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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Sports >  High school sports

Girls state capsules: Gonzaga Prep, Mead lead Spokane-area contingent at state venues

Feb. 28, 2023 Updated Tue., Feb. 28, 2023 at 5:48 p.m.

Play begins at the state basketball venues in Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane with round-of-12 elimination games on Wednesday and quarterfinals on Thursday.

Here’s a look at each girls team from the Spokane area to reach the state venues this season.

4A–Tacoma Dome

(12) Gonzaga Prep: 18-7. GSL 4A second seed, District 8 third place (beat Chiawana 46-39).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (5) Sumner (21-6), Wednesday 7:15 p.m.

Regional: Beat (13) Decatur (17-8) 61-55.

Key players: GSL first-team sr. F Lucy Lynn (17.1 ppg); hon. mention sr. F Gillian Bears; hon. mention sr. wing Taliah Lee (11.1 ppg).

Outlook: Bullpups have won four straight loser-outs to reach Tacoma. Program has state titles in 2014, ’15.

Quote: “We have been playing well these last few weeks in high-stakes games. We are looking forward to see how we stack up against the best teams in a crowded bracket in Tacoma.” – coach Geoff Arte.

3A–Tacoma Dome

(4) Mead: 19-3. GSL champion, District 8 champ (beat Kennewick 72-45).

When: Quarterfinal vs. (11) Lynnwood/(6) Stanwood winner, Thursday 9 a.m.

Regional: Beat (5) Lincoln (Tacoma) (17-3) 80-68.

Key players: GSL MVP jr. G Teryn Gardner (21 ppg, 6 rpg, 5 apg, 4 spg); GSL second-team sr. F Natalie Braun (12 ppg, 6 rpg); so. G Addison Wells-Morrison (10 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg).

Outlook: No. 6 in final state media poll. Fifth in state last season. Four titles at school, the last in 2013.

Quote: “This team is a special family. Each person is valuable, contributing each day, whether it is at practices or games. We have accepted our roles and play selflessly. We will play as hard as we can, for as long as we can.” – coach Quantae Anderson.

1A–Yakima Valley SunDome

(6) Deer Park: 20-3. NEA champion, District 7 champ (beat Freeman 53-44).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (11) Zillah (18-7), Wednesday 9 a.m.

Regional: Lost to (3) Wapato (23-1) 63-48.

Key players: NEA MVP sr. Darian Herring (17 ppg); NEA first-team F Allie Garry; first-team G Brooklyn Coe (15 ppg).

Outlook: No. 6 in final state media poll. Earned school’s first league championship and undefeated league season. Third state appearance, first since 2020.

Quote: “To get a trophy would be a great finish to a record-setting year for this amazing group of young ladies.” – coach KC Ahrens.

(9) Freeman: 19-5. NEA runner-up, District 7 runner up (lost to Freeman 53-44), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Omak 55-36).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (8) Bellevue Christian (21-2).

Regional: Beat (16) Hoquiam (15-9) 47-19.

Key players: NEA first-team sr. Jaycee Goldsmith (13 ppg, 9 rpg); NEA second-team sr. G Stephanie Chadduck (12 ppg, 3 apg); NEA second-team fr. F Taylee Phelps (11 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3 spg).

Outlook: No. 8 in final state media poll. Scotties have five seniors and two high-level freshman, with the combination of experience, height and outside shooting.

Quote: “Defense creates offense. We pride ourselves on our defense and rebounding. No excuses, work hard on every defensive play – no half-stepping.” – coach Tracy Phelps.

2B–Spokane Arena

(1) Colfax: 25-0. NE 2B South champion, District 7 champ (beat Liberty 76-55), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Liberty Bell 59-14).

When: Quarterfinal vs. (15) Upper Columbia/(7) Rainier, Thursday 5:30 p.m.

Regional: Beat (8) Mabton (18-7) 77-37.

Key players: NE 2B South MVP Brynn McGaughy; NE 2B South first-team sr. G Jaisha Gibb; NE 2B first-team F Hailey Demler.

Outlook: Finished season unanimous No. 1 in state media poll. State runner-up 2022 with eight previous titles.

Quote: “We’ve had the same goal since March 5 of last year – to give purpose to our state championship loss. That experience must give us the determination and resolve to finish what we started last season.” – coach Jordan Holmes.

(9) Liberty: 15-10. NE 2B South runner-up, District 7 runner-up (lost to Colfax 76-55), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Bridgeport 70-27).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (8) Mabton (18-7), Wednesday 9 a.m.

Regional: Beat (16) White Swan (16-9) 49-45.

Key players: NE 2B South first-team sr. G Ellie Denny (18.1 ppg); NE 2B South second-team jr. F Grace Grumbly (7/3 ppg); so. F Kendall Denny (10.4 ppg); jr. G Brooke Redder (8.3 ppg).

Outlook: Finished fifth at state in 2022; won state championship in 2020.

Quote: “This team plays hard and is very resilient. We will be a tough out.” – coach Dave Baird.

