Play Ball! Tulalip Community Steps Up to the Plate For Future Generations

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News. Photos by Kalvin Valdillez and courtesy of Josh Fryberg

“I remember playing in a championship baseball game on this field. We were playing against Lummi and the game went into extra innings. We end up winning by one. When you’re young, I was about thirteen or fourteen, that feeling is awesome. Baseball was strong back then,” recalled Josh Fryberg about the importance of baseball to the community. Josh serves as Vice President and Softball Coach for the newly established Tulalip Little League program. “We want to continue to bring our youth and our community together in the best way possible. If it’s through sports, that’s what it is. Now that this [Little League program] is going, it’s going to create a strong baseball, softball and t-ball program for the future generations of Tulalip.”

The Tulalip Little League recently finished their first season, which was filled with smiles and cheers from the Tulalip community during both home and away games. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were treated to a beautiful spring as they enjoyed watching the young players learn about the fundamentals of baseball.

With over sixty kids in participation this year, the Little League is off to a great start and will only continue to grow. Five teams proudly wore the trendy Tulalip uniforms this season and in commemoration of a great season, the kids were able to keep their uniforms. The teams consist of two t-ball teams, a girls’ softball rookie team, a boys’ hardball rookie team and a Farm AA boys’ hardball team. The League plans to offer new teams next season, including a Challenger team for children with special needs.

“What we’ve done is historical. It hasn’t been done in the whole state of Washington. There’s maybe two other Native American little leagues [in the country],” explained Tulalip Little League President, Marlin Fryberg Jr.

Marlin was contacted by Toby Briggs, then President of the Marysville Little League, and asked if there was any interest in bringing a little league to Tulalip. Marlin capitalized on the opportunity to bring Little League to Tulalip to benefit the community, as the program has been highly desired by parents, coaches and tribal leaders for a long period of time.

“The mentors I had growing up always dreamed of a little league. They’ve always wanted that for our kids,” said Marlin. “Don [“Penoke”] Hatch, Hank Williams, those folks coached little league back in their day and they were told they had to separate the Native American kids, they couldn’t have them on one team. So they had four teams with Native kids on each team. Hank had a team, Penoke had a team and the late Bob Moses had a team. Now here we are today. These kids are going to look back in twenty to thirty years and say, woah we were the first ones ever to play in the Tulalip Little League.”

The Little League is sponsored by Play It Again Sports in Marysville, The Tulalip Police Department, The Tulalip Tribes and Marlin, who was the initial sponsor, donating his savings to the program. The Tulalip Little League Board consists of Marlin and Josh along with Malorie Simpson, Mytyl Hernandez, Dale Sanchey, Ray Sheldon Jr. and Shawn Sanchey.

“Little league is creating lifetime relationships for the kids,” exclaimed Shawn, who is also a coach for the softball team. “After every game, my girls are always asking their parents ‘can we go to her [teammate’s] house? Can we go to her house?’ It’s pretty awesome. When we play uptown teams, they know them too, ‘I know her she goes to my school’. It’s just so awesome to see the relationships they’re creating just from playing softball or baseball. It’ll stick with them forever.”

Due to the program’s success, other tribal nations are now looking into how to begin little leagues within their districts. Lummi reached out to Tulalip in hopes for guidance during the strenuous process as well as a request for a tribal match in the near future. The Little League coaches and board members are all volunteers who share the same goal of bringing joy and excitement to the community through America’s favorite past time.

“We love to work with the youth of the community and benefit our youth as much as possible. To be a part of coaching these girls, seeing them from their first practice up until their last game, is amazing. We’re so proud of them because they came a long way,” states Josh.

Beginning next season, any youth who wishes to play softball, t-ball or baseball and lives within the Tulalip boundaries will be able to suit up for Tulalip and throw on the popular T embroidered cap.  Children between the ages of four and six can participate in t-ball, ages seven and eight can play for the softball and hardball rookie teams, and boys between the ages of eight and nine are able to compete on the Farm AA team.

“We’ve sparked something now,” states Marlin. “For example, on my team, of the eight and nine year olds, there are only three boys who normally went to town to play ball – out of twelve. That’s nine new kids introduced to baseball from our rez. So it’s brand new to a lot of them and they love it.

