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Archive for November 2009

West Coast bias

Back with a notebook from today’s media day at Gonzaga. It contains the WCC’s impressive start, GU’s improving zone defense, the players’ Thanksgiving Day in Maui and a short note on Bol Kong.

Read on for the unedited version.

Here’s the initial classification breakdown

The preliminary WIAA classifications are out and based upon current numbers 4 Greater Spokane League teams will be 4A - Lewis and Clark, Central Valley, Ferris and Rogers -, 6 3A and Gonzaga Prep 2A. In the CBBN, 8 teams are 4A and 7 are 3A.

However, 59 schools haven’t decided whether to opt up which could skew the final decision on Dec. 15. Among the undecided are Pasco (which like Eastmont is on the 4A/3A bubble), Southridge, Kennewick, Mead and University which can all go 3A. Kamiakin is 4A, but along with Ferris and Rogers, close enough to drop down if many of the other 3A undecideds opt up.

By my estimate, if the two eastern leagues stayed put given the current numbers, 12 would be 4A and 14 3A which would probably mean a total of 6-7 state berths combined (2.9 teams in 4A, 3.3 teams in 3A.)

If it were me, both leagues would get together and figure out which is the best way to go in order to benefit everyone.

Idaho a lock for H-Bowl?

WAC commissioner Karl Benson this morning detailed possibilities for bowl-eligible teams in the WAC, and it appears Idaho is a near-lock to go to the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30 in Boise. If Hawaii loses to Wisconsin, Fresno State and Nevada will either go to the New Mexico or Hawaii Bowls. And if Texas beats Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, Benson said it’s a “foregone conclusion” that Boise State gets into the BCS.

Even if Hawaii were to pull an upset, the WAC has a backup agreement in place with the GMAC Bowl to ensure all five bowl-eligible teams (assuming BSU is in the BCS) would find postseason homes, Benson said. When asked if Idaho can start printing tickets to the H-Bowl, Benson said, “I don’t think we’re quite there. … I don’t think we’re ready to make an announcement until we know who the oppenent will be.”

Idaho (7-5) is looking for its first bowl berth since 1998 — when it also played in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Gonzaga 17th in AP poll

Gonzaga is back in the polls — 17th in the A.P, 16th in the ESPN/USA Today. WCC rival Portland made the A.P. poll at No. 25.

UPDATE: It’s the Pilots first time in the rankings in 50 years.

Portland was just outside the Top 25 in the ESPN/USA Today poll at 28th and Saint Mary’s also received votes. Washington State, GU’s opponent Wednesday in the Kennel, received votes in both polls.

Find the polls here.

Chiefs hot in November

Hockey central is back. I’d say it was after a much-needed vacation but the boss might question that with all that was going on over the Thanksgiving weekend. Still, it had to be done for peace at home (not to be confused with peace on earth, though it’s close in at least one household). Also, the time in Montana allowed for the opportunity to watch Montana’s amazing comeback in the FCS playoffs while listening to the disappointing Eastern loss.

As for the hockey, well, the Chiefs had a great November. With a 3-1-1 road trip (which means 3-2) followed by a 4-0 win at home, Spokane went 10-2-1. That means 21 out of a possible 26 points, which propels them back into the discussions with the league leaders. The offense is picking up, the defense is tightening down and James Reid has been the best goalie in the league. Reid won 11 of 12 starts (the loss was in OT) with three shutouts and gave up just 11 goals. He now leads the league with a 2.03 goals against average, 14 wins and .929 saves percentage.

Time to play catchup, keep reading.

Here are stories of prep state grid foes

Ferris gets a rematch with last year’s semifinal foe and defending state champion Skyline in the 4A title match next week at Gridiron Classic in the Tacoma Dome. Here is another the story of the Spartans 31-26 win over Bothell in the game between the state’s top two ranked teams.

West Valley plays defending champion Lynden for the 2A title with a chance to dethrone the Lion kings.

Colfax draws Adna for the 2B championship hoping to complete the task at hand.

Recapping WSU’s weekend


COUGARS

We have a couple of stories for you, and a couple of notes as well. It’s Sunday night, you’re probably tired after the long holiday weekend, so let’s get right to it. Read on.

Look back at Idaho’s loss

Four losses in five games to finish the season definitely leaves a bad taste. That was the universal reaction by the Vandals after their 52-49 loss to Utah State yesterday. But there was plenty more that deserves some attention.

We’ve got lots of links, postgame comments and thoughts about the Vandals’ bowl future below the link. 

Apple Cup defeat, the day after


COUGARS

We have a dozen or so Apple Cup stories. We have a couple stories from the other rivalry games. And we even have two stories from last night’s basketball game. So read on for your morning post, post-Apple Cup version.

WSU loses Apple Cup, wins tourney


COUGARS

Well, reading the comments it seems like football season has been forgotten and everyone is moving into basketball mode already. Well, not so fast my friends. We still have our Apple Cup game story and notebook to offer. So read on and check back in the morning for links to all the Pac-10 games. And, yes, the basketball game as well (in case you didn’t know, WSU won the Great Alaska Shootout with a 93-56 win over the University of San Diego. And Klay Thompson scored a tournament record 43 points – just two off the WSU school record as well).

Vandal men rock Eastern

Idaho played superbly in stretches in polishing off Eastern Washington 76-54 at Memorial Gym tonight. The Vandals were plagued yet again by turnovers (21 this time) but it didn’t matter with Steffan Johnson’s lights-out shooting.

Click below for my game story that will appear in tomorrow’s paper.

Three for Gridiron Classic

Three out of four teams have made it to the State football championship games.

4A - Ferris defeated Skyview in an offensive shootout 46-41, thanks to a huge defensive play when the Storm, trailing 20-14, elected to pass rather than run out the clock at intermission. Grant Livingston picked off a screen pass and scored for a 27-14 halftime lead and Ferris was able to answer every time Skyview scored in the wild second half. They play either Skyline or Bothell, their semifinal nemeses the past two seasons, Saturday Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.

2A - West Valley continued its unbeaten season (remember the perfect Eagles in 1976?) for their four trip to the state finals. The others were 1975 and ‘84, building a 17-0 lead and beating Ellensburg 24-17. They’ll play Lynden, a team with a proud heritage themselves, 10 a.m. Dec. 5.

2B - Unbeaten Colfax is back in the finals after blanking DeSales 19-0. Mike Morgan was right. It isn’t hard to beat a team twice. The Bulldogs play Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. against unbeaten Adna.

Vandals succumb to Utah State

While watching the Idaho men’s basketball team pour it on versus Eastern Washington (it’s 59-31 as I write this), I thought I would post my game story of Idaho’s 52-49 loss to Utah State. Crazy football game to end UI’s regular season. Read on for more.

Eagles fall in playoff opener

For the second week in a row, Eastern Washington’s defense had no answer to their opponent’s passing game.  This time, however, the offense failed to make up for that glaring defensive deficiency, and the Eagles saw their season come to end with a 44-33 loss to Stephen F. Austin in the opening round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

You can read what EWU’s sports information department wrote about the game here, and you can check out what SFA’s sport info folks posted here. I’ve also included this link to the short Associated Press story that appeared earlier in the day in The Spokesman-Review.

Additional details on the game should be posted later on the S-R website at www.spokesman.com.

 

 

UW leads 13-0 at half

COUGARS

Are you loose? Think you might be available to play quarterback in the second half? Peter Roberts, are you at the game? Well, the way WSU quarterbacks are falling right and left - Kevin Lopina has left twice and Marshall Lobbestael once - anyone would be appreciated. With Dan Wagner finishing the half, it’s obvious Jeff Tuel wasn’t cleared to play. … The Cougar defense is playing well once again, though it was burned by the long touchdown pass, something that it avoided last week. … But the offense has been it’s usually mistake-prone self, what with three false starts - Steven Ayers was pulled after his second - a turnover and two big dropped passes. If the offense can’t make a couple plays in the second half, there is no chance of a comeback. It also might depend on whether Lobbestael or Tuel can play after halftime. … We’ll be back when we have our game story done. Until then …

Vandals down 31-21 at half

The Vandals once again got off to a bumbling start this afternoon, falling behind 31-7 to Utah State before rallying to make it 31-21 at the half. Max Komar has caught two touchdown scores to help the Vandals stabilize after USU sliced through the UI defense in the first 18 minutes.

We’ll be back with reaction later before covering the UI-Eastern basketball game. You can follow my updates all day on Twitter here.

Last thoughts before WSU-UW


COUGARS

I’ve got a suggestion for future Apple Cups. Instead of holding them at Qwest Field, let’s move them to Phoenix, or LA or Honolulu. True fans will show up and we can all be warm. It’s a win-win for everybody. This cold crud has got to stop. Read on.

‘Real’ playoffs begin for Eagles

The coaches and players at Eastern Washington University like to say the playoffs began — for them, at least — back in mid-October when they lost to Montana and saw their record drop to 4-3.

Read on.

Last game day in Moscow

The Vandals wrap up the regular season this afternoon at 2 against Utah State, and there’s plenty riding on the result for Idaho. Click below for my preview.

It’s Apple Cup day


COUGARS

Took it easy last night just so I could be up early and have this Apple Cup post waiting for you. You don’t know how big a sacrifice it really was. But it is Apple Cup day, a day that comes only once a year – isn’t every day like that? – so we wanted to make it special. But sorry Todd, I still couldn’t find a Cal story and I wasn’t about to write one myself. We do, however, have lots of rivalry items from around the conference. And way too much from the Apple Cup. Read on.

WSU defeats Nicholls State


COUGARS

Watched the Cougars win tonight to move into the finals of the Great Alaska Shootout. We put together a short writeup of the game for tomorrow’s paper – and this blog. Read on.

Only a few more hours to Apple Cup


COUGARS

As I wait for the box score from WSU’s 78-69 win over Nicholls State in the Great Alaska Shootout, I guess I can pass along the unedited versions of my Apple Cup game advance and the game-day items. To think, these are the final ones for the year. Read on.

Zags growing up in a hurry

Good morning from sunny Portland. It’s exactly the same here as it was in Maui - minus 35 degrees or so. I’m on the final leg of my trip home for a day-after Thanksgiving Day with my family.

On the Zag front, last I saw there were about 10-12 of them swimming in the ocean late Sunday morning. I could hear a loud voice (turned out to be Robert Sacre’s) from my neighboring hotel, so I walked over and the team was cooling off, nerf football flying around, on another 85-degree day. Steven Gray, always up for a new challenge, said prior to the trip that he wanted to try surfing, despite serious concerns with the shark population. After the win over Colorado, I asked him if he’d hit the waves. He said, ‘Not yet, but I hope to after the tournament.’ I’m guessing Sunday was his chance.

Anyway, John Blanchette checked in on the Zags no longer flying under radar. Seems like GU was under the radar until, oh, ESPN’s Steve Lavin started gushing about the Zags’ frontcourt and that the team was worthy of national ranking in the first half of the Michigan State game.

