January 8, 2013

Eagles Back on the Road for More Big Sky Action against Two Dangerous Teams

Veteran squads of Northern Arizona and Sac State pose a threat despite losing records

Upcoming Games/Coverage

Eastern at Northern Arizona
Thursday, Jan. 10 | 5:35 p.m. PST
Walkup Skydome | Flagstaff, Ariz.
TV: Televised on Fox Sports Arizona/Fox College Sports/NAU-TV
Live Webcast | Live Stats

Eastern at Sacramento State
Saturday, Jan. 12 | 2:05 p.m. PST
The Nest | Sacramento Calif.
Live Webcast | Live Stats

COMPLETE GAME NOTES


The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team continues Big Sky play this weekend with a pair of road games at Northern Arizona and Sacramento State. The Eagles take on NAU Thursday (Jan. 10) at 5:35 p.m. in a televised game on Fox Sports Arizona/Fox College Sports.

EWU then travels to Sacramento to face the Hornets on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 2:05 p.m.

After starting the Big Sky season 3-0, EWU recently suffered its first loss in conference to the Bobcats of Montana State. But the Eagles are still among the top teams in the league, currently in a three-way tie for second with the Montana schools. Northern Colorado sits atop the Big Sky standings with an undefeated 3-0 mark.

Northern Arizona Preview

Eastern’s upcoming two opponents are tied for seventh, both with a 1-2 record in league play. The Lumberjacks have in fact won only two games all season, but with 10 returning letterwinners from a year ago, including the league’s leading scorer in senior guard Amy Patton, NAU is not a team to be overlooked.

“We are definitely not going to be fooled by their record,” said EWU head coach Wendy Schuller. “NAU is a good team, with some really, really solid veterans back. Amy Patton is having a phenomenal senior year to kind of finish off an already prolific career she’s had in the Big Sky. We know we’re going to have to be very good defensively against them.

“But I would also like to see us improve offensively. After going back and watching film from our two games this past weekend, I just felt we didn’t have the flow offensively that we would like to at this point. In the next couple days, we are really going to focus on ourselves first, then worry about the two very good teams we’re going to play this weekend.”

EWU has won the last six games in a row against the Lumberjacks, including two last year that were decided by 18 or more points. The all-time series between the two teams stands at 30-22, in favor of EWU. When playing in Flagstaff though, NAU has the edge at 15-10. Thursday's contest will be the first in the Walkup Skydome since March 6, 2010 - the final game of the 2009-10 season prior to the dome renovation. EWU has played NAU at the Rolle Activity center the past two seasons.

The Lumberjacks are led by Patton, who is not only the top scorer in the Big Sky, but ranks among the top 10 in the entire nation. The 5-10 shooting guard averages 21.2 points per game on 44 percent shooting. She is also her team’s best rebounder, grabbing 7.7 per contest.

Adding to the threat is 5-8 shooting guard Amanda Frost, who recently returned after an early-season injury that kept her sidelined for NAU’s first 11 games of the year. In her season debut last week versus Southern Utah, Frost scored 27 points on a 10-of-15 effort from the floor, as the Lumberjacks recorded their first Big Sky win over the Thunderbirds by a score of 71-61.

“It [having Frost back] definitely takes some of the weight off Patton’s shoulders,” said Schuller. “Frost gives them a little bit of a punch because she can make things happen in the lane, but she is definitely someone you have to watch on the perimeter as well because she can shoot it. Having both on the floor now just makes them that much more lethal.”

As a team, NAU has not had trouble scoring baskets, but rather, keeping its opponents off the scoreboard. The Lumberjacks rank ninth out of 11 teams in the Big Sky in scoring defense and 10th in field goal percentage defense. Defensively, NAU is in the bottom three teams in rebounding, blocked shots and steals.

Sacramento State Preview

On the contrary, EWU’s second opponent this week is the best in the Big Sky in terms of blocked shots, steals and defensive rebounding. Sacramento State also happens to rank No. 1 in 3-point field goals made, averaging 6.2 per game.

The Hornets are 6-6 in the 2012-13 campaign, with three of those games decided in overtime. Sac State celebrated a big win over Pac-12 school Oregon State earlier in the year, and beat Montana State in Bozeman in the conference opener back on Dec. 20.

