Tarver named to Big Sky all-league team [Soccer]

November 6th, 2013

Juneau’s Sarah Tarver [left] of Northern Arizona University was named Big Sky All-Conference honorable mention for the second time in her career. This time the junior was recognized as a defender after last season making the all-conference team as a forward. Tarver has two goals and one assist for five points in 18 games this season.

Barnwell third at SCIAC meet [Cross Country]

November 6th, 2013

Allison Barnwell

Seward’s Allison Barnwell helped Claremont-Mudd-Scripps continue its stranglehold as the top women’s cross country team in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Athenas, ranked first regionally and seventh nationally, got a third-place finish from Barnwell en route to winning the SCIAC crown for the 23rd time.

Barnwell, of Seward High fame, clocked a 6-K time of 23:33 to collect her third career top-10 finish at the NCAA D3 conference championships.

She was second as a junior and seventh as a freshman.

Williams wins doubles title in Oregon [Tennis]

November 5th, 2013

Whitney Williams

It doesn’t matter who Whitney Williams of Anchorage plays doubles with because she continues to win tournaments.

The 18-year-old Alaska state champion teamed with Portland’s Erin Larner to win the Girls 18s doubles title at the Lewis & Clark College endorsement tournament over the weekend in Portland, Ore. They prevailed in three matches by a combined 24-11 score.

Williams has now won regional championships with four different partners.

“I like doubles. I tend to do better in doubles [outside the state] than singles,” she told me. “I practice volleys and overheads more than almost anything. I like to stay at the net. I’d prefer to be at the net than at the baseline all day long.”

Williams, of South High fame, has won seven of her last eight doubles matches and two major titles since August, when she won the Girls 18s USTA Pacific Northwest Junior Sectional Championships with Samantha Hampton of Vancouver, Wash.

Williams also played singles at Lewis & Clark, losing in the first round 7-5, 6-3 after a key point was called out by her opponent to end the first set.

“I’m not upset I lost; that didn’t determine the match. She played better than I did,” she said. “But it was upsetting that somebody had to cheat to win a set.”

Williams took out her frustration on the consolation bracket, winning her next three matches to lift her record to 15-4 in her last 19 outings.

“I just got over it,” she said. “It doesn’t take me long to get over a match.”

Next up for Williams is the USTA Winter National Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz., over Christmas break.

Alaskans face off in exhibition game [Basketball]

November 4th, 2013

The game didn’t count because it was an exhibition, but it still mattered to Keiahnna Engel of Anchorage and Kristin Smeaton of Dillingham.

The Alaska sophomore guards squared off when NCAA D1 Boise State University beat NAIA Southern Oregon University 95-58 in Idaho.

Bragging rights went to Engel, who started the game and finished with 16 points, eight steals, six rebounds and five assists.

The former Alaska player of the year missed all of last season with a knee injury. This was her first game back.

Engel, of Dimond High fame, played 22 minutes and made 6 of 14 shots.

Her career high is 14 points.

Smeaton, of Dillingham High fame, came off the bench to score seven points and dish off three assists in 14 minutes.

She was coming off a 13-point performance two nights earlier in a win over California Maritime. Southern Oregon had already played two official games going into the exhibition game against Boise State.

It was the first time Smeaton reached double figures in 17 games in college.

Ford top runner at Gardner-Webb [Cross Country]

November 4th, 2013

Wasilla’s Jenna Ford capped a fabulous freshman season at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, leading the team with a 5-K time of 19:27 at the Big South Cross Country Championships in Lexington, Va. Her time was just eight seconds off her PR set three weeks ago. Ford has posted the fastest women’s time in each meet this season.

Saints, Reeves cap perfect league season [Soccer]

November 3rd, 2013

Kelsey Reeves

When the St. Scholastica women’s soccer team started the season 0-2-1, there had to be a sense of panic given the team’s enormous success the last decade.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Reeves of Eagle River helped put those fears to rest.

Led by the Alaskan, the NCAA D3 Saints responded by winning the next 16 games and capturing the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship with a perfect league record.

Reeves, of Eagle River High fame, has picked up a team-high seven wins during that streak.

In just two seasons, she has asserted herself as one of the best keepers in school history; she ranks fourth in career wins [22], fifth in save percentage [.847] and second in goals against average [0.65].

Just give Kauffman the rock [Football]

November 3rd, 2013

Anchorage’s Justin Kauffman of Adams State University rushed for 50 yards on nine carries in a 27-24 loss to Fort Lewis. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior running back has eclipsed last year’s totals in carries [65/58], yards [323/314] and longest run [36/21]. He has scored three career touchdowns, with two coming this season.

Bell-Holter to play in NBA D-League [Basketball]

November 1st, 2013

In an effort to stay close to his NBA dream, Damen Bell-Holter of Hydaburg will remain in the fold with the Boston Celtics by playing for its affiliate in the D-League.

The 6-foot-9 forward decided to play for the Maine Red Claws after getting cut by the Celtics a week ago after training camp, turning down offers to play in Europe.

“It felt like a good decision and situation,” he told me. “I could get call-ups with them and other [NBA] teams.

Bell-Holter, of Ketchikan High fame, is among a trio of players who will play in Maine after getting released by the Celtics after camp.

He saw action in three preseason games for Boston.

By playing in the D-League, Bell-Holter will be able to develop his skills on the pro level while learning parts of Boston’s system.

D-League players are regularly promoted to the NBA, often times signing 10-day contracts to provide depth. Sometimes they stay with a team for the reminder of the season.

“I’m gonna work hard and put myself into a position to stick to a team,” Bell-Holter said.

He will be the third Alaskan with ties to the D-League. Ramon Harris of Anchorage played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants during the 2011-12 season and G.J. Macon of Anchorage was drafted by the Arkansas RimRockers in 2006 but never played.

Perkins flirts w/ career high in Turkey [Basketball]

November 1st, 2013

Veteran Euroleague guard Doron Perkins of Anchorage reached the 25-point plateau for the fifth time since 2009 in a 77-69 loss in Turkey. The 6-foot-2 point guard for Besiktas is better known for his passing and rebounding skills, however, he can score a little as well. His career high as a pro is 28.

Stonebraker nets game winner for Loyola [Soccer]

October 31st, 2013

Tricia Stonebraker

The Loyola Chicago seniors are going to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament for the first time, thanks to Tricia Stonebraker of Anchorage.

The senior midfielder delivered the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win over Evansville, clinching the team’s postseason berth on the final day of the regular season.

Stonebraker, of Service High fame, now has nine career goals – with seven of them winning a game or tying a game.

How does Loyola spell relief?

She is one of the greatest players in school history, just missing making the top 10 on the all-time list in games [77], goals [9], assists [8] and points [26].

This is a midfielder, mind you. She also plays defense and controls the ball with deft dribbling.

Stonebraker holds the school record for the latest game winner at the 107-minute, 48-second mark against Wright State in 2010.