News from the pitch….and a hoops preview!!!!

Good Tuesday morning. Light morning this morning. But we have news and also a quick look at the college hoops schedule for this week.

The news comes to us from the world of soccer. It has been a whirlwind last several days for Valleyite Nikki Stanton. The North Bend product, a 2008 Mount Si HS grad, made a triumphant return to the American-based National Women’s Soccer League, signing back with the team she last played for in 2019, the Chicago Red Stars. The move, as we told you when it was announced last week, was warmly received by fans, and the latest news about her is only likely going to increase that even more.

Stanton, in addition to her playing opportunity for the Red Stars, is now going to have a chance to coach perhaps some of the team’s youngest fans. She has been hired by the Chicago KICS youth soccer organization and will be a part of the organization’s coaching staff.

The organization offers teams for boys and girls, men and women ages 5-23 in all different skill levels. In addition, they also provide summer camps and other instruction designed to help educate and support the growth of “The World’s Game” in one of the United States’ most diverse cities.

Stanton will join three Red Stars teammates – Danny Colaprico, Hannah Davison and Alyssa Mautz – as members of the organization’s coaching staff.

A few of you may remember that several years ago, following her graduation from college, Stanton spent part of a season volunteering as an assistant coach for Mount Si’s girls’ soccer team, under then-head coach Darren Brown, who she played for as a player for the Wildcats. So this move for Stanton looks to be a good one, as she can impart her playing experience and knowledge, and skills she gained helping coach kids within the Mount Si program, to help develop and grow a new generation of youth soccer players in the Chicagoland area.

With Illinois being relatively shut down right now for youth athletics due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state, tournament and game opportunities for KICS are likely limited currently, but they will be active in national tournaments most likely this summer.

Good stuff there and we wish Stanton and KICS good luck this year. Now to basketball.

Weekly hoops preview
It’s time now to take a quick look at the college basketball picture, and let you know how you can support local athletes in action this week. It’s all men’s action as you know now for the next two weeks, after the University of California’s women’s basketball program, featuring freshman Sela Heide, a 2020 MSHS alum from Snoqualmie, took a two-week pause late Sunday afternoon due to COVID-19 issues in the program which forced a game cancellation and now will force postponements for the next four games involving the Bears.

Heide’s fellow class of 2020 MSHS’ers, Tyler Patterson, Hayden Curtiss, and Jabe Mullins are all in action again this week, and they are joined by a 2018 MSHS’er, Brett Williams, as Pacific Lutheran University starts its abbreviated season due to the pandemic. We’ll talk about them first.

Pacific Lutheran (Brett Williams): PLU’s sports are slowly returning following a delay in their start this school year due to the pandemic. The men’s basketball team will officially open its season with games Friday and Saturday nights at home with Whitman College in Tacoma. Tips are slated to be 8:00 p.m. on Friday and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. No fans are being permitted to attend games in person at PLU, but as has been the custom in past years, the games are being streamed.

The Northwest Conference and their partners at Stretch Internet have upgraded their streaming app, which is available on phones, tablets and set top devices such as Roku, AppleTV and AmazonFire. The app is free to download and the games are also free to watch. Games involving PLU and other Northwest Conference teams will be shown on this app.

The school has started a fan cardboard cutout program, which you can learn more about here. Each cutout costs $50 and will be useable for you at all PLU home athletic events, so you Mount Si fans will want to pick one up and support Williams on men’s basketball, and MSHS girls’ soccer alums Joelle Buck and Calie Rose on Lute women’s soccer.

Williams is a junior this year and is from North Bend. His brother, Jack, a current Mount Si senior, just announced his verbal commitment to PLU a few days ago.

Montana State (Patterson): Patterson, from Snoqualmie, and the Bobcats take their strong Big Sky start, in which they have gone 4-0 to open the conference schedule, down south to Arizona and Flagstaff to be exact. They will be playing Northern Arizona University Thursday and Saturday. Thursday’s tip time is 5:00 p.m. and Saturday’s is at 11am, both our time in the Valley. PlutoTV will be carrying both games, with the longtime and outstanding voice of the Lumberjacks, Mitch Strohman, on the call. Strohman has been the play-by-play man for Northern Arizona sports for over 20 years and is also a part of the university’s media relations department.

