When Jalayne Martinez and Emily Baumgart hit the links together, chances are they will split their matches.
Both high school seniors, Martinez and Baumgart are two of the top girls golfers in the Northwest, but come winter, they are standout basketball players.
Martinez is the leading scorer for the Pasco Bulldogs at 14.8 points per game. A four-year starter, she also is the third-leading scorer in the Mid-Columbia Conference.
“She came into our program as a freshman, and I didn’t know much about her,” Pasco coach Aaron Barcot said. “She had a nice shot, and I told her not to be afraid to shoot. She has really taken off this year. She doesn’t really shoot a lot — maybe nine to 10 times a game — but she makes them count. She is one of the most coachable kids I have.”
Baumgart is a standout post player at DeSales High School in Walla Walla. A four-year starter, Baumgart leads the Irish with 15.4 points per game.
“She has always taken it pretty seriously,” DeSales coach Tim Duncan said. “I always thought there might be a chance her future college coaches would tell her not to play. The kind of year she’s having, it’s more than a hobby for her. She’s an undersized post player at 5-8, but she’s very strong and uses her strength to get her way.”
Baumgart said her soon-to-be golf coaches at Washington State like that she plays basketball, but for her, the reasons are more personal.
“Basketball is my time to be with my friends,” said Baumgart, who has been on the court since grade school. “Most of my friends don’t play golf, and it’s nice to be around the other girls sometimes. I’m having fun. It has been a good season (5-4). It’s going to be hard not to play basketball and just focus on golf. I think it will be a big adjustment.”
Martinez, a 5-foot-9 guard/post, has played since third grade and grew up playing in the AAU program.
“It keeps me in shape,” Martinez said. “I love playing with the girls on my team. It’s good to have a season to chill out and get away from the grind of golf. We are struggling this season (0-3 MCC and 1-8 overall). I think we have so much talent, but we aren’t clicking. We started to play better our last couple of games.”
With Pasco being a Class 4A school and DeSales a 2B school, there’s no chance Martinez and Baumgart will meet on the court — though both would like that to happen.
“I think it would be a blast to play against her,” Martinez said. “I know how she gets when she gets mad or nervous.”
Baumgart, who has played golf against her good friend since they were 8 years old, chimed in on the subject with a little humor.
“It would be fun,” Baumgart said. “I think we would win. She’s a good athlete, so it would be close.”
Martinez is headed to Boise State University in the fall on a golf scholarship, while Baumgart, a two-time WIAA state champion, will don the crimson and gray of WSU. Her brother, Ryan, plays on the WSU men’s golf team.
“I’m happy I chose Boise State,” Martinez said. “I’m glad to get the opportunity. She got the Pac-12. She’s lucky.”
“I wanted to go to the University of Washington,” Baumgart admitted. “I met the WSU coaches, got to know them, and that helped me make my decision.”
While their top players will move on after the season, Barcot and Duncan will have fond memories.
“She is a great kid, and I’m going to miss her,” Barcot said of Martinez. “She has made an impact for us and the girls basketball program. She is so competitive. By the time she is done, she should be close to 800 career points.”
Duncan, who is in his 21st season with the Irish, said Baumgart will join two other players from his program who have gone on to college and played a sport other than basketball.
Ashley Hamada (2008 graduate) played softball at Texas Tech. Ashlyn Lyons (2014) plays softball at Montana, where she was a Big Sky Conference honorable-mention selection last season.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach these three athletes,” Duncan said. “Emily is very fun-loving off the court and off the course. She has a little bit of kid in her — which I like — but on the court and course, she is very focused. I see nothing but good things for her.”
Hanford at Walla Walla, 5:45 p.m.
Kamiakin at Kennewick, 5:45 p.m.
Pasco at Chiawana, 5:45 p.m.
Southridge at Richland, 5:45 p.m.