Ferris @ Mead-Basketball-GIRLS (Dec 17, 2015)

GIRLS-

Mead Lady Panthers led this game the entire way, working off of turnovers and good passing to win.  Payton Douglass dominated this game out classing all comers with her athleticism and crafty game play.  She absolutely owns the game.  She drove, she shot step back jumpers, she juked and finished with creative flips, she passed lasers, she handled through the zone traps at will, she jumped for steals and rebounds, YES JUMPED!  SHE HAS HOPS!  Douglass is one of the more athletically gifted girls in our city, go see for yourself before it’s too late.  Brenna Junkermier played solid ball as well.  She can shoot the ball and has the smarts to make good decisions leading to plays that create points.  Ferris did everything they could behind the Muelhiem sisters and Lexi Erickson.  Erickson is an under rated post player who can score and rebound.  She and Megan Muelheim make a good partnering of inside players for Ferris, both versatile players.  Abby Meulheim had the game going tonight for the Lady Saxons as she forced a handful of turnovers with her long arms and was able to take advantage of the Mead mishaps to score.  She seemed to do a little bit of everything and played a very good game.

NEXT?

NC @ Mt Spokane- Basketball (Dec 17, 2015)

GIRLS-

This game started and ended and I felt totally different about what I THOUGHT was going to take place.  The North Central Lady Indians have some new weapons!  As much as I love Megan Dean’s full throttle game, it got even better as she is handling the ball and running the point most of the time!  Awesome, thanks Coach!  Now she is not only all gas, shes able to expand her game and show the ability to set people up for scores, which she does well.  Megan also looks like she is thriving in the leadership role with this young up and coming squad.  Now on to my rest of the “What happened over the off season?” observation.  Lexie Brandt, the next PG in line, is something else to watch.  First of all she’s in 9th grade, second- she’s fearless, third- her ball handling is slickness, and fourth- she just has that “looks like a baller” quality to her that coaches love when the skills match.  Obviously she has some weak spots, but again, see point #1!  Next up is Quincy McDeid, who is another 9th grader and may already be the best player on the team.  She started off kind of ho-hum, just hung out hitting threes, grabbing rebounds, and then she opened my eyes with this nice baseline floater, and then started breaking the press.  What?  A 5-10, freshmen breaking the press with two very capable point guards on the floor with her.  She is very poised!    Cant wait to see them again.  For Mt Spokane, they too possess a large pool of young talented hoopers.  I can pick 4 or 5 to brag about but I’ll leave something for later.  Ill start with a couple of sophomores, Meghan Henry, who just gets it!  She nailed two threes and knows exactly how to space the floor and find openings.  Miahna Waters, who I definitely remember from volleyball season is a monster on the boards.  She plays HARD and hustles her butt off.  Shes obviously very athletic but what was nice to see was her ability to pass from the high post.  I didn’t mention players like Jaidyn Lyman, Aspyn Adams, or Jordan Smith  but I will soon enough.  Overall this was a fun game to watch with so many capable players who have some years left to improve and pave their way through the GSL.

BOYS-

This game was a tight battle as well that showcased the leader on each team.  For Mt Spokane, Sam Stiles slowly heated up and scored 9 straight at one point in the 4th quarter keeping NC behind.  Stiles scored on a deep three and also a nice driving lay up.  He’s a lot tougher of a player than I remember and could be one of the league’s top scorers if he continues to be aggressive on offense.  Senior Garrison Beckley also showed signs of a toughness and leadership that I don’t remember, he was not deterred by the super star in the Red uniform.  Beckley finished the game with some clutch free throws.  North Central, once again lead by all around talent, Senior Riley Smith. Smith has the ability to own a game with his deep threes, pull up jumpers, and dribble driving dime drops.  I would have to say that he’s somewhere in the 80% range of NCs offense, albeit scoring or setting up a teammate for a score.   A very good player.  First year varsity player, RJ Tensley ran the point for a lot of the game is under control and does a nice job to not force the issue and look for his scorers.  Tensley also has a nice defensive game, getting into ball handlers and using his hands to cause problems and make deflections.

NEXT?

