2022-23 Winter High School Sports Preview: Girls basketball capsules for the Greater Spokane League and Eastern Washington
Dec. 8, 2022 Updated Thu., Dec. 8, 2022 at 1:54 p.m.
The Washington high school girls basketball season is underway. Here’s a preview of the Greater Spokane League 4A/3A and 2A divisions, plus others in the region.
Teams in alphabetical order by classification. Records/standing listed from fall 2021.
Greater Spokane League 4A/3A
Central Valley (10-10, 4-5, sixth): Senior guard Autumn Agnew, a second-team All-GSL pick, committed to Corban University. She leads eight returning letter winners for fourth-year coach Felice Orrell. “We need to bring our focus for an entire game,” Orrell said. “We are relying on our seniors experience.”
Cheney (7-15, 2-7, eighth): Six letter winners and four starters are back for second-year coach Ken Ryan, including seniors Shauna Elliott and Tatum Sloan along with juniors Paige Evans and Macey Richards. “We need to keep building fundamentals and mindset to win games,” Ryan said, noting rebounding as a team strength.
Ferris (18-6, 7-2, third): Vince Grippi, a longtime assistant and youth coach, takes his first head varsity job for the Saxons coming off their best season in many years. Unfortunately, 10 letter winners have moved on and just one starter, sophomore shooting guard Kayla Jones, returns. “We are inexperienced, yes, but we haven’t been lacking in effort,” Grippi said. “Practices have been spirited and competitive.”
Gonzaga Prep (18-5, 8-1, second): The dean of GSL coaches, Mike Arte retired, but son Geoff, a longtime assistant at Central Valley, takes over. The Bullpups lost a state play-in game last season and returns six letter winners and three starters, led by first-team All-GSL senior guard Lucy Lynn, who is committed to Yale. “We have a lot of talent and are looking to push the pace,” Arte said. “Everything is new to everyone with all new coaches, so getting used to each other may take some time.”
Lewis and Clark (10-11, 5-4, fourth): Gabe Medrano returns for his sixth season with the Tigers and 11th overall. Senior all-league picks Brooklyn Jenson (second team) and Nyah Ankcorn (honorable mention) lead five returning letter winners. “If we can come together and play tough defense, rebound and take care of the ball, we will be able to compete each night in the always tough GSL,” Medrano said.
Mead (24-2, 9-0, first): After an undefeated run through the regular season and districts, the Panthers ended up fifth at state. They lose five players off that team but bring back seven, including three starters. It starts with junior Teryn Gardner, first-team All-GSL and second-team all-state. “It may take some time to jell as a group but when they do, we might be in the hunt for consecutive league championships,” 12th-year coach Quantae Anderson said.
Mt. Spokane (9-13, 5-4, fifth): The Wildcats had a down year by recent standards, but seventh-year coach David Pratt returns eight letter winners and four starters, led by second-team All-GSL point guard Bryten Gumke and shooting guard Destiny Kamalu-Vargas, both seniors. “We’ll be a fast-paced team that works extremely hard,” Pratt said.
North Central (3-17, 1-8, ninth): Seven players return for first-year coach Joseph Kraus, including seniors Greta Marko and Maggie Dubay and junior guard Shalene Ervin. Senior post Hannah Hamilton returns after missing last season. “The girls are having to pick up a new offense, defense and menu of other plays and strategies entering this season,” Kraus said. “The spirits are up and the commitment is there.”
Ridgeline (0-19, 0-9, 10th): The Falcons didn’t win last year in the program’s first season but won their opener on the road on Friday. Coach Clyde Woods has all 11 letter winners back for his second season, led by senior all-league honorable mention wing Kaydin Ranken and sophomore captain point guard Emma Myers.
University (8-14, 4-5, seventh): Jazmine Redmon, in her third year with the Titans, has six letter winners and two starters back, led by first-team All-GSL point guard senior Eliannah Ramirez. U-Hi is young after that with junior Julianna Jeross and sophomores Kailee Alteneder and Gracie Czapla as returners with experience.
Greater Spokane League 2A
Clarkston (15-7, 8-2, second): First-team all-league guard junior Kendall Wallace returns with junior post Eloise Teasley and sophomore guard Alexia Villavicencio for 10th-year coach Debbie Sobotta. Junior transfer Samara Smith (Lapwai, Idaho) will be a spark.
East Valley (0-16, 0-7, sixth): It was a long season last year with the program numbers way down, and the Knights, under first-year coach James Henry, have their work cut out for them again this season. “We are a young team that is committed to the hard work needed to build a strong foundation for the girls basketball program at East Valley High School,” Henry said. Senior center Kenzie Ervin is the leader.
Pullman (7-14, 5-4, third): Third-year coach Angie Barbour has eight letter winners and two starters back, led by honorable mention All-GSL senior guard Sehra Singh. “We have good size and experience,” Barbour said. “But we lost a lot of experienced scoring and ball handlers.”
Rogers (3-18, 2-8, fifth): Lindsey Hernandez starts her fifth season as coach with three starters and nine letter winners back. “We are a small team this year, but we also have heart,” she said. “My girls aren’t afraid of anyone bigger than them.” Juniors Ajah Garza, Angelica Cue and Emily Peabody are key returners while ninth-grader Saige Stewart should make an impact.
Shadle Park (6-13, 3-6, fourth): Three-sport star Kyleigh Archer, a second-team All-GSL pick last year, returns for her senior season along with three other letter winners for second-year coach JT Johnson. Tameria Thompson, a transfer from Cusick, Washington, will help. “We need to play consistent team defense and be strong on the boards,” Johnson said.
West Valley (22-4, 9-0, first): The Eagles qualified for state and was one point away from the state fourth-place game. Only two players and one starter returns for veteran coach Rick Jones, but it’s a good one: GSL 2A MVP junior point guard Chloe DeHaro. “We’ll look to (DeHaro) for leadership to help with the extremely young and inexperienced team,” Jones said.
Deer Park (9-7): Senior forward Darian Herring was league MVP as a sophomore and first-team last season and is the undisputed leader for coach KC Ahrens, in his fifth year with the Stags and 12th overall.
Lakeside (11-10): Second-year coach Bernice Tobeck has nine letter winners and four starters back, including a pair of second-team all-league picks: senior guard Sophia Stadler and junior guard Ayanna Tobeck. Rylee Darnold returns from a knee injury.
Liberty (20-4): Dave Baird takes over as coach after six previous seasons with the boys team. Senior guard Ellie Denny, a first-team all-league pick, leads three returning starters.
Reardan (14-8): Bob Swannack is in his second season after nine with the boys. He has six returning letter winners back, including seniors Liberty Anderson, Justine Flett and Emma Flaa.
St. George’s (15-10): With five starters and 10 letter winners back, second-year coach Brad Kirsch is optimistic. “I think we have a chance to win the league and compete at the state level this season,” he said. The Dragons are led by three all-league players: senior guard Margreit Galow and senior forward Annika Bergquist and freshman Carsyn Gildehaus.
Selkirk (2-12): The Rangers did not have a senior on the squad last year and return eight letter winners, including seniors Madison Chantry and Britney Lyons.
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