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Posts Tagged ‘NCAA D-III’

Coupeville’s Makana Stone led Whitman College women’s basketball in 12 statistical categories during her junior season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, that’s unfortunate.

The pinheads running the NCAA D-III women’s basketball national championships left Whitman College out of the 64-team bracket, bringing a quicker-than-expected end to Makana Stone’s junior campaign.

The former Coupeville ace misses March Madness for the first time in three seasons.

As a freshman, Stone and the Blues won three games in the tourney, advancing all the way to the Elite Eight before being knocked out. Last year, Whitman fell in the first round to East Texas Baptist.

This time around, despite boasting a 20-7 record and having been ranked in the top 25 several times, the Blues were denied a ticket to the dance.

George Fox University (24-3), the regular-season and postseason tourney champs, were the only school from the Northwest Conference to make the field.

Even then, the Bruins were surprisingly denied a home game to open the tourney, and will travel to St. Louis to face Greenville University (23-4).

Whitman, which went 13-3 in league play and finished second in the nine-team conference, came within a win of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

The Blues scorched Puget Sound in the semifinals of the league postseason tourney, but suffered through a turnover-riddled night in the championship game against George Fox.

Stone had the best season of her time in Walla Walla, earning First-Team All-Conference honors for a second-straight season and earning Player of the Week three times.

She led the Blues in 12 different statistical categories, including scoring average, hitting for 14.9 points a game.

The former Wolf star finished with 388 points, 227 rebounds, 40 assists, 31 steals, and 21 blocked shots in 26 games.

Stone hit on 162-318 from the floor (50.9%) and 63-79 (79.7%) from the free throw line.

With a season left, Coupeville’s progeny sits on the cusp of hitting a host of statistical milestones during her senior season.

She has 928 points, 440 rebounds, 123 assists, 65 steals, and 39 blocks for her career, putting her dangerously close to cracking both the 1,000-point and 500-rebound club.

Stone has hit 394-781 field goal attempts (50.4%) and 139-199 free throw tries (69.8%), and Whitman has rolled to a 68-17 record since she first pulled on a Blues uniform.

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone is off to Brazil as part of an all-star basketball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Basketball has carried Makana Stone from Cow Town to Brazil.

The Coupeville High School grad, who has spent the past two seasons ripping up the floor at Whitman College, has been tabbed to join the USA D-III Women’s Basketball Team.

As a member of the 10-player squad, Stone is jetting off to Brazil and will be overseas July 16-25, playing four games while there.

The trip, set up by USA Sports Tours and Events, has American women and men’s teams playing games against Jundiai, Santa Andre, Queimados and Fluminese.

The Santa Andre women’s squad is a pro team.

When they’re not playing and practicing, the USA hoops teams will have a chance to experience everything Brazil has to offer.

The players will visit schools and sports clubs, and will have a chance to see the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain, two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

Stone, who is entering her junior year at Whitman, is the lone player on the tour to hail from Washington state.

The women’s team includes athletes from nine states and a variety of colleges, and will be led by coaches from Luther College in Iowa.

Stone is coming off a sophomore season in which she torched the nets for 12.3 points a game, snatched 7.2 boards a night and was named a First-Team All-Conference pick by the Northwest Conference.

Whitman has advanced to the NCAA tourney in both of her seasons, piling up a 48-10 record in her time in Walla Walla.

While growing up in Coupeville, playing soccer and basketball and running track, Stone put together one of the best individual prep sports careers the town has seen.

A two-time CHS Female Athlete of the Year (who should have been at least a three-timer and I will never stop arguing she was robbed as a freshman), she finished as the #3 scorer in Wolf girls basketball history.

Stone also has the most state meet medals of any Wolf female track competitor, and kicked off her high school career by winning her first 28 races – the best streak in the history of CHS.

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   Coupeville grad Ben Etzell (3) pitched in 50 games as a college hurler. (Libby Auger photo)

Ben Etzell’s college baseball career ended a few days earlier than expected.

The Coupeville grad and his Saint John’s University teammates were unexpectedly snubbed Sunday night by the committee picking the 58-team field for the NCAA D-III tournament.

While the Johnnies fell in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference postseason tourney to Bethel, which kept them from nabbing an automatic bid, they were expected to get an at-large spot.

Saint John’s piled up a school-record number of wins this season, going 33-8.

Five of those losses were by just a single run, and the Johnnies overcame terrible Minnesota weather which compressed their schedule, forcing them to play multiple doubleheaders in the final two weeks.

SJU rallied, winning the regular season MIAC title by two games over Bethel, its 14th overall and first outright title since 1994.

The Johnnies then split four games at the postseason tourney, with Etzell’s final performance being three innings of no-hit ball against Bethel May 12.

It was his 50th appearance as a college hurler.

Etzell finished his senior season with a 2-2 record, notching a save as he compiled a 1.56 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 appearances.

He tied fellow pitcher Jake Dickmeyer for the team lead in games, and had the lowest ERA of any Johnnie with more than five appearances.

For his career, Etzell, who started college as a starting pitcher before morphing into a relief ace, went 10-4 with eight saves.

He threw 110.1 innings in 50 appearances, held foes to a .266 batting average, and finished with 90 K’s.

During Etzell’s four-year run, SJU went 116-51 (.695) overall, 55-23 (.705) in league play.

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