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College basketball

Cardinals earn regional honors

North Idaho College men’s coach Jared Phay (above) has been named the Region 18 coach of the year and NIC freshman forward Renado Parker (Seattle) was named the region’s player of the year.

On the women’s side, Bianca Cheever, a sophomore guard from Geelong, Australia, was named to the All-Region 18 first team. Teammates Lindsay Wimett (sophomore forward, Missoula) and Kia Gibson (sophomore center, Nine Mile Falls) were named to the second team. Natalie Nichols (sophomore guard, Rathdrum) earned honorable mention.

Joining Parker on the Region 18 men’s team is NIC sophomore point guard Melvin Jones (Seattle). Sophomore guard Shawn Henderson (Annapolis, Md.) made the second team and Lateef Williams (sophomore guard, Annapolis, Md.) and Guy-Marc Michel (freshman center, Sainte Marie, Martinique) earned honorable mention.

Prep basketball

Ayers resigns at Mt. Spokane

The only boys basketball coach in Mt. Spokane High history, Bill Ayers, has announced his resignation after 12 seasons.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of it,” he said. “I just want to slip away into the night.”

A former Mead assistant, Ayers became head coach when Mt. Spokane opened for the 1997-98 season. During his tenure the Wildcats won one Greater Spokane League title, qualified twice to state and played five times this decade in regional tournaments.

Including head coaching stays in Eatonville and Connell, Ayers’ record was 200-184 – with 125 of those wins with Mt. Spokane.

“It’s kind of like the pastor of a church who’s done all he can do,” Ayers said. “I haven’t lost my enthusiasm and desire, but am thinking maybe it’s time. I’ve been doing it for 36 years and am thinking about possibly retiring from public school education.”

He didn’t rule out eventually coaching somewhere else.

“I think honestly he’s been contemplating this for the last few years,” Mt. Spokane activities coordinator Paul Kautzman said. “He loves the game so much that he wanted to hang around. This year he kind of decided enough. But I don’t think he’s done coaching by any means.”

Kautzman said there is no timetable yet for choosing Ayers’ replacement.

College basketball

Late night for Vandals

The Idaho men try to extend their season tonight at 8:30 in the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Reno, Nev.

The No. 3-seed Vandals take on No. 6 Louisiana Tech. The schools split their season series, with the Bulldogs winning in Ruston, La., 74-63, and UI winning at home 66-58.

In other first-round games today, (5) New Mexico St. plays (4) Boise St. at noon; (9) Fresno St. plays (1) Utah St. at 2:30; and (7) San Jose St. takes on (2) Nevada at 6 p.m.

Mike Vlahovich


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