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Jim Buchan

Stories by Jim

Buchan: Longtime Braves fan debates hot corner greatness

WALLA WALLA — News reports out of the Atlanta Braves camp last week that this will be Chipper Jones' final big league baseball season contradicted the euphoria that I usually associate with spring training.What a bummer, I thought to myself, knowing full

Michels heads to 33rd year with Irish track teams

Mike Michels has coached the DeSales girls and boys to state titles over his tenure.

WALLA WALLA — In his 33 years as head track and field coach at DeSales, Mike Michels has just about seen it all.The 62-year-old Michels has coached two of his Irish teams to state championships — the 1992 girls team and the 1999 boys squad — and numerous

Injuries, low turnout dampen Irish expectations

DeSales calls up six eighth-grade students to its softball team to supplement its injury- and low-turnout-ravaged ranks.

WALLA WALLA — When you don't graduate a single senior off of a softball team that placed fourth at state last spring, rebuilding shouldn't be part of the 2012 conversation.Right?Well, Russ Vera, who is beginning his fourth season as the DeSales High varsi

Irish focus on return to state championship

DeSales' baseball team hasn't played in the title game in two years.

WALLA WALLA — In 1989, Kim Cox's seventh season as the head baseball coach at DeSales, the Irish celebrated their first state baseball championship after a 7-2 victory over Toutle Lake in the Kingdome in Seattle.DeSales made it back to the Washington Clas

Buchan: Warriors' Reinland deals with recruiting disparity

WALLA WALLA — Jeff Reinland admits that he wears his emotions on his sleeve.And Reinland looked lower than a snake last weekend at the Toyota Center in Kennewick after his Walla Walla men's basketball team had been knocked out of the NWAACC Championships

WWCC coach fires up team with history lesson

WALLA WALLA — Coach Bobbi Hazeltine's fears that her Walla Walla team couldn't — or wouldn't — regroup emotionally in time for Tuesday's third-place game at the NWAACC Championships women's basketball tournament in Kennewick proved to be unfounded.Fueled

Warriors withstand rally, place 3rd at NWAACC tourney

Despite blowing a 20-point, halftime lead, the WWCC women hang on to beat Chemeketa for third place in the NWAACC tournament.

KENNEWICK — Halftime came too soon here Tuesday afternoon at the Toyota Center as far as Walla Walla coach Bobbi Hazeltine was concerned.The second half lasted way too long.So it's no wonder Hazeltine collapsed in her chair and breathed a deep sigh of rel

Yaks jump over Warrior women

Yakima Valley's defense and 3-point shooting are too much for WWCC as the Warriors fall, 59-47, in the NWAACC semifinals.

KENNEWICK — It's going to be another all-Eastern Region party here late this afternoon at the Toyota Center in the women's NWAACC Championships basketball tournament finals.But for the first time in three years, Walla Walla's Warriors are not invited.

Shoreline Dolphins sink Walla Walla Community College men

Shoreline outshoots the Warriors, 96-94, to end WWCC's NWAACC run.

KENNEWICK — Walla Walla knew that it couldn't get off to another poor shooting performance here Sunday morning at the Toyota Center.Not against a Shoreline team that scored on average 103 points a game during the regular season but also yielded 100-plus p

Warrior women zone Pierce out, 61-46

WWCC defeats Pierce despite hitting just 28 percent from the field in the first half of the NWAACC tournament opener.

KENNEWICK — There were some technical difficulties here Saturday afternoon at the Toyota Center.For starters, the 30-second shot clock wasn't functioning properly during Walla Walla's first-round game against Pierce in the women's NWAACC Championships bas

Early burst lifts Tacoma past WWCC men

The Warrior men fall into the consolation bracket of the NWAACC tournament after losing to Tacoma.

KENNEWICK — It wasn't the 8 a.m. opening tip. And it wasn't tournament jitters, either.Tacoma's fast getaway and subsequent 80-73 victory over Walla Walla here Saturday in the opening round of the men's NWAACC Championships basketball tournament at the To

Warrior weapons loaded as NWAACC tourney tips

The WWCC women can turn to a number of players to lead the way against Pierce on Saturday.

