Adding to the accolades bestowed upon area high school basketball players this season, Central Valley’s Lexie Hull and Post Falls’ Melody Kempton were named Gatorade girls players of the year for Washington and Idaho, respectively, by the Gatorade Company on Monday.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.
Hull, a 6-foot-1 senior forward heading to Stanford next season, led the Bears to a 27-0 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season.
The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Hull averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.6 steals per game while shooting 56 percent from inside the 3-point arc and 39 percent behind the arc for the nation’s No. 9-ranked team the USA TODAY Super 25.
Hull started all 107 games of her high school career and was named Class 4A State Player of the Year in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
A three-time state qualifier in association with DECA, a national student-entrepreneurship organization, Hull has volunteered locally with the Special Olympics and Spokane Stars youth basketball.
Ranked No. 1 in her class academically, Hull has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Kempton, a 6-foot senior post player committed to Gonzaga next season, led the Trojans to a 24-2 record and a Class 5A state championship this past season. Kempton averaged 16 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 3.0 steals and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 63 percent from the field.
A four-time Inland Empire League Player of the Year and three-time All-State selection, Kempton is rated as the nation’s No. 20 forward in the Class of 2018 by espnW.
A three-time state champion high jumper and triple jumper, Kempton has volunteered locally with the St. Pius X Catholic Church youth group and as a host at the Idaho Catholic Youth Convention. She has also donated her time as part of community service initiatives at national parks, as a youth basketball camp leader and as a reading volunteer at local elementary schools.
Kempton has maintained a 4.12 GPA in the classroom.
Area players in all-state games
The senior all-state basketball games were Saturday, with the girls playing at King’s HS in Shoreline and the boys at Curtis HS in University Place.
Lexie Hull was named Ms. Basketball by the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association, while CV’s Freddie Rehkow was named coach of the year.
Colton’s Corey Baerlocher was named 2B coach of the year and Tai Bye of Pomeroy was named 1B coach of the year.
Lacie Hull scored 16 points, Lexie Hull added 14 and the 4A girls beat the 3A girls 104-59.
Lakeside’s Sienna Swannack scored 14 points to help the 1A girls beat the 2A team 106-85.
Ceci Bergquist of St. George’s scored seven points and Sydney Abbott of Davenport added 4 points and the 2B girls topped the 1B girls 96-50.
Oakesdale’s Emma Perry and Garfield-Palouse’s Katie Arrasmith scored three points apiece, and Selkirk’s Gabi Rick added two points for the 1B team. Selkirk’s Emma Avey and Colton’s Georgia Meyer played but did not score.
Lewis and Clark’s Naje Smith had seven points for the boys 4A team in a 138-124 win over 3A, while Freeman’s Michael Coumont scored 10 points, Quin Hopkins had five and Newport’s Koa Pancho added two for the 1A team in a 99-86 loss to 2A.
Boys 2B downed 1B 89-66. Northwest Christian’s Josh Maynard had four points and Liberty’s Justin Jeske and St. George’s Cade Peplinski scored two apiece for boys 2B while Almira/Coulee-Hartline’s Payton Nielsen paced 1B with 19 points. Pomeroy’s Jacob Tewalt added six and Ryan Wolf had three while Wellpinit’s Brandon Flett scored two.
Idaho state all-star games
The Idaho state all-star games are Saturday at North Idaho College with the girls tipping at 1 p.m. and the boys at 3:30 p.m.
Post Falls coach Marc Allert will guide the “Region” team against the Boise “Metro” squad. Area players on the Region team include Post Falls’ Melody Kempton and Bayley Brennan, Lake City’s Keara Simpson, Sandpoint’s Grace Kirscher, and Shelby Starr and Lilly Kelley of Timberlake.
Kellogg’s Jeff Nearing will coach the boys Region team. Area players include Post Falls’ Jake Pfennigs – the Idaho boys Gatorade player of the year – and Tanner McCliment-Call. Joining the duo are Coeur d’Alene’s Sam Matheson, Kyle Manzardo and James Carlson of Lake City, Chase Jerome of Kellogg and Junior Williams of Genesis Prep.
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