Another holiday weekend means it’s another big weekend in local club volleyball, and we have your first look at what’s on deck……

Another big weekend is on deck for local girls’ club volleyball, with a couple of major tournaments of note.

Several teams with Valley high school players will be competing in this weekend’s Northwest Juniors’ Presidents’ Day weekend tournament. The event will be held at locations in Kent, Des Moines, Federal Way, Sumner, Auburn, Fife, and other communities in King and Pierce Counties.

The local teams will be competing in various age groups. The headline age bracket will be the U15’s, where a couple of the teams are among the best in the region coming into this weekend’s play. Bellevue-based Sudden Impact will have two teams in that field – one, their Typhoon squad with Mount Si HS’s Harper Click, is currently ranked at or near the top of the rankings of U15 club teams within the Puget Sound Region. Their second squad, the Lightning, includes fellow Wildcat Sara Kaitlyn Mitchell, and too is having a solid season thus far.

Mercer Island-based Island Thunder’s 15 Black team, with another MSHS’er, Bellah Gogan, comes into this event as one of the top teams as well in the region in the age group; they came into last weekend’s Power League tournament seeded as a top five entry. This squad will also be one to keep an eye on this coming weekend.

Other teams of note this weekend with local girls include the Bellevue-based Northwest Juniors’ 17’s Under Armour Black, with MSHS’ Cameron Kendall and Cedarcrest HS’s Danielle Winston; they also are among the top teams in their age group in the region, having been seeded 10th overall going into last weekend’s local Power League tournament for U17 and U18 teams. Another NWJ team, the 16’s Under Armour Blue, with Mount Si players Jessica Hanners and Lillian Bachand, are currently ranked in the top 20 in the region at their age level.

A couple of other squads also competing this weekend with Valley ties include the Carnation-based Valley View U14 team, the Bellevue-based High Velocity 16’s with Cedarcrest’s Kam Leslie, and the Northwest Juniors’ 15’s Under Armour Blue, with three Valley players.

Outside of the area, there is a big event also going on this weekend down in Las Vegas. Kent’s KJ 16’s and 17’s will be there at that event. The 16’s feature Mount Si’s Patience O’Neal, while on the 17’s coaching staff is Wildcat head coach Bonnie Foote.

We’ll have coverage throughout the weekend of these big tournaments. More information on the NWJ event is here.

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North Bend player’s high school baseball career in question because of his participation in international event

We mentioned to you both yesterday and earlier today that four Valleyites are competing for the New Zealand national team in this weekend’s World Baseball Classic qualifiying tournament in Australia.

Well, for one of those players, it could come at the cost of his senior year of high school baseball. FOX Sports has a story on its website today, from their national writer Jon Paul Morosi, talking about this issue as it pertains to pitcher Jim Boyce, who along with his brother Joe, and MSHS grads Dewald De Klerk and Max Brown, are competing for the Kiwi squad in the tournament.

New Zealand plays the Philippines later tonight our time. Here’s Morosi’s piece, and we’re opening it up for comments, so if you have thoughts on the story and the issue at hand, post a comment or send us an email at snovalleysports@gmail.com. We should add a couple of items to this – one, Morosi’s story notes that Boyce attends Mount Si High School. We, however, have found a bio of the player on a website called Perfect Game that lists him as attending a different high school locally. We are attempting to clear that up right now and have contacted MSHS head baseball coach Zach Habben and the school’s assistant principal/athletics director Greg Hart to get clarification on that and also for any additional comments they may have about this. If they respond, we’ll let you know.

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Thursday news and notes……

Good Thursday morning. Here’s what we have this morning for you.

Baseball
Brown’s double not enough for Team New Zealand in WBC opener: North Bend’s Max Brown went 1-3 with a double, but his New Zealand national squad fell 7-1 earlier today to South Africa at the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Sydney, Australia.

Brown was the lone player out of the four from the Valley on the New Zealand team that saw action in today’s contest. The others – pitchers Jim and Joe Boyce and catcher Dewald De Klerk – did not play. New Zealand is likely to play the Philippines next, with that game scheduled for tonight our time. WorldBaseballClassic.com should have a live webstream of that contest this evening.

Buhner’s homer aids LCSC: Junior Gunnar Buhner’s first home run as a Warrior helped Lewis-Clark State’s baseball team sink Central Washington 6-4 in a contest in Lewiston, ID, yesterday that featured MSHS alums on both sides of the diamond.

Buhner, a 2013 MSHS alum from Fall City, hit the solo shot in the fourth inning and finished 1-3 with a walk, the RBI and two runs scored. He played second base defensively and recorded three putouts and two assists for LCSC on the day. Senior Ryan Atkinson, a 2012 ex-‘Cat from North Bend, started and played third base for Central and finished the day 0-3; he recorded one assist defensively.

CHS grad makes Hawaii Pacific debut: Junior Tanner Marty, from Duvall and a Cedarcrest HS grad, made his debut for Hawaii Pacific University’s baseball team last night as they rolled to a season-opening 6-1 win over St. Leo University of Florida at home in Kaneohe, HI. Marty, a newcomer to the Sharks this spring after transferring in from Lower Columbia CC down in Kelso, was 0-3 and started the game in left field. He finished with one putout defensively aiding HPU.

Basketball
Centralia women win: Centralia College’s women continued their strong showing this season, posting a 72-55 road win last night in Tacoma over their NWAC league rivals Pierce College. Sophomore Susan Kenney, from Duvall and a 2014 Cedarcrest HS alum, scored nine points and added six rebounds to pace Centralia, who kept pace with Lower Columbia for top spot in the NWAC West. The Blazers are now 8-1 in league, 17-7 overall and one game behind the Red Devils for top spot.

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Brown leads Valley foursome in major international baseball tournament

Four baseball players with ties to the Valley are set to compete in a major international tournament starting today.

The World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament is taking place down in Sydney, Australia, and all four players are representing the New Zealand national team in the event. The group is led by outfielder Max Brown, a 2011 Mount Si High School graduate and current professional baseball player. Brown, from North Bend, will be starting his second season with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization this spring after the team drafted him in last year’s Major League Baseball draft out of college.

Also on the New Zealand roster are pitchers Jim and Joe Boyce, both also from North Bend, and catcher Dewald DeKlerk, a 2012 Mount Si High School alum.

New Zealand opens play tonight (Pacific time) against South Africa. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. and you should be able to find a webstream of the contest on MLB.com, Major League Baseball’s website.

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Wildcat gymnasts to carry solid delegation to districts despite not making it as a team following mid-pack Kingco showing

Mount Si High School’s gymnastics team did not qualify for districts as a squad, but they still will have a solid-sized group competing there in individual action this weekend.

The Wildcats finished fourth in last Saturday night’s Kingco meet at Mount Si High School. Mount Si scored 166.875 and finished behind Bothell, Newport and Woodinville. But, as noted, several gymnasts made it in individual events. Senior Abby Weber will compete in the all-around at districts, after pocketing a 35.5 in the all-around last weekend. She scored a 9.15 on floor and 9.7 on vault to key that performance. Junior Samantha Holmes also makes it in the all-around after recording around a 35.0 score in that competition during Kingco. Freshman Sarah Christopherson will also compete in the all-around.

Senior Maggie Kenow leads the individual event qualifiers; she will compete on bars and floor, while junior Lauren McCallum will compete on beam and floor. Sophomore Morgan Lowell will compete on the bars, while freshman Shelby Johnson will take on the vault, bars and floor events.

The SeaKing meet is Saturday at Skyline High School in Sammamish.

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