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Archive for November 2010

Q&A with Vandal WR Eric Greenwood

Saturday, along with 14 other Idaho seniors, Eric Greenwood will play his final game as a Vandal. The 6-foot-6 wide receiver from Edmonds, Wash., was the first recruit to sign with Robb Akey after the coach took the job before the 2007 season, and he’s been a key part of the program since. We talked with Greenwood on Tuesday as he prepares for his finale against San Jose State.

Read on for the web-only Q&A.

WSU pounds cold Sac State


The Sacramento State Hornets didn’t prove to be much of a test for Washington State on Tuesday night. But there were a few interesting aspects of the 84-36 Cougar win that we didn’t get into our game story, so read on.

Harris watches as GU routs Eagles

Back with the game story from GU’s 86-57 win over Eastern Washington. There’s a little more information on Elias Harris, who sat out with a bothersome Achilles. Read on.

WSU leads 47-17 at the half


We promised a halftime post so here it is. But really … Washington State broke out to a 27-0 lead before Sacramento State scored. Antoine Proctor did the honors with a drive at the 10:02 mark. By then eight Cougars had scored. The closest Sac State got after that was 24 points. Then WSU went on a 9-0 run. … The Cougars are shooting 54.3 percent from the floor while the Hornets are at 26.9 – though they are 7 of 15 since the terrible start. But they have yet to hit a 3 and WSU has five. … WSU has 11 assists and 23 rebounds. More after the game.

Zags crush EWU

Gonzaga rolled to a 49-20 halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way, defeating Eastern Washington 86-57 on Tuesday.

Steven Gray hit his first six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points. Rob Sacre and Mathis Monninghoff each had 13 and Sam Dower added 11. GU made 58 percent of its shots.

Jeffrey Forbes led EWU with four 3-pointers and 18 points. Kevin Winford chipped in 11 points.

Game story in about 90 minutes.

A double-duty WSU post


OK, so we’re out of the bubble and into Beasley, trying to get ready to cover tonight’s basketball game with Sacramento State. My guess is the crowd will be somewhere around 125 non-students, considering the condition of the roads, but Whitman County folks are a hardy lot, so it might be more. We have some basketball thoughts and football news on the link so read on.

Game updates on Twitter

A reminder to head over to for game updates from GU-EWU.

Gridiron Classic schedule

Click the link below to see the schedule for the Washington football state championship games Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

QUESTION: Which teams do you think will win? I’ll share my predictions Thursday in my Pick 6 feature.

Pictured above is Colfax defensive back Tyler McNannay in last year’s State 2B title game against Adna.

Lewiston at CdA girls ppd

The anticipated early showdown between three-time defending Idaho 5A state girls basketball champ Coeur d’Alene and runner-up Lewiston, scheduled for tonight at CdA, has been postponed because of the storm passing through the area. No makeup date has been announced.

In fact, it looks like most of tonight’s schedule will be wiped out in North Idaho.

GU-EWU notes, quotes and anecdotes

Back with some GU-EWU game notes, quotes (Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine’s provided by the S-R’s Steve Bergum) and an update on freshman guard Keegan Hyland. Read on.

WSU puts in a little extra time for UW


Talking to Myron Beck after practice last night, he said it took him 8 hours to get home to Seattle for Thanksgiving break. Which is about as long as practice seemed Monday, as Washington State didn’t hit, but it spent a lot of time preparing for Saturday’s Apple Cup. By the way, with a winter storm warning in effect for the next 24 hours in the Palouse (4 to 7 inches of snow is predicted), it might take 8 hours for Cougar and Husky fans to make it here Friday. Read on for more WSU news.

Final: Ferris 14, BP 10

Ferris will return to Tacoma for second time in less than a week as the Saxons’ defense throws a shut out in the second half.

The third-ranked Saxons (13-0) will return home tonight and make trek back to Tacoma on Friday before facing two-time defending champ and No. 1-ranked Skyline (12-1) on Saturday afternoon at 4. The game will be televised.

Here’s our game story.

Final: Tumwater 63, EV 21

East Valley finishes 7-6. Not bad considering the Knights’ start this year.

Here’s our game story.

Zags’ bench up and down

Good evening. I put together a look at Gonzaga’s bench production through the first five games of the season. It’s no coincidence GU is 3-0 when its bench has outscored its counterparts; 0-2 when it hasn’t — it should be pointed out that Gonzaga’s losses are to the best two teams its faced thus far (San Diego State and Kansas State). 

Read on for more. I’ll be back in the morning with some notes and quotes on the GU-EWU game.

Colfax 21, Waitsburg-Prescott 14

Colfax needed a second-half rally - much like Ferris - to knock off Waitsburg-Prescott 21-14 at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

Colfax (12-0) advances to state final for second year in a row and will meet South Bend on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Final: Colfax 21, W-Prescott 14

Colfax needed a second-half rally - much like Ferris - to knock off Waitsburg-Prescott 21-14 at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

Colfax (12-0) advances to state final for second year in a row and will meet South Bend (10-2) on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

WSU’s Tuel, Long meet with media


We’re headed out to Washington State’s first practice of Apple Cup week in a couple hours, but we wanted to pass along some comments from quarterback Jeff Tuel and defensive end Travis Long today. Read on.

Spurgeon called to NHL, Cowen by Team Canada

As first reported by Gregg Drinnan (see below), former Chief Jared Spurgeon could make his National Hockey League debut tonight for Minnesota. He’ll be wearing No. 26 at Calgary.

The question is, what’s bigger news, that or current Chiefs captain and defenseman Jared Cowen getting invited back to Team Canada tryouts for World Juniors? Cowen was on the silver medal team last year. Training camp in Toronto is Dec. 11-15, which means he is likely to miss six games in the nine days before the WHL Christmas break. That will be painful for the Chiefs.

Zags drop out of A.P. Top 25

Gonzaga (3-2) dropped out of the A.P. Top 25 poll. The Zags, No. 22 last week, went 1-1 at the CBE Classic, losing to No. 4 Kansas State before defeating Marquette.

GU received 51 points, checking in at No. 28. West Virginia and Louisville are 26th and 27th, respectively. North Carolina is No. 29. GU’s two losses are to K-State, still No. 4, and No. 17 San Diego State. The ESPN/USA Today rankings haven’t been released.

Saint Mary’s received six points. The Gaels lost to future WCC foe Brigham Young, ranked No. 21, in the championship game of a tournament in South Padre Island, Texas.

By the way, GU recruit Kyle Dranginis shattered Skyview’s school record with a 54-point outburst in an overtime loss to Valivue.

Media day this afternoon. Back with another post later.

Roundup of women’s basketball news

Is Washington State’s women’s basketball team better than early indications or is Gonzaga not quite ready for prime time? That’s the question after the Cougars took the Zags to the wire in Hawaii before Gonzaga pulled it out by two.

There are multiple ways to answer that question, but here’s one way to look at it, the Zags are not ranked in the Left Coast Hoops Best of the West Top 10. Yes, it’s Pac-10 heavy, but in the recent past the Bulldogs were No. 2. Though they played Stanford tough, they came up short in the clutch department in losses at USC and to Mississippi in Hawaii. Plenty of comment, notes and a top 25 vote below.

Blanchette: City drops snowball

Our columnist John Blanchette weighed in on the postponement of the semifinal games at Albi Stadium. I suspect a certain city employee has gotten a few nasty e-mails and voice mails the past couple of days. Anyway, here’s Blanchette’s column.

NOTE: I will be tweeting updates from the East Valley/Tumwater and Ferris/Bellarmine Prep games today as I receive them.

A lot to chew on before Apple Cup


There must be a hundred little birds in the tree outside my window, all there to eat from the small pods that have turned our sidewalk and street a light brown. It’s the world’s tallest bird feeder and it’s even shaped like an out-of-kilter bell. Anyhow, you’re starting the Apple Cup workweek today, when less gets done in offices and schools as everyone argues over their favorite team. Remember two years ago? Now that was fun. Read on for more.

Zags edge Cougars in thriller, Idaho wins

Late post … is the end of the holiday weekend or the start of the holiday season?

For basketball, it’s the start since teams often have Thanksgiving and Christmas tournaments to go to.

Idaho and Gonzaga both finished 2-1 in tournaments. Idaho improved to 5-1 by going 2-1 in the Oregon tourney with a win over previous undefeated Cal-Bakersfield, thanks to a good performance off the bench from a freshman. Gonzaga, meanwhile, ended up 2-1 in Hawaii but beating Washington State in Hawaii. It was a good game from the start and makes their matchup at McCarthey Athletic Center on Dec. 11 seems like a long ways away. See you there.

Apple Cup could be sweet for UW


The stage is set. Saturday’s Apple Cup game (4 p.m. in Pullman) will be for the whole pie. At least for the Huskies. A Washington win and it goes bowling and possibly to someplace nice like San Diego, home of the Holiday Bowl. A loss and not only do the Huskies stay home, the Pac-10 probably has three bowl representatives (unless you think Oregon State will upset Oregon). Everyone else is out of the running. Read on for more from Saturday.

Vandals lose to Fresno in final seconds

In a span of a few minutes in the fourth quarter, the Idaho Vandals went from down 10 points to up 20-16 with its best stretch of play this season. But Fresno State drove 60 yards in the final 2 minutes to snatch a heart-pumping 23-20 victory at Bulldog Stadium.

Read on for my recap that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.

Albi Stadium snow photo

Here’s a link to a photo published by The Olympian newspaper of what Albi Stadium looked like at 3 p.m. on Friday. Special thanks to Mike Schock for finding the photo.

“A picture tells a thousand words - much like the rest of Spokane right now - not much work done plowing the white stuff. Thanks, Mayor Vernor! You are AWESOME!” — GSLFan

You know, I have to agree with GSLFan. Maintaining Albi is the responsibility of the city, not Spokane schools.

Kelowna tops Chiefs in OT

After two lacklustre periods, the Spokane Chiefs come alive in the third period on a power play goal by Tyler Johnson and a short-handled goal by Matt Marantz (originally credited to Steve Kuhn), but Geordie Wudrick’s second goal, a power play marker 42 seconds into overtime, lifts Kelowna to a 3-2 win. Complete box below. Here is the story.

Cusick avenges earlier loss

Cusick stopped Almira-Coulee/Hartline 36-28 in a 1B semifinal at Roos Field in Cheney. The Panthers advance to play Lummi in the state championship game.

Here’s our game story.

Vandals trail 6-0 at half

Playing in wet, sloppy conditions at Fresno State, Idaho finished the first half with minus-5 yards and trails 6-0 against the Bulldogs. The Vandals forced and recovered three fumbles while holding Fresno to two field goals and a turnover in red-zone opportunities to keep the game close.

You can follow along in the second half on Twitter @SR_JoshWright.

GU, WSU, UI women win

Three of four women’s basketball games picked up wins on Saturday - but that’s not surprising since after losing tournament openers they got to face teams that also lost.

Gonzaga romped over North Carolina Central by 42 as Courtney Vandersloot scores 22 with 13 assists.

Idaho beat Sacramento State as senior Yinka Olorunnife had her fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Washington State beat Long Beach State in a battle of 0-5 teams as freshmen Sage Romberg and Hana Potter combined for 25 points.

Unfortunately, Gonzaga and Washington State square off Sunday afternoon in Hawaii, less than two weeks before they meet in Spokane.  (If the game isn’t pretty will that keep you home in the rematch?)

Eastern Washington lost to Evansville to go 0-2 in the Colorado tournament.

In other news, Kelli Valentine (Mead) surpassed 1,000 career points in Portland State’s win; fourth-ranked Tennessee fell to Georgetown.

Check back for more links as they become available.

Chiefs face red-hot Kelowna

The Spokane Chiefs are about to faceoff with the Kelowna Rockets in the Arena - without veteran goalie James Reid. Reid was injured Friday night in Kamloops, where the Chiefs lost in a shootout 4-3, 48-hours after crushing the Blazers 10-1 here. Local goalie Branden Amatto, 19, is in uniform as an emergency backup. Mac Engle 0-2-0-1 is making his third start. Despite winning nine of 10, the Rockets are tied with Everett for last in the Western Conference with 26 points, but they are just one point behind three teams, including the Chiefs, and are four points out of second. Stay abreast of the scoring on Twitter, follow SRtrim.

Vandals turn back Eagles 70-60

Eastern Washington got a school-record eight 3-pointers and a career-high 28 points from sophomore guard Kevin Winford Saturday afternoon at Reese Court, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Eagles from suffering a 70-60 non-conference men’s basketball loss to Idaho.

The Vandals, were paced offensively by Deremy Geiger’s 24 points. UI held Eastern scoreless over the last 5:08 of the game.

Here is the game story.

Colbrese says little flexibility w/ finals


I just got off the phone with WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese and he said the state football championship games at the Tacoma Dome will go on as scheduled next weekend with one change.

Click the link below to read more.

Vandals up by seven at intermission

After making only one of their first nine field-goal tries, the Idaho Vandals closed the first half of Saturday’s non-conference game against Eastern Washington by going 13-for-20 and building a 37-30 halftime lead.

Jeff Ledbetter led UI’s first-half scoring with nine points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range, while teammate Deremy Geiger added 8.

Eastern, playing without Cliff Colimon (ankle) and Rashano McRae (concussion), was led offensively by Kevin Winford’s 11 points.


Colfax/W-P to play Monday

UPDATED, 3:30 p.m.

The 2B semifinal between Colfax (11-0) and Waitsburg-Prescott (12-0) will be played Monday at 5 p.m. at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Colfax coach Mike Morgan confirmed.

The game was postponed today due to poor road conditions.

Lots on the line for Vandals

Updated: 2:05 p.m.