Portland (Curtiss): The Pilots have started out slow in the West Coast Conference, and have dropped below .500 after a strong showing in non-conference play. Curtiss, from North Bend, and friends have a pair of TV games this week. The Pilots head to Provo, UT, on Thursday to meet Brigham Young University. That game tips at 6:00 p.m. and will be on CBS Sports Network. Saturday, UoP is back home hosting the University of San Diego for a 2:00 p.m. tip to be on NBC Sports Northwest. Both networks are available on Comcast locally in the Valley, but not on the basic tier, so if you want to catch the two games, you will need to call them to inquire about adding those channels to your cable package. Saturday’s game will be available for streaming on the WCC Network on Stadium. DirecTV and Dish also carry CBSSN, so viewers on those satellite providers will be able to see Thursday’s game also.

St. Mary’s (Mullins): SMC, too, is winless in WCC play at 0-3, a bit of a surprise for this perenially strong squad to start the season. Mullins, from Snoqualmie, and the Gaels will be on the road this weekend. Thursday, they are at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for a 5:00 p.m. tip on the WCC Network, then on Saturday afternoon, they are in San Francisco to meet the University of San Francisco. That game is at 4:00 p.m. and on CBSSN. These two games tune the Gaels up for a big one for Mullins and all of you Mount Si hoops fans next week – St. Mary’s hosts Portland and Curtiss on January 28.

We wish all of the guys good luck this week.

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Good Monday morning! It’s Martin Luther King Day, and we have the news…..

Good Monday morning. Basketball on deck. First, we’re going to take you down under. Australia to be exact where the pro baseball season is underway and a Mount Si High School alum is once again on the diamond this spring in the Aussie pro baseball league.

Pitcher Jimmy Boyce, who played for Mount Si a few years ago and graduated from the school in 2016, is this season pitching for the Canberra Cavalry in the Australia Baseball League. Boyce is a starting pitcher for them and is currently 0-3 with a 5.82 earned run average for the Cavalry, who are 4-9 this season. Boyce, a native of New Zealand, worked the game last Friday for Canberra, falling to Melbourne but not before throwing seven decent innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking two and striking out three.

Boyce and fellow Mount Si alum Max Brown normally play for the ABL’s Auckland, New Zealand, team called the Tuatara, but that organization was forced to opt out of the season this year due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand. Brown is not playing elsewhere in the league as far as we know this season. He is a 2011 Mount Si HS grad.

Boyce, as you may remember, represented New Zealand in the 2016 World Baseball Classic, and his participation in that event caused a controversy regarding his eligibility with the Wildcats that generated national media attention. He ultimately was cleared to play for Mount Si that season before pitching with junior colleges in both Washington and Arizona during his college baseball career.

Canberra is at Sydney this coming weekend. A note and that is ABL action is now being shown locally in the Valley on tape delay on Root Sports, which is Comcast channel 30. You’ll want to check local listings for games and times to hopefully see this Valley product in action.

Basketball: Cal women pause season due to COVID-19
The University of California women’s basketball program has paused its season for the next two weeks thanks to a COVID-19 issue that has popped up within the squad. As we mentioned yesterday, the school had announced its game with the University of Utah yesterday was postponed; now the team has announced its schedule the next two weekends – home games with the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Southern California before coming north for freshman Sela Heide’s, a 2020 Mount Si HS grad, first ever games as a college athlete on home soil here in Washington, against both the University of Washington and Washington State University – are off due to the COVID situation.

The school, in its announcement, again did not go into detail as to the nature of the issue, whether it involves anyone directly in the program or if it’s just support staff, but nevertheless, the games are off, and considering the team is currently winless and is battling a short-manned roster situation due to injuries, there is a possibility the school may end up canceling the remainder of the season. That will be decided later.

As for the men’s basketball action featuring Valley athletes, there’s a four-pack of action this weekend. Yes, a four-pack as we welcome a new player to the season, and we’ll talk about that tomorrow or Wednesday here on the blog.

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Hoops on a Sunday……

Good Sunday morning. Our regular diet of hoops for you starts this morning in Bozeman, MT, where Montana State University’s men used a nice contribution from Valleyite Tyler Patterson to post a home win.

