Archive for April 2011
Back with my game story from Spokane's wild 70-69 AFL win over No. 1 Arizona. Read on for my unedited article that will run in Sunday's S-R.
There's also an earlier, shorter version, filed for the Idaho edition, you can access here.
Sven Bartschi scored one goal and assisted on two others as the Portland Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs returned to form with their fourth one-goal game in the five games of their Western Hockey League playoff seriers.
The Winterhawks took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference finals with a 3-2 win. All three Portland wins have been by one goal.
Only Spokane's 8-3 rout on Friday in Game 4 wasn't close.
The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead 59 seconds in and that held up until Bartschi scored with 33 seconds left in the second. He assisted on two third-period goals but the Chiefs cut it back to one a minute after the Winterhawks final score. Tyler Johnson had Spokane's first goal, Mitch Holmberg had the second.
James Reid made 39 saves for the Chiefs, Mac Carruth had 40 for the Winterhawks. Ty Rattie scored the tie-breaking goal and Craig Cunningham had the game winner.
3 stars: 3, Mac Carruth. 2, Ty Rattie. 1, Sven Bartschi.
Long box below
About 25 minutes from kickoff and Arizona will have the services of talented WR Rod Windsor. He missed a couple of practices earlier this week due to the NFL lockout being lifted, but he went through warmups and is expected to play.
Should be a good one here. Head to twitter.com/SRjimm for ingame updates.
After two days of waiting, Idaho quarterback Nate Enderle was selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft — just 16 picks after fellow Vandal Shiloh Keo. Tight end Daniel Hardy was the third Vandal drafted when Tampa Bay took him in the seventh round.
The three players drafted is a school record since the NFL adopted a shortened version of the draft. The official record came in 1958, when Jerry Kramer and Wayne Walker were two of five Vandals drafted.
The Oakland Raiders selected former EWU running back Taiwan Jones in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. You can read the press release put out by Eastern's sports info folks here. I've got a call in to Taiwan, hoping for some comments from him, and will post a link to the story that will appear in Sunday's S-R.
The Western Hockey League Western Conference finals became a best of three, spread over four days, after the Spokane Chiefs hammered the Portland Winterhawks 8-3 Friday game to tie the best of 7 series 2-2.
Colin Mulvany also prouduced this slideshow, including the Chiefs celebrating their goal 10 seconds into the game.
Levko Koper scored a hat trick and Tyler Johnson and Collin Valcourt each had a goal and two assists.
Game 5 is tonight in Porltand with Game 6 in Spokane on Monday.
3 stars: 3, Darren Kramer. 2, Collin Valcourt. 1, Levko Koper.
Long box below.
Back with a preview of Spokane's home game vs. Arizona on Saturday. Here's a link to the article that will run in the S-R tomorrow.
It'll be interesting to see if Arizona receiver Rod Windsor plays. Windsor, who has signed with the Cleveland Browns, was in limbo earlier this week, sitting out practice when the NFL lockout was lifted, but the appeals court ruling Friday afternoon probably clears the way for Windsor to play — if he made the trip. We'll see tomorrow.
Gonzaga issued a release on Guy Landry Edi signing his letter of intent (haven't seen him referred to as 'Edi' in any recruiting articles or on Midland website). More here.
Also, San Francisco is losing guard Marko Petrovic, who hopes to play overseas.
The Big Sky Conference has released its football schedules for the 2010-15 season, and despite the league's decision to expand to 13 teams in 2010 Eastern Washington and Montana will continue to meet each year.
You can read EWU athletic director Bill Chaves' reaction to the scheduling in this story that appeared in Friday morning's S-R, and you check out the press release from Big Sky headquarters in Ogden, Utah, here.
Midland College wing Guy Landry, who verbally committed to Gonzaga last weekend, followed up by signing his letter of intent this morning. I talked to Midland coach Ross Hodge about Landry for an article that will run in Friday's S-R.
Landry is from France and he will have to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse process.
A couple of updates: Marquise Carter, who hurt his wrist late in the St. John's game, and Robert Sacre, who had wrist issues for a good portion of the season, had MRIs that showed nothing of long-term concern. Both have been able to play and go through conditioning this spring.
Also, Kelly Olynyk and Mike Hart received WCC All-Academic honors, along with three GU women's players. Also on the list is San Diego's Matt Dorr (Mt. Spokane High, CCS product). More here.
Brendan Leipsic socred at7:44 of overtime to lift Portland to a 3-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs at the Arena Wednesday night.
For the third straight game to open the WHL's Western Conference finals the Spokane Chiefs and Portland Winterhawks put on a tense show, with plenty of big saves, like James Reid stopping Ty Rattie in the first period (above).
Game 4 is here Friday with Game 5 back in Portland on Saturday.
Ryan Johansen forced the overtime by scoring with 2:14 left in regulation, his third straight game with a goal and ninth of the playoffs. Levko Koper's goal at 8:40 of the third period had put the Chiefs on top.
The Chiefs made it difficult by going 0-9 on the power play, while Portland was just 0-2.
Spokane scored first with Jared Cowen squeezing a shot past Mac Carruth at 15:07 of the first period but that only lasted 66 seconds before a defensive miscue gave Taylor Peters a breakaway for a short-handed goal.
3 stars: 3, Taylor Peters. 2, Jared Cowen. 1, Brendan Leipsac
I checked in with former Shock linebacker Kevin McCullough, who returns to Spokane on Saturday with the Arizona Rattlers.
In one of the franchise's most controversial moves, Spokane traded McCullough to Oklahoma City last June. The trade of the popular McCullough opened the door for Antwan Marsh to take over at Jack linebacker and the Shock went on to win the ArenaBowl. McCullough finished the year at OKC before joining the Rattlers this season.
McCullough talks about the trade and his current situation with the Rattlers in an article that will run in Thursday's S-R. Here's a link.