The Hornets, which upset EWU in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference tournament a year ago, returned four starters and seven other letterwinners from their 2011-12 squad. Among the veterans is second-team All-Big Sky forward Kylie Kuhns, who is the top rebounder in the Big Sky and eighth-leading scorer, and reigning BSC Freshman of the Year, Fantasia Hilliard, who leads the league in assists at 6.4 per game.

“Sac State is a good team,” said Schuller. “I think they picked up right where they left off last year with their fast-paced style of play. I think their players really understand how to play that way now, and get what they’re trying to accomplish with that style. They do a really good job of just going straight at you and finding ways to get in the lane and make plays. And when you do collapse, they have players that can shoot it well from deep. They can be kind of inconsistent, but when you shoot the ball as much as they do, you’re bound to have an off night here and there. But overall, they are tough, and pretty scary to have to think about defending.”

Prior to the loss in the conference tournament last year, EWU had won four in a row against the Hornets. The Eagles lead the all-time series 25-12 and are 15-8 under Schuller. When playing in Sacramento, EWU holds an 11-6 edge.

Fast Look at the [Probable] Starting Five


#13 | LEXIE NELSON (GUARD)

• Her first official year in red and white, Nelson is the leading scorer on the team, while ranking second overall in the Big Sky with an average of 14.8 points per game. She has had two games this year with 20+ points, and has hit three 3-pointers in six different outings, which includes two of the last three.
• Along with her ability to score, Nelson has proved to be a valuable passer for the Eagles as well. After averaging just 1.8 assists in the first five games of the year, Nelson has nearly doubled that average over the last eight, averaging 3.1 per game.
• Shooting 84 percent from the free throw line this season, Nelson is among the top five players in the league in that category, while ranking in the top 70 nationally. She has earned at least 20 more trips to the free throw line than any other player on the team, and has only missed 10 of her 62 total attempts.
• Nelson is a transfer from conference-rival Montana. A 2010 graduate of Butte (Mont.) HS and the 2010 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year, Nelson started her collegiate career as a true freshman with the Lady Griz in 2010-11. She started six of Montana’s first nine games that year and played in 32 of 33 total. She finished the season with 31 assists and a scoring average of 3.3. Following her rookie year, Nelson opted to bring her talents to Cheney. Nelson sat out the 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

#21 | CARRIE OJEDA (CENTER)

• Eastern's recent contest against Montana (Jan. 3) marked the 100th appearance for Ojeda in her Eagle career. She has started 66 of 101 total games playedfor a total of 1,825 minutes.
• Averaging a team-leading 7.9 rebounds per game, Ojeda ranks among the top five in the Big Sky in that category. She posted a career-high 17 boards in the season debut against Pacific (Nov. 11), and had 11 against Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24) and Boise State (Dec. 7). She has had at least five boards in 10 of 12 games this year.
• Ojeda recorded her 100th-career block earlier this season, and now has a total of 106 in her tenure. She ranks sixth in the EWU all-time career record book in that category, and is second among all active players in the Big Sky. Ojeda says shot blocking is by far her favorite part of the game.
• Including four already this season - which is the third-most among all players in the Big Sky - Ojeda has posted 10 double-doubles throughout her career.

#30 | CHENISE PAKOOTAS (GUARD)

• Pakootas has had at least one steal in eight of 12 games this year, and has had a career-high four steals on four different occasions, including her most recent outing against MSU. She is leading the Eagles in that statistical category, averaging 1.9 per game, which also ranks among the top eight in the Big Sky.
• After averaging 13.6 minutes as a sophomore off the bench, Pakootas has doubled her playing time this season, averaging 25.2 minutes as a starter.
• Pakootas was the most efficient 3-point shooter in the Big Sky Conference in 2011-12, converting 40 percent of her long-range shots. She is currently averaging just over one 3-pointer per game, but had a career-high four this year against the nationally-ranked California Golden Bears (Nov. 23).

#32 | AUBREY ASHENFELTER (GUARD)

• A true utility player for the Eagles, Ashenfelter has had least five points, three assists and four rebounds in four of the last six games. She has scored in double figures five times this season, and earned her first-career double-double earlier in the year against Portland (Nov. 18), with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
• Currently, Ashenfelter is among the top three most efficient 3-point shooters in the Big Sky at 43.2 percent. Last year as a sophomore, she was making just 29.7 percent of her shots from long range. Ashenfelter has had at least one triple in 11 of 13 games this year.
• With 1,562 minutes logged thus far in her career, Ashenfelter is the second-most experienced player on the team. She appeared in all 31 games as a true freshman in 2010-11 and started 29 of 30 last year. But the coaches have asked her responsibilities to change this year, from a role player to a more aggressive, more consistent scorer.
• Ashenfelter is a two-time Big Sky All-Academic honoree.