 

 

Rogers @ Mt Spokane-Basketball (Dec 8, 2015)

BOYS-

Mt Spokane was in the mood to defend their home court tonight as they fell behind and came roaring back in the last few minutes.  They had the inside advantage with 6-5, Justin Smith, who looks like he could turn into a force on the block as well as the high post.  Smith understands when to call for the ball in the post and supplies basketball enthusiats with some nice post moves when he’s given the opportunity.   Ben Stevens another 6-3 post type player battled down low and rebounded well.  HE did his best to bring the Wildcats back in the fourth quarter nailing a three and showing he can step out with confidence and sink the deep ball.  On the Pirate ship stood the man on campus, KJ Hassett who kept the game out of reach forcing steals, dropping his trademark floaters and then icing the game with 2 clutch free throws.  KJ has shown over and over again that he can handle any amount of pressure the defense applies on him.  He’s as legit as it gets in this league when it comes to top point guards.  Mandela Kalu also showed leadership and poise for the Pirates all game long.  The score sheet may not prove that he was a major factor in this game but when you can handle the ball without turning it over and then make the game saving block in a BIG way, you are a needed component to any team.

GIRLS-

Mt Spokane girls team was led by Aspyn Adams an up coming freshmen guard who can shoot the rock!  This kid is impressive as a freshmen in the league at 5′-7″ has good size and ability to handle and pass.  This game was more about her finding the opening outside of the arc and draining them.  Shes a player to watch for sure!  Jordan Lyman is proof that big things come in small packages.  The 5-2 laser beam is fast, fast, fast!  She flies threw defenses and makes plays on both ends.  She helped set up her teammates for all of the 3s they dropped tonight.  Great point guard.  As for Rogers, they are  in a sense starting from scratch, losing most of their firepower from last season.  A couple of things jumped out to me right away as they also possess a freshmen starter in Shaeli Morrison.  With time and development she can become a good player.  She has the ability to handle just needs time with a new system and teammates to get things to click.   Kendall Tillet who is a 5-10 Post, knows a thing or two about being strong with the ball and finding her position under the basket.  She had two nice offensive rebounds and put backs that I noticed, both because of her persistence for positioning and aggressiveness snatching the board.

 

NEXT?

Shadle @ Ferris- Basketball (Dec 11, 2015)

GIRLS-

The Ferris girls have a solid group this year and I can see them hanging on for more wins than losses.  Bria Bowton is the player most people talk about when it comes to the Lady Saxons and she is a very solid player who can score and run the show.  However Megan Muelhiem was the player to truly appreciate on this team tonight as she blew the defense away with a combination of post moves, inside plays, and drawing fouls attacking them.  She has long arms and uses them pawing at passes and blocking shots of sometimes taller players.  Shadle is coming into the league this year very young and relying on a lone Senior Abby Buernfeind to do the bulk of, well, everything.  She’s more than likely going to be the top scorer, rebounder, assists, minutes, etc on this team of mostly sophomores.  Tonight she showed poise and leadership as she lead the team in those categories of which Im sure the scorebook proved.  Jilian Groves and Elimlie Tangeman both sophomores show ability to score as well as having good size and footwork at their positions.  Their time will come very soon.

BOYS-

The Saxons  didn’t use their home court advantage in this contest coming out very slow and sluggish.  It wasn’t until the midway through point of quarter #2 did they develop a spark of life but they were down 15 already.  Shamrock Campbell continues to amaze me as he is a slick guard with tremendous patience but also has a nasty scoring streak within him that comes with it.  He has great dribble moves and flashes by defenders and has deep range.  Shadle Park is proving to be the most talented team and front-runner for the team to beat this year with the “Brown Bros” (Andreas Brown and Markeith Brown) on the outside and the two best big men in the league speaking of Kobe Reese and  Tanner Groves.  You watch the combination of A-Brother Brown’s silky smooth game, who can do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he wants out on the wood.  Throw in M-Brother Brown who is as quick as they come with a lethal 3-ball.  If that isn’t enough, lets add the two most aggressive and skilled bigs in Spokane- to collect the rare misses and put back dunks!  Good luck GSL, if these guys can play with intensity and a chippy attitude to win, then they wont lose.  I believe that this team can win the GSL and compete at the highest level statewide with their talent and depth, its more about their effort levels.

 

NEXT?