“I got to watch my dad play here when I was a kid. This whole parking lot was jammed packed, cars were parked up the hill. That’s how important baseball was to our people back then,” Marlin continued. “Growing up watching that, I became a baseball player. I played on the local teams in town, but not only that, baseball helped me stay out of trouble. It helped me stay focused on positive stuff and that’s why we’re doing this for our kids.”

Keryn Parks: Turning Resiliency Into Success

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News. Photos by Micheal Rios and courtesy of Keryn Parks

Resilience is a term used to describe a set of qualities that foster a process of successful adaptation and transformation despite risk and adversity. Individuals who are resilient have the capacity to withstand, overcome, and recover from threatening conditions. Simply put, resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity.

As it relates to Native youth, resilience is exemplified by certain qualities possessed by those who are subjected to undue stress and adversity, yet do not give way to school failure or juvenile delinquency. By those standards 16-year-old Tulalip tribal member Keryn Parks is resiliency personified.

The Tulalip Heritage High School junior has experienced things many couldn’t even begin to comprehend, but she didn’t surrender to the adversity. Instead, she conquered it with success.

“With everything that’s happened over the last few years, I just feel way more comfortable in a smaller setting. That’s why I loved Heritage from the first day I transferred during my sophomore year,” says Keryn on her changing of high schools. A former student at Marysville Pilchuck, she first transferred to Lakewood before finding her academic home at Heritage. “I feel way more comfortable in a setting where I know every single person in the room. It’s a friendlier setting that’s both family and culture oriented.”

The change of scenery not only provided Keryn with a much more comfortable learning environment, but it also gave her the opportunity to engage with her cultural roots, excel in the classroom as a student, and flourish on the hardwood as an athlete.

At Heritage, she received traditional teachings like fundamental beadwork from Bubba Fryberg and learning some of the ancestral language of her people under the guidance of Lushootseed language teacher Michelle Myles.

“I’ve learned that I really enjoy beadwork. It’s something I’ve gotten good with and look forward to getting better and learning new techniques. I actually love doing it,” admits Keryn. “Lushootseed was really cool to learn and hear about, especially from Michelle because she’s such an awesome teacher. Hearing her tell us the importance of passing our language down to younger generations so it doesn’t vanish motivated me to learn more.”

Keryn also seized the opportunity to take classes at Marysville’s Arts & Technology High School to bolster her student profile for future college applications. Though the course load was challenging at times, she excelled as a student of both Heritage and Arts & Tech. Using the student tracker application Skyward, Keryn was able to stay on top of all her assignments from both schools to ensure she remained ahead of the curve.

“She’s one of our star students. Her dedication to getting her classwork done and commitment to helping her classmates definitely stands out,” beams Principal Shelly Lacy. “For example, when she sees students in her class who might be having trouble with an assignment she’s always willing to help them. She has such a warm smile and friendly demeanor, so her classmates are open to her assistance. Also, her attendance is great. She’s always here at school and attends all her classes.”

Keryn’s commitment to her education yielded amazing results. In fact, she was recognized for being the only Heritage student with a 4.0 GPA at the end of the 1st semester grading term.

Excelling in academics and athletics can be a daunting task for most, but Keryn found a way to successfully balance the two. Her success in the classroom was also being echoed with athletic achievement. During this past volleyball and basketball seasons she grew into her team’s go-to playmaker. She admits that basketball is her true passion and volleyball was more for fun, yet she reluctantly accepted a leadership role in both.

“She was chosen as a team leader by [her teammates] on and off the court. It took her time to adjust to that role because she didn’t want it at first,” points out Tina Brown, Athletic Director and volleyball coach at Heritage. “It was obvious to us that Keryn’s energy was contagious. When she was in the zone and encouraging her teammates, the whole team’s play would go to a new level. Eventually, she embraced the leadership role and accepted the responsibility to encourage her teammates at the right moments to keep the momentum going. The whole team benefited because of it.”

With Keryn embracing the leadership role, the Lady Hawks volleyball team found unprecedented success. They started off the year (5-0) and made their first ever appearance in the Tri-District Tournament. The Lady Hawks’ success carried over to the basketball season, where Keryn continued to develop as a key playmaker and clutch shot maker. She averaged career highs in nearly every statistical category, while shining in the biggest moments. The team finished with an astonishing (20-6) record including a deep postseason run that ended at Regionals. Recognizing her efforts, Keryn was named to the All-League 1st Team.

