Brianna King of Community Colleges of Spokane was named the Eastern Region women’s Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year and the Sasquatch’s Bruce Johnson was Coach of the Year for a fifth time when the Northwest Athletic Conference announced its all-region basketball teams.
King, a guard from North Central, was No. 2 in the region in scoring (16.9 points a game), assists (3.42), steals (2.29) and free-throw percentage (78.9).
Khadija Neumeyer, a CCS sophomore guard from Capital of Boise, was named to the East All-Defensive team and to the second all-star team, where she was joined by teammate Gese Gruber, a sophomore forward from Ellensburg, and Max Shelley, a Big Bend sophomore from Blackfoot, Idaho. Neumeyer was first-team all-region as a freshman
CCS placed four on the NWAC Eastern Region men’s team – Jake Love, a sophomore wing from West Valley and Levi Taylor, a freshman wing from Lewis and Clark, on the first team; Dalton Patchen, a sophomore wing/post from Colton on the second; and Kage Sobotta, a sophomore guard from Clarkston on the All-Defensive team.
Big Bend also had four players honored and the Vikings’ Mark Poth was men’s Coach of the Year.
Ryker Pierce, a guard/forward from Rexburg, Idaho, was the Eastern Region MVP and Freshman of the Year; Mogga Lado, a sophomore forward from Nampa, Idaho, was Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team selection; Jai Jai Ely, a freshman guard from Idaho Falls, was a second-team and All-Defensive selection; and Keyshawn Liggins, a freshman guard from Middleton, Idaho, was on the All-Defensive team.
Alisha Sorensen, a Centralia sophomore guard/forward from Freeman, was named to the NWAC women’s All-West Region first team after averaging 13.67 points, 6.17 rebounds, 1.53 steals and 1.50 assists per game for the region co-champions.
Jessica Norlander, a 6-foot power forward at Green River from Timberlake of Spirit Lake, had 10 points and six rebounds to help the South-West Region to an 84-76 victory over North-East in the Northwest Athletic Conference Sophomore All-Star basketball game Wednesday in Everett.
Led by Jake Wiley from Newport and Match Burnham from Liberty, area athletes picked up a couple of individual awards and eight all-league honors when the Frontier Conference handed out 2015-16 men’s and women’s basketball awards.
Wiley, a 6-foot-6 junior forward at Lewis-Clark State, was named the men’s Player of the Year and first-team All-Frontier Conference and Burnham, a 6-8 center at Carroll, was the Freshman of the Year and second-team all-conference.
Wiley, Newcomer of the Year and first-team all-conference as a sophomore last season after transferring from Montana, led the conference in field-goal percentage (60.9), was No. 5 in scoring average (15.45) and No. 3 in rebounding (7.28).
Burnham, who had a late-season hot streak capped by a personal-best 39 points and school-record 19-of-19 from the free-throw line, averaged 12.72 points, 12th in the conference. His 86.5 percent free-throw shooting ranks seventh in NAIA Division I.
Three other L-C State players earned men’s recognition – Doug McDaniel, a junior guard, on the first team, and senior guards Cammie Lewis and Rich Tesmer received honorable mention.
Area athletes, led by Great Falls senior guard Erin Legel from Coeur d’Alene High, dominated the women’s All-Frontier first team, collecting four of the six spots.
Legel, the conference’s No. 2 scorer at 16.7 points a game, was all-conference for a fourth straight season. She was Freshman of the Year and a second-team choice in 2012-13 and a first-team selection as a sophomore and junior.
Joining her were senior Katie Estey, a Carroll guard from Central Valley, and two other CdA High grads at Lewis-Clark State – Caelyn Orlandi, a junior guard, and Brittaney Tackett, a sophomore post/forward. Orlandi was Freshman of the Year in 2013-14 and a second-team all-conference choice last season as a sophomore.
Women’s selections also included Brooke Litalien, an L-C State junior guard from Post Falls, and Sierra Higheagle, a Montana Western senior guard/forward from Lapwai.
Sarel Loewus, a senior at Oberlin College in Ohio from Pullman, had a pair of top-three finishes at the North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend in Kenyon, Ohio.
Loewus won the women’s 3,000-meter run in a time of 10 minutes, 19.30 seconds a day after placing third in the 5,000 in 18:17.64.