Idaho is staring at another postseason elimination game tomorrow night at Fresno State (7 p.m., SWX and other regional outlets). We’ve got our preview of the game below — and a look at how BSU’s loss to Nevada last night affects Idaho’s bowl chances. Check out more on the Vandals at

Ferris, EV ready for trip to Tacoma


I just talked with Ferris coach Jim Sharkey. He and his staff met with their players Friday evening and said they were excited about making the trip to Tacoma for the semifinal on Monday.

Click the link below to read more.

Albi semifinals moved to Tacoma

UPDATED, 11:05 a.m.

WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese decided at 5 p.m. on Friday to move the 4A and 2A semifinal football games scheduled for Albi Stadium this afternoon to the Tacoma Dome on Monday because the field was deemed unplayable.

Here’s a story in today’s Olympia newspaper about the Albi postponements and here’s a story in the Tacoma News Tribune.

Click here to see our semifinal capsules.

I don’t know what to call it, but I had a hunch Friday afternoon that I’d better check in with Greater Spokane League secretary Randy Ryan. Funny thing is when I tried calling Ryan at about 5, he was busy trying to alert the local teams about the postponement.

It was around 5 that an area football fan tweeted that the games had been postponed.

Consider this: Homefield advantage now swings to the Westside teams. Although it comes in an odd way considering Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma and Tumwater, which is located about 25 miles south of Tacoma, had to drive to Spokane today before returning home.

WSU packs it in, overcomes Fresno


Now that we’re back in the Northwest, albeit in SeaTac, we have some time to pass along a few thoughts. But before we do, I want you to think of something. The next time you are on a Horizon flight, whether it be one of the airline’s small jets or a prop plane. Look around at your leg room. And your head room. Then think if you were 6-foot-4 or taller. How tough it would be. Then think of your favorite college basketball team flying those planes for an hour or two. Just something for you to snack on, intellect-wise. Read on for more Cougar information.

WSU takes advantage of big three


We are done with our game story from Fresno, a game Washington State had to overcome a lot of crud to pull out 66-55. Read on for our story and some notes.

WSU trails 32-31 at half


Kevin Olekaibe’s steal and dunk gave Fresno State a 32-31 halftime lead before a sparse crowd in the Save Mart Center tonight. We have some thoughts on the link, so read on.

Some WSU pregame thoughts from Fresno


Well, we’re finally back in civilization. You don’t know how much Internet access has integrated itself in your life until you don’t have it. It sucks. But we’re at the Save Mart Center and have a pregame post for you. Read on.

A look at Bellarmine Prep


The Tacoma News Tribune had this feature story about Bellarmine Prep, which will play Ferris on Saturday in a 4A state semifinal at Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 4.

The TNT picks Bellarmine Prep to beat Ferris 20-17 here.

Here’s a link to a feature on Ferris two-way linemen Dillon Beschel and Russell Stinson, who are in the picture above.

Here’s a link to my Thanksgiving Day feature on the banged up but yet productive East Valley offensive line.

AND HERE are my football predictions. I went 7-0 last week, raising my overall mark to 56-17.

QUESTION: Which area teams do you see winning Saturday and why?

GU, WSU, UI, EWU women all lose

A quick check of women’s basketball news on this holiday weekend. It really was Black Friday.

Washington and Gonzaga are in Hawaii. The Cougars are down big to No. 15 North Carolina at halftime. Gonzaga (the latest Talking Hoops with Sloot is up) gave a layup at the buzzer to loose to Mississippi by one. The Zags got off to a hot start but let the SEC back in. Clair Rapp’s short baseline jumper gave Gonzaga the lead with 8 seconds left. (The Vandersloot link should put you close to where you want to be when the story gets posted soon.)

Idaho lost its opener at the Oregon tournament … to the host team. The schedule I had - and was never alerted there was an update - suggested a different first round matchup. Anyway, the Vandals suffer their first loss.

Eastern Washington lost to Illinois-Chicago in the Colorado tournament at the top of the hour.

Chiefs in Kamloops tonight

The Spokane Chiefs, after routing Kamloops 10-1 Wednesday night and have the rematch up north tonight.

We had a look at the Chiefs’ second line (Kuhn between Gal and Miller), which is a big help on both ends of the ice.

WSU get ready for Bulldogs


We’re in the wilds of California – yes, they do exist – visiting my sister’s family en route to the Fresno State game tomorrow night in the Save Mart Arena. Ran out of the hills for a few minutes to send out my advance for tomorrow’s paper. You can find it on the link, so read on.

Chiefs blitz Kamloops 10-1, Cowen gets hattrick

It seem like a pretty normal hockey game.

Fighting to get out of the basement, the Spokane Chiefs jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead over Kamloops Wednesday night at the Arena. The scored stayed that way until early in the third period when the flood gates opened. The Chiefs scored six goals for a 10-1 lead, highlighted by captain Jared Cowen’s three goals - a rare hat trick for a defenseman.

In fact, it’s just the fourth three-goal game by a Chiefs D-man. Mitch Cornett did it in 1986, also against Kamloops, and Bryan McCabe, who is still skating in the NHL, did it twice in the 1993-94 season, buring Victoria and Tri-City.

The story is here, but because of early deadlines, I had to file before going for interview’s. Cowen’s take on his offenisve outburst and the coach’s thoughts are below.

Vandal O-line hoping for consistency

We’ve got our mid-week Idaho football story for tomorrow’s paper all ready to go. You can read it here. The focus is on the Vandals’ offensive line, which has been far from consistent but seems to be improving. UI’s biggest game of the season comes Saturday night, when it travels to face Fresno State. This is essentially an elimination game for the Vandals — lose and they’ll be out of the bowl picture with a week left. “If we want another one (after next week),” tailback Deonte Jackson said, “we’ve got to win this one.”

See below for more.

All-GSL, All-North Idaho teams


Make sure to check out Thursday’s newspaper if you live in the Spokane area for the All-Greater Spokane League photos and team lists and if you live in North Idaho we’ll have our All-North Idaho Football, Boys and Girls Soccer and Volleyball team photos and lists along with the all-league lists for the other sports and leagues.

And the photos are in living color!

Another change for Cusick/ACH game

The Cusick vs. Almira-Coulee/Hartline semifinal football game, originally scheduled for Gonzaga Prep and moved to Moses Lake, is coming back closer to Spokane. The game will be played at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field on Saturday. Kickoff is at 3.

Let’s hope the red turf, which will likely be hidden by snow, will warm up the boys Saturday.

Key game for Chiefs

The Spokane Chiefs are home tonight for their tradition night-before-Thanksgiving Western Hockey League game.

The opponent is Kamloops, which beat Regina in overtime Tuesday night to knock the Chiefs into last place in the Western Division by one point. Last, other than sounding bad, doesn’t mean a whole light with the tight standings. A little run could have the Chiefs into third before the weekend is out. Kelowna comes to the Arena on Saturday. Kamloops jumped from 10th to a tie for sixth.

Early deadlines tonight (something about a great big paper to deliver on Thanksgiving morning and bad weather) means tomorrow’s story won’t have any comments. However, if all goes well, we’ll have more information on Sportslink before the night is over. Now, to go deal with some weather related issues around the house.

You can follow the game and get the link to the story through Twitter at SRtrim.

Another look at WSU’s win over Portland


Welcome to the first completely basketball-only blog post of the season. Written in SeaTac on Thanksgiving Eve – the most “perfect” flying day of the year. Actually the security line wasn’t that bad, though us folks who fly a lot do have some advantages. Anyhow, back to the hoops. Washington State started fast, stalled early in the second half, and then pulled away late for an 84-68 win over a solid-if-not-spectacular University of Portland team. Read on for the details.

Day after Marquette

Sitting on the runway in Denver, waiting to finish the last leg of the trip home. I was able to get some work done on the first flight, so here’s the day after post following Gonzaga’s 66-63 win over Marquette, which was picked to finish in a tie for No. 8 in the Big East Conference. As it turned out, the Golden Eagles gave No. 1 Duke a tougher battle than No. 4 Kansas State did in Tuesday’s title game.

Here are links to S-R game story, Kansas City Star gamer  and K.C. Star photos. Find K.C. Star articles on Duke-Kansas State here and here.

Read on for more.

Thompson leads WSU past Portland, 84-68


The next journey for Washington State will be the tough one. The University of Portland? Big deal. The bus ride back to the hotel? Now that’s going to be scary. We’ll be joining the Cougs on the Seattle roads as soon as I get this post up, so read on.

Gonzaga ends two-game losing streak

Back with my game story from Gonzaga’s 66-63 win over Marquette. Here’s the link.

Check back tomorrow for a day after post.

WSU leads 48-36 at the half


It’s halftime at the Key and WSU leads 48-36. The Cougars started on fire, and Portland didn’t. It’s not as if the Pilots weren’t defending. Maybe not as well as they did later in the half, but WSU, led by Klay Thompson, were just getting good looks mainly because of their size. … Thompson had no trouble seeing the hoop, finishing the half with 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting. Faisal Aden had 12 as all eight Cougars who played scored. The Pilots were more of a two-man show, with Luke Sikma (9 points) carrying them early and Jared Stohl (16 points, 4 of 5 on 3-pointers) late. … WSU jumped ahead 24-4 with a little more than 12 minutes before intermission before finally cooling down. The Pilots battled and cut the lead down to nine twice, the last time with 2:58 remaining at 40-31. … While Marcus Capers was on the court, Stohl took two shots and scored five points. … DeAngelo Casto officially has three blocks though I had him with four. … Paul Wulff and about 10 football players addressed the crowd at halftime. … We’ll be back on Twitter at vinceg55 and here after the game.

Tourney time for women’s basketball teams

It’s turkey time in college basketball, when teams participate in holiday tournaments and hope they’re not the main course. That’s our notebook for tomorrow, along with the start of keeping tabs on area players.

Gonzaga rolled at North Dakota, 83-45 as Katelan Redmon scored a career high 28 and Courtney Vandersloot had her second consecutive double-double of points and assists. Four starters were in double figures.

The Cougars gave Nebraska all it could handle Monday night in Pullman.

Chiefs start home stint

The Spokane Chiefs played 90 of their last 95 games - or something like that - on the road, but they return to the Arena Wednesday night for a home-and-home with Kamloops (the return is Friday) and face Kelowna on Saturday. It’s the start of a pretty good home stretch until the Christmas break. (Officially 9 of last 11 on road, eight of next 12 at home.)

Even coming off a 1-1-0-1 three-game roadtrip against U.S. Division foes, coach Don Nachbaur wasn’t distressed, the topic of the notebook for Wednesday’s paper. Can’t afford to look back, Kamloops is one point behind the Chiefs in an unbelievably tight Western Division race.

GU hangs on, 66-63

Manny Arop had a career-high 15 points, Elias Harris a season-high 19 and Steven Gray led with 20 as Gonzaga held off Marquette 66-63 in the third-place game at the CBE Classic.


Gonzaga led 42-33 at half and the margin stayed roughly the same for most of a sloppily played second half. GU led by 11 with 7 minutes left and by 8 with 3:53 left, but the Zags couldn’t put Marquette away.

The Golden Eagles pulled within 63-60 on Jimmy Butler’s three-point play with 1:58 left. Gray made two free throws with 49.3 seconds left to give GU a five-point lead, but Butler drained a 3-pointer on an inbound play.


Gray made 1 of 2 foul shots with 12.6 seconds left to make it 66-63. Marquette had a shot at a tying 3, but Butler’s shot from 35 feet was off target.

More in about two hours.

Some pregame thoughts from Key Arena


The first five of these Cougar Hardwood Classics in Key Arena have featured Washington State wins, though last year’s game against Louisiana State was close for, oh, say 45 minutes before the Cougars finally prevailed 72-70 in overtime. But tonight’s foe, the Portland Pilots, though not a flashy opponent - heck, the Pilots come to Spokane every year to face GU - will challenge the Reggie Moore-less Cougars. For more, read on.

Half: GU on top 42-33

Gonzaga, behind the 30 combined points of Elias Harris and Steven Gray, built a 42-33 lead over Marquette at half.


Harris, slowed by injuries the last three weeks, showed his 2009-10 form, piling up 15 points, including GU’s first six of the game. He made 6 of 9 shots, including a 3-pointer.


Gray made five 3s to account for his 15 points.


Gonzaga also got 10 points off the bench, led by Manny Arop’s five.


Darius Johnson-Odom scored 11 points for Marquette, which made five 3s early, but couldn’t solve Gonzaga’s zone defense over the last 7 minutes of the half.

Eags capture two Big Sky POY awards

Eastern Washington’s senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt was named the Big Sky’s defensive player of the year, and Taiwan Jones, the Eagles junior running back was named the league’s co-offensive player of the year.

You can get more details and find out who made the all-Big Sky teams here.

Cusick/ACH semifinal moved

The Cusick vs. Almira-Coulee/Hartline semifinal football game, originally scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Gonzaga Prep, has been moved to Moses Lake. Kickoff is at 4.

Gonzaga Prep activities coordinator Paul Manfred explained that the stadium site (including concession stand and restrooms) was winterized on Monday with the impending below freezing temperatures. And with more snow expected in the forecast, snow removal would have been an issue, Manfred said.

Problem averted at Albi Stadium


Greater Spokane League secretary Randy Ryan reports that snow CAN be removed at Albi Stadium. He reported earlier this morning that there were concerns that a plow wouldn’t be able to remove snow.

The City of Spokane is tested a custom-made blade attached to a tractor this morning and it worked. So the games are still on at Albi.


Day after Kansas State

Back with my day after post following GU’s 81-64 loss to Kansas State, a game in which Gonzaga couldn’t get a defensive stop in the first half and couldn’t score in the second half.