 

Seniors end career at Idaho

For the Idaho football team, Saturday’s game with Utah State is full of implications. And for the Idaho seniors, it means even more. Click below for my story on the seniors.

Your views on the Apple Cup


COUGARS

One more day to Apple Cup 2009. It’s now your turn to weigh in with thoughts about the outcome. Most people I talk with are resigned to a loss, but how do you feel about? After you check out the morning post, share your thoughts.

Thanksgiving evening WSU post


COUGARS

Washington State’s football team practiced early today then had a Thanksgiving meal together. Got some notes from the morning plus our story for tomorrow, the last in our family ties series. If you aren’t too full, read on.

EWU linebacker ready for second chance

The grandkids arrived early on Wednesday and arose early today, so I’m a little late with the post I promised with a link to the feature on Eastern linebacker Makai Borden.

You can find the feature here, and feel free to check back on Friday for an early look at the advance on the Eagles’ first-round FCS playoff game against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday..

Day after Cincinnati, Maui

The Maui News had a couple of nice photos — one a Zags team gathered on the court after the victory on the front page, one of Rob Sacre hoisting the trophy on the front of the sports section and another of Cashmere Wright’s last-second runner in mid-air on an inside page.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I’ve checked in for my flight, bought the appropriate souvenirs and just need to finish off this day after post, following GU’s 61-59 win over Cincinnati in the championship game of the Maui Invitational..

Take a look below.

A Turkey Day WSU post


COUGARS

Thanks for your Apple Cup memories. If you want to add yours, just click here. But now it’s Thanksgiving and I want to get to other things. Family for one. Football for another. And the morning post for a third. Read on.

WSU defeats Alaska-Anchorage


COUGARS

Washington State had little trouble with Alaska-Anchorage on Wednesday, night, opening the Great Alaska Shootout with a 87-68 win. Read on for a game story. Because of early pre-Thanksgiving deadlines, this game story won’t be in the paper tomorrow.

Zags fight way to championship

Usually games this physical have players in shoulder pads and officials throwing flags.

Gonzaga fought past Cincinnati 61-59 on Wednesday to win the Maui Invitational. My unedited game story is below. Looks like we picked the wrong night to have early deadlines for Thursday’s Thanksgiving paper!

Anyway, read on, and check back tomorrow for a day after post.

Gonzaga wins title in OT

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Gonzaga outlasted Cincinnati 61-59 on Wednesday to capture the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Bulldogs lost in their previous Maui title appearance, falling to UConn in 2005.

Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre sent the game to overtime with a jumper from the middle of the lane with 15.6 seconds left in regulation.

In OT, Cincinnati missed 5 of 7 free throws. Gonzaga moved in front 57-56 on Elias Harris’ two foul shots — GU’s first lead since 12:50 remained in the first half. Sacre’s dunk on a dish from Steven Gray put GU in front 59-57 with 2:40 left and Harris added a free throw with 1:03 left.

Yancy Gates’ dunk narrowed GU’s lead to one with 12.6 seconds left. Sacre made 1 of 2 free throws  with 9.8 seconds left and Cashmere Wright missed from about 10 feet. Gonzaga gathered the rebouund as time ran out. .

Game story in about an hour..

 

 

Trufant still a WSU fan


COUGARS

Washington State practiced early this morning, so we have some notes for you. Plus, we have the third in our four stories about Apple Cup connections. And then later tonight will have some basketball coverage. Read on.

Day after Wisconsin, day of Cincinnati

Last day of the Maui Invitational and Gonzaga has made it to the championship game for the second straight time. GU lost to UConn in the 2005 title game.

Read on for more.

Gives us your Apple Cup memories


COUGARS

What was your favorite Apple Cup? Was it the first one you remember? The Snow Bowl? Last year? As Apple Cup week wears on, just thought it would be a good idea to let you reminisce a little bit and share your most treasured Apple Cup memories. Pass them on. Before you do, however, check out the link with all we could find today.

Vandals suffocate Sac State

The Idaho men’s basketball team put together a steady performance last night in a 75-61 beatdown of Sacramento State. Four players scored in double figures, led by Luiz Toledo (15 points of 4-of-5 shooting). Turnovers again were a trouble spot — UI had 13 — and Don Verlin was particularly unhappy with the second-half offensive performance.

This was the Vandals’ second straight win after losing to Texas Southern. They now stand at 3-1 heading into Saturday’s home game with Eastern Washington at 7:05. The game will start just after the football team concludes its season vs. Utah State.

Zags throttle Badgers to advance to title game

Gonzaga put it all together to knock off Wisconsin 74-61. Read on for my unedited game story that will run in Wednesday’s S-R and check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.

Eagles fall to Broncos

Boise State used its fast break to fuel an early 10-0 run and went on to defeat Eastern Washington 82-69 at Reese Court.

I’ve attached an unedited version fo the game story that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R below. 

Who will make it to Tacoma?

Will third time be a charm for Ferris? Can West Valley make its third state finals appearance? Does Colfax have a chance of dominating state titles like no other? Those are just some of the story lines in today’s Prep Notebook in The Spokesman-Review.

This is your chance to weigh in and impart partisan  knowledge about your favorite teams. This blog is your forum. Let the discussion begin.

Gonzaga downs Wisconsin

Gonzaga defeated Wisconsin 74-61 on Tuesday night to advance to the championship game of the Maui Invitational. Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Matt Bouldin’s 18 points. Steven Gray added 15, Robert Sacre 13 and Elias Harris 12. Demetri Goodson just missed giving the Bulldogs a fifth double-figures scorer. He had nine points. 

The Bulldogs led by as many as 13 in the first half before taking a 43-33 lead into the break. Wisconsin made a couple of runs at GU, closing within six with 9 minutes left. Bouldin canned a jumper when his defender backed off to restore the lead to eight.

GU continued to answer Wisconsin baskets as Rob Sacre had a three-point play and Demetri Goodson made a pull-up 8-footer in the lane. Goodson’s bucket started a decisive 8-0 run that gave GU a 71-56 lead.

The Bulldogs will face Cincinnati, which thumped Maryland 69-57, for the title Wednesday.

Game story in about 90 minutes.

 

Our second Apple Cup post


COUGARS

We promised you another post tonight and we will deliver. We have some more notes – OK, just a couple – and our story on Casey and Jake Locker. Read on.

First of two WSU Apple Cup posts


COUGARS

You want more Apple Cup news? Or have you had enough? OK, I realize you want more. So we will have two posts. This one includes practice notes and a story on next year’s schedule, among other things, that I talked about with Jim Sterk today. The next one will include the story on Jake and Casey Locker. Read on.

Day after Colorado, Day of Wisconsin

We’ll combine a brief look back with a glance ahead. Read on.

Plenty of news on EWU football front

There is certainly no shortage of football news around Eastern Washington’s campus as the Eagles prepare for Saturday’s first-round FCS playoffs matchup against Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas.

I’ve included links to stories and material related to that game below, and attached an unedited version of the EWU football notebook that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R.  In addition, I’ve included this link to the Big Sky Conference press release on it’s 2009 all-conference team and the fact that Matt Nichols, the Eagles’ record-breaking quarterback, has been named the league’s most valuable offensive player.

Read on.

Cowen, Koper off to Victoria

Defenseman Jared Cowen and forward Levko Koper will miss the Spokane Chiefs’ game at Everett Wednesday night because they’ll be in Victoria playing for the Western Hockey League team that faces a Russian team in the 2009 Super Series.

Idaho’s Iupati finalist for Outland

Idaho offensive lineman Mike Iupati is attracting a lot of notice these days, and not just in Idaho or the Northwest. The senior left guard has been named as one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman. The other finalists are Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma State lineman Russell Okung.

“It was kind of shocking to me but I look at it as hard work,” Iupati said today after practice. “And it’s definitely been a blessing to me.”

Interestingly, Robb Akey has coached another Outland Trophy winner — Rien Long at Washington State in 2002. Long was a defensive lineman while Akey was WSU’s defensive coordinator.

Apple Cup week heats up


COUGARS

A couple of Apple Cup notes inspired by UW tight end Kavario Middleton, whose comments yesterday about Washington scoring 50 this weekend can be seen here. The most points the Huskies have scored in an Apple Cup game is 56 in 1991 (they scored 55 the year before). The last time they scored 50 came in 2000, when they won 51-3, the largest margin of victory in the series. All of those games came while Mike Price was coach. For more on the Apple Cup, read on.

It’ll be GU-Wisconsin

Gonzaga’s semifinal opponent in the Maui Invitational will be Wisconsin, which edged Arizona 65-61 late Monday night.

The Badgers (3-0) led 13-0 before Arizona scored. However, the Wildcats battled all the way back to tie it at 45 and they even took the lead on several occasions.

Wisconsin guard Trevon Hughes scored 24 points and forward Keaton Nankivil had two dunks in the closing minutes.

Looking ahead to the Apple Cup


COUGARS

Apple Cup weeks can be a … well, a word I hear about every 2 minutes when my son’s I-pod is blaring rap music. Darn kids. Anyhow, Apple Cup weeks can be a pain in the … well, you know. But there is always someone who will liven things up. This week it’s UW tight end Kavario Middleton. We have his comments on the link, along with notes from today’s practice and the first of our Apple Cup connections stories. Please read on or I’ll have had my … well, you know … kicked for no reason.

Bouldin gets better of CU friends

I just filed this notebook that will run in Tuesday’s S-R. The unedited version is below.

Quick update on EWU playoff berth

There hasn’t been much chance to get additional comments from Eastern Washington players about Saturday’s upcoming first-round FCS playoff game agaisnt Stephen F. Austin in Nacagdoches, Texas, but I have post a few thoughts — courtesy of EWU’s sports information department — from Eagles head coach Beau Baldwin below.

In addition, I’ve included this link to playoffs press release issued by the Big Sky Conference, and this link to what little SFA put on its website about the Lumberjacks’ first-round matchup against the Eagles.

And make sure you check back during the week as we build up to the EWU-SAF matchup with a series of stories that will run in The Spokesman-Review.  There was an interesting comment on an earlier post suggesting that Stephen F. Austin did not play the most difficult of schedules, and that would certainly appear to be the case.

Tell us what you think about the Eagles’ chances.

Gray, Bouldin combine for 48 in GU win

Back with the game story from Gonzaga’s 76-72 win over Colorado on Monday at the Maui Invitational.

Click below for my unedited article. I’m going to put together a notebook that should be posted in an hour or so (if I don’t leave to check out the last five minutes of Cincinnati-Vanderbilt!).

Zags rally past CU

Gonzaga overcame a woeful first half as guards Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray led a second-half comeback that resulted in a 76-72 victory over Colorado on Monday in the first round of the Maui Classic.

Gray scored a career-high 27 points and Bouldin had 12 of his 21 points in the final 6:31. The Bulldogs trailed 40-29 as the Buffaloes made seven 3-pointers.

More in about 2 hours.

 

Akey expects Enderle to play

A week off after 11 straight games seems to paying dividends for the Idaho football team. Starting quarterback Nathan Enderle (shoulder) is expected to play Saturday against Utah State, coach Robb Akey said this morning. The junior missed the last two games — both losses — before the bye week.

