Prep Watch

How much busier can a high school basketball player be than Kevin Love over the next two and a half weeks? Not much.

The senior center from Lake Oswego is in New York, where he will appear on ESPN's 'Cold Pizza' today to help promote the McDonald's All-America game. Love will participate in that event Wednesday in Louisville, Ky.

From Louisville, Love flies to Chicago for the Roundball Classic on April 3, another high school all-star game. Two days later, Love will be in Atlanta to receive the Naismith Award as the nation's top high school player.

After that, it's off to Memphis and the Nike Hoop Summit on April 7, where Love is part of a U.S. team that will face an international squad of prep all-stars.

Love, incidentally, has swept the national player of the year awards. In additional to winning the McDonald's and Naismith honors, he also will be feted in coming weeks as Parade magazine's player of the year and the John R. Wooden high school player of the year.

• Benson track and field coach Leon McKenzie has a good excuse for his current absence. Daughter Sharitha, named Miss Oregon in September, is competing for Miss USA in Los Angeles. The pageant will be televised by KGW (8) at 9 tonight. Sharitha, 23, is a University of Oregon senior from Benson who has been in more than 60 pageants and hopes for a career in broadcast journalism.

• Cleveland's boys finished fifth and girls took sixth in the recent Class 5A state swimming championships.

'This season was just so much fun,' coach Ellen Waters says. 'We took 21 swimmers to state, and it was a great experience.'

Two relays - the boys 200-yard medley and girls 400 freestyle - qualified for the finals. The boys team of juniors Luke Donohue, Vince Wilke and Sam Sugarman and senior Jack Zaharchuk finished third. The girls team of sophomore Lily Donohue (Luke's sister), junior Whitney Dawson and seniors Kayla Hermann and Holly VanderSchaaf took sixth.

Zaharchuk placed fourth in both his events, the 50 and 100 free. Dawson swam to second in the 200 free and third in the 500 free.

Luke Donohue got a personal best of 54.61 seconds to finish second in the 100 butterfly, and he took third in the 100 breaststroke. Lily Donohue earned thirds in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

'Luke and Lily dropped a ton of time and improved a lot this season,' Waters says.

• In the 6A state swim meet, Grant junior Robert Ellertson took second in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 100 backstroke. Wilson freshman Dana Emerson and Franklin senior Nate Andrews were fifth and sixth in the 100 butterfly.

In the 6A girls meet, Wilson's Sammy O'Dell took sixth in the 100 butterfly.

• The St. Mary's Academy softball team beat Benson 5-4 this week, but the Techsters' offensive output (nine hits) was encouraging. Last year, it took Benson five games at the start of the season to score four runs.

Then Benson beat Franklin 7-4, getting 13 hits and beating the Quakers' No. 1 pitcher, Ronika Rotsten, a second-team all-leaguer coming off surgery. McKenzie Hartman led the attack with two long doubles.

Freshman Jenny Osterman gave up only two hits to the Blues, but the big news for Benson is the return of senior pitcher Megan Flink, who has been cleared to play after coming down with mononucleosis. She was second team all-PIL last year.

• The five best softball teams in the PIL all could be in 6A, where Franklin hopes to battle with Grant, Lincoln, Benson and Wilson for the three state playoff spots.

'It should be a great season, and there will be some great games to watch,' Quaker coach Gina Aman says.

Franklin returns junior center fielder Candi Flynn, senior shortstop Natalie Reyes and senior second baseman Megan Davis. Flynn and Davis were all-PIL last year.

• Cleveland softball coach Richard Breece was set to play against his daughter's team - Deana Breece is the second baseman at Reynolds - when rain hit in the first inning Tuesday and washed out the game. It might be rescheduled.

Coach Breece has a young team, with four freshmen, three sophomores and two juniors. Two sisters form one of the battery combinations, with junior Kristin Breninger pitching and freshman Sarah Breninger catching. Kristin also plays elsewhere in the infield, and Sarah can pitch.

Senior Erica Curry is a mainstay at second base or in the outfield. Sophomore Shauna Trussell catches or plays shortstop, and freshman Melanie Schoepp is contributing as a utility player.

It looks like the Warriors won't have pitcher Heather Greig, who made the all-PIL team last year as a sophomore. 'I'd rate her as one of the top five pitchers in the state,' Breece says.

- Tribune staff

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