Links: S-R game story, Kansas City Star gamer, K.C. Star photos and Jeff Goodman’s recap/look forward.  

Read on for more.

Eags test Broncs on road, host Idaho on Saturday

Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team will play at Boise State Wednesday night in the first of three difficult games that include a 3:05 p.m. Reese Court matchup against Idaho on Saturday and a short trip to the McCarthey Athletic Center next Tuesday to face a Gonzaga team that might still be smarting from last night’s lopsided loss to K-State.

You can get more details here.

Catching up with Harry Leons

Had the pleasure of chatting with former EWU quarterback Harry Leons, who engineered the Eagles magical run to the semifinals of the 1997 NCAA Division II playoffs. You can read the Then & Now story on Harry that ran in Tuesday morning’s S-R here.

EWU playoff tickets on sale

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets to No. 1-ranked Eastern Washington’s second-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff game against SE Missouri State at Roos Field can find details here.

A quick post from WSU

COUGARS • UPDATED: 9:55 A.M.; 10:55 A.M.

The weather in the Inland Northwest was frightful, to quote a Christmas song that shouldn’t be in vogue for another month, but seem apropos now. But Washington State’s basketball team is in Seattle, where the weather is, I’ve heard, not as bad but certainly more frightful to the populace. For more on the Cougars, read on.

UI shoots 12 percent in loss to Griz

Idaho absorbed its worst defeat in a decade Monday night, falling at Montana 75-33. The Vandals shot 12 percent from the field (6 of 50) and made just 1 of 13 3-point attempts in generating their lowest point total since 2000. The most lopsided loss for UI before Monday came against Gonzaga, also in 2000. “I think what’s most disappointing about this game is we didn’t compete,” Idaho  coach Don Verlin said. “The bottom line is that they made the first two 3-pointers of the game, and we didn’t compete.” The Vandal bench was 0-for-14 from the field while Luiz Toledo led the team with 16 points.

Kansas State runs away from Zags

OK, here’s my full game story from No. 22 Gonzaga’s 81-64 loss to No. 4 Kansas State. Check back in the morning for my day-after post. I didn’t have much time for post-game interviews because of deadline, but I was able to visit with Sacre, Gray and Harris.

Zags thumped by Kansas State

Gonzaga made an early run in the second half, cutting K-State’s lead to six, but Jacob Pullen’s 3-pointer started a 12-1 run and the Wildcats cruised to an 81-64 win in the semifinals of the CBE Classic on Tuesday.

Pullen had 18 points and four assists. Will Spradling added 13 points.

Robert Sacre led GU with 17 points. Steven Gray had 15 and four assists.

More in about 90 minutes.

Zags down 11 at half

A quick first-half recap:

Kansas State scored the first seven points and its second 3-pointer in the first 2-plus minutes bumped the lead to 10-2. Gonzaga got a nice boost from redshirt freshman guard David Stockton, who had a pair of assists and drove for a layup, and closed the gap to two, but the Wildcats often responded with quick, easy baskets.


The Wildcats beat GU’s defense down court several times, once after the Bulldogs made a free throw. Late in the half, Gray connected in the lane, but Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen drove the length of the court and fed Victor Ojeleye for an open 3-pointer.


The Wildcats shot 53.1 percent from the floor, 9 of 15 on 3-pointers, to move on top 49-38 at half. The margin would have been wider if not for Kansas State’s 11 turnovers and spotty free-throw shooting (6 of 11), and a late 6-0 run by the Zags.


Robert Sacre and Steven Gray combined for 25 first-half points. Jacob Pullen and Will Spradling each had 11 for the Wildcats. Those two were 5 of 9 on 3-pointers. Kansas State’s bench outscored GU’s 23-9.  



WCC TV schedule released

Much of this has already been published, but the WCC released its complete television schedule today. More here.

GU-Kansas State updates

Just a reminder, head to my twitter account ( for in-game updates for the rest of the season. I’ll have a short halftime update here and I’ll post a brief wrap-up at the buzzer, followed by a full game story about two hours after the buzzer (those will also be available at



Akey: ‘We’re playing for everything’

Idaho coach Robb Akey met with the media this morning after the Vandals won Saturday for the first time in four weeks. “It was nice to see our football team have fun again,” he said. The Vandals must win their last two games, starting with Fresno State on Saturday night, to gain bowl elibility.

Read on for a summary of Akey’s comments and an Idaho basketball note on the departure of Renaldo Parker, a transfer from North Idaho College.

View from Kansas City

Previews of GU-Kansas State from the Kansas City Star here and here, and the Manhattan Mercury here (this one actually ran in Monday’s paper I believe).


Catching up with the weekend action

After a great game on Sunday, when Gonzaga pushed No. 3 Stanford to the limit before a frenzied sell-out crowd of 6,000 at McCarthey Athletic Center, we’ll see if we can catch up with the rest of the weekend. (Bart Rayniak’s slideshow from the game.)

Tonight’s game is powerful Nebraska at Washington State. Would love to hear a report from anyone who makes the game.

Chiefs get three points on road

Not sure how you would describe the Spokane Chiefs weekend. It was a critical Western Hockey League three-games-in-three-nights roadtrip against U.S. Division teams ahead of them in the standings. Three points in six games is OK, but the strange part is how they came up with the points.

Spokane dominated offensively on Friday in Seattle, the team the Chiefs are closest to, but lose 2-1 in a shootout. Then a week after blanking Tri-City 5-0 the Americans whip them 8-3. Finally, a 3-1 win at WHL-leading Portland. As Gregg Drinnan pointed out, the Winterhawks were a tad short-handed after a dustup with Kamloops Saturday night (He also reported former Chief Lynn Loyns signed in Italy).

The West, as Drinnan said, is quite a chase. (His explanation is below.) The Chiefs are home against Kamloops on Wednesday night and go to Kamloops Friday before returning home to play Kelowna on Saturday.

WSU finishes up bye week indoors


Washington State’s football players will spend the morning in the indoor practice facility – or the bubble if you prefer – for their final practice before another six days off. With school out this week on Thanksgiving break, the players can go home, be with their family, get away from football and refresh their minds before delving into their prep for Washington in earnest. Us, we’ll be on the road with the basketball team, first in Seattle and then in Fresno. But before then, let’s check out today’s news. Read on.

State semifinals set

The WIAA has set the high school football semifinals. Click the link below to see the times/sites for matchups.

Colfax quarterback Alex Teade fights for yardage in state quarterfinal victory over Lind-Ritzville/Sprague on Saturday. This was such a nice color photo, taken by Dan Pelle, that I had to post it here.

Harris will play against Kansas State

Not a big fan of setting the alarm clock for 4-something a.m., but I’ve made it to Kansas City. Stopped in Denver where it was 50 degrees when we landed and 31 degrees with the fog rolling in when we took over about an hour later. K.C. weather? Roughly 65 degrees.

Enough about that. Putting together a short GU-Kansas State preview and I’ve learned Zags forward Elias Harris is expected to play on Monday. He left last Tuesday’s game with an Achilles’ injury. Not sure if Harris will start.

I’ll post a short preview in about an hour.

UPDATE: Preview posted below, along with a couple notes that I couldn’t fit into the article.

UPDATE II: K-State’s Curtis Kelly is expected to play against Gonzaga, Wildcats coach Frank Martin tells’s Jeff Goodman.  

No. 3 Stanford holds off Gonzaga

Gonzaga gave third-ranked Stanford everything it could handle before fading down the stretch to lose 84-78, disappointing the second sellout crowd of 6,000 at McCarthey Sunday afternoon. The story is here.

Idaho wins, EWU loses, Stanford-GU set

Waiting for the start of No. 3 Stanford at Gonzaga, playing a little catchup - but I have to brag: my obligations in the holiday decorating department are done and I’m officially a hero (to one).

OK, first, I’ll be tweeting during the game, SRtrim if you’re into that. Will have a blog post up as quickly after the game as I can. The first thing I noticed, Stanford is taller than a lot of high school boys teams I’ve covered over the years.

From Saturday, Idaho wins a double-OT thriller at Santa Barbara, Eastern Washington dropped a close one at Boise State. Katie Baker had 11 as Montana won at Utah State.

By the way,two North Idaho College players signed with four-year schools this past week. Coeur d’Alene star Kama Griffits is headed to Arizona, Kiki Edwards-Teasley, who played at Lewiston, is going to Portland.


Chiefs lose big at Tri-City

The Spokane Chiefs fell hard at Tri-City Saturday night, 8-3, giving them two loses, one in overtime, in their big three-games-in-three-nights - all on the road - against U.S. Division rivals. And it only gets tougher this evening with a visit to play Western Hockey League-leading Portland. The Tri-City Herald story is here with the long box below. Spokane coach Don Nachbaur called it an off-night, the Chiefs’ first in a month.

Snowflakes fall on WSU practice


Washington State didn’t practice all that long today, but they did work on fundamentals, hitting, execution – all the usual items on any bye-week checklist. No new injuries, very little news. We have a little more so read on.

Is Moos’ silence bad for WSU’s Wulff?


Though Washington State had a bye Saturday, that doesn’t mean the football news took the day off as well. Heck, no. We decided to feature one of WSU’s unsung seniors while John Blanchette weighed in on Bill Moos and Paul Wulff. Interested? Read on.

Top-ranked Eagles land at large playoff berth, No. 5 seed

Sunday got off to a great start for Eastern Washington’s football team, which not only earned at-large bid and No. 5 seed in the Football Championship Sudivision playoffs, but vaulted to the No. 1 spot in The Sports Network/ Top 25 rankings.

The Eagles (9-2), who claimed a share of the Big Sky Conference championship with a 34-7 win over Idaho State on Sunday and was awarded a first-round bye and second-round home game against Southeast Missouri State (9-2) on Dec. 4.

BSC co-champion Montana State, which earned the league’s automatic playoff berth by virtue of a 30-7 win over Eastern early in the year, was seeded No. 4.  Montana (7-4), which lost at home to MSU on Saturday, did not receive an at-large berth and saw its streak of consecutive playoff appearances end at 17.

You can read about Eastern’s first-ever No. 1 ranking here, and check out the FCS playoff bracket here.  You can also see the playoff story — complete with ticket information — that was posted by EWU’s sports information office here.

And, as promised, we’ve got the playoff story that will appear in Monday morning’s S-R right here.


Will EWU be ranked No. 1 on Sunday?

Delaware, the top-ranked team in both The Sports Network/ Top 25 and Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll, lost at home to No. 15 Villanova 28-21 in overtime on Saturday, while Appalachian State, ranked No. 2 in both polls, was drubbed by Florida, an unranked Football Bowl Subdivision school, 48-10.

That means No. 3-ranked Eastern Washington, which thumped Idaho State 34-7, could move into the No.1 spot in both polls, which will be updated later today.

Eagles linebacker J.C. Sherritt said of the possibility. “But at the FCS level, rankings really don’t mean all that much, because we decide our champion on the field.”

Eags thump ISU, earn share of Big Sky title

Eastern Washington University used Bo Levi Mitchell’s four first-half touchdown passes to cruise past Idaho State 34-7 at Roos Field on Saturday and earn a share of the Big Sky Conference football title.

You can read the game story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R here and take a look at what EWU’s sports information department posted about the game here.

FCS playoff paring come out early on Sunday morning, and I will have a post on where the Eagles get seeded as soon as possible.

Ferris moves on to semifinals

It took a late defensive stand to do it, but the Ferris Saxons are on their way to the State 4A football semifinals after a thrilling 13-7 victory over Chiawana.

Here is the story.

Wildcats follow Martin’s lead

I put together a feature on Kansas State coach Frank Martin, who has led the Wildcats to a No. 3 ranking. There’s more to Martin than just his piercing stare and his animated demeanor on the sideline.

Gonzaga takes on K-State on Monday in Kansas City in the CBE Classic.

More on Martin here.

One other item: San Diego State, which upended GU on Tuesday, fell behind 28-6 before roaring back to beat Green Bay.

WSU’s Hannam a survivor


We’re putting together this post because we have a story to share. The story of a four-year starting offensive lineman who is an academic standout, a solid citizen and a player who always seems to be on the verge of being replaced – though he never has been. It’s right tackle Micah Hannam, who is among a handful of WSU players who have started four consecutive years on the offensive line. He, and the rest of the Washington State players, had their second practice of the pre-Apple Cup bye weeks. We have some notes about that and our story, so read on.

Vandals end 3-game slide, beat USU

The Idaho football team put together perhaps its most complete game of the season this afternoon in a 28-6 conquest over Utah State in wild weather at Logan, Utah. With the win, the Vandals moved to 5-6 on the year and are still alive for a spot in the postseason. Keep reading for more.

Mitchell leads Eags to 28-7 halftime lead

Bo Levi Mitchell has thrown for 213 yards and four touchdowns in helping stake Eastern Washington to a 28-7 halftime lead over Idaho State at Roos Field.

Brandon Kaufman has caught to of Mitchell’s two scoring tosses, with the other two being hauled in Taiwan Jones and Greg Herd.

Also, No. 1 Delaware loses in OT at home and No. 2 App State loses badly at Florida.  Eags to No. 1?

Check back later for a link to the EWU-ISU game story.

Halftime, Ferris 10-0

I’m going to take you back to the 1970s: Precious and Few were the opportunities for both teams in the first half.

Click the link below for more.

Vandals lead USU 14-6 at half

The Idaho defense played its most inspired half of the past month — without starting safety Shiloh Keo — and Eric Greenwood caught two touchdown passes from Nate Enderle to help the Vandals take a 14-6 lead over Utah State into the half at Romney Stadium in Logan. The Vandals held the Aggies to 112 yards and forced two field goals in the red zone.

