PROSSER -- It has been a whirlwind two weeks for Tamara Jones.
The Prosser senior has received honors from the Prosser school board, congratulations from friends and family, and lots of Facebook messages.
Such is the life of winning a state title.
"It's awesome," said Jones, the Tri-City Herald All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year. "It just feels like we finally accomplished something we wanted the past four years.
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"It was very special, especially with the girls on the team. They made it really fun. Without them, it would've been a dull season."
Luckily for Jones, they were there, and the season was anything but dull.
The Mustangs finished 26-1, losing only to Idaho Class 5A runner-up Coeur d'Alene 43-42. Prosser hammered Burlington-Edison 50-33 to win the state title in Yakima.
"It was very good," Jones said. "A very happy ending to the season."
This season, the 5-foot-11 Jones averaged 19.3 points and nearly 14 rebounds per game. She is undecided about where she wants to go to college, however.
"I haven't talked to anyone, and I'm still thinking about where I want to go," she said.
With the numbers she put up her senior season, surely someone will give her a chance to compete at the next level.
Joining Jones on the all-area first team are Chiawana's Hayley Hodgins, Moses Lake's Jordan Loera, Kamiakin's Khadidja Toure and Richland's Mandy Machinal.
Hodgins, a senior, averaged 18.4 points per game while leading the Riverhawks to third place in Class 4A. Loera, also a senior, led the CBBN 4A in scoring at 19.5 points per game. Hodgins will take her talents to Cheney to play for Eastern Washington, while Loera has signed with the University of Oregon.
Toure, a junior, averaged 18.6 points per game and helped the Braves finish fifth at the Class 3A state tournament.
Machinal, a senior, averaged 17.7 points per game and helped the Bombers to an 17-4 finish and a near-berth in the state tournament.
Machinal's coach, Jerry Riggs, was named the coach of the year.
It was a strange ride for Riggs and the Bombers this season, as the coach took over when Kristen Davis resigned close to the start of the season.
"I knew we were going to compete," Riggs said. "I was gifted some really good athletes. As far as whether we'd end up where we ended up? I had a good idea we'd compete."
The Bombers did more than compete most of the season, entering the CBBN 4A district tournament championship game with just two losses. Richland lost to Chiawana in that game and then lost to Moses Lake in the second-place game, the first time the Chiefs had beaten the Bombers in four tries.
"It was tough to finish like that," Riggs said. "That was not indicative of how we finished all year."
It was the only time the Bombers lost two games in a row the entire season, not shabby for a season that started in such disarray.
"I think a pretty good foundation has been set for the kids coming back who will play for Richland High next year," Riggs said. "I think the seniors can feel good about what they did this year."
* Craig Craker: 509-582-1509; firstname.lastname@example.org
All-Area first team
MVP -- Tamara Jones, sr., post, Prosser
Jordan Loera, sr., guard, Moses Lake
Khadidja Toure, jr., guard Kamiakin
Hayley Hodgins, sr., wing, Chiawana
Mandy Machinal, sr., guard, Richland
Coach -- Jerry Riggs, Richland
Mikaela Rivard, sr., Chiawana
Courtney Nelson, so., Kamiakin
Tayshia Hunt, sr., Prosser
Kassy Larson, sr., Kamiakin
Shelby Ellsworth, sr., Chiawana
Maci Whitby, sr., Connell
Katie Mahoney, sr., Richland
Angelique Whistocken, jr., Kennewick
Christine Kirkwood, sr., Othello
Colette Gall, fr., Hanford