Tri-Cities Prep’s Maddie Brandner talks about the team’s first trip to state
The area’s last high school basketball games are set for Sunday, March 24, at Yakima Valley College, as the second annual SWX All-Star Classic will be televised on SWX Television.
The games will pit some of the top players from the Tri-Cities region against some of the top players from the Yakima area.
Game times are 4 p.m. for the girls game, while the boys are set to tip off at 6 p.m.
If you can make it to YVC, tickets cost $5 for adults, while students, seniors and military can get in for $3. Proceeds this year will go to the Yakima Family YMCA.
The series is a revival of the old Newspaper Classic, which began in 1994 by former Yakima Herald Republic sports editor Jim Scoggins and ex-Tri-City Herald sports editor Jim Riley.
Over the years, it transitioned into the Media Classic, had years where there were small-school games and big-school games, then back to one boys game and one girls game, until the two newspapers decided to stop doing it in 2016 and 2017.
It was revived last year by SWX, and the games were played at Kamiakin High School, where the Yakima boys won 131-106, and the Tri-City girls won 91-84.
Over the years, Yakima leads the boys series 21-6, and the Tri-City girls lead their series 19-8.
The teams, which will be coached by the YVC staff, are filled with plenty of talent.
Let’s start with the Yakima boys, which will boast Kittitas senior Brock Ravet, who will play at Gonzaga next year; Selah senior Elijah Pepper, headed to UC Davis this fall; Ellensburg senior Steele Venters, who will play at Eastern Washington University next season; Selah sophomore Noah Pepper, who was the Central Washington Athletic Conference MVP this season; and Zillah senior Antonio Salinas, the South Central Athletic Conference West MVP.
Other Yakima players will include Prosser sophomore Haden Hicks, Selah senior Calvin Herting, West Valley (Yakima) junior Malachy Caffrey, Wapato senior Manuel Delgadillo, Zillah senior Cesar Diaz, Sunnyside Christian senior Lucas Dykstra, La Salle junior Kieran Kershaw, Davis junior Earl Lee and sophomore teammate Jose Reyes, and Yakama Tribal junior Bryan Strom.
The Tri-Cities team will answer with Mid-Columbia Conference MVP Garrett Streufert of Richland, as well as his Bombers teammates Cole Northrop and Dhaunye Guice; the SCAC East co-MVPs Silas Chase of Connell and Owen Ellis of Royal.
Other Tri-City boys on the roster are Hermiston seniors Ryne Andreason and Cesar Ortiz, Kennewick junior Ayoni Benavidez, Pasco senior Diego Gutierrez, Chiawana senior Matthew Kroner and sophomore teammate Kobe Young, Tri-Cities Prep senior Max Nelson, Kamiakin Junior Kyson Rose, Southridge junior Tristan Smith, and Hanford senior Connor Woodward.
On the girls’ side, the Tri-City team will boast last year’s SWX Classic game MVP Talia von Oelhoffen, who also was named the Eastern Washington Athletic Conference West MVP this year as a sophomore, and was the state 2B tournament MVP after she led the Tri-Cities Prep Jaguars to the state championship.
Tri-City also has Kamiakin senior Symone Brown, who will play at Central Washington University; Richland senior Nicole Gall and Chiawana senior Clare Eubanks – both will play at Northwest Nazarene University next season. Connell sophomore Madison Smith, the SCAC East MVP, is also on the roster.
Other players on the Tri-City roster are Chiawana seniors Alyssa Agundis and Macey Morales, Kennewick juniors Aislin Fiander and MeiLani McBee, and sophomore teammate Madeline Gebers; Liberty Christian senior Maddie Godwin, Pasco freshmen Mya Groce and A’niyah Heavens, Columbia-Burbank junior Jadyn Johnson, and Hermiston senior Jordan Thomas.
The Yakima girls team will be led by a big trio of Sunnyside senior Ashlee Maldonado (Big Nine MVP and bound for Santa Clara next year), Wapato senior Janealle Sutterlict (CWAC MVP and bound for St. Martin’s next season), and Prosser senior Marissa Cortes (a two-time CWAC MVP). Other members of the Yakima girls team are East Valley (Yakima) senior Natalie Andreas, Zillah senior Callie Delp, Ellensburg Junior Brinley Hagemeier, Davis junior Lochlyn Hoberg, LaSalle senior Tatiana White and sophomore teammate Trista Hull, Sunnyside junior Kameran Rodriguez, Eisenhower freshman Mia Rodriguez, Grandview senior Michelle Ruiz, Naches Valley sophomore Allison Uecker, and Selah senior Kylie Wilkey.
Both teams will be coached by YVC staff.
Americans drop playoff opener
The Tri-City Americans kept the game close until the final 2 minutes and 20 seconds – when the host Everett Silvertips scored three goals in that final 2:20 – and the Ams lost Game 1 of their Western Hockey League first-round playoff series 6-1 on Friday night in front of 4,610 people.
Connor DeWar scored Everett’s first two goals of the game to give the Silvertips a lead they never relinquished. The two teams were to meet in Everett on Saturday night for Game 2. Game 3 will be at the Toyota Center on Wednesday, March 27, at 7:05 p.m.
Everett outshot Tri-City 48-22 in Friday’s game.
Nolan Yaremko scored the Ams’ lone goal, at 13:30 of the third period, off an assist from Parker AuCoin.
The MCC began conference play in baseball on Friday with four doubleheaders, all of them being sweeps. Chiawana beat visiting Hermiston 8-6 and 10-0; Kamiakin swept host Walla Walla 13-4 and 9-4; Kennewick beat visiting Hanford 14-12 and 11-1; and Southridge swept host Pasco 19-4 and 16-4. Richland had the bye. … Congratulations to the Hermiston dance team, which finished first on Friday in the 2A/3A show division at the WIAA state dance championships at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Hermiston earned a superior rating of 280.60 to take the title. Othello earned a second-place finish in the Class 2A Hip Hop division with an exceptional rating score of 266.10. The Class 4A championships were going on on Saturday night.