UI was 6 of 8 on third downs in the first two quarters and got 84 yards on two kickoff returns. The first long runback came with a lucky bounce: Kama Bailey fumbled the ball after a 36-yard gain, but Trey Williams recovered for 11 more yards to set up the Vandals’ first TD of the game.

Keo was suspended for the first half by the WAC for an illegal hit in the Boise State game. He’s expected back for the third quarter. I’ll be posting updates on Twitter at SR_JoshWright.

Ferris, Chiawana set to tangle

Left Moscow about 11 p.m. last night, arriving in Kennewick at mom’s home about 1:30 a.m. After a nice breakfast I’ve arrived at Edgar Brown Stadium. The pressbox is so toasty I had to take my winter coat off.

We’re 30 minutes from kickoff. Remember I’ll be tweeting and you can follow at, and I’ll post a halftime report here. I’ll also tweet updates from other games.

A Saturday morning without WSU football


For the first time in three months, we arise on a Saturday without having to cover a football game. Oh sure, there’s football practice today but (insert Allen Iverson voice here), it’s practice man. There’s nothing like a game day to get you going. So we don’t have the usual football links to get you excited this morning either. But there are games – two – in the conference today, including the self-titled Big Game, so read on.

Chiefs fall in Seattle

The Spokane Chiefs lost at Seattle Friday night. Despite controlling the game offensively the Chiefs picked up just one goal and lost in a shootout after goalie James Reid was brilliant in overtime. (I couldn’t find a story in the Seattle times but the long box is below.) There is also a story by Greg Meachem in the Red Deer Advocate on Chiefs’ backup goalie Mac Engle. The Chiefs are at Tri-City tonight.

No. 3 Stanford women visit Zags

A day early we ran the story that points out how rare it is to get a super power to show up in Spokane for a regular-season basketball game. In this case it’s women’s basektball and No. 3 Stanford (which won at Utah Friday night) plays at Gonzaga at 2 p.m. on Sunday. At last count there were less than 900 tickets, which assures the game of being the third-largest for a women’s game at McCarthey. Senior night the season McCarthey opened drew 5,800-plus and when Tennessee visited a couple years ago as the defending national champions there was a sellout. By the way, the Lady Vols beat Stanford for that title. The picture is junior star Nnemkadi Ogwumike scoring at the Final Four last season.

Coeur d’Alene, state champ!

The Coeur d’Alene football team did little wrong, and the result was the Vikings’ first state championship since 1985. The Viks won 28-7 over Centennial at the Kibbie Dome.

Here is the story.

Click the link below for a summary of the first half.

WSU returns to practice after time off


OK, we’re going to do some whining here. My toes seemed to disappear about an hour into Washington State’s football practice. The Cougar, who had five days off after defeating Oregon State last Saturday, returned to practice tonight in full pads and with full intensity. But man was it cold. For more, read on.

Weather perfect in Moscow

It’s a balmy 72 degrees in Moscow tonight - INDOORS, that is!

About 35 minutes away from kickoff. Had some computer issues as I always seem to have at the Kibbie Dome, but we’re up and running now and will be tweeting.

AFL bumps roster size by one

First, the AFL expanded the regular season to 18 games. Now, the AFL will allow teams to expand their roster to 24 (from 23) and their game-day active roster to 21 (from 20).

This doesn’t come as a surprise. I mentioned it as a likely move in an Aug. 30 article.

More here.

Prep football Friday, Saturday

A reminder that I’ll be tweeting updates from the Idaho 5A state football championship, between Coeur d’Alene and Centennial, tonight. And on Saturday, I’ll be in Pasco for the Ferris/Chiawana 4A quarterfinal. I’ll also be passing along scores from other games.

My twitter account is:

Cougar women fall at Portland.

Changing routine always makes you feel like something isn’t right, but a light day of women’s basketball news makes it easier to right the ship.

On the local front, there was only one game yesterday - Washington State falling in a big hole early before rallying to a close loss at Portland. No games tonight, Saturday Idaho is at Santa Barbara, Eastern Washington at Boise State; Sunday it’s No. 3 Stanford at Gonzaga at 2 p.m. Less than 900 tickets remain. The Cardinal is at Utah tonight.

The local watch is below.

State quarterfinals a day away


For Nine area football teams, the state quarterfinals are a day away.

Click the link below to see a few items I found surfing the Internet this morning.

WSU returns to practice today


Other than Washington’s win in Seattle, Thursday was a pretty dead day in Pac-10 sports, including Pullman. But we found a few items to share, so read on.

Eags hold on for first win of year

Eastern Washington, after spitting away the better part of a 23-point lead, survived a late 3-point and free-throw flurry by Northwest University to earn a 96-87 men’s basketball win at Reese Court Thursday night.

Cliff Colimon finished with a team-high 21 points for the Eagles (1-2), who had five players score in double figures. EWU’s Laron Griffin had career highs in points (19), rebounds (16) and assists (4) and tied his career best with three steals.

Other top scorers for Eastern included Tremayne Johnson (19), Jeffrey Forbes (15) and Cliff Ederaine (10).

Here is the game story.

Eastern up 49-31 at intermission

Eastern Washington used 8-for-12 shooting from beyond the 3-point line and some aggresive work on the boards to roll up a 49-31 halftime lead over visiting Northwest University at Reese Court.

The Eagles’ Cliff Colimon leads all scorers with 14 points, while teammates Laron Griffin and Jeffrey Forbes have each added 10.

Northwest, an NAIA school based in Kirkland, shot just 35.7 percent (10-28) in the opening period and made only one of six 3-point tries. 

Hardest working player on the court in Griffin, who eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block to go along with his 10 points. 

Shock add center Walter

Spokane has signed Tim Walter, a center who played at Colorado State. Walter spent some time in training camp with the Chicago Bears.

Walter joins returning center Antonio Narcisse on the Shock roster.

Centennial formidable foe for CdA


Click the tab below for a link to a story in the Idaho Statesman newspaper about the Centennial football team, which travels to Moscow to take on No. 1-ranked Coeur d’Alene on Friday.

Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos is pictured above in a file photo.

WSU will play Oregon State at Qwest in 2011


Some big news coming out of the bye week in Pullman. The Cougars will not be playing UNLV at Qwest Field next year as previously announced. Nope, instead Washington State will face Oregon State at the Seahawks’ home on Oct. 22. A pretty big upgrade for the Seattle-area fans. We have more on the link, so read on.

Follow prep football on Twitter

I will be at the Idaho State 5A football championship game Friday in Moscow between Coeur d’Alene and Centennial and will be posting tweet updates throughout the game. You can follow my tweets at

On Saturday, I can’t be at multiple places at once. I will be staffing the Ferris/Chiawana 4A quarterfinal in Pasco. I confirmed yesterday that I will have pressbox access and will be tweeting throughout the game. I’ll also tweet updates on the other games as scores/updates are fed to me.

Idaho wins, Cougs at Portland

Washington State visits Portland tonight in the lone area women’s basketball game. Wednesday night Idaho put a surprising thumping on visiting Eastern Washington. Katie Baker (Lake City) leads Montana to its first win. Freshman Nyesha Joseph (U-Hi) has first double-double as Eastern Oregon romps.

Thursday Prep Page


The usual wide selection of things offered on our Prep Page. Next week the Prep Page disappears per se so we can present the All-Greater Spokane League pictures and lists and lists of all other area all-league teams. In Idaho, we swap the pages out to feature our All-North Idaho Football, Boys and Girls Soccer and Volleyball Teams.

Click the tab below for more.

Cowen notches two assists in loss

A lot of information today, most of it courtesy of Greg Drinnan’s blog, starting with the Russians’ 7-6 shootout win over WHL in the Subway Super Series last night in Kamloops, where Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen chipped in with two assists. The Russians lead 3-2 heading into tonight’s final game in Prince George. The WHL needs to win in regulation to force a shootout to determine the 2010 series winner.

Drinnan takes a look at what Portland is doing to the rest of the WHL as the Winterhawks come off a 5-1 Eastern Division swing while Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun takes a look at Mike Johnston, the GM/Coach who helped quickly rebuild this powerhouse.

There are also rosters for Team Western (Manitoba and Saskatchewn) and Team Pacific (Alberta and B.C.) for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Manitoba Dec. 26-Jan. 4. Chief D-man Reid Gow in on Team Western.

CBE conference call

The conference call with the four head coaches (in order Krzyzewski, Williams, Martin and Few) for the CBE Classic begins in about a half hour. For updates, head to

A snow-covered report from WSU


Even in this nearly dead week of Washington State athletics – in the middle of November, both the football and basketball team had the day off yesterday – we have some news and notes out of Pullman. If you are interested, read on.

Harris expected to miss at least 4-5 days

Gonzaga received some upbeat news regarding sophomore forward Elias Harris, who left Tuesday’s game against San Diego State with an Achilles’ tendon injury.

An MRI on Wednesday revealed that Harris’ Achilles’ isn’t torn, a source close to the basketball program told The Spokesman-Review. Harris is expected to miss at least 4-5 days.

“It isn’t perfect, but it’s not torn,” the source said. “It’s swollen and it’s going to need some time to heal.”

Harris’ status for GU’s game against Kansas State on Monday in Kansas City probably won’t be determined until this weekend.

Three Shock games on NFL Network

Spokane will have three of its 2011 regular-season games televised on the NFL Network — at Iowa, March 25; vs. Philadelphia, June 10; and at Jacksonville, July 22. The June 10th game against the Soul will kick off at 5 p.m. (originally it was scheduled for 8 p.m.) to accommodate TV.

More here.

East Valley rolling along

The East Valley football team has got a good mojo going right now. Check out a story you’ll only see on the web here. Above, coach Adam Fisher oversees workout in weightroom.

EWU women visit Idaho tonight

Eastern Washington visits Idaho tonight for a women’s basketball game.

I have confirmation that Nikki Nelson, a redshirt junior at New Mexico, will miss the season because of a preseason ACL injury. That’s why the Chewelah grad, who played one season at Mead, redshirted as a freshman. No idea if it’s the same knee or how she was injured. Finally, Lewis and Clark senior Hayley Hendricksen is  headed to Saint Mary’s next year. I really enjoyed the intensity of the No. 2 Baylor-No. 1 UConn game last night. There’s plenty of stories for that and if you watched any of that, or even the GU men’s game, there was plenty of studio discussion … did you watch, what are your thoughts? And yes, a couple of players that had a hand in UConn’s last loss will be here on Sunday.

Day after San Diego State

Good (late) morning. Back with our day after San Diego State post following Tuesday’s 79-76 loss to the Aztecs, one of the most impressive teams I’ve seen come into the MAC in my fourth year covering GU.

Some links: S-R game story, S-R photos (highly recommended), San Diego Union-Tribune game story (calling the victory one of the biggest in the school’s 90-year basketball history).

Read on.

WSU football, basketball on a Wednesday


Good Wednesday morning. We’re in that part of the year where there is still football news – including some from Washington State – as we transition into basketball season. We have both on the link, along with a thank you, so read on.

LC’s Hendricksen headed to Saint Mary’s

Hayley Hendricksen, a 6-foot forward from Lewis and Clark, signed with Saint Mary’s Tuesday night.

“It’s warm down there,” she said after taking her visit to the West Coast Conference school in Moraga, Calif., over the weekend.

Huskies hammer Eastern

Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team stepped away from Reese Court for the first time Tuesday night and suffered a 98-72 loss to the 17th-ranked University of Washington Huskies in Seattle.

You can read the Associated Press game story that ran in Wednesday morning’s S-R here, and you can read the Seattle Times gamer here.  In addition, I’ve included this link to what EWU’s sports information department post about the game, this link to what UW’s sports info folks posted and this link to the Everett Herald’s gamer.


Gonzaga loses to SDSU

Back with my final game story. Below, you can also find an update on Elias Harris, who went down with an apparent Achilles’ tendon injury in the closing minutes.

WSU shoots past Idaho, 88-71


We have a question on the link for you Cougar fans. Especially those of you who like to comment here. And we have more on the Washington State win over Idaho, so read on.

Zags fall, 79-76

Here’s a quick game story. I gotta run to get quotes.

Read on.


WSU leads 43-38 at half


Washington State ran out to a 17-2 lead but has struggled since. Offensively, the Cougars have become stagnant, not moving the ball as well as they did early. On defense, they have no answer for Jeff Ledbetter coming off screens or spotting up on the weakside. The senior reserve guard has 12 points, all on 3-point shots. We’ll have more later but follow us on Twitter at vinceg55.

WSU’s Moore in cast as Cougs take on Idaho


We’re sitting on our perch high above Friel Court watching a handful of Cougars work on their shot prior to tonight’s game with Idaho. We have some news, notes and thought, so read on.

GU-San Diego State game plan

OK, it’s probably not the game plan you were hoping for — the Xs and Os, the matchups, the various strategies the Zags and Aztecs will employ tonight.

Nope, this is a reminder that I’ll have in-game updates at throughout the game. Couple other things. Because of the 8 p.m. start, otherwise known as Beat Writer’s Nightmare, Idaho edition readers will get a 6-7 paragraph game story sent roughly at the final buzzer (I’ll try to post that version here and on twitter, too).

Then, at about 11:15ish, I hope to post a final game story here and on twitter.

View from San Diego

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s preview of tonight’s GU-SDSU game, with more details on how the game came about.

WSU and the blustery day


You take a half-day off and all heck breaks loose. Literally. With the way the wind was blowing yesterday, everything broke loose. At least all the leaves are finally off the trees – and in the neighbor’s yard. The wind was coming out of the south, so it may have been in response to Saturday, I don’t know. Anyhow, we try to catch up, so read on.

