The scary part is they have no seniors. They are all underclassmen.
So the rest of the state should be wary next season of the Tri-Cities Prep girls basketball team, which rolled to victory Saturday night, defeating Liberty of Spangle 50-42 to win the Class 2B girls state basketball championship in the Spokane Arena.
“We’ve done it,” said Jags coach Joe Mackay. “And I’m exhausted.”
Mackay wasn’t totally surprised Prep won the title.
“We went to state last year with all of these kids,” he said. “(Winning the state title this year) was something we set for a goal before the season started.”
The Jags went 1-2 in Spokane last season. This season, bigger things were expected.
“And then we add McKenna Martinez to the mix,” Mackay said of the sophomore. “She was at the school last year, but she didn’t turn out for basketball. She’s a really good soccer player.”
The Jaguars led from the beginning, and they held a 12-2 first-quarter lead on the Lancers — who had actually beaten Tri-Cities Prep 72-59 on the Jaguars’ Pasco campus back on Dec. 7.
“Maisie Burnham scored 48 points on us in that game,” said Mackay.
But there was to be no repeat on Saturday, as Prep forced Liberty into 25 turnovers.
“Something we have been working on since then is a 1-2-2 three-quarters court trap press,” said Mackay. “They hadn’t seen it before. They knew it was coming. But it’s hard to score against. They had a real tough time scoring against it.”
Prep put the clamps on Burnham too. She shot 5-for-14 from the floor and had just 11 points this time.
Jags sophomore Talia von Oelhoffen — who is ranked No. 5 in the nation in the Class of 2021 by ESPN — dominated as she had all tournament.
She scored 25 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor, and was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line.
Von Oelhoffen also had seven rebounds and eight steals. Martinez added 14 points and five steal for the Jaguars, who finish the season with a 28-1 record.
Delaney Goodwin led the Lancers (23-5) with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Prep athletic director Dan Whitsett has already cleared space in the school’s trophy case for the first Jaguars girls team to win a state title.
Class 1B boys
Kyler Marsh scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Sunnyside Christian Knights to the state title over their 1B Greater Columbia Gorge League rivals, Yakama Tribal, 54-45 in the Spokane Arena on Saturday.
It was the fourth time this season that these two teams have met, with the Knights (25-1) winning three times.
SSC took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Eagles 21-14. Lucas Dykstra added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Knights, while Ross Faber had a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Bryce Strom paced the Eagles (19-9) with 22 points and five rebounds, while Bryan Strom added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Class 4A boys
Gonzaga Prep (24-2) used a 20-6 third quarter to take control and beat Mt. Si 69-43 to win the Bullpups’ second consecutive state title in the Tacoma Dome.
Tournament MVP Anton Watson scored 33 points on 16-for-19 shooting, and he grabbed eight rebounds. Teammate Sheadon Byrd added 11 points. Mt. Si (26-3) finished second.
Class 4A girls
Keeli Burton scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Eastlake (21-6) over Lewis & Clark 53-47 in the girls title game in Tacoma.
Calli Lind added 12 points and five rebounds for Eastlake, which never trailed in the contest. Jacinta Buckley led Lewis & Clark (23-3) with 8 points and 18 rebounds.
Class 3A boys
Paolo Banchero scored 20 points, and added seven rebounds, six assists and five steals to lead O’Dea (20-8) to the state championship, as the Irish rolled past Mt. Spokane 70-39 in the Tacoma Dome.
Noah Williams added 19 points and six rebounds for O’Dea, which forced the Wildcats into 19 turnovers. Tyson Degenhart led Mt. Spokane (24-2) with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Class 3A girls
Brooke Walling scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds as Prairie (25-2) edged Mt. Spokane 37-35 in the state title game in Tacoma. Jayda Noble paced Mt. Spokane (24-2) with 12 points and 20 rebounds in the loss.
Class 2A boys
Lynden outscored Selah 18-6 in the third quarter, leading by as much as 21 points, en route to beating the Vikings 60-51 in the state championship game in the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Clayton Whitman led Lynden (25-1) with 19 points and nine rebounds, while teammate Christian Zamora added 13 points and 11 boards. Elijah Pepper paced Selah (20-5) with 20 points and eight boards.
Class 2A girls
Washougal outscored East Valley of Spokane 14-5 in the overtime period and went on to win the state title in Yakima by a 49-40 score. Beyoncé Bea led Washougal (22-4) with 30 points and 15 rebounds. East Valley (22-6) was led by Genesis Wilkinson, who had 9 points and 11 rebounds.
Class 1A boys
Zillah outscored King’s Way Christian 24-7 in the third quarter and never looked back in winning the state championship 90-68 in the Yakima Valley SunDome.
The Leopards (25-1) were led by Cesar Diaz’s 25 points, Sebastian Godina’s 18 points and nine rebounds, and Antonio Salinas’ 17 points, six rebounds and six assists. King’s Way Christian finishes the season at 19-8.
Class 1A girls
La Salle of Yakima became the state’s only team to finish the season undefeated (at 27-0) as the Lightning beat Lynden Christian 56-49 in the state title game in Yakima. Trailing 45-37 entering the fourth quarter, La Salle outscored Lynden Christian 19-4 in the final period for the win.
The Lightning outscored the Lyncs 23-2 on points off of turnovers, and were led by Trista Hull’s 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Kamryn Fiscus’ 15 points. Isabela Hernandez led Lynden Christian (22-3) with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Class 2B boys
Gonzaga University-bound Brock Ravet finished his high school career by scoring 27 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing off 10 assists to lead Kittitas/Thorp (28-1) over Saint George’s 79-51 in the state championship in the Spokane Arena. It is the third consecutive state title for Kittitas/Thorp, which also got 15 points and 10 rebounds from Caleb Harris. Erik Farias led Saint George’s (24-3) with 16 points.
Class 1B girls
Despite finding themselves in an 18-4 deficit after the first quarter, the Colton girls rallied in the second half — outscoring Pomeroy 36-12 — to win the state title in the Spokane Arena by a 51-43 score.
Colton (24-2) was led by Jordyn Moehrle’s 20 points and five rebounds, and Emily Schultheis’ 16 points and eight rebounds. Pomeroy (22-4) was led by Emma Severs, who scored 17 points.