NELKE: On softball, dirt and career stats

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With all but two players back from last year’s softball team that finished second at state, the Lake City Timberwolves sought tougher nonleague competition this year.

So with that, the T-Wolves are scheduled to leave today for the March Warm Up Elite Tournament in St. George, Utah, where Lake City is guaranteed at least five games — three on Friday, two on Saturday.

Lake City coach Jesse Lenz said he heard about the tournament from Eagle coach Nicole Rollins, whose Mustangs beat Lake City for the state 5A championship last year.

Eagle is also entered — in another pool — as are Bishop Kelly, Highland and Idaho Falls from Idaho. All told, their are 46 teams in seven pools.

“With our returners, we needed to beef up our schedule,” said Lenz, beginning his fourth year as coach.

Only one drawback for Lake City, which like all other spring sports teams have had to practice inside because of the late-winter snow up North.

“We haven’t even seen the dirt yet,” Lenz said.

AT LEAST Lake City hopes to start the season this week.

Timberlake has already had its season openers in baseball and softball postponed. Both Tiger teams were slated to open at Orofino on Friday and Saturday, but poor field conditions have nixed that.

Timberlake’s softball team is scheduled to host Sandpoint next Tuesday, but “there’s a foot of snow on our field,” Tigers softball coach Casi Reisenauer said.

More likely is the Tigers will open their softball season one week from today at Clarkston.

JAKE PFENNIGS finished his Post Falls High basketball career with 1,184 points, good for fourth all-time. His 768 rebounds are first all-time.

For his career, he averaged 12.1 points and 8.1 rebounds, shot 49.1 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from 3-point range, and 80.9 percent from the free-throw line.

This year, Pfennigs averaged 16.7 points and 11.1 rebounds, shot 48.2 percent from the field, 38.1 percent on 3s, and 82.1 percent from the line.

He averaged nearly a double-double from his sophomore through senior seasons — 14.7 points and 9.9 rebounds.

“Jake’s efficiency on the offensive end is so impressive,” Post Falls coach Mike McLean said. “I am confident that the three players above him on the scoring list do not have the career efficiency that Jake demonstrated for his career. His career rebounding record will stand for a long time. I have never coached or coached against a better rebounder in the state of Idaho. Jake’s ability to rebound outside his frame allowed us to play so much faster and allowed us to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities on the fast break.”

Pfennigs has signed to play baseball at Oregon State. A strong senior season in hoops had him briefly considering playing basketball as well. Then again, he is expected to be selected in June’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, so he could have a decision to make.

ON THE girls’ side at Post Falls, Melody Kempton finished with 1,486 points (averaging 15 ppg), 892 rebounds (averaging 9 rpg) and 211 blocks (averaging 2 bpg) for her career. She is the career leader in all three.

Kempton, who has signed with Gonzaga, also shot 59 percent from the field for her career, which Trojans coach Marc Allert said would likely be a school record as well, if such records were kept.

Bayley Brennan, who has signed with Seattle Pacific, scored 1,007 points for her career (an average of 10.1 ppg).

Kempton broke the previous career scoring record of 1,377, held by Katelyn Loper, earlier this season. Aubree Johnson scored a reported 1,334 points in her high school career. It is believed Tabitha Bailey, Michelle Schultz and Janelle Ruen scored more than 1,000 career points, but records were incomplete during those eras.

Brennan also had 270 career assists, the most under Allert, in his seventh season.

SPEAKING OF basketball, Genesis Prep senior guard Junior Williams said he hopes to walk on at North Idaho College next year. Williams, who helped the Jaguars win back-to-back state 1A Division II titles, said he attracted some recruiting interest in football, but has opted for basketball. Williams played for the Post Falls High football team last fall.

Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via email at mnelke@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter@CdAPressSports.

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