Season off to positive start

Alexis Castro of the Spartans drives the ball into the paint as Prosser’s Brooke Wheeler and Asia Olivarez defend the basket.

Photo by Jennie McGhan
Alexis Castro of the Spartans drives the ball into the paint as Prosser’s Brooke Wheeler and Asia Olivarez defend the basket.


Granger’s Alexis Castro reaches for the ball while defending a scoring attempt by Brandi Groeneveld of the Mustangs.


Granger’s Naya Roettger drives past a Prosser player during Friday’s victory over the Mustangs.

— Five of six Lower Yakima Valley girls basketball teams started the season well on Friday.

Granger defeated the Mustangs, 58-54; Sunnyside won, 56-47, over East Valley (Yakima); Mabton secured a 63-41 win over Warden; Sunnyside Christian defeated Kiona-Benton, 53-35; and Bickleton won, 34-25, against Riverside Christian.

Saturday, Grandview won, 64-51, over Ephrata; Granger prevailed 74-34 over Chelan; and Prosser defeated East Valley (Yakima), 67-54.


The Spartans opened Friday’s game with a 4-point deficit against Prosser, but rallied to outscore the Mustangs 17-16 in the second quarter.

Prosser led the game, 28-25, at the half and maintained the lead through the third stanza, 42-38.

It was in the final quarter when Granger poured on a scoring run. The Spartans scored 20 points and held the Mustangs to 12 for the 58-54 victory.

Naya Roettger led the Spartans with 18 points, half of which were from outside the 3-point arc.

Jayleen Vasquez also scored in double digits with 16 points. She tossed in two 3-point shots, four points from inside the paint and six baskets from the charity stripe.

Alexis Castro also scored in double digits. She scored six from 3-point range, a 2-point shot and eight free throws.

Roettger and her sister, Kaitlyn, led the team with four rebounds apiece.

In Saturday’s affair against visiting Chelan, Castro led the offense with 26 points. She dropped the ball in the basket eight times from inside the paint, three times outside the 3-point arc and once from the free throw line.

Lily Stewart, Naya Roettger, Vasquez and Sophie Blodgett tacked on nine points apiece. Blodgett scored all nine points from outside the trey, and Roettger and Vasquez each tossed in a 3-point shot.

The leading scorers for Chelan were Molly Oswald and Madi Harrison, who each scored eight points.

The Spartans had an early 25-5 lead, held the Mountain Goats to five points in the second quarter, allowed 15 points in the third and kept the visitors to nine in the final stanza.

Granger (2-0) hosts Kiona-Benton on Friday.


The Mustangs opened the season Friday against Granger and lost.

But, the team battled the visitors throughout all four quarters, maintaining a 42-38 lead at the end of the third quarter. It wasn’t until the final stanza the team faltered and lost by four points, 58-54.

Three Mustangs scored in double digits. Brandi Groeneveld scored 12, with 6 points from beyond the 3-point line. Brooke Wheeler tossed in 11 points, and Marissa Cortes scored 10. Wheeler had a double-double with 25 boards — 17 of which were on offense.

Against the Red Devils, the Mustangs kept the lead through all four quarters. They outscored East Valley 19-14 in the opening quarter, 19-9 in the second, 24-12 in the third stanza and let off in the fourth with only five points. The Red Devils were allowed 19 in the final quarter.

Prosser’s leading scorer was Cortes with 18 points. Olivarez and Abby Rodriguez each tacked on 10.

Leading the defense with 20 boards — 14 offensive rebounds — was Ali Cox.

East Valley’s leading scorers were Sydnee Hooker with 13 points and Kaileigh Dietrich-Denton with 11.

The Mustangs (1-1) return to the hardwood Friday at Quincy.


The Greyhounds had a break Friday night and won, 64-51, at Ephrata Saturday.

Leading the charge was Grace Meza with 23 points. She scored 12 of those points from outside the 3-point line, and was 7-for-10 from the charity stripe.

Vanessa Caballero tallied 18 points and was 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Bailey Duis contributed nine points to the win.

The leading scorer for the Tigers was Avery Mickelsen with 22 points.

“My girls are playing good, up-tempo games,” Grandview coach Chad Bunker said. “They are playing hard for one another.”

Prior to the start of the season, he challenged the team to work as a team. “The teamwork is really coming together,” he said Saturday evening.

“There are a few kinks — like quick shots — we still need to work out, but I’m proud of them,” Bunker said.

The Greyhounds return to the hardwood Friday at home against Selah.


The Vikings prevailed, 61-41, over Warden Friday.

The team was led by Britnee Guerrero with 23 points. Rieley McCallum chipped in another 10 points.

Further statistics for the game were not available as of press time.


The Grizzlies won Friday’s game against East Valley (Yakima), 56-47.

The leading scorer was Lexi Skyles with 15 points, while Kaileigh Dietrich-Denton scored 14 points for the Red Devils.

Further stats for Friday and Saturday were not provided as of press time.

Sunnyside Christian

The Knights traveled to Benton City on Friday to open the season.

They won, 53-35, and were led by Sailor Liefke’s 14 points. Emily Banks got in a double-double with 10 points and 14 boards.

Further stats were not provided as of press time.


The Pirates defeated Riverside Christian, 34-25, on Friday and traveled to Helix, Ore. Saturday.

Against the Crusaders, Kira Vardy led Bickleton with 18 points.

Further statistics for the game, as well as Saturday’s competition were not available as of press time.


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