Read on for more comments from Akey.

Zags just miss cracking poll

Tipoff in about 15 minutes at the Lahaina Civic Center, which had exactly three people sitting in the stands at 11:30 when they opened the doors to the public. Now it’s about two-thirds full, mostly with Zag followers. Mark Few wasn’t kidding when he said it’s a small, no-frills gym. It seats about 2,400 and makes St. Joe’s gym look palatial.

Gonzaga nearly cracked the new Top 25 polls, but finished 26th in A.P. and 28th in ESPN/USA Today. Meanwhile, Maui participant Vanderbilt made both polls and Maryland moved up to 21st and 22nd, respectively.

In the 10 o’clock hour, CU was on the floor shooting for a good 20 minutes before GU arrived. It’ll be interesting to monitor the team’s perimeter accuracy with an unusual backdrop (one end has a 50-foot Hawaiian mural; the other has a string of banners and advertising signs.) When the Buffaloes were warming up, GU’s first three players to step onto the floor were 7-5 Will Foster, 7-0 Rob Sacre and 6-11 Andy Poling, probably just a coincidence but it underscored the size differential. That’s probably GU’s biggest priority in terms of executing its game plan.

Check back later for the game story.

Here’s some info on Skyview football

This isn’t Skyline, it’s Skyview - from Vancouver - a first time state football semifinalist and Ferris’ foe Saturday, 1 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium. The team outscored previously unbeaten Auburn 34-21 last Friday. I’ll learn more as the week goes on, but here’s a story from the Columbian for your interest:

Monday morning WSU post


COUGARS

It’s Apple Cup week, which, this year, is also Thanksgiving week and thank-god-the-football-season-is-almost-over week, probably for both schools. The excitement of two teams with awful records playing on a holiday weekend isn’t helping ticket sales much. We’ve got more. Read on.

GU opens with Colorado in Maui

There are benefits to being up at 3 a.m. — good parking at the airport and the fact that it led to a late afternoon arrival in one of the prettiest spots on the planet: Maui.

I started writing this tournament advance at Sea-Tac — where I saw UW coach Lorenzo Romar and WSU assistant Jeff Hironaka in the C concourse, about 20 minutes apart — continued typing away during a short layover in Portland and then finished it off here in Maui.

UPDATE: CU coach Jeff Bzdelik won’t coach the Buffaloes in Maui because his mother has fallen ill. He left Maui on Sunday to fly back to Chicago. Steve McClain will coach CU in the tournament. He also filled in for Bzdelik in CU’s season opener.

 

The unedited version is below.  

Eagles on high after playoff announcement

As promised, we’re back with some additional comments from EWU head coach Beau Baldwin and a couple of his players on the Eagles earning an at-large berth in the 2009 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.

I had hoped to post earlier, but Baldwin was understandably a bit late returning phone calls while scrambling to secure video of Saturday’s first-round opponent Stephen F. Austin, and said he planned to get back to watching video of the Lumberjacks as soon as our conversation was over.

I’ve attached an unedited version of the post-playoff announcement story that will appear in Monday morning’s S-R, and I’ve included this link to notes supplied by EWU’s sports information office.

Read on, and be sure to check back on Monday for additional thoughts and comments on the Eagles’ upcoming playoff adventure.

One last look at OSU

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COUGARS

We have our follow story and the look back feature ready for you on the link. Read on.

Eagles land at-large berth in FCS playoffs

Eastern Washington University, after winning its final four regular-season games, was awarded on of the eight at-large berths in the 16-team Football Championship Subdivision playoffs on Sunday.

The Eagles (8-3) will travel to Nacogdoches, Texas, on Saturday to face Stephen F. Austin (9-2), which earned an automatic berth after capturing a share of the Southland Conference championship. Game time has yet to be decided.

Easten, which tied for second with Weber State in the Big Sky Conference standings, last made it to the FCS playoffs in 2007 when they advanced to the second round before losing on the road to eventual national champion Appalachian State.

Unbeaten Big Sky champion Montana (11-0) was awarded the top seed in this year’s playoffs and will entertain South Dakota State in a first-round game in Missoula. Weber State (7-4) also received an at-large playoff berth and will open on the road against William & Mary.

I will post an updated story — hopefully with reaction from EWU head coach Beau Baldwin and some of his players — later today.  The Eagles were still enroute from Saturday’s regular-season finale against Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Ariz., when the playoff brackets were announced.

 

Four football teams still standing

Four area teams are one win each away from realizing a dream - playing Dec. 4 or 5 in Gridiron Classic in the Tacoma Dome.

Ferris - as improbable as it was expected, the Saxons are in their third straight State 4A semifinal. Three weeks ago they might just as easily have not been in the playoffs. Playing to their capabilities in post season they are on the verge of making their first state football final.

West Valley - The Eagles were a playoff force with finalists in 1975 and 76 (winning a state tite) and again 1984. Then, following an unbeaten 1987 and quarterfinals appearance, the hard times began. They are in the 2A semifinals again, the school’s fifth such appearance.

Colfax - No surprise here. But the Bulldogs’ 2B semifinal foe is - DeSales. The Irish a perennial finalist until recently, have their old coach back and have been building since an early loss to Colfax, stunning first Asotin and surviving a playoff to reach state, this weekend shocking LaSalle of Yakima, generally regarded as the best team in state.

Cusick - The 1B Panthers may be better than last year when they were a semifinalist and barely lost to eventual champion LaCrosse-Washtucna. They travel against Tri Cities Prep in what is expected to be the state championship before the official state championship game in Tacoma. 

Unfortunately, Mt. Spokane won’t be joining them. The Wildcats couldn’t sustain their offense in Saturday’s loss to Lakes.

Looking back at WSU’s loss to OSU


COUGARS

Greeted with a layer of snow this morning, which will make driving fun. But that for down the road, so to speak. Right now we have some links for this Sunday morning. Read on.

Forbes leads EWU men past Mavericks

Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team evened its record at 2-2 with a 72-68 road win over Texas Arlington on Saturday.  You can read details supplied by EWU’s sports information department here, and check out what UT Arlington’s sports info department posted on the game here.

Next up for the Eags is a Tuesday night showdown against Boise State at Reese Court.  I will post a game story as soon as possible after the game.

WSU falls to OSU

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COUGARS

Yes it takes me a while to get this stuff put together. You can’t rush mediocrity. But I’m done now. So if you want to read our game story and notebook, the unedited versions of both on the link. Read on.

Eags win wild one, keep playoff dreams alive

Eastern Washington University rolled up a hugh halftime lead over Northern Arizona in Flagstaff on Saturday, but needed a late touchdown to turn back the Lumberjacks 49-45 and keep their FCS playoff hopes alive.

You can read the game story supplied by EWU’s sport information office here, and you can take a look at what NAU’s sports info folks said about the game here.  I was covering a high school football game on Saturday and didn’t get to listen to the Eags on the radio, but I’ll be tuned in to Sunday’s FCS playoff selection show, which will be televised at noon on ESPNews.

I will also post a story on how the committee treats Eastern as soon as possible after the playoff brackets are revealed and update it with comments from Eagles coach Beau Baldwin and his players as soon they become available.

 

Ferris tops Eisenhower

The Ferris football team moved within a win of playing for the 4A state football championship with an impressive victory over Eisenhower in Yakima.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Vandals race past North Dakota St.

The Idaho men’s basketball team rediscovered its offensive groove today, cruising past North Dakota State 81-69 in Fargo. Steffan Johnson scored 19, Luiz Toledo had a coming out party with 18 points and eight rebounds and the Vandals shot a blistering 57 percent against a team that went to the NCAA tourney last year. Read more here.

WSU trails 21-10 at half


COUGARS

Really, could Washington State ask for much more? Sure, the Cougars are down by 11 points. And Martin Stadium is empty. But WSU is keeping it closer than anyone could have imagined. With only about 14 healthy bodies on defense, one of whom, Brandon Jones, was injured in the first quarter and another who it was counting on, Jay Matthews, not suited up with his shoulder injury. That opened the door for Easton Johnson, who was on offense until Wednesday. That’s when he moved back to safety. He’s made at least five tackles by my count. No matter what happens the rest of the way, this might have been the Cougars’ most impressive half.

A pregame look a OSU game


COUGARS

What if they held a football game and nobody came? Would it still make a sound? We’ll examine that proposition on the link. Read on.

Day after Mastodons

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I admit I just wanted to write ‘Mastodons’ one more time. Here’s the day after post following Gonzaga’s 90-55 blowout of IPFW on Friday night.

Game story here and photos here.

Much more below.

Looking ahead to WSU’s game with OSU


COUGARS

It’s football game day. The last one, in fact, in Pullman this year. Last night, as I wandered around town, the mass exodus of students – school is closed for the next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday – made me wonder how many will be at the game today. We’ll see in about six hours. But just because the town is empty doesn’t mean our post will be. There’s plenty if you just read on.

Blackfoot stops Sandpoint

Blackfoot tripped up Sandpoint 29-23 in the 4A state football championship game.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

Zags roll past IPFW, 90-55

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Gonzaga moved to 2-1 with an easy 90-55 win over IPFW on Friday. The Mastodons (1-3) lost by 19 at WSU on Thursday.

The Bulldogs had four players in double figures. Rob Sacre and Matt Bouldin each scored 15 points.

Read my unedited game story below and check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

WSU says goodbye to seniors

COUGARS

Doing what reporters do a lot, sitting, waiting for phone calls to be returned. While I’m enduring that, I figured I could post our advance for tomorrow along with our game-day items. Then you have all evening to read them. Weather prediction for kickoff Saturday: 38 and a 30 percent chance of a rain/snow mix. Nice. Read on.

Spear: No ADs have asked about Akey

Things are pretty quiet with Idaho football these days because of the bye week, but I wanted to pass along this note. I asked UI athletic director Rob Spear yesterday if any schools had called seeking permission to talk to coach Robb Akey (UNLV is rumored to be interested) and he said, “I have not been contacted.” He went on to say, “I think it isn’t something we should be caught off guard by. ”

Spear also said this about Idaho’s bowl hopes entering its regular season finale next week against Utah State: “I feel very good about our chances. Obviously we need to go 8-4 to solidify it.”

McCullough, two others sign with Shock

Kevin McCullough (pictured above), a fixture at linebacker for the Shock the last two seasons, is coming back to Spokane, which also signed two other players.

Read on for more. (There’s additional info on the three at spokaneshock.com.) 

EWU announces early basketball signees

Eastern Washington University men’s basketball coach Kirk Earlywine has announced the signing of three high school recruits to national letters of intent and confirmed that JC transfer Tremayne Johnson, who was expected to be available this winter, will enroll at Eastern in January after clearing up some academic issues.

You can read more on the Eagles’ early signees here, and take at look at Saturday’s  upcoming road game against Texas Arlington here.

Eags looking for road win, FCS playoff berth

Eastern Washington University’s closes its 2009 regular-season football schedule against Northern Arizona in Flagstaff on Saturday.