The latest AFL poll is out and Arizona remains No. 1. Spokane (2-4) is No .10. Pittsburgh (3-3) didn't make the top 10.
Read on below for several more notes.
The Portland Winterhawks are confident and the Spokane Chiefs know they'll have to bear down for Game 3 of the best-of-7 series. The game is Wednesday night at the Arena. After splitting two games in Portland, the teams will play here again Friday and hustle off to Portland for Game 5 on Saturday. Should the series go the distance, the last four games will be played in five days, with travel after each game.
Every time you turn around it seems like Courtney Vandesloot is doing something special … and the mayor hasn't even given her a key to the city - yet.
After hauling in numberous awards at the NCAA Women's Final Four she headed to ESPN headquarters for the WNBA Draft - where she wsa picked third by the Chicago Sky.
Sunday it was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the Mariners and Tuesday, while she was en route to Detroit to pick up the Nancy Lieberman Award as the nation's best point guard, USA Basketball announced that the Gonzaga senior and 6-8 Baylor junior Brittney Griner were joining the national team tryouts in Las Vegas next month.
This is the first step in determining the team for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Team USA won gold at the world championships in 2010 and all those players are back, plus all that were cut to get down to 12, so Vandersloot faces long odds, but pretty soon some new blood will have to be considered for international cmpetition.
If you want to be impress with the company Vandersloot is keeping, check the roster below.
BASEBALL: Here's a link to our notebook including a lead item on Shadle Park two-sport standout Danny Rowton (pictured above).
SOFTBALL: Here's a link to our notebook with an item of the rebuilding of infields at Lake City and Coeur d'Alene.
The MRI results have yet to come back on the knee injury sustained Saturday by Idaho standout linebacker Robert Siavii, but coach Robb Akey isn't hopeful. “I would expect there’s a good chance it’s torn,” Akey said this morning of Siavii's right ACL.
Siavii led the Vandals in 2010 in tackles with 91 and was expected to be a cornerstone of UI's deep, skilled linebacking corps this fall as a senior. During Idaho's spring game he collided full speed with defensive end Benson Mayowa and running back Ryan Bass trying to bring Bass down in the open field. Siavii said Saturday he would use his available redshirt year if his ACL was indeed torn.
The official results of the MRI should be back within 24-48 hours, Akey said.
The Vandals already lost potential starting safety Thaad Thompson to a torn ACL this spring. Defensive tackle Ryan Edwards also went down with a knee injury, though he's expected back in time for the season. The offense also suffered multiple injuries, but none is expected to be an issue this fall.
The Spokane Chiefs had a delayed trip home on Monday after dropping a 2-1 decision to the Portland Winterhawks (Oregonian story) Sunday night. The series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 Wednesday in the Arena. There is also a story from The Portland Tribune.
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals is tonight, with Kootenay, at home, leading Medicine Hat 2-0.
All of the Greater Spokane League baseball games Monday were washed out and have been rescheduled for Tuesday - weather permitting.
Click the tab below for the updated statistics. Thomas Wakem of University (pictured above) leads in several categories.
As expected the Portland Winterhawks had a lot of jump in the second game of their best-of-7 Western Hockey League playoff series Sunday night after losing the opener of the Western Conference championship 2-1 to the Spokane Chiefs on Friday.
The Hawks took the lead for the first time in the series with a Ryan Johansen power play goal at 7:38 of the second period and that stood up for a 2-1 victory in a game where Spokane had precious few chances.
Game 3 is in Spokane on Wednesday with Game 4 at the Arena on Friday, before the teams return to the Rose Garden next Saturday for Game 5.
3 stars: 3, James Reid, 2, Craig Cunningham, 1 Mac Carruth
Long box below.
Before Easter brunch and a wet slog to the Rose Garden, which might need some beams re-enforced after Trail Blazer fans raised the roof during the NBA comeback yesterday, a short hockey offering.
The Spokane Chiefs expect the Winterhawks to come out flying tonight in Game 2 of the WHL's Western Conference championship after the visitors won the first game 2-1 on Friday. Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune has a lot from the Hawks, who lost the opener last series at home then won three straight, including two in Kelowna.
Guy Landry, a 6-foot-5 wing from Midland Junior College (by way of Paris, France), verbally committed to Gonzaga during his weekend visit. Landry's commitment comes two days after GU announced Manny Arop had been granted his release.
Spokane earned its first road win of the season with a 70-58 victory over No. 2 Orlando on Saturday.
Spokane's defense made four stops and quarterback Kyle Rowley accounted for 10 touchdowns (eight TD passes, two scoring runs) as the Shock improved to 2-4 heading into a home showdown with No. 1 Arizona. The Rattlers (6-0) edged Utah 67-61 in overtime.
Wide receiver Cory Mitchell, the older brother of Eastern Washington University quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had a big day in the Eagles spring scrimmage on Saturday.
It was sunny with a nice breeze. Attendance was solid. Idaho's offense started to click. Everything was rolling for the Vandals this morning, as receiver Justin Veltung put it afterward. But there was one downer in the Silver and Gold game.
We've got details below.
Marek Kalus (12), who played one game in the first round of the playoffs, and Brady Brassart (15, celebrating above), who hadn't played since the first game of the last series, combined for a goal on their first shift, 2:11 into the game, that kick-started the Spokane Chiefs to a 2-1 win over Portland in the first game of the best of 7 series at the Rose Garden Friday night.
Levko Koper scored a lovely power play goal at 4:25 of the second period - all five Chiefs touched the puck in the 8 seconds after the faceoff - but otherwise it was a dominating defense and James Reid being spectacular in goal.
With that 2-0 lead entering the third period, the Chiefs refused to let up, out-shooting the Winterhawks 17-10 to make it 43-28 for the game. But Portland didn't fold, but they also didn't solve Reid, who made 27 saves. The Winterhakws got on board when they pulled goalie Mac Carruth, Ryan Johansen scoring with 24 seconds left.
Game 2 is here Sunday night.
