Tag Archives: high school

HS Hoops All Star Saturday Night 2015

ALLSTARSIGNThe first High School basketball All Star Saturday night showed the skills of 23 players from 14 area schools including- 4 from Deer Park, 3 from Rogers, 3 from Northwest Christian, 2 from LC, 2 from Wellpinit, U High, North Central, Newport, Lakeside, Mt Spokane, Springdale, Medical Lake, East Valley, and St George’s!

The gym at East Central Community Center proved to be the perfect venue for the event as the spectators filled in the bleachers to watch the Girls Shooting Stars competition.  Michaela Kay, senior guard from LC who has previously committed to play at Portland State got it started and did not disappoint, setting the bar high with a score of 96.  Scores were determined from a combination of made shots and the “94fifty” sensor ball PartchnKayand app, which measures the shooters arc, rotation, and shot release speed to CHEERdetermine the best “pure shooter” in the bunch.  Six girls competed including Jael and Damaris Guske, freshmen sharp shooting sisters from Deer Park, Jocelyn Cook-Cox from Lakeside who was the NE-A League MVP leading Lakeside girls, boasting All-State honors and finishing third in the competition.  The finals came down to Courtney Gray from Northwest Christian who finished her senior year as a first team All League selection, getting hot and pushing our champion Kaiti Pannell of University in the final round.  Pannell had a streak of 7 in a row from the top of the key that contributed to a top score of 120 paving the way for the first ever Girls Shooting Star.PanneellChamp


On the boys side we had nine competitors firing away for the rights to become the inaugural Shooting Star.  John Lynch of Springdale, sniper Carter Countryman of Deer Park, soph leadng scorer Cedric Bowen and freshmen Brandon Flett of Wellpinit, top dogs Ryan Ricks and David Olds of NW Christian, Isiah Wynecoop and Denzel Brantley of the 3A state qualifying team from Rogers, and our eventual Champion John Lyon who made the trip down from Newport.  SHOOTINGSTAR FINALSThis competition was very tight until the round of ten shots from the top of the key where 6 players were in the hunt for the final championship round.  Carter Countryman, Ryan Ricks, and Isaih Wynecoop, unfortunately had their lowest score from this spot eliminating them and Denzel Brantley scored a 108 which was not enough to overcome the eventual finalists.  David Olds shot a 118 making 8 of ten and John Lyon also matching his 8 of 10 but had a slightly higher shooting score of 121, which is the highest of the competition.  John Lyon kept his stroke going in the last frame hitting 7/10 scoring 112 for the trophy.RYANRICKS

The final event was the boys one on one competition being best described as a modified version of “cut throat”.  Each possession started with an offensive player receiving a pass outside of the three-point line from the  game official and a new defensive player rotating in after each possession.  If the offense score they received 2 or 3 points depending on where the shot was from.  If the defense made a stop, they received 1 or 2 points depending on the play (defensive rebound was 1 point, a steal block/rebound, or charge taken were all worth 2 points).  allStar lineupThe eight players were given a maximum amount of offensive possessions (10) and a minimum amount (3) in the first round.  Felix Tsai of St Georges started the rotation versus Rogers defensive specialist Tate Dunbar.  Tsai made a shot fake dribble, step back and nailed the games first three-pointer!  Nate Guske of Deer Park who averaged 19 points a game for an all NE-A first team spot was in next rotating in on defense against Tsai and made the stop, he then proceeded to the top of the key to receive the pass to go against the next defender who was East FLETTSHOOTINGValley’s super athlete Dante Clayton.  Clayton made the stop pitting him against Kyle Griffiths of MT Spokane.  Clayton scored bringing on the next defender Julian Welge of LC, known to be the Tigers best one on one player.  Clayton was bogged down and Welge won the possession.  Next up was North Central’s leader and point guard Riley Smith to take on Welge’s offensive game but quickly made a stop and a three ball against his defender Jaelon Stith the 2nd teamer from Medical LakeRileyvsTateAt the end of the 1st round Felix Tsai and Riley Smith both had 15 points, Tate Dunbar had 13 and Jaelon Stith came on late with 9 graduating to the finals round.  Felix Tsai won the first possession and scored on his first three tries totally 7 points and getting a much-needed lead as the players were in full go mode by now. Tsai scored on 6 of his 10 possessions again maxing out on offense, while Smith scored 3 of 6 for a total of 9 points.  Tate Dunbar scored on 3 of 5 Felixscoringpossessions totaling 8. The biggest player at 6-3, Stith used his size to score more efficiently sensing that the prizes were on the line and finished the last round with 11, second behind Tsia.  The Dragon from St George’s dominated the games with all kinds of up fakes, crossovers, and CP3 jitter bug quickness for 15 points to become Catch Spokane’s First All Star Saturday Night One on One Champion!