#42 | MELISSA WILLIAMS (FORWARD)

• Williams has had a career-high 10 rebounds three different times this year. She has led the team in that category in five of the last seven games, and is currently among the top 20 in the league, averaging just under six boards per game.
• Williams was one of only two true freshmen in the Big Sky to start every game of the 2011-12 season.
• As a rookie in 2011-12, Williams had at least five rebounds in 11 of 16 conference games, and improved her shooting efficiency from 39 percent in the non-conference season to 46 percent in league play.

First Off the Bench


#4 | KYLIE HUERTA (POINT GUARD)

• After scoring a combined 17 points through the first seven games of the year, Huerta has put up 44 tallies in the last six games combined, including a game-high and career-high 15 against defending Big Sky Champion, Idaho State (Dec. 22). She also had just five assists through the first five games of the year, but has dished out 30 since.
• Huerta is a 2011 graduate of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash., which is the same school that produced Gonzaga legend and current WNBA star Courtney Vandersloot, as well as Nebraska four-year starter Lindsey Moore, who is a 2013 preseason Wade List and Naismith Trophy candidate…Huerta was the direct successor of these two nationally-acclaimed point guards…Kentwood is also the alma-mater of EWU men’s basketball great, Rodney Stuckey.

#25 | HAYLEY HODGINS (GUARD)

• Coming off her redshirt-freshman year, Hodgins has played in 12 of 13 games for EWU this year, averaging 12.0 minutes, 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
• She had a career-high seven rebounds in Eastern’s game against Warner Pacific, and has hit at least one 3-pointer in three of the last six games.
• A 2011 graduate of Chiawana High School in Pasco, Wash., Hodgins was a two-time Columbia Basin Big Nine Cascade Division First-Team selection and was honored on the Seattle Time All-State Second Team.

#54 | LAURA HUGHES (CENTER)

• Hughes started the first two games of the year for Eastern, but has come off the bench in the last 11 for an average of 17.7 minutes per game.
• The 6-2 junior center is currently the fourth-leading scorer on the team, averaging 7.6 points per game. She has scored in double figures in five outings this year, including a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting in a narrow loss to Idaho on Nov. 27. She led the team with 18 points in its conference debut on Dec. 20 against Weber State, and currently ranks among the top 12 in the Big Sky in field goal percentage at 46.4 percent on the season.

Eagle News & Notes

EFFICIENT EAGLES...ESPECIALLY FROM THREE: Almost halfway through the entire 2012-13 season, and four games into its Big Sky slate, Eastern Washington has proved to be one of the most offensively efficient teams in the league. The Eagles rank fourth in the Big Sky in field goal percentage (39.6), third free throw percentage (71.3), and second in 3-point field goal percentage (34.6). Eastern has shot 40 percent or better from the field in five of its last eight games, while its percentage from three has also been above 40 percent in four of the last six. Eastern averages 5.5 3-point field goals per game, which is second only to this week's opponent, Sacramento State, which averages 6.2. Eastern’s most dangerous threats on the perimeter are junior guard Aubrey Ashenfelter and sophomore guard Lexie Nelson, who currently rank among the top 10 in both 3-point field goals made and 3-point field goal percentage. Ashenfelter has made 19 treys this year on 43.2 percent shooting - the third-best in the Big Sky - while Nelson has knocked down 25 on 40.3 percent, which ranks sixth.

PUSH POINTS: In its last six games, all of which were wins, Eastern has averaged 67 points per game. That is 12 points more than its average from the first seven games of the year. In its first four Big Sky Conference games, Eastern has averaged nearly 70 points per game, which ranks third in league-only statistics. Looking at what happens on the other side of the floor, the Eags rank fourth in scoring defense, allowing its Big Sky opponents an average of just 61 points per game. Overall in the 2012-13 season, EWU has compiled a 5-0 record when holding teams to fewer than 60 points.

SHARING THE WEALTH...ON OFFENSE: Eastern has had six different players lead the team in scoring this year. Sophomore Lexie Nelson has had seven team-high performances, while Carrie Ojeda, Aubrey Ashenfelter, Chenise Pakootas, Laura Hughes and Kylie Huerta have all led in points at least once. Eastern has had at least three different players score in double-figures in four of the last six games.