I’ve have attached an unedited version of the game advance that will appear in Saturday morning’s S-R below, and I’ve included this link to the game notes supplied by EWU’s sports information department and this link to what NAU’s sports info folks have posted about the game.

In addition, I’ve included this link to the Big Sky Conference’s weekly release and this link to the BSC notebook that ran in the S-R earlier this week and deals primarily with how well Matt Nichols, the Eagles’ record-setting senior quarterback, is coping with life on the field without his close friend and favorite target, Aaron Boyce.

 

Mastodons come into focus

IPFW, Gonzaga’s opponent tonight in the Kennel, lost by 19 to Washington State on Thursday. The Mastodons had no defensive answers for WSU, which shot 54 percent, and Klay Thompson, who scored 37 points.

S-R gamer here, IPFW write-up here and GU-IPFW game notes here.

Keep your ticket stub from WSU’s win


COUGARS

The announced attendance in Beasley Coliseum last night was 5,399. It seemed like less than that. But down the road, when Klay Thompson’s name is mentioned among the greats of WSU basketball – and it will be – you know you’ll run into about 10,000 people who will tell you they were in Beasley when Thompson scored 37 against that Indiana team. We have our game story and a few more notes on the link, so read on.

Thompson’s 37 leads WSU


COUGARS

Don’t want to waste any time thinking of something witty to say to entice you to read on. So I’ll say just a few words. Klay Thompson, 37 points. That enough?

WSU leads 44-31 at half

COUGARS • UPDATED: 9 P.M.

Sorry this is late but … anyhow, Klay Thompson is putting on a clinic, rising above 6-foot-3 Zach Plackemeier to hit 10-of-12 shots and score 22 first-half points. At one point Thompson had 15 of WSU’s 22 points. The WSU single-game record is 45 by Brian Quinnett. Delivez Yearby has 11 shots for IPFW, but has hit just three, thanks to the defense of Abe Lodwick and DeAngelo Casto. We’ll be back with our story later.

UPDATE: Thompson finishes with a career-high 37 in 28 minutes as WSU earned a 89-70 victory.

WSU gets ready to face Mastodons


COUGARS

We’re sitting at midcourt in Beasley waiting for the teams to come out for pregame warmup, so we thought we would share our thoughts. Remember, they’re free. And mom always said you get what you pay for. Read on.

Chiefs gametime changed, players recognized

The Spokane Chiefs game at Calgary on Sunday has been moved to a 5:00 PST start.

Chiefs captain Jared Cowen has been an Assistant Captain for Team WHL when they play Team Russia on Wednesday, Nov. 25th in Victoria, BC during the 2009 SUBWAY® Super Series. Cowen and Spokane forward Levko Koper will play in Team WHL’s first game of the SUBWAY® Super Series. The Kelowna Rockets will host the sixth and final game of SUBWAY® Super Series pitting CHL All-Stars against Team Russia the following night.

Spokane forwards Mitch Holmberg (Sherwood Park, AB) and Brady Brassart (North Vancouver, BC) are two of the 22 player on Team Pacific’s roster that will participate in the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, December 29 - January 4, 2010 in Timmins, Ontario. Team Pacific is comprised of 11 players from BC and 11 players from Alberta. Each province held a provincial camp over the summer to identify a set number of players. These players were evaluated during the first part of the season by a selected group of high performance evaluators.

WSU’s week winds down


COUGARS

Made a quick stop at football practice, and saw a couple things worth passing on. Plus, we have information from Paul Wulff’s press conference. Other than that, we’re looking at basketball, which will start in a couple hours. Read on.

Fever bolt for IFL

Tri-Cities’ membership in a new arena football league didn’t last long. The Fever have decided to join the Indoor Football League (IFL).

The new arena league was expected to have a Tier 1, including Spokane, Chicago, Arizona, Orlando, Jacksonville, Iowa, Tulsa, Utah, etc; and a Tier 2, which was to include Tri-Cities, Central Valley, Bossier-Shreveport, Tennessee Valley and others. However, Arkansas and Kentucky have opted out, leaving Tier 2 with just five teams. Tri-Cities elected to join the 28-team IFL, along with Arkansas.

I talked to Shock owner Brady Nelson this afternoon. Read on for more on Tri-Cities’ move and Nelson’s thoughts.

 

IPFW and tickets for GU-Oklahoma

A quick post on Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne’s visit Friday and additional tickets becoming available for the GU-Oklahoma game on Dec. 31st at the Arena.

More below.

Sandpoint title bound?

My column this week is about the Sandpoint football team’s quest for a state championship. Click here to read more.

Another hoop game at WSU


COUGARS

The basketball team takes the court again tonight for another midweek, nonconference game. IPFW plays in the Summit League with Oral Roberts, who defeated Stanford last night. Oral Roberts also was the Cougars first-round NCAA opponent in Sacramento a couple years back but I really don’t know how I’ve wandered so far from my original point so let’s get back to whatever it was … Oh ya. Basketball tonight, football this morning. Read on.

WSU turns to Lopina


COUGARS

We have a story or two to share with you, but we also have some news that came out of practice Wednesday night. Read on.

Day after Michigan State

This won’t be a typical day-after post because we weren’t in East Lansing, but I do have some notes, quotes, pictures and links below.

Read on.

WSU readies for last home game


COUGARS

Midweek. Only the rest of this one and the next left in Washington State’s 2009 football season. As Cal and Stanford prepare for the Big Game, WSU prepares for a visit by Oregon State. And about 15,000 tickets have been sold. But then again, in recent history, the home game before Thanksgiving week is always sparsely attended. We have more, so read on.

Weary Eagles pick up first win

Eastern Washington University, playing its third game in four days, held off Whitman at Reese Court Tuesday night to pick up its first men’s basketball win of the season.

It was a wild contest that you can read more about below in the unedited version of the game story that will appear in Wednesday morning’s S-R.

Zags drop 75-71 decision to MSU

An interesting and physical contest Tuesday at the Breslin Center as Michigan State used a late comeback to edge the Bulldogs 75-71.

Gonzaga went toe-to-toe with the Spartans and it looked like they might withstand one last MSU rally. But Durrell Summers drained a 3-pointer with 3 minutes left that launched the Spartans on a 10-4 closing run to pull out the victory.

Below you can find an unedited article that will run in Wednesday’s S-R. At the very bottom is the AP article.

 

Zags fall by 4

Gonzaga led most of the way, but Durrell Summers’ 3-pointer with 3 minutes left gave Michigan State a lead it wouldn’t relinquish and the Spartans won, 75-71.

Summers had 21 points and Kalin Lucas 19 for MSU. Robert Sacre and Elias Harris each scored 17 for Gonzaga. Matt Bouldin added 15 points.  

Check back for the game story in about 45 minutes.

WSU news and notes for Tuesday night


COUGARS • UPDATE: 7:20 P.M.

Good evening. We wish we had some basketball notes for you, because that would mean we were spending our afternoon in Beasley Coliseum instead of standing on Rogers Field. My guess is there was at least a 40-degree difference. But we do have some pretty important football notes for you to peruse. Please read on.

Zags up 5 at half

Gonzaga took it to No. 2 Michigan State from the opening tip, leading by as many as 13, before the Spartans rallied within 35-30 lead at half.

Center Robert Sacre, despite sitting for a several minutes with two fouls, worked inside for 10 points of 5 of 7 shooting. Forward Elias Harris added eight points and five rebounds. Steven Gray and Matt Bouldin combined to make just 3 of 14 shots. Bouldin had four assists.

GU’s bench chipped in eight points, four by Kelly Olynyk and two each from Will Foster and G.J. Vilarino.

Gray’s 3-pointer gave Gonzaga the lead for good, 3-2, about 70 seconds in. Sacre scored eight straight points as GU stretched the margin to 11-3 as Michigan State went 5 1/2 minutes between field goals.

Gonzaga was in front 23-10 after Olynyk’s layup on a feed from Bouldin. The Spartans, who made just 32.1 percent of their shots, finally found some offense, much of it coming at the foul line. Seven free throws and a couple of interior buckets (with Sacre on the bench) brought MSU within three, but Sacre returned and scored on a short bank shot and Gray added two free throws to make it 35-30 at half.

Kalin Lucas, the 2009 Big Ten player of the year, had nine points for the Spartans, who held a 21-18 rebounding edge. MSU committed 13 turnovers and made just 1 of 5 3-pointers. GU was 1 of 7 on 3s.

 

 

  

Local players making their mark

Our first women’s basketball notebook runs Wednesday but as is typical, there is too much news to squeeze into the paper.

So, it seemed like a good idea to identify the area players who have gone on to Division I schools outside of our area. Hopefully we haven’t missed anyone. We’ll try to track the D-II, D-III and NAIA players as time permits.

Chiefs reassign Conrad

The Spokane Chiefs have reassigned forward David Conrad to the Winnipeg Saints of the MJHL. Conrad has played 63 games in two seasons, including eight this year. He has scored one goal and three points this season and four goals and 10 points in his career.

The move leaves the Chiefs with 24 players on their roster; 14 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.

For more notes, keep reading.

Verlin: Loss to Texas Southern falls on me

Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin had some strong words about his team’s effort — and his coaching peformance — in Sunday’s 72-65 loss at Texas Southern. Read on for quotes from Verlin. The Vandals (1-1) are prepping for Saturday’s tough road game at North Dakota State.

Sandpoint in title game

Congrats to the Sandpoint football team. The Bulldogs (9-2) will take on Blackfoot (10-1) Friday at 7 p.m. at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow for the 4A state championship.

If you follow Panhandle Picks, I predicted Sandpoint would win the state title. Check in Thursday for my column when I take an interesting look at the Class of 2010.

A packed Tuesday morning


COUGARS • UPDATED: 11:12 A.M.

We’ve got basketball games to go over, including a huge upset in the Pac-10. Football, that’s still going on. There is a lot of stuff on the link. Read on.

Game-day morning

A roundup of items prior to Gonzaga facing Michigan State tonight in Lansing, Mich.

Read on.

WSU holds off EWU, 67-61


COUGARS, EAGLES

Washington State played well in spurts Monday night. Eastern Washington played hard all night long. And the two combined to keep the nonconference battle between two schools separated by about 75 miles interesting until the end. On the link we have some notes and the unedited version of our game story. Read on.

WSU leads 30-25 at half


COUGARS

What did WSU learn in the first half? The most important lesson might have been how to play when Klay Thompson can’t buy a basket. It’s something that shouldn’t happen all that often this season, but when it does – and it certainly did early in the game with EWU Monday – the Cougars are going to have to find offense somewhere. It was Reggie Moore, who had 11 first-half points, in this one. … The Eagles took advantage, running out to a 17-9 lead with tough defense and offensive execution. And they did it with their starting posts on the bench, Brandon Moore with foul trouble and Mark Brunell with a gimpy left ankle that was retaped. Plus Benny Valentine did not score. … Another thing they should have learned is defense can ignite an offense, something the Cougars exhibited the past few years. It was the WSU defense that caused the late-in-the-half comeback, closing the nine-point lead, and pulling away to lead by five. … Another lesson, this one Thompson showed he’s learned. If your shot is not falling – Thompson was 0 for 6 at one point – then you can always get to the line. Thompson was 4 of 6 from there before getting going from the field. He hit his last two 3-pointers and finished with 10 points.