(11) Northwest Christian: 19-7. NE 2B North runner-up, District 7 third place (beat Upper Columbia 41-25), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Tonasket 65-54).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (6) La Conner (20-5), Wednesday 3:45 p.m.

Regional: Beat (14) Forks (18-8) 69-37.

Key players: NE 2B North first-team sr. G Makenzie Ritchie; NE 2B North second-team Georgia Crockett; NE 2B second-team sr. Paisley Cox.

Outlook: Last state appearance in 2020; only appearance in last 10 years, finished fifth as No. 14 seed.

Quote: “Someone always steps up for us and you just never know who it’s going to be. They do not care who gets the credit and just always focus on having a ‘we over me’ mentality.” – coach Geoff Tibbets.

(15) Upper Columbia: 13-11. NE 2B South third place, District 7 fourth place (lost to NWC 41-25), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Brewster 47-45).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (7) Rainier (20-5), Wednesday 5:30 p.m.

Regional: Beat (10) Cle Elum-Roslyn (19-6) 35-32.

Key players: NE 2B South first-team sr. G Mia Pierce (9.5 ppg, 2.8 spg); NE 2B South first-team fr. G Sadie Pierce (8.7 ppg, 2.2 spg); NE 2B South second-team Sidney Folkenberg (9.2 ppg, 12. 1 rpg, 2.6 spg, 1.7 bpg).

Outlook: Fourth year in WIAA league play. First state appearance in school history for basketball. Second consecutive winning season.

Quote: “We have six seniors, three back from major injury. This is already a big win for us.” – coach Trent Pierce.

1B–Spokane Arena

(3) Colton: 23-1. SE 1B Wheat champion, District 9 champ (beat Yakima Tribal 46-40).

When: Quarterfinal vs. (5) Inchelium/(12) Willapa Valley winner, Thursday 12:15 p.m.

Regional: Beat (6) Moses Lake Christian (20-4) 61-58.

Key players: Kyndra Stout; Grace Kuhle; Sidni Whitcomb.

Outlook: No. 2 in final state media poll. Has won 10 state titles under coach Clark Vining. Finished fifth in 2022.

(5) Inchelium: 18-3. NE 1B North champion, District 7 champ (beat Wellpinit 68-42).

When: Round-of-12 vs (12) Willapa Valley (18-7).

Regional: Lost to (4) Mount Vernon Christian (22-4) 49-41.

Key players: NE 1B North first team sr. F Zalissa Finley; jr. G AnnMarie Simpson; jr. G Torrence Finley.

Outlook: No. 7 in final state media poll. The Finleys and Simpson return from 2020 state title team. Trophies in 2007, 1979.

Quote: “We have accomplished our first goals of league and district championships and now we are focused on our final goal, the State B tournament, looking for another championship, and making memories of a lifetime.” – coach Lonnie Simpson Jr.

(7) Oakesdale: 20-4. SE 1B Wheat runner-up, District 9 third place (beat Sunnyside Christian 30-29).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (10) Wellpinit (15-6), Wednesday 10:30 a.m.

Regional: Lost to (2) Mossyrock (20-3) 52-48.

Key players: SE 1B Wheat first-team sr. Jessie Reed (18 ppg, 11 rpg); sr. Marilla Hockett (13 ppg, 8 rpg, 6 apg).

Outlook: No. 4 in final state media poll. Reed missed last season with ACL injury. Reed, Hockett and Emily Dingman played on state runner-up team in 2020. Last title (as Tekoa-Oakesdale) was 2001.

Quote: “Five of our players’ moms all graduated from Oakesdale and wore the Nighthawk uniform. We also have a pair of sisters and two sets of cousins.” – coach Heidi Perry.

(10) Wellpinit: 15-6. NE 1B South champion, District 7 runner-up (lost to Inchelium 68-42).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (7) Oakesdale (20-4).

Regional: Beat (15) Evergreen Lutheran (15-4) 56-44.

Key players: NE 1B South first team sr. G Marissa Seyler; NE 1B first-team F Danea Norman.

Outlook: No. 7 in final state media poll. Reached state for second consecutive season as team looks for first title.

Quote: “Play our game for 32 minutes the way we can, and we will be happy.” – coach Tracy Lebret.

(11) Odessa: 13-9. NE 1B South runner-up, District 7 third place (beat Wilbur-Creston-Keller 55-41).

When: Round-of-12 vs. (6) Moses Lake Christian (20-4).

Regional: Beat (14) Naselle (15-10) 63-45.

Key players: NE 1B South MVP sr. F Ashlyn Neilsen (17.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.9 spg); NE 1B South first-team G Grace Nelson (9.1 ppg, 4.4 apg); jr. G Hayden Schuh (9 ppg, 6.6 rpg).

Outlook: First appearance in program history at State B at the Arena. Lost to MLCA in December by 13 missing Nelson and Schuh to injury.

Quote: “If we limit the turnovers, rebound and make free throws we will give MLCA a better game.” – coach Travis Schuh.

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