Chiawana's Hodgins follows footsteps of mom, sister

By Craig Craker, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 25, 2012 

PASCO — Being a female basketball player in Pasco with the last name Hodgins was never going to be easy.

Chiawana's Delaney Hodgins is well on her way to living up to that last name, though.

The sophomore is averaging 14.1 points per game and leads the Riverhawks into a Class 4A regional tournament game against Central Valley at 4 p.m. today at Spokane Falls Community College.

"I knew she'd be a consistent player for us," Chiawana coach Steve Davis said. "I was just surprised about how consistently she would put the ball in the basket."

Hodgins has been a starter throughout the season after playing sparingly during last season's state tournament run.

The 5-foot-10 wing player follows her mother, Karen, and her sister, Hayley, as stars on the hardwood in Pasco.

Karen, then Murray, was a star for the Bulldogs and later shined for the University of Washington before playing professionally in Europe.

Hayley led the Riverhawks to a third-place finish at state last year and is a red-shirt freshman at Eastern Washington this year.

"I sometimes feel pressure because you have to live up to the expectations everyone has," Delaney said. "My sister was good, so they expect me to be the same."

Not many people had any expectations for Hodgins and the Riverhawks this season, though.

Chiawana graduated not just Hayley, but also Mikaela Rivard (at Portland State now), Shelby Ellsworth (starting at Westminster in Utah), Melanie Valdez (at Central Washington) and Kendyl Reynolds (playing soccer at Columbia Basin).

"I knew that someone would have to step up on the team, considering what we lost," Hayley Hodgins said. "I'm glad it was her."

With all that talent gone, Chiawana was expected to compete for a title in a league that was down, but not many saw a regional berth and a state ranking in the crystal ball.

And not many saw young Hodgins dominating the competition so easily.

While Delaney is not the same type of scorer as Hayley she gets the job done.

"You're not going to scream shooter at her," Davis said. "And she's not lightning quick, so she's not a slasher. But she's good at both and it gives her an advantage."

Hodgins started playing at a very young age, encouraged by both Karen and her father Mike. Her parents run fundamental clinics in Pasco on the weekends and Mike coaches AAU basketball.

While everyone in the family has excelled athletically -- there is another daughter, Braydey, who is in eighth grade that plays hoops -- the parents have tried hard to encourage the kids to do whatever they want.

"We've always told them if you don't want to do this, that's fine," Karen Hodgins said, "but if you are going to do something, you have to do it at 100 percent. Always be the best at everything you do.

"When you are in the game, you need to be playing hard. It is just an expectation."

An expectation Delaney is having no problem living up to.

Streak: Chiawana has won 13 in a row, Central Valley has won 7 of 8.

Key players: Chiawana, G Hayley Hodgins (14.1 ppg), F Sadie Sparks (12.7), G Jennifer Gonzales (6.8), G Danielle Loving (6.6). Central Valley, F Brooke Gallaway (18.2), F Madison Hovren (11.5), G Katie Estey (9.8)

State appearances: Chiawana 2, Central Valley 14.

Last state appareance: Chiawana, 2011; Central Valley, 2004.

State trophies: Chiawana 2 (2011, third; 2010, seventh). Central Valley 12 (2004, seventh; 2003, second; 2002, first; 2001, first; 2000, sixth; 1999, eighth; 1997, second; 1993, first; 1992, fourth; 1991, fourth; 1990, third; 1985, third)

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