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Locally: Three area players named to NAIA All-America teams

UPDATED: Sat., March 24, 2018

Liberty’s Match Burnham (12) shoots against St. George’s during the 2014 boys State 1B Tournament. Burnham has received honorable mention on the NAIA All-America team. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Liberty’s Match Burnham (12) shoots against St. George’s during the 2014 boys State 1B Tournament. Burnham has received honorable mention on the NAIA All-America team. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff ,news services

It was, indeed, an All-American season for Brianna King.

The former North Central High School and Community Colleges of Spokane standout capped her first season at Montana Western by being named an NAIA Women’s Basketball Division I first-team All-American.

“This honor is a reflection of the success our team had this season (and) Bri was a big part of it,” Bulldogs coach Lindsay Woolley was quoted in the school release announcing King’s selection. “She has worked tirelessly to become the player she is and we are excited that she is part of our program for one more year.”

The 5-foot-5 junior point guard, the Dillon school’s third first-team All-American, but the first since 2007, led the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the NAIA National Championship Tournament’s Fab Four.

She was fourth in the nation in scoring (694 points), sixth in steals (84), 10th in points per game (19.28) and 11th in free throw percentage (81.2). Her 694 points are No. 2 on the school’s all-time list, 15 short of the record 709 set in 2002.

She was named the Frontier Conference Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year after being the Player of the Week five times and an NAIA National Player of the Week once.

King set the Bulldogs’ record for points in a game with 37, then broke it with a 48-point performance in the NAIA quarterfinals that included a record 18-for-18 free throws. That highlighted a 98-point national tournament that ended in the semifinals when Montana Western was eliminated 61-50 by eventual champion Freed-Hardeman (Tennessee).

King also had 14 assists and nine steals in the Bulldogs’ four games and was named to the all-tournament first team.

Match Burnham from Liberty and Race Martin from Pullman received honorable mention on the NAIA Men’s Division I Basketball All-America team.

Burnham, a junior at Carroll College who also was honorable mention following his freshman season, continued as one of the country’s top 3-point shooters. He hit 45 percent of his 3s – 72 of 160 – that tied for 10th nationally in the NAIA and his free-throw shooting (92 of 104, 88.5 percent) was eighth. His 13.0 scoring average was second on the Saints.

Martin, a junior at Lewis-Clark State, led the Warriors with a 13.1 scoring average and field goal (56.8) and free throw (89.7) shooting percentages. He was second in rebounding (5.1) and blocked shots (21). His field goal percentage was 15th nationally. His free-throw shooting would have ranked fifth, but he didn’t have enough attempts to qualify. He hit 52 of 58.

• King was among a half-dozen former area players to participate in the NAIA Women’s D-I National Championships in Billings, Montana.

Four played for Carroll, including Jaidyn Lyman, a freshman point guard from Mt. Spokane, who scored a career-high 19 points in the Saints’ 55-49 first-round win over William Penn (Iowa).

Jaidyn Lyman hit some big shots, and that was huge for us,” said Carroll coach Rachelle Sayers. Those included five 3-pointers. “Jaidyn was unbelievable,” Sayers added.

Lyman scored 14 points in the Saints’ second-round loss that ended their tournament. Christine Denny (Liberty) scored 10 in Carroll’s two games, Brittney Johnson (Ferris) had 10 and Oona Harrington (Gonzaga Prep) three.

Michaela Kay (Lewis and Clark) scored nine points for defending champion Oklahoma City, which was eliminated in the first round.

Basketball

Tisha Phillips from Lapwai, Idaho, who played in 113 games in a four-year career at Eastern Washington (2012-16) that included 59 starts, has signed a contract to play professionally for the Liffey Celtics in Ireland, defending champions of the Ireland Women’s Superleague.

Phillips was a second-team All-Big Sky Conference selection her senior year after she averaged 14.0 points and 3.9 steals a game. She ranks eighth on the Eagles’ all-time steals list (164) and 10th in assists (299). Her 40.7 percent 3-point shooting as a senior ranked third in the Big Sky and she was top 10 in assists (6th, 3.9) and steals (9th, 1.9).

College scene

RayQuan Evans, the North Idaho College freshman from Billings who scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in overtime of the Cardinals’ 90-83 win over Peninsula in the NWAC men’s basketball championship game last Sunday, was named tournament MVP.

He also scored 29 points in the semifinals.

Aushanti Potts-Woods, a sophomore from Tacoma, who scored 23 points off the bench in the second half to fuel the Cardinals’ championship-game comeback from a 20-point second-half deficit, was named Most Inspirational and selected to the all-tournament first team.

Freshman Iain McLaughlin (Bellevue) and sophomore Jalen Burkett (Phoenix) were second-team all-tournament selections.

• Evans was an Eastern Region first-team choice and Freshman of the Year when the NWAC announced its Men’s Basketball All-Region teams.

He was joined on the first team by Cesar Sandoval, a Community Colleges of Spokane sophomore (Moses Lake), and Justin Martin, a Wenatchee Valley sophomore (Lewis and Clark).

The second team included Burkett, who was also named the East Defensive Player of the Year, and CCS sophomore Cameron Gay (Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls), who was also selected to the All-Defensive Team.

The Northern Region second team included Conner Moffatt (Lakeside), an Everett sophomore.