Overall it was a good event with a decent turnout,  competitive players, and amazing volunteers!  We look forward to some changes for next year and hope to see you back next Spring for the second Catch Spokane High School All Star Saturday Night! felix1v1champ



LC @ Shadle Park- Basketball (Jan 15, 2015)

BOYS- (Andreas Brown, George Pilimai,)

The Thursday night game started out a little bit lower energy than I anticipated, especially the Tigers,  but by the end of the first half both teams were playing with a much more intense pace and it carried over into the great second half that was showcased.  GP- George Pilimai allowed the crowd to again witness his all around offensive game hitting a couple smooth jumpers and a nice drive and score.  He really can score from anywhere on the court and other teams defenders must thank the rest of the Highlander roster because it if wasn’t so loaded with ALL STARs, George would score 25 every game with no problem.  Kobe Reece pretty much dominated the paint rebounding like a MAN, blasting shots into the walls, and scoring in the post. I absolutely love the chip on his shoulder that he plays with.   He shows no mercy and seems to contain the beast well in between the lines.  The most complete big man I’ve seen this year in the town of the KAN.  On the LC side, after the sluggish half they came out trapping and played a more energized game when Coach sat the starters and had 4 reserves making the run that began in the 4th quater.  Isaiah Hernandez, the “International Supreme”, turned up the heat and played a pesky style of defense that baffled the Shadle backcourt more than once.  At the end of the game he was the only starter left on the floor making a courageous comeback behind, who else…. Julian Welge.  Who put the quarter in this kid?  As LC was making it a game, Welge scored 10 straight points and all 19 starting in the middle of the 4th quarter.  The tear included 1…2…3 -three pointers, two of them were deeeeeeeep downtown, and a nice dribble drive that left the D for SP lost swatting for air.  It was nice!  I haven’t seen the zone like that in a while and it was fun to watch!  Cant complete this writing without mentioning another freshmen freak with some good Spokane blood lines…. Im talking about Naje’ Smith, nephew of a former ALL LEAGUE great and Catch Spokane “Seasoned Vet” Abdean Smith.  Who ironically had the highlight of the game going coast to coast finishing with a pretty “show me and take me away” scoop shot.  It’s sweet to see the young man run the court!  You should go watch for yourself…..

GIRLS (Shyla Carr, Michaela Kay)

I was actually more excited to watch this game, even with all of the talent on the floor in the boys game.  Let’s start with Shadle Park again.  I was here to see one of the more elite scorers in the League, Shyla Carr.  She showed improvement since last season, bringing with her in tonight’s match up a slick step back jumper that she executed more than once creating space and swishing the ball through.  That’s really the sign of a great shooter….they swish everything and Shyla and Abby Bauenfeind both do just that, not sure if either one of them hit the rim on a made basket all night.  Two great shooters!  The other phenomenon Shadle had that was a must see for me and should be for you is all the freshmen they play.  The foursome of Willow Risinger (starter), Makenna Grier, Emile Tangeman(first off of bench), and Jillian Groves all played well against some of the better and experienced players around and showed a lot of promise for the future of the program.  Risinger plays with heart and battles, I always love hoop warriors!  With that said the girl who stood out the most in this game was Grier.  Number 3 entered the game late first quarter off of the bench and immediately made plays.  She just simply has a knack for making things happen on both ends.  I tallied 4 deflections from her as she anticipates passes and she only played half of the game.  She nailed two treys and knows how to make the zone move with her skip passes.  I know that sounds simple but it is very underrated skill at that age.  For the Lady Tigers, one of my favorite teams to watch with Lupfer, Kay, Howlett, Bates, and all of their experience, which was in fact the main difference in this game.  They are a true team led by the Next Level Senior Michaela Kay, who can honestly score at will.  I think at this point in her high school career, she can call her shots.  I mean she can tell the defender exactly what she is going to do and still couldn’t be stopped.  Next up is Taylor Cunningham who came to play too.  She hit threes, sliced through defenders and finished with contact, and plays strong in the post at 5-11, a lot like Sue Winger at Mead.  She has a very bright future ahead of her as well.

Whos next?