WSU faces Eastern


COUGARS

Before the basketball game gets going – you can watch it live on FSN – we have our first look at Oregon State and a short on Jason Stripling. And, oh ya, some basketball notes. By the way, Glenn Johnson is back. Read on.

Shock add pair, including QB Hansen

The Shock have added two more players, including Casey Hansen, the backup quarterback on the 2009 team. The other addition is DL Vaka Manupuna.

More below, and there’s more on Hansen here and Manupuna here.

WSU’s Stripling arrested


COUGARS • UPDATED: 4 P.M.

• Starting outside linebacker Jason Stripling was arrested by the Pullman Police Department early Sunday morning and charged with fourth-degree assault and obstructing a public servant, according to a police report. According to WSU Sports Information Director Bill Stevens, Stripling has been suspended pending an investigation by the coaching staff. Reading the police report, it looks as if there was some sort of physical confrontation on Colorado St. Another person, James D. Bero, was also arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault, according to the report. We’ll have more when we get a chance.

Recruiting heats up for Idaho football

We’ve got a bye-week sort of story for you below, focusing on Idaho’s recruiting exploits in the Northwest. The Vandals have eight known commits right now, five from around the Northwest — Moscow, Lewiston, Asotin and Wenatchee.

Huge early season test awaits Bulldogs

It wasn’t the type of proposal that Mark Few could look at and say, ‘Geez, thanks, but no thanks.’

And that’s one of the reasons why Gonzaga, with perhaps its most inexperienced team, will tangle with No. 2 Michigan State on Tuesday in the Breslin Center, one of college basketball’s toughest venues. The Spartans return three starters and 12 letter-winners from last year’s squad, which lost to North Carolina in the national championship game. UNC beat Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on its title march.

It’s one of the two marquee games on ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon (24-hour hoops bonanza, 12 straight games): GU-Michigan State at 5 Pacific, followed by Memphis-No. 1 Kansas. Michigan State will visit the Kennel in two years.

Read on for more on the game and links at the bottom.

 

Most of Washington’s football team are down


COUGARS • UPDATED: 1 P.M.

As I was on the Arizona Republic website anyway, looking for ASU stories, I thought I would read about the Cardinals win over the Seahawks. Three paragraphs in, I had to stop. It’s hard to see the Seahawks, a couple yellow hankies from being a Super Bowl champion just a few years ago, fall so far so fast. Oh well, back to Washington State and the Pac-10. It is a busy Monday. Read on.

• UPDATE: Washington State has announced the game Saturday with Oregon State will start at 2 p.m. There will be no live TV.

Leftovers from a good hockey weekend

Some leftovers from the Spokane Chiefs 6-1 and 1-0 weekend wins at the Arena.

Roundup of Vandal/WAC news

After a nice win for the Idaho men’s basketball team Friday over Utah, it was a rough weekend all around. First the loss to Boise State and then Sunday, UI hoops fell at Texas Southern. Below you’ll find a quick roundup of Idaho- and WAC-related news.

Chiefs blank defending champions

In a tense, tight-checking game against the defending Western Hockey League champion Kelowa, James Reid make rookie Brady Brassart’s second goal in as many games standup for a 1-0 lead Sunday night.

The Chiefs head out at the end of the week for a five-game road trip starting with three games in Alberta next weekend.

Keep reading for the game story I filed for Monday’s paper and check back tomorrow for additional thoughts from the two weekend wins.

Last look at WSU loss to UCLA


COUGARS

We have a lot for you tonight. There’s our usual look back at Saturday’s game. Then there is the follow story. And an advance of Monday’s basketball game with Eastern Washington. All, of course, will appear in tomorrow’s S-R. Read on.

Postmortem on Idaho-BSU

It was another lopsided Boise State-Idaho rivalry game yesterday. But there was still plenty of reaction from around the state. Keep reading for morning links.

Day after MVSU

Back with the day-after post following GU’s 92-74 win over Mississippi Valley State.

Read on.

WSU’s loss to UCLA, the day after


COUGARS

One thing I hate about the middle of the month is all the bills for the end start to arrive. Open an envelope, cry a little. One thing I like about Sundays is all the stories from Saturday’s games. I’m going to ignore the former and get to the latter. Read on.

Looking back on Eags’ loss in opener

Saturday’s season-opening men’s basketball loss to Portland showed those in attendance at Reese Court that a lot of things have changed about Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team since last winter.

Third-year coach Kirk Earlywine has brought in some splendid young guards who have upped the athleticism ante.  That is allowing the Eagles to play with a little more freedom and take the first open shot they get, rather than work the play clock on each possession in hopes of keeping the game in the 50s so they can stay close.

Unfortunately, their inability to score the basketball hasn’t seemed to change, as evidenced by the 1-for-9 shooting start they had against the Pilots, a senior-laden team that might just be capable of ending Gonzaga’s dominance in the West Coast Conference.

We have this link to the Saturday’s game story that appeared in the S-R, this link to the Oregonian’s gamer, along with more postgame quotes from Earlywine and the Eagles’ leading scorer, Benny Valentine, below.

Read on.

 

Pullman captures state title

Pullman made it much harder than it had to be, but the Greyhounds claimed the State 2A volleyball championship.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Mt. Spokane takes second

Bishop Blanchet defeated Mt. Spokane in the 3A state volleyball championship match.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Chiefs dominate Kamloops

Veteran Kyle Beach had his second hat trick and rookie Brady Brassart scored his first Western Hockey League goal as the Spokane Chiefs whipped Kamloops 6-1 Saturday night at the Arena.

Click on the link below for the unedited game story I filed for Sunday’s paper.

Looking at WSU’s defeat


COUGARS

There really isn’t much for me to add. You probably either heard or saw UCLA’s 43-7 rout of Washington State. So I’ll post my game story, my notebook and a link and leave it at that. Read on.

Zags open with 92-74 victory

GU looked every bit the part of a young, talented team in a 92-74 win over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday. The Zags looked great at times, rough at others, but it was more than enough to beat the Delta Devils.

Read on for my unedited game story. I’ll be back in the morning with a day-after post.

NIchols comes up big in Eagles win over SUU

Senior quarterback Matt Nichols had another record-setting performance on Saturday as Eastern Washington’s football team kept its postseason hopes alive with a non-conference road win over Southern Utah.

You can get more details here from the game story supplied by EWU’s sports information department.  And don’t hesitate to leave any thoughts you might have on Saturday’s win and the Eagles chances in next weekend’s Big Sky Conference and regular-season finale at Northern Arizona. 

Eagles open with home loss to Portland

Eastern Washington opened its men’s basketball season on Saturday by losing at home to Portland 64-58.  An unedited version of the game story that will run in Sunday morning’s S-R can be found below, and you can read the gamer supplied by Eastern’s sports information department here.

It is obvious the Eagles have upgraded their athleticism with some outstanding young guards, but they once again struggled to score against the Pilots.

Read on for more details, and feel free to leave any comments you might have about this year’s team here.

Also, check back tomorrow for more postgame comments and thoughts, along with links to related stories.

 

Zags run away from Delta Devils

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures as Gonzaga opened the regular season with a 92-74 victory over Mississippi Valley State at the MAC on Saturday.

Freshman forward Elias Harris was 5 of 5 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line before he missed a shot with 16:32 left in the second half. He finished with 18 points. Matt Bouldin scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half. Steven Gray had 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Rob Sacre had 17 points and nine boards.

Back with the game story in about two hours.

Mt. Spokane, Pullman vie for titles

The Mt. Spokane and Pullman volleyball teams advanced to state championship matches Saturday afternoon.

I’ll be back later this evening with my stories. Go to www.wiaa.com to see live tournament brackets.

BSU obliterates error-prone Idaho

Brian Reader threw for over 300 yards. DeMaundray Woolridge gobbled up 145 yards on the ground. Daniel Hardy had 119 yards receiving. Idaho had to fare pretty well vs. Boise State with all those things happening, right? Uh, no — not with most of the positive plays wiped out by seven turnovers in a humbling 63-25 loss.

Read on for more.

WSU trails 26-0 at halftime


COUGARS

It’s halftime and WSU trails again. This one started out badly, with Marshall Lobbestael throwing interceptions on WSU’s first three possessions. UCLA turned those into 14 points, meaning the Cougars have been outscored 159-3 in the first quarter this season. Then it got worse. Kevin Prince scrambled 68 yards for a score when he should have been tackled or forced out of bounds numerous times. Then there was the safety, when Reid Forrest had a punt blocked for the first time this year. But of course that wasn’t all. Forrest left the field after another punt, when he tried to make a tackle that meant nothing because of a block in the back up the field. He left holding his left shoulder. And the Bruins added a 38-yard field goal to end the half. Your thoughts?

WSU pregame post


COUGARS

Good afternoon. Hope everybody’s day is going well. We’ve got some notes for you to peruse before the game starts. Enjoy. Read on.

A busy game day at WSU


COUGARS

Let’s see. We have the basketball stories. We have the football advances. We have the UCLA stories. We have a Cougar soccer story. We’ve got pretty much everything covered. Read on.

Idaho, Boise State square off

Since Idaho began piling up wins in September and through October, the question started popping up: Is this the year the Vandals can perhaps topple Boise State? Well, we finally to get find out this afternoon. Kickoff at Bronco Stadium is at 12:30. 

Click below for links, thoughts, keys to the game and even a weather forecast.

Wildcats in a romp

Mt. Spokane will face unbeaten Lakes Lancers here next Saturday after romping past Hanford as expected, 48-14. Lakes had 48 points through three quarters of its win in Tacoma.

Here’s the story from Richland on the Wildcats:

Saxons win big over Kamiakin

The Ferris Saxons got an early dose of reality on a game-opening kickoff touchdown return, but parlayed turnovers into quick touchdowns on the way to a 41-16 triumph over Kamiakin. They travel next weekend to Eisenhower of Yakima.

Mt. Spokane also won big, 48-13 at Hanford and hosts No. 1 ranked Lakes next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium.

Here’s my story from the Ferris game:

Vikings fall to Eagle

Coeur d’Alene and Eagle hooked up in an entertaining State 5A semifinal Friday night at Viking Field. The game had a little of everything — snow, big plays from both offenses and the lead flip-flopped back and forth — but it was Eagle escaping with a 25-21 victory that ended CdA’s season.

Read an unedited game story below.

 

Down two sets, Mead rallies

The Mead volleyball team pulled off a storybook comeback to capture the 4A state championship Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Eagles fly

A muddy track at West Valley didn’t matter with the way the Eagles were soaring. Their first playoff appearance in 22 years produced a 29-0 win. Keep reading for the unedited game story for Saturday’s paper.