UPDATE: The Pac-10 released its academic all-conference selections and Washington State had seven first-team members, more than any school. They are: Jared Karstetter, Micah Hannam (for the third time), Chris Prummer (second), Kevin Kooyman (second), Casey Hamlett, Kyle McCartney and Chima Nwachukwu (third). Andrei Lintz was on the second team. Daniel Blackledge, Justin Clayton, Darren Markle and Skylar Stormo were honorable mention.

Busy roundup in buildup to 1-2 showdown

Monday was full of news about area basketball teams and players, plus we took an early look at the March Madness that will be coming our way - with an excellent comment relating to the initial speculation about teams headed this way.

Katelan Redmon of Gonzaga was the initial WCC player of the week, Montana State’s Lyndi Seidensticker (Lewis and Clark) was the first Big Sky winner and Idaho added a third member to its recruiting class.

Senior Angie Bjorklund had six of the school-record 15 3-pointers as Tennessee romped. She now has 240 for her career, third on the school list, 26 from the record. … Freshman Kate Loper (Post Falls) had 16 points and five rebounds as Hofstra wins its first game.

When you stop to read the blog from Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot, take an extra moment for the video entry, it’s always interesting. This week you get to listen to the accent of Kelly Bowen. It’s amazing to me that a senior that is likely to be a WNBA pick and with so much responsibility as an All-American candidate and point guard, would take the time to do all of that. … Tickets are on sale for the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas.

There is a ton of stuff on the No. 2 Baylor at No. 1 UConn game, which is on ESPN2 at 3 p.m.

Concern over Saturday’s foe grow for Eags’ Baldwin

Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin was concerned about Saturday’s regular-seson finale against Idaho State at Roos Field even before it was announced that it will be John Zamberlin’s final game as the Bengals coach.

You can read about Baldwin’s increased concerns and how he felt about his former mentor at Central Washington University getting axed in this story that ran in Tuesday morning’s S-R.  In addition, you can read EWU’s weekly game notes here and access the Big Sky’s weekly football press release here.

And be sure to check back later in the week for a feature story we’re doing on Eastern’s senior tight end Matt Martin, a former B8 standout at LaCrosse-Washtucna High School.

State football brackets updated

The WIAA has updated the state football brackets here.

First bracket for NCAA women in Spokane

It’s going to be a long season here at Spokane women’s basketball central because there are four rounds, two weekends of the NCAA Tournament in Spokane.

The first weekend includes Gonzaga as a host site and if all goes well the Bulldogs should be playing there.

The second weekend marks the third time the regional has come to the Arena with Washington State as the host. You might remember the first two, when the Huskies won their first game but were denied a trip to the Final Four by Jackie Stiles; and when Stanford and Maryland put on one of the great games ever in the Arena, men or women.

So read on. (And to prepare for the 8 p.m. Tuesday Gonzaga men’s game, settle in early to watch No. 1 UConn and No. 2 Baylor battle in the first women’s basketball marquee game of the season.)

Cowen captain for Team WHL

Spokane Chiefs captain Jared Cowen was named Team WHL captain for Wednesday’s game against a touring Russian team in Kamloops, British Columbia, while the Chiefs add a player to the roster.

Let the games begin

Gonzaga gets down to business on Tuesday with a visit from No. 25 San Diego State. Read more in my advance that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.

A couple other notes that didn’t get into the preview. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Aztecs return 82.8 percent of scoring, 80.4 percent of rebounding, 86.7 percent of assists, 76.5 percent of steals and 86.5 percent of blocked shots from last year’s team. Also, the Aztecs missed 1,104 shots/free throws a year ago, but they grabbed the rebound 444 times (40.2 percent).

UPDATE: Steven Gray co-WCC player of the week.

Stockton to sign letter

Riley Stockton of Ferris said he will sign a letter of intent tonight to play basketball at Seattle Pacific, an NCAA Division II school.

Zamberlin out as Idaho State coach

Idaho State has announced that its head football coach John Zamberlin will be relieved of his duties following Saturday’s Big Sky game against Eastern Washington at Roos Field.

Eagles head coach Beau Baldwin spents six seasons (1997-2002) as Zamberlin’s quarterbacks coach at Central Washington before hiring on at EWU as Paul Wulff’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

You can see the story the Idaho State Journal ran on Zamberlin’s dismissal and find out how his players reacted here.




Vandals hold players-only meeting

Idaho football coach Robb Akey addressed the media for the first time since Friday’s 52-14 loss to Boise State, and we’ve got a summary of his comments below — including thoughts on the Vandals’ leadership and players-only meeting after the team’s third straight loss.

In other Vandal news, injured senior Daniel Hardy has been named one of eight semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. The finalists will be announced Nov. 22.

Small-school tripleheader

They’re staging a tripleheader of small-school football Saturday at Gonzaga Prep.

Things kick off with Cusick taking on Columbia-Inchelium at 11 a.m. and Wilbur-Creston facing Almira-Coulee/Hartline at 2 p.m. in 1B quarterfinals. The fun is capped with a 2B quarterfinal when Colfax meets Lind-Ritzville/Sprague at 5.

In state girls soccer, Lakeside takes on Bush in a 1A semifinal at 2 p.m. at Carl Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. In a 2A semifinal, East Valley faces White River at Sparks Stadium at 6. The championship matches are on Saturday.

Day after IUPUI

Good morning. Back with the day after IUPUI post that you can access below.

My game story here, S-R photo gallery here and John Blanchette’s column on Demetri Goodson here.

Check back later for a look at San Diego State.

WSU’s win restores some smiles


The official reason this post is going up at 9:30 p.m. is because I wanted to wait for my follow to be on the website. For the unofficial reason, the one the boss doesn’t need to hear, read on.

Zags move to 2-0

As promised, here’s the game story from Gonzaga’s 86-56 win. Check back tomorrow morning for a day after post.

Cougar women thumped

Sunday afternoon, time to start finalizing weekly women’s basketball poll. Big question - does Gonzaga get ranked after losing opener at USC? The Bulldogs won’t be in the top 25, they were just outside in the AP poll and a loss certainly won’t move them back in. Will they drop out of coach’s poll?

Meanwhile, three games today for area teams and the first is in. Washington State loses at UC Davis, which is helped by the 14 points of senior Heidi Heintz (CV). Most disturbing is the score, 77-38. Eastern Washington gets pounded on the boards (not so good with 34% shooting) and loses 77-58 at home to Portland. Tara Cronin (GPrep) has 3 points and Sarah Kliewer (LC) has 2 for the Pilots. 

Gonzaga women are up so far at half, not coming back for an update. Mixed day for area high school alums. Check twitter, SRtrim.

Zags roll past Jags

Gonzaga never trailed and went on to dominate IUPUI 86-56 on Sunday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center

Senior guard Steven Gray led the way with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. Kelly Olynyk equaled his career high with 13 points. Rob Sacre (11), Sam Dower (11) and Mathis Monninghoff (10) also reached double digits.

Game story should be up in about 2 hours.

Game updates on Twitter

Just a reminder, if you want in-game updates on Gonzaga-IUPUI head to

I’ll post a game story here about two hours after the game.

More on EWU’s win over Southern Utah

We have some additional player comments below from EWU’s 31-24 win over Southern Utah on Saturday.

In addition, I’ve included this link to the game story that appeared in Sunday’s S-R, along with this link to post-game column written by John Blanchette.  You can also read the Big Sky roundup provided by the league office here and check out what EWU’s sports information department posted about the game here.

Read on.

WSU’s win over OSU, the day after, all done


We’re getting an early start on the day-after post because we have to get going on the trip home. And we’re going to do this a bit differently. We’ll cover the Washington State report now, then hit you later with the rest of the Pac-10 – and what a Saturday it was – after we get a bit farther down the road. For your Cougar fix, read on.

• UPDATE: We’ve added Pac-10 links to the bottom of the post.

Vandals hold off Eastern Oregon

Idaho opened its season with a 86-74 win over NAIA foe Eastern Oregon at Memorial Gym on Saturday night. Newcomer Djim Bandoumel and Shawn Henderson each had 14 points to lead the Vandals, who had a few tense moments in the last 8 minutes while trying to fend off the Mountaineers.

Idaho takes a big step up in competition on Tuesday when it meets Palouse rival Washington State at 7 p.m. in Pullman.

Chiefs, Reid blank Americans

The Spokane Chiefs shut down their Tri-City 5-0, with James Reid making 20 saves for the shutout Saturday night. Reid got third star with defenseman Jared Cowen getting No. 1 and Kenton Miller the No. 1 star. Story here, long box on extended entry.

Balanced Cougs roll in opener

Like Gonzaga the night before, Washington State had no problem with Southern. The Cougars breezed to a 86-47 win in their season opener at Beasley. Vince was preoccupied in Corvallis, so I jumped in. My game story is below.

WSU wins 31-14 over Oregon State


So is anyone reading out there anymore? Or did you all go celebrate? There was a football win – on the road for goodness sakes – and a basketball victory for you Cougar Nation dwellers to party over. As if you need a reason. Read on.

Vandal women get win

Idaho women open with a solid 72-55 win over Eastern Oregon as senior Yinka Olorunnife (10-13) and freshman Ashley Walters (11-12) have double doubles.

Three games Sunday, Gonzaga’s home opener (a yawner with Whitman at 6), Eastern Washington at home against Tara Cronin (GPrep)  and Portland at 2, when the Eagles will honor its only NCAA team and WSU at UC Davis.

Zags vs. Jags, part II

Gonzaga’s second opponent of the men’s basketball season has the same nickname as the first. That’s about where the similarities end.


GU entertains the IUPUI Jaguars at 1 today in a regional round matchup of the CBE Classic, less than two days after dusting the Southern Jaguars 117-72 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Southern lost 25 games last season. IUPUI won 25 games last season, one shy of the school record, including its first post-season victory (over Hofstra in the College Basketball Invitational.


“Their coach (Ron Hunter) has really got that program to the point where they expect to win their conference,” Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. “They have some great guards returning and they’re a very dangerous game, especially early in the season.”


Junior forward Alex Young averaged 18.3 points and senior guard Leroy Nobles averaged 13.2 points last season. Both players averaged 20 points in two easy exhibition wins earlier this month. The Jaguars were picked third in the preseason Summit League poll.


Cougs up 41-18 at half

After a sloppy start, Washington State settled into a groove in its season opener and held Southern without a field for 15 minutes of the first half to take a 41-18 lead over Southern into halftime at Beasley Coliseum. Playing without point guard Reggie Moore, out indefinitely with a left wrist injury, the Cougars got 13 points from Klay Thompson while big man Brock Motum, starting in place of DeAngelo Casto, had eight points. The Jaguars started 3 of 4 from the field but missed all but one of their next 20 field-goal attempts. They shot 23 percent in the first half and made 1 of 13 3-point attempts.

Opponents set for Ferris, Mt. Spokane

Ferris (11-0) and Chiawana (11-0) will square off Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco in a 4A quarterfinal. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Chiawana topped Newport of Bellevue today 30-10.

Mt. Spokane (10-1) and Kamiakin (11-0) will tangle Saturday at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick in a 3A quarterfinal. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Kamiakin handled Kelso today 50-6.

Coeur d’Alene to title game

The Coeur d’Alene football team, thanks to a blocked punt late by senior Drew Turbin that set up the winning touchdown, downed the Capital Eagles 28-24 in a 5A state semifinal Saturday afternoon at Boise State University’s Bronco Stadium.

Coeur d’Alene (10-1) will meet Centennial (9-2) on Friday at the Kibbie Dome in the state championship game. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Here is the game story.

Eags survive another big scare

Despite being outgained by by more than 100 yards, Eastern Washington managed to hold off visiting Southern Utah 31-24 at Roos Field on Saturday.

The winning touchdown came on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Bo Levi Mitchell to Brandon Kaufman with 2:22 left in the game. It was Kaufman’s second TD catch of the day.

Here is the story.

WSU leads 14-0 at the half


A quick post at halftime as Washington State leads a Pac-10 at the half for the second consecutive week. But the last time a conference opponent didn’t score in the first half? Read on.

WSU pregame thoughts from Corvallis


It’s raining in Corvallis, not heavily, but enough to make life miserable for the poor folks who have to work on the field. For some more pregame thoughts, read on.

Day after Southern

Saw the first snowflake of the season this morning. Now, it’s a light drizzle out there as I head out to Whitworth to cover a football game.

You can find my day after Southern post below. In case you missed it, here’s my game story.

Good Morning from Oregon


One thing about living on the eastern edge of a time zone, it gets lighter earlier in the morning – and darker earlier as well. So it was a good 20 minutes later than we’re used to today before the sun starting streaming in through the windows. It didn’t matter. We were already awake. Heck, it’s football Saturday and the game is early. It’s time to get going with Washington State football. Read on.

Ferris, Mt. Spokane advance

The Ferris and Mt. Spokane football teams won their 4A and 3A first-round games Friday at Albi Stadium.

Ferris topped Richland 33-17 and Mt. Spokane stopped University 48-35. I’ll be back later to post my game stories.

Jordan Tonani of Ferris, pictured above, charges through a hole against Richland.

BSU-Idaho wrap-up

The Vandals self-destructed and the Broncos looked like a top-five team. It was pretty much that simple at the Kibbie Dome, where Boise State eased to a 52-14 win.

We’ve got lots below, if you’re interested.

Chiefs pull out win

The Spokane Chiefs didn’t have the same intensity they had one their successful Eastern Division swing but they beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-3 Friday night. Don Nachbaur wasn’t exactly pleased with his Western Hockey League team but he wasn’t surprised  - and he was definitely glad to get the two points, thanks to goalie James Reid and a couple goals from Tyler Johnson. The story is here.

Zags overwhelm Jags, 117-72

Back with my game story from Gonzaga’s 117-72 rout over Southern tonight.

Check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.

