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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.

Katie Baker, a freshman out of Lake City, started her first two games at Montana.

It’s another testament to the quality of basketball in this area.

Just a couple of days into the season and it appears at least 10 local products are starting at Division I programs throughout the West – and that doesn’t include the four local D-I programs.

There is only one senior in that group – U-Hi grad Tonya Schnibbe at Weber State. Last year Schnibbe set a Wildcat record for assists with 194, giving her 392 in her career, 77 short of the school record..

Schnibbe, who has played in all 89 games in her career, started the season with eight assists in a loss at Boise State.

Then there is the class of 2007, headlined by another Titan, Angie Bjorklund.

Bjorklund went to Tennessee and won a NCAA championship as a freshman. On Sunday the Volunteers opened their season in a nationally televised game against Baylor in a battle of top 10 teams. In addition to seeing Bjorklund, the game presented the debut of 6-foot-8 Brittany Grier of Baylor, a future foe of Gonzaga and Idaho.

Portland State has two ’07 grads, Mead’s Kelly Valentine and Lexie Bishop of Shadle Park. Both were in double figures in the opening win over Washington, decided on Valentine’s late basket.

Other junior starters include Gonzaga Prep’s Tara Cronin at Portland, Ferris’ Jenna Galloway at Northern Arizona and Lyndi Seidensticker at Montana State.

Nikki Nelson of Chewelah and Misty Atkinson of Clarkston are also in that class. Nelson but redshirted her first season at New Mexico because of a knee injury. The Lobos are in the semifinals of the preseason WNIT. Atkinson redshirted her first season as well at Montana and likely faces the same fate again this year after a serious knee injury the day before the Grizzlies opened this season.

Heidi Heintz is a junior starter at UC Davis but the Central Valley graduate redshirted last season after transferring from San Francisco.

Sophomore Brittany Kennedy of Lewis and Clark is starting for Oregon State.

Two Lewis and Clark freshman are also playing, Jeneva Anderson at Washington, which visits Gonzaga on Sunday, and Sarah Kliewer at Portland.

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

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

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

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