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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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League-by-league glance at area girls basketball teams

Greater Spokane League

Outlook: Central Valley is heavily favored to capture the league title with Lewis and Clark picked to finish second, well ahead of the rest. … Ferris brings back three starters: Bria Bowton (senior, guard), Kayla Sharp (sophomore, g) and Lexi Erickson (sr., post). “Very similar boat as last year,” coach Rob Servine said. “We are going to be small and quick and rely on our defense to create offense for us.” … Two-time State 4A champ Gonzaga Prep graduated four starters. The Bullpups return Tayler Drynan (sr., g) and five other lettermen. “I suspect our lack of varsity and big-game experience will hurt us early on but that will certainly improve as the season progresses,” coach Mike Arte said. … Lewis and Clark returns four starters. They are Riley Lupfer (sr., wing), Taylor Cunningham (sr., p), Mary Stoa (sr., g) and Brooklyn Howlett (sr., forward). LC will have three freshmen on varsity. … North Central returns three starters: Megan Dean (sr., f), Casey Kiourkas (sr., g) and Sunny Ellenwood (so., p). “Our size, length, athleticism, experience and grasp of our system is light years ahead of this time last year,” second-year coach Jake Martyn said. “We have made some great strides in the last year.” … Mead brings back three starters. They are Payton Douglass (sr., g), Aaliyah Pauling (jr., g) and Amanda Chan (jr., g). Coach Quantae Anderson says this is his shortest team in his five years. “We are a very hard working and resilient team that is learning to play together,” Anderson said. “We have a good mix or experience and youth.” … Mt. Spokane first-year coach David Pratt inherits two starters and another who returns after taking a year off. Back from last year are Jordan Smith (sr., w) and Jaidyn Lyman (jr., g), and returning after being away a year is Megan Nilsson (sr., p). “We have a great group of kids who really enjoy the game and each other,” Pratt said. “They are motivated players who come to work every day.” … University returns Brooke Bailey (sr., g), Kaiti Pannell (sr., w) and Kendall Collins (sr., w). Bailey will miss a couple games recovering from a sore tendon in a knee. “We have six seniors and they should all contribute and provide excellent leadership,” coach Mark Stinson said. … CV brings back two starters: twins Lacie Hull (so., g) and Lexie Hull (so., f). Another starter, Courtney Carolan (jr., g), suffered a season-ending knee injury last week. “If we can develop our chemistry and skill sets early, we could be a scary team to face for most of our opponents,” coach Freddie Rehkow said. … Shadle Park graduated six. The Highlanders will be led by Abby Bauernfeind (sr., g).

Great Northern League

Outlook: East Valley is favored to win another league title. The Knights return all their starters: Hannah Burland (senior, wing), Jordan Phelan (sr., post), Elle Burland (jr., guard), Skylar Bastin (sr., w) and Maddie Bastin (sr., w). “We have a much stronger bench than the last few years,” coach Rob Collins said. “After being at state the last two years, these seniors have some strong goals and are already ahead of last year at this time.” … Pullman returns three starters: Anne Mari Petrino (sr., g), Madi Mueller (sr., p) and Becca Wickard (sr., g). “Overall athleticism, ability to increase the tempo of the game, defensive rebounding and physical defense,” coach David Cofer said of his team’s strengths. … Longtime Shadle Park assistant coach JT Johnson takes over as coach at Cheney. The Blackhawks return one full-time starter, Brette Draper (sophomore, w), and two part-time starters, Hannah Lemlin (so., g) and Hailee Huff (so., p). “My nine girls should all see a lot of time and they will be expected to play numerous positions,” Johnson said. “We are very young.” … Clarkston returns Jaclyn Meyers of Clarkston (sr., g). … Lorin Carlon, who turns 70 in February, is calling it quits at West Valley after this season. He has no returning starters. Two returning starters – Rachel McGlothlen and Kim Koppenstein – are believed lost for the season with injuries. “We’re young and we’re small and that’s not a good combination,” Carlon said. “That’s lethal in this league.”