WALLA WALLA — Leslie Stillar has been Walla Walla's most consistent scorer this season, and she leads the Warriors with a 13.7 scoring average going into the women's NWAACC Championships that tips off Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.But if the

Buchan: Warrior women's coach worried as usual

WALLA WALLA — Bobbi Hazeltine's 13th season in charge of the Walla Walla Community College women's basketball program has been a fairly smooth ride.Other than one early season scare when scoring leader Leslie Stillar appeared to suffer a serious knee inju

Buchan: WWCC men greet dawn's early light

WALLA WALLA — It's Jeff Reinland's opinion that breakfast and basketball do not enhance one another.That said, the Walla Walla Community College men's basketball coach accepts the fact that he's going to have to work some corn flakes in with his practice

Warrior men prep for NWAACC tourney

In a year of spotty shooting, the WWCC men hang their hats on defense as they prepare to face Tacoma Saturday.

WALLA WALLA — Longtime NWAACC Championships basketball fans may not recognise this year Walla Walla representative in the men's 16-team field that begins a four-day run Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.Although known through the years for their

Buchan: Dayton's Turner big fan of 1995 champs

DAYTON — You don't find many high-school kids who dig watching old movies.But Garett Turner, one of six seniors on this year's Dayton High boys basketball team, is an exception. There's this one old classic in particular.

Ramirez has history with seniors

Dayton coach Roy Ramirez has known the six Bulldog seniors leading the team into the state Class 2B tournament since 2005.

DAYTON — Roy Ramirez is a 1985 Dayton High graduate, but he was living in Spokane when he first became involved coaching basketball in this small farming community.'One of my wife Kristen's cousins had boys who were young and playing AAU basketball, and t

Buchan: Weston-McEwen boys eager to take next step at 2A state

ATHENA — Progress!In a word, that is the definition of Brian Pickard's body of work during his first three seasons as boys basketball coach at Weston-McEwen.Unwavering progress.In year one in 2009, the TigerScots managed a 10-14 season record and missed t

Three fields. three hat. Three teams and the coach that helped to build ... A Special Baseball Bond

When it comes to baseball, Dave Meliah, JC Biagi and Cesar Lopez have a lot in common.

Buchan: District 2B hoops bracket gets failing grade

WALLA WALLA — There's a lesson to be learned from the Southeast 2B District basketball bracket that riled up so many of the participating coaches last weekend at Sherwood Center.Be careful what you wish for.

Waitsburg-Prescott, Dayton boys set for regional tilts

W-P faces Lake Roosevelt and Dayton plays Riverside Christian Friday night in Wa-Hi's gym in regional play.

WALLA WALLA — Devising a successful defensive scheme is a top priority for Waitsburg-Prescott boys basketball coach T.J. Scott as he prepares his team for Friday's regional showdown against Lake Roosevelt in the Wa-Hi gym.It's a tall order. And defense is

Bulldogs face Brewster; Waitsburg-Prescott takes on Crusaders

The girls regional action is set for Saturday with a berth to the state tournament on the line.

WALLA WALLA — Nearly halfway through the season, the Dayton girls basketball team was still in search of its first victory.Now the Bulldogs are just one victory away from their first state tournament appearance since 2006.

Waitsburg-Prescott girls knock out Irish

DeSales, which entered as the No. 1 seed, falls to Waitsburg-Prescott in the District tourney.

WALLA WALLA — DeSales erased all but one point of an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit Saturday afternoon at Sherwood Center before succumbing to Waitsburg-Prescott 47-44 in a girls Southeast 2B District loser-out basketball game.The Irish, who entered the

Waitsburg-Prescott boys down Tri-City Prep

Waitsburg-Prescott overcomes a poor third-quarter shooting performance to take a 37-27 victory.

