November 9, 1995 in Sports

Inland Empire

 

In predicted order of finish: LAKE CITY TIMBERWOLVES

1994-95 record: 7-1 IEL, 24-1 overall, state champion

Coach: Dave Stockwell

Years coaching: First as head coach

Career record: None

Top returners: Natalie Telford, 5-8, sr., g; Lindsay Herbert, 5-10, soph., w; Kristi Jacobson, 5-8, sr., w; Laura Tolzmann, 5-7, sr., w; Katie Hatrock, 5-5, junior, pg; Heather Stetson, 6-0, soph., p.

Newcomers: Missy Asher 6-1, sr., p; Alison Asher, 6-3, soph., p.

Bonus shot: A longtime assistant to coach Dave Fealko, Stockwell finally fulfills his dream by becoming a head coach.

Coach’s comment: “The press will continue to be a big part of what we do. We’ll spend a lot more time on the halfcourt game because teams will try to force us to play halfcourt. This is probably going to be the toughest league we’ve had up here in years.”

Outlook: The torch has been passed to Stockwell, who will prove he’s more than capable of continuing the highly successful program established by Fealko. Stockwell will start three sophomores and a junior. So the T-Wolves will not only contend this year but things look good for years to come. It will take a talented team to dethrone LC. T-Wolves open Friday at home against Centennial.

LEWISTON BENGALS

1994-95 record: 5-3, 18-6

Coach: Pat Zink

Years coaching: 3

Career record: 29-16

Top returners: Andrea Gomez, 5-8, sr., w; Laura Bloom, 6-2, jr., p; Stephania Hunt, 5-5, sr., w; Sara McEachern, 6-0, jr., p; Brooke Cushman, 5-10, jr., p; Alison Roberts, 5-4, jr., pg; Brianna Martin, 5-7, jr., w.

Newcomers: Debbie Cain, 5-4, jr., pg; Erin Boettcher, 6-1, sr., p; Amanda Lux, 5-2, sr., g.

Bonus shot: The youth movement Zink embraced three years ago will reap fruit this season.

Coach’s comment: “Our top seven players are the best returning in the league as far as minutes and experience. Lots of times last year we had four sophmores on the floor. This is the best early-season practices in the three years I’ve been here.”

Outlook: The Bengals are ready to challenge Lake City. And the other teams in the league know it. “There will be big expectations put on us from last year. We know it and everybody else knows it. We won’t surprise anybody. But it’s better to have expectations than to be picked to finish last.” Lewiston opens Nov. 21 against Moscow.

SANDPOINT BULLDOGS

1994-95 record: 5-3, 15-7

Coach: Duane Ward

Years coaching: First as girls head coach

Top returners: Alli Nieman, 6-1, sr., p; Tanya Allmaras, 5-9, sr., w-g; Jenna Verby, 5-7, sr., g; Becky Timblin, 5-4, sr., g; Natalie Ward, 5-9, soph., w-p; Kari Gunter, 5-7, sr., g.

Newcomers: Amy Iverson, 5-7, jr., g; Ashley Carlson, 5-10, jr., p.

Bonus shot: Ward spent six years as head boys coach, resigning following the 1990-91 season.

Coach’s comment: “I like the kids’ chemistry and cohesiveness. Most of them played volleyball and I’d like that experience to carry over. We’re going to go out and go after people and attack at both ends of the court.”

Outlook: The big question for Sandpoint is guard play. The Bulldogs return four starters, but must develop consistency at guard. If that comes, watch out because the best player in the state resides in Sandpoint. “We can’t expect Alli (Nieman) to do everything for us all the time. We have to involve all the girls for us to be successful.” Bulldogs open Nov. 17 against visiting Lakeland.

COEUR D’ALENE VIKINGS

1994-95 record: 0-8, 3-18

Coach: Sheila Sharp

Years coaching: 4, 2nd at CdA

Career record: 18-45

Top returners: Jill Pederson, 5-9, sr., g; Andrea Wilkey, 5-10, jr., w; Corey Hansen, 6-0, sr., p; Carrie Cultra, 5-7, jr., g; Amber Orr, 5-3, jr., pg; Kim Pearson, 5-10, sr., p.

Newcomers: Stacy Chambers, 5-5, jr., pg; Kellie Stern, 5-10, freshman, p; Jessica Janke, 5-9, jr., w; Kylee Stolp, 5-5, jr., g.

Bonus shot: Sharp has surrounded herself with solid assistants: Former Vik Trina Runge (junior varsity), former Kellogg standout Keith Mitchell (sophomores), ex-Vik Keri Schwenke (freshman) and Leah (Palmer) McGowan (varsity assistant).

Coach’s comment: “I see a big turnaround this year. It’s nice to have some experience back. The girls didn’t like the taste of last year.”

Outlook: It’s still going to be an uphill battle for the Viks this year, especially with as tough as the league is expected to be. “I see us being able to beat anybody in the league.” Viks open Friday against first-year Eagle of Meridian.

POST FALLS TROJANS

1994-95 record: 3-5, 8-15

Coach: Chris Johnson

Years coaching: 2

Career record: 8-15

Top returners: Heidi Umthun, 5-9, sr., w; Lyndsy Klaudt, 5-6, jr., g; Tarra Thomson, 5-9, sr., f; Kim Beatty, 6-0, sr., p; Jessica Waltz, 5-10, jr., w-p.

Newcomers: Brittany Murphy, 5-7, sr., g; Jennifer Swanstrom, 5-7, soph., pg; Janelle Ruen, 5-11, fresh., g.

Bonus shot: You’ll probably recognize just one player, Umthun, this season. Johnson says a program will be needed to follow his team, but his players will quickly become household names.

Coach’s comment: “These girls are basketball players, they’ve played a lot of ball, they’re just not athletic. The trouble is most of these kids haven’t played together. We’ll be pretty ragged for a while.”

Outlook: Johnson figures his team will be picked near, or at, the bottom, in league. But that’s fine with him. “If I was an outsider looking in I’d have to rank us dead last. That’s where I’d like to start from. I’d be disappointed if that’s where we end up at the end of the season.” Trojans open Tuesday at Lakeland.

, DataTimes MEMO: See related story under the headline: Stockwell hopes stock will hold

This sidebar appeared with the story: PLAYERS TO WATCH 1. Alli Nieman, 6-foot-1, senior, post, Sandpoint 2. Andrea Gomez, 5-8, senior, wing, Lewiston 3. Heidi Umthun, 5-9, senior, wing, Post Falls 4. Lindsay Herbert, 5-10, sophomore, wing, Lake City 5. Jill Pederson, 5-9, senior, wing, Coeur d’Alene

See related story under the headline: Stockwell hopes stock will hold

This sidebar appeared with the story: PLAYERS TO WATCH 1. Alli Nieman, 6-foot-1, senior, post, Sandpoint 2. Andrea Gomez, 5-8, senior, wing, Lewiston 3. Heidi Umthun, 5-9, senior, wing, Post Falls 4. Lindsay Herbert, 5-10, sophomore, wing, Lake City 5. Jill Pederson, 5-9, senior, wing, Coeur d’Alene


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