• Four men and four women from area schools competed in the NWAC Sophomore All-Star basketball games last weekend in Everett during the NWAC championship tournament.

Moffatt was on the North/West team that won the men’s game 140-128 over South/East. Martin, Gay and Sandoval were on the South/East team. Martin was among three S/E players scoring a team-leading 18 points.

North/West won the women’s game 109-102 over South/East, which included North Idaho’s Cierra Dvorak and Whitney Meier, both of Lake City, and Ronnie Hams (Billings, Montana), and Yakima Valley’s Sequoia Wheeler (Clarkston). Wheeler had seven 3-pointers and a team-leading 25 points while Meier added 15 for S/E.

• Four women and one man from NIC and one man and one woman from CCS received NWAC Academic Excellence Awards for winter quarter with grade-point averages of 3.25 or higher.

Lana Berg (Rollins, Montana), Gia Sorn (Richland), Dvorak and Meier from the NIC women’s team were joined by Pott-Woods from the men’s. CCS players honored were Lauren French (Boise) from the women’s team and Gay from the men’s.

• Washington State junior Brock Eager from Renton, Washington, the defending Pac-12 hammer champion, was named Pac-12 Men’s Field Event Athlete of the Week after he opened his 2018 outdoor season with a winning throw of 218 feet, 2 inches at the USC Trojan Invitational. The mark leads the conference and is fifth-best in NCAA Division I.

Hunter Boyd, a College of Idaho junior from Moses Lake, was named Cascade Collegiate Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week. He was dominant in the Yotes’ lone win of the week, shutting out Corban for eight innings in his fifth game of the season with six or more strikeouts.

Jaya Allen was at it again in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference the week ending March 18.

The Yavapai freshman from Shadle Park was named ACCAC Softball Pitcher of the Week for a second straight week and fourth time this season after a 3-0 week in which she struck out 25 in 15 innings, allowing just three earned runs. Through March 19, she was 13-3 with a 2.16 ERA (fourth best in the conference) with 146 strike outs in 100 1/3 innings.

Sophie Whittle and Graciela Rosas from Gonzaga combined to sweep West Coast Conference women’s tennis weekly honors.

Whittle was the Singles Player of the Week and partnered with Rosas to earn Doubles Team of the Week. Whittle’s two wins at No. 1 singles included a straight-set victory over the 77th-ranked player in the country as she improved her singles record to 9-3, all in the No. 1 spot. She and Rosas are 12-3 as a team and rank No. 52 in the nation.

• Idaho junior Maria Tavares, who produced seven wins in eight matches, collected her first career Big Sky Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week award. She went 3-1 at No. 2 singles and partnered with Marianna Petrei at No. 1 doubles for four wins.

Jason Fram, the former Spokane Chiefs captain, a sophomore at the University of Alberta, had an assist on the second goal as the Golden Bears defeated St. Francis Xavier of Nova Scotia 4-2 in the University Cup gold medal hockey game last weekend in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Fram, the Defenseman of the Year in the Canadian collegiate league, had a goal and four assists in the tournament as the Golden Bears won the school’s 16th national championship.

Golf

Pro Billy Bomar and assistant Josh Grenier of Prairie Falls Golf Course in Post Falls tied for seventh at 9-under 135, seven strokes off the pace, to lead the showing by area teams in the 2018 PNW PGA Pro-Assistant Championship last week at Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby, Oregon.

Gordon Corder and Mark Wilkins from Manito Golf & Country Club tied for 10th at 136.

Head pro Darren Black and assistant Brad Faller from Rainier Golf & Country Club in Seattle shot 16-under 128 for a four-shot victory in the 54-team field.

High school scene

The Greater Spokane League, in conjunction with the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, announced winter sports winners of the 17th annual NECA/IBEW GSL Award.

The award goes to a girl and boy from each school who demonstrate superior balance in academics, athletics and community involvement.

Central Valley: Lexie Hull, girls basketball; Zachary Stocker, boys basketball. Ferris: Haylee Summers, girls basketball; Mike Ervin, boys basketball. Gonzaga Prep: Makena Dodson, girls basketball; Daniel Dougherty, wrestling. Lewis and Clark: Megan Dailey, gymnastics; Bailey Rosenau, boys basketball. Mead: Allie Russell, girls basketball; Cade Arriens, wrestling.

Mt. Spokane: Alyssa Powell, girls basketball; Jayden Williamson, boys basketball. North Central: Taylor Cain, girls basketball; Gavin Gies, wrestling. Rogers: Karina Nelson, gymnastics; Jahlil Frans, boys basketball. Shadle Park: Bailey Banick, gymnastics; Eric Leavey, wrestling. University: Claire Dingus, girls basketball; Tanner Christensen, boys basketball.

Miscellany

Tim Jackson, Idaho’s assistant athletic director of video and creative services, was named the Sun Belt Conference Video Coordinator of the Year by the Collegiate Sports Video Association.

Jackson, selected by a vote of his conference peers, becomes a finalist for the Bob Matey National Video Coordinator of the Year award, which will be presented at the association’s annual banquet May 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The award, named for the late former Texas A&M video coordinator, recognizes an individual who displays innovation, determination, perseverance and technical skill.

Jackson is responsible for all the video and technology needs of the Idaho athletic department, both internally (coaches film and motivational videos) and externally (marketing, fundraising, streaming, features, social media and video boards).

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