The 20th annual Jack Blair Memorial Girls Basketball Classic will likely be similar to the previous 19.
In other words, the Metro, which consists of the best Greater Spokane League players, is favored to beat the Region, consisting of North Idaho’s best and the best outside Spokane.
Hard to argue against the GSL’s dominance. It has won 18 of 19 games.
This year’s game, though, features the top players from two state championship teams – 4A Mead and 5A Post Falls.
And four Post Falls players will get one final chance to play in front of their fans when the game is held May 29 at Post Falls. Tipoff is at 7:30.
Ron Adams, the game’s founder, is surprised the all-star contest has lasted as long as it has.
“I just thought it’d last a couple of years,” Adams said.
If the game – the only one of its caliber in the region – is going to last beyond this year, Adams said, a couple things must happen.
“I need more sponsors,” Adams said. “And people need to come to the game. If people don’t come to this game there’s no reason to continue to have it.”
All the first- and second-team GSL players are on the Metro team along with a couple of honorable mentions. This year’s roster includes Mariah Cunningham (Central Valley), Kayleigh Valley (University), Kaycee Hert (Shadle Park), Laura Stockton (Gonzaga Prep), Taylor Howlett (Lewis and Clark), Delany Junkermier (Mead), Madison Hovren (CV), Brittney Johnson (Ferris), Otiona Gildon (G-Prep), Brooke Reilly (Mt. Spokane), Jade Redmon (Mead) and Mackenzie McPhee (Mead). Quantae Anderson of Mead is the coach.
The Region roster includes Natawnee Spencer (Lapwai), Caelyn Orlandi (Coeur d’Alene), Katie King (Post Falls), Madison Sumner (CdA), Brooke Litalien (Post Falls), Sydni Parker (CdA), Emily Drake (Pullman), Madi Farrell (Lake City), Hallie Gennett (Post Falls), Chandler Smith (Brewster), Dani Failor (Post Falls) and Sydney Williams (CdA). Marc Allert of Post Falls is the coach.
Adams said there’s a significance difference between the players participating today and those who did so 10 years ago.
“The game 10 years ago was sloppy,”Adams said. “Now you’re dealing with club players or kids going on to play in college. These players play year-round and are ready to go.”
Adams said Smith will be the most highly recruited junior from either team.
“Every school on the West Coast wants her,” Adams said.
A handful of area athletes have signed to play in college.
• Lewis and Clark standout wide receiver and scholar athlete Brennan Schon has signed with the University of Puget Sound.
A first-team all-GSL pick as a junior and senior, Schon broke five LC records. He’s the all-time leader in receiving yards in a game (255), season (1,082) and career (1,858) and the leader in catches in a game (12) and tied the record for catches in a season (53).
• Three area football players are headed to College of Idaho, near Boise, as the school restarts its program after disbanding in the late 1970s.
College of Idaho won’t play its first game until 2014, but the school is rapidly building a team.
Taylor Watkins of East Valley, Masen McCormick of Cheney and Reece Mahaffy of Coeur d’Alene have signed.
Watkins, a three-sport standout, stepped in at quarterback as a sophomore and led EV to the state championship game. He was a second-team all-Great Northern League selection.
McCormick, an offensive lineman, was a second-team all-GNL pick.
Mahaffy was a two-way starter for CdA at running back and defensive back. He played key roles in leading the Vikings to a state title two years ago and back to the title game last fall. He will play running back.
• Alisha Sorensen of Freeman, a guard, has signed to play basketball at Centralia College.
A three-sport athlete, Sorensen was a first-team all-league goalie last fall in soccer and the Northeast A most valuable player in basketball last winter.
• Post Falls standout soccer player Timmy Mueller has given an oral commitment to Oregon State.
Mueller, a junior, led the Trojans to a state championship last fall.
He was the Idaho Gatorade player of the year last fall. He has scored 74 goals and 19 assists in three seasons. He carries a 4.1 grade-point average.
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