The end of basketball season marked the end of the athletic year for Heritage sports. Refocusing all her efforts towards her education, Keryn understands the significance of making the most out of opportunity while still in high school. For her upcoming senior year she intends to enroll in Running Start, a program that allows high school students to take college courses at community colleges. She’ll be earning both high school and college credit for courses taken at Everett Community College.

Keryn and family.

“I’m more excited than anything. I know it’s going to be challenging and a lot of hard work, but I’m ready for it,” says Keryn a few days after testing into the Running Start program. “I want to make the most out of my senior year by earning college credits. It’ll be really beneficial in the long run. Educationally, I want something more for myself and I hope to show my friends and family what’s possible.”

Of Keryn’s decision to do Running Start during her senior year Principal Lacy adds, “I’m really excited for her. Our goal is to get our students to see what they are capable of and to promote the pathways to college the best we can. The first year of college is always the hardest, there’s so much the students have to adjust to, but through Running Start we get to support them through the process. It’s been wonderful to witness Keryn grow into the person she is. I’m confident that with her dedication she’ll succeed with Running Start.”

Continuing to raise the bar with her education and succeeding at every step helps to change a culture and breaks the stereotypes of Native youth in the academic realm. The stats show that overwhelmingly Native students have difficulty succeeding at college. However, as with basketball in the biggest moments, Keryn has a knack for delivering in the clutch. And thus far, her ability to turn adversity into success through sheer force of will is what makes her so unique.

“I’m proud to be Native American, I’m proud to be Tulalip. In everything that I do and achieve I’m representing my family. Parks, Fryberg, Gobin, and Joseph, all those family names I represent. That’s the weight I hold on my back, that’s who I am,” proclaims Keryn. “While growing up my dad would tell me, ‘Don’t drag our name through the mud, Keryn.’ Now that I’m older I understand what he was getting at. Holding myself accountable, being successful, and focusing on what’s best for me is totally within my control. When people see me doing well and achieving, I want them to think of my parents and grandparents because they are the support system that makes me who I am.”

Lastly, to her peers and fellow Tulalip community members Keryn has this advice, “Know your worth. Know how much your success helps everyone around you. If you’re bettering yourself, then you’re bettering your siblings and little cousins. In this community, you are always going to be a role model know matter what. There are people looking up to you and you don’t even know it. So try to set the best example you can and be that positive role model for the younger ones because it matters to them. It matters to us all.”

Football University: technique by position

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

During the hottest weekend of the year, the mid-80 degree days of May 27 and 28, six inspiring athletes from Tulalip were having their athletic prowess put to the test at Football University’s two-day camp. Hosted at Eastside Catholic School, located in Sammamish, the intense football skills camp delivered by the heralded Football University provided an intense, no-nonsense offseason training experience for 200+ student-athletes.

Among that pack of talented athletes were Tulalip’s own Shoshone Hollen, Noah Fryberg, Arnold Reeves, Quinton Yon-Wagner, and brothers Jeremiah and Jacob Diaz. All eager and ready to become better players, Football University was their primary destination for the best coaching from a staff of NFL-experienced coaches.

Since 2007, Football University has seen 40,000 student-athletes improve on the field and in the film room, learning position-specific techniques and fundamentals from the best and brightest. Promising prospects from grades 6-12 learn how to be better football players at a FBU camp, unlocking their potentials and eventually playing at the highest levels in high school, college, and the NFL.

“We believe every football player, at least once in their football lifetimes, should be coached by someone with NFL-level experience,” says Eric Medeiros, Pacific Northwest Scout for FBU. “Every single one of our FBU coaches possess a true passion for teaching elite technique to the younger generation. The fundamentals all FBU athletes learn are the same being practiced at all 32 NFL minicamps and in the film rooms of all 32 NFL teams, the same techniques on display every Sunday in the fall.”

Football University is built on the truth that technique plus talent beats talent alone. A truth the Tulalip youth learned by experience, as they were led by coaches and scouts in a variety of drills and trainings on the scorching hot gridiron. The camp tested their mental and physical football ability on the field and in the film room with an intense curriculum of technique training and film study.