3 stars: 1, James Reid, 2, Mac Carruth, 3, Jared Cowen
Long box below
Spokane needs to start winning some games to recover from a 1-4 start, but the Shock will be underdogs for at least the next two weeks, beginning with Saturday's visit to No. 2 Orlando. Next week Spokane entertains No .1 Arizona.
Here's my Shock-Predators game preview.
It was a much livelier practice than expected for the Vandals this afternoon, and most of the credit goes to former Idaho star Mike Iupati. We've got a full recap and details of a season-ending injury to one of Idaho's defensive backs before the Silver and Gold game on Saturday.
The Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League have signed former Eastern Washington linebacker and 2010 Buchanan Award winner J.C. Sherritt to a professional contract.
You can read more here.
Manny Arop, a valuable reserve as a freshman whose playing time dwindled over the second half of his sophomore season, has been granted his release from Gonzaga and he's expected to continue his career at another school.
Under NCAA transfer rules, the 6-foot-6 wing (No. 10 pictured above) would have to sit out one season if he transfers to another Division I school.
“Manny is an awesome individual, a great teammate, a great guy who just wants the opportunity to go play more somewhere else,” head coach Mark Few said in a Gonzaga release. “He’s been great around our team, our staff and my kids, but he thinks there might be opportunities to play more at another place. He’s going to explore those opportunities. We wish him the best.”
It's hardly a surprising development since Arop didn't play in six of Gonzaga's last 10 games. His only appearance in the last four games (two WCC Tournament games and two NCAA Tournament games) was for 1 minute late in the season-ending loss to BYU.
More on Arop below (and I'll update later if I make connections with Arop).
—Also, I spoke with Gonzaga assistant coach Donny Daniels, who said he's had no contact with anybody at UC Davis (A.D., staff, intermediaries) regarding that school's head coaching position. Frank Burlison of the Long Beach Press-Telegram tweeted recently that Daniels had interviewed for the job, along with Greg Graham, Jim Les, Jay John and Bob Cantu. Not true, according to Daniels.
Click the tab below to see today's menu.
Spokane, masterful in winning close games in its first five seasons, is 0-3 in games decided by a touchdown or less its 1-4 start. The Shock have struggled on both sides of the ball, but the focus of my notebook that will run in Thursday's S-R was the defense.
The numbers aren't pretty, as detailed in the story link.
I got a few minutes on the phone today with former EWU All-American running back Taiwan
Jones, who is waiting to learn his NFL Draft status after opting to forego his senior season as an Eagle and make a big-time paycheck
You can get an early look at the story that will appear in Thursday morning's S-R here.
Record-breaking point guard Courtney Vandersloot, who led the Gonzaga women’s basketball team on a magical run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on Easter Sunday.
The third pick in the WNBA draft by the Chicago Sky became the first player in NCAA history to surpass 2,000 points and 1,000 assists. The Kent, Wash., native won numerous awards and was a consensus All-American.
The Mariners play the Oakland Athletics, with the first official pitch at 1:10 p.m.
After the Zags made the Sweet 16 last year, coach Kelly Graves and Seattle native Vivian Frieson performed the same honor.
The Gonzaga release is here.
The Spokane Chiefs will open the Western Conference finals at Portland Friday night without leading scorer Tyler Johnson as he serves a one-game suspension, the Western Hockey League announced Wednesday afternoon.
Johnson was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for a knee-on-knee hit with Brendan Shinniman of Tri-Cities on Tuesday night. The Americans, leading 1-0 at that point, scored on the power play and took a 3-0 lead into the third period.
The Chiefs rallied for four straight goals and eventually won the game 5-4 in overtime to win the best-of-7 series 4-2. Here is our story, the story from The Tri-City Herald and columnist John Blanchette's take.
“That’s as good of victory as I’ve been involved in in junior hockey,” said Spokane coach Don Nachbaur, a former WHL player, who is coaching is in his 13th season coaching in the league. “Being three goals down and coming back against a good team like that is a testament to their character.”
The Chiefs won the last two games of their first-round series with Chilliwack without Johnson, who had 115 points and led the league with 53 goals, when he was injured in Game 3.
Meanwhile, the WHL made it official, Chilliwack is relocating to Victoria.
After one of their most amazing comebacks in memory, Levko Koper (25 above, celebrating in the Colin Mulvany photo) gave the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 series clinching win over the Tri-City Americans 6:39 into overtime Tuesday night, bringing a crowd of 6,083 to their feet in the Arena.
The Chiefs head to Portland for the Western Conference Finals beginning Friday.
Fighting to stay alive, the Americans showed much more life than the Chiefs, building a 3-0 lead after two periods but Spokane came back with three goals in the first 3:13 of the third period to tie the game.
3 stars: Patrick Holland, TC; 2, Kenton Miller. 1, Koper
Long box below
On Sunday CBS' “60 Minutes” aired a report on a sexual assault case at University of the Pacific in 2008. Standout basketball player Steffan Johnson was expelled from Pacific for his role in the incident, and three months later Johnson ended up at the University of Idaho. The decision by coach Don Verlin to pursue and sign Johnson was the subject of criticism during the CBS report.
Verlin didn't return a phone call to comment. But we filed this story about the scrutiny facing UI.
Also, Idaho announced today that Mark Schlereth bobblehead dolls — in honor of the former Vandal offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst — will be made available for each season ticket account through July 22. The Schlereth bobblehead is the first in line of Vandal Legend bobbleheads that will be unveiled in subsequent years and given with season ticket accounts.
Eastern Washington's new head men's basketball coach Jim Hayford announced Tuesday afternoon that he has hired former NBA player Craig Ehlo, Craig Fortier and Shantay Legans as his assistants.
BASEBALL: Ferris coach Jim Sharkey (pictured above) pulls rare double duty.
SOFTBALL: Shadle Park benefits from transfers, fresh arms.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 3:30 P.M.
