Former AHS hoopster Blanche an academic all-star at WWU

Former Ashland High basketball standout Rory Blanche has been named a Great Northwest Athletic Conference Academic All-Star for Western Washington University.

The sophomore forward is maintaining a 3.72 grade point average as an engineering technology major at the NCAA Division II school.

A top reserve, Blanche averaged 8.5 points while shooting a team-best 58 percent from the floor for the Vikings, who lost to Cal Poly Pomona in the west regional semifinals March 13. After beating Western Washington in overtime, Cal Poly Pamona went on to claim its first Division II national championship.

Blanche played in all 32 games for Western Washington (26-6). He scored a career-high 20 points in an 88-68 win over Saint Martin's on Feb. 6, hitting his first nine shots from the floor and finishing 9-for-10. In the loss to CPP, Blanche scored 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting.

Blanche graduated from Ashland High in 2007 after leading the Grizzlies to their first league championship in 19 years.

Lipski honored

Former Ashland High basketball and football standout Matt Lipski has been named a Golden Valley Conference all-star after leading the College of the Redwoods men's basketball team to a 17-9 league record.

Lipski, a 6-foot-9 freshman gave the Corsairs a dominating inside presence after transferring out of University of Montana, where he played football.

"It's scary what he did this year after a year off to play football," College of the Redwoods coach Rich Mendoza said of Lipski. "He's a great passer, very unselfish, and down the stretch he was really patient. He had an incredible game against City College of San Francisco. He scored 15 points and had to make some big-time moves against some big-time players."

Lipski graduated from Ashland High in 2008.

College Track and Field

Southern Oregon senior Alex Waroff has been named the Cascade Conference field athlete of the week.

Waroff won the decathlon at last week's SOU Spring Break Multis with 6,390 points. The total is a personal best and should qualify Waroff for the NAIA National Championships for the second straight year.

This week the Raiders will take part in the Willamette Distance Carnival Friday and the Oregon Tech Open on Saturday.

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