It is a proven belief that the competitive difference-maker at high levels of football is technique. Every weekend in the fall, positional battles are won on the field with superior technique.

For their impressive showing at the camp, Noah, Shoshone, Quinton, and one of the Diaz brothers were recipients of a very exclusive FBU Top Gun Showcase invite.

“It was a privilege being by their side at this FBU Combine Camp. I see these young men every day here at the Teen Center working hard in the weight room, practicing drills outside on the field, and just pushing themselves every day to improve themselves,” says Lonnie Enick, Youth Services Activities Specialist. “I’m glad they got this one-of-a-kind experience because they benefited big time. I’m so proud of them all!”

Celebrating athletic accomplishment

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos courtesy Heritage H.S.

Tulalip Heritage High School faculty and coaches honored their Fall and Winter sports participants with a joint celebration and banquet-style potluck on Wednesday, March 29 in the Heritage Commons.

With friends and family in attendance, the players took center stage and received recognition for their dedication to practice, constant improvement and teamwork during the sports season.

Bringing cheer and halftime entertainment to every home and playoff game were the Heritage cheerleaders. They always kept a positive attitude, smiles on their faces, and were determined to keep the home crowds upbeat.

 

The Hawks football team was short on eligible players this past season, but that didn’t stop them from showing up come game day and leaving their all on the field. After a narrow 2-point loss in their opening game, the football program showed out the very next game for a 51-26 victory in front of the home crowd.

 

Lady Hawks volleyball had another productive season under coach Tina Brown. The girls opened the season with five straight victories on their way to a 9-6 regular season record and a trip to the postseason. At the 1B District playoffs, they dropped their first match before bouncing back with back-to-back Ws and earning a trip to Tri-Districts.

 


Coaches Marlin and Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg made the best of a rebuilding year for their boys basketball program. With so many new faces on the team there was a steep learning curve. The Hawks opened the season 1-6, but soon after found their identity and went 7-5 down the stretch to clinch a playoff spot. In the postseason, the boys played their best basketball and defeated two teams with better records to earn a Tri-District berth.

 

The Lady Hawks basketball program achieved the most this year. The girls carried a stellar record all season long on their way to battling for the NW1B regular season crown. Led by their Big 3 (Aliya Jones, Keryn Parks, and Deandra Grant), they finished the regular season 16-3. With two decisive victories to open the playoffs, the Lady Hawks matched up with inner-league foe Cedar Park Christian for the third time in the NW1B championship game. Back and forth for nearly the whole game, Cedar Park pulled away in the final minutes. It was a heartbreaking game for the Lady Hawks, but they bounced back admirably to win two more games at Tri-Districts and clinched consecutive trips to Regionals.

Coach Bubba Fryberg was recognized as Coach of the Year in the Northwest 1B League, while three of his players (Aliya, Keryn, and Deandra) were named to the All-League 1st Team. Additionally, Aliya earned All-State recognition with an honorable mention by the Associated Press.

Lady Hawks fall to Neah Bay rally, 38-42

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

After taking 2nd at the District 1B Tournament, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (19-4) won their opening game in the Tri-District Tournament with a 40-27 win over Mt. Rainier Lutheran. In the 2nd round they journeyed to Port Angeles High School to take on the Neah Bay Red Devils (18-3). Tulalip and Neah Bay were evenly matched on paper. The Lady Hawks came into the game ranked No. 13 in the WIAA’s RPI, while Neah Bay was ranked No. 10.

They were pretty evenly matched on the court, too. In the 1st quarter, both teams were slow to get their offenses going and were notched up at 7-7 after eight minutes of play.

In the 2nd quarter, guards Myrna Redleaf and Keryn Parks got going and put their team ahead. Myrna connected on two 3-pointers and Keyrn hit two jumpers. Thanks to forwards Deandra Grant and Cyena Fryberg the Lady Hawks were winning the rebound battle and not allowing second chance opportunities for the Red Devils. Entering halftime Tulalip led 20-14.

Starting the 2nd half, Keryn found Deandra in the post for an easy bucket that gave them a 22-14 lead. From that point the Red Devils adjusted their game plan and started crashing the boards with extra effort. The Lady Hawks rebounding edge slipped away, and they got outscored 6-11 the rest of the quarter.

