Sports -- April 21, 2005

Published on Thu, Apr 21, 2005
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Bleecker pitches, hits to a lopsided victory over Mt. Baker
Blaine pitcher Robert Bleecker raised his own record to 3-1 and the team’s to 6-0 (7-4) with a convincing 12-2 win over the Mt. Baker Mounties Tuesday afternoon. The game was switched to Deming at the last minute to accommodate a Blaine-Mt. Baker JV game at the Pipe.
Nate Dodgson and Hyle Dhanani both had 2 RBI hits, but the biggest poke was Bleecker’s three-run homer off losing pitcher Williamson in the fourth inning, more than just a nail in the coffin since Blaine already had a 7-2 lead.
The Killer B’s, now ranked sixth in the state, play next at home on Monday against Nooksack.

Last home track meet today at Blaine high school
Blaine meets Mt. Baker this afternoon for the second of only two home track meets this season. Of note are pole vaulter Erin Lippe, runners Dominique Walter, Alisha Fisher and Matt Christion and undefeated shot put powerhouse Alex Sylvester.

Ridnours again offering summer camp

Blaine’s Luke Ridnour closed the book on his sophomore season in the NBA yesterday in Houston, Texas, playing against the play-off bound Rockets and their 7'6" Chinese center Yao Ming. The Sonics are also playoff bound for the first time in some years, having turned their program around significantly this year.

Since the lockout season in 98/99 the Sonics have finished fourth twice and fifth three times. Last year’s 37-45 record was among the worst the struggling team has ever had. At the end of the last home game in 2004, a narrow 111-107 loss to Houston thanks to a blown lead late in the game, only Ray Allen and a couple of others stuck around to throw souvenirs to the crowd, an annual tradition, although Allen took the house mic at one point to promise fans that things would be different this year.

They certainly were, as Seattle compiled a 52-29 record this year with just the Houston game left to play. They clinched a playoff spot some time ago and with last week’s slammin’ and jammin’ 25-point win over New Orleans they got the division championship as well, complete with a banner that went up about the same time someone dumped the traditional barrel of Gatorade on head coach Nate McMillan. It was a last home game of the season that was raucous and wild, with players staying out on the court for a long time signing autographs and throwing everything from T-shirts to Frisbees at the crowd.

Ridnour is one of the primary reasons for this dramatic and obvious turn-around, and deserves your attention even if you’re not ordinarily a pro basketball fan. It’s because of the science of the sport, what it is that makes Ridnour the player he is, a durable athlete with world class skills that Nate McMillan chose to become the centerpiece of a team that was mediocre at best at this time last year.

Ridnour and his dad, Blaine high school P.E. teacher and coach Rob Ridnour, will again host a four day basketball camp this summer from June 23 to 30 at the Bellingham Boys and Girls Club. Cost is $100 in advance for the four half-days and sign-ups are running well ahead of last years. For more information call 332-4620.