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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Locally: Former Lewis and Clark basketball star Briann January will have her No. 20 retired by Arizona State

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 8, 2021

Briann January, left, pictured in a 2008 game against Oklahoma, will have her jersey retired by Arizona State.   (Alonzo Adams/Associated Press)
Briann January, left, pictured in a 2008 game against Oklahoma, will have her jersey retired by Arizona State.  (Alonzo Adams/Associated Press)
From staff and wire services

Briann January is regarded as one of the best girls high school basketball players to come out of Spokane. She will now forever be remembered as one of the finest women’s players ever at Arizona State University.

The Sun Devils announced on Friday they will honor the former Lewis and Clark standout in a ceremony that places her No. 20 jersey in the rafters of the school’s main indoor athletic facility in Tempe.

She will be the third former Sun Devils women’s player so honored.

“I am incredibly thrilled that we finally get to honor Briann January’s jersey in Desert Financial Arena,” said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne, who had January as an assistant coach on her staff in 2017-18.

“Briann is one of the most decorated players to come out of this program, and she is beyond deserving of this honor. During her time as a Sun Devil, she helped elevate our program to elite prominence and helped make incredible runs in the NCAA tournament.”

As a freshman, January led the team in steals and assists and was named to the 2006 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. As a sophomore, she was All-Pac-10 honorable mention.

The Pac-10 added a defensive player of the year award prior to the 2007-08 season, and January was the recipient in its first two years. She was named to the 2008 All-Pac-10 second team, the 2009 first team and was an All-America honorable mention both years.

In her four years at ASU, the Sun Devils made the NCAA tournament every year, winning 77% of their games. In 2007, they reached the Elite Eight for the first time and duplicated the feat in 2009. She broke the program record for career assists and was the only player in school history to lead the team in steals and assists for all four years.

January was selected sixth in the 2009 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever. In her 13 years in the league, she has played for the Fever, Phoenix Mercury and Connecticut Sun. She won a WNBA championship with Indiana in 2012 and made the WNBA finals on three other occasions. She has been a WNBA all-defensive selection seven times, five on the first team.

College scene

Logan Hunt, a College of Idaho sophomore from Timberlake of Spirit Lake, Idaho, won the Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s cross country championship Friday in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and led the NAIA 14th-ranked Yotes to their third straight conference championship.

Hunt, who was 20th in the meet last season, covered 8K in 24 minutes, 52.1 seconds.

Kahea Figueira, a College of Idaho freshman from Mt. Spokane, finished 11th in the CCC women’s championships. The Greater Spokane League’s third-place finisher last year timed 19:52.8 for 5K. The Yotes women also won a third straight league title.

Annika Esvelt, a Seattle Pacific sophomore from West Valley, finished 22nd in the NCAA Division II West Region cross country championships Saturday in Monmouth, Oregon, to earn All-West Region honors and lead the showing by area women in the race 6K race. She timed 22:07.4.

Brittany Aquino, a Western Washington senior from East Valley, led three Vikings from the area by placing 37th (22:29.5). Ila Davis, a freshman from Lewis and Clark, was 50th (22.46.2), and Shawnee Konrad, a senior from Mt. Spokane, was 84th (23:23.5).

• For the first time in program history, the Gonzaga men’s and women’s cross country teams are nationally ranked at the same time in United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national polls with the NCAA Division I West Regional Championships Nov. 12 in Sacramento, California, next on the schedule.

The GU men are ranked 15th and the women cracked the Top 30 for the first time this season at No. 29, with a program-best No. 3 ranking in the West Region. The men are No. 4 in the West.

The Washington men jumped to No. 13 in the men’s national poll and the Huskies women are No. 21.

In the West Region, the UW men are No. 2, Washington State is No. 8 and Idaho is No. 12. On the women’s side, UW is No. 2, WSU is 11th and Idaho is 14th.

• Northwest Conference women’s cross country runner-up Madelyn Buckley, a freshman from Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls, received All-NWC first-team honors and junior Ellie Shoop, who was ninth, was on the second team based on their finishes. No Pirates’ men were the top 14.

• Eastern Washington senior setter Lindsey Russell (Mead) earned her first career Big Sky Conference volleyball offensive player of the week award on Nov. 1 after averaging 9.14 assists per set – 64 total – in two matches the previous week.

