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Jim Buchan

Stories by Jim

Pro rodeo heritage has Walla Walla bull rider on course

Nineteen-year-old Derek Kolbaba has already cashed his first Frontier Days Rodeo check. The 2014 Wa-Hi graduate finished fourth in last year’s bull riding event in the Walla Walla Fairgrounds arena and earned $1,230.46 for his trouble. He’s setting his sights higher Sunday night when he comes out of the rough stock chutes during the final moments of this year’s Frontier Days.

All-City gets lift from two primary sponsors

The Walla Walla Exchange Club is back in the golf business.

Johnson’s 18th-hole boldness a duffer’s dilemma

Any weekend duffer who ever played a $2 Nassau could identify with Dustin Johnson’s internal debate as he hovered over a makeable 12-foot eagle putt on the 18th green Sunday during the final round of the U.S. Open at much-maligned Chambers Bay.

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For Hisaws, family comes first

If Curt Hisaw has a bumper sticker on his 1994 one-ton Dodge pickup, it most likely reads Gone Fishing. Or, perhaps even more appropriate these days, I’d Rather Be Fly Fishing. “I am almost obsessed with fly fishing,” says the 69-year-old Spokane native. “It’s almost spiritual to be standing out in that stream. I love it so much.” But Curt’s angling avocation took a sharp detour from the Spokane Valley’s lakes and streams earlier this spring when his eldest son, Walla Walla High’s Eric Hisaw, put an arm around his father’s shoulder and asked for a favor.

Guard play determines Duke’s win over Zags in regional

Leading up to Sunday’s NCAA South Regional championship game in Houston, college basketball expert Dick Vitale of ESPN sized up the Gonzaga-Duke game thusly:

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Phil Reser reflects on outstanding baseball career

This is always the time of year when Phil Reser gets that spring-training itch.

Warriors’ Hazeltine resolved to upgrade roster

Having a freshman as your go-to players might not be all bad, especially when you begin the discussion about next year.

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Penguins shock Warrior women

WWCC gets bounced from the NWAC Championships in the opening round by Clark on Saturday.

Poynor looks like answer to Mac-Hi’s hoop woes

Mac-Hi hasn’t had a winning record in boys basketball since the 2003-04 season when Chris Meyers guided the Pioneers to a 15-7 record in the last of his four years as head coach.

WWCC women rally past Columbia Basin, 68-60

Walla Walla erases a 15-point second-half deficit to claim the East Region championship.

Warrior men wrap up season with 101-98 loss

Walla Walla rallies to take a 87-86 lead in the second half, but can’t hold on against Columbia Basin.

WWCC women beat Big Bend

The Warriors hold off the Vikings, 80-62, after racing to a 28-point halftime lead.

Big Bend drops Warrior men

Walla Walla was less than three minutes away from a season-saving victory over Eastern Region-leading Big Bend Saturday in a Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball game in the Dietrich Dome.

O’Flaherty embraces fatherhood, 10th MLB campaign

Eric O’Flaherty already has one game on his Oakland Athletics baseball schedule circled in red.

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Buchan: Music lovers’ boat awash with performers

It was all Connie’s idea. Connie Rogers, that is, hard-working owner of White Elephant Sales, an estate-sales business, and Diettrich House Antiques down on the corner of Ninth Avenue and West Alder Street.

Warrior women take over first in NWAC East

Walla Walla beats Treasure Valley, 76-46, on Saturday to improve to 16-4 overall and 7-1 in East Region play.

WWCC men fall to Treasure Valley, 81-52

Treasure Valley outclassed Walla Walla for the second time in 11 days Saturday night in the Dietrich Dome, drubbing the Warriors 81-63 in a Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball game.

Helix to celebrate basketball glory days Saturday

Memories of Kim Flerchinger’s final high school basketball game in late winter of 1983 are kind of a blur, she admits.

CC takes on Whit JVs in needed game

Basketball pals Bobbi Hazeltine and Michelle Ferenz have decided to close out the year in unusual fashion Wednesday night.

Warriors’ scoring machine also good at giving

To say that the Walla Walla Community College men’s basketball team runs its offense through Satchel Schetzle might be the understatement of the year.

MLB moves brighten dark days of winter

When the sun creeps above the rim of the Blue Mountains Saturday morning at exactly 7:32.29, it will mark the dawn of the shortest day of the year.

Buckeyes’ ascension baffles Baylor, TCU fans

The four-team playoff that will determine this year’s college football national championship is a better format than any previous method of crowning a champion.

