I’m heading north to catch Games 3, 4 and - if necessary - 5 of the Western Hockey League championship series between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Spokane Chiefs.

Here’s my game advance and a little supplement piece for those who don’t know much about Lethbridge that ran in today’s paper, which acknowledges the superstitious side of hockey players. And here are some links from the Lethbridge Herald - one on the must-win scenario the Canes face in Game 3 tonight and a column on how the Canes may be down, but they aren’t out.

Check back after the game.

Idaho football tickets

No single game tickets will be sold for the Idaho/Boise State football game this fall.

Tickets to that game can be puchased in packets including other games.

Click the tab below to read more from the Idaho sports information office.

Shock stay unbeaten on Jackson’s game-winning FG

The Spokane Shock sputtered most of the second half on offense, but reserve quarterback Nick Davila directed two fourth-quarter scoring drives and Brian Jackson nailed a game-winning 21-yard field goal with one second left.

Spokane outlasted Lubbock 43-41 on Saturday in Lubbock to hike the Shock’s record to 5-0.

The victory sets up a showdown with Boise next Saturday in Spokane. The Burn (4-1) clobbered Stockton 77-14 for their fourth straight win.

More details of Spokane’s win over the Renegades in extended entry.

Chiefs roll over Canes in Game 1

Spokane Chiefs goalie Dustin Tokarski could have layed down on the ice and taken a nap for at least 20 minutes on Friday night.

That’s because the Spokane Chiefs held the Lethbridge Hurricanes to zero shots in the opening period of their 4-1 victory to open the Western Hockey League championship at the Arena.

Game 2 is tomorrow night at 7 - but for now, read and comment on my unedited game story below.

Vandals sign two more

New University of Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin continues to stock his team with more talent.

Click the tab below to read about two more recruits that have signed.

With the announcement earlier this week of two other signers, this means the Vandals are overstocked with scholarship players. Verlin said he will make an announcement next week regarding two current players who are opting to leave the program. He said he doesn’t want to make an official announcement until the players are finished with finals.

Chiefs back in action tonight in Western Hockey League final

There were three stories in today’s section on the Spokane Chiefs, who open their Western Hockey League championship series with the Lethbridge Hurricanes tonight at the Spokane Arena.

First, my WHL Bantam Draft story got hacked in the edit process, including quotes from my phone conversation with Chiefs head scout Chris Moulton, so I’ll post the unedited version below.

There was also this story on the Hurricanes and finally, a John Blanchette column on Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz, one I hope you faithful followers will have some thoughts on.

The Bantam story is below.

Grier signs two, one from J.P.’s high school

Ex-Gonzaga assistant coach Bill Grier has added two players to his program at San Diego. One, Roberta Mafra, a 6-foot-9 forward, played at the same high school as ex-Zag J.P. Batista.

More here and here.

GU under consideration for Hall of Fame game?

Gonzaga is apparently under consideration for the Hall of Fame game (actually a doubleheader) in Indianapolis, along with Notre Dame, Indiana, USC and Oklahoma State. More here.

Rueben Mayes elected to Hall of Fame

COUGARS

UPDATED 4:25 p.m.

WSU running-back legend Rueben Mayes has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. He’s the third Cougars player ever to make it, along with Glen “Turk” Edwards (1929-1931) and Mel Hein (1928-1930).

So, it’s been a while for WSU.

My unedited story is below the jump. Click here for the version on our Web site.

Osweiler changes mind, picks ASU football

Gonzaga basketball has lost 2009 recruit Brock Osweiler to football. Osweiler has decided to play football for Arizona State, verbally committing to the Sun Devils and coach Dennis Erickson on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Click here for S-R article (with quotes from Osweiler and his prep football coach).And here is a story in the Arizona Republic.

Osweiler, a 6-foot-8 forward at Flathead High (Kalispell, Mont.), committed to GU basketball nearly two years ago.

By the way, Arizona State is 1 for 2 on scholarship offers to GU recruits. You’ll recall that Demetri Goodson (point guard in the ‘08 class) was offered by ASU football last June, but he picked GU basketball.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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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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