WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Whitman College women’s basketball team is hosting the fourth annual Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic this Saturday and Sunday in Sherwood Athletic Center.
The four-team tournament honors the late Kim Evanger Raney, a graduate of Issaquah (Wash.) High School who played basketball at Whitman before completing her psychology degree in the spring of 2002. She was 26 when she died in a cycling accident in March of 2007.
All tournament gate receipts will be donated to the Kim Evanger Raney Foundation, which supports such charities as Childhaven, Royal Family Kids Camp, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Special Olympics.
Admission is free for all the games, but contributions for the Evanger Raney Foundation will be accepted at the door and throughout the course of the tournament.
Heidi and Marc Evanger are planning to attend their daughter’s tournament this weekend. Whitman Athletics Director Dean Snider will introduce the Evangers prior to the start of Saturday’s first game.
Whitman and Menlo College open the tournament at 4 p.m. Saturday. Walla Walla University and College of Idaho play Saturday’s second game, starting at about 6 p.m.
The tournament resumes at 2 p.m. Sunday with Whitman playing College of Idaho. Walla Walla and Menlo play the finale at about 4 p.m.
A tournament Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament Team will be announced immediately following the last game.
More information about each of the tournament teams follows below:
Whitman is off to a 4-2 start this season (1-1 in the Northwest Conference) despite having played all six games away from home. And the Missionaries are just a few points away from being undefeated.
One of Whitman’s early losses came in double overtime at Northwest University after the Missionaries let a nine-point halftime lead slip away.
Last Saturday at Lewis & Clark, Whitman was tied with two minutes left to play before the Pioneers pulled away to win.
Jenele Peterson, a junior guard who missed last season because of a knee injury, is back at the front of the Whitman attack, averaging 15.2 points and 3.0 assists per game. She is shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 88.9 percent from the free throw line.
Jennifer Keyes, a junior guard who was hobbled all of last season by an ankle injury, is also rounding back into form. She is averaging 10.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while hitting 45.1 percent of her field goal attempts and 39.4 percent (13-33) of her 3-point tries.
Sophomore Kelly Peterson averages 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds from her guard spot.
Other stat leaders for Whitman early in the season are junior forward Anna Forge (7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), senior center Rebecca Sexton (7.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and first-year forward Sarah Anderegg (7.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg).
Both Keyes and Forge are graduates of Walla Walla High School.
Walla Walla University
Nicke Parks, a 6-foot-3 sophomore center, leads the Wolves, who are off to a 1-10 start his season while playing a schedule filled primarily with NAIA schools like Montana Tech, Lewis-Clark State, Warner Pacific, College of Idaho, and Eastern Oregon.
Walla Walla also dropped a 75-53 decision to Pacific, one of Whitman’s Northwest Conference (NWC) rivals. Parks had a big game against Pacific, scoring 25 points while grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking five shots.
A transfer from Weber State who played her high school ball in Joseph, Ore., Parks has two other double-doubles this season. She blitzed Montana State for 25 points and 11 boards and combined 24 points with 11 rebounds against Northwest Indian College.
Sierra King, a 5-foot-8 sophomore guard, added 21 points and nine rebounds against the Indian College. She also had 15 points, four assists and three steals against Northwest University.
The Walla Walla roster also includes Sierra Burchell, a 6-foot first-year center who played her prep ball at McLoughlin Union High School in Milton-Freewater. Burchell was the Greater Oregon League Player of the Year as senior.
College of Idaho
College of Idaho, an NAIA squad, evened its season record at 5-5 last Saturday with a 78-58 victory over Evergreen State. Prior to that, however, the Lady Yotes had dropped three straight, including narrow setbacks against the NWC’s George Fox (58-51) and Whitworth (63-59).
Idaho has won the last two Cascade Collegiate Conference titles and was picked to make it three straight in the league’s preseason coaches poll. The Lady Yotes opened their conference slate last weekend with a split, beating Evergreen but losing by a point to Northwest.
Nicole Gall, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, is averaging 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.7 steals to start her season. She scorched Whitman for 22 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and seven steals last November to power her team to a 66-48 victory.
Other key players for Idaho are 5-foot-9 first-year guard Dayna Drager (12.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg), 5-4 sophomore guard Katelin Shannon (10.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and 6-foot senior forward Nicole Bruce (6.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg).
The NAIA-affiliated Oaks, who come to Walla Walla with a 5-5 season record, have lost their last three games, including a 71-38 drubbing at the hands of Lewis-Clark State.
Monique Ayers-Calvello, a 5-foot-11 senior forward, averages 13.8 points and 8.1 rebounds for Menlo. She posted double-doubles in victories over Southern Oregon (30 points, 14 rebounds) and UC-Santa Cruz (21 points, 14 rebounds).
Erika Garcia, a 5-foot-7 junior guard, adds 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Brittany Taylor, a 5-foot-4 junior, chips in with 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per outing.
Elisa Ayala, a 5-foot-8 senior, averages 7.4 rebounds (plus 6.6 ppg) for the Oaks, who are outrebounding their opponents by an average of almost 12 boards per game.
Kelsey Grozier, a 5-foot-11 junior, contributes 5.6 rebounds and 6.4 points to the Menlo mix.
CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com