Klay Thompson filed the paperwork today for the NBA draft, though he won't be signing with an agent. That gives him until May 8 to decide to return to Washington State if he wants. But after listening to him talk for about 15 minutes, it was pretty clear the junior will only be back at WSU next season if something extraordinary happens. UPDATE: We have our story up on the site. You can read it here.
The WIAA just announced at a meeting in Renton a couple of tweaks to the boys and girls state basketball formats, but nothing major. You can read a story by Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune here. Here is the Seattle Times' story by Sandy Ringer.
Here's essentially what was decided:
- Regional games, as they will be called in the future, are single elimination. So as a higher-seeded team you can't lose the first game and still come back and WIN a state championship.
- Boys will play on Friday and girls will play on Saturday with the format alternating every year.
- WIAA head cheese Mike Colbrese would like to see Saturday consolation trophy games eliminated. But the board sez that's too big of a change after the change from a year ago.
Just a reminder that if you want to follow prep updates, particularly anything baseball, on Twitter, you can follow them at twitter.com/srpreps.
For track updates: twitter.com/srtrim
For softball updates, twitter.com/srjimm
For soccer updates, twitter.com/srbergum
Yep, it's vacation time. But news intervenes. Washington State will hold a press conference this afternoon at 1:15 p.m. and though the school isn't saying what it's about other than his future, we all know. Klay Thompson is filing the paperwork to enter the NBA draft. That isn't what gets me to postpone the vacation. It's the chance to hear from Thompson the whys and wherefores behind his decision. So we'll be on the call and write a story. Stay tuned.
Blake Gal stepped out of the penalty box and into Spokane Chiefs' lore, scoring 4:57 into overtime to give the Spokane Chiefs a 3-2 win and 3-2 series lead over the Tri-City Americans Sunday night.
Game 6 is in Spokane Tuesday night with Game 7, if necessary, on Wednesday.
Seconds after a James Reid glove save saved the Chiefs, the Chiefs broke out and Dominik Uher found Gal down the left wall, where he snapped off a shot that gave them command of the series.
3 stars: 3, Patrick Holland, tC; 2, Jared Cowen, Spo, 1, James Reid, Spo.
Long box below.
Dave Trimmer took in the 50th Pasco Invite track and field meet Saturday and here is his story. A number of locals had good efforts.
Desperation seems to be the buzz word for the Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans as they head into Game 5 tonight tied 2-2 in their best-of-7 Western Hockey League playoff series. A come-from-behind win in double overtime gave the Americans renewed confidence. For long-time Chiefs fans, the name Terry Ryan may be haunting.
Eastern Washington held its second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday and Coach Beau Baldwin liked the way several players are competing for several key positions — including that of backup quarterback . You can read the scrimmage story that appeared in Sunday's S-R here, and you see what EWU's sports information department posted about the scrimmage here.
It's Sunday morning in Spokane, the sun is out and the birds are happy. All's right with the world. And well it should be. Spring football is officially over. We have more on the denouement, Saturday's spring game at Joe Albi Stadium, and some other thoughts, so read on.
Spring football is over. And Washington State won. But has anyone ever lost in the spring? We have more on the final day, so read on.
We've got a report from the Vandals' third scrimmage of spring practice below. Idaho has been ravaged by injuries, the latest coming to left tackle Matt Cleveland. You can read more on the injury situation, and about the Vandals' defensive line, which is deeper than it's been since Robb Akey arrived.
Well, the beer garden is full. The stands, not so much. But there is almost an hour before Washington State's spring game begins. There are a few people staking out spots, including yours truly (those are in the press box). We have some thoughts, so read on.
It's about six hours until Washington State hits the Albi Stadium turf for the Crimson vs. Gray spring game. There's a sprinkle right now, and that probably needs to go away if the Cougars want to draw a big crowd. There's a rumor that always goes around about Spokane fans being of the fair-weather variety. As someone who was part of that collective for many years (and sat out in many cold, wet games at Albi), I don't think it's true, but if the light rain doesn't go away, we may just find out today. Read on for more on football and DeAngelo Casto's decision to leave school early for pro basketball.
Spokane dropped to 1-4 after falling to Utah 69-62 on Friday in Salt Lake City.
The Shock, defending AFL champions, beat the Blaze 68-34 and 77-28 last season. Spokane is in last place in the four-team West Division and now trails Utah and San Jose by two games. Arizona is 4-0 heading into a Saturday game against Kansas City. San Jose faces Tulsa on Saturday night.
Game recap below.
After a few days of trying, I finally got a hold of Washington State junior center DeAngelo Casto. I reached him in Las Vegas, where he is training for the NBA draft. Yes, Casto is declaring for the draft and expects to be playing professionally next year. Read on.
Dateline Pullman. This will be our last report from the wilds of the Palouse for a while. We are making the dangerous trek up 195 to Spokane today, then hunkering down in anticipation of tomorrow’s spring game. We’ll be blogging from the big city over the next couple days as we wrap up spring and all that entails. Then it’s off on vacation. But before we can fly out of here, we have to finish our coverage. Read on for more from WSU and the Pac-12.
Tyler Schmidt's shot from the point 2:32 into the second overtime made it through a crowd in front of the Spokane goal and gave the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 win over the Chiefs Thursday night in Tri-City.
The Ams evened the best-of-7 Western Hockey League playoff series with the Spokane Chiefs 2-2 by overcoming a 2-0 deficit with a three-goal second period before 3,888 fans at the Toyota Center.
Game 5 is back here on Sunday with Game 6 in Spokane on Tuesday.
Spokane goalie James Reid prolonged the game with 1:24 left in the first overtime when he stopped Brendan Shinniman on a penalty shot.
The Chiefs jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Steve Kuhn's power play goal late in the first period and Tyler Johnson's short-handed goal early in the second. Three straight goals in the second period and goalie Drew Owsley rescued the Americans.
