There’s a girls basketball team in the Greater Spokane League led by a set of twins and a couple of other college-bound teammates that have all played together for a long time and have already made a trip to state.
No, not that one.
It’s almost inevitable that every girls program in the GSL gets compared to Central Valley. But Mt. Spokane – led by twins Aspyn and Averi Adams and fellow juniors Emily Nelson and Alyssa Powell – has come to accept it.
“I think Spokane has been a hotbed for girls basketball for a long time,” Wildcats coach David Pratt said before practice on Tuesday. “I think it just continues to grow. CV is the standard. They have a lot of kids and have a really good program that has been established for years.”
The Wildcats respect what Central Valley is capable of in the league and throughout the state, but they also feel like they will compete with the Bears when they face them later this season and perhaps challenge for the top of GSL overall next season when they’ll be a senior-laded squad.
“Our hope is to compete at the top every year, for sure,” Pratt said. “CV is really talented, there’s no question. I think it’s interesting to watch a team be the hunter, versus the hunted. And CV can handle that. They’ve been the hunted for so long.
“I think next year gives us an opportunity. But make no mistake, CV is going to reload. Their younger kids are going to step right in. They’ll return a couple of starters. They’ll return a second five that are talented kids. They’re not going anywhere.”
“We’re not doubting we can beat them,” Averi Adams said. “I’m not saying we will. But it’s not like we think going in we’re going to lose.
“Next year, hopefully, there will be a couple of teams maybe that can get them.”
Pratt knows he’s fortunate to have his four best players all in one class.
Aspyn Adams is a returning first-team all-GSL guard and the team’s shooter. Sister Averi describes herself a pass-first player and more of a vocal on-court leader. Nelson stands 6-foot and does a lot of the inside work and Powell transitions from front to backcourt depending on the sets Pratt runs.
“These four were all freshmen when we got here so they know and understand our expectations and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Pratt said.
Often in sports we hear coaches and players talk about chemistry. But this squad – literally – plays like sisters. “Us four, we played AAU together for three years and now we’ve had three years here,”Aspyn Adams said. “We definitely have a lot of chemistry.”
“The great thing about these twins is they feed off each other,” Pratt said. “It’s true what they say – they know what each other is thinking.”
Aspyn described how it works. “We’ll set a pick-and-roll and I’ll usually be handling the ball and (Averi) will set the pick and I’ll pass it to her and they’ll be like, ‘How did you see her?’ and I’m like, ‘I just know she going to be there.’ We just know where we’re going to be. I think it’s amazing how we can do that.”
It’s some kind of twin telepathy?
“I guarantee that (CV’s) Lexie and Lacie (Hull) have it, the (Mead) triplets have it. It’s so fun to play with (Averi).”
That’s where things get, well, maybe weird isn’t the right word. Unique, maybe? Not only does the GSL have two sets of twins which lead their teams and are college-bound athletes, but a third school with a set of basketball-playing triplets.
Much has been written about CV’s 6-foot-2, Stanford-bound Hull twins, and Mead features senior 6-foot post Lindsey, 6-1 guard McKenna and 5-9 guard Allison – the Russell triplets.
Often you’ll see siblings play on the same high school team. But to have three sets of sisters like this isn’t an every year occurrence.
“Crazy,” Aspyn Adams said. “It is pretty rare.”
“I think it’s really cool,” Averi Adams said. “We can understand each other on the court when we play against them.
“We’ve played with the triplets on the same team together for a really long time – three or four years – and we’ve played against the Hulls our whole life so it’s just not that weird for us. But I think it’s cool we can all be in the same league together.“
Averi isn’t sold on the idea of some supernatural psychic sibling link, though.
“I don’t know if it’s twin telepathy or chemistry, even with the other juniors. We’ve played with them since the fifth grade. We know where we would be (on the floor), so we know that they’re going to be there.”
There’s a familiarity with playing as teammates for so long.
“When I’m on the court with (the twins) I feel like I can run any play and I know they’ll have my back,” Nelson concurred.
Of course, it helps when they all have enough talent to play at the next level.
“I think they’re all college players,” Pratt said. “And we have some young ones that could work their way into that level as well at some point. But (college) offers are still coming in for all of them. It’s really cool.”
Aspyn thinks its great that there seems to be so much talent spread across the GSL right now.
“I love having other D-I or other college (level) players to play against because I’m going to love when we’re all in college and I’m going to see someone on TV that I know and I can say, ‘I played against her. I know her.’ ”
Pratt thinks he’s the fortunate one out of the whole bunch. Not only is he surrounded by good talent to guide, but he like being associated with the group.
“Those are the kind of girls you dream of coaching,” he said. “They love what they’re doing. They’re trying really hard. They’re well-raised. They’re good kids.”
Pratt does lament what should have been his senior leader for this season. Miahna Waters – an all-GSL selection in both basketball and volleyball – graduated early to start classes at Southern Utah, where she signed to play volleyball.
“Obviously, we miss her skill,” Pratt said. “She’s an unbelievable rebounder. She broke records in the years she was here. She just dominated the rebounding. Just her effort. We’ve learned to win without her but she’s definitely missed.”
Mt. Spokane was in the driver’s seat to the first-round bye in the District 8 3A tournament but suffered a close loss to North Central on Jan. 9 and is now tied with the Indians at 4-3 in league.
The Wildcats know first-hand how important that bye, and one of the district’s two automatic bids to regionals, can be.
“Last year, we had to travel to Seattle three weekends in a row,” Averi Adams said. “It was really tough for us. This year should be better, at least travel-wise.”
But they have to get out of the league first.
“The goal would be, we definitely want to get to the highest level we can possible get,” Pratt said. “Obviously, our end goal is to get to the (Tacoma) Dome. To be one of the top eight teams playing for a trophy. That’s always been this group’s goal.”
“North Central beat us the other night,” Pratt said. “They’re playing really well. We don’t overlook anybody. That night we lost to them, they were just really good.”
If this group wants to get back to state – something it did with a fourth-place finish as freshmen – it knows it has to take care of business first.
“We have to watch NC,” Nelson said. “That was a tough one that we lost. But if we can hold that spot down and we can get back to regionals, back to state, that would be so big for us. We would have next season to look forward to and work from this year to next.”