Springdale @ Liberty – Basketball (Jan 5, 2016)

BOYS-

The Liberty Lancers, led by top scorer Chase Burnham started hot and kept the league throughout the game.  Tyler Haas played some serious defense and created some important turnovers, while pushing the ball up on offense and causing havoc on Springdale’s transition defense.  Keith Dumaw was a huge difference maker collecting rebounds at will and making a some tough inside finishes.  Springdale didn’t match the Lancers intensity overall as a team, the Lancers seemed to find every loose ball.  On Springdale’s side, they played hard and showed a lot of grit battling back from an early deficit but couldn’t get over the hump.  John Lynch “JL3”, the Charges unquestioned leader,  broke down the defense at will but teammates failed on numerous occasions to take advantage of the easy shots he created for them.  His defensive pressure was relentless and it was a welcomed improvement from the seasons passed.  Enoch Clemmer showed sparks on the offensive end making some timely buckets and Chandler Carr, although taking a while to get started, brought his “A” game in the 4th quarter leading a comeback attempt and scoring most of his points off of aggressive moves to the basket.

GIRLS-

The host Lancers, got off to an unimpressive slow start in this game but as the game went on the turned up the heat and ended with a comfortable lead.  Christine Denny played most of the first half deferring to her teammates but then it was like a lightning strike of steals and transition buckets!  Denny forced so many turnovers and spent the rest of the game weaving through defenders on the way to layups, over and over again.  She was absolutely unmatched as her skills are off the charts on the small school scene, we only wonder what she would be like in the “big city” of Spokane!  Madelynne Flaig, another junior star for Liberty has a very hard-nosed demeanor and battles for everything position, loose balls, cutting lanes….  For Springdale ladies, I was really impressed with Elish Smith’s game.  I did see her last year but I don’t remember falling in love with her game like tonight.  This kid is a true baller!  See can go both ways, drops threes, has great awareness of the game and can really zip some passes.  Nicole Beckman, the 6-footer in the Post plays very well using her body and aggressiveness to get position and actually uses her height to her advantage.  She also seems to love setting screens, which was a nice feature of her game as a true BIG.

 

Next?

U High @ Ferris- Basketball (Jan 15, 2016)

GIRLS-

Ferris showed impressive resolve along with an underwhelming roller coaster effort in this game.  They started fine only to fall apart in the second quarter and then flying around in the third to make it close again, only to fall off and give up some crucial shots late get beat.  However Abby Meulheim again had a very dominant game scoring all over especially feeling it from deep.  A.M.  decided to drive to the basket this game and drew some fouls and imposed her will on the defense, which is always nice to see from a guard with her size and talent.  Kayla Sharp also showed why she was a frosh starter last year, breaking down defenders to find open scorers and putting in  a handful of buckets herself.  For University, they got their one-two punch working over time from Kaiti Pannell and Brooke Bailey.  These two are a true force when they are both hitting shots.  When I watch Bailey I think, why doesn’t she score more?  She looks like she can do whatever she wants but I’m sure she is smart enough and a good enough teammate to play within a team concept and do her best to play the role she is given, which is in no doubt being a leader and making sure the right things are happening on the court.  I’ve been waiting for Pannell to fire up 30 points this season and she almost got there tonight, bombing from deep.  She can do so many things on the court and has been proving her all around game for years it seems, which is a bad thing for us fans, as she is a senior.  Hopefully I get to watch more of these girls before the season is over.

NEXT?

Rogers @ NC- Basketball (Jan 8, 2016)

BOYS-

The home Indians played arguably their best game of the season taking Rogers to the wire in a close game.  It was fun to see Smith and Hassett spend another night ballin’ and trying to out do one another.  Once again for North Central, Riley Smith dominated the court scoring 25 on all sorts of shots.  His most impressive game this season he was relentlessly attacking the rim and finishing over and around want-to-be stoppers.   Damian Carter did some good things tonight playing tough and composed on both ends.  For Rogers, Jahlil Frans had a statement game, although doing most of his work early on, going hard at the rack scoring on short put backs and playing good, strong interior defense.  As a first year Letterman Frans has the upside that the Pirate Purple can be happy about.  Similar to Smith for NC, KJ Hassett  led Rogers in scoring and probably assists and steals too.  KJ is a little sneaky when he gets passed his first defender using his quick step then floating a shot from anywhere between 5-15 feet out, angles or straight away.

GIRLS-

For NC is was a game in which they dominated on the defensive end swarming around the ball and forcing turnovers by the under experienced opponent. They got a big lead early from Megan Dean getting a handful of steals and layups off of their traps as did Q McDeid.  After that they sort of coasted to the win.  Sunny Ellenwood played a strong game against the Pirates post players, able to get position and make post moves to score.  She has a good game down low and can even hit some jumpers from the outside.  For Rogers, Atyzha Upton was able to get going a little like we expected from her this season capping a coupe of threes and giving her team support on the press break.  She has the talent to score the ball.  Yvette Bailey showed flashes of what she is capable of, darting around the court causing trouble with NCs handlers.  She wants to go after the ball and make plays on defense and is also prone to push the ball back on offense in transition and may become a spark for this team in due time.