WALLA WALLA — After nearly shooting itself out of the game in the third quarter, Waitsburg-Prescott turned the tables on Tri-Cities Prep in the fourth period of Saturday afternoon's Southeast 2B District boys basketball game at Sherwood Center on the Whit

Holowaty takes on all comers, his father included

WALLA WALLA — Never let it be said that Jared Holowaty is one to shy away from competition.Whitman College's third-year head baseball coach believes that the best way to build a winning program is to play up. Never mind the disparity between wins and loss

Yankees no longer incite envy; how about the Giants?

WALLA WALLA — Break up the Yankees!That was baseball's bitter battle cry that began in 1923 — the year the Yanks won their very first World Series — and echoed down the halls of the next four decades. And for good reason.

Pro Bowl revises Hawaiian vacation schedule

OAHU, Hawaii — When my wife Margaret and I were unable to book a room at a popular resort that we had discovered here a couple of years ago, we didn't realize that the National Football League was to blame.

Tebow's QB play remindful of tough guy Kapp

WALLA WALLA — I promised myself I wasn't going to weigh in on the Tim Tebow debate simply because I don't believe the sports page is the proper forum in which to argue positions on religion.If there are others in the media ­ ­— and there certainly are — w

Familiar sound foretells baseball's return

WALLA WALLA — Pling!The sound was unmistakable. And inviting.Pling! I was jogging on Tietan Street. The sun was arcing low along the southern horizon and it's brilliance was almost blinding. But my ears were not deceived.Pling!

Buchan: College coaching ranks has distinct WW flavor

WALLA WALLA — Peter Sirmon's decision to return to the Pacific Northwest as a member of the University of Washington football coaching staff is welcome news.Sirmon, a 1995 Wa-Hi graduate, is a good guy who gives all of us here in Cougar Country a reason t

WWCC hoop coaches welcome holiday hiatus

WALLA WALLA — As far as Jeff Reinland and Bobbi Hazeltine are concerned, the Christmas season's basketball interlude couldn't have come at a better time.For Reinland, Walla Walla Community College's men's coach, the necessity of the break is perhaps the p

State title won't end Bartlow's coaching journey

WAITSBURG — When Jeff Bartlow took over the Waitsburg High football program in the fall on 1999, he had a couple of goals in mind.'When we got here 13 years ago, we wanted to win a state championship,” Bartlow said earlier this week, including his wife Lo

Weston-McEwen coach, seniors bonded for life

ATHENA — Weston-McEwen coach Kenzie Hansell learned most of his football Xs and Os during his playing career at Washington State University.But he absorbed his coaching philosophy from his parents growing up on a wheat ranch near Hermiston, where he atten

Touchet no match for No. 1 Warriors

The Indians struggle through freezing cold and fall to undefeated Almira-Coulee-Hartline, 52-8.

MOSES LAKE — It didn't take long for inevitability to sink in here Friday night in a cold-to-the-bone Washington Class 1B-8 quarterfinal football game.Touchet head coach Gary Dorman and his assistants — Guy Gregg, Leland Weber and Saul Martinez — certainl

Touchet's 1978 home playoff tilt a slip of the mind

TOUCHET — If you stay in this newspaper business long enough, one truth is abundantly clear.The readers always write.Or, in the case of the folks who live in and around Touchet, they take you by the arm, look you squarely in the eye and explain your tran

Indians run into No. 1 Almira-Coulee-Hartline Friday

Touchet hopes to get speedy Vicente Flores healthy for the state B-8 quarterfinal game in Moses Lake.

TOUCHET — When he's at his best, Vicente Flores can expect to touch the ball on offense 10-to-12 times during the course of a game.And more often than not, that's been often enough to produce several Touchet touchdowns, keep opposing defenses honest and s

Local linkster enters exclusive ace club

WALLA WALLA — Dave Vargas is a bonafide duffer. His handicap at the Walla Walla Country Club since taking up the game of golf 16 years ago while still in his mid-50s has ranged from the low teens to the mid-20s. He's currently listed as a 21, although he

Touchet defense keys rally past Cusick, 28-20

The Indians can't find their offense in the first half, but overcome a 6-0 halftime deficit for the playoff win.