Patrick Holland scored on the same power play Johnson scored on, then Kruise Reddick and Braden Shinniman connected to put the Ams up 3-2. They out-shot the Chiefs 15-9 in the second period, ending a nine-period stretch of failing to reach double figures.
With the way Owsley played it looked like that may hold up until Johnson scored a power play goal with 7:43 left in regulation.
3 stars: 3, Drew Owsley. 2, Tyler Johnson. 1, Tyler Schmidt.
Long box below. Here is the story.
Standing out on Rogers Field this evening, I was struck by how calm this spring seemed to be. And, no, I wasn’t admiring the weather. Very little in the way of drama, no big injuries, nothing. And then the calm was broken. Read on.
Spokane gets back to work after a bye week, taking on Utah, which features four ex-Shock players and former offensive coordinator Matt Sauk, on Friday.
Here's my preview (TV info at the bottom).
Don Verlin completed his five-player recruiting haul on Thursday by announcing the signings of Post Falls High guard Connor Hill and Buffalo, N.Y., native Mansa Habeeb, a junior-college guard.
Verlin signed three JC players and two from the high school ranks. Hill was the Idaho 5A player of the year and chose UI over a preferred walk-on opportunity at Washington State.
Read on for more.
It's Thursday and that can mean only one thing: Prep Page.
FEATURE: Ferris senior standout pitcher Spencer Ansett (pictured above) lands full-tuition scholarship to Whitworth University.
COLUMN: Parents can say and demand the darndest things.
TRACK NOTEBOOK: Aric Walden of Newport carries on hurdles tradition.
AREA ROUNDUP: Marc Allert named Post Falls girls basketball coach; Connor Hill of Post Falls signs letter of intent with the University of Idaho; and Carli Rosenthal of Coeur d'Alene signs letter of intent with St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif.
There are not many more Washington State University sports stories left in the 2010-11 academic year. Sure, spring sports are in full bloom, but the biggies, the crowd-drawing sports, football and basketball, are winding down. After nine months. Spring football ends in Pullman today with the last practice on Rogers Field scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m. And basketball will be done sometime in early May, when the roster questions for next year are finally settled. We have more on both, so read on.
As we buzz around the interweb looking for stories to link, our eyes are sometimes drawn to the ads on the websites. The one that caught us today like a fly in a web was a video for the Pima County Fair down in Tucson. The people looked as if they were having so much fun. Riding rollercoasters, eating hot dogs, walking with friends, good times. The mind wanders when vacation is just around the corner. We got back to searching for stories. Read on.
The Spokane Chiefs put the clamps on the Tri-City Americans, regaining the home-ice advantage in the best of-7 Western Hockey League series with a 4-1 win at the Toyota Center in Kennewick Tuesday game.
The Chiefs, leading the series 2-1, stay here for a game Thursday night with Game 5 back here on Sunday.
Dominik Uher gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead about 90 seconds in, snapping a high, hard wrist shot past Drew Owsley. A couple of rebound goals a few minutes apart midway through the second period made it 3-0. Blake Gal got the first one on a power play, off a Corbin Baldwin shot from the point. Kento Miller got the second, banging in a rebound off a Levko Koper shot set up by Anthony Bardaro.
The Americans had a flurry after that but only Neal Prokop's slap shot from the left circle got past James Reid.
The Chiefs had too many great chances to count in out-shooting the Americans 41-21 before Darren Kramer iced it with less than 3 minutes remaining.
The three-stars. 3, Prokop; 2, Jared Cown. 1, Gal
Short box below. Here is the story.
The final week of spring football kicked off this afternoon in the best weather since last October. Figures. Football starts to wind down and it gets nice. Well, maybe it will rain Thursday, I'll be miserable and have something to complain about. One can only hope. For more, and the answer to a question I said I would ask, read on.
Raul Vijil has returned from a serious knee injury suffered last June to be one of the team's most productive receivers — again. That's nothing new for Vijil, who has been with the Shock since their first season in 2006, but the former Eastern Washington Eagle had to work his tail off just to be ready when training camp opened in February.
Here's more on Vijil's recovery from knee surgery.
And here are some notes that were trimmed from my story:
Spokane has several new faces at practice with LB Beau Bell, WR Adron Tennell and DL Jonathan Williams recently activated from injured reserve. “We purposely didn’t sign any new guys because we knew some guys were coming off IR,” head coach Rob Keefe said. “It’ll either be practice squad or active roster for those guys.” … LB Antwan Marsh, who missed the Kansas City game with a concussion, practiced Monday and Tuesday. … K Taylor Rowan worked out for Omaha of the UFL on Monday.
SOFTBALL: Lake City sophomore pitching sensation Casey Stangel (pictured above) hasn't allowed a run in 38 innings.
BASEBALL: The Great Northern League is tight at the top along with other assorted notes.
With the Spokane Chiefs gone for a week - if not for the season - with soft-pedaled today's Western Hockey League playoff game at Tri-City. The Chiefs, tied with the Americans 1-1 in their best-of-7 second-round series, play in Tri Thursday and Sunday as well. They have to win one to regain home ice, but they need more since the Ams proved in Game One they can win in Spokane. Game 6, if necessary, is at the Arena next Tuesday.
As the host newspaper, the Tri-City Herald had a bigger advance … and note that TC defenseman Tyler Schmidt was suspended for tonight's game because of a game misconduct last game … and the Chiefs were fined $250 because the player Schmidt hit, Darren Kramer, went to the TC lockerroom, opened the door and confronted Schmidt. … Don't know the exact details of that but there was a WHL official at the game, so it apparently wasn't as serious as the Americans made it out to be after the game, but wasn't a nothing incident as the Chiefs hinted.
One more thing … Chilliwack. The Bruins is movin' … and it hasn't been a pretty process. You've got to question the league and the owners in this situation.
Better late than never, my story on Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot and U-Hi grad Angie Bjorklund both being drafted by the Chicago Sky of the WNBA.
For other stories I found, keep reading.
