High School Sports

Girls state preview: Connell, Liberty Christian capsules

Here is a look at the Mid-Columbia entries in the girls 1A and 2B state basketball tournaments:

1A girls

Connell Eagles (16-8) vs. Seattle Christian Warriors (21-2)

10:30 a.m., Yakima SunDome

Last state appearance: Connell, 2009 (sixth); SC, 2009 (state champion).

Connell leaders: G Sarah McGary (5-7 sr.) 9.2 ppg; F Laryn Wells (5-9 jr.) 8.6 ppg; G Megan Booker (5-9 soph.) 8.1 ppg.

Seattle Christian leaders: G Lexi Petersen (5-11 jr.) 22.2 ppg; P Katie Collier (6-2 soph.) 13.5 ppg; G Kara Kogle (5-7 sr.) 11.3 ppg.

The Eagles started out slow as their young team came together, but they won eight of their last nine -- including a 46-31 win over Burbank in the winner-to-state game at SCAC districts.

Some reward, though: the defending champion Warriors lost only to Kentlake and Mount Rainier this season and have won 15 straight behind their D-I recruits, Petersen and Collier.

2B girls

Liberty Christian Patriots (14-9) vs. NW Christian (Lacey) Navigators (20-3)

12:30 p.m., Spokane Arena

Last state appearance: LC, 2004; NWC, first.

Liberty Christian leaders: G Kelsey Harding (5-9 soph.) 13.0 ppg; F Hannah Berges (6-0 jr.) 11.0 ppg; G Hannah Croskrey (5-9 jr.) 9.8 ppg.

NW Christian leaders: F Taylor Bodine (5-10 sr.) 9.3 ppg, 3.6 steals; G Alysha Fox (5-7 sr.) 12.5 ppg, 3.3 steals; F Erica Edwards (5-9 sr.) 9.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg; G Kami Bates (5-6 soph.) 9.9 ppg.

The Patriots won the Southeast 2B/1B South title and reached the district final before falling to Asotin to earn only their second state berth ever. The Navigators won their first-ever Pacific League title and upset Toutle Lake to clinch a state berth before losing to Wahkiakum in their first-ever district finals appearance.

DeSales Irish (19-5) vs. Colfax Bulldogs (22-3)

5:30 p.m., Spokane Arena

Last state appearance: DeSales, 2007; Colfax, 2009 (state champion).

DeSales leaders: W/P Caitlin Duncan (5-9 sr.) 20.5 ppg; W Erin Giusti (5-7 jr.) 7.8 ppg.

Colfax leaders: G Kayla Johnson (5-8 sr.) 15.5 ppg; G Rachel Johnson (5-8 sr.) 6.4 ppg.

The Irish rebounded from a first-round district loss to Pomeroy to win three loser-out games, including a rematch with the Pirates in the winner-to-state game.

Their reward: the defending state champions, who allow just 36.6 ppg, ride into the tourney on a 15-game win streak and lost just once to a 2B opponent this season.