Riverside @ Lakeside Basketball- Jan 6, 2015


Whoa! talk about a packed house.  I walked in about 15 minutes before tip-off and couldn’t find a seat… they were out of programs and then I had to find my way upstairs to get a looksy next to the band.  Next time  I will show up 30 minutes early to this particular event between two 8-1 teams fighting for first place in the NEA.  Right away I see  the studs strutting their stuff.  For the home team Lakeside, they have Junior PG Cameron Gay, a tall, lanky, bomber.  The “Green Light” doesn’t hesitate to cast em up from deep.  As the game got close at the end he did his best Kobe imitation launching from everywhere.  He can score, and that is true statement.  Ryan Quigley, their 6-6 man-child, stated his case as the dominate big man in the game.  Quigley plays with good positioning and patience with the ball on the block.  He shows an ease when finishing and will continue to dominate.  The wild card on this team was Dominique Watson, #32.  This kid is a “do it all” type of guy with a solid post game and good follow through on his jumpers, as he hit two from 12-15 feet out.  He’s a tough rebounder, especially late when it matters most and also made a very nice drop pass in traffic for a bucket.  For the visiting Riverside Rams, Jesse Anselm can shoot shoot shoot!  This dude may be small but good luck keeping him out of the scoring column. He made three triples in the second half and 4 FTs in the fourth to help decide this big game.  Tyler Axtell, no surprise was the best player on the floor tonight.  He has so much confidence in his handle that the full court press was a waste of time as he either blew around the defense or waited for the double team to show him which teammate to pass to.  A true leader, scorer, and baller.  He finished with an easy 30!  After the back and forth battle for  three quarters, Riverside sealed the game with 10-11 FTs in the 4th and won going away.


Let me start by saying that the Lakeside girls are LEGIT!  They have two sets of sisters from a freshman to a senior, that can be all be interchanged and it doesn’t matter which one is playing where on the court.  The roster numbers 21-24 are carbon copies of one another…. almost.  #21-Sonja Marikis, #22-Stefanie Marikis, #23-Sienna Swannack, and #24-Shaye Swannack can all handle, shoot, steal passes, pressure on D, push the ball on O, whatever.  Throw in a freak athlete like Jocelyn Cook-Cox, who has a 40+ vertical- (slapping glass on lay-ups at 5-8!), hits threes, and plays rough and tumble defense along with her post up ability to finish with either hand, and good luck!  They play with a defensive ferociousness and alertness that I can’t see how they lose a game in league or the end of season tourney.  They are a very deep, well coached team and Id love to watch a practice sometime (hint, hint Coach).  With all of that said,  the Riverside Rams did have a couple of players of their own that showed a lot of heart and determination.   Haley Pace, plays the defensive passing lanes very well with good anticipation.  Although she started the game at the point and had some trouble with the pressure, she was not deterred to attack when she got the ball and made sure it wasn’t easy for the ladies holding court.  The player that stole the show was Julianna Trepanier. This all around ball player was not rattled one bit by the Lakeside crowd or opposition.  She played with poise, scored on a number of spot ups, pull up bank shots, driving scoops, had very good court awareness, and a competitiveness throughout.   Needless to say she led all scorers with 20, half of Riverside’s points against the toughest team in her division.  That’s saying something.

I still want to see LC, Deer Park, Reardan, Springdale, Rogers,NW Christian, East Valley, Liberty, etc…

WHO’s Next?

U High @ Mead Basketball – Jan 2, 2015

The games were split 3-3, all very close as suspected.


Mead’s girls JV team is a solid group.   I watched them earlier in the season hold off G Prep and today they had another test against University who is equally as strong.  They held on to win behind Maddie Lee(freshmen) who led the way for her squad, showing her solid and controlled game at the point.  She scored when she needed to and didn’t force the action too much on offense, obviously something her and the coaches are working on.  Lindsay Russell, one of Mead’s upcoming triple threat (she is part of a set of triplets that are freshmen) has good size and a nice outside shot also showed well in this game.  University ladies played very well and could have easily won this match.  They were paced by a group of freshmen.  Courtney Awberry– a shooter and playmaker on both ends.  She knocked down some spot up threes and made a handful of steals in the fourth quarter to keep this game close.  Gracie Dwyer– a post with knowledge and leadership, and Sierra Apodaca, who was fast and tough, just like the varsity PG Emma Kennedy.