Couldn't ask for a prettier day, with the sun shining, not a cloud to be seen and warmth on the way. It's almost as if Nike has rebranded April. Maybe it can pay my taxes as well? There is some Washington State news to report, so read on.
Just got home from the Washington State uniform-unveiling event. Some thoughts and photo links, so read on.
Click the tab below to see the first batch of Greater Spokane League baseball statistics.
Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot became the highest drafted basketball player with local ties when the Chicago Sky selected her with the third pick in the WNBA Draft Monday afternoon.
The Sky added University High School graduate Angie Bjorklund, from Tennessee, in the second round, the 17th pick overall.
With Tacoma native Alex Montgomery, who averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds at Georgia Tech, going to the New York Liberty as the 10th pick in the first round, that's three players from Washington in the first 17 picks.
Keep reading, there is more now and we'll have more later.
It's a springtime Monday, which means there aren't a lot of links to pass along. But there are a couple of things to talk about, so read on.
Gonzaga women's basketball coach Kelly Graves is in Conneticut but there is no truth to the rumor that he is replacing UConn Geno Auriemma, who is headed to coach UCLA so he can be closer to Hollywood.
No, Graves is joining his star point guard Courtney Vandersloot at ESPN for today's WNBA Draft. He flew into Hartford on Sunday and is now in Bristol.
Some last minute reading as you wait for the Draft, which begins at noon … ESPN will be sure to let you know where to tune in.
ESPNW projects Vandersloot at No. 5 to Los Angeles Sparks, but anticipates a trade. WNBA.com had a Q&A with Vandersloot. In case you missed it, Saturday's post had several other links relating to Vandersloot and local product Angie Bjorklund awaiting the draft. Plus, Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times checks in with Vandersloot and the prospects of a couple other local products.
Check back early this afternoon for news on the draft or follow tweets at SRtrim.
UPDATE: Monday morning, computer issues kept us from linking Sunday night.
The Spokane Chiefs rebounded from a disappointing opener, cashing in on three of five power plays, to whip the Tri-City Americans 6-2 Sunday night and even their best-of-7 Western Hockey League playoff series 1-2.
The next three games are in Kennewick Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Spokane came out of the first period with a 2-1 lead on a pair of Mitch Holmberg goals. Then in the second it was Matt Marantz, Kevko Koper and Steve Kuhn.
The Americans pulled Drew Owsley and put in 15-year recent Bantam signee Eric Comrie for the third period. Justin Fester scored for the Americans but then Tyler Johnson got that back. Holmberg, Koper and Johnson had power play goals.
Three stars: 3, Tyler Johnson. 2, Jared Cowen. 1, Mitch Holmberg
Long box below.
Ever get that antsy feeling as you near vacation? You know, the one that forces you to start making lists of everything you have to get done before you can leave? Me neither. That's why, on the desk next to me, is a list three-miles long of things I've got to do before the middle of next week. Atop the list? This Sunday's morning post. Read on.
A couple of first period goals where James Reid couldn't control the puck and his defense wasn't there to bail him out cost the Spokane Chiefs in their West Hockey League playoff game with the Tri-City Americans.
Kruise Reddick and Brendan Shinniman took advantage and then Jordan Messier added a goal midway through the third period to give the Americans a 3-1 win in the best-of-7 opener at the Arena. Game 2 is tonight in the Arena.
The Chiefs out-shot the Americans but struggled to get the puck past Drew Owsley, who ddin't have to make a lot of specular plays. Steve Kuhn had the Spokane goal late in the first period.
Though Reid gave up those early goals he also stopped a third period penalty shot by Carter Ashton.
Three stars: 3, Reddick; 2, Kuhn; 1, Owsley.
Long box below.
I visited with Courtney Vandersloot and Angie Bjorklund about Monday's WNBA Draft, as well was local WNBA player Briann January. Needless to say, Vandersloot is now a media darling, that's for people who waited until the NCAA Tournament to learn what we've known around here. But she's the subject of a story on ESPNW and she wrote a diary item for USA Today. Just as impressive, she was third in the Wooden Award voting behind Maya Moore and Brittney Griner, impressive company.
For those of you not streaking into the Arena for Game One of the Western Hockey League second-round playoff series, there were advances today for the Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans. Hope the series is as good as the participants are expecting.
Gonzaga recruit Kevin Pangos will play on the World Select team that faces its U.S. junior counterparts tonight in the NIke Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland. More on Pangos and the matchup here (also a Q&A with Pangos). The World team is represented by eight countries. Pangos is from Ontario, Canada.
Here are the rosters for both teams.
The game is at 7 p.m., but it will be televised on Root Sports (former FSN) at 9:30 p.m.
You couldn't have asked for a better morning for a spring scrimmage in Pullman. The sun was shining, the breeze was not intrusive and Martin Stadium was full. OK, the last one is not true, but the rest of the day was pleasant. Read on for more on the scrimmage.
The next-to-last spring scrimmage will get started in less than two hours, so we better get out to Martin Stadium. What a difference a week makes, in the weather at least. The sun is out. It's expected to be in the mid-40s by the time the scrimmage ends. Heck, why wouldn't it be nice? It's Mom's Weekend. They always deserve the best. Read on.
Spokane has made a couple more moves during its bye week, activating LB Beau Bell and DL Jonathan Williams from injured reserve. On Thursday, the Shock released LB Chris Hemphill.
Jonathan Williams is not to be confused with Jon Williams, who is also a defensive lineman and picked off a pass in the Kansas City game. Both are 6-foot-3, but Jonathan weighs 300 pounds, Jon about 260.
Spare time this week was spent connecting with Courtney Vandersloot and Angie Bjorklund as they await Monday's WNBA draft. Our story for Sunday's paper, which includes local product Briann January, a former first-round pick, giving her thoughts, will be up late Saturday or early Sunday, so be sure to come back.
There are other stories, plenty from ESPN.com, which, of course, has a vested interest as the host for the draft. The 12-team, 3-round draft is at noon on the ESPN stations. Vandersloot is going to go in the Top 10, Bjorklund is also considered a top prospect.