SHARING THE WEALTH...ON DEFENSE: Eastern is also a versatile rebounding team, as seven different players have led on the glass at least once this year. Senior Carrie Ojeda, juniors Aubrey Ashenfelter and Laura Hughes, and sophomore Melissa Williams have each posted at least one double-digit rebounding effort this year.

IMPORTANCE OF AN EARLY LEAD: Eastern is 7-2 this year when leading or tied at the half, and conversely, 0-4 when trailing at intermission. In fact, in four of its seven wins this year, EWU has had a double-digit lead after the first 20 minutes.

REGARDING ASSIST/TURNOVER RATIO: Similar to the record discrepancy in regards to halftime scores, EWU is 4-0 this year when committing less turnovers than its opponent, and is 5-1 when tallying more assists.  In games that Eastern has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.8 or higher, the Eagles are 6-1. When the assist-to-turnover ratio is below 0.8, the team is 1-5. Rebounds, free throws, 3-pointers and even field goal percentage don’t seem to have as much effect on EWU’s ability to win as the assist/turnover ratio.

AIMING FOR A DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior Carrie Ojeda had a goal at the beginning of the season to average a double-double. The senior center has already had four double-doubles this year - the third most in the Big Sky - and that includes a 13-point, 10-rebound performance in EWU's most recent contest against Montana State. At this point in the season, she is just a couple rebounds shy of her goal, averaging 10.3 points and 7.9 rebounds.

NOT ONE FOR THE NAIL-BITER: So far, nine of Eastern’s 13 games this year have been decided by 10 or more points. The Eagles have won four and lost five of those double-digit games. Eastern has not played in an overtime game in nearly two years - the last one being a 76-73 loss to Idaho State on Feb. 5, 2011.

TOUGH SLATE: During the non-conference season, in which Eastern went 4-5, the team played two opponents (Cal, Gonzaga) who were either ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today Sports Coaches Top 25 Poll. EWU opened the year against Pacific and Cal State Northridge - the two teams picked to finish at the top of the Big West Conference this year, and who both have a .600 or better winning percentage at this point in the year. On its 2012-13 schedule, the Eagles have a total of seven opponents that participated in national tournaments a year ago.

GATORADE GIRLS: This year, Eastern Washington boasts not one, but two Gatorade Players of the Year on its roster. A product of Butte (Mont.) High School, sophomore Lexie Nelson was the Gatorade Player of the Year for Montana in 2010, while freshman Tisha Phillips, a graduate of Lewiston (Idaho) High School, earned the honor for Idaho in 2012. Nelson was a four-time Class AA All-State selection, and led her team to back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Montana State Championships. Phillips was a two-time First-Team All-State selection, and won two Idaho 5A state titles with the Bengals.

PEAK PERFORMANCES
• Sophomore Lexie Nelson poured in career-high 23 points on a 7-of-12 performance from the floor to lead Eastern to a 68-50 rout of Portland (Nov. 18) - its first win of the 2012-13 season. Nelson drained three 3-pointers and made 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. All this came in the midst of suffering a bloody nose midway through the game. She had 20 points in Eastern’s win at Boise State (Dec. 7), where she made 7-of-13 from the field, 3-of-6 from long range and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. She also had five rebounds and three assists against BSU.

• Sophomore Kylie Huerta turned in the best weekend of her career in Eastern’s 2012-13 Big Sky openers against Weber State and Idaho State. Against the Wildcats, she was nearly flawless, converting 3-of-3 field goals, 1-of-1 free throws, and tallying a career-high seven assists with just one turnover. Two days later at Idaho State, she led the team to victory with a career-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

• Junior Laura Hughes had a career-night in Eastern’s road game at Idaho on Nov. 27. The 6-2 center made 8-of-12 shots from the floor and went a perfect 4-of-4 from the line for a career-high and team-leading 20 points. She also led EWU on the glass with nine rebounds, and contributed one steal. She had 16 points in the second half, which helped EWU overcome a 12-point halftime deficit and take a lead with five minutes remaining in the game. Hughes also made 8-of-12 shots in Eastern’s win at Weber State, for a team-leading 18 points.

