KENNEWICK -- The Yakima Valley women are back among the 16 women's basketball teams today in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championships, but Columbia Basin is seen as the favorite.
This is the 11th consecutive year the tournament has been held in Kennewick, across the Columbia River from CBC's campus in Pasco.
Team, coached by Brent Hermanson, finished second in North with 22-5 record. ... G Kelsey Sparks (Renton) is a first-team All-North pick, averaging 12.6 points. ... F Sanda Milovic (Kentwood) is a second-team all-star averaging 12.0 points, while F Taylor Wofford (Auburn Riverside) was North's defensive player of the year.
Blue Mountain Timberwolves
Team, coached by Christy Martin, was fourth in the East with 16-9 mark. ... Top player is G Stephanie Lopez (Wilmington, Calif.), who was named first-team All-East. She led the entire NWAACC in scoring at 25.0 points a game, had 4.4 assists, and 79 steals. ... Freshman PG Chanel Cambronero (Newport-Bellevue) is a second-team East pick, averaging 13.0 points. ... Touchet grad Zoe Weaver is also on the team.
Won the West title with 19-8 record. Team is led by West coach of the year Shane Schutz. ... F Ali Campbell (Graham-Kapowsin) and G Sabra Sproul (White River) are first-team West players. ... Campbell (13.4 points) is fourth in NWAACC with 10.1 boards. ... Sproul averages 10.8 points. ... F Rani Weigand (White River) was a second-team North pick, while G Shanae Sauls (Black Hills) was all-defensive.
The Storm, coached by Jesse Ailstock, finished tied for second in the South at 19-6. ... Top player is G Janelle Weiss (West Salem, Ore.), who was named the South MVP. She is ninth in the NWAACC with 4.1 assists, and averages 15.1 points. ... F Lauren Codling (Sherwood, Ore.) is a second-team South all-star (12.4 points) and is second in the NWAACC in rebounds at 10.7.
Ranked No. 4 coming into the tournament, Cougars coached by Jim Martineau tied for second in South at 22-4. ... Top player is G Sam McCloud, who is from Pendleton but played at Franklin in Portland. She was first-team South all-star (No. 1 in NWAACC with 6.2 assists) and South defensive player of the year, ranking second in NWAACC in steals at 111.
Coach Nancy Boone's Penguins finished second in West with a 20-6 record. ... G Deborah Simmers (Anchorage) was named West MVP and defensive player of year. She averaged 17.6 points. ... G Chelsea Dyson (Anchorage) is a first-team West all-star (17.3 points, 84 assists and 5.4 assists), while G Macy Mukensnabl (Skyview-Vancouver) is a second-teamer.
Columbia Basin Hawks
Cheryl Holden's top-ranked Hawks won the East title with a 25-2 record. ... Holden is East coach of the year. ... C Jennifer Noon (Central Point, Ore.) was named East MVP and first-team all-star (17.3 points). ... C Tiffany Idler (Columbia-Burbank) was also first-team all-star (14.2 points) and the East defensive player of the year. ... G Katherine Samuels (Lapwai, Idaho) was named East freshman of the year (4.6 assists). ... Other local players include F KieOsha Avery-Winchester (Connell), G Ana Jimenez (Mabton), G Debbie Molsbarger (Connell), C Crysta Reynolds (Mabton) and G Sara Vannoy (Kiona-Benton).
Ranked No. 2 coming into the tournament, the Titans won the South title with a 23-4 mark. ... Greg Sheley was named South coach of the year. ... G Kersey Wilcox (Mountain View-Bend, Ore.) is a first-team South all-star and is the South's freshman of the year (14.5 points, 76 steals, 4.1 assists). ... G Reed Levings (Cottage Grove, Ore.) and F Megan Shields (Sherwood, Ore.) are second-team all-stars. ... G/F Courtney Walchli of Hermiston is also a member of the Titans (8.0 points).
Coach Ali Crumb went north to recruit. She has nine of her 12 players from Alaska. ... Team finished tied for third in North with 17-9 record. ... C Taylor Larson (Juneau, Alaska) is a first-team North all-star and the freshman of the year (17.0 points). ... G Karli Brakes (Juneau, Alaska) is on the North all-defensive team. She also averages 5.5 assists.
Coached by Brian Purugganan, the Raiders finished third in the West at 17-9. ... G/F Taylor Riley (Kentridge) and G/F Unique Taufa'asau (Jefferson-Federal Way) are first-team West all-stars. Taufa'asau leads the Raiders with 16.7 points. Riley grabs 9.0 rebounds a game. ... G Kawehi Hagi (Hawaii) is a second-team all-star and West freshman of the year (14.3 points, 88 steals).
Skagit Valley Cardinals
Coach Steve Epperson's team won the North title with a 20-6 record. ... Epperson was the North's coach of the year. ... F Brittany Gray (Bainbridge Island) is the North MVP (15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds) and all-defensive, while G Sophia Baetz (Kingston) was a first-team all-star (19.4 points). ... G Jessica Denmon (Oak Harbor) is a second-team North all-star (8.6 rebounds).
Only team in tournament with a losing record at 12-13. ... Heidi Collier's Titans were fourth in West. ... Team had no all-stars in West, but scrapped at the end of the season to make the tournament. ... Fourth-best rebounding team in NWAACC at 46.5. ... G Claire Swayze (Mossyrock) leads team in scoring at 15.6.
Team finished fourth in South at 14-13. ... Coached by Dave Stricklin. ... Top player is F Samantha Thornton (Olympic), who averages 18.0 points and is a first-team All-South player. ... F Deanna Tupai (Taylorsville, Utah) is a second-team South standout while averaging 14.4 points, while F Pua Kailiawa (Hawaii) is all-defensive. Kailiawa averages 9.1 rebounds.
Walla Walla Warriors
Coach Bobbi Hazeltine's team finished second in East with 20-6 record. ... Lost to YVC in title game last year. ... F Tai Jensen (Troy, Idaho) and G Leslie Stillar (Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls) are second-team East all-stars. Jensen averages 13.5 points, Stillar averages 13.4. ... Stillar and PG Sienna Edmunson (New Plymouth, Idaho) are East all-defensive standouts. ... Freshman C Gabby Anderson from Wa-Hi is also on the team.
Finished tied for third in North with 16-10 record. ... Team is coached by Sara Bergner. ... F Cambie Edwards (Burlington-Edison) and G Erika Locker (Ferndale) are both second-team North all-stars. ... Edwards (12.6 points) is 10th in NWAACC rebounding with 8.5 a game.
Yakima Valley Yaks
Defending NWAACC champs are 20-7 this season. ... Cody Butler is coach. ... Ranked fifth in final coaches' poll. ... Simone Jordan (Portland) and Brittany Newcomb (Medford, Ore.) were first-team All-East all-stars. ... Jordan leads team with 15.9 points a game and was on All-East defensive team.
Women's tournament, Toyota Center
Game 5, Bellevue (22-5) vs. Clackamas (22-4), 8 a.m.
Game 1, Clark (20-6) vs. Yakima Valley (20-7), 10 a.m.
Game 4, Walla Walla (20-6) vs. Pierce (17-9), noon
Game 6, Columbia Basin (25-2) vs. Tacoma (12-13), 2 p.m.
Game 2, Lane (23-4) vs. Peninsula (17-9), 4 p.m.
Game 3, Skagit Valley (20-6) vs. Umpqua (14-13), 6 p.m.
Game 7, Centralia (19-8) vs. Blue Mountain (16-9), 8 p.m.
Game 8, Chemeketa (19-6) vs. Whatcom (16-10), 10 p.m.