KENNEWICK -- Trishi Williams doesn't like the spotlight.
The Mabton High School graduate would rather deflect praise to her teammates -- as long as it helps Columbia Basin College win.
The Hawks have done a lot of that this season -- they're 23-2 and were ranked most of the time No. 1 in the coaches' poll.
But today, the most important part of the season begins with the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Basketball Championships at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
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Games begin at 8 a.m., and the Hawks play Everett at 4 p.m.
The tournament runs through Tuesday, with the men's and women's championship games set for tonight.
CBC has a good chance of getting to the title game, and Williams -- who was named the East Region's MVP earlier this week -- is a big reason.
She leads the Hawks in scoring (11.8 points), assists (4.4), steals (2.1) and rebounds (6.9), and is third in blocked shots with 18. That pretty good for a 5-foot-9 guard.
"I think she gets calls (from four-year colleges) because of those assists," said CBC head coach Cheryl Holden.
But it's Williams' selfless attitude that may be even more important.
"This season I focused on something I'm not normally good at," Williams said. "This year I knew other teams would try to stop me, so I focused on assists. I'd rather have an assist and have my teammate score. That gives them that much more confidence."
And that makes the Hawks that much better. It's why CBC coach Cheryl Holden loves the sophomore.
"Trishi has really improved and stepped up as a player from a year ago," said Holden. "She does so many little things, that she kind of helps the engine run."
It's also little things that no one can measure.
"It's chemistry," Williams said. "We're all best friends. Last year we had a bunch of cliques. We all try to include everybody in things. We do a lot of team activities, and even when we're not forced to do things together, we want to. We hang out as a group."
Which is why, Williams says, the Hawks have been so good on the court -- no one cares about getting their points, as long as someone scores them and the team wins.
"I like this team and its all-around spirit," she said.
The Hawks and top-ranked Clackamas (23-2) should be the favorites in the women's tournament.
Holden believes her team is ready.
"I think finishing league strong after suffering those two losses has given us momentum," said Holden. "We just need to carry it into the tournament."
This could be Holden's best group yet at CBC.
"This is an amazing group of kids," she said. "I knew we were going to be good, but not this good. Their work ethic is what amazes me. We didn't have a bad practice this season."
And while Holden wants to win the title, she's already happy with the Hawks' performance this season.
"Every tournament we have played in we have alwasy approached it one game at a time," Holden said. "Our goal is to win the championship. I also know that with that has to come skill and a little luck. No matter what happens, we have had a great season."
Williams wants it all.
"I guess people think we should have the upper hand because we get to sleep in our own beds," said Williams. "Coming home with the championship will make me happy."
NOTES: Four-day tournament passes area available at the Toyota Center box office. Tickets for adults are $31, students, seniors and military are $25; children ages 7-12 are $18; and kids 6 and under are admitted free. ... Single-day prices -- adults $11, students, seniors and military are $7; children ages 7 to 12 are $5. ... Tournament volunteers are still needed for Monday and Tuesday -- especially for hospitality.