(FYI: Gonzaga doesn’t allow in-game blogging during home games, so go to my twitter account — — for in-game updates).

Looking ahead to Saturday’s football, basketball games


We’re headed for an early end to the night, but before we go we wanted to pass along a couple links and some news about Reid Forrest. Read on.

Eastern women win opener

Six players scored in double figures, led by Tatjana Sparavalo’s 16 points to go with 11 rebounds, as Eastern Washington opened its women’s basketball season with an 80-70 win over Cal State Fullerton Friday night. (It was a late game, doubleheader with the men, and we may not have a link tonight.)

Gonzaga led by seven at halftime but couldn’t put the game away and USC out-played the Bulldogs, ranked 22nd in the coach’s poll, for a 79-73 win in Los Angeles Friday afternoon.

 Washington State loses at Saint Mary’s 73-69.

For updates on area players (we know LC grad Lyndi Seidersticker had a big game in a loss and GPrep grad Tara Cronin led Portland in a win, Post Falls frosh Katie Loper had an impressive debut in Hofstra loss), check Twitter, SRtrim.

Final: GU 117, Southern 72

Check back for game story in about 90 minutes.

ACH wins State 1B volleyball title

Almira/Coulee-Hartline has won the State 1B volleyball championship in Yakima with a three-set victory over Christian Faith. Wilbur-Creston defeated Tekoa-Oakesdale in the game for third and sixth places. Colton topped Klickitat to take fifth place.

Halftime: Boise 38, Idaho 0

The Boise State Broncos roared to a 28-0 lead before the first quarter was over before taking a 38-0 lead at halftime over Idaho at a sold-out Kibbie Dome. BSU scored on a 76-yard punt return just 41 seconds into the game, then added another touchdown after Nathan Enderle’s first of two interceptions.

The Broncos feasted on UI mistakes throughout the first half. Idaho had a punt blocked and a third-down stop wiped out by an Aaron Lavarias face mask on a sack of Kellen Moore. BSU went on to score a quick touchdown before the half to pad their lead.

Eastern falls to San Jose in season opener

San Jose State’s Adrian Oliver hung 34 points on Eastern Washington at Reese Court
Friday night, leading the visiting Spartans to a 67-60- win over the Eagles in the season-opening men’s basketball tgeam for both schools.

It was the 11th time during his career at SJSU that the 6-foot-4 guard scored 30 or more points in a game. 

Treymayne Johnson finished with a team-high 21 points for the Eagles, who were without the services of Glen Dean (stress fracture in foot) and Cliff Colimon (ankle sprain), the only two point guards on their roster.

You can get an early look at teh game story that will run in Saturday’s S-R here.


Mead VB knocked off

Jackson knocked off defending 4A state volleyball champion Mead 3-1 in the semifinals. Jackson will face Issaquah in the final tonight. Mead will take on Olympia for third.

In 2A, West Valley and Pullman each won first-round matches today. 3A openers under way.

Game Day in Moscow

The streets and hotels are just a tad bit busier than normal in Moscow with Vandal and Bronco fans streaming into the Palouse for tonight’s Idaho-Boise State clash. Gametime is 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and, we should mention, ESPN 3D.

Read on for links and more.

Allen back, but Eags still hurting

Freshman wing Geoffrey Allen, who suffered a hand injury in one EWU’s first basketball practices, has been cleared to play in tonight’s season opener against San Jose State at Reese Court.

The Spartans come in with some tall, talented guards, and will undoubtedly create some difficult matchups for Eastern’s injury depleted backcourt.  You can read more on tonight’s game here


GU set for Southern

If you want to know more about Southern, here’s a preview. Find the S-R game preview here.

Elias Harris (shoulder) will play tonight and, according to a GU release, the starters are expected to be Goodson, Gray, Harris, Olynyk and Sacre.

Mitchell right answer for Eags’ QB question

By his own admission, Bo Levi Mitchell has yet to play his best game as Eastern Washington’s starting quarterback.  And that would seem to bode well for the future, considering the first-year junior transfer has helped put the Eagles in a late-season position they haven’t been in since 1997.

You can read the feature on Mitchell that ran in this morning’s S-R here. And don’t forget to check back later for an early look at the game advance for Saturday’s Southern Utah-EWU matchup that will run in tomorrow’s S-R.

Another WSU Friday


Another Friday morning, another day before a football game. There is something really Groundhog Day-like to the football season. So we hit the alarm, get out of bed, look out the window and put together our morning post. Read on.

Mead wins two on first day


The Mead volleyball team dropped the first set, but bounced back to top Kentwood 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 in the 4A state tournament at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Then Mead had to go five before topping Graham Kapowsin in the quarterfinals. The Panthers will take on Jackson in the semifinals. In the other semifinal, Issaquah faces Olympia.

In an upset, top-ranked Richland fell to Skyview of Vancouver 28-30, 25-17, 25-21, 25-21. For a second straight year, Richland is out in two as the Bombers lost an elimination match to Snohomish.

Here’s our story that appeared in today’s newspaper. Also, Almira-Coulee/Hartline is in the 1B title match.


Jags, Zags open regular season

Gonzaga opens the men’s basketball regular season against Southern on Friday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center – or, as Bulldogs center Robert Sacre says, “it’s the Jags vs. the Zags.”


Sacre is quite familiar with the Southern Jaguars. His father, Greg LaFleur, has been Southern’s athletic director since 2005. LaFleur played tight end in the NFL from 1981-86.


“My dad and my mom will be attending the game,” Sacre said. “It’ll be fun. I’m just happy to be playing our first game more than it being Southern.”


Southern (5-25 overall) placed ninth in the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 3-15 record last season. The Jaguars, who visit Washington State on Saturday, were picked to finish ninth in the SWAC preseason coaches poll.

Ortiz signs with Shock

Former TCU defensive end Chase Ortiz has signed with the Spokane Shock. More here.

WSU finishes up OSU prep


Well, we already shared you the news of the Pac-12 Conference basketball schedule for 2011-12, which will probably be the only year it looks anything like the old Pac-10 schedules – a new TV contract will probably mean Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, heck, any day, games. Now we will share what football coach Paul Wulff had to say at his press conference, along with a few notes from practice. Read on.

Zags, Wildcats in Seattle next season

I’m certain I mentioned this as a possible scenario back when Gonzaga took on Arizona in Phoenix, but it’s sounding more official: GU-Arizona in the Battle in Seattle next season. More here.

First Pac-12 basketball schedule unveiled


So the Pac-12 decided to release its first basketball schedule on a holiday (nice). We have Washington State’s part of it on the link so read on.

Chiefs pleased with Eastern swing

The Spokane Chiefs have a positive experience on their exhausting eastern swing. Now they settle in for two of their four home games in November, Friday against Edmonton and Saturday against Tri-Cities.

The weekend should be a good gauge to see where the Chiefs are. Considering they would not make the playoffs (yes, there are 55 games left), maybe an upgrade is needed - or selling out for the future.

“We don’t have anything on the burner right now,” Spokane GM Tim Speltz said. (More below).

Thursday, preps

PREPS, updated

The fall sports season doesn’t get much busier around here than the last couple of weeks. But as a few of our football teams fall by the wayside and volleyball and soccer wrap up in the next couple of weeks, things will slow down momentarily until … basketball starts at the end of the month.

Not much transition between seasons. In fact, girls basketball in Idaho tips off this weekend.

Click the tab below to see the various prep things in Thursday’s newspaper.

NOTE: I will be tweeting updates from the 4A and 3A football doubleheader Friday at Albi Stadium. You can follow me on Twitter at

CBBN rejects GSL proposal, again

The Columbia Basin Big Nine’s 3A athletic directors again rejected a proposal by the Greater Spokane League’s 3A boys and girls basketball coaches for a chance at a second berth in the WIAA’s new regional/state format, reports GSL secretary Randy Ryan.

Click the tab for more.

More on GU’s 2011 class

Some leftovers (notes, quotes, facts, figures, links, etc.) about the four players that signed with GU Wednesday and walk-on Chris Sarbaugh. Read on.

EWU to honor women’s team, Pac-10 announces schedule

We’re stilling waiting to wrap-up the recruiting news for the area women’s basketball teams.

Only Washington State announced on Wednesday, Idaho came in Thursday morning.  Eastern Washington expected later today, Gonzaga probably Friday.

Still, there is plenty of news as the season starts tomorrow, leading off with Gonzaga at USC in an afternoon game. Also, Eastern Washington will honor is NCAA Tournament team from almost 25 years ago at Sunday’s game, a nice tribute. By the way, the Pac-10/12 has announced its basketball schedules for when the 10 is erased.

Many more notes below.

WSU items and a couple bonus links


Every once in a while we try to bring you something different on this morning post. Just to keep things interesting. Today is one of those days. We have a couple of out-of-the-ordinary links at the end of the Washington State section, so read on.

WSU gets a visit from old quarterback


A quick post dealing with football practice and containing links to our basketball story and Pac-10 football guesses. Read on.

Vandal men sign three

The Idaho men’s basketball team has signed three players — one high school senior and two junior college players — on the first day of the early signing period. You can read my story on the signings here. Don Verlin said a fourth signing is possible after freshman guard Gary Winston left the program a few weeks ago. The additional signing, Verlin said, would come in the spring.

Article on newest Zags

OK, a little later than intended, but here’s a link to my article on Gonzaga’s 2011 recruiting class, which signed on the dotted line today, that will run in Thursday’s S-R. And here are some of Mark Few’s comments on the newest Zags.

Women’s recruiting lists incomplete

Seems to be too much news in the world of women’s basketball.

Washington State’s list was in the previous post, along with Eastern’s (those are the ones we know committed but EWU won’t have an announcement until all letters of intent are returned. Idaho has one letter back: Tayler Weiks, a 5-foot-9 guard from Tumwater High School in Tumwater. A two-time all-league selection averaged 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.8 assists last season.

Gonzaga is waiting for all letters and local products Shaniqua Nilles of West Valley and Shelby Cheslek of Pullman, were meeting for dinner in Spokane Wednesday night to sign their letters of intent together. The Great Northern League rivals (both are also volleyball players and participate in track) were teammates with the Spokane Stars in the off-season.

In the meantime, continues its season preview. It’s top 5 at each position includes Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot at PG and Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) at shooting guard. Notice two players from Stanford, which is feature in the preview - the Cardinal will be here a week from Sunday (the 21st) to play GU, plus there is the usual Pac-10 visit to Pullman. There are also a pair of Xavier players, a team GU faced and split with in the past two NCAA Tournaments, and North Carolina and Texas A&M, teams the Zags beat in the NCAA last year. And there is a play from Notre Dame, whom the Zags see in Seattle after Christmas. Impressive.

While surfing … Vandersloot and EWU’s Kyla Evans had posted their most recent blog entries.

GU cements 2011 class

Gonzaga has received letters of intent from Gary Bell, Ryan Spangler, Kevin Pangos and Kyle Dranginis. A fifth player, G-Prep’s Chris Sarbaugh, is also coming to GU, but he’s considered a walk-on since he’ll be attending on a tuition waiver.

I’ll have an article up here and on twitter ( — with more on Bell and Sarbaugh, in particular — in an hour or two.

UTSA set to join WAC

Idaho athletic director Rob Spear was quoted in the Lewiston Tribune today as saying expansion of the WAC could be immiment. “I would actually keep your eyes and ears open this week,” Spear said. Sure enough, a San Antonio newspaper is reporting that the University of Texas-San Antonio might announce its arrival into the WAC as early as Thursday. UTSA is currently a member of the Southland Conference in the FCS.

UPDATE: UTSA, Texas State and Denver will join the WAC in 2012-13, according to An announcement is expected Thursday.

On a separate note, the Idaho men’s basketball team is expected to have a few early signees, but the paperwork won’t be complete until later today.


State football playoff pairings

Click the tab below and you’ll find the matchups in the first round of the Washington football playoffs and the semifinal matchups in Idaho.

Pictured above is University running back Jory Zettle, who will be the subject of my Thursday column.

Area athletes signing today

Here are the area athletes that we’re aware of so far today that have signed letters of intent.

Ryan Krustangel (Ferris), University of Washington, pictured above.
Girls basketball
Cassie Thompson (Timberlake), Univeristy of Portland; Jordan Loera (Moses Lake), University of Oregon; Shelby Cheslek (Pullman), Gonzaga University; Shaniqua Nilles (West Valley), Gonzaga University; Tia Presley (Gonzaga Prep), Washington State University.

We’ll add more names as we hear of them.

More on WSU signees and hoops


We’re going to have a story later today for tomorrow’s S-R concerning Washington State’s basketball signees and the practice of signing more players than there are scholarships available. But on the link we have some notes on WSU’s two signees, Davonte Lacy and Greg Sequele, along with other thoughts from coach Ken Bone on the season, which officially opens Saturday night.

The usual, plus some basketball news from WSU


There’s a lot to get to this morning, and by a lot I mean so much my eyes are watering from reading, so let’s get right to all the football news. Before we do, just a reminder that today is the first day of basketball’s early signing period, so we will have a post soon concerning the two players Washington State is expected to sign today. Coach Ken Bone is also holding a news conference this morning that we will attend. There is already some basketball news on the link, so read on.

UPDATE: WSU announced the signings of Davonte Lacy and Greg Sequele to basketball letters-of-intent this morning. We’ll have more, as we said on the link earlier, after we talk with Bone.

Cougars women sign three

As the countdown continues to Friday’s season openers, no doubt we’ll keep stumbling into women’s basketball news.

Today is the first day of the fall signing period. We know some local girls are signing, but it could take all week to get the news out. Typically schools don’t make accouncements until all letters of intent are in.

Today’s signings: WSU. EWU and Idaho will have announcement, Gonzaga probably Thursday.

