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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shoni Schimmel leads All Rez to women’s elite title at Hoopfest

UPDATED: Sun., June 30, 2019

Tisha Phillips of All Rez (left) drives to the hoop during game one of the women's elite championship featuring YYC Canada versus All Rez on the final day of Hoopfest 2019 on June 30 at Nike Center Court. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Tisha Phillips of All Rez (left) drives to the hoop during game one of the women's elite championship featuring YYC Canada versus All Rez on the final day of Hoopfest 2019 on June 30 at Nike Center Court. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

All Rez clipped then-undefeated YCC Canada in the Hoopfest women’s elite championship game Sunday on Nike Center Court, forcing a winner-take-all rematch at a different location: the street.

Forced to return to her division’s court on nearby Stevens Street due to time constraints, former WNBA All-Star and ex-Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel attracted throngs of fans, dazzling them with an array of crafty layups and no-look passes.

Schimmel, a Native American icon, helped All Rez work its way out of the loser’s bracket before taking down former Gonzaga star Janelle Bekkering’s YCC Canada squad 20-14 in the title round.

“To come from Nike Center Court to back to where we started, it’s bittersweet,” Schimmel said. “But we took care of business, so it feels good.”

YCC Canada, which featured former Canadian college stars Robyn Buna (Simon Fraser), Stephanie Price (Lethbridge) and Hilary Annich (Calgary), also lost in the championship round last year after winning the title in 2017.

Wearing an Oakland Raiders hat backward, Schimmel, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft who is now out of the league, teamed up with ex-EWU standouts Tisha Phillips and Ashli Payne, and former New Mexico State forward Abby Scott.

The four previously played together in Native American tournaments, and their cohesion was evident.

Schimmel was regularly finding open cutters on pick-and-rolls, usually Phillips, a former Lapwai and Lewiston standout.

The two games between All Rez and YCC Canada were also very physical, as both teams racked up over six fouls in the first contest.

“I played against boys my entire life, so (the fouls) were more like a love-tap for them,” said Schimmel, playing in her first Hoopfest since 2008. “It’s a contact sport, you just have to play through it.”

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