Curious voting for all-league team

To take a program that went 0-20 each of the past two years to a team that went 17-4 and reached the district championship game must be the product of great coaching or great players, or maybe even both.

Or, it could be neither.

At least, that is what you are left to conclude when looking at the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball all-league team released this week.

Fifteen players earned all-league status, either on the first or second team or honorable mention. Here is how they were broken down by school.

Mountain View, which went 0-10 in the 4A GSHL, had two players.

Battle Ground (2-8) had three.

Heritage (6-4) had two.

Kelso (6-4) had three.

Skyview (9-1) had four, including three on the first team.

And for Evergreen, which went 7-3 and placed second in the league? One player.

The coach of the year honor went to Heritage’s Karrin Wilson.

The one Evergreen all-league selectee is junior Justine Joudrey, who was selected to the all-league second team despite leading Clark County by averaging 19.2 points a game this season.

Joudrey was the only 4A girls player in Clark County to average more than 12.6 points a game, and one of only four players to average more than 10 points a game.

Now, scoring is not the lone indicator of a player’s value. But the disparity in this key category is so great that there must be something amiss with the all-league voting.

There have been rumblings this season of some bad feelings toward the success of the Evergreen team this season and the Plainsmen’s first-year coach Jay Foreman.

Before taking the job at Evergreen, Foreman coached a club team that included Joudrey and Shamerica Scott. Prior to this school year, Joudrey transferred from Heritage to Evergreen, and Scott transferred from Fort Vancouver to EHS. That, of course, set off rumors of impropriety on the part of Foreman.

Foreman has denied any wrongdoing, and no one has come forward with formal accusations against the Evergreen program. If history is any indication, no one will.

Paul Valencia will pursue this subject further in the coming days. Look for something in Wednesday’s edition of The Columbian. We didn’t want this issue to cast too much of a shadow over the district championship game, and bi-district playoffs as Skyview and Evergreen girls make a final push toward state.

We hope that the league’s coaches are forthright about decisions regarding their all-league selections. It’s not a topic that coaches like to discuss. But their decisions in this matter have forced the issue.

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