Walla Walla, Wash. – The Whtman Women’s basketball team will host three regional opponents this weekend in the 7th Annual Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic. The matchup of four games is a celebration of the late Evanger Raney’s love for basketball, the Whitman basketball player was tragically killed in a cycling accident in March of 2007.
|Kim Evanger Raney|
This year’s format will vary from years past as Whitman’s Friday night contest against Puget Sound will count in the Northwest Conference Standings and there will not be a title game this year. The Friday/Saturday slate of games is as follows: Lewis-Clark State vs. Corban University at 4 pm Friday, followed by the Whitman/Puget Sound game at 6 pm. Saturday, at 4 pm, nationally ranked NAIA power Eastern Oregon University faces off against Lewis-Clark State with the Lady Missionaries taking on Corban at 6 pm.
Not only is this a great chance for basketball fans to gorge on some great hoops, but it is a special weekend for the Whtiman basketball family. “This weekend is all about Kim”, says Whitman Head Coach, Michelle Ferenz. “Kim was a senior my first year here (as head coach) . . . and it just made sense to do a classic in her memory because one thing with Kim was that she was just passionate about basketball. She just loved the game and was an amazing leader and so it just made sense to honor her memory in this way.”
The weekend of games also serves to benefit Evanger Raney’s foundation. All proceeds from game admissions will go to the foundation that supports a variety of charitable organizations. To learn more about the foundation, you can visit www.kimevangerraneyfoundation.org.
In addition to being the consummate team leader, Evanger Raney shined between the lines as she led the team in rebounds in each of her four seasons, despite battling through chronic leg injuries. “She just never wavered in wanting to be a basketball player. She battled through so many injuries”, says Ferenz. The four-year started would tally 531 rebounds and 593 points during her Whitman career.
|Kim Evanger Raney|
Friday’s tussle with UPS is a huge early season conference game for both teams. Whitman enters the contest with a 1 and 0 mark in the NWC after an impressive 71 to 51 victory over Pacific Lutheran. The Lady Loggers have yet to play a NWC game but sport a 6 and 1 record and the conference’s second leading scorer in guard Kelsey McKinnis, who is averaging over 21 points per game and over 54 % shooting beyond the arc.
The Whitties have used a balanced attack on the offensive end as only one player is averaging in double-figures -- junior forward Sarah Anderegg, whose 14.3 per game is third best in conference. Coach Ferenz’s squad has been able to find different scoring leaders to accompany Anderegg in each game.
The Lady Missionaries enter the Classic with a 6 – 1 overall record.