For a roundup, try Jayda Evans' women's hoops blog at The Seattle Times, which indicates some area stars might be shopping for places to go after going with Xavier and Cal, which lost their coaches. It might help that the X coach is now running the Huskies. The Cal coach bolted for Virginia, and of course UCLA is open with Nikki Caldwell headed to LSU.
The Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans jump into action on Saturday at the Arena. As the game nears, we took a quick look back at their classic 2008 series, which still has a few participants preparing for the next champion.
Shock head coach Rob Keefe fielded questions from fans for an hour Thursday in a live chat through The Spokesman-Review's website spokesman.com. You can access a replay of the Q & A here.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:10 A.M.
Friday means a lot of things this time of year around a college campus. We won't get into most of them, but in Pullman it means a day off from spring football. No practice today, as Washington State readies for its penultimate scrimmage of the spring. It's scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday morning in Martin Stadium. Of course, the on-field scrimmage pales in comparison – to some – to the off-field happenings Monday night in Spokane. That's when WSU will reveal its new Nike-branded uniforms (and not just football, but other sports as well). Yep, the tension and anticipation around here is palatable. We'll bite our tongue (and hope we don't bleed the wrong color of crimson for goodness sakes), refrain from any snarky comments and just say, read on.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 9 P.M.
Though Washington State held a non-tackling practice Thursday, one of four it has to hold during the 15 spring workouts, there was a bit more intensity and focus on the field, something WSU coach Paul Wulff noticed was lacking Tuesday and praised on Thursday. For more on that and an injury update, read on.
EWU's sophomore point guard Glen Dean, after considering the possibility of transferring, announce Thursday afternoon that he will remain with the Eagles and play for Coach Jim Hayford, who was hired late last month to replace Kirk Earlywine, the man who first convinced Dean to come to Eastern.
You can read more here. And be sure to check back for updates.
A little bit of Spokane Chiefs news as the second-round playoff series with Western Hockey League rival Tri-City nears.
First, I draw your attention to this artcile on former Chief Kurt Sauer that we ran in the newspaper on Thursday. It's quite a sad tale.
The best-of-7 playoff series begins Satuday at the Arena, with game 2 on Sunday (1 hr. early faceoff, 6 p.m.). Games 3-4-5 are next week in Tri on Tuesday, Thursday and, if necessary, Sunday again. Games 1 & 4 are on SWX.
Saturday's game is Buck Night for dogs and cola. Fans will be given a white towel and are encouraged to wear white both nights for a White Out.
Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald had a chat with a star from both teams who played youth hockey together.
Rob Keefe has had a huge impact on the Spokane Shock arena football team, as both a player and coach. Keefe was a fan favorite as a defensive back for the Shock in their debut season in 2006, a season that ended with the Shock capturing the league title. Keefe took over as head coach last season and led the Shock to the Arena Football League title.
This season has tested Keefe. The Shock lost their first three games, but recovered in a big way with a 61-34 win over Kansas City last Friday in the Arena.
With a bye this week, Keefe has agreed to take time from his schedule to answer questions from fans in a live chat Thursday at noon.
If you have questions about the Shock or coach Keefe, be sure to check in at spokesman.com/sportschat at noon on Thursday. Use the widget to the right to sign up for a reminder. You can submit a question in advance by sending it to email@example.com.
It should have been a quiet morning, a real quiet morning. But there is more to read than we ever expected. Plus, there is a smattering of snow on the ground outside, which will probably be gone by the time we finish writing this post, so read on.
Chris Hemphill's stay in Spokane was a short one. He was signed last week when linebacker Antwan Marsh (concussion) couldn't play in the Kansas City game.
Hemphill left in the first half of Spokane's win over Kansas City with a quad injury and didn't return. On Wednesday, the Shock released the 6-foot-5 linebacker/wide receiver. Spokane has a bye this week and Marsh is expected to be ready to go next week.
Arizona remained No. 1 in the latest poll.
I talked with Coach Beau Baldwin and several of his players — including University of Washington transfer running back Demitrius Bronson — on Tuesday afternoon, just before Eastern Washington went through its first spring practice in full pads.
Bronson was eager to start contact work in an effort to become the Eagles' starting running back. But from Baldwin and quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had to say, the stocky 5-foot-10, 235-pounder from Kent has already raised a few eyebrows.
You can read more here.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 3 P.M.
The Washington State Cougars got back on the football field yesterday and we were there. Though more than a few people came by to tell us how silly we looked with a wool cap on. Wait, that wasn't it. It was the wool cap covered by another hat. That was the problem, or as one WSU equipment guy (who shall remain nameless so my legions of fans don't picket his home) said, “that's not a good look for you.” My retort, after eight hours of thinking about it? “What is?” That's one of the perks of being a bit on the dumpy, not-so-good-looking side, nothing looks stylish on you so you don't have to care. For more … on WSU football … read on.
We've been off the practice field for a while and our feet now have a bit of feeling in them. So we can put together our blog post because, as many of you probably suspected, we do a lot of writing with our toes. Read on.
Before I start this Spokane Chiefs post, I want to pass this along … former Chiefs goalie Dustin Tokarski, (pictured above) playing for Tampa Bay's AHL team in Norfolk, Va., was taken out of a game Saturday after getting cut in the neck with a skate. It required 30 stitches and Tokarski and a teammate posted the pix on Twitter. (While on the Bolt Prospects page, check down the right side to see where Tyler Johnson is among the Lightning prospects before he plays a professional game.)
The Chiefs play Tri-City in a rare 2-3-2 series. The usual scheduling is because both buildings are full next weekend. The Chiefs lost this Friday to Elton John. The teams stretched the 3 out in Tri just for pacing (and I think they want me to drive a lot) because next weekend there is an Amway Convention in the Arena and a two-day youth wrestling tournament in the Toyota Center.
