The Family, with two Parade All-Americans from Indiana among a talented and sizeable cast, got the better of the Spokane Stars Elite Blue despite the best efforts of its Parade All-American, Angie Bjorklund, in last week’s 2005 Women’s Nike Nationals Championship.
The first Nike Nationals, played in North Augusta, S.C., featured 24 invited teams from throughout the country, all of whom had won a major national tourney.
The Family was led by 6-foot, 4-inch Amber Harris, a first-team Parade selection from Indianapolis and aided by 6-5 Ta’Shia Phillips, who was named third team.
They defeated fourth-team choice Bjorklund’s Stars 67-57, rallying from a 11-point deficit in the game’s final 13 minutes.
Harris scored 18 points and Phillips, off the bench, hauled down seven rebounds, but it was guard Ashley Barlow and her 22 points that burned the Stars.
“She’s the best guard I’ve ever seen,” said Spokane coach Ron Adams, recalling one off-balance basket she made before nearly landing in his lap.
The loss, which left the Stars 47-3 for the summer, couldn’t diminish from Bjorklund’s performance. She led tournament scoring with a 22.1 average (155 points in seven total games), including a 35-point game in pool play and games of 25 and 27 respectively in the semifinals and finals.
Bjorklund shot 54.7 percent from the field (52 for 95), hit 22 of 34 3-point shots (64.7%) and 29 of free throws (90.6%) all tourney bests. She was sixth in rebounding and second in assists (22) and steals (16).
“I’ve been telling everyone all along she’s the best player in the country and they didn’t believe me,” said Adams. “Nobody’s laughing at me now.”
Heather Bowman averaged 12.9 points per game and was ninth in rebounding. She and Bjorklund finished one-two in rebounding during the three-game, eight-team championship portion of the tournament.
In the quarterfinals, they beat West Coast Elite of California 61-48, and in the semifinals the Orlando Comets from Florida 53-37.
•The Higher Hoops U-13 boys team advanced to the semifinals of the National Youth Basketball Championships Las Vegas Summer Classic this past weekend.
Higher Hoops advanced through the tournament by defeating teams from Colorado, Southern California and Toledo, Ohio, before falling to a Michigan team 57-56.
“I’m very proud of how the kids competed,” head coach Darcy Weisner said. “We showed that we can compete well with teams that have a great skill level.”
Higher Hoops finished with a 5-1 record for the week in the 32-team, nationwide tournament.
The Higher Hoops players are: Michael Weisner, Aaron Dunn, Ryan Nicholas, Mitch Kayser, Bo Tully, Richard Brooks, David Nelson and Taylor Pettersen.
Audrionna Farr of Spokane won all four of her singles matches in the Girls 12’s USTA Zone Team Championships, which concluded Sunday in Tucson, Ariz.
Farr won all four of her matches in straight sets, losing a total of four games. Three of those games came in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Desiree Tran of Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Farr also teamed with Belinda Niu of Portland, Ore., for doubles, winning two of three matches.
Also competing in Tucson was Maya Jansen of Valleyford, who went 3-1 in singles and 1-2 in doubles with three different partners.
•Lewis and Clark junior Elise Otto competed at the Girls 16’s USTA Zone Team Championships, which concluded Sunday in Salt Lake City.
Otto went 1-2 in doubles play and 1-3 in singles, earning a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Samantha Sarkis of Chaska, Minn.
Chessey Thomas of Spokane won the 12-13 girls division at the Washington Junior Golf Association Championships, which concluded Friday in Wenatchee.
Thomas shot a three-day total of 229, defeating Seo Hee Moon of Mukilteo by six strokes.
She also finished 11th at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, which concluded Tuesday at PGA National Golf Course in West Palm Beach, Fla. Elisa Aoki of Nagaya City, Japan, won the tournament by four shots.
Thomas will attempt to win a third straight Idaho Golf Association Junior title at Sage Lake Golf Course in Idaho Falls on August 8-9.
The Franklin Park Softball Complex will host the ASA 18-U B West National Championship, which will run today through Friday.
Play will begin at noon today and at 10 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, concluding with Friday’s 4 p.m. championship game.
Seven local teams will be in the 27-team field, including four from Spokane: Eagle Sportswear, Spokane Illusion, Spokane Mustangs and Spokane Impact.
Representing North Idaho will be Coeur d’Alene Crush and Northwest Wildfire from Coeur d’Alene, and the Lewiston Dawgs.
The tournament is also bringing in teams from California, Minnesota, Texas, Missouri and New Mexico.
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