Lots of reasons for area grid fans to tune in

The cream almost always rises to the top, and this year is no exception.

Pirates’ state title no big surprise

Jim Greene saw it coming midway in the season.

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W-P looks to snap Broncos’ streak

Could this be the week for long winning streaks to come to an end?

Indians lived up to their own high standards

It would be wrong to suggest the Touchet High football team underachieved in 2014.

Touchet’s turnovers prove costly in 34-28 loss

TOUCHET — The sun set on Touchet High’s 2014 football season here Saturday afternoon, a brilliant golden disc descending upon a frozen landscape. Four uncharacteristic turnovers and a costly roughing-the-kicker penalty proved to be more than the Indians could overcome as visiting Cusick sandwiched 21 unanswered points around the halftime break and defeated Touchet 34-28 in the first round of the Washington Class 1B-8 state playoffs.

Indians’ playoff with Cusick certain to be cold

Snow is in the forecast, and the temperature isn’t expected to reach 30 degrees for the playoff game at 1 p.m. Saturday.

W-P looks to speed against Tonasket

W-P coach Jeff Bartlow feels his team is faster than the Tigers headed into their state playoff Friday night.

Pirates hit road to face Republic

Pomeroy’s road trip north of Spokane will be much easier if the Pirates can win their playoff game Friday.

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Patriots hand Indians first loss, 62-46

Liberty Christian claims the Southeast 1B-8 District title after a 62-46 victory over Touchet.

Indians look to turn tables on Pats

Touchet has never defeated Liberty Christian, but hopes to change that Thursday in a battle of SE1B-8 unbeatens.

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Walla Walla man recounts being on hand for only perfect game in World Series history

Monday, Oct. 8, 1956, and Dean Lodmell and three of his college pals were hanging around the Columbia University campus with not much going on.

Wa-Hi grad Thompson taking in the world as diplomat

Matt Thompson has been helping to organize this weekend’s reunion of the 1994 Wa-Hi football team from afar.

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'94 Blue Devil football team to reunite, remember playoffs run

Members of Wa-Hi’s 1994 football team, the only team in school history to reach the state championship finals, will gather in Walla Walla this weekend to reminisce and honor coach Gary Mires 20 years after their memorable trip to the Kingbowl in Seattle.

Difficult (unfair?) schedule stymies M’s push

By the time the Seattle Mariners decided to take things into their own hands, it was too late.

Time for cautious M’s fans to climb on board

It keeps rumbling up and down main street, the question begging to be asked.

Dedloff leads Dayton into 8-man ranks

Jerry Dedloff returns to his alma mater for his second stint as football coach, this time competing at the 8-man level.

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Wa-Hi alum Chutas doesn't slow down

Lindsay Chutas has always possessed a steadfast sense of her own self worth.

Fiddes was first to rule All-City tourney

Ed Fiddes won the first Walla Walla All-City Championships golf tournament in 1950.

Contenders fill field at All-City Championships

About a fifth of the field is expected to play from the longer blue tees this weekend.

World Cup frenzy has one US sports fan up in arms

Having twice visited Europe in recent years, I have been blessed with some memorable moments.

Calling all Warriors: WWCC championship players reunite

After capturing the first conference title in school history, the 1979 WWCC football team returns to Walla Walla.

Warriors to gather in honor of retired grid coach Levens

Steve Kizer coached football for 15 seasons at Walla Walla Community College, the last 10 as the Warriors’ defensive coordinator under Mike Levens.

Gwynn’s baseball legacy began at Borleske

Like Sweet Onions and fine wine, Tony Gwynn’s name is a point of pride in the Walla Walla Valley.

Baseball’s the best, but not without its warts

Baseball’s finer points — its history and traditions, its long-standing love affair with America’s sporting public — were examined recently in this space. Now for a rebuttal.

Title run pleasant surprise for young Pioneers

Who could have guessed?

Senior Invite set to tee off Thursday

The field of 117 men and 41 women take to the Walla Walla Country Club for the 54th annual tournament Thursday through Saturday.

Baseball best at passing the test of time

Terry Cashman was a minor league ballplayer in the Detroit Tigers organization in the late 1950s and early ’60s. During that same time he doubled as the lead singer and songwriter for a rock band called the Chevrons.

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Wa-Hi baseball team claims MCC crown

Wa-Hi rallied for four runs and a two-run lead in the bottom of the first inning Saturday afternoon at Murr Field, then played add-on. Good thing.