WSU rolls over MVSC


COUGARS

The Ken Bone era at WSU is officially underway. We documented it Friday night with this story, the unedited version of which you can find on the link. After the story are a few notes. Read on.

Vandals take down Utes

A much-anticipated season for the Idaho men’s basketball team got off to a stirring start tonight. The Vandals held off late-charging Utah at the Huntsman Center for a 94-87 win. UI’s first win over the Utes in 71 years came thanks to 19 points from Pacific transfer Steffan Johson. Mac Hopson and Jeff Ledbetter had 16 apiece.

You can read more here.

A prediction for WSU game tonight


COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:45 P.M.

If you’ve read this blog much, you know I’m not a big fan of predictions. I’m usually wrong and, because I hate being wrong, I rarely make a prediction. But tonight I will make an exception. I’ve got one for you. Read on.

UPDATE: Mississippi Valley State was delayed on 195 from Spokane. The Devils are in the building, and the game will start 30 minutes after they hit the court. My guess: 7:20.

Mead advances to title match

Mead (31-2) will take on Curtis (23-3) in the State 4A volleyball championship game at about 6:30 p.m.

Mead handled Graham Kapowsin 25-15, 25-14, 25-20 and Curtis topped Auburn Riverside 25-15, 28-26, 25-20 in the semifinals.

I’ll check back later with the story.

Looking ahead to the UCLA game


COUGARS

We’re about to head over to Beasley for the basketball season opener, but before we do, we’ll catch you up with football. On the link you’ll find our short advance of tomorrow’s game along with our usual game-day items. And yes, it is snowing in Pullman. Read on.

Three more join Shock

Spokane has added three more players: DB Dahnel Signfield, OL Antonio Narcisse and LB Aaron Robbins More below, and there’s additional info on each player at Spokaneshock.com.

Zags opener; Dower, Stockton slated to redshirt

Just put together a few paragraphs on Gonzaga’s season opener Saturday. There are a couple of players updates, courtesy of GU’s game release, below.

Idaho basketball gets under way

In just a few hours, the Vandals will take the court against Utah (6 p.m. PST tip) in their season opener. It’s not an easy opening game, but it sure beats playing at Gonzaga and Michigan State in the first week like last year. Read on for more about tonight and some quotes from Don Verlin about UI’s latest recruits and his philosophy of targeting high school vs. JC players.

How best to build a football program

Why do some football teams succeed when others don’t. Is it because of the size of a school, socio-economic, emphasis placed on sports by families or school administrations, coaching, or merely because one school has better athletes than the other?

It’s probably a little of everything. I addressed it in my Prep Page column on Thursday.

State football begins

Tonight we find out how good our teams were this year with the first round of state football games. From the GSL, Ferris hosts Kamiakin, winner 21-0 over CV last week; Mt. Spokane is in Richland against Hanford.

In 2A, West Valley is home tonight against Selah,  Clarkston and Colville hit the road against Ellensburg and Othello tonight and Saturday respectively. And 2B playoff perennials Colfax and Reardan represent District 7.

I’ve linked to my stories today in The Spokesman-Review.

Cold day at WSU


COUGARS

As we kick off Dad’s Weekend in Pullman, the WSU stories are hard to find – sort of like a warm day in mid-November. But we did unearth a couple, along with the usual Pac-10 items. Read on.

Mead moves into semifinals

The Mead volleyball team is one win away from playing for another state championship.

Lewis and Clark, meanwhile, will play for fourth/seventh Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

WSU football, basketball news


COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:30 P.M.

We have a couple items for you, including a short feature on Myron Beck and an advance on tomorrow’s basketball game. Also, there are some notes from Paul Wulff’s press conference. Read on.

Goodson next in GU point guard assembly line

It’s college basketball preview time. The S-R has already previewed Idaho, WSU and EWU, meaning Gonzaga’s up next. Some turn out to be team overviews, others zero in on a specific player.

I wrote about Demetri ‘Meech’ Goodson, the fiercely competitive point guard from Spring, Texas. Read on for my unedited article that will run in Friday’s S-R.

Also, here are some previews of GU’s WCC rivals: San Diego, Santa Clara, Saint Mary’s and San Francisco. Haven’t been able to find previews of LMU, Pepperdine and Portland, but will post them when I do.

 

QB Reader a nice find for Idaho

This week’s WAC notebook centers on Idaho backup quarterback Brian Reader, who’s been thrust into action with Nate Enderle’s shoulder injury. It’s still up in the air on who will start Saturday at Boise State, but most of the signs are pointing at Reader right now. We’ll keep you posted. For now, you can read about Reader’s background below.

State 4A volleyball

Defending 4A state champ Lewis and Clark and Mead opened with wins in first-round matches Thursday morning at Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Click the tab below to read more. I’ll update tonight with their second-round matches and my unedited story.

Here’s a link to a feature Mike Vlahovich wrote about University of Southern California-bound Alex Olgard of Mead. She’s in the picture above.

Here’s a link to a look at the other state volleyball tournaments.

Big weekend for Eagles

It’s a big weekend coming up for both Eastern Washington’s football and men’s basketball teams.

The Eagles football team will try to keep its postseason playoff hopes alive on Saturday when they travel to Cedar City, Utah, to take on Southern Utah in a non-conference game. And the men’s basketball team open regular-season play at home that same afternoon, hosting a veteran Portland team that is exepected to challenge Gonzaga for this year’s West Coast Conference title.

We’ve got links below to related stories and press releases, including one that will give you a look at the feature on EWU’s senior basketball center Brandon Moore that ran in Thursday morning’s S-R.

Read on.

 

UCLA might get cold reception at WSU


COUGARS

The forecast for this weekend seems to get a little worse each day. If not worse, than colder. The chance of snow or a cold rain Friday? Sixty percent. Saturday, only 20 percent, but a high of 33. Of course, that could all change, even over the course of the day today. But for now, it could be chilly on the field Saturday. Read on.

Mackay visits WSU practice


COUGARS

From basketball to football. The sound you heard was me grinding my gears. Or teeth. I’m not sure. Anyhow, we have the unedited version of my story on the chemistry between quarterback and receivers. Oh, and some notes on this Veteran’s Day, including a surprise visitor to practice. Read on.

Simon signs with WSU


COUGARS

A quick post with the unedited version of the story about WSU’s basketball signee from the early period that started Wednesday. Read on.

Idaho basketball legend dies

Ozzie Kanikkeberg died Friday at the age of 83. He was best known as a small-school basketball icon, having won 660 games during his 46-year coaching career — with 42 of those seasons coming at Genesee. His career win total is probably a state record.

UI signs three recruits, Spear makes news

Coach Don Verlin has signed three players to letters of intent — two North Idaho College recruits and a high schooler from Walla Walla. Read on for more info, as well as details about AD Rob Spear refusing to board a Bronco airplane.

Gray, GU roundup

Gonzaga junior guard Steven Gray (pictured vs. North Carolina) has branched out into a different arena. More here.

—It’s the first day of the early signing period, but it’s quiet at Gonzaga. The Bulldogs figure to sign three players in the next two years and might keep a couple of those for the 2011 class, which appears to be strong for recruiting in the northwest. Gonzaga is in a position to be choosy, and patient.

—Tayshaun Prince’s injury has opened up more playing time for ex-Zag Austin Daye with the Detroit Pistons.

—Was going to link to a GU release about a limited number of tickets being available to Bulldog Club members for Saturday’s opener, but the game is now a sellout. The remaining tickets were purchased Wednesday morning.

 

Ex-Chiefs faring well.

Thanks to the first goal for rookie defenseman Landon Oslanski, Lethbridge has won three in a row. ’s first goal of the season was the winner as the Hurricanes edged the Calgary Hitmen, 3-2… . Oslanski, 17, and D Mike Reddington, 19, were traded to Lethbridge when the Spokane Chiefs acquired Kyle Beach two games into the season. Last week Spokane sent over-age forward Dustin Donaghy to the Hurricanes.

Oslanski had an assist in the only game he played for the Chiefs, he has a goal and three assists in 16 games for the Hurricanes. Reddington didn’t score for Spokane but he has 13 assists in 19 games for Lethbridge. Donaghy has two assists in two games for Lethbridge, compared to one assist in 13 games for Spokane.

In his 16 games for the Chiefs, Beach has 15 goals and five assists - and 56 penalty mnutes, just 11 shy of what the Hurricanes’ Spokane trio has picked up their combined 37 games (50 by Reddington).

You just have to read this, it’s not a hockey story, or even a sports story. It’s a people story and it’s worth every second you spend reading it. Thanks to the Drinnan blog.

More notoriety for Zag women

Not to make too much of the Gonzaga women’s basketball team, afterall, the Zags are just one of four D-I teams on our property, but, let’s face it - this team is poised for the best season any of our teams have ever had.

Of course, last year probably already qualifies as the best-ever since GU became the first local program to make it to the NCAA Tournament a second time and the first to win a NCAA Tournament game.

However, this team should be better. First though, we take you back to ESPN.com, which ranks the Zags No. 1 among mid-majors, lists Friday’s season-opener at South Dakota State as one of the more and has Heather Bowman as the No. 2 power forward and Courtney Vandersloot the No. 5 point guard in player rankings, which make for an interesting debate. All that just three days after a bunch more national pub.

Another crowded Wednesday with WSU links


COUGARS

It’s a crowded morning, no doubt about it. It always is on Wednesday, as everyone writes about Pac-10 football. Plus, basketball is getting underway, so there’s that as well. Read on.

Everett derails Chiefs

It was not a good night for the Spokane Chiefs, who were out-played and beaten 5-2 by Everett Tuesday night at the Arena.

There is really not much to be said than what is in the unedited game story I filed for Wednesday’s paper.

UI practice report, Q&A with Criner

You’ll find a few tidbits from this afternoon’s Vandal football practice and some interesting comments from QB Brian Reader and defensive coordinator Mark Criner below. Check it out and feel free to comment away.

Tuesday afternoon WSU report


COUGARS

Football practice is over. The team is looking forward to its day off from school tomorrow, though practice will be at the usual time. We’ve got our Pac-10 story in its unedited glory on the link. But we kick off the post with some notes from practice. Read on.

WSU’s Koprivica has traveled a long way to Pullman


COUGARS

Basketball season opens officially this Friday. As I searched for a subject to kick off the season, it seemed natural to settle on lone senior Nik Koprivica. So we sat down and talked. And, after three years of talking with him, I learned what his life was like. The story that follows, and will appear in tomorrow’s S-R, grew out of that conversation. I hope it opens a door to a Koprivica you may not have known. Read on.

Sports overlap at WSU


COUGARS

We had to make an executive decision this morning. The choice was complicated: Put up one morning post, intermingling football and basketball, which would make WSU’s section longer, or put up two, with the usual football stuff in the first one and a shorter one featuring basketball. I came down on the side of one, using the logic that you folks are interested in WSU, no matter what. At least that’s how I read it. If you have thoughts, pass them on.

