Some years the organizer of the Jack Blair Memorial All-Star Girls Basketball Game has said with a straight face that the game could be close.
He’s actually gone as far as to say that the Region all-stars had a chance to beat the Metro all-stars. That director, Ron Adams, isn’t going anywhere close to such a prediction this year.
The Metro all-stars, winners of the previous 11 games, will be heavily favored when the 12th game is held June 7 at Lake City High School.
The Metro team features the first- and second-team picks of the Greater Spokane League. The Region team includes the best of North Idaho and a handful of the top players outside of Spokane.
“This is by far the best Metro team of all time,” said Adams, who also described the Region team as perhaps the best in the last five years.
Still, the Region team probably won’t be a match for the Metro. But what Adams will try to sell fans on is the game is an opportunity to see the best players in the Inland Northwest. It’s an opportunity for North Idaho fans to see Angie Bjorklund of University, who has been rated as the top player in the country for her age by the College Coaches Association. She will be a junior next year.
Bjorklund, a 6-foot guard, was named to the Parade All-American fourth team. She was named the GSL’s most valuable player. She was also named to the Associated Press All-State first team and was the Tacoma News Tribune’s player of the year. She led the GSL in scoring with 575 points in 29 games, a 19.8 overall average for U-Hi, which placed sixth at the State 4A tournament.
Joining Bjorklund on the Metro team are: her sister, Jami, a 6-0 senior; Tonya Schnibbe, a 5-6 junior from U-Hi; Corrina O’Brien, a 5-5 junior from Gonzaga Prep; Briann January, a 5-8 senior from Lewis and Clark; Katelan Redmon, a 6-1 sophomore from Mt. Spokane; Shantel Haugen, a 5-8 senior from North Central; Stacy Cox, a 5-10 senior from Ferris; Heather Bowman, a 6-2 junior from LC; Heidi Heintz, a 5-11 junior from Central Valley; Emily Kuipers, a 6-1 senior from U-Hi; and Kelli Valentine, a 6-0 sophomore from Mead.
Jami Bjorklund, Bowman, Heintz and Redmon were first-team all-GSL picks.
Angie Bjorklund, Bowman, Redmon, Schnibbe and Heintz play on the Spokane Stars Elite Blue team that will challenge for titles in several tournaments across the nation this summer.
Jenna Griffitts of Coeur d’Alene, who recently signed with Weber State, heads a talented Region team. Griffitts, who scored a game-high 32 points in the Idaho All-Star game earlier this month, is joined on the team by CdA teammates Jenna DeLong, a 6-foot sophomore, and Ali Johnson, a 5-5 freshman.
Rounding out the Region team are: Laura Gibson, a 5-5 junior from Deer Park; Jessie DePell, a 6-0 junior from Freeman, Georgia Burke, a 5-5 junior from Lake City; Kelli Davis, a 6-0 junior from Pullman; Angela Hartill, a 6-3 senior from Riverside; Debbie Pederson, a 6-3 senior from Grangeville; Nikki Nelson, a 5-5 sophomore from Chewelah; Jackie Calhoun, a 5-9 senior from Moscow; Kelsey Taylor, a 6-3 junior from Moscow; and Brigette Boucher, a 6-0 junior from Lakeland. DePell and Nelson also are playing on the Stars’ Elite Blue team.
Dale Poffenroth, who resigned after 17 years at CV and took over at Coeur d’Alene, will coach the Region team. David Hall of NC and Freddie Rehkow of East Valley will coach the Metro team. Poffenroth is the first to coach both the Metro and Region teams. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. Children 9 and younger will be admitted free.
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