• Junior Aubrey Ashenfelter had an impressive stat line in Eastern’s first win against Portland (Nov. 18). The 6-0 guard posted her first-career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but she also tied her career-high in assists with six, and tallied two steals and one block. Ashenfelter was 5-of-8 against the Pilots, after going just 4-of-17 in the first two outings of 2012-13. In the very next game against nationally-ranked California, Ashenfelter made 5-of-11 shots, including two 3-pointers, for a team-leading 12 points, to go along with four assists, three rebounds and two steals. But her season-high scoring mark came in the Big Sky debut at Weber State (Dec. 20), where she had 18 points, with four 3-pointers and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.

• Senior Carrie Ojeda hauled in a career-high 17 rebounds in the 2012-13 season debut against Pacific (Nov. 11). She also added 14 points for her first double-double of the year, and the seventh in her career. Ojeda had 10 defensive rebounds and seven on the offensive glass to lead all players in the game by at least seven. She also led Eastern in assists (4) and blocked shots (4) in that game. Ojeda had 13 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with a career-high tying four assists and season-high two steals in Eastern's most recent contest against Montana State (Jan. 7)l.

WHAT WENDY HAS DONE...
• Eastern has advanced to the Big Sky Conference tournament in eight of Schuller’s 11 years as head coach, including the last three in a row. Behind Montana's Robin Selvig, who has been with the program for a whopping 35 years, Schuller is the second-longest tenured coach in the Big Sky in terms of years coaching in the conference. And the most successful years of those 12 has been the three most recent.  In the last three seasons, Eastern has earned 30 Big Sky Conference wins, which is more than it had in the previous five seasons combined.

• Her 2009-10 squad captured the school's first-ever Big Sky regular-season title, and hosted the league tournament for the first time in school history. Schuller was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year after leading the squad to a 12-4 mark in the conference and 19-12 overall, which were the best records posted by an Eagle squad since the 1984-85 season when Eastern was still a member of the Mountain West Conference. That year, the Eagles advanced to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, marking the school’s first national postseason appearance since the 1987 season.

• It should also be noted that in 2009-10 - the year EWU won the Big Sky regular-season title - the Eagles were picked seventh in the preseason coaches' poll. Last year in 2011-12, the Eagles were again picked seventh, and ended up finishing third. And right now, Schuller's 2012-13 team, which was picked eighth in the preseason poll, is currently atop the Big Sky standings with a perfect 3-0 record.
 
• Schuller has had 13 different players named to one or more All-Big Sky Conference teams, including two league MVPs in Julie Piper (2010) and Brianne Ryan (2012), as well as the school’s first Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, Julie Page, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics as a captain for the Great Britain national team.

• In the past 10 seasons, Eastern Washington women’s basketball players have been honored 88 times on the Big Sky All-Academic list, which is the most for any women’s basketball team in the league. The Eagles have also been recognized on the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll for 10 of the past 11 seasons, and in 2003-04, the Eagles led the nation with a 3.63 grade point average.

• In the 2011-12 season, Schuller led the Eagles to a first-ever sweep of the Montana road trip in school history. The back-to-back wins at Montana (Jan. 26) and Montana State (Jan. 28) were two of Eastern’s six total road wins in the Big Sky season - which tied another school record. Schuller's teams have in fact won two years in a row at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., which is a milestone in itself considering the Eagles as a program have only recorded four wins there throughout history. Former head coach Bill Smithpeters also won twice in Missoula - once in 1980, and again in 1987 when EWU upset Montana in the championship game of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
 
PRESEASON TALKING POINTS
• Eastern won their lone exhibition game on Nov. 4 against the NAIA’s Carroll College. EWU out-scored the Saints by 22 in the second half to roll to a 65-38 victory. Nine different Eagles contributed points in the game, led by sophomore Lexie Nelson, who poured in 19.

• Eastern returns three starters and six other letterwinners, as well as three redshirts and four newcomers. But for the first time in three years, the Eagles will not welcome back an All-Big Sky player. Following the 2011-12 season, Eastern graduated two-time unanimous first-team selection and 2012 Big Sky MVP Brianne Ryan, as well as second-team honoree Chene Cooper, who accounted for nearly 50 percent of the Eagle scoring a year ago.

• Eastern Washington was picked eighth in the 2012-13 Big Sky Preseason Coaches’ and Media Poll - a ranking that would leave Eastern just out of the seven-team postseason tournament. But Eastern is certainly familiar with that kind of prediction - and familiar with proving it wrong. Prior to the 2009-10 season, the Eagles were selected seventh by both the coaches and media. That year, EWU went on to win the school’s first-ever Big Sky regular-season title with a 12-4 league record. Last season, the Eagles were picked seventh again, and ended up finishing third overall after a 10-6 run in conference play.

