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Locally: Gonzaga’s Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong win medals during international basketball trip

June 21, 2022 Updated Tue., June 21, 2022 at 5:09 p.m.

Gonzaga guards Kaylynne Truong, left, and Kayleigh Truong react after the Bulldogs defeated Portland on Jan. 20 at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guards Kaylynne Truong, left, and Kayleigh Truong react after the Bulldogs defeated Portland on Jan. 20 at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
From staff and news services

From staff and news services

Gonzaga’s rising senior twin sisters Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong shared in gold and silver medals during an international basketball trip to play for Vietnam National teams in 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 tournaments in late spring.

They helped Vietnam win the FIBA ABL 3x3 women’s championship in Indonesia, defeating Louvre, Indonesia, 14-7 in the gold medal game to cap a 5-0 tournament April 16-17. Vietnam captured the women’s 3x3 silver medal in the Southeast Asia Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Kaylynne was reportedly a finalist for MVP honors in the 5x5 tournament.

The Truongs called the experiences on their first trip to Vietnam “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” something they’ll will be able to share on their return to campus.

“Basketball in Vietnam is on the uphill and we are trying to change things,” Kayleigh said. “The support along during the tournament really helped build the fan base. It is a great first step.”

“Over in Vietnam, I had a lot of fun,” Kaylynne said. “I felt free and I felt like I was smiling most of the time. It was a good reminder to just have fun no matter what.”

“They didn’t have the facilities that we have or personal trainers over there,” Kayleigh said. “They have just love for the game that keeps them motivated. It is just a nice reminder to just do what you love.”

Basketball

Allison Kirby of Athol, who played five seasons at the University of Idaho, is taking her career to Germany. The Timberlake HS graduate signed her first professional contract last week to play for Falcons Bad Homburger TG of the Bundesliga, the second-highest women’s league in Germany.

“I am so happy that Allison has achieved her goal of playing professional basketball,” Vandals head coach Jon Newlee said. “Allison is one of the most mentally tough players I have ever coached. She overcame injuries, ups and downs, yet continued to persevere. … She is a great example of someone working and working to achieve her dreams.”

Kirby was a two-time Idaho Statesman 3A Player of the Year at Timberlake after leading the Tigers to state championships in 2016 and 2017. In 133 games at Idaho from 2017-22, she had 583 points, 569 rebounds, 339 assists and 96 steals and had the second-best career free-throw percentage (88.7) in UI history.

The five-time Big Sky Conference All-Academic selection graduated with a degree in exercise science and health.

College scene

Gonzaga sophomore starting right-handed pitcher Gabriel Hughes and Washington State junior infielder Jacob McKeon picked up postseason baseball awards last week.

Hughes, ninth in NCAA Division I in strikeouts with 138 (in 98 innings), was named to Collegiate Baseball’s 2022 All-America first team, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s All-America second team and the American Baseball Coaches Association All-West Region first team. He had an 8-3 record and 3.21 ERA.

McKeon was selected to the ABCA All-West Region second team. An All-Pac-12 selection, he was 10th in the conference in batting (.324), seventh in on-base percentage (.446) and ninth in slugging percentage (.584). He led the Cougars in five categories, including extra-base hits (23), home runs (seven), walks (28) and the on-base and slugging percentages.

Jace Phelan of Freeman and Braeden Cordes of Mead came in for Northwest Athletic Conference following their sophomore baseball seasons at Community Colleges of Spokane.

Phelan won the NWAC home run title, hammering nine while hitting .283. Cordes was named to the All-NWAC second team with a .333 batting average.

• Gonzaga, Eastern Washington and Washington State have been recognized by the NCAA for their Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, the annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams.

Gonzaga combined to post an APR score of 994, 10 points above the national average. Of GU’s APR-eligible teams, eight posted perfect 1,000 scores in the APR’s multiyear average, the combined mark from each of the past four completed academic years.

Eight GU programs have posted at least four straight years of perfect 1,000 scores, led by 11 from women’s cross country and track. Men’s cross country and track have had nine, while men’s golf and women’s basketball have had eight in a row. All but three GU programs were above the NCAA average multiyear rate for their sports.

Eastern women’s tennis, women’s soccer and men’s cross country programs had multiyear APR scores of 1,000. Men’s cross country and women’s tennis received scores of 1,000 for 2020-21. All 14 programs were above marks of 960 for 2020-21.

This is the seventh time EWU women’s tennis has been honored since the awards were instituted in the 2004-05 academic year, all with perfect scores. Women’s soccer was honored for the second time and men’s cross country for a second straight.

At WSU, women’s cross country was the only program to achieve a perfect four-year APR score of 1,000, while seven WSU programs posted perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 for the 2020-21 academic year – women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s swimming and women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, men’s cross country and men’s golf.

Football recorded a four-year average of 959, with a single-year score of 969, matching its highest the past four years. In all, six Cougars programs improved their four-year APR scores from the previous year, while two had the same score.

• Community Colleges of Spokane finished first and second in all-sports competition within the Northwest Athletic Conference.

CCS won the NWAC Dr. Maury Ray Athletic Director’s Cup, named for its former longtime athletic director, in the big-school division, compiling 140 points in the conference’s 15 men’s and women’s championships to 122.5 for runner-up Lane CC. North Idaho was eighth with 75.5.

Spokane (138.5) was second to Lane (144.5) as NWAC schools have been competing against institutions from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and California Community College Athletic Association (CCCOA) for the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators Cup in the State Associations Division for the prestigious Learfield Cup.

High school scene

Midfielder Chase Walker and goalkeeper Cameron Echelberger of Lake City, and midfielder Tristian Larsen of Coeur d’Alene, received honorable mention on Idaho High School Lacrosse League all-state teams.

Letters of intent

College of Idaho football: Isaiah Griffin, DB, Coeur d’Alene HS.

Idaho women’s track and field: Lily Phenicie, throws, CdA HS

Willamette University women’s soccer: Alysha Villelli, F, CdA HS.

Wyoming women’s basketball: Madi Symons, W/P, CdA HS.

Bethel University (Texas) women’s soccer: Val Flores, D, Post Falls.

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