TOUCHET — The Touchet Indians put forth their best defensive effort of the season here Saturday afternoon in a wind-blown, sometimes-drizzly District 7/9 8-man prep football playoff game against Cusick.Good thing, too, because an Indians' offense that did

WWCC in soccer playoffs

WALLA WALLA — The Highline men and the Clark women will be in town Saturday to face Walla Walla teams in the quarterfinal round of the NWAACC Soccer Championships.The Thunderbirds, who finished second in the NWAACC's Western Division with a 13-1-3 overall

Weston-McEwen heavily favored over Knappa

The TigerScots are heavily favored in Saturday's playoff with Knappa.

ATHENA — On paper, this game shouldn't be close.Blue Mountain Conference champion Weston-McEwen looms as a heavy favorite here Saturday afternoon when the TigerScots entertain Knappa in the first round of Oregon's Class 2A state football playoffs. Kickoff

Indians look to get their swagger back

Touchet has made it to the playoffs eight times since 1999, but has rarely been a serious factor.

TOUCHET — The Touchet Indians won the last of their four Class 1B-8 state football championships in 1999.In the 11 seasons since that thrilling 42-36 victory over Neah Bay in the Tacoma Dome, the Indians have qualified for postseason play eight times, mad

Pomeroy pumped for postseason play with Northport

The Pirates host Northport Friday in a District 7/9 elimination match.

POMEROY — Sanford Bates has been involved in the football program at Pomeroy High for most of his 27 years at the school, ranging from junior high coach to varsity assistant coach to head coach on two different occasions.But Bates was no more than an inte

Surprise! Mac-Hi invited to 4A playoffs

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi will play its first postseason prep football game since 1996 Friday night when the Pioneers travel to Baker City to face the Greater Oregon League rival Baker Bulldogs in one of 16 Oregon Class 4A play-in games that will determin

Pirates hand Indians first loss

Pomeroy piles up 457 rushing yards as the Pirates outduel Touchet, 48-42, in their SE1B-8 showdown.

TOUCHET — Yielding huge chunks of yardage isn't anything new for the Touchet Indians' defense.Garfield-Palouse rushed for 438 yards just a week ago. Earlier in the year, Lacrosse-Washtucna combined for 491 yards running and passing. And Colton burned the

Mustangs up next as Weston-McEwen continues title bid

ATHENA — If saving the best for last is the ultimate dining experience, Weston-McEwen football fans are looking forward to a double serving of dessert during the final two weeks of the Blue Mountain Conference season.Nothing sour, please.The unbeaten Tige

Indians use a little fear to remain perfect

Lacrosse-Washtucna holds a late lead, but Touchet responds to garner the 48-36 Southeast 1B-8 victory.

TOUCHET — Fear, it's been said, is a great motivator.The Lacrosse-Washtucna Tigercats came here Friday knowing full well that one more defeat would dash all remaining hope of securing one of the Southeast 1B-8 League's three postseason playoff berths.And

Brewers' Morgan is Walla Walla's reason to watch

WALLA WALLA — When the Atlanta Braves squandered their big September lead and relinquished the National League Wild Card to the onrushing St. Louis Cardinals, it was a big disappointment to many baseball fans hereabouts.With the Seattle Mariners finishing

Indians win SE1B battle with Wildcats

Touchet makes big plays on offense, key stops on defense and capitalizes on opportunities for the 48-38 victory over Colton.

TOUCHET — Two days of incessant drizzle subsided here Friday.Gusty southwest winds sprang up in the vacuum of the front as it moved east, raising havoc with the Touchet High homecoming parade in the morning. But by mid-afternoon, things had settled down.

Shootout in Touchet as Indians entertain Wildcats

WALLA WALLA — It's October.And that means that area prep football teams are heading into what promises to be — for some, anyway — an exciting second half of the season.None more so than Touchet.

DeSales girds for Waitsburg-Prescott rivalry game

WALLA WALLA — When DeSales entertains Waitsburg-Prescott Friday night at Ty Baffney Field, it will be a renewal of the Southeast 2B-11 League's most heated football rivalry.Currently speaking, that is.And it's a rivalry that leans in Waitsburg-Prescott's