Hayley Hodgins knows that her mother’s influence extends far beyond the basketball-crazy Hodgins family.
“Women’s basketball wasn’t talked about (years ago) and she kind of led the way,” the Eastern Washington University redshirt freshman said of her mother, Karen.
Karen (Murray) Hodgins made Pasco High into a basketball power during the late 1970s, scoring 1,338 points for the Bulldogs before there was a 3-point line.
Karen went on to a stellar career with the University of Washington (1980-84), scoring 1,745 points while shooting 53.9 percent from the field and 80.1 percent from the free-throw line. She was the first Huskies women’s basketball player elected to the UW Hall of Fame.
After her UW days, Karen met Michael Hodgins while playing open gym in Seattle. She started a long professional career in Germany but returned home to marry Michael, who later became her coach overseas.
“I went overseas with my parents as a young kid, so it was something I was always part of,” said Hayley, the oldest of three sisters.
Hayley was born in Everett, but the family moved to Pasco when she was 3 years old. She played for Chiawana High School, where sisters Delaney and Braydey just won league and district titles.
Hayley selected EWU because of its proximity to the Tri-Cities and her desire to play as soon as possible. She redshirted last year because the Eagles had Big Sky Conference MVP Brianne Ryan at guard/forward.
“I basically got another year of education, came in as a freshman with sophomore experience and got a lot of weight lifting in,” Hodgins said.
Hodgins started this season coming off the bench, but Eagles coach Wendy Schuller reshuffled her starting lineup when Melissa Williams and Laura Hughes missed time with injuries.
“One of those girls who got injured (Williams) is my roommate and she said everything happens for a reason,” Hodgins said. … “I kind of just seized the opportunity I had at the moment.”
Hodgins scored 17 and 22 points in her first two starts and was named BSC player of the week. She has averaged 10.4 ppg in the last nine games, hitting 13 of 29 3-pointers.
Whitworth will be the first area team to compete in postseason when the third-seeded Pirates (19-6) play at No. 2 Whitman (20-4) at 6 p.m. Thursday to open the Northwest Conference tournament.
Whitworth and Whitman split two conference games this season.
Emily Travis (11.2 ppg) and Kayla Johnson (10.2) lead Whitworth’s offense.
Fourth-seeded George Fox (19-6) will play at No. 1 Lewis & Clark (23-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the other NWC playoff. Thursday’s winners will meet Saturday at the highest seed for a berth to nationals.
Community Colleges of Spokane (15-10, 8-5) completes its NWAACC orthwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges season against Yakima Valley (15-11, 8-5) at 6 tonight at Spokane CC. A win would guarantee the Sasquatch no worse than the East Region’s No. 3 seed when the NWAACC championships begin March 2 in Kennewick. CCS could still secure the No. 2.
North Idaho (27-2, 12-2) will attempt to win the Scenic West Athletic Conference title outright when it travels to Southern Idaho (18-11, 11-3) on Saturday.
to complete its regular season. The Cardinals will host the Region 18 tournament, which begins Feb. 28.
Among area Division I teams, Washington State (10-15, 6-8) has four Pac-12 Conference games remaining as it attempts to stay in the upper half of the standings; Gonzaga (22-5, 12-1) has three WCC est Coast Conference games left and can clinch at least a share of its ninth consecutive title with a win Thursday at Santa Clara; third-place Eastern Washington (14-10, 10-5) is down to five Big Sky Conference games; and third-place Idaho (12-14, 9-6) has three WAC games left.