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Around the league

Co-league champs Pullman and West Valley graduated seven and six respectively. … Pullman returns league most valuable player Emily Drake, a 5-foot-9 junior, but must fill several holes around her. … West Valley brings back two starters, juniors Erin Higbie and Natalie Noble. Higbie was arguably the league’s newcomer of the year after transferring from Coeur d’Alene. “We’re young and inexperienced overall,” WV coach Lorin Carlon said. … East Valley returns three starters. They are senior Alex Rankin and sophomores Jordan Phelan and Hannah Burland. The Knights also bring back five other lettermen. “We are not very big, and we need to shoot the ball better,” EV coach Robert Collins said. “We will rely on team speed and pressure defense.” … It’s easy to understand why Colville is considered the favorite. The Indians return their lineup intact with five senior starters. They are Taryn Main, Tyra Brons, Sadie Learn, Jessica Wittmeyer and McKenna Cabbage. The Indians, third in league last year, also return five other lettermen for first-year coach Greg Mace. “This is a very deep squad and the team strength will be a very good defensive team with experience and athleticism that is continually uptempo,” Mace said. … Deer Park brings back two starters – senior Makenna Adams and junior Savana Sitton – off a team that went 0-20 last year. Senior Katelynn Irish comes back after a season-ending knee injury. Coach Chuck Chaffee points to having his starting guards, Adams and Sitton, back as a strength. He says his team lacks experience. … Cheney welcomes a new coach. Senior point guard Chae Brown and junior post Coreen Labish, both first-team all-league picks, transferred to Mead. Labish has earned a starting job while Brown, a first team all-Greater Spokane League selection in soccer, suffered a knee injury at the end of the soccer season and is questionable. Brown and Labish led Cheney in scoring last year.

All-league returners

They are Drake and Higbie.

Predicted finish4. West Valley
1. East Valley5. Pullman
2. Clarkston6. Cheney
3. Colville7. Deer Park