Patterson, a freshman from Snoqualmie and 2020 MSHS grad, was 3-7 from the floor – all from behind the three-point line – to finish with nine points as MSU handled Portland State University 69-64 to remain unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play at 4-0, 7-3 overall.

He also had a rebound, assist and steal in the contest for Montana State. The point output for Patterson in the contest was his best since his career-high 11 points for the Bobcats in a win about a month ago over Yellowstone Christian.

MSU now hits the road for a pair of games against Northern Arizona University. The games are Thursday and Saturday. Thursday’s game is at 5:00, and Saturday’s game is at 11am, with both games being streamed live on PlutoTV with the longtime Voice of the Lumberjacks, the outstanding Mitch Strohman, on the call for both games.

Time now to talk about the other Valley men’s hoops freshmen, Hayden Curtiss and Jabe Mullins.

Pepperdine sinks Portland: The Pilots remained winless in WCC play at 0-4 after dropping an 80-65 loss last night to Pepperdine University’s Waves down in Malibu, CA, on the Pepperdine campus. Curtiss delivered a highlight-reel dunk late in the contest for the University of Portland’s men, finishing with those two points along with two rebounds for the Pilots in limited minutes. Portland drops to 6-7 overall and will look to rebound on Thursday when they meet Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. The game at the Marriott Center tips at 6:00 p.m. and will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.

St. Mary’s falls to Gonzaga: St. Mary’s College’s men dropped a 73-59 decision at home in Moraga, CA, to the top-ranked Gonzaga University men last night. Mullins in limited minutes off the bench for St. Mary’s was 0-1 from the floor.

Cal women’s game postponed
The basketball season for all of the Valley athletes thus far has been impacted by COVID-19 postponements resulting from concerns surrounding game opponents. Well, that has now changed. One of the four teams featuring our local freshmen has itself had to postpone a game now thanks to concerns about the virus within the program.

The University of California’s women’s basketball program, in a tersely-worded statement issued last night, announced the postponement of today’s game at the University of Utah. The school did not elaborate as to the nature of how many people within the program may have tested positive or how they may have come into contact with the virus. Snoqualmie’s Sela Heide, a 2020 MSHS grad, is as you know on the Cal team, and they played this past Friday at the University of Colorado, falling to the Buffaloes.

As many of you know, the Pac-12 Conference conducts daily testing of their athletes and support staff from each program, and it is likely that the decision to cancel spurred from a positive test yesterday along with the resulting contact tracing. The Bears as we have told you do not have a lot of extra players available, so any sort of COVID-19 issue for that program was likely to result in the scenario they are dealing with at the moment.

Our best to Heide, her teammates and coaches as they work through this situation. They are next scheduled to be home Friday and Sunday, with those games, against the Los Angeles schools, currently in jeopardy thanks to this situation.

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News nuggets to start your weekend…..

Good Saturday morning. Our diet of hoops for you starts off with some news from Mount Si High School’s boys’ basketball program, where one of their players has made his college decision.

Senior Jack Williams has verbally committed to Pacific Lutheran University. The NCAA Division III school announced it on Twitter yesterday. Williams, who will see a key role for Mount Si if there is a season this school year, becomes the fifth MSHS player in recent years to find a college home, joining brother Brett, also at PLU, Tyler Patterson, now at Montana State, Hayden Curtiss, now at Portland, and Jabe Mullins, now at St. Mary’s.

PLU’s season has yet to start also. The seasons are delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other basketball now.

Heide chips in for Cal: The University of California’s women’s basketball squad remained winless on the season after falling yesterday on the road to the University of Colorado, 75-59, inside the CU on-campus Events Center in Boulder, CO. Freshman Sela Heide, she of Snoqualmie and a 2020 MSHS grad, came off the bench and chipped in two points, two rebounds, an assist and two blocks in a little more than 11 minutes of action for Cal, who dropped to 0-11 on the season. They are at the University of Utah tomorrow for an 11am tip on the Pac-12 Networks’ Mountain regional network, available in Utah and Colorado.

