KENNEWICK -- The new executive director of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, Marco Azurdia, came away from this week's NWAACC basketball tournament impressed.
But that's nothing new.
Azurdia used to be the women's basketball coach at Wenatchee Valley before becoming the school's athletic director, and he's been helping at the tournament in the Toyota Center since it began.
"I think this has been a great tournament," said Azurdia. "I have been a part of it since it started here (13 years ago). But this doesn't happen without the support of the community and the volunteers."
Azurdia took over the NWAACC's top spot last year when Dick McLain retired.
The tournament, by the way, will be in the Tri-Cities for at least the next two years.
The complete all-tournament teams weren't released until well after the tournament ended Tuesday night.
Dominique Williams of tourney champ Tacoma was named the men's MVP.
Chemeketa's Jordan Batey and Gavin Kauffman, Mt. Hood's Spencer Clayton, Tacoma's Mark McLaughlin and Big Bend's Blake Skidmore were first-team all-tournament.
Peninsula's DeShaun Freeman, Bellevue's Jonathan Humphrie, Yakima Valley's Amir Royal, Shoreline's Avery Scherer and Tacoma's Nate Walker were second-teamers. Chemeketa's Jason Martin was named most inspirational.
By the way, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few was spotted in the stands at the men's championship game, reportedly to watch Tacoma's McLaughlin.
Columbia Basin dominated the all-tournament team, with Katherine Samuels named MVP, and Tiffany Idler and Jennifer Noon on the first-team all-tournament squad. Joining them are Yakima Valley's Simone Jordan and Brittney Newcomb, and Sam McCloud of Clackamas.
The second team was comprised of Bellevue's Brittany Barrington, Chemeketa's Lauren Codling, Skagit Valley's Jessica Denmon, Walla Walla's Sienna Edmundson, and Clackamas' Jennifer Johnson. YVC's Hannah Lekson was named most inspirational.
More basketball stuff
Congratulations go to junior Cydney Tibbitts and senior Dana Bates, both women's basketball players from Westminster College in Utah. The were both named to the first team of the Frontier Conference all-league squad.
Tibbitts played at Connell, Pasco and Richland high schools before playing college ball at the University of Utah and then transferring to Westminster. She was known as Cydney Knight back in high school. She averages 10.5 points and leads the team with 7.2 rebounds.
Bates prepped at Warden High School, then played two seasons at Big Bend Community College. She averages 11.2 points and 6.4 points.
Westminster (22-8) plays Belhaven of Mississippi on Wednesday in the first round of the 32-team NAIA Division I women's national tournament in Frankfort, Ky.
Chiawana grad Shelby Ellsworth also plays for Westminster, averaging 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Richland High grad Mandy Machinal, a freshman at Montana Tech, was named to the Frontier Conference second team. She averaged 13.0 points per game this season.
* Pasco High grad Roby Clyde finished his college career March 2 when he scored 11 points for Central Washington University in a 93-81 loss to Alaska Anchorage.
* The Eastern Oregon women beat Ave Maria of Florida 66-58 on Wednesday in the first round of the NAIA Division II tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. Jorie Freeman, who played at Hanford High and Columbia Basin College before transferring to the La Grande school, scored four points but grabbed 13 rebounds in just 15 minutes of play. Teammate Tina Miller, who played at Kamiakin and CBC, scored two points and grabbed two boards in 7 minutes. EOU plays Concordia of Michigan at 10 a.m. today.
* Whitworth's men (26-3) have reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament, playing Virginia Wesleyan (26-3) tonight in a Sectional semifinal in Wisconsin. Richland grad Colton McCarger comes off the bench for the Pirates, averaging 15 minutes a game of playing time and 4.9 points a game.
Just wondering why Richland's Brett Jacobs hasn't been seeing any playing time for the WSU baseball team, found out the junior is still recovering from offseason wrist surgery. ... Southridge grad Tyler Roberts, playing at Campbellsville University, will spend this summer playing for the Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League. ... Outfielder Taylor Wattenberg, who played at CBC and is now at PLU, will play this summer for the Wenatchee AppleSox in the same league. Catcher Josh Rapacz, a Richland High grad at George Fox University, will also be in Wenatchee. ... Speaking of Wenatchee, former Kamiakin standout Dustin Willis is the interim head baseball coach at Wenatchee Valley Community College. That could explain the big number of Kamiakin grads on the roster: OF Justin Berneski, P Bryce Drury, P Joey Flores, SS AJ Griffiths, 2B Blake Raekes and 3B Devan Willis.
* Hanford High grad Molly Knox was named the Western Athletic Conference women's player of the week last week for going 4-0 -- victories in both singles and doubles play -- in team wins against BYU and Lewis-Clark State. ... Richland High's Cole Lorenzo has signed to play men's golf for the Community Colleges of Spokane beginning in the fall.