The Spokane Stars Elite Blue girls club basketball team has had a terrific July.
Now they’ll take a break to host their own tournament, the seventh annual Summer Heat Showcase, beginning Sunday at The Warehouse.
It’s the last time for area fans to see this collection of wonderfully talented players, who opened the month winning a national tournament in Oregon City, Oregon and going 6-0 in a tournament in Chicago.
It’s an NCAA certified tourney, meaning Division I college coaches will attend looking for players to sign.
Games begin Sunday afternoon at 1 and conclude Monday evening at 6.
Schedules are available at warehouseathletics.com. Two of the region’s other top club teams, Spokane Sandpipers Black and Spokane Legacy Red, are entered.
The Stars went 7-0 at the End of the Trail National Showcase in Oregon City. It’s the first time a Stars team has won the tourney since a team that included Angie Bjorklund (University, Tennessee), Heather Bowman (Lewis and Clark, Gonzaga) and Briann January (LC, Arizona State).
Lexie Hull of Central Valley was named the overall MVP. Also named all-tournament were her twin sister, Lacie, Hailey Christopher of CV and Jamie Loera of Moses Lake.
In Chicago, the Stars beat six teams from six different states.
Spokane Stars coach Ron Adams has been continually impressed by his team’s defense.
“It’s the best defensive team by far we’ve ever had,” Adams said.
Other team members are Olivia Mayer (Gonzaga Prep), who was lost earlier to an ACL injury; Ellie Boni (U-Hi); twins Tyler McCliment-Call and Jacksen McCliment-Call (Post Falls); Camryn Skaife (CV); and Mia Scelfo and Devyn Muse (G-Prep).
The Stars are 13-0 in July and 29-2 overall since the spring.
The North Idaho Elite team finished the first half of the July college evaluation period posting a 9-2 record and bringing home two trophies.
The team went 4-1 at the End of the Trail National Showcase. Their lone loss was to the Northwest Stars from Oregon who ended up finishing second in the 104-team tournament.
The team then went 5-1 at the MSNM Northwest Championships in Centralia, Washington, July 10-13. They beat the Legacy Builders from Bothell, WA, the Spokane Legacy Red, the Triple Threat Rising Stars from Seattle, WA, the Spokane Sandpipers and WVBA Adidas Elite from Oregon before losing a hard fought championship game to Sagebrush Hoops Black out of Tri-Cities, WA. Melody Kempton (Post Falls), who has given Gonzaga an oral commitment, led the team in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per game. Fellow high school teammate Bayley Brennan added 11.8 points per game while Genesis Prep Academy center Bella Murekatete scored 11.3 points per game.
The team heads to the Las Vegas Super Showcase July 23-25 and finishes up at the EOT Summer Swoosh Championships in Orange County, CA July 27-30.
Other team members are Keara Simpson (Lake City), Rachel Schroeder (Genesis Prep), Kate Sams and Mady Simmelink (CV) and Quincy McDeid (North Central). The team is coached by North Idaho College women’s basketball coaches Chris and Carey Carlson.
LC Lightning from Lewiston finished second in the USA Softball Northwest Region 9 14UB Regional Tournament during the weekend in Seattle after going into the finals unbeaten.
Lightning lost twice to Monarch Crushers from Puyallup, Washington, 11-4 and 12-11, a team it had defeated 11-0 in the winner’s bracket semifinals, and wound up with a 4-2 record. Monarch finished 6-1.
Spokane Stealth-Tibbits tied for fifth with a 2-2 record. It lost to Monarch 10-9 in the third round and was knocked out of the loser’s bracket 6-5 by Fury from Lynnwood, Washington, which finished fourth.
Track and field
Coeur d’Alene standout thrower Grady Leonard has signed to continue his career at the University of Nebraska.
Leonard finished his prep season by winning state championships in the discus and shot put.
“I had a really good fit with the team,” Leonard said. “There are many reasons why I chose Nebraska. For one it is easier to get home from Nebraska. They had a better offer.”
Leonard chose Nebraska over Penn State, Indiana and Cal-State Northridge.
Shadle Park standout jumper Jakobe Ford, who has signed to continue his career at Texas Tech, was named USA Today first team All-American for jumpers.
Ford was a Triple Crown winner at state last spring, capturing titles in the high, triple and long jumps.
It’s rare, even during the high school girls soccer season, that Spokane-area teams fare well against the best in the Pacific Northwest.
But last weekend, The Spokane Sounders U17 girls team captured the championship in the Nike Crossfire Super Gold tournament at 60 Acres Park in Seattle.
It’s the most elite tournament in the Northwest.
The Sounders went 5-1, avenging an earlier loss to capture the title.
There were more than 25 college coaches at the tournament.
Before the tournament, the Sounders were ranked 171st in the nation and fifth in the state. Those rankings are sure to improve.
In the final, a 3-2 win over the Surf, Sarah Wilson had the winning goal.
Including Wilson, team members are Alyssa Molina, Amanda Gerard, Anna Hilbert, Brianna Krygier, Frankie Schade, Hope Zimmerer, Jaxyn Farmen, Jocelyn Gross, Kaelyn Barnes, Kalle Crouch, Kelsey Crosby, Kylie Hanson, Olivia Stone, Paige Malm, Payton Stiles, Taylor Ward and Rachel Rennaker. Coaches are Dan Philp, Dan Zimmerer, Liz Gardner and Rachelle Zimmerer.