Blog matters: Dower’s heroics, Chiefs comeback, scholarship rules
A sampling from the past week of entries in The Spokesman-Review blog SportsLink at spokesman.com/ sportslink.
Sam Dower’s back might not be 100 percent yet, but his shoulders are fine. He carried Gonzaga into the winner’s circle (Wednesday at Santa Clara) with a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left.
The first option, as it was on the two previous plays, was Kevin Pangos. This time it was on a flare screen, but the Broncos stayed with the junior guard. Kyle Dranginis ended up with the ball and time fading away. He angled to the right and had a couple of SCU defenders close to him, including Yannick Atanga, who temporarily left Dower to double Dranginis. Dower popped out near the top of the key, Dranginis found him and Dower delivered the victory.
“I’m happy for him, man,” coach Mark Few said. “He’s had these games sometimes where he struggles along and struggles along, but he seems to continue to make shots one way or another.”
Dranginis started to guide me through the last play, but he acknowledged it got a bit hazy at times.
“They guarded the play well, we didn’t have the flare to Kevin,” Dranginis said. “So I think Sam came out and set a ball screen or something, I don’t really know. I punched it to the right and Sam’s guy came to help on me and I saw him.
“We just kind of winged it.”
The Spokane Chiefs have had some exciting wins among their 31 victories this Western Hockey League season, but Wednesday’s has to rank as the grandest, most thrilling of all.
Spokane’s odds of winning were astronomical after the Chiefs fell behind 5-2 after two periods. First, the Chiefs were playing on the road for a second consecutive night. Second, they were trailing Kelowna, the top-ranked club in the Canadian Hockey League. Third, they were without No. 2 scorer Mike Aviani, who had been suspended for a checking to the head major penalty and game misconduct Tuesday in Kamloops. Finally, they were turning the net over to backup goalie Garret Hughson.
Yet everything went right for Spokane in the third period, creating maybe the No. 1 highlight of the season so far.
The NCAA is a sharp organization. It doesn’t want football-centric athletic departments to get around the 85 scholarship limit imposed on football programs by stashing promising quarterbacks on other teams. NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168 states that any athlete who receives financial aid as an athlete and practices with the football team shall be counted as a football player, even if they were not originally recruited to play football.
That means that even though WSU’s newest football recruit, Jalen Canty, plans on playing basketball, he’ll count against the football team’s scholarship limit.