Leading 28-25 with only the 4th quarter to play, the Lady Hawks went to their main stays for offense. Keryn hit a base line floater and Deandra powered her way for back-to-back buckets in the post. With 4:43 remaining, leading 34-31, Deandra picked up her 5th foul on a very questionable blocking call. She led the team with 13 points when she fouled out.

Tulalip would struggle to find offense down the stretch without Deandra, while the Red Devils rallied with an 11-4 run of their own. In the super close game free-throws were a determining factor. On the game, Tulalip shot 7-22 from the charity stripe (and 0-5 in the 4th quarter), while the Red Devils shot 13-24 on free-throws (10-17 in the 4th quarter). The Lady Hawks battled valiantly, but just weren’t able to score in the clutch. They lost 38-42.

Keryn wound up leading the team in scoring with 14 points, Deandra had 13 points, and Myrna scored 7 points.

 

Tulalip bounces back with dominant 62-22 W

The Lady Hawks (19-5) once again traveled to Mt. Vernon Christian, this time to take on the Northwest Yeshiva 613s (15-10) out of Mercer Island. It was a loser-out game in the 3rd round of the Tri-District Tournament.

Tulalip’s offense once again started out slow, but the defense was very active limiting the 613s to only contested jumpers. Forward Deandra Grant anchored the offense in the 1st quarter with 6 of the team’s 8 points.

The same trend continued in the 2nd quarter, with the Lady Hawks leading 8-3, they continued to feed Deandra in the post and she continued to feast. With 3:02 remaining in the 1st half, Tulalip lead extended to 16-6 while Deandra had 12 of those 16 points.

At halftime the girls led 21-11 and had the dictated the game on the both ends thus far.

In the 2nd half, guard Aliya Jones got hot and helped turn the game into a total blowout. Aliya scored 14 points down the stretch, while her team outscored the 613s 41-11 over the 3rd and 4th quarters. Deandra’s 21 points and Aliya’s 20 points led all scorers and were big factors in their team earning a 40 point victory, 62-22.

The win gave the Lady Hawks back-to-back 20 win season, secured them a spot to Regionals and meant they were only one win shy of consecutive trips to State.

 

Successful season comes to an end for the Lady Hawks

On Saturday, February 25, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (20-5) played a Regional non-conference playoff game versus the Clallam Bay Bruins (15-5) at Jackson High School in Mill Creek. The terms were simple: win and earn your spot in State, or lose and go home.

During practice earlier in the week, center Cyena Fryberg fractured her foot and was relegated to a walking boot, leaving the Lady Hawks shorthanded on bigs.

In the 1st quarter, Tulalip got lots of point blank shot attempts. However, they weren’t converting. They only scored 3 points five minutes into the game, but luckily the Bruins were having their own difficulties scoring as well. The game was tied 3-3 with a little over two minutes to go in the opening quarter. The Lady Hawks failed to rotate on defense to defend the slashing Bruins players and gave up 8 quick points. Two Aliya Jones free-throws and a bucket from Deandra made the game 7-11.

Guard Keryn Parks hit a 3-pointer to open the 2nd quarter and get her team with 1 point, 10-11. Trading baskets the Lady Hawks took their only lead of the game 14-13 midway through the quarter. Unfortunately, turnovers became costly for the Tulalip girls as several bad passes led to easy transition points for the Bruins. The Bruins went on a 16-4 run to close the half, leaving the Lady Hawks trailing 18-29.

In the 2nd half, the Lady Hawks continued to turn the ball over, which ultimately spelled their doom. It’s incredibly difficult to win a game when you have nearly as many turnovers as shot attempts. To their credit, the Lady Hawks did a nice job of forcing a good amount of turnovers, too, except they weren’t turning those turnovers into points like the Bruins were.

Down 28-42 to start the 4th quarter, the Lady Hawks did their best to keep attacking and got the opportunity to shoot lots of free-throws down the stretch. In fact, Tulalip shot 18 free-throws in the game’s final minutes, but only converted 6 of them.

The girls managed to outscore the Bruins 13-10 in the 4th quarter, but it wasn’t enough as they would fall 40-52. The L marked the end of the season for the Lady Hawks. Keryn led all scorers with 15 points, Aliya scored 9 points, and Deandra added 8 points.

