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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stars Elite Blue begin another winning streak

The Spokane Stars Elite Blue girls select basketball team lost a winning streak last week that reached 65 games over a two-year period of nationwide tournament play.

But they quickly began another with the championship of the Seattle Mid-Summer Night’s Madness National tournament.

This year’s team is 34-1 so far after winning eight straight times in Seattle, a three-game pool in Seattle to advance into the 32-team Elite tournament and five times in the MSNM Nationals for a repeat title.

None of the scores was close. The Stars beat Silicon Valley 62-37, Hoop Gurlz 71-43, King’s County 61-28, British Columbia 55-25, Northwest Heat 63-26 and Evergreen Express 73-34.

In an all-Stars Seattle semifinals on Tuesday the Elite Blue beat their companion Elite Red 59-37, then topped Pacific Pistols from California 66-48 for the title.

Angie Bjorklund scored 35 points in the two wins. A dozen players shared time and divided up the scoring in Seattle with Bjorklund the second leading scorer (11.3 points per game) behind Heather Bowman (11.8) and Freeman’s Jessie DePell, fourth with a 5.6 average, including two 10-point efforts.

“You’ve got to play everybody in these tournaments,” said coach Ron Adams, “or else they lose their legs.”

The Stars’ loss came during their third-place finish in the Oregon City End of the Trail Invitational four days earlier.

Loss in Oregon City came after the Stars had won six straight times for a 26-0 record, including tourneys in Arizona, Spokane and Yakima.

The End of the Trail tournament attracted some of the best players in the country, including University junior Bjorklund, who paced the team with a 17.1 average, with games of 28 and 35 points. She was among the team leaders in rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots, including seven in a 56-40 victory over GA-Liners.

“They’re saying she’s either the No. 1 or 2 junior in the country,” said Adams, a man of many superlatives. “There’s no argument now.”

Another Valley athlete who had her national coming-out party was Central Valley senior Heidi Heintz.

Coming off the bench and despite giving away height to taller opponents, Heintz scored 14 points in an exhibition win, 67-57 over the Georgia Metros.

“It was one of the best games I’ve ever seen her play,” Adams said during his daily phone calls. “Heidi’s playing up a storm. She’s one of our most consistent kids. What a surprise.”

Heintz scored 13 in victory over the GA-Liners, a team of players from Georgia and North Carolina. And she hauled down 12 rebounds to help fuel a comeback from 15 points down against Kalakaua of Hawaii.

The team won the Elite Blue Division of the three division, 96-team tournament, but lost their winning streak in the overall tournament semifinals to the Georgia Metros, 78-67.

“It was a heckuva run,” said Adams. “It’s a lot of winning to get 65 in a row.”

Last year the Stars won tournaments in Oregon City in Seattle and Arizona while going 51-1, including the last 39 victories straight.

Bandits near Senior title

American Legion Senior League is into its final week, and the Bandits are a win away from the regular season championship

The Bandits (14-4), who include three players from University, lead the North Stars by two games with two left.

They split with the Valley Cannons (11-7) on Tuesday to end their title hopes.

Bandit Ken VanSickle remained hot until Tuesday, with eight hits in four reported games, including during the Sapa Jonsrud Memorial Tournament in Whitefish. He batted for the cycle in an opening 12-11 loss to Redmond.

Brandon Kelley had six hits while batting safely in the four reported games, including a 2-1 win over the Cannons earlier last week.

The Cannons, meanwhile, have had plenty of offense from a number of players. The leaders are Mike Hauschild (29 hits), Gary Jones (26), Kyle Renz (24), and Bret Riggin and Brian Dagon (22 apiece).

Last week the Valley squad won two of three games against the Blue Devils and split with the Pullman Patriots and Bandits.

University having hot summer

University’s feeder American Legion baseball programs are having quite a summer.

The Junior Legion entrant, Kimmel Athletic, is 14-1 and remains the leader of the South Division, by two games with five to play.

Two Colt A 16-U U-Hi teams are currently among the top four in the seven-team East Division. University No. 1 leads with a perfect 12-0 record and No. 2 is 10-6 and fourth in most recent standings.

This past week Kimmel Athletic beat runner-up Lewis and Clark, Medical Lake and East Valley. Connor Brooks had two three-hit games with a double and triple against East Valley, and Tom Peterson one. Dan Jordan hit safely in all three games with two two-hits games, including a pair of doubles during a 10-0 shutout over Medical Lake.

East Valley (9-6) is fourth in the division and chasing a playoff berth. The team had won four of its last six games, including over West Valley and Shadle Park.

Travis Hauff had 10 hits during the week, and Justin Gallagher and nine. Each hit safely in five games, and Gallagher had two three-hit outtings. Hauff had a four-hit game in a win over Pullman.

And Skyler Schiller added eight base hits, including three against Spokane Athletic Supply (West Valley).

SAS-WV (7-7) managed just five hits in two losses last week, but the team broke out in a 10-0 and 4-0 sweep of Cheney to remain in the playoff picture.

Phil Gannon hit safely in all four WV games last week. He’s the second-leading hitter, behind Matt Peterson, on the team this summer.

SAS-Central Valley (9-8) moved up in the standings and solidified playoff hopes with doubleheader sweeps of Pullman and Whitman County. Nick Lallier had hits in each game, two each against Pullman, including a triple.

The team also beat Coeur d’Alene in a nonleague doubleheader. Lallier hit safely in seven games last week and leads the team with 27. Trevor Nearing with 20 and Cameron Miner with 19 have been other consistent players with the bat.

Top six teams in the South Division reach post-season. Top four teams in the Colt A divisions also reach post-season. University No. 1, GJ’s Contractors (WV), University No. 2 and Freeman-Liberty are all vying for playoff spots.

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