CV @ G Prep- Basketball (Dec 12, 2015)

BOYS-

The Prep boys started this game strong owning the glass, and finding the loose balls and basically led the entire game.  It was competitive and fun to watch as both teams possess a serious amount of talent and show why they will be among the leagues leader in wins.  Prep had a very balanced game, moving the ball around and taking the open shots, very well coached tonight.  Who stood out???  Sam Lockette!  He gets his minutes because he works very hard on defense and when you combine that hard work with his athleticism, he’s a bothersome dude when he’s guarding you!  Lockette also proved to be a scorer by making a couple of very nice finishes at the rim including a three-point play.  Kea Vargas also continued his barrage of three pointers, stretching the defense and making them pay for letting him shoot the ball.  The counts wont be in for another month or so but I would bet he’s at the top of the list when it comes to the leagues 3pt shot makers!  Central Valley’s Josh Thomas stood out as a player who can and will do it all.  Offensively, he’s got a good outside game with a sense of space and time.  He can shoot the three and handle the ball. Inside he’s strong and functions with good footwork.  Defensively he battles and uses his quickness to make plays.  Hes a solid player for the Bears adding another weapon to go side by side with Tucker and Sloan and the rest of their sharp shooters.  The next time these teams play I see is as a closer event.  CAnt wait!

NEXT?

Pullman @ West Valley-Basketball (Jan 16, 2016)

BOYS-

West Valley was put to the test against undefeated Pullman tonight and came away with a great win.  The best game Ive been to this year!   I’ll start the reviews with mentioning that Brennen Folkins can shoot!  He just needs a little space, that’s it and he will shoot from out there!   His a big strong kid at 6-3 and with a stroke like that is dangerous.  Austin Yoakum is where it was at tonight!  The 6-3 lanky PG ran the offense without exception the entire game and handle the Pullman pressure very well.  Once the game got flowing you could see that he has a special game.  He’s lightning quick and knows has to get past the defender with ease and finish above the rim against “POST” players.  He finished this game scoring 8 of his 28 in OT and icing the game with 15 seconds to go with 4 straight free throws.  Pullman on the flip side gave me a chance to take a peak at the junior PG Tim Pendry.  He shows a ton of quickness himself and is a tough nosed defender always looking for the ball.  Jake Cillay their 6-5 Post is a versatile well-rounded player scoring inside and out with a lot of athleticism.  These two form a nice duo and will keep Pullman charging ahead into the depths of the playoffs.

GIRLS-

West Valley has the advantage of having two players on the inside able and willing to get dirty, play physical, and have the ability to score.  The Sinner sisters of West Valley pose a threat to every team in the league due to their style of play.  Lily Sinner showed to be the more assertive offensively with quick moves and good passing ability.  She will go after all boards and gets off of the ground to snag them and once she has her hands on the ball, she will not let go.  Claire Sinner is more of an inside banger if you will.  She is a tough cookie that will fight for the ball and use her body and elbows for the possession win.  Claire also has nice form on her shot which Im sure she will be taking more of over the next year and a half.  Pullman has Madi Mueller who spent the whole game, being in the right spot at the right time and was able to fill the hoop numerous times.  This girl plays with an intense desire to rebound the ball and is very good at it.

NEXT?

Who gets recruited?

Character makes the player…. Read what another expert had to say about  what type of person gets the opportunities at the college level.

Linda Crum (@Lg_Crum) played volleyball at University of Iowa and coached at both Iowa State and Ohio State. After a stint as Colorado State University’s Student-Athlete Learning Center Coordinator, she became Positive Coaching Alliance’s Chapter Executive Director in Colorado.

When Crum was recruiting high school athletes, she sought qualities far beyond volleyball talent.

If two athletes were near equals in talent, she weighed their involvement and success in other activities that might reveal leadership, commitment, and work ethic in life, not just for a sport itself. Essentially, Crum noted that she recruited more well-rounded people, and not just athletes, because talent is important, but without passion, work ethic, commitment and leadership, talent can only take a team so far.

If you don’t have some of the “softer” things in your game- respect, humility, selflessness learn to train your mind as well as your body to be the best person you can be…  College coaches are searching for players without baggage and have the resources to disqualify the recruits that can’t show these characteristics that directly relate to team success.