• Eastern is coming off one of its best seasons ever in the Big Sky Conference. With a 10-6 record in 2011-12, EWU took third in the league race - its second-best effort in more than two decades. The only better finish since 1987-88, when the Big Sky started sponsoring women’s sports, came two years prior in 2009-10, when the Eagles won the school’s first-ever regular-season title with a 12-4 league record.

ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL...
Eastern Washington University head women’s basketball coach Wendy Schuller announced the signing of four high-school standouts to national letters of intent during the early signing period. Eastern’s 2013 recruiting class includes Spokane native Jade Redmon, 5-9 guard Bethany Montgomery out of Tacoma, Wash., 6-0 forward Haley Shaner from Sacramento, Calif., and  6-3 center Marly Anderson of Hillsboro, Ore., who ranks among the top 60 nationally for her position, according to Hoopgurlz.com.

Jade Redmon is a standout for Mead High School. She was a 2012 All-Greater Spokane League First-Team selection, averaging a team-leading 14.6 points per game during her junior campaign. A dual-sport athlete, Redmon also excelled as a member of the girls soccer team, earning All-GSL honorable mention accolades as a defender in 2011. Recently, she helped lead the Panthers to an Elite Eight berth in the 2012 4A State Soccer Championships.Outside of her high school career, Redmon plays for the eminent Northwest Blazers AAU team, under coach Steve Klees. In 2012, her Northwest Blazers Orange team earned a 43-2 record. The club team captured the End of Trail Music City Madness Tournament title in Nashville, Tenn., where Redmon was selected to the all-tournament team. The Orange also won the elite division championship at the MSNM Tournament in San Diego, Calif. Redmon comes from a family of successful collegiate athletes. Her older sister, Jazmine, is a junior point guard with the nationally-acclaimed Gonzaga women’s basketball team, while mother, Shaney, was a track and field athlete at Washington State University. Coincidentally, Shaney was coached at WSU by Eastern’s current head track and field coach, Marcia Mecklenburg.

Bethany Montgomery comes to Eastern from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Wash. Montgomery is a three-time All-Narrows League selection, earning first-team honors as a freshman and junior, and second-team accolades as a sophomore. She was a Tacoma News Tribune All-Area second-team selection in 2012 and earned All-Area Honorable Mention from the Seattle Times that same year. As a junior, she averaged 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals for WHS. Montgomery led the Rams to a Narrows League title in 2012 with a perfect 10-0 record. Her team went on to finish second in the West Central District that year with a 20-4 overall mark. Montgomery is also a Narrows League high jump champion, and was named to the Seattle Times track and field All-Area honorable mention team in 2012. Montgomery has earned the WIAA Distinguished Scholastic Award for three-consecutive years and was a finalist for Tacoma Athlete of the Year in 2010.

Haley Shaner, a 6-0 forward out of West Campus High School in Sacramento, Calif., is the reigning two-time Golden Empire League MVP, and was a 2012 Sacramento Bee All-Metro second-team selection. Averaging 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and just over two assists, steals and blocks per game in 2012, Shaner led her team a runner-up finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championships. The Warriors reached the section title game for the first time in school history after a 50-47 upset of rival Colfax in the semifinals, which marked West Campus’ 19th-consecutive win of the 2011-12 season. Shaner registered a game-high 14 points and nine rebounds in the historic win. She also led her team to two-consecutive Golden Empire League titles, including a perfect 10-0 run in 2012.

Marly Anderson is rated as the No. 55 recruit in the nation for her position, according to Hoopgurlz.com. She is a three-year starter for the Glencoe Crimson Tide in Hillsboro, Ore., and also plays for one of the top club teams in the nation - Team Concept. Anderson is a three-time All-Pacific Conference selection, which includes first-team honors in 2012. As a junior, she averaged 12.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game to help lead her team to a 6A-4 Pacific Conference regular-season title. Behind a 21-point, 12-rebound performance from Anderson in the opening round, the Crimson Tide advanced to the Elite Eight of the Class 6A Oregon State Championships in 2012. With Team Concept, Anderson played alongside 6-5 post Mercedes Russell - the nation’s top-rated recruit for 2013. The five-star recruit and Oregon Class 5A Player of the Year signed with Tennessee on Wednesday (Nov. 14).

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