PROSSER -- The Prosser girls basketball team came oh so close to winning the state title last season.
With all but two players back, the Mustangs figure to give it another go this season.
The Tacoma News Tribune ranked Prosser No. 1 in its preseason Class 2A poll and for good reason.
The Mustangs have CWAC leading scorer Tamara Jones (17.1 points per game) back at wing. They also have junior wing Tayshia Hunt (13.2 ppg) back.
"Our expecations are pretty high," coach Mark Little said. "We lost a lot of leadership and a couple of really good defenders (Kelli Wilson and Rachel Anderson). They were good all around players, but especially strong on defense. The other players will have to step up a little bit, but they are capable of playing good defense."
To get back to state this season, they will have to get past traditionally strong programs such as Ellensburg and East Valley.
Othello has its best player back, as senior forward Christine Kirkwood averaged 13.2 points per game last season.
Sophomore Payton Parrish leads Grandview this season. Parrish averaged 13.2 points as a freshman.
Predicted order of finish
4) East Valley
Coach: Paul Van Pelt (Fourth season).
Last state trip: 2000-01.
Returning players: G Shyann Guillen, jr., 5-4; G/F Payton Parrish, so., 5-11; G/F Mikaela Espinoza, jr., 5-8; G Gabby Montelongo, sr., 5-3; F Jessica Hall, sr., 5-11; F Alexis Candido, jr., 5-7.
Stepping up: F Jamila Shafer, fr., 5-7; G Marissa Caballero, fr., 5-6; G Karissa Trinidad, so., 5-4; G/F Madison Trevino, fr., 5-7.
Coach: Laurie Stickel (Third season).
Last state trip: 2008-09.
Returning players: G Lindsay Garza, sr.; G JoAnna Quezada, sr.; F Anica Garza, jr.; G Ana Rodriguez, sr.; F Christine Kirkwood, sr.
Stepping up: G Kimberly Bullis, so.; F Hannah Hayduk, so.; G Allesha Reyes, so.; G Daisy Salgado, so.; F Stephanie Tolley, so.; P Brenda Rodriguez, sr.; P Alyssa Martinez, jr.
Coach: Mark Little (Third season).
Last state trip: 2009-2010.
Returning players: W Karissa Flores, jr., 5-10; G Brooke Adams, sr., 5-6; W Tayshia Hunt, jr., 5-8; W Sydney Mercer, so., 5-11; G Teresa Garza, jr., 5-8; G Helen Petersen, jr., 5-8; W Taylor Flores, sr., 5-8; W Tamara Jones, sr., 5-11.
Stepping up: W Jessica Wiley, jr., 5-11.