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Freshmen making impact in GSL girls

Prior to the start of the girls basketball season, Lewis and Clark coach Jim Redmon mentioned that freshmen would impact specific teams.

He has been proved correct.

“There are some incredible freshmen,” he said following Friday’s victory over Mead that gave the unbeaten Tigers undisputed first place in the Greater Spokane League.

A dozen dot GSL rosters, joining eight sophomores who are in their second varsity seasons. Several have provided instant help, including LC’s Devyn Galland and Nakia Arquette. Between them, they are providing 11.5 points per game to the Tigers.

“Devin did a great job bringing the ball up the floor and Nakia had some big boards,” Redmon added.

Three freshmen are a big part of Central Valley’s team, Brooke Gallaway, one of the league’s leading scorers at 13.3 points per game, and Katie Estey, approaching double figures for average. Shadle Park’s Aleisha Hathaway has scored in double figures three times with a career-high 17 against LC. Lindsay Stockton averaged near double figures in Gonzaga Prep’s first six games and is third in team scoring behind league leader Tia Presley’s 20.1 points per game.

Presley is one of five sophomores on the Bullpups varsity and a total of 27 sophs who dot the rosters of this year’s GSL girls teams.

Mead’s Taylor Ingebritsen and Shadle Park’s Kendra Knutsen and Chelsea Chandler are other impact sophomore GSL veterans, averaging nine points per game each. The Tigers have benefited by the arrival of Haley Hendricksen, who scored more than 400 points, averaging nearly 15 per game as a freshman at Northwest Christian last year.

As a result, said Redmon, the league is more balanced than people thought it might be.

“There’s a lot of young talent in the league right now,” he said. “As it develops, later in the season I think there are going to be some dangerous teams.”

•League play resumes tonight with Mead traveling to Shadle Park and North Central at Gonzaga Prep. The Panthers girls are 7-1 in league, the Highlanders 6-2. Shadle’s boys (7-1) are second in league, Mead (4-3) shares fourth. Also, North Central boys (5-2) are at league-leader Gonzaga Prep (8-0).

The Bullpups on Friday handed defending champion Ferris (4-3) a rare 32-point whipping. It was the worst Saxons loss dating back to the 1980s. The Bullpups beat them 72-49 in 1992 and Mead won 61-34 in 2003.

A solid foundation

In 2002, Jim Gubler took on the task of coaching Republic’s wrestling program, which had gone nearly 30 years without a state placer.

At the time, he said it would be temporary. Now in his eighth year, the defending State 2B/1B champions are ranked No. 1 by the Washington Wrestling Report Web site and 14th among all classifications based on projected tournament scoring potential. East Valley (fifth), Deer Park (sixth) and Lakeside (ninth) were in the top 10.

His two-time state champion son, J.J., is ranked second among all 140 pounders in Washington and teammate Scotty Bacon is third at 135.

“He looked at it like a foundation,” J.J. said after his win at the Pacific Northwest Classic Saturday at University. “Build it a little bit and it gets bigger and bigger. Parent support is huge and the group of kids has been working with the coaches from 6 years old all the way up to now.”

Thirty area wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 of their weight classes, including EV’s Chris Tripplet, No. 1 at 145 pounds, and Deer Park’s Shawn Burton, second at 285. The Knights are picked second behind Enumclaw in 3A with four weight-class leaders. Deer Park is ranked first in 2A and Lakeside second in 1A behind Orting.

•Ex-North Idaho College and Central Valley coach John Owen is working to build a foundation at his latest stop, West Valley.

During the weekend, the Eagles took steps at the Eastmont Cats Classic in Wenatchee. He expressed satisfaction with the 77.5 points scored there that included 130-pound champion Quinn Gannon and second place by Hovick Melkoyan at 285. Also placing were Shea Hanson, fifth at 160; Devin Scott, 103, and Justin Watson, 171, both sixth.

League competition resumes Wednesday for GSL teams after most lost a couple of December dates to the weather. Included are Mead at Ferris on Wednesday and East Valley at Central Valley on Thursday. And, weather permitting, the Great Northern League begins in earnest tonight and Thursday.

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