All in all, it was a very successful and entertaining season for the Lady Hawks and their fans. There were several riveting games that game down to the final few possessions, key players developed before our eyes, and a lengthy postseason run provided many memories for seniors Aliya, Myrna, and Cyena who are set to graduate this June.

Lady Hawks Take 2nd at Districts, Move on to Tri-Districts

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

 

After winning their first two games of the District 1B Basketball Tournament, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (18-3) earned the right to play in the District 1B championship game, held at Mt. Vernon Christian High School. Their opponents were the Lions of Cedar Park Christian (19-1).

These teams played twice during the regular season with the Lady Hawks giving Cedar Park their only L on the season with a 41-23 victory at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium back on January 6. Then they played three weeks later, this time at Cedar Park’s home court, and the Lady Hawks succumbed to a 15-31 defeat.

The third matchup of these two teams was as intense as can be expected from a pair of league rivals playing with the District 1B championship on the line. In the 1st half, Tulalip opened the game executing their offense and jumped out to a 10-4 lead. Back-to-back stolen passes led to two easy buckets for the Lions that shrunk the Lady Hawk lead to 10-8 to start the 2nd quarter. Tulalip’s defense was making it very tough to score in the half court, while forward Deandra Grant was getting her looks from the post. At halftime, Tulalip led 18-13.

In the 2nd half, the Lady Hawks turnovers changed the pace of the game. The Lions adjusted their own defense to press the Tulalip guards and not allow them to shoot from the perimeter. That adjustment led to the Lady Hawks forcing and sometimes telegraphing passes that were picked off by the Lions players and resulted in transition buckets off the turnovers. Having scored only 13 points in the entire 1st half, the Lions scored 18 points in the 3rd quarter and 13 points in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile the Lady Hawks offense just wasn’t able to pick up the pace. Guard Aliya Jones got aggressive and scored six straight points, but quickly fouled out to start the 4th quarter. Tulalip fell to Cedar Park by the score of 36-44, resulting in a 2nd place finish to the tournament and a spot in Tri-Districts.

 

 

The Lady Hawks (18-4) had three days to practice and prepare before hosting a Tri-District Tournament game versus Mt. Rainier Lutheran (13-10). Coming off the loss to Cedar Park Christian, the girls were eager to move forward and put that game behind them.

In front of a jam packed home crowd cheering them on the girls responded with a quality bounce back game. In a back and forth battle through the first two quarters, the Lady Hawks held a slim four point lead at halftime, 23-19.

Coming out of halftime, Tulalip’s defense clamped down and made nothing easy for Mt. Rainier Lutheran. In fact, the Lady Hawks held their opponent to just eight total 2nd half points. Offensively, forward Deandra Grant was at it again bullying the smaller defenders in the post and commanding a double team. Led by Deandra’s game high 18 points and Myrna Redleaf’s 10 points, the Lady Hawks secured a 40-27 win and moved on to the 2nd round of the Tri-District Tournament.

Hawks Take 5th at Districts, Play One at Tri-Districts

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

After an impressive second round 20 point win, 59-39, over rival Grace Academy, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (9-12) faced off against the Orcas Christian Saints (10-7) in the 5th place game at the District 1B Tournament.

The Hawks lost both previous matchups, 39-50 and 51-53, to the Saints during the regular season. However, with the boys’ recent offensive surge they were optimistic they could take down the interleague foe.

In the 1st quarter, Tulalip jumped out to an 8-2 lead that was extended to 13-4 thanks to well executed offense and guard Josh Iukes setting up his teammates. The Saints responded with a 11-4 run, capitalizing off of Hawk turnovers, that saw Tulalip’s lead shrink to 2 points, 17-15. After a Hawk bucket to go up 19-15, the Saints again went on a run, this time 8-2, to take a 23-21 lead going into halftime.

During the halftime intermission, the team talked over some 2nd half adjustments and were determined to not let this game slip away. There was an added emphasis on pushing the ball offensively and taking advantage of the Hawks’ superior quickness.

In the 2nd half, Tulalip responded to the in-game adjustments and took complete control of the game. After being down 21-23 to start the half, the Hawks outscored the Saints 36-12 down the stretch. The offense was clicking on all cylinders and the defense did its job. When the final buzzer sounded, the boys had come away with a decisive 57-35 win to claim a 5th place finish in the tournament and secured a berth to Tri-Districts.

