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Ferris grad Tinkle Big Sky men’s Coach of the Year

Men’s basketball: Montana’s Wayne Tinkle was named Monday the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, the first Grizzlies coach in 20 years so honored.

Tinkle guided Montana to the Big Sky regular-season title, then the Big Sky tournament championship with an 85-66 victory over Weber State in last week’s title game.

Montana (25-6) enters the NCAA tournament on Thursday against Wisconsin riding a school-record 14-game winning streak.

Tinkle, who starred at Spokane’s Ferris High School, played for Montana from 1985-89, earning all-conference honors three times.

Vandals named All-Americans

Track & field: Two Idaho Vandals, Jeremy Klas and Hannah Kiser, earned second-team All-America selection from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association following their performances in the NCAA Indoor Championships during the weekend.

Klas, a senior from Moscow, Idaho, tied for 11th in the pole vault at 17 feet, 4 1/2 inches, to earn his third All-America honor. He was also recognized in 2010 after a ninth-place finish and received honorable mention as a junior in 2011.

Kiser, a sophomore from Wenatchee, earned her first All-America award for finishing 13th in the women’s 3,000 meters in 9:26.88.

Athletes who finish in the top eight in their events earn first-team honors. Those in the next eight spots are second-team while those finishing outside the top 16 receive honorable mention.

WHL suspends Chiefs’ Vandane

Hockey: Spokane Chief defenseman Davis Vandane has been suspended two games by the WHL after being assessed his fifth kneeing penalty of the season last Saturday in a 3-2 win over Kootenay. 

Under the Western Hockey League’s Seven Point Plan, when a player receives five kneeing penalties he receives an automatic two game suspension.

The 19-year-old will miss tonight’s game at Seattle and Wednesday’s home game versus the Kamloops Blazers.

Vandane has appeared in 66 games this season and has 24 points, including three goals, and is +14.

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