WSU runs past LC State


COUGARS

The exhibition season is now officially over in Pullman. It didn’t last long. One game. The games start for real – and count – Friday against Mississippi Valley State, though they way its performed against WSU the past two years make it almost like another exhibition. Anyone, WSU won the real one, 73-51 over Lewis-Clark State College. Read on for notes and the unedited version of our game story.

UI hoops welcomes 8 newcomers

College basketball officially tipped off tonight, so it seems a perfect time to post our Idaho men’s basketball season preview. The Vandals don’t open till Friday at Utah, but we’ve got our story, schedule and roster below — all of which will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.

WSU leads 42-24 at half


COUGARS

Well, WSU is leading handily. That’s about all you can say about the first half. It’s a sloppy basketball game (17 turnovers combined, 10 by L-C State), but that could have been predicted with all that’s new here at Beasley. New coach, new players, new system, new uniforms. One thing that’s the same. Klay Thompson can still shoot it. He’s also improved his ball-handling (as we’ve noted before) which is allowing him to get to the rim – and foul line – more often. Of his 14 points, three came from the line. We’ll be back after we’ve written our story.

WSU opens basketball season


COUGARS

OK, you talked me into it. Here’s a quick pregame basketball post. Read on.

UCLA comes to town Friday


COUGARS

This blog post is coming to you from the upper reaches of Beasley Coliseum, where we get ready to watch the Washington State men’s basketball team play its only exhibition game of the preseason. The opponent is Lewis-Clark State. But we’ll get to basketball later, after we have a chance to see the Cougars in action. What we have for you now is the unedited version of our first look at UCLA, this week’s football opponent. Read on.

Zags start game week

GU’s season opener arrives Saturday when Mississippi Valley State visits the Kennel, one night after taking on Washington State.

A recap of Gonzaga’s scrimmage with Texas and a few other notes below.

Spokane adds three more

The Shock have announced three more player signings, including a former Husky and a former af2 standout who made the transition to the AFL in 2007-2008. More below.

(Note: There are expanded write-ups on each player at spokaneshock.com.)

Akey: I’m supposed to pay homage to BSU

It’s only Monday and already Idaho coach Robb Akey is making waves for comments regarding Saturday’s clash with Boise State. Read on to find out what he said. We also have an update on QB Nate Enderle.

Gonzaga women get a little love

Graham Hays of ESPN hints that the Gonzaga women are a darkhorse to do the unthinkable - reach the Final Four and touts junior point guard Courtney Vandersloot. And Michelle Voepel of ESPN has five questions for the new season, one of which involves Tennessee and U-Hi grad Angie Bjorklund. Stanford is also part of the questions and there is one involving Baylor’s 6-foot-8 freshman, who dunked in an exhibition game. (By the way Baylor opens up at Tennessee on Sunday, ESPN2, 2 p.m., Idaho is at the Baylor Thanksgiving Tournament and GU sees Baylor in Vegas next month. WSU isn’t the only team facing Stanford, the Zags take a trip to Palo Alto at the end of the month)

While we’re at it, here’s our preseason feature on Bulldog senor Tiffany Shives to go with the preseason caps for GU, Washington State, Idaho and Eastern Washington.

The season opens this weekend. Here are the openers and home openers.

Friday: Gonzaga at last year’s mid-major power South Dakota State.

Saturday: Eastern at Portland

Sunday: UC Davis (and CV grad Heidi Heintz) at WSU

Monday: Gonzaga at Idaho.

Thursday: Idaho at Eastern; USC at Gonzaga.

It could be a great warmup season for 2010-11 when Spokane will spend two weekends in the postseason spotlight.

Keep reading for our preseason Top 25 and All-American team.

 

More on Ferris cross country win

Talk about confident! A week or so ago Mike Hadway talked about looking forward to a dunk in the 18th hole water hazard at Sun Willows Golf Course. It was a tradition started when Mead cross country coach Pat Tyson was tossed into the pond after winning state. It became something of a traditiona and has been chronicled by The S-R over the years.

Hadway’s fifth title and the entire contingent of Saxons took the plunge. A new website, CoachesSaid.com was there and did a blowout on this year’s dunking.

Monday morning hockey update

We don’t pretend to be all knowing when it comes to the Western Hockey League, but our goal is to help you know more.

So, almost every day we check in with Gregg Drinnan, who has the pulse of the WHL and so much more. (We should mention as well that Alan Caldwell produces interesting info as well and is especially adept at keeping tabs on rosters.)

For instance, from Drinnan you can read this: If you were wondering, and I know you were, WHL goaltenders went into Saturday’s games on pace to put up 94 shutouts this season. That would be the fifth-highest total in WHL history, behind 2004-05 (141), 2006-07 (120), 2003-04 (107) and 2005-06 (103)… . Last season, the goaltenders put up 92 blank jobs.

Tidbits for today include a link to a story on Tri-City star Brendan Shinnimin. If you know of other places that came up with good information, let us know.

Keep reading below for details on an amazing finish to Saturday’s Seattle-Portland game, which, by the way, drew 8,700 fans.

Meanwhile, Everett is at the Arena on Tuesday. The Chiefs and Silvertips are tied for third in the U.S. Division with 21 points, although Everett has played one less game.

WSU starts full week


COUGARS

Ready for a full week? Let’s see. There’s basketball games Monday and Friday night, we’ll have our season preview in Wednesday’s paper and, like always, we’ll have something from football nearly every day. Sounds like a full week to me. Read on.

Looking back at WSU’s loss in the desert


COUGARS

Well, there is basketball tomorrow. It’s obvious some of you are looking forward to that. We’ll be there. But before we begin another sport and another season, we’re still wrapped up in football. Our follow on WSU’s loss at UA is on the link, along with the look back and, yes, a short basketball advance. Read on.

Eagles hold off MSUB in basketball exhibition

Eastern Washington University’s men’s basketball team outlasted NCAA Division II Montana State University-Billings in the last of its two exhibition games at Reese Court on Sunday.

I’ve attached an unedited version of the short game story that will appear in Monday morning’s S-R below.

WSU’s latest defeat, the day after


COUGARS

Our travel plans necessitated rising at 3:45 a.m. Palouse Standard Time today to make our flight, and even with that, it seemed as if I didn’t have enough time to get going. I did download some links, and we offer them to you on the link. Read on.

Manic rally comes up short for Idaho

The way things were heading through three quarters tonight, it looked as if Idaho would go quietly for once. But no, the Vandals made things oh-so interesting in the fourth quarter before falling 31-21 to Fresno State. Read on more in my game story.

Kamiakin throttles Bears

Five first half turnovers, all inside their own 35, put Central Valley in a hole but the Bears only trailed Kamiakin 14-0 at the half.

The Bears took the second half kickoff and on their second play fumbled the ball away again inside the 35.

It could have been worse than the 21-0 finale if the CV defense didn’t come up big. Read the unedited game story below.

Chiefs win 4th straight

Solid defense and opportunistic offense gave the Chiefs a 2-1 win Saturday night against a top tier Western Hockey League foe. Spokane defeated the Vancouver Giants 2-1 at the Arena.

Below is the unedited game story I filed for Sunday’s paper and a few more notes.

Highlanders girls state race champs

Shadle Park girls captured their first state 3A cross country championship and a couple of girls who played for volleyball titlists last year are champions in their second fall sport. Chelsea Chandler who played for the Highlanders volleyball titlists last year, was fourth scorer in cross country this. And Colfax’s Morgan Willson, who played for the Bulldogs volleyball champs, was State B race winner in her first cross country season.

Here are my stories from Pasco:

Ferris, NC secure overland legacy

Ferris made it 22 straight for Greater Spokane League 4A boys cross country teams at the state meet today in Pasco. North Central won its fourth straight 3A title and will be shooting for the Saxons during the Nike Cross regionals next week in Boise.

Here’s my story from Sun Willows Golf Course:

Enderle appears to be out

We’re in the press box a few minutes before Idaho’s clash with Fresno State, and all indications are that quarterback Nathan Enderle (bruised rotator cuff) won’t play. As first reported here, the junior has taken very few reps throughout the week and was warming up tonight by throwing with his left hand, his non-throwing hand. The starting nod looks like it will go to Brian Reader, a junior college transfer who will be making first FBS start of his career.

WSU falls once again


COUGARS

We are being kicked out of the press box, so I’ll post my game story and notebook. When I get to Phoenix, I’ll check your comments and add some notes.

Arizona handing it to WSU 34-0 at half


COUGARS

The halftime score is one thing – the Cougars trail 34-0 – but the health of Jeff Tuel’s right knee is another. The word is he has a slight sprain and it will be evaluated at halftime. It looked a lot worse. He went down midway in the second quarter in the grasp of Xavier Kelley, fumbled and took forever to get up. But when he did, he was hardly limping and walked off on his own. We’ll pass on something if we hear it. As for the game, Arizona has made a lot of substitutions already and the second half could be an extended scrimmage for its second string. We’ll be back with our game report later. Until then …

One more player goes down for WSU


COUGARS

Arizona Stadium is empty. The wind is blowing lightly out of the south, making the flags in that end zone wave slowly. There’s a few hours before the game and we’ve got notes and thoughts. Read on.

Football, hoops take center stage for UI

Lots to get to this morning. The Idaho basketball teams opened their schedules with an exhibition doubleheader sweep last night and the Vandal football squad faces a sizable test tonight vs. Fresno State. Keep reading for more.

Morning links on WSU’s game day


COUGARS

Game day in the desert. When the sun comes up, I’m sure it will be another perfect golfing day. Football? I’m not so sure. Isn’t that game supposed to be played on the frozen tundra or something? Ah well, at least no one will need a coat. Read on for links and notes.

Mt. Spokane overwhelms foe

The Wildcats were in a mismatch as they advanced to the first round of the state 3A football playoffs. They scored 33 first-half points en route to a 47-7 romp.

Here’s my story:

Tough night for Mead football

It took awhile for Mead’s defense to adjust to Southridge and the offense never solved the Suns, whose pressure on a young quarterback led to a 14-10 victory. All scoring was in the first half.

Here’s my story:

Sandpoint drills Middleton

The Sandpoint football team opened the State 4A playoffs with a 30-0 win over visiting Middleton.

Read correspondent William Love’s unedited story by clicking the tab below.

Coeur d’Alene takes rematch

The Coeur d’Alene football team made the most of a second chance, pulling away from Lake City in the second half.

Read my unedited game story by clicking the tab below.

Final final version

I keep getting calls returned, spaced several hours apart, which require a quick update to my original article on the details of the new arena football league.

I don’t have any other calls out, so the final unedited version is below. It’s not a whole lot different from the previous one or two, but it does mention the commissioner discussing the possibility of another couple of teams joining the fold.

Read on.

Three more join Shock

Spokane’s roster continues to grow as three more player signings were announced Friday afternoon, including the return of Harrison Nikolao.

More below.