Russell had 41 assists in the Eagles’ 3-1 win over Northern Arizona that snapped a six-match losing streak to the Lumberjacks and 23 in a 3-0 sweep of Southern Utah. She also hit .923 during the weekend with 12 kills and no errors in 13 attempts, six aces and averaged 1.14 digs and .14 blocks per set. Her 547 assists rank seventh in the Big Sky.

Hockey

The Spokane Chiefs made a move last week to shore up their injury-depleted roster when they added forward Braden Plaschewsky as an affiliate player.

A second-round pick by Saskatoon in the 2017 WHL draft, Plaschewsky played two seasons with the Blades (2019-21), picking up five assists in 67 games. He started this season in Canmore, Alberta, in Junior A, where he had three goals and an assist in 17 games.

• Two 2005-born Spokane Chiefs, forward Kooper Gizowski and defenseman Saige Weinstein, were named to the under-17 roster for the Capital City Challenge in Ottawa, Ontario, later this month. The four-team tournament Nov. 26-Dec. 1 features three men’s U17 teams and Canada’s National Women’s Team.

Gizowski, Spokane’s second-round (40th overall) pick of the 2020 WHL draft, led the Northern Alberta Extreme with 51 points (27 goals, 24 assists) in 29 games during the 2019-20 season. For the Chiefs, he picked up an assist in the first game after scoring two goals with an assist in preseason play.

Weinstein was the Chiefs’ 18th first-round pick in the 2020 WHL draft. He played with Gizowski for the Xtreme and had four goals and 16 assists in 23 games. He hadn’t scored for the Chiefs in 11 games this season.

Wrestling

Chase Clasen, who has been the North Idaho College assistant men’s wrestling coach since July, has been named the Cardinals’ interim head coach to fill the position left vacant when head coach Michael Sebaaly was named the school’s interim president through the 2021-22 academic year.

“We are very happy to have Chase take on this expanded leadership role,” said NIC vice president for student services Graydon Stanley. “During his time at NIC, he has developed important relationships with our student-athletes and shown he is committed to their success on the mat and in the classroom.”

A native of Moses Lake, Clasen was a graduate assistant coach at Chadron State College in Nebraska, where he completed his college career following two years at Iowa Western Community College. At Chadron, he was a two-time NCAA Division II national qualifier, a one-time conference champion and wrestling and academic All-Americans his senior year.

High school scene

Rylan Rogers, a Coeur d’Alene HS senior, won the 195-pound championship in the Super 32 Challenge wrestling tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, Oct. 23-24, defeating Martin Cosgrove of New Jersey 3-2 for the title in a pairing of No. 5 seeds. The University of Michigan commit won four matches by decision, two by major decision.

• Three area 2B schools and two from Class 1B were named 2021 Fall Academic State Champions by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and Gesa Credit Union.

St. George’s in girls cross country (3.93 team GPA), Liberty in volleyball (3.922) and Asotin in boys cross country (3.95) and football (3.699) were state champions from the Northeast 2B League. 1B champions were Odessa football (3.730) and Oakesdale volleyball (3.972).

Shooting

The Spokane Junior Rifle Team recently received information on the placement of its shooters at 2021 National Rifle Association Junior and Open Sectional Championships whose results were delayed because of the COVID pandemic.

Among its top placers:

Junior Open: Precision Air Rifle 3 Position (106 competitors): Ben Tafoya, 18, Gonzaga Prep 22nd nationally, 14th junior class; Ensley Breeden, 12, Midway Elementary, 6th Sub Junior. Precision Air Rifle Standing (186 competitors): Anna Pearsall, 18, Mt. Spokane, 46th nationally, 27th junior; Tafoya, 49th nationally, 28th junior; Jack Burns, 14, Northwood MS, 20th Sub Junior. Smallbore 3-Position (193 competitors): Tafoya, 22nd nationally, 17th junior; Burns, 22nd Sub Junior.

Open: Precision Air Rifle Standing (94 competitors): Pearsall, 19th Expert; Tafoya, 20th Expert; Caden Kight, 17, Mt. Spokane, 7th, Sharpshooter; Derek Phipps, 16, Gonzaga Prep, 4th Marksman; Casey Kight, 17, Mt. Spokane, 9th Marksman. Precision Air Rifle 3-Position (55 competitors): Tafoya, 9th Nationally, 4th Expert; Pearsall, 7th Expert; Caden Kight, 7th Sharpshooter; Jones, 4th Marksman. Smallbore 3-Position (100 competitors): Tafoya, 9th Expert; Jones, 7th Marksman; Phipps, 8th Marksman.

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