Sportswatch

WASHINGTON EVOLUTION WIN NATIONAL TITLE

The Washington Evolution second-grade basketball team is celebrating winning the national title at the AAU National Championships in Memphis, Tenn. in the last week of June.

The team, which practices at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, won six of seven games at the tournament throughout the week, including a 40-30 win over Maryland’s Finest in the championship to claim the title.

“It was kind of like a high school state championship, Tacoma Dome-type atmosphere,” said Evolution head coach Lonnie Walker. “You couldn’t believe at this age how serious it was.”

To qualify for the national tournament, the Evolution won all four of their matchups in the regional qualifier in Eugene, Ore. in March.

The team, consisting of point guard Tre Walker, Mo Jackson, Elijah Hall, Josiah Bedward, Shawn-Michael Stanley, Logan Walker and Malik Samuels, played in over 60 games in their regular season. They even won a few local tournaments in which the majority of the competition was comprised of fourth-grade players.

“There was nothing they hadn’t seen,” Lonnie Walker said. “We had played older kids all season. By the time we were playing our age, it was kind of easy for them.”

The success even led to the Evolution being featured in TIME Magazine’s July 12 issue, in an article focusing on the professionalization of youth sports (http://keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2013/07/11/a-national-basketball-championship-for-second-graders/).

By Jeremy Helling

STADIUM GRAD EARNS ACADEMIC HONOR

Stadium High School alum Sam Walters, now playing basketball at Willamette University, was recently named to the 2012-13 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court for his academic success as a student-athlete.

More than 700 men's basketball players from all levels of NCAA and NAIA competition were selected to receive the award this year. A total of 285 college teams were represented on the Honors Court.

In order to qualify for the Honors Court each student-athlete had to be a junior or a senior, own a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher (4.0 scale) at the end of the academic year, and be at his current NCAA or NAIA college or university for at least one season.

Walters is majoring in Economics at Willamette. He owns a 3.34 cumulative grade

point average after six semesters. This winter, he completed his third season with

the Bearcats. He played in all 25 games and made 18 of 48 three-point shots (37.5 percent). During his Willamette career he has seen action in a total of 48 games.

"Sam's dedication and work ethic in the classroom matches up with the way he prepares himself for basketball," said Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane. "This award is a great testament to his desire on and off the court."

CHAMBERS HIGHLIGHTS LOCAL TALENT AT JUNIOR OLYMPICS

Foss graduate Marcus Chambers highlighted a solid group of local athletes who recently competed at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics on July 22-28 at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.

Chambers took second in the Boys 17-18 200-meter dash and sixth in the 400-meter dash, and teamed with Tre’Von Clark, Jamala Myres and Wesley Love to lead the Seatown Express relay team to a fifth-place finish in the 4X400-meter relay. Chambers used the event as training for the upcoming Pan Am Junior Championships, where he will represent the U.S. on Aug. 23-25 in Medellin, Colombia.

Curtis’ Kira Perkins came up with a big effort, taking ninth in the Girls 17-18 triple jump with a mark of 38 feet and 10.5 inches, while Viking teammate Kelly Cronic took 24th in the event.

Bellarmine Prep’s Jared Sinsheimer took 14th in the Boys 17-18 high jump with a mark of 6 feet and 4.75 inches, and placed 23rd in the triple jump and 24th in the long jump. Lions teammate Isaac Swillie took 42nd in both the Boys 17-18 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Lincoln’s Tyler Hill took 27th in the Boys 15-16 400-meter dash, while Tacoma’s Cinque Maxwell took fourth in the Boys 7-8 100-meter dash and 12th in the 200-meter dash and Omarei Gregory placed 25th in the Boys 13-14 triple jump.

SHERMAN TAKES FOURTH AT TACOMA NARROWS HALF

Will Sherman, a junior-to-be at Bellarmine Prep, placed fourth overall out of 794 finishers at the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon on Aug. 3. Sherman finished first in his age group, notching a time of one hour, 19 minutes, 14 seconds.

Seattle’s Timothy Aukshunas won the race in breaking the course record by more than three minutes, finishing with a time of 1:09:11. Issaquah High School junior Larissa Kolasinski was the top women’s finisher in a time of 1:26:59.

The 13.1-mile course started at Tacoma Narrows Airport near Gig Harbor and featured a stretch along Cheney Stadium’s outfield warning track before eventually finishing in downtown Tacoma.

STUDS WIN FIRST TWO AT NBC WORLD SERIES

The Seattle-Tacoma Cheney Studs won their first two games at the National Baseball Congress World Series, which was set to conclude on Aug. 10.

The Studs began with a 9-7 win over the San Antonio Titans on Aug. 2, using four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead. Kyle Boe was hit by a pitch to score Pierce College’s Brian Corliss to tie the game, and University of Puget Sound outfielder Connor Savage followed with a bases-loaded triple to score Boe, Eric Peterson and Jordan Copeland. Peterson finished with two hits and two runs batted in, and Boe added two RBIs for the Studs. After starter Ross Humes was roughed up, Puget Sound grad Taylor Thompson came in to pitch 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, eventually picking up the win.

The Studs used another four-run frame to take a 6-3 win over the El Dorado Broncos on Aug. 3, this time scoring four times in the bottom of the seventh to break open a 2-2 tie.

Corliss gave the Studs the lead with a double to score Boe, Peterson later doubled to score Corliss and Yosuke Akitoshi and Bobby LeCount added a run-scoring double to plate Jared Van Hoon. Starter David Benson allowed two runs on three hits in six innings, with six walks and five strikeouts to pick up the win.

The Studs were set to face the Hutchinson Monarchs on Aug. 6, and were assured of at least two more games in the tournament. The finals were to take place on Aug. 10.

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