If Dixie State had its way, the PacWest Conference would hold an annual tournament in St. George. The Rebels' administration pitched that to its league recently in anticipation of becoming an official member of NCAA Div. II next year.

In its proposal, Dixie State even tried to sweeten the pot by offering to pay some travel-related costs for the league, which spans from Arizona to Hawaii.

Conference members, however, voted 4-3 against a tournament. Currently, a couple of the league's teams are invited to the NCAA Div. II tourney based on a ratings system.

"I think tournaments are fun,"said Dixie State men's coach Jon Judkins.

Judkins believes having a bit of postseason play for everyone keeps teams in the bottom and middle of leagues interested to the end of the year.

"It's nice to have something like that that maybe you would get a chance,"he said. "For St. George, we're definitely for it. We're just going to keep trying our best and hopefully one of these days we'll have a postseason tournament."

TORN HOPES: CEU's women held their own early on against seventh-ranked CSI, but hope was pretty much lost when point guard Erin Richardson tore her ACL with seven minutes left in the first half. She was CEU's second guard to go down with a knee injury recently. Ande Miller blew her knee out against SLCC the week before.

"I lost both points guards,"CEU coach Dave Paur lamented. "It's pretty hard to press without any guards."

Getting to the semifinals was an accomplishment for CEU, though.

"It's a joy to work with these girls. There's nothing better in the world," Paur said. "You always want to win more, but (Thursday's) game against Snow makes it worthwhile."

GOOD YEAR: The 22nd-ranked SLCC women had a couple of postseason streaks come to an end when they were upset in the Region 18 semifinals to North Idaho. The Bruins had back-to-back NJCAA tournament visits and they had been in the conference championship game five years in a row.

SLCC coach Betsy Specketer said sophomore standouts Michelle Pace, Keshia Catten, BreAnne Haslam, Krista Farr et al shouldn't be ashamed of their 23-8 season. For one thing, they were the only conference team to beat champion CSI.

"They are a remarkable group. I'm way proud of them," Specketer said. "I wish for them we could be going back, but I think they can hold their heads high and be proud of what they accomplished here."


E-mail: [email protected]