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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Girls state capsules: 3A No. 1 seed Mead leads 13 Spokane-area girls teams to state venues

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 the 13 girls teams from the Spokane area to reach the state venues this season.

4A–Tacoma Dome

(8) Gonzaga Prep Bullpups (19-9, 8-1, GSL 4A/3A second).

Coach: Geoff Arte, second season. District: Second, beat Chiawana 51-50 in OT. Regional: Lost to (1) Camas 53-31.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (8) Lake Stevens, Wednesday 2 p.m. Last state appearance: 2023. Last state title: 2015.

Key players: Aylah Cornwall, fr. (20.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 3.7 spg); Olivia McIntyre, jr. (11.0 ppg), Gillian Bears, sr. (10.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg).

Outlook: Cornwall is a lights-out shooter . The 6-foot-3 Bears is a presence on both ends and McIntyre might have been the most-improved player in the GSL this season.

Quote: “It’s always great to be playing basketball when the calendar switches over to March. Really proud of how these kids have battled all year.” – Arte.

3A–Tacoma Dome

(1) Mead Panthers (24-1, 9-0, GSL 4A/3A first)

Coach: Quantae Anderson, 13th season. District: First, beat Kennewick 70-54. Regional: Beat (8) North Thurston 68-46.

State matchup: Quarterfinal vs TBD, Thursday 5:30 p.m. Last state appearance: 2023. Last state title: 2013.

Key players: Teryn Gardner, sr. (19.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 3.7 spg), Addison Wells Morrison, so. (12.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.5 apg), Gracie Wenkheimer, so. (8.9 ppg).

Outlook: Led by Gardner, Panthers focus on consistent pressure defense, rebounding and sharing the ball on offense. Wells Morrison, daughter of Mead and Gonzaga great Adam Morrison, is the only 6-footer and is effective facing the basket or posting up.

Quote: “This team is fun to watch. We love to play fast but can also be patient when needed.” – Anderson.

2A–Yakima Valley SunDome

(5) Clarkston Bantams (23-1, 10-0, GSL 2A first).

Coach: Debbie Sobotta, 13th year. District: First, beat West Valley 75-31. Regional: Lost to (4) Prosser 49-43.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs. (12) Enumclaw, Wednesday 12:15 p.m. Last state appearance: 2020. Last state title: 2012.

Key players: Kendall Wallace, sr. (16 ppg, 3.8 spg); Eloise Teasley, sr. (8.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.2 spg); Jaelyn McCormack-Marks, so. (9.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.2 spg, 5.3 apg).

Outlook: Undefeated through regular season and districts; strength of schedule brought RPI down and affected seed to state. Scoring comes in bunches. Handling pressure defense, rebounding will be keys to success.

Quote: “It’s pretty special to be one of the top 12 from a field of 64 going to the SunDome. I’m proud that Clarkston and West Valley will be there repping the GSL.” – Sobotta

(14) West Valley Eagles (14-9, 8-2, GSL 2A second).

Coach: Tyrone Ashley, first year as head coach, 17 years assistant). District: Second, lost to Clarkston 75-31. Regional: Beat (11) Port Angeles 48-41.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (3) W.F. West, Wednesday 9 a.m. Last state appearance: 2022. Last state title: 1999.

Key players: Chloe Deharo, sr. (27.8 ppg, WV all-time leading scorer); Willow Burrill, jr. (9.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg); Brynlee Ordinario, so. (7 ppg, 10 rpg); Macy Osborn, jr. (8 ppg, 12 rpg).

Outlook: Hard-working group that doesn’t believe it is an underdog. Won five games last year. Deharo is a threat to score every time down the court – 13 games of 25-plus points this season.

Quote: “They set a goal that they wanted to get to Yakima, and we have achieved that. We are not just going to be there but to make noise.” – Ashley.

1A–Yakima Valley SunDome

(2) Deer Park Stags (24-0, 12-0, NEA first).

Coach: KC Ahrens, sixth year. District: First, beat Lakeside 49-35. Regional: Beat (7) Bellevue Christian 41-35.

State matchup: Quarterfinal vs TBD, Thursday 9 p.m. Last state appearance: 2023. Last state title: N/A.

Key players: Ashlan Bryant, fr.; Brooklyn Coe, jr.; Emma Bryant, so.; Berlyn Zimmerer, so.

Outlook: Lost in fourth-place bracket last year, Stags have chance at first state trophy in program history. Stags play extremely hard and well together. Lack size; will need to rebound to compete with larger opponents.

Quote: “Our slogan of, ‘It’s amazing what the Lady Stags can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit,’ drives everything we do. Our unselfishness and toughness have been rewarded with success on the court. We are looking forward to our trip to Yakima and are not taking anything for granted.” – Ahrens.

(6) Lakeside Eagles (15-9, 7-5, NEA third)

Coach: Bernice Tobeck. District: Second, lost to Deer Park 49-35. Regional: Lost to (3) Lynden Christian 59-51.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (11) Montesano, Wednesday 3:45 p.m. Last state appearance: 2018.

Key players: Ayanna Tobeck, sr.; Rylee Darnold, sr.; Avery Haff, sr.

2B–Spokane Arena

(4) Colfax Bulldogs (22-4, 14-0, NE 2B first).