We have a link to the professional prospects of Tennessee senior Angie Bjorklund (5)(University HS) … and a description of the Lady Vols new cutting-edge uniforms.

As we troll for other news, here are the area team’s season openers: Friday, Gonzaga at USC, Cal-Fullerton at EWU and WSU at St. Mary’s. Saturday, Eastern Oreon @ Idaho.

EWU signees: Melissa Williams (Camas High School - Vancouver, Wash.) - forward, post - 3A Greater St. Helen’s League Player of the Year; Hayley Hodgins (Chiawana High School - Pasco, Wash.) - shooting guard; Kylie Huerta (Kentwood High School - Covington, Wash.) - point guard - co-MVP of South Puget Sound League 4A North; Kayleigh Ryan (Lynden Christian High School - Lyden, Wash.) - Brianne Ryan’s sister.

Vandal seniors look for breakthrough

Our usual mid-week Vandal story has been bumped up a day because the Boise State game is Friday night, not Saturday. Check out it below.

Also, Deonte Jackson got quite a bit of attention today for calling BSU President Bob Kustra “a blue and orange snot.” I talked to him just before he made those comments to out-of-town reporters, and here’s what he said about the suspension of the series with Boise: “It’s going to be a big letdown because this rivalry, it means the world. Whether you bleed the black and gold or you’re sneezing out the blue and orange, when you just think about this, you get chills. I’m getting chills down my spine just thinking about what I’m able to do come Friday night.”

Osweiler to join ASU hoops?

Brock Osweiler, a Montana prep product who committed to Gonzaga basketball only to change his mind and pick Arizona State for football, sounds like he’s ready to play hoops again. More here.

Players return as WSU has quick practice


The wind was up, the temperature down and, when it was all said and down, the defense did some up-downs. For more on Washington State football, and some on basketball, read on.

CdA state football semifinal


The Coeur d’Alene at Capital 5A state football semifinal game Saturday at 11 a.m. can be watched live here.

Shock sign QB

The Spokane Shock have signed quarterback RJ Archer, a William & Mary product. Archer doesn’t have AFL experience, but he did have a brief stint in camp with the Minnesota Vikings.

Archer is the second QB on the Shock roster. Kyle Rowley, who led Spokane to the ArenaBowl title last season, re-signed in September.

More below.

WCC conference call update

Mark Few just concluded his comments on the WCC conference call.

A few highlights below.

(More at

WSU has one more challenge before time off

COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:15 A.M.; 11:20 A.M.

How many Pac-10 football coaches have been fired this season? None. How many Pac-12 coaches? One. The difference is Colorado has made a change, getting rid of Dan Hawkins today and replacing him with an assistant for the rest of the year. When the Buffaloes enter the Pac-12 next year, the former Boise State coach won’t be with them. For more, read on.

UPDATE: Sports Illustrated ranks the 10 best players in the Pac-10. Klay Thompson is No. 1, Reggie Moore is No. 7. If it’s only on the web, is there a jinx involved?

UPDATE NO. 2: The start time has been set for the Apple Cup. It will be at 4 p.m. and will be televised on Versus. Last time I checked (last week), there were tickets available.

More props for Vandersloot has started its season-preview and Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot (above in a Colin Mulvaney photo from the Sweet 16 game in Sacramento last March) is listed as the top point guard in the Courtney, or one of five. Since her name is on top - and alphabetically that never happens - I assume she’s No. 1.

She has been named to every preseason watch list, the most recent being the Naismith Award, announced today. Like most of the other lists, Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund (University) is also on the list. Fans can participate in voting.

Speaking of Gonzaga, the athletic department is rolling out “What’s in your locker?” billed as an interactive site with the women’s basketball program.

In case you missed it, Gonzaga Prep’s Tia Presley is signing with Washington State while two 2A stars, 6-5 Shelby Cheslek of Pullman and 6-0 Shaniqua Nilles of West Valley, are joining Gonzaga. The early signing period opens Wednesday. The 2A rivals/friends/summer teammates are getting together Wednesday night to make it official. The schools won’t be able to announce anything until they get the letters of intent.

Inside with WSU on Monday night


Washington State is off the turf in the indoor practice facility after its usual short, sweet Monday night let’s-get-the-week-started practice. Not a lot went on, but we do have an update on some of the injuries, plus a couple links, so read on.

MSU-Billings bumps off Eastern in exhibition

Eastern Washington dropped its second, and last, exhibition basketball game Monday night, losing to Montana State-Billings 66-60 at Reese Court.

It was ugly.

You can get an early look at the short game story that will appear in Tuesday morning’s S-R by clicking here.



Bell makes Best in the West

Guard Gary Bell, who has committed to Gonzaga, made the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s Best in the West. The Kentridge High (Kent, Wash.) product is one of 15 to make the list. More here and here

Prep’s Presley to sign with WSU

Gonzaga Prep senior Tia Presley, No. 23, is going to sign a letter of intent to play basketball at Washington State.

Akey, Petersen talk UI-BSU rivalry

Somehow the week leading up to the Idaho-Boise State game is always interesting, if only for the conversation on both sides. Friday night’s game happens to mark the last time the rivals will play for at least two years, and we’ve got a story about Robb Akey and Chris Petersen’s reaction to the postponement of the series below.

Baldwin: Stakes still high for Eagles

Eastern Washington would seem to have a bit of an FCS playoff cushion as it heads into its final two regular-season football games.  But Eagles’ coach Beau Baldwin insists the stakes are still extremely high for his team as it prepares to take on Southern Utah in a non-conference game at Roos Field on Saturday.

You can read Baldwin’s comments in my Big Sky Notebook for Tuesday’s paper. There is also  this link to the weekly game notes supplied by EWU’s sports information department, along with this link to the football roundup posted by the Big Sky office and this link to the notes SUU’s sports info folks have on Saturday’s game. 


Chiefs home with 3-3 record

My apologies hockey fans. I thought Saturday night after cross country writing, I would have more information on the Spokane Chiefs’ 3-1 win at Swift Current. That information never came. Still nothing on Sunday when I checked from home. Then I realized that maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t a daily newspaper covering the Broncos so any it would take a while to get anything. So what we have is the Chiefs’  rewrite and an internet story.

Women sweep exhibitions

No surprises as long as we judge on W’s and L’s, the area women’s basketball teams won their exhibition games.

Gonzaga, Eastern and Idaho won handily, Washington State struggled.

One list has Courtney Vandersloot of Gonzaga as the No. 13 on a list of NCAA WNBA Draft prospects. There is more, a couple other exhibition games and notes, on the extended entry.

One more week for WSU before time off


The Apple Cup must be near because the trees in the neighborhood have lost almost all their leaves. The two have always seemed to be connected in my mind from the time my kids were young (they’re not anymore). But this year, the leaves will be all sacked up, the snow might be covering the dead spots in the lawn and the Christmas decorations will be plugged in before the Apple Cup comes around. Read on for more on Washington State football.

One last look at WSU’s loss to Cal


There have been shrieks of disgust from the soccer fans downstairs, but we’ve ignored them as we pounded out the follow to Washington State’s 20-13 defeat to California on Saturday. That elicited shrieks of disgust as well, we’re sure. Read on.

State tournament brackets

The WIAA has posted the state volleyball brackets. You can see them here.

Click the tab below for more information.

Question: How do you see the Eastern Washington, Spokane/area teams faring at state?

Annie Arnzen of Mt. Spokane is seen in the picture above trying to hit through Mead’s Kaely Kight and Hannah Zalopany.

Idaho: State football playoffs

They move to the semifinals this week in the Idaho high school football playoffs, and just one District I team - Coeur d’Alene - remains in the hunt for a state championship. Not a surprise. Outside of the 5A Inland Empire League, football in North Idaho this year was weak.

Click the tab below for the semifinal matchups.

Washington: State football playoffs

Click the tab below to see first-round matchups in 4A, 3A and 2A. I’ll add 2B and 1B when I have them. ALSO: I’ll link to the state volleyball brackets later when they are posted by the WIAA.

WSU’s loss to Cal, the day after


This is the 10th in a 12-episode installment entitled, WSU, The Day After. In nine of those installments, one of the other words in the title has had to be some form of the word defeat. Same with today. Read on.

Hardware haul at state cross country

Once again Spokane area runners were outstanding at the state cross country meet.

There were eight team trophies for the boys, highlighted by championships for North Central (the Indians fifth straight) and Lakeside, and five for the girls, with Riverside winning 1A.

As for individuals, Greater Spokane League runners were 1-2 in 4A (Lewis and Clark’s Kenji Bierig/Mead’s Andrew Gardner) and 3A (Shadle Park’s Nathan Weitz/NC’s Vince Hamilton) and second in 3A (NC’s Katie Knight) and B girls (Colfax’s Morgan Willson) and third in 2A (Cheney’s Sanne Holland) and 1A (Riverside’s Jess Mildes).

Here is the boys story and the girls story.

Idaho men down LCSC

The Vandals pulled away for a 70-59 win over Lewis-Clark State in their second exhibition game of the season. The game, with 1,033 at Memorial Gym, came directly after the Idaho football team’s loss to Nevada. Brandon Wiley led the new-look Idaho team with 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting and 10 rebounds while first-year point guard Deremy Geiger had 17 points.

Idaho’s lead was trimmed to six late in the second half against an L-C team that lost to Washington State last night and Montana the night before. UI opens the season next Saturday versus Eastern Oregon, before traveling to WSU on Nov. 16.

Nevada piles up 844 yards vs. Idaho

Robb Akey has always been expressive — it doesn’t matter if the Vandals win or lose. But this evening, in a small room full of reporters, the coach was even more energetic and candid than usual after the most lopsided loss of the year. You can read some of his comments in my game story here. And check below for much more.

WSU falls to Cal 20-13


As this one was on television, you had the opportunity to watch what could never be described as an artful football game. But it was tight, coming down the fourth quarter. We have more on the link, so read on.

Big day for girls soccer teams

Central Valley and Lewis and Clark advanced to the state tournament by winning play-in games on Saturday while Mt. Spokane (celebrating a regional title in photo) is also off to state in 3A, East Valley in 2A and Lakeside in 1A.


Halftime: Nevada 28, Idaho 3

Nevada controlled the first half, rolling up 421 yards to go up 28-3 over Idaho at the Kibbie Dome. Colin Kaepernick, UNR’s dynamic senior QB, was 17 of 24 for 275 passing yards and four touchdowns in the first half. Nevada drove 94 yards in the last 46 seconds of the second quarter to score its final TD. It also missed two field goals.

Idaho, playing without tight end Daniel Hardy and safety Gary Walker, mustered just 96 yards in the first half (most on one drive that resulted in its field goal). Nate Enderle was 7 of 20 for 80 yards.

Join us on our live chat here.

Live chat: Idaho vs. Nevada

We’ve made our way to the press box in the Kibbie Dome and we’re ready to launch our first attempt at and online chat. We’ll be discussing the Idaho-Nevada game — kickoff is at 2 p.m. and we’ll be providing updates and commentary throughout. You can also follow along on Twitter.

Some pregame thoughts from WSU


This is the 10th game in a 12-game season. We have some thoughts on the first nine and what might happen today, so read on.

Warm day awaits WSU, Cal


The morning has broken warm, if not sunny, with the temperature expected to be in the low 60s during the game. Is this Pullman in mid-November or Vegas? OK, that comparison made even me laugh. Let’s get to the morning links before I write something else really dumb. Read on.

Day after Southern Oregon

Those familiar with this blog (and don’t forget about my updates at know the drill. Read on for my day-after Southern Oregon post.

Vandals eager for rematch with UNR

Last year in Reno wasn’t pretty. Not from a defensive perspective, and not for the Vandals. Idaho and Nevada rolled up a combined 1,156 yards, 48 first downs and 115 points (70 for the Wolf Pack). It was quite a spectacle, but will it be repeated this afternoon at the Kibbie Dome?

Read below for more on Idaho’s battle with No. 25 Nevada. And also be sure to check out our interactive online chat during the game (see the reminder below). For more updates, check for updates from my Twitter account: @SR_JoshWright.

An Albi sweep

Ferris throtted Wenatchee 48-3 and Mt. Spokane did likewise to Kennewick 62-35. You can link to the Ferris story here and the Mt. Spokane story here.

Richland throttles Prep

Other than one magical run, Bishop Sankey couldn’t get untracked and Richland ended Gonzaga Prep’s football season with a 21-7 win Friday night at Fran Rish Stadium. The story is here

Five reach double figures in GU win

Back with a shorter game story — space is tight and it was an exhibition game, after all. You can find it below and check back in the morning for a day-after post.

Don’t forget to follow my Zag updates on Tell your friends.

Brandon trips Chiefs in OT

The Spokane Chiefs fall 3-2 in overtime at Brandon. The long box is below and a careful look at it shows a little heartbreak for the vistors, especially on the winning goal. Rob Henderson’s story tells the tale.

WSU has little trouble with L-C State


A tired Lewis-Clark State team – the Warriors played last night in Missoula – wasn’t much of a test after about 10 minutes, but Washington State still did what it needed to do in its 89-49 exhibition win at Friel Court. Read on for a little more.

Gonzaga cruises in exhibition

Gonzaga thumped NAIA Southern Oregon 90-58 on Friday in the Bulldogs’ exhibition opener at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Steven Gray and Sam Dower each scored 17 points. Demetri Goodson added 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Robert Sacre finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kelly Olynyk chipped in 12 points and nine boards.

Gonzaga shot 52.3 percent from the floor. GU had five second-half turnovers to finish with 17.

Kyle Tedder led Southern Oregon with 20 points, 16 coming in the first half.

More in about 90 minutes.