Washington State had eight top-four placers, including champions Jerdon Helgeson and Joseph Traverso, and the Cougars placed third as a team in the Northwest Conference Wrestling Championships for club teams late last month in Pullman.
Helgeson, a junior, won the 149-pound title, and Traverso, a senior who attends the WSU Tri-Cities campus, won at 174 to lead Cougars qualifiers for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association national championships last week in Allen, Texas. The Kevin Poitra-coached Cougars are defending Division II NCWA national champions.
Also qualifying with their conference finishes: Hunter Haney, freshman, 133 pounds, second; Zachary Volk, fr., 157, second; Robert Mendoza, 149, third; Bailey Poitra, jr., 165, third; Xavier Henderson, jr., 235, third; and Jason Nicholson, jr., 174, fourth.
Luke Falk, the sophomore quarterback who led the nation in passing at 380.5 yards a game, was named the Team Most Valuable Player when honors were passed out at the Washington State football awards banquet last week.
Junior running back Gabe Marks was named the Offensive MVP, junior safety Shalom Luani was Defensive MVP and sophomore kicker Erik Powell was the Special Teams MVP.
Seniors collecting special honors were Dom Williams and Taylor Taliulu, Laurie Niemi Award (attitude); Ivan McLennan, Frank Butler Award (spirit); and Darryl Paulo, Fred Bohler Award (inspirational).
Other team honors went to senior tackle Joe Dahl, Mike Utley Award (offensive lineman of the year); senior Destiny Vaeao, Leon Bender Award (defensive lineman of the year); senior linebacker Kache Palacio, Tim Petek Strongest Man Award; and junior linebacker Parker Henry, Randal Simmons Award (coaches award in memory of the late former Cougar).
Captain’s awards went to lineman Gunnar Eklund (offense) and linebacker Jeremiah Allison (defense), both seniors.
High school scene
The Greater Spokane League, in conjunction with the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, announced the winter sports winners of the 15th annual NECA/IBEW GSL Award that go to a girl and boy from each school for demonstrating superior balance in academics, athletics and community involvement.
The winners by school:
Central Valley – McKinzie Carter, gymnastics; Josh Thomas, basketball. Ferris – Abby Muelheim, basketball; Joel Miley, basketball. Gonzaga Prep – Tayler Drynan, basketball; Tyler Brooking, wrestling. Lewis and Clark – Taylor Cunningham, basketball; Devin Doneen, wrestling. Mead – Sydney Hellman, basketball; James Baird, basketball.
Mt. Spokane – Jordan Smith, basketball; Alec Hoover, wrestling. North Central – Christina Negretti, basketball; Riley Smith, basketball. Rogers – Tia Kendall, basketball; KJ Hassett, basketball. Shadle Park – Karlee Rayman, gymnastics; Tanner (TJ) Trout, wrestling. University – Veronica Franzese, basketball; Braden Gamble, wrestling.
Jarrod Daniel, a goaltender who completed a four-year Western Hockey League career with the Spokane Chiefs during the 1994-95 season and went on to become a successful plastic surgeon now practicing in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been awarded the organization’s Scholastic Alumni Achievement Award as a part of the WHL’s 50th Season celebration.
The Chiefs recognized Daniel, a team doctor for the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League, during their final home game of the season on Saturday.
Daniel was named the Chiefs’ Player of the Year in 1994-95 after appearing in 64 games and posting a 3.54 goals-against average with a .900 save percentage, at the time a franchise record. The Edmonton, Alberta, native appeared in 102 games with Swift Current, Moose Jaw and Portland from 1991-94 before joining the Chiefs in the final season of the Coliseum.
For each season in the WHL, a player receives basically a full-ride scholarship for one year of postsecondary education. Daniel used his to attend McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he received his undergraduate degree, and attended medical school at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.
Jonah Brown and JD Layman, seventh-graders at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic School in Spokane, were among 30 boys in the Northwest in the U13-14 age group invited to participate in a U.S. Soccer Federation Training Center last Wednesday in Seattle.
The one-day event is an opportunity for players considered to have high potential to train under the direction of U.S. Soccer Youth National Team coaches and staff.
Brown has been selected to play for Team USA in the 2016 FCBEscola International Easter Tournament in Barcelona, Spain, later this month and both boys play in elite programs in Spokane and Seattle.
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