Baseball note also:

Duvall team teams up on no-no
It may be the middle of January, but Duvall-based PSP’s 13U select baseball team took to the diamond last night, and it proved to be a special night for the squad, as four pitchers combined on a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over Redmond-area rival Prime Athletics Beliel.

Jack Cochran, Brad Dinelt, J.W. Grose and Glen Veranth combined on the no-no for PSP, with Cochran striking out six in his two innings of work.

Good work gentlemen. Spring is soon to approach and it is hoped the team, and other area teams, will be able to play more fully this year.

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Millen makes his mind up….and news from the hardwood on a Friday…..

Good Friday morning. We’ll have our diet of hoops in a moment, but we have some big news from Mount Si High School’s football program.

In a decision that was highly anticipated following recent coaching changes at the school’s football program, Mount Si senior quarterback Clay Millen announced last night the re-opening of his college recruitment, de-committing himself from the University of Arizona, who he verbally committed to last June.

Millen made the announcement on Twitter, thanking Arizona for their efforts in recruiting him, and adding he had “great respect” for the school and the new coaching staff led by new head coach Jedd Fisch, hired to replace former head coach Kevin Sumlin, who was fired by the university following this past season. It was this firing, and subsequent changes to the coaching staff which included the departure of assistant coach Noel Mazzone, who Millen developed a close working relationship with during the recruiting process, that initially caused the Mount Si athlete to delay signing his letter of intent last month with Arizona before making last night’s announcement.

With the recruiting landscape much different following the early signing period and due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is unclear what may be out there for Millen in terms of potential landing spots. One which will likely be among the top potential suitors is the University of Colorado. CU had been seen as Millen’s likely destination last spring following some interviews with Buffaloes’ beat reporters in which Millen described some strong family connections to the Denver area, making the fit there very, very good for him. Whether CU materializes or not now remains to be seen. Another school that some respondents on Twitter to the news want Millen to look at is the University of Washington, largely due to his father Hugh’s ties to that school as a former great QB for the Huskies in the 1980’s. With Kennedy Catholic senior Sam Huard already having signed his LOI with that school and is expected to be at or near the top of the UW depth chart right out of the gate, the fit for Millen there is nowhere near as good, so it is not expected the Huskies will be in contention for him.

In any event, Millen has about two weeks to make a decision as the football signing period is in early February. So we’ll keep you posted.

Time now for some hoops and news on our three 2020 Mount Si High School boys’ hoops grads, all of whom were in action on the college hardwood on their home floors last night.

College men’s scores
Montana State beats Portland State: The Bobcats moved to 3-0 in Big Sky Conference play last night with a 71-64 win over Portland State University inside the Worthington Arena on Montana State University’s campus in Bozeman. Snoqualmie’s Tyler Patterson started for MSU and worked 10 minutes with not much to report on the stat line aside from missing both of his shot attempts in the contest. The two teams meet tomorrow at 11am our time (noon Mountain) to finish up the set. If you are in Montana, you will be able to see the game on SWX over-the-air but for those in the Valley and elsewhere, it will be streamed on PlutoTV, on phones, tablets and set-top devices.

San Francisco handles Pilots: The Dons picked up right where they left off from last week’s win over the University of Portland’s men and cruised to a 76-63 win over Portland inside the Chiles Center last night notching the season series sweep and dropping the Pilots to .500 at 6-6 on the season. North Bend’s Hayden Curtiss played just over 11 minutes for UoP and finished with two rebounds in the contest. The freshman also recorded a steal. Portland will be in the air today headed to southern California to meet Pepperdine tomorrow down in Malibu. It’s a 4:00 p.m. tip and will be live on the WCC Network, streaming via the Stadium app on phones, tablets and set-top devices.

BYU bests St. Mary’s: The Gaels fell for the second game in a row last night, dropping a WCC game to Brigham Young University, 62-52, inside St. Mary’s UCU Pavilion in Moraga, CA. Snoqualmie’s Jabe Mullins started for the Gaels and worked 17 minutes, recording three rebounds, but missing his lone shot attempt on the contest. St. Mary’s, now 9-4 on the season, hosts top-ranked Gonzaga tomorrow for a now 7:00 p.m. tip, pushed back a couple of hours from its original 5:00 p.m. start time. ESPN will have the game still.

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