Trying something new with UI coverage

The Vandals host No. 25 Nevada tomorrow at 2 p.m., and for the first time we’ll be hosting an interactive online chat during the game. If you can’t make it to the Kibbie Dome, it will hopefully be a great way to keep tabs with what’s happening.

As for the game, you can read my preview here. For more updates, check out my Twitter account: @SR_JoshWright.

GU up 20 at break

Gonzaga leads Southern Oregon 44-24 at halftime of GU’s exhibition opener.

Ten Bulldogs scored, led by Steven Gray’s 13 points. Demetri Goodson, who didn’t start, added seven points, five rebounds and three assists. Robert Sacre scored seven points and grabbed seven boards. GU made 50 percent of its shots, but just 2 of 9 3-pointers and 8 of 13 free throws.

The offense was sluggish at times due to 12 turnovers.

Southern Oregon made just 24.2 percent of its shots (8 of 33). Fourteen of those attempts were 3-pointers. Kyle Tedder drained 4 of 7 3s en route to 16 points.

More at the final buzzer.

WSU leads 46-29 at half


A quick halftime post from the basketball game where Washington State leads Lewis-Clark State 46-29. Faisal Aden paced the Cougars in the first 20 minutes with 15 points, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. DeAngelo Casto has 10 points and three rebounds while Klay Thompson has 11 and three. Reggie Moore has five assists and no turnovers in 15 minutes. 2 The Cougars are shooting 58 percent from the floor, but L-C State is shooting quite a bit better than it did last night at Montana. The Warriors are 10 of 24 (41.7 percent). If it wasn’t for the their 10 turnovers, this would be a lot tighter. We’ll be back later with our game story. Don’t forget, we are on Twitter at vinceg55 with updates.

Live stream: Gonzaga Prep at Richland

Here’s live streaming video from tonight’s Gonzaga Prep at Richland game, thanks to the Tri-City Herald. The game starts at 7 p.m. Click below to access the video player.

Live stream: Central Valley at Chiawana

Here’s live streaming video from tonight’s Central Valley at Chiawana game, thanks to the Tri-City Herald. The game starts at 7 p.m. Click below to access the video player.

WSU gets ready for exhibition hoops


For the first time since March we are in Beasley Coliseum for a Washington State basketball game. The place is empty as I start this post and I wonder how many people will show up. We have some more notes and thoughts on the link, so read on.

Idaho preps, Washington preps, football


I will be tweeting at the doubleheader at Albi Stadium tonight, and I’ll tweet updates from others scores around the region as I receive them.

You can keep me updated by sending me an email (, calling me (208-699-7621), texting or tweeting (SRpreps). In fact, if you tweet, add me as a friend and have your friends do as well.

Should be fun tonight.

GNL avoids tiebreakers


The much anticipated Kansas Tiebreaker among Great Northern League football teams was avoided thanks to West Valley knocking off Cheney last night.

Click here to read our Thursday roundup. ALSO, the Greater Spokane League got off to a 3-0 start against the Columbia Basin Big Nine in football crossovers last night, including Rogers’ breaking a 16-game losing streak by beating Pasco on the road. I expect several more GSL wins tonight.

Everything from football to hoops at WSU today


Boy, is there a lot to go over this morning. Last night we published Washington State’s 2011 Pac-12 football schedule for you and this morning there is basketball news to go over. Let’s get right to it. Read on.

Basketball special section out

As advertised, our college basketball preview came out today.

It has a Facebook look and starts with a John Blanchette column on the social media - and you don’t want to miss that.

Women’s basketball information is on Pages 6 & 7 of the complete section which also includes a short story on the farewell tour of the Class of 2007.

A few other notes below on exhibition games and previews of exhibition games.

2010-11 college basketball preview

We gave our college basketball previews a facelift. Click below to see our special section on the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Gonzaga, Washington State, Eastern Washington and Idaho.

The Social Net

Chiefs visit Brandon

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Chiefs game on tonight from Brandon will be heard on AM KJRB 790. 

Rob Henderson of The Brandon Sun has a short advance the Spokane Chiefs’ visit to the Wheat Kings tonight. It’s posted below.

Gregg Drinnan had the particulars from the Chiefs’ 11-1 victory at Regina on Saturday:  first time the Chiefs had scored 11 goals in a road game since Jan. 16, 1999, when they beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 11-2. The last time Spokane scored 11 times at home? That would be Feb. 14, 2009, in an 11-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings… . It was the seventh time in franchise history that the Chiefs scored in double digits in one game. The record for most goals in one game is 16, set Jan. 30, 1988 in a 16-7 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. The team record for most goals in a road game is 12, set March 22, 1986, in a 12-9 victory over the Victoria Cougars. Levko Koper had six points, including two goals. The last Chiefs player to enjoy a six-point game? F Ned Lukacevic had three goals and three assists in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Dec. 15, 2004… . Anthony Bardaro, who had 11 points in 63 games last season, is enjoying a six-game point streak. He has all four of his goals and seven of his nine assists over his last six games.

Cory Wolfe of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix has the reaction on the Blades’ third jersey.

Another Thursday over at WSU


The usual Thursday practice is finished, with Washington State running through the game plan on both sides of the ball. We have more from the workout, plus cover what coach Paul Wulff had to say in his press conference, so read on.

• UPDATE: We have a story on the 2011 Washington State football schedule in today’s S-R. The Cougars open Pac-12 play at Colorado, also play UCLA on the road. Host Utah and ASU from the South Division. All the games can be found below.

GU ready for exhibition opener

Gonzaga will entertain Southern Oregon at 6 p.m. Friday in a men’s basketball exhibition game at the McCarthey Athletic Center.


The NAIA Raiders lost their exhibition opener to NCAA Division II Humboldt State 74-51 on Tuesday. Southern Oregon, 12-15 last season, was picked to finish 10th (last) in the Cascade Conference preseason coaches poll.


Sophomore forward Elias Harris (shoulder), Gonzaga’s top returning scorer, is not expected to play. Freshman wing Mathis Monninghoff (ankle) could see action.


“This is a hard time for these players, the first 2-3 weeks of practice, long practices, physical days,” head coach Mark Few said. “I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit to play somebody else.”

Online prep football chat at 11

Sports writer Greg Lee is hosting a live chat this morning on prep football, the impending state playoffs and anything football related. The chat will begin at 11 a.m. Follow along with the viewer below.

Exhibition games on tap this weekend

Our basketball preview section comes out tomorrow. The plan is to link to the women’s stories as soon as possible before heading off to the Tri-Cities to cover a football playoff game on Friday and state cross country on Saturday.

Plan to use Friday’s post as a forum to discuss how the area teams look during their exhibition games. Idaho plays LC State on Friday, Gonzaga plays Western Oregon on Saturday and Eastern plays Simon Fraser and Washington State plays LCSC on Sunday. I’ll be curious to hear your opinions and if you see LC State, which has a handful of area players, how they looking, including freshman and special friend Loree Hill.

There are a few notes for today on the extended entry.

Chiefs fall in Prince Albert

The Spokane Chiefs dropped a 5-2 decision in Prince Alberta Thursday night. Here is John MacNeil’s story in the Prince Alberta Daily Herald. The long box is below. Spokane is 2-2 on the road trip and has lost defenseman Grant Leedahl to an injury for the duration of the six-game trip, which is Brandon on Friday and Swift Current on Saturday.

Everett coach Craig Hartsburg had open heart surgery on Wednesday.

Thursday Prep Page


Click the tab below to see this week’s menu options. ALSO: Stop by our online chat today at 11 a.m. We’ll be talking postseason football.

Just getting through a Thursday morning at WSU


Sitting with my fingers on the keyboard as the seconds pass, I realize nothing witty is going to come. Not even half that. So we type a few words and tell you there is plenty of Washington State news and information on the link, so read on.

Enderle, Vandals looking for consistency

For today’s paper, we had a piece on promising young Idaho tight end Taylor Elmo. He’s becoming a bigger part of an Idaho offense that’s been hard to figure this season.

We’ve got more below from quarterback Nate Enderle and offensive coordinator Steve Axman.

Spokane signs LB, WR

Spokane added to its roster with the signings of LB Beau Bell and WR Lonnell DeWalt. More here.

It was easy to hear WSU’s hitting


When Paul Wulff walked up to talk about practice Wednesday afternoon, the first question concerned the loud nature of practice. Not people yelling. The sound pads make when they bang together. Hard. Read on.

The rematch: Lake City/CdA

The Lake City and Coeur d’Alene football teams play for a second straight week Friday in the first round of the Idaho 5A state playoffs. Click here to read a story you will see only online about the game.

Pictured above is LC junior cornerback Kaleb Mitchell, who breaks up a pass against Post Falls. Mitchell is one of the key cogs in a talented LC secondary.

Online chat Thursday


Thursday we’re doing our first online prep chat.

Topic: Football and impending state playoffs and anything football related.

The chat will begin at 11 a.m. Stay tuned for more details. You’ll probably get tired of seeing my frequent reminders in the days to come. Put it on your calendars.

Thanks to those who have been participating on this current thread. It’s as if we’ve already been engaging in an online chat. Carry on.

Everyone at WSU could probably use a bye


Think about this. When Washington State’s football schedule was first revealed last season, this was the bye week. Yep, after nine consecutive weeks, the Cougars were going to get one off. But the Pac-10 needed to make some adjustments to the schedule. The easiest decision was to move the WSU game with California to this week. Some discussion, some money and bingo, the Cougars are playing 11 consecutive weeks. For more WSU football news, read on.

Eags fall in exhibition opener

With starting guards Glen Dean and Jeffrey Forbes watching from the bench because of injuries, Eastern Washington University suffered an 87-82 loss to visiting Seattle Pacific at Reese Court Tuesday night.

You can get an early look at an unedited version of the game story that will appear in Wednesday’s S-R here.

Chiefs trip Blades 3-2

The Spokane Chiefs are 2-1 on their six game swing east after beating the Saskatoon Blades 3-2 - all three goals scored by defensemen. The complete box is posted below and with the story written by Cory Wolfe of the Star-Phoenix.

Yellow a popular color at WSU


A near-perfect fall day in the Palouse ended with Washington State on the practice field with a less-than-perfect workout. Why was it less than perfect? Because a defensive contributor was unable to finish. Read on.

GU women in coaches Top 25

Gonzaga cracked the Top 25 of the coaches preseason poll, where UConn isn’t a unanimous pick. The Bulldogs check in at No. 22. GU got into the top 20 last year but have never been in a preseason poll.

More news below.

Idaho state football playoffs

Click the tab below to see the finalized sites and times for the Idaho state high school football playoffs.

For our Idaho followers: Which teams do you see faring well and why?

Tuesdays with WSU one more time


I got up this morning and there was hot, fresh coffee waiting for me. See, last night I deciphered the instructions and programmed the new coffee maker to start brewing before I got out of bed. And it worked. We have a new motto here at SportsLink, WSU division: Celebrating life’s little victories one day at a time. For more on Washington State, read on.

Vandal Notes: No BSU next two years

We’ve got lots to share from Idaho coach Robb Akey about last week, this week vs. Nevada, penalties and the Vandals’ postseason hopes (“I’m still telling you this is going to be a bowl team this year,” he said today). But the biggest news is that the UI-Boise State rivalry will be suspended at least two years after the Broncos filled up their 2011 schedule with Fresno State and Nevada. Their 2012 schedule was previously booked, meaning the series — if it does start up again — won’t be renewed until 2013 at the earliest.

Click below for more on the Vandals.

WSU starts getting ready for Cal


Washington State’s Monday night football practice is over. The Cougars avoided the wet conditions and practiced in the bubble. We have some notes and some thoughts, so read on.

Shock sign a pair; White honored

Spokane added WR DJ Hall and DB Josh Morris to its roster. More here.

Also, ex-Shock receiver Markee White was honored as offensive player of the week for his big day (nine catches, 152 yards) for Hartford in a recent UFL game. More here.

Gray, Olynyk finish acting gig

Back with some notes from Gonzaga’s media day on Monday. We touch on Steven Gray and Kelly Olynyk finishing up their parts in “Romeo and Juliet,” as well as several other items.

Read on.

Let’s help Big Sky AD’s set new divisions

The Big Sky announced on Monday that Southern Utah and North Dakota, a pair of NCAA Division II schools in the process of transitioning to Football Championship Subdivision status, have accepted invitations to join the Big Sky Conference.

I’ve included links to related stories below. South Dakota has also been offered an invitation and according to BSC commish Doug Fullerton, is likely to accept,  which would bring the league to 14 football-playing schools and, according to Fullerton, force the Sky to break into two sub divisions.

Fullerton also said one might be able to figure out the likely 7-team division breakdowns by lookiing at a map and checking flight services into and out of the cities involved.  I did, and I have my thoughts on how a North-South divisional setup might play out.

But I think we should all help out the Fullerton and the BSC athletic directors by leaving our own opinions on how a North-South split should shake down. So go ahead and weigh in here with your suggestions.

North teams?  South teams?



State football playoff games


Dates and times have officially been set for the other Idaho state playoff football games involving North idaho schools. The 5A playoff, featuring Lake City at Coeur d’Alene, was already set for Friday at 7 p.m.

Click the tab below to see the rest of the schedule.


A sweet Monday around WSU


When I was a kid, the best thing, the absolutely best thing, about attending a Catholic grade school was always getting the day after Halloween off. All Saints Day was the only Catholic holiday I could really get my arms around. While all my friends who went to public school had to get out of bed, shake off the sugar high and head to class, only to sit perplexed while the numbers danced on the blackboard, us uniform-wearing types laid around all day, sorting the Milk Duds from the Butterfingers and giving the dog all the Good & Plenty. Ah, memories. Read on for Washington State news.

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


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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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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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