Game of the night!  U high came out and was all over Mead, forcing turnovers and scoring underneath with #32 Campbell Barrington(freshmen).  This kid is going to be good, he showed a scoring ability down low, seems to be pretty athletic, and uses his size to rebound.  Elijah Ramirez is lightning quick and loves to handle the rock with shifty crossovers behind the back. He raced up and down the court all game and could develop into a solid point guard.  The Titan were up 6-8 point all game until the fourth quarter when Mead came back with a 3 point assault and tied the game on Chase Boss’s triple with 3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into over time.  Let me tell you this kid can play!  He was EVERYWHERE in this game and Id bet he had 5 steals in the second half alone.  It was fun watching he and Ramirez sprint down the court every possession.  Boss forced this game to go into overtime with steals and the three and helped put it away in OT, with timely defensive plays (a charge) and multiple set ups for his shooters to knock down threes to pull away.


The Titans dominated the Panther boys with the constant offensive pressure of #22 Brady Brinkman and #23 Tate O’Kert.  They both spent the gamer attacking the basket finishing layups and shooting free throws.  Their energetic pace and attacking of the rim was good to see at this level as so many players are timid and afraid to play so intense on offense, afraid to make mistakes.  Mead showed some fight from the PG position as #11 played hard and made some plays to keep it close and the big man owning the high post,  #25 Orom Opien, showed good fundamentals on the block and the sense that he will grow and develop as a bruising scorer in the years to come.


The Mead girls held on to win a one point game against the undefeated Lady Titan group.  It was a game that showed how these girls can score and how it can go if the other team can’t finish at the rim.  Setting the tone for Mead was Olivia Sloan who from the get go was in a scoring frenzy hitting 2 threes in the first quarter and also lacked no confidence in her basketball abilities whatsoever.  She will definitely be someone to watch at Mead for the next 3 years.  Sarah Wilson was the next in line to show the goods, she is fun to watch and generally makes the right play without a lot of flash, just solid fundamentals at the guard position.  For the University Lady Titans it was a tough night but not one that failed to show the talent they posses as a class.  There were 3 girls I noticed that seemed to show a lot of experience and ability.  Ill start with the point- Mo Woods, she runs the show with strong ball handling and an ability to raise her game and score when needed.  The wing- Kailey Sanford is a smooth lefty that has a good shot and can run the court with the best freshmen around.  Lastly, the post- Elena Rhodes, this girl has the heart of a lion and does not own an ounce of “give up” in her DNA.  She was on the floor half of the game and ripping the rebounds away from Mead the other half.  She is not afraid to shoot from the outside and has some good footwork down low.  The combination of these 3 players will in no doubt keep the U High girls program rising to the top.


This game was controlled by U High from start to finish.  The girls forced a ton of turnovers as Mead tried 4 different point guards and they used clock on offense to get good shots.  A well-played game for the visitors.  This being my first time watching them this season, something that really stood out was the advancement of Kaity Pannell’s game this year.  KP has developed the confidence to shoot and make three pointers and attack the basket with a scorers mentality this season.  Combine that with her sound court presence it makes for a very good player as a junior.  Emma Kennedy did what she always does, hold tempo and make the right pass for her scorers.  Brooke Bailey  has the swagger of an all around talent.  The other player I cant fail to mention is Josie Wicklund.  She plays hard-nosed defense and got into the lane a handful of times and scored with pull up jumpers.  She looks to be a very capable floor leader.  Mead also showed some new faces tonight aside from the usualls-(Winger, Pauling, Douglas)  and without Coreen LabishSydney Hellmen played denial defense on Bailey and kept her in check for most of the game.  It was impressive to watch the way she fought through screens and stuck to the scorer, keeper her to a low point total.   Alyse Jackson got off some shots and as a sophomore I see a lot of treys in the crystal ball for her.


After a hot start I thought Mead might be coming into their own after the break ready to make a run at the top of the league.  Unfortunately for them, that is all it was.  Max Hess had a good night scoring as he nailed threes to start. What I liked most was that throughout the game he was very active offensively posting up off of the UCLA cuts they run.  He could have scored even more with his mindset to attack tonight but the passes just didn’t seem to get to him as U High played with a lot of intensity on defense. Bobby Little made me smile as I got to see him down low using his size to score a couple of easy hoops.  He has a nice game and in too many cases seems to settle for the outside shot with that shooters touch under his control.  Austin Dill continues to get better and seems bigger this season and Garrett Schmerer is under rated or over looked… cant figure this one out…for his contributions to the surprising Titans.

Whos Next?

2014-15 HOOP SCOOP


1st teamers have all moved on, only four returning seniors scored higher than 10 ppg last season, and the league rosters are flooded with 1st year Letterman seniors and underclassmen with something to prove.  It is a recycling year for the boys and I see a young league being taken over by the Sophomores and Juniors as the leaders of their respective teams.