Northeast A League

Outlook: Lakeside is given the nod over Chewelah and Freeman. … Freeman brings back four starters – Sidney Sather (junior, post), Isabelle Miller (sophomore, forward), Cassidy Crosswhite (junior, p) and Avery Oja (senior, p). “We are trying to get a little bit better each day and hope to improve upon our finish last season,” coach Chad Kimberley said. … Medical Lake returns two starters: Bradyn Wegner (sr., g) and Makayla Geiger (so., g). “It’s a great group of girls with wonderful attitudes,” coach Kyle Lundberg said. “They’re extremely hard workers.” … Deer Park returns three starters in Jael Guske (junior, g), Joslyn Hallauer (sr., p) and Damaris Guske (jr., g). Coach Ken Ryan has been impressed with his players’ “passion to improve the culture of the program.” … Newport returns one starter in Hadley Stratton (sr., p). “We have a large group of freshmen and sophomores and their development will be key on both ends of the floor to our success,” coach Mike Frederick said. … Lakeside brings back just one starter – Shaye Swannack (sr., g). Coach Jeff Pietz said it will be difficult to replace six seniors off of last year’s state runner-up team. “We should be competitive in league and lean on our defense to lead us,” Pietz said. “The team has set high goals and wants to get back to state.” … Colville returns two starters: Mary Larsen (sr., g) and Baylee Main (sr., g). “We are a bunch of average student athletes and average coaches who are looking to pull our strengths together to make a strong, competitive team,” interim coach Jill Palmer said. “At this time, I have no plans of coaching at this level next year. I am filling a void the program had.”

Northeast 2B

Outlook: Perennial power Colfax and St. George’s should battle for district honors. … St. George’s brings back four starters. They are Hailey Higashi (junior, guard), Allison Hayes (senior, forward), Erin Armitage (sr., f) and Alison Day (jr., f). “We are a well-balanced team with strengths in the front court and back court,” coach Mark Rickard said. “For the first time in a long time our starting lineup will consist of mostly upper classmen, providing a good amount of experience and leadership.” … Colfax returns two starters: Scout Cai (sr., g) and Sydney Sheer (sr., wing). “We are hoping the experience that we gained last year in postseason will benefit us this year,” coach Corey Baerlocher said. “One of our strengths is team speed. We are looking to use our aggressive style of play to speed up the tempo.” … Colfax and 1B state power Colton play at Colfax on Friday. … Tekoa-Rosalia returns one starter in Hannah Beach (jr., w). “We have a good mix of speed and strength,” coach Rob Hudkins said. “Hopefully we will mature quickly. Our goal is to compete for a playoff spot.” … Liberty returns four starters. They are Maggie Nelson (sr., f), Christine Denny (jr., g), Abby Karlis (jr., g) and Madelynne Flaig (jr., g). Coach Larry Hardie said his team’s strength should be its maturity. “With many of these girls having to play varsity from their freshman year on, they have grown up playing against always-tough opponents.” … Northwest Christian graduated four starters. The Crusaders return Rachel Bozlee (sr., g) who has signed with Azusa Pacific. “Even though we lost four starters we are returning six players who are ready to continue hard-working traditions that have been set before them,” coach Talara Frost said. … Gary Kelly takes over at Lind-Ritzville/Sprague, and he isn’t sure what he has to work with at this point. “It’s a whole new program and we’re still looking to see what pieces fit in where,” Kelly said. “Mentally we need to make some progress.”

Northeast 1B

Outlook: Republic returns five starters a team that finished third at state. They are Shania Graham, Lily Beckwith, Demi Jo Vaughn, Carlie Rittel and Savannah Bowe. Coach Ted Torzewski said his team’s goal is to win a state championship. … No other information was received from league teams.

Southeast 1B

Outlook: Some might think that Colton’s streak of state championships – now at seven – will come to an end this season. After all, Colton returns just two starters. But it brings back five other lettermen. Back are Zoe Moser (senior, guard) and Rachel Meyer (sr., g). “We lost three starters but seem to have pretty good depth as a lot of the bench from last year’s team played significant roles,” coach Clark Vining said. “If all comes together we hope we are in the mix.” … Pomeroy brings back two starters: Esther Schuh (sr., post) and Kacey Halbert (junior, g). “Versatility,” coach Nettie Severs says of her team. “Many players have multiple strengths to play in different positions.” … Garfield-Palouse returns four starters. They are Holly Brown (sr., g), Payson Griner (sophomore, g), Katie Arrasmith (so., p) and Keely Burnes (freshman, g), who started every game last year as an eighth grader. Coach Garrett Parrish said his team’s strength is athleticism. “We have multiple girls who can guard and play different positions,” Parrish said. “The girls have all gotten stronger over the last year, which should help us on the defensive end.” … Oakesdale returns four starters: Jacey Johnson (sr., g), Lindsey Lindgren (jr., g), Madison Shrope (so., g) and Anne Hockett (so., f). “These girls know how to work hard and have confidence in each other,” coach Ken Lindgren said.