Coach: Jordan Holmes, third year. District: First, beat Davenport 59-55. Regional: Beat (5) Rainier 57-32.

State matchup: Quarterfinal vs TBD, Thursday 9 a.m. Last state appearance: 2023. Last state title: 2023.

Key players: Brynn McGaughy, jr. (17.8 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 blocks); Hailey Demler, sr.; Lauryn York, sr.

Outlook: The defending champions lost three of their first four games – all to ranked teams – while McGaughy played her way into shape following offseason surgery. The top prospect in the state, McGaughy recently narrowed her college choices to 12, including Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Iowa, Connecticut and Tennessee.

Quote: “We’ve really pushed them to value putting in the extra work to feel deserving at the end of it all, whatever the outcome may be. If you do this, you can hold your head high and feel the sense of pride that putting in the extra work gives you. Be different.” – Holmes.

(10) Davenport Gorillas (16-11, 10-5, NE 2B third).

Coach: Stacia Soliday. District: Second, beat Lake Roosevelt 64-44 in crossover. Regional: Beat (15) Tri-Cities Prep 50-40.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (2) Warden, Wednesday 10:30 a.m. Last state appearance: 2019.

Key players: Charlotte Soliday, eighth; Glenna Soliday, so.; Clare Lathrop, so.

1B–Spokane Arena

(5) Almira/Coulee-Hartline Warriors (16-7, 11-3, NE 1B South first)

Coach: Matthew Elder, second year. District: First, beat Curlew 46-36. Regional: Lost to (4) Crosspoint 53-29.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (12) Garfield-Palouse, Wednesday 7:15 p.m. Last state appearance: 2019. Last state title: N/A.

Key players: Beth Okamoto, sr. (11.0 ppg); Naomi Molitor, so. (11.0 ppg).

Quote: “With little playoff experience coming into this year, we have been working on developing a winning mindset, how to overcome adversities, stay the course, and give ourselves a chance to win.” – Elder.

(6) Oakesdale Nighthawks (17-4, 9-1, SE 1B Wheat first)

Coach: Heidi Perry, fourth season. District: First, beat Sunnyside Christian 35-30. Regional: Lost to (3) Waterville/Mansfield 56-33.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (11) Lummi Nation, Wednesday 3:45 p.m. Last state appearance: 2023. Last state title: 2001 as Tekoa-Oakesdale; 1978 as Oakesdale.

Key players: Payton Davis, sr. (13.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg); guards Lucy Hockett, Bradyn Henley, Grace Perry all average 8-10 ppg.

Outlook: Lost senior Samantha Holling to knee injury in district semifinal. Davis, a college-bound volleyball player, is in her first year of high school basketball.

Quote: “We’re a resilient team. We’re family to one another, so I know we’ll figure out how to compete at state.” – Heidi Perry.

(7) Wilbur-Creston-Keller Wildcats (18-5, 10-3, NE 1B third).

Coach: Jamie Nee, 13th year. District: Third, beat Wellpinit 69-48. Regional: Lost to (2) Mount Vernon Christian 55-43.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs (10) Mossyrock, Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Last state appearance: 2022. Last state title: 1999.

Key players: Brystal Neilson, fr. (15 ppg); Kaidyn Maioho, jr. (14 ppg); Karsen Brashears, sr. (13 ppg); Rocksie Timentwa, so. (7 ppg).

Outlook: Tough defenders. Will have to stay out of foul trouble.

(8) Curlew Cougars (20-4, 9-1, first in NE 1B).

Coach: John Baker, sixth year. District: Second, lost to ACH 46-36. Regional: Lost to (1) Neah Bay 44-23.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs. (9) Sunnyside Christian, Wednesday 9 p.m. Last state appearance: 2020. Last state title: N/A.

Key players: Emma Lena Baker, sr. (17 ppg, 8 rpg, 8 spg); Annika Baker, fr. (12 ppg, 9 rpg).

Outlook: Allowed just 34 ppg. Bakers both enjoying strong comeback seasons after knee injuries.

Quote: “Community has been key to our success. So many people are lifting us up, encouraging us, believing in us.” – John Baker

(12) Garfield-Palouse Vikings (17-6, 8-2, SE 1B second).

Coach: Garrett Parrish, 10th year. District: Third, beat Colton 42-39. Regional: Beat (13) Pateros 52-36.

State matchup: Round-of-12 vs. (5) Almira/Coulee-Hartline, Wednesday 7:15 p.m. Last state appearance: 2021-22 (third). Last state title: 2007-08

Key players: Kyra Brantner, fr. (13 ppg, 3 spg); Elena Flansburg, so. (15 ppg, 7 rpg); Morgan Lentz, so. (8.0 ppg, 2 apg).

Outlook: Battled through loser bracket in District 9 tournament. Defense, especially the second half of the year, turned Gar-Pal into state caliber. Offense needs to show against other top teams. Multiple scoring options.

Quote: “We are a very young team that really turned a corner in mid-January and have been playing really good basketball for the last month-plus. We seem to play our best basketball when our backs are against the wall; hopefully, we can keep it going for a few more games. We are just really grateful to be participating in the best state tournament (State B) in Washington state.” – Garrett Parrish