More WSU news on topsy-turvy day


COUGARS

We’re in Tucson after avoiding the overturned car in the median of Interstate 10 - everyone looked OK as far as I could tell. Other than that one car, everyone was doing their age – which was about 80. Anyhow, we’re here and here is the unedited version of our advance – on Jeff Tuel’s return to his boyhood home – and our game-day items. Read on.

Sources: Enderle game-time decision

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle is a game-time decision for tomorrow’s Fresno State game with what’s believed to be a bruised rotator cuff, sources have confirmed to the Spokesman-Review. Enderle took very few reps in Tuesday’s practice, and that trend continued throughout the week, a source said.

Vandals coach Robb Akey was unavailable to comment this afternoon.

‘Shack’ visits with Tri-Cities

OK, the Shock post below wouldn’t accept the link to Adam Shackleford visiting with the Tri-Cities Fever about an assistant coaching position. Here it is, hopefully.

Football moment of reckoning

Lewis and Clark’s easy victory over Kennewick last night could, like last year, be a harbinger of things to come. Last year the Tigers beat Kamiakin by four TDs and the Greater Spokane League won every crossover matchup with the Columbia Basin Big Nine.

Proof will be in the pudding beginning tonight with Mt. Spokane hosting Sunnyside at Joe Albi Stadium, 5:30 p.m., followed by Mead against Southridge at 8 for state berths. CV is at Albi, 3 p.m. tomorrow against Kamiakin. There are also the crossover contests going on as season enders for the rest of the schools. It will be interesting to see what transpires.

Best of luck runners in Pasco

Ferris and North Central boys and Shadle Park girls - hopefully hale and hearty - chase State cross country team championships tomorrow at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with Wheelchair competition and continues with a dozen races at half hour intervals, concluding with 4A boys at 2:30 p.m.

Below are the individuals involved:

Shock roundup

I put together a roundup of everything Shock related, including Ben McCombs’ return, Raul Vijil’s possible return, the departure of four Shock players to a rival team, Adam Shackleford talking jobs with Tri-Cities and more details about the new arena football league.

Read on.

 

Brown picked in NBADL draft

Ex-Zag Ira Brown was drafted by Austin in the fourth round of NBA Development League draft. More here. The Toros have been in the news for their selection of Nancy Lieberman as head coach.

Brown played on a Spokane All-Star team, scoring 18 points and grabbing six boards, in a four-point loss to No. 5 North Idaho College earlier this week.

 

WSU humming Willie Nelson song again


COUGARS

Another Friday, another airport. And another morning post. Before we get on a plane to start the trip to Tucson, we pulled together some links. Read on.

Some different faces at WSU practice


COUGARS

Some notes for you after Paul Wulff’s conference call and practice, including a surprise appearance from an alum and a new walk-on kicker. Read on.

UI’s Axman: author and coach

Steve Axman’s resume would take more than just a page or two — 38 years of coaching, 19 stops, 12 published books. Yes, that’s right — the Idaho offensive coordinator is an accomplished author. Read on for more in a story for tomorrow’s paper.

Chiefs finding a groove

The Western Hockey League schedule is picking up and the Spokane Chiefs seem to be picking up momentum.

A 5-1 win over Chilliwack Wednesday night gave them three wins in their last four games and the loss was a well played game when the visitors’ goalie stole a game.

“Once you get into some games your mentality changes, you’re always ready to play,” Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter said. “The guys have figured out the speed and work ethic we need to be successful. They’re now implementing that. There is a confidence when we play well we can beat good teams. As of late we’ve played very, very well.”

The Chiefs will need that consistency and confidence. After a Friday game in Seattle they play four straight at home, including Saturday against B.C. Division leading Vancouver, Tuesday against Everett, the team just above them in the U.S. Division.

A key factor in the improvement is the play of the unheralded young forwards, which the coach and a veteran addressed after the game, and the defense seeming to find a groove. Keep reading for their comments and additional comments on the trade of veteran forward Dustin Donaghy.

Successful O’Dea coach dies

Phil Lumpkin, the successful coach at O’Dea High School in Seattle has died at age 57. The cause of depth, according to these stories in The Seattle Times, was related to pneumonia. In a related story, fellow coaches share their recollections.

WSU news isn’t hard to find


COUGARS

We got a little sidetracked this morning listening to a couple of sports podcasts. Hard to believe what can be said on the radio in Passaic, New Jersey can be heard in Pullman, Washington … or Cairo, Egypt for that matter. And so can whatever is written. Strange world we live in. Read on.

Chiefs win, trade Donaghy

The Spokane Chiefs turned in a solid performance for a 5-1 win over Chilliwack. Afterwards they traded 20-year old forward Dustin Donaghy to Lethbridge for a sixth-round draft pick.

Keep reading for my unedited game story for Thursday paper and then check back tomorrow for more from the players and coaches.

WSU’s newest freshman


COUGARS

Saturday night against Notre Dame, the Washington State University fullback snuck out into the right flat and caught a pass from Jeff Tuel. It went for 12 yards. And if you were wondering who No. 37 was that caught it, read on. We’ll tell you.

Bouldin on another award list

GU senior guard Matt Bouldin is one of the candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Click here for the entire list and here for more about the award.

 

Shock sign four players

The Spokane Shock signed four players, including a pair of familiar names (Markee White and Alex Teems) and a former All-AFL receiver. They are the first four players to officially join the Shock in the new Arena Football 1. White is pictured above.

More below. (There’s also more on each player at the team’s Web site: spokaneshock.com).

 

Panhandle Picks

Here’s the last intallment of the season.

Click below to see Greg Lee’s football picks for the first round of the Idaho state playoffs.

Spanning the globe for WSU news


COUGARS

From Pullman to Tucson and everywhere in between. That’s the area we cover today with links and notes. Read on.

Idaho practice tidbits

The practice week started for the Idaho Vandals this afternoon inside the Kibbie Dome. There were some interesting developments to share along with a little piece I put together after talking to quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith. Read on.

Saxons rise from the dead

 On post-season life support and needing a miracle, pre-season Greater Spokane League football favorite Ferris got one last week.

Tuesday night, in front of 2,050 fans at Joe Albi Stadium, the resuscitated Saxons made the most of their second chance in a mini-game tie-breaker series that resurrected State 4A playoff hopes.

Ferris defeated first Gonzaga Prep 14-7, then University 10-0 to earn the third and final GSL berth to state qualifying games against the Columbia Basin Big Nine. The Saxons (6-3) travel Friday to unbeaten CBBN No. 2 seed, Wenatchee (9-0) for a 7 p.m. game in the Apple Bowl.

Notes from WSU and around the Pac-10


COUGARS

A pretty interesting day in Pullman, what with a couple of visitors to basketball practice and some doings on the football practice field. Read on.

WCC coaches chat up teams

Every coach had roughly eight-minute segments to talk about their teams and the upcoming WCC season. The general consensus is that Gonzaga is the team to beat, Portland is GU’s primary threat, teams at the top (other than an experienced Pilots squad) have a ton of new faces, and the bottom of the league is improving.

Below are some of the highlights.

Day-after Alberta

I was going to make one long post, but we’ll break it up. First up is the day-after post from Monday’s exhibition win over Alberta. I’ll be back in a bit with some updates from the WCC coaches conference call that took place during the noon hour.

Read on.

 

A trickle of WSU news this Tuesday


COUGARS

As dry as Tuesday morning’s usually are – and today is no exception – that’s how wet Wednesday’s are. So be patient. News always happens on Tuesdays. But to tide you through, we have links. Read on.

Zags roll past Alberta in exhibition

Gonzaga opened its season with a 94-53 exhibition victory over the visiting University of Alberta Golden Bears on Monday night.

I’ve posted my unedited game story below.

Coeur d’Alene takes tiebreaker

The Coeur d’Alene football team overcame off-the-field adversity to capture the 5A Inland Empire League’s second state playoff berth Monday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story.

Next up for WSU is Arizona


COUGARS

Next up on the Cougars’ road show: the University of Arizona Wildcats. We have our first look on the link. Read on.

Monday morning Vandal notes

Just a few things to pass along here. Robb Akey said this morning that LB Paul Senescall (concussion) should be available to play against Fresno State while the status of CB Isaac Butts (hamstring) is still in doubt. Both players missed last week’s game. Also, freshman kick returner Justin Veltung was named WAC special teams player of the week. He took the opening kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown against Louisiana Tech.

One last note: Akey raved about Fresno tailback Ryan Mathews, the leading rusher in the nation. “To say you’re going to go in there and stonewall this guy, you’re crazy to say that,” Akey said. The coach said the Vandals can only to try to limit his big runs and have the defense match them with a few big plays of its own. Idaho entertains FSU at 7:30 Saturday night. The game is on ESPNU.

Idaho prep football playoffs

The Idaho High School Activities Association has released most of the dates/sites for the state football playoffs this week.

Click the tab below to see each classification.

Zags tip off against Alberta

It’s game time, sort of. GU opens tonight with an exhibition game against the University of Alberta at the MAC.

A short, short preview below and updates on ex-Zags in the NBA.

WSU has one more long road trip


COUGARS

Washington State’s 2009 version of a Long March comes to an end this weekend with the Cougars third consecutive road game. This one is in Tucson, that “little” college town near the border with Mexico. Saddled with a five-game losing streak, WSU will try to pull a big upset in the desert after racking up about 8,000 miles of travel. Well, at least Tucson has an In-N-Out, so there’s that. Read on.

Chiefs get road win

Here’s an oddity from the Spokane Chiefs’ weekend - they beat two of the better teams in the Western Conference of the Western Hockey League on the road but they lose at home.

Still, it would have to be considered an outstanding weekend since the Chiefs played well at the Arena on Saturday night but lost to a red-hot goalie. That would add up to three solid performances, coming off two disappointing one-goal losses at home against TC and Brandon.

A look back at WSU’s loss to ND


COUGARS

I know it’s late, but here are the unedited versions of my follow story and our look back that will appear in this morning’s S-R. Read on.

Looking back at Vandals’ thriller

Headlines in the Spokesman and other regional papers this morning summed up yesterday at the Kibbie Dome pretty well: It was seventh heaven indeed for the Vandals. Idaho secured its seventh win in improbable fashion, and there’s a whole lot of links and thoughts to get to.

UPDATE: The Vandals received eight points in the coaches’ poll and two votes in the AP poll released today. You can find them here.

Click below for more.

Looking back EWU’s big win in Seattle

Eastern Washington’s 47-10 win over Big Sky Conference rival Portland State at Qwest Field in Seattle on Saturday seemed to work in a lot of ways.

Not only did the Eagles (6-3 overall, 5-2 in the Big Sky) keep their postseason playoff hopes alive by climbing into a second-place tie with Weber State (5-4, 5-2), but they sent 17 seniors out in style on a “Senior Day” away from home and reconnected with a whole bunch of almuni who reside in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Read on for more post-game comments on Saturday’s big win, along with links to related stories.

WSU’s defeat, the day after


COUGARS

Hope everyone had a great Halloween (sugar-high anyone?) and remembered to fall back. The clocks in the hotel are self-correcting, so I got started an hour later then I thought. No matter. Our links are up. Read on.

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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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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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