Taelor Karr from Gonzaga and Katie Baker, a Montana senior from Coeur d’Alene, received honorable mention recognition when the web publication Full Court, which is dedicated to women’s basketball, named its Mid-Major All-America teams.
Karr, a 5-foot-8 senior guard from Paola, Kan., played her last two seasons at GU after transferring from Kansas State.
She averaged 11.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals as a senior and was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year.
Baker, a 6-0 senior forward from Lake City via Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, was the Big Sky Conference MVP for the champion Grizzlies after averaging 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. She had seven double-doubles as a senior.
D’shara Strange, a 5-10 junior guard from Northern Colorado who also received honorable mention, was the only other Big Sky or WCC player honored by Full Court.
Spokane-based Northwest Blazers girls teams recently won two divisions in the 17th annual Adidas/AZ Elite NCAA Certified Basketball Tournament in Gilbert, Ariz., one of the largest college viewing tournaments in the Western United States.
Blazers Heat won five straight games to capture the Gold Division, while the Blazers had the two finalists in the 15U division with Blazers Future defeating Blazers Brooks for the championship.
Steve Klees is head coach of the Northwest Blazers program.
Kristen Hansen, a Western Washington freshman from Mead, who tied for the second-best scoring average in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, was named the GNAC Freshman of the Year in women’s golf and also earned a spot on the all-conference first team.
Hansen had an 80.8 scoring average and finished sixth in the GNAC championship tournament.
• Whitworth landed three players on the All-Northwest Conference women’s golf team.
Senior Emily Guthrie was a first-team selection for a third straight year and was joined on the first unit by freshman Chelsea Bayley from Lakeland. Sophomore Nicole Lomax was named to the second team.
Guthrie was second in both the NWC Fall Classic and NWC Championship Tournament this spring. Bayley finished seventh and Lomax eighth in the championship tournament.
• Three Mead graduates have played a role in the success of the Missouri Western baseball team, which has a 34-7 record and won the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Division II Central Region Championship, the first in school history.
Grant Fink, a senior infielder, is the No. 2 hitter on the team with a .411 average and leads the team with 12 home runs. He’s driven in 45 runs. Jake Schrader is a junior catcher hitting .243 with 11 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs. Chris Allen, also a transfer from Spokane Falls, is a right-handed senior pitcher who has no record while being used primarily as a relief pitcher.
The Griffons are ranked fifth in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine Top 30 for NCAA Division II schools.
• Eight student-athletes with area ties at Eastern Washington were named to Big Sky Conference All-Academic teams for winter quarter.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average or better and play in at least half the team’s competitions.
Area athletes honored by sport:
Men’s basketball – Parker Kelly, sophomore, Gonzaga Prep.
Women’s basketball – Chenise Pakootas, junior, Mead.
Men’s indoor track and field – Jordan Curnutt, senior, Mead; Isaac Seward, freshman, Central Valley.
Women’s indoor track and field – Anandae Clark, fr., Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls); Stephanie Dye, sr., Riverside; Acacia Smith, so., CV; Amber Troyer, sr., CV.
• Eight Idaho student-athletes with area ties were named to Western Athletic Conference all-academic teams for winter sports.
To qualify, an athlete must have completed at least one academic year, have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests.
The area athletes by sport:
Men’s basketball – Connor Hill, sophomore, Post Falls.
Men’s indoor track and field – Colton Hastings, so., Colville.
Women’s indoor track and field – Megan Dempsey, junior, Eastern Washington/University; Emily Paradis, jr., Moscow, Idaho; Ellen Rouse, senior, Orofino; Julia Veseth, sr., Moscow.
Women’s swimming and diving – Rachel Millet, so., Ferris; Rachel Peterson, so., Coeur d’Alene High School.
Letters of intent
Eastern Washington volleyball: Three Serbian players transferring from U.S. community colleges with two years of eligibility – Stanka Panic, 5-foot-9 outside hitter, and Milica Nisavic, 6-foot setter, former high school teammates, transferring from Casper, Wyo., College, and Sofija Ivanovic, 6-0 outside hitter. All were all-region selections.
Central Washington volleyball: Leanna Carr, Colville, 5-5 setter, helped Colville to four straight State 1A championship tournaments, finishing first as a junior, Great Northern League co-MVP as a senior. Set school assist records with 917 in a season 2,785 for her career.
Idaho volleyball: Tineke Bierma, College of Southern Idaho, 6-3 junior outside hitter who led team to NJCAA national championship; Terra Varney, Murrieta, Calif., 5-8 freshman defensive specialist, all-state; and Stephanie Hagins, University of Hawaii, 6-4 junior middle blocker, who also played one season at Washington State.
Gonzaga women’s soccer: Sydney Anderson, Ojai, Calif., defender; Kelly Bieraugel, San Marcos, Calif., midfielder; Chelsea Carey, Trabuca Canyon, Calif., goalkeeper; Kristin Hayman, Redmond, Wash., midfielder; and Mary-Margaret Joy Raap, Beaverton, Ore., defender. All will be freshmen.
Idaho women’s soccer: Katarina Comesana, Sunnyvale, Calif., junior center back/center forward from De Anza Community College; Taryn Phillips, Campbell, Calif., junior forward/midfielder from De Anza CC; and Kimberly Jaderlund, Mora, Sweden, freshman, goalkeeper, made Swedish all-district team.
Carroll College football: Twin brothers Tim Pays, 6-3, 255, All-Inland Empire League 4A as a senior, and Todd Pays, 6-3, 250, both offensive linemen from Sandpoint. Both are honor-roll students with GPAs above 4.0.