Notebook: Jones named to play in high school hoops showcase
Game will air on ESPNU next week
If you’re looking for another chance to watch Tyus Jones play basketball, there’s another one coming up next week.
The Apple Valley High School junior was named to the Under Armour Elite 24 event to be held Aug. 24-25 at the Venice Beach Courts in Los Angeles. A dunk contest will be held Aug. 24, with a game to be played the following day. ESPNU will air the both the dunk contest and game, with the broadcast starting at 6 p.m. each day.
The event features 24 of the nation’s top high school basketball players, selected by ESPN based on their performances in AAU tournaments and national summer camps. ESPN ranked Jones second in the class of 2014.
It’s been a busy summer for Jones, who helped USA Basketball win the Under-17 world championship. He also played for the Howard Pulley Panthers, an elite AAU program that traveled to several national tournaments.
He has been offered scholarships by numerous Division I college programs but has not yet announced his choice.
Irish take second
The Minnesota Irish Under-14 softball team finished second in the USSSA Fastpitch World Series last month in Rockford, Ill.
The Irish, coached by Eastview High School head softball coach Trevor Monroe, started slowly with a 0-3 record in pool play. The team found its stride in bracket play where it went 5-2, with both losses coming to eventual champion QC Dreamers Illusion of Illinois.
Irish infielder Nina Kayfes of Rosemount High School was the tournament’s defensive MVP. Irish pitcher/outfielder Jaci Spencer of Waterloo, Iowa, was the offensive MVP. Other Irish players named to the all-tournament team were catcher/infielder Shaye Barton of Prior Lake and outfielder/first baseman/pitcher Hailey Monroe, who played for Farmington High School in the 2012 state Class AAA softball tournament.
Sikich is AV softball coach
Chris Sikich will be the new head softball coach at Apple Valley High School. He has been in the program for six years, the last two as junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach. He replaces Carla Christiansen, who resigned in June to spend more time with her family.
Sikich, a work experience and career exploration program teacher at AVHS, also has coached in the school’s boys hockey program for 10 years.
Early season events
High school fall sports practices started Monday, and some local teams will test their games against outside competition as soon as this weekend.
Apple Valley’s annual four-team boys soccer scrimmage begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. Eagan, with new head coach Alan Merrick, will be one of the teams at that scrimmage.
Also on Saturday, Lakeville North, the top-ranked team in Class AAA volleyball, will hold scrimmages at its gym starting at 7:30 p.m. Apple Valley also will have volleyball scrimmages Saturday.
On Monday, Lakeville North will be host of a girls varsity tennis tournament at 9 a.m. Apple Valley’s girls soccer team holds a six-team scrimmage at Johnny Cake Ridge Park at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Many local soccer teams will play their first regular-season games on Aug. 23, with one of the featured games being the Centennial girls playing at Burnsville at 5 p.m. It’s a rematch of schools that played in the state Class AA semifinals last season.
Bandits in playoffs
The Eagan Bandits men’s amateur baseball team has reached the “super section” level of the state Class B playoffs. The Bandits take on Cold Spring at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Red Wing Athletic Park.
Two teams from the four-team Red Wing super section – Duluth and Red Wing also are competing – will qualify for the state tournament that begins Aug. 24 in St. Cloud and Cold Spring.