5A Inland Empire League

Outlook: Lake City is given the nod over Post Falls. … Lake City returns three starters. They are Whitney Meier (senior, guard), Lauren Rewers (junior, post) and Olivia Maryon (sr., g). Coach Bryan Kelly has nine players battling for starting positions including Bridget Reiken (freshman, p), Keara Simpson (so., p) and Nina Carlson (jr., p). “Our size down low is a big strength,” Kelly said. “We also have some athletic guards that can pressure and hopefully cause some turnovers and speed the game up. I think we can cause some teams mismatch problems.” … Lewiston returns just one starter – Haylee Weeks (sr., g). “We could be really good if we make shots,” coach Dave Cornelia said. “We could cause teams problems with our speed.” … Post Falls returns one starter in Melody Kempton (so., p). Five other sophomores will vie for playing time or starting positions. “We have athletic post players who should be able to play equally well in transition as well as half-court offense,” coach Marc Allert said. “The key will be how fast we jell together.” … Coeur d’Alene returns two starters. They are Emily Callahan (sr., g) and Baylie Miller (sr., g). Coach Dale Poffenroth lost one returning starter who chose not to turn out. He also has a couple players dealing with injuries. “Some of the freshmen we counted on to be backups are having to start,” Poffenroth said. “I don’t know exactly what we are going to have. The way we played this summer I thought we’d be in a situation to compete in the league.”

4A Inland Empire League

Outlook: Sandpoint is heavily favored to win the league and return to state. … Sandpoint ended 15-9 last year, finishing third at state. The Bulldogs return three starters – Madi Schoening (senior, guard), who has signed with the University of Montana, Riley Couch (sr., g) and Grace Kirscher (sophomore, forward). The Bulldogs have some depth. Coach Duane Ward said speed and defense will be Sandpoint’s strengths. … Lakeland returns two starters. They are Faith Bodak (sr., g) and Tauna Kirk (jr., g). Three seniors and a junior provide depth. Lakeland coach Steve Seymour likes his team’s quickness.

Intermountain League

Outlook: Timberlake returns four starters off a team that finished second at state. Back are Allison Kirby (junior, guard), Keelie Lawler (jr., forward), Payten Rhodes (senior, g) and Jacquelyn Mallet (jr., f). Emily Vanderhoof (sr., g) transferred from Lakeland where she had starting experience. “Our athleticism, speed and depth are our biggest strengths,” coach Matt Miller said. “Lake of height is our biggest weakness.” … Kellogg brings back two starters: Marley Chambers (jr., g) and Kayla Miller (sr., p). “We have a bunch of tough kids who hate to lose and love to play,” coach Eli Bourgard said. “That is a very exciting place to start.” … Bonners Ferry brings back two starters – Kerstin Oxford (sr., g) and Miranda Wenk (so., p). “We will be eight to nine deep on any given night,” coach Chris Chatfield said. “We will be able to go small, big, press and get up and down the floor.”

Central Idaho League

Outlook: St. Maries and Grangeville will battle for the league title. … St. Maries, which is looking to return to state for the first time since 2002, brings back four starters. They are Kelsey Auer, Alexis Cordell, Kari Ghramm and Shelby Holder. “We have nine players who are familiar with our offense and defense,” coach Jay Sines said. … Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy returns two starters: Abby Bartlett and Mae Alexander. “We have a very young team with no game time as a unit,” coach Doug Grant said. “We will take our lumps early. We should improve in mid January.”

North Star League

Outlook: Lakeside is favored to win the league title. … Lakeside returns all five starters from a team that went 12-11 and finished fourth at state in the school’s first trip to state in 10 years. The returning starters are: Talia Hendrickx (senior, guard), Jordyn Nomee (sr., g), Carilyn Dohrman (sr., post), Rachael Arthur (junior, g) and Lillian Rhea (jr., p). Coach Chris Dohrman says his team is well ahead of where it was at this time a year ago. … Kootenai returns five lettermen. Coach Mike LaFountaine says his team needs to outwork its opponents and decrease its mistakes. … Genesis Prep joins the league after playing in the unsanctioned Mountain Christian League. The Jaguars have no starters back. Their roster consists of seven freshmen and one sophomore. “It will be a growing and challenging year for us,” coach Debbie Holte said. … Wallace returns three starters – Gretchen Farkas (sr., g), Tamra Jackson (sr., p) and Maryssa Hogamier (jr., g). Coach Chris Lund sees defense and a fast-break offense as team strengths.

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