When Gonzaga Prep coach Mike Arte returned his preseason questionnaire, he put a zero in the space for returning starters.
That’s true but it’s misleading.
Senior Madison Wright (wing), junior Hannah Caudill (guard) and sophomores Laura Stockton (guard) and Otiona Gildon (post) played starter-like minutes last season. Wright finished with the second-most minutes (499) behind graduated point guard Lindsay Stockton (598), Caudill had the third most (483), Gildon fifth most (429) and Laura Stockton sixth most (405).
It didn’t matter much who started for the state-qualifying Bullpups; it was who was on the court late in games.
That experience is the chief reason G-Prep is picked to win the league title. But it could be a tight race.
Arte calls Caudill, Stockton, Wright and sophomore Oona Harrington the “four best perimeter players I have coached. If we can control pace, tempo and game style we should have good success.”
In a poll of league coaches, five teams received at least one vote for first including Mt. Spokane, which finished eighth last season.
When you consider Lewis and Clark’s dominance at state in recent years – four state titles in the last seven seasons – and the fact that Central Valley was state runner-up last year and Mead was second three years ago, it’s no wonder LC coach Jim Redmon expects the GSL to be a significant player in crowning this year’s state champ.
“Absolutely,” Redmon said when asked if the state champ can come from the GSL. “I have always felt that. The preparation we go through as a league on a day in and day out basis is phenomenal.”
The postseason format has changed again this year. The 3A teams won’t have a district tournament and will send four directly to a subregional with the Mid-Columbia Conference. The top four 4A teams qualify for district, but just the top two seeds play for the district title. The top two teams in district advance to a subregional with the MCC.
The top two teams in 4A and 3A advance to Tacoma from the state’s regional tourneys.
|1. Gonzaga Prep|
|3. Lewis and Clark|
|4. Central Valley|
|6. Shadle Park|
|7. Mt. Spokane|
|9. North Central|