Seniors to watch-

Will McPhee– McPhee runs the show for the defensive minded Panthers squad and brings a ton of experience to each nights match up and will have a leg up on the younger guards in the league this season putting him in a good position to make a run at an All GSL team.

Max Hess  He is the best defender on that Panther squad mentioned earlier that tries to suffocate teams with pressure defense.  If Hess has become a more aggressive and consistent scorer over the summer he could potentially dominate  from both ends.  Just watch!

George Pilimai–  The “Hawaiian Baller” is one of the more versatile and athletic players in Spokane.  This year with Shadle he may or may not league the team in scoring as they are loaded with very skilled underclassmen, but if he picks up where he left off last year hes good enough to lead the league in scoring and be 1st team, capping a senior year full of media hype, considering he just finished up providing the “hands” for superstar QB Brett Rypein’s record setting run.

Melik Hampton– The Hampton could be a force this year!  Hopefully he gets a full season under his belt to show our city he is a legit post player that can dominate if he puts forth the effort on the glass.  As the lone big for the Pirates he will most likely get a large chunk of his scoring opportunities from offensive rebounds, free throws, and fast breaks that he starts by swatting shots.  A smooth lefty, this is his chance to wake up the sleepers in his final year as a Rogers Pirate.

Noah Higley–  Noah is an under rated, energy player with good quickness for the North Central squad.  He will be under-sized as a post but don’t let that fool you.  He is a flash when taking the ball to the hoop and can defend bigger players with his long arms and athleticism.

Underclassmen Im excited to watch:

Ben Stevens (MT SPO)-  Can be a leader for Mt Spokane with his well-rounded game.

Kyle Griffiths (MT SPO)-  An athletic wing that will battle with anyone.

KJ Hassett(ROGERS)-  A true point guard with a solid three and great defensive awareness.

Tate Dunbar(ROGERS)-   A very tough competitor with quick feet and good range.  Defensive player of the year?

Riley Smith(NC)-  The team leader with great court awareness and ability.

Isaiah Hernandez(LC)- A very good all around player with tons of international experience.

Andreas Brown(SHADLE)-  A strong, silky 6-3 guard who could dominate this season.

Kobe Reece(SHADLE)-  A confident, long armed shot blocker with a ton of potential.

Cameron Tucker(CV)-  Could be the best pure basketball player in the league as a Junior.

Austin Dill(U HIGH)-  A smart, solid all around player with the sky as his limit.


GIRLS  mkayhoops

The 2104-15 season will say farewell to even more great girl hoopers from the Spokane area.  I’m amazed at how many good players the GSL puts out into the college ranks year in and year out.  This season we must take advantage and watch these special players while we have the chance as most of them are taking a ride into another state to continue their careers.

My favorites Seniors to watch:

Michaela Kay(LC) – One of my favorite players, she defends like no other and knows when to pick her spots on offense as she can drill the three when left open.  “Special K” is a TRUE leader and teammate and will no doubt find her self on the first team at season’s end.

Janieva Bates(LC)-  A quick and feisty defender with a good drive.  Part of the 3 headed backcourt for the Lady Tigers who will make a strong run this season.

Shyla Carr(SHADLE)-  She’s possibly the best 3 point shooter in the league and gets VERY hot from outside.  Carr will be one of the top scorers and possible All League selection.

Laura Stockton(G_PREP)- A very skilled and tough ball player.…. Go figure.

Oti Gildon(G-PREP)-   She’s the real deal, if you haven’t already witnessed the O-G you have to see it to believe it.  Odds are you probably already have.  I heard she is even better this year as she has been working on your “guard” skills.  Uh oh, can you say MVP?

Sue Winger(MEAD) – Winger provides a good scoring punch and will challenge the top end scorers.  She is also not afraid to block some shots as one of the taller wing players in town.

Emma Kennedy(U-HIGH)-  The lady Titans have a solid core of players and she is the floor leader with an attack mentality all the time.  She will win you over with her aggressiveness and court awareness.


Underclassmen I’m excited to see:

Kaiti Pannell(H-HIGH)- A very fundamental high post player who will knock down the mid range jumper.

Riley Lupfer(LC)-  The 6-0 junior point guard shows a playground handle with a silky smooth jump shot that will be cast at will.

Megan Dean(NC)-  The flame never dies in this fire storm of a player.

Bria Bowton(FERRIS)-  Bria brings with her experience and leadership to the group in silver and red.

Brenna Junkermier(MEAD)-  Lets see how close she follows the path her older sis has paved.

All of the Lady Bear lettering frosh–  Going to be fun to watch this season.