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NIC greets Griffitts with sense of relief

North Idaho College women’s basketball coach Chris Carlson was trying to figure out how he was going to defend the gem that got away.

Then he got a grand surprise: The one he thought got away came back.

Coeur d’Alene basketball standout Kama Griffitts, who gave NIC’s Scenic West Athletic Conference foe Snow College an oral commitment in January, has changed her mind. She’s staying home, opting to play for NIC.

“I told her, ‘We were starting to look for somebody to defend you,’ ” Carlson said. “I wasn’t looking forward to having to defend her. I don’t know if we were going to have to get two people or one. We still might (sign) those two defenders I was looking at.”

Suffice to say, Carlson didn’t have to give it a thought when Griffitts called asking if she could be a Cardinal.

Griffitts, a marvelously talented 6-foot wing, wants to play at the NCAA Division I level eventually. She figures it will be easier to get there from here than Ephraim, Utah.

She has the ability to play Division I now, but not the grades. For that she takes responsibility.

“I’m not a dumb person. I just need to apply myself,” Griffitts said. “I never do my homework. I’m a lazy person (in the classroom). I need to change my habits.”

Griffitts, the 2008 5A player of the year who led CdA to a second straight state title, must receive an AA degree at NIC to qualify academically at a Division I school.

“I’m definitely going to put my nose in the books,” she said.

The NJCAA signing date begins April 8.

“She’s a terrific player,” Carlson said. “She will have an immediate impact.”

Carlson has about 10 spots he must fill from a sophomore-laden team that captured the Region 18 championship and advanced to the NJCAA tournament for the first time since 1997.

He could have two CdA starters in his lineup next year. Amy Warbrick, a 5-5 guard, has given Carlson an oral commitment.

“She’s competed against the best in the nation,” Carlson said of Warbrick. “She can certainly help us out next year, too.”

Carlson also has a commitment from Kiki Edwards-Teasley, a 6-2 post/wing from Lewiston who is the daughter of former NBA player James Edwards.

“She’s got a silky smooth shot like her dad,” Carlson said. “She’s long, has good hands and a great touch around the basket.”

On your mark

The annual Christina Finney Co-Ed Relays will be held this afternoon at Post Falls.

Post Falls coach Wade Quesnell had to cancel the meet last year after weather twice forced postponement.

“It’s going to happen no matter what. We’re not canceling this year,” Quesnell said.

The meet begins with field events at 1 and running events at 2.

In case you missed it

Those who watched the District I All-Star games last Friday at Mullan – and they just about filled the gym – were treated to some rousing action.

The West boys and girls topped the East teams. For the record, it was the West boys 114-97 and the West girls 72-52.

Some of the top senior girls couldn’t play. Griffitts of CdA and Katie Baker of Lake City didn’t play and Jordan Schoening of Post Falls had a conflict with softball.

Jessica Ross of LC led the West with 16 points and Camille Reynolds of Lakeland had 13. Warbrick of CdA, who was named the MVP, led the East with 24.

St. Maries’ Aaron Corsi led the West with 33 points and was named MVP. Austin Black of Lakeland had 19. Logan Frederickson of LC led the East with 20.

Nate Frisbie of LC won the slam-dunk contest. He won the week before at the state all-star game.

“He was the crowd favorite the whole night,” Mullan athletic director Corey Miller said.

Warbrick won the girls 3-point shooting contest and Bryce Olin of Sandpoint held off Jared Bilaski of Wallace in a tiebreaker for the boys title.