Few words on Skyview vs. Gonzaga Prep (4A girls tourney)
While so many in the high school basketball community are upset with the WIAA for turning the 16-team state tournaments into eight-team tournaments, one thing has been certain in recent years: Very few gimmes on the schedule.
In this year’s Class 4A girls tournament, one team has three players who were instrumental in winning a state championship two years ago. That team, Skyview, is ranked fifth by the Tacoma News Tribune out of the eight teams that will be playing in the Tacoma Dome.
That is not a knock on Skyview. It is just the educated opinion of a long-time sports journalist with a lot of respect for a number of teams. Skyview is really good. It’s just, in Todd Milles’ opinion, there are four better teams.
While there will be debate over the format, I think we all can agree that once a tournament is down to eight teams, there is a lot of quality on the court.
The Skyview Storm have lost two games all year, and are ranked fifth out of eight by one newspaper.
That says a lot about the quality of the teams in Tacoma this week.
So just who is Skyview facing in the first round?
The News Tribune’s top-ranked team.
Gonzaga Prep is 22-1, which includes an undefeated record against teams from Washington. GPrep is on a 20-game win streak.
GPrep is led by Otiona Gildon, the Greater Spokane League’s player of the year. She averages better than 15 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Much like Skyview, though, GPrep has many sources for scoring. In the past three games, three different players have led the GPrep in scoring: Laura Stockton, Gildon, and Hannah Caudill.
And FYI, the Seattle Times also lists Gonzaga Prep as one of two favorites to win it all, along with Lynnwood.
This is Gonzaga Prep’s fourth consecutive trip to state. GPrep lost in the 2012 semifinals to, yep, Skyview. That was the year Jocelyn Adams, Stephanie McDonagh, and Aubrey Ward-El were sophomores, helping the Storm to a state title.
And one more time, let me remind you what Skyview’s Big Three did:
Trailing by two, McDonagh hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left in the opening round game.
In the championship game, Adams went 8 for 9 from the floor and scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Oh, and in that championship game, Ward-El hit the 3-pointer with a second to go to win it for the Storm.