So, since the first game isn't until Saturday, our stories won't begin until later in the week, giving me an opportunity to catch up on my other duties.
Saturday, April 9th
Sunday, April 10th
Tuesday, April 12th
Thursday, April 14th
Sunday, April 17th
Tuesday, April 19th
Wednesday, April 20th
The Eastern Washington Eagles will practice in pads for the first time this spring on Tuesday afternoon. I will be heading to Cheney to take in at least part of the practice session, which starts at 4 p.m. I am looking forward to getting my first look at running back Demitrius Bronson, the Eagles' sophomore-to-be, who just transferred from the Univesity of Washington.
Check back for an early look at the practice story that will run in Wednesday morning's S-R, and also check out this story about EWU coach Beau Baldwin's and his preparations to throw out the first pitch at Safeco Field in Seattle, prior to the Mariners' game against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
Here's our baseball notebook. Pictured above is University three-sport standout Thomas Wakem.
Here's our softball notebook.
It's nearly cloudless right now in parts of the Inland Northwest, but the weatherman is calling for wind, rain showers and some snow later this evening. In other words, perfect spring weather around these parts. Appropriate, as Washington State returns to spring football practices today. We have more, so read on.
From the nasty wind and brief rain to the sloppy play on offense, it wasn't a memorable first scrimmage of the spring for the Idaho Vandals. But, like Robb Akey said afterward, it was just the beginning. Idaho will scrimmage three more times — the next two Saturdays before the Silver and Gold game on April 23.
Click here for our report from the scrimmage, which centers on Arizona State transfer Ryan Bass, and click below for lots of notes.
Sometimes Paul Wulff will answer a question about spring practice with a quick statement about injuries. As in, the Cougars didn't have any so it was a good day. I confess, it happens often enough I sometimes do the mental equivalent of rolling my eyes. I have just heard it so many times. Well, I vow never to do the mental eye-rolling thing again. Not after reading the links today, especially the ones from the Arizona schools. We have said links, plus more from Washington State's scrimmage, so read on.
Harv Clark, the longtime public address announcer for Gonzaga men's and women's basketball games, died Friday after a lengthy battle with heart disease. He was 69.
After introducing the starting five for each team, Clark led fans to the opening tip with his trademark line: “Let's pllllaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy some basketball.” His last season with the GU men was 2007. Clark had a 51-year career in radio.
Here's an article on Clark by Carolyn Lamberson that will run in Sunday's S-R.
Washington State's first scrimmage of the spring – last Saturday the Cougars scrimmaged but only for about 40 percent of practice; this week it was all they did after warming up – was held in spring-like weather. And by that I mean it was sunny at times, it rained at times, it hailed at times and the wind blew all the time. But there was some interesting stuff going on, so read on.
Make that consensus All-American.
Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot was named to the State Farm Coaches' All-America team, announced Saturday at the Women's Final Final in Indianapolis.
“I continue to be humbled by all these accolades,” Vandersloot said through a Gonzaga release. “To have my name associated with these other extremely talented athletes is an honor. I want to thank the WBCA and State Farm. And I can't thank Gonzaga enough. I am here today receiving this award because of all their support and the environment they created for me to succeed.”
Earlier this week the three-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year was named to the Associated Press All-America second team, the USBWA All-American team, the Wooden Award All-America team and won the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation.
On Sunday she will received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the top player 5-foot-8 or shorter, at an awards banquet in Indianapolis. That honor was announced a month ago.
For more on the State Farm release ndersloot stats, read on.
If you are attending Washington State's first official scrimmage this morning in Pullman, I suggest you take along two things. A bagful of towels and an umbrella. The scrimmage, set to start at 12:30 (a time change from earlier) and run about an hour, should be played in steady showers (the Weather Channel says 60 percent chance of that), thus the umbrella. The towels? So you can wipe off a Martin Stadium seat. No one wants to sit in a puddle. If you don't want to lug along either item, then bring binoculars. That way you can sit under the press box and still see what's going on down on the field. For more, read on.
Back with my game story from Spokane's 61-34 win over Kansas City on Friday. The Shock (1-3) have a bye week before visiting Utah on April 15th.
Kyle Rowley had seven touchdown passes as Spokane rolled to a 61-34 win over Kansas City on Friday.
Short recap below. Complete game story in about 75 minutes.
Spokane and Kansas City are about 20 minutes from kickoff at the Arena. Just a reminder: In-game updates at Twitter.com/SRjimm.
I'll post a short game story here just after the final horn. I'll also post a final game story at about 12:15.
Gonzaga gives Kelly Graves, who has taken the Gonzaga women's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament four times in five years, including the last three, a new 10-year contract
Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot was named the winner of the Nancy Liberman Award by the Rotary Club of Detroit. The award recognizes the nation’s top collegiate point guard in women’s Division I basketball. The criteria for the award are the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personified Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman during her career. Sportswriters from across the country determined the award winner and finalists.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 12:35 P.M.
Just got off the phone with Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone, who held an end-of-the-season press conference. Nothing really new or different, but we have some notes, so read on.
I staffed my first Greater Spokane League baseball game Thursday - Mt. Spokane at University. Here's my game story. Spencer Mallonee of Mt. Spokane slides in safely at home in the picture above as U-Hi catcher Hayden Powell scoops up the throw.
Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) boys basketball coach David Pratt has been fired.
Here are The Associated Press All-State boys and girls basketball teams.
Here's a link to the All-Idaho boys and girls basketball teams in the Idaho Statesman newspaper. Connor Hill of Post Falls, Carli Rosenthal of Coeur d'Alene and Cassie Thompson of Timberlake were named players of the year for their respective classifications.
Yes it is April Fool's Day. But we learned long ago not to mess with AFD jokes in print (they have a tendency to backfire, at least they did in my early journalism years), and we will follow over on this post as well. We'll keep it straightforward. Heck, there's enough to laugh at out there without having to make stuff up. Read on.