Willapa Valley, Raymond and Taholah are among the top teams in their respective Class 2B and 1B girls basketball leagues this season.
Capsule profiles of Twin Harbors teams. North River, which begins its season later than other schools, will be sent an questionnaire at a later date.
CLASS 2B PACIFIC LEAGUE
Coach: Jon Schray, second season.
Returning letterwinners: Abby Maneman, 5-9 Sr.; Courtney Hagain, 5-2 Sr.; Macy Karlsvik, 5-9 Sr.; Shylo Boyes, 5-6 Sr.; Amanda Koski, 5-4 Sr.; Dalia Silva, 5-5 Sr.; Hailee Williams, 5-5 Jr.; Alex Gilbert, 5-4 Jr.; Aiyisha Garcia, 5-8 Soph.
Promising newcomers: Jaislin Heckard, 5-6 Fresh.; Jamie Donovan, 5-6 Sr.
Coach’s comments: “This team is experienced and focused, ready to expand on the successes of last season.”
Pacific League favorites: Willapa Valley.
Coach: Peter Fry, first season.
Returning letterwinners: Wakeena DeLaCruz, 5-5 Sr.; Marya Pope, 5-5 Jr.
Promising newcomers: Quay Sotomish, 5-6 Jr.; Mousey Shale, 5-7 Fresh.; Maria Garman, 5-7 Jr.
Coach’s comments: “I am extremely excited to be taking over a Lady Hyaks program that has had success in the recent past. We will be looking to continue that success through hard work and attention to detail. We are light on experience but hope to use our athleticism and tenacity to give us an opportunity to win on any given night.”
Pacific League favorites: Raymond, Willapa Valley.
Coach: Melissa Aust, fourth season.
Returning letterwinners: Michaela Huber, 5-4 Sr.; Abbee Bannish, 5-3 Sr.; Morgan Walker, 5-4 Sr.; Abby Smaciarz, 5-3 Sr.; Lauren Friese, 5-6 Jr.; Emily Fluke, 5-4 Jr.; Mackenzie Trotter, 5-7 Jr.; Karli Friese, 5-3 Soph.
Promising newcomers: Brooke Harden, 5-9 Jr.
Coach’s comments: “I’m so excited to finally have these girls as upperclassmen with a little experience under their belts. I really feel that all these girls have developed tremendously and are much more confident now. Unfortunately, we still don’t have much size but hope to use the qualities that we do have to our advantage. We’ve been working hard to improve our shooting, physical and mental toughness and aggressiveness in all aspects of the game. These girls get along exceptionally well, both on and off the court and I think this will aid in our success, too. I keep trying to get them to understand that they have the potential, but they have to have the drive and fire within themselves to make things go the way they want. Each night, we will need significant contributions from each and every player that steps onto the court.”
Pacific League favorites: “I hope we’re the league favorite, but I think it could go to almost any team each night, depending on who comes to play. Raymond and South Bend (look good).”
Coach: Gary Wilson, returning after a hiatus of a few years.
Returning letterwinners: Myranda Curtis, 5-7 Sr.; Rachel Black, 5-5 Sr.; Kessa Wilson, 6-0 Jr.; Katlyn Sawyer, 5-10 Jr.; Sierra Cearns, 5-4 Jr.; Makenzie Russell, 6-0 Jr.; Emily Sanchez, 5-5 Soph.; Morgan Patterson, 5-3 Soph.
Promising newcomers: Rielly Myers, 5-7 Soph.; Alison Funkhouser, 5-6 Fresh.
Coach’s comments: “It is great to be back. This is a hard-working group of athletic players. It is exciting to have some new players returning with varsity experience. We are implementing a new program and realize we must be patient as it develops. Defense will be the main topic for us now and overall improvement as we move forward into the season.”
Pacific League favorites: Raymond, Willapa Valley.
Coach: Rachel Wenzel, fourth season.
Returning letterwinners: Kayt Jones, 5-0 Sr. Lexie Schmeling, 5-5 Jr.; Mikayla Sunde, 5-7 Jr.
Promising newcomers: Amanda Gilbert, 5-8 Sr.; Rebecca Sal, 5-5 Jr.; Courtney Rutzer, 5-2 Jr.; Alysssa Phillips, 5-9 Jr.; Rebecca Wingate, 5-5 Soph.; Marsha Poulson, 5-3 Fresh.
Coach’s comments: “With all but one of last year’s starters moving on from our program, we are playing with an entirely different team than the past three years. We are quick and smart and if we can work out the growing paints of being a young team and find someone to step up and be a shooter, we should be able to compete in our league this year. Our defense looks good, but scoring has always been a hurdle for us. We have potential high scorers in Christenson, our post player, and Sunde, one of the few with varsity experience. Our goal is to still be playing in February.”
Pacific League favorites: Willapa Valley, North Beach.
CLASS 1B COASTAL LEAGUE
Coach: Crystal Lawton, second season.
Returning letterwinners: Aaryn Marbut, Sr.; Erin Anderson, Sr.; Dani Zembal, Sr.; Chrissy Rurup, Soph.; Ryan Anderson, Fresh.; Payton West, Fresh.
Promising newcomers: Eliza Kinnamin, Jr.; Kayla Tudor, Fresh.
Coach’s comments: “After a tough season last year, we are happy to be back in the gym. The ladies have been working hard and are ready to take on the challenges of the season. Our team dynamic this year is more focused and we are continuing to grow and build our girls basketball program.”
Coastal League favorites: Taholah, Mary M. Knight.
Coach: Jerry Walther, first season returning to bench.
Returning letterwinners: Laura James, 5-5 Sr.; Devon Mowitch, 5-5 Sr.; Adrian Vitalis, 5-1 Sr.; Rachel Cheney, 5-11 Soph.; Trish Dunn, 5-4 Fresh.; Marquel Waugh, 5-10 Fresh.; Karleeena Walther, 5-3 Fresh.
Promising newcomers: Dramikha Skaar, 5-9 Sr. transfer from North Beach; Destiny Campbell, 5-6 Sr.; Desiree Markishtum, 5-3 Soph.; Arleen Kramer, 5-6 Soph.; Leeza James, 5-5 Fresh.; Nichole Hidalgo, 6-0 Fresh.; Cloe Martin, 5-8 Fresh.
Coach’s comments: “The girls were coached very well last year (by Frieda and Donald Waugh). We will add to what they already know. With the newcomers to the team, we will be very competitive. Last year’s team finished first in league and district, so we know we will have a bullseye on our backs every game.”
Coastal League favorites: “We all start out at 0-0, but I believe we will be in the top group with Lake Quinault and Mary M. Knight.”
Coach: Dennis Hinchen, first season.
Returning letterwinners: Annber Neeland, 5-9 Sr.; Bobbi Jo Sansom, 5-7 Sr.; Hannah Allen, 5-8 Jr.; Romenita Begay, 5-11 Soph.; Haylee Erdman, 5-9 Soph.; Faith Thomas, 5-6 Fresh.
Promising newcomers: Donna Gerard, 5-7 Jr.; Brittany Thomas, 5-9 Fresh.; Melissa Silva, 5-2 Fresh.; Alex Blackburn, 5-7 8th Grader; Alejandra Barragan, 5-5 8th Grader; Espy Silva, 5-4 8th Grader.
Coach’s comments: “Even though this is my first year coaching the girls, I know most of them and what they are capable of doing. They really work hard and I believe they will only get better as the season moves forward. The majority of the team is pretty young with a good senior leader in Annber Neeland. The strategy is to play very tough defense and push the ball up and down the court quickly.”