Former Western Washington University standout Paul Jones got his professional basketball career in New Zealand off to a strong start, helping the Manawatu Jets to an 82-74 victory over the Taranaki Mountain Airs in New Plymouth on Monday, April 7.
Jones scored 33 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the season opener.
"I was just aggressive on offense," Jones told the Manawatu Standard. "I wasn't crashing the boards in the first half, but I should have. I made the adjustment and told myself I'm going to have to crash the glass more. Playing the four, I'm one of the bigger guys until Nick (Horvath) gets back. ... I was focused and came in with a mentality that no matter how I did, I wanted to win."
Jones hit 13 of 21 field-goal attempts and drained his only 3-pointer in the game.
For his efforts, Jones was selected the WBC New Zealand Player of the Week.
WILKERSON EARNS GNAC HONORS
Central Washington catcher Austin Wilkerson (Sehome) shared Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors with Western Washington's Meghan Carrillo on Monday.
Wilkerson hit .444 (8 for 18) during the week to help the Wildcats to a 4-2 record in the Tournament of Champions in California, including a 7-4 win over Chico State. In that game, Wilkerson belted a two-out, two-run home run in the seventh to give CWU a 5-4 lead.
Among her eight hits were two doubles and a pair of home runs, and she drove in six.
Wilkerson also was selected to the all-tournament team.
Wilkerson began her collegiate career playing at the University of Hawaii, but transferred to be closer to home.
In 26 games with the Wildcats this year, she is hitting .338 (24 for 71) with 10 RBI, two doubles, two homers and two stolen bases.
SPEIDEL EARNS HONOR
Spokane Community College freshman Paris Speidel (Bellingham) set a personal record and won the men's 800 meters with a time of 1 minute, 54.76 seconds on March 29 at the Willamette Invitational.
For his efforts, he was selected a Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Athlete of the Week on April 3.
"In what can only be described as un-ideal conditions (heavy winds and rain), Paris ran virtually even splits against mostly 4-year competitors, had a season best and was the top finisher for the day," Bigfoot coach Jason Cash said in his nomination of Speidel for the honor.
OLSON PITCHES AHEAD
Lower Columbia College freshman Tanner Olson scattered five hits and struck out three to help the Red Devils to a 13-2 NWAACC Western Division win over Grays Harbor on March 31.
"Our guys came out focused and took care of business," LCC coach Eddie Smith told The Daily News. "It's good to punch first, and Tanner Olson threw strike one, which is the name of the game."
Olson threw 39 of his 56 pitches for strikes and scattered five hits while striking out three through six innings in the game.
In 34 2/3 innings over six games this season, Olson owns a 3-0 record and a 3.11 ERA, allowing 16 runs, 28 hits and eight walks while striking out 16.
EVANS EARNS ALL-AMERICAN STATUS
Denison University freshman Gus Evans (Squalicum) earned all-American status and placed 15th in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Division III National Swim and Dive Championships March 19 through 22 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Evans' consolation final time of 2:04.34 was just slightly off his prelim time of 2:02.57.
Evans also swam times of 22.46 seconds in the 50 freestyle preliminaries and 57.14 seconds in the 100 breaststroke preliminaries at the championships.
PACIOREK STARTS AT CLASS AA
Milwaukee Brewers minor league catcher Joey Paciorek (Blaine) started the 2014 season at Class AA Huntsville and picked up his first hit of the season in an April 7 game at Jacksonville.
Paciorek is currently listed on the temporary inactive list.
This marks Paciorek's eighth year in the Brewers' minor league system.
CENTRAL TO HONOR CLEM
Longtime Burlington-Edison coach and athletic director and current Bellingham Bells assistant coach Jim Clem will be inducted into the Central Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 17.
Clem moved to Ellensburg after receiving his associate's degree from Peninsula College in 1973 and became a starter and reliever for the Wildcats' baseball program. He helped lead CWU to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 1 playoffs both years he was with the program.
FLINT WINS SHOT PUT AND DISCUS
Former Squalicum standout Gina Flint won the shot put and discus events at the University of Washington Outdoor Open on Saturday, April 12, at the Husky Outdoor Track Facility in Seattle.
Flint, who graduated last year and is now attending UW, won the shot put with a toss of 46 feet, 8.25 inches, besting second-place Alyx Toeaina by more than a foot.
Her mark of 147-11 in the discus was more than two feet better than any competitor.
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