There was a local flavor to the recruiting classes of the four area Division I women’s basketball teams.
Among the 12 players who have signed with Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington and Idaho, eight are from Washington and three from the Spokane area.
WSU’s Cougars landed Tia Presley of Gonzaga Prep and GU’s Bulldogs added Great Northern League rivals and friends Shelby Cheslek of Pullman and Shaniqua Nilles of West Valley.
WSU signed three players, EWU four, UI two and GU three, although they won’t announce them until early next week when the class is completed.
In addition to the 5-foot-8 Presley, who averaged almost 24 points for the Bullpups last season, the Cougars signed Jordan Kelley of Gillette, Wyo., who led the state in scoring at 25 points a game, and Shalie Dheensaw of Victoria, British Columbia, who started for Canada’s U17 national team last summer.
The new Eastern Washington players include Kayleigh Ryan of Lynden Christian, the sister of the Eagles’ Brianne Ryan, the reigning Big Sky Conference co-Defensive Player of the year. The others are 6-0 forward Melissa Williams of Camas, the 3A Greater St. Helen’s League Player of the Year; guard Hayley Hodgins of Chiawana in Pasco; and Kylie Huerta, a point guard out of Kentwood and co-MVP of the South Puget Sound 4A North.
Headed to Idaho are 5-9 guard Tayler Weiks from Tumwater and Jenny Rocha, a 5-5 point guard from O’Fallon, Mo.
Weiks, who averaged 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.8 assists, last year, is a two-time all-league selection. Rocha averaged 17.4 points, three assists and two steals en route to all-star honors while her team made the final four.
Cheslek, a 6-4 post who committed to Gonzaga last spring, is an all-state volleyball and basketball player who is at the State 2A volleyball tournament with the Greyhounds this week. Nilles, a 5-11 guard, was Cheslek’s teammate in summer basketball with the Spokane Stars. They met for dinner in downtown Spokane on Wednesday night for a signing party.
The Bulldogs also went to California for another tall guard, 5-11 Keani Albanez out of Buena High School in Santa Barbara.
Two other players also committed to Gonzaga but did not have their paperwork in before the team left for Los Angeles for this afternoon’s season opener against USC.
According to recruiting services, Maiki Viela, a 5-5 point guard from Hawaii, and 6-4 Sonja Greinacher from Essen, Germany, are headed to Spokane.