The Heritage Hawks (10-12) entered the 1B Tri-District Tournament as the #12 and final seed, as such they traveled to Tacoma Baptist to play the #6 seed Crusaders (15-8).

Tulalip found themselves trailing 0-9 early and then 7-21 at the end of the 1st quarter. The offense got going in the 2nd quarter, but there were no answers on defense to slow the Crusader attack. At halftime the boys trailed 23-45 and went on to lose the game 56-83.

With the loss, the season came to an abrupt end for the younger Hawk squad who managed a very respectable four-game postseason. After turning their play around mid-season for the better, the Hawks found an identity and got very valuable experience for the younger players. If everyone returns to play next year, then expectation has them poised to contend for the league title.

Lady Hawks soar with 66-35 playoff win

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The (16-3) Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks entered the District 1B Tournament as the #3 overall seed, and as such earned the right to host a first round home game. They hosted the Grace Academy Eagles on Tuesday, February 7, at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium.

The Lady Hawks had beaten the Eagles twice during the regular season, both games were 21-point victories. However, the postseason always brings a new level of competitive play in a pressure filled environment. It’s what the Lady Hawks have been waiting for all season.

After coming out of halftime with a 27-18 lead, Tulalip caught fire from 3-point territory and whenever the long ball wasn’t there, a simple post pass to Deandra Grant got her in position to score down low. Led by their own version of a “Big 3”, guard Keryn Parks (22 points), guard Aliya Jones (16 points), and forward Deandra (18 points) combined to score 56 points on route to a 66-35 victory over Grace Academy.

Hawks fall to Mt. Vernon Christian, 30-66

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The (8-11) Tulalip Heritage Hawks entered the District 1B Tournament as the #7 seed, and as such traveled to Mt. Vernon to take on the local Hurricanes of Mt. Vernon Christian on Tuesday, February 7.

The Hawks were never able to get their offense going in this one. In fact, the 30 points scored was the second lowest scoring output on the season. On the defensive side, they had no answer for the Hurricanes best player, #15 Bryson Smith, who was able to get to the rim whenever he wanted. When the Hawks adjusted their defense to pack the paint, the Hurricanes responded in kind by making 3-point shots. It was just one of those games for the Hawks where the matchups weren’t in their favor.

Guard Paul Shay, Jr. led the Hawks with 10 points, while Nashone Whitebear and Josh Iukes both added 6 points.

Following the loss, Tulalip will now play in a loser-out game with their opponent to be determined.

Lady Hawks finish regular season 16-3, will host playoff game

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

The (14-2) Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks basketball team were riding a 10-game win streak when they played at Grace Academy to face the (5-8) Eagles on Tuesday, January 24.

In the 1st quarter, the Lady Hawks offense was slow to get going before senior center Cyena Fryberg scored back-to-back baskets. A basket by Georgie Randall and free throws by Aliya Jones put the Lady Hawks ahead 11-5.

The 2nd quarter was back and forth with the two teams trading baskets. At halftime, Tulalip was ahead 21-17 in a game they had yet to break loose in. That all changed when the Lady Hawks came out of halftime with their foot on the gas pedal.

Junior guard Keryn Parks led the offensive onslaught with 9 points in the quarter, while each other starter got in on the action. Not only did the girls score a game-high 17 points in the 3rd quarter, but their defense couldn’t have been better. They held the Eagles scoreless in the 3rd and took a commanding 21-point lead, 38-17, into the final quarter of play.

Deandra Grant scored four field goals for 8 points in the game’s final minutes to secure a 52-31 victory. Keryn led all scorers with 17 points, Deandra had 12 points, and Aliya added 11 points. The win made it eleven Ws in a row for the now (15-2) Lady Hawks.

A few days later, the Lady Hawks traveled to Mountlake Terrace to take on their biggest competition in the Northwest 1B League, the Cedar Park Christian Lions. These two teams previously met on January 6 at Tulalip, where the Lady Hawks won 41-23 and gave the Lions their only L on the season.

In the 1st quarter, Tulalip trailed 0-7 before Deandra got her team on the board with a bucket. That would be the team’s only points in the quarter as the guards weren’t able to knock down any of their 3-point attempts. As a team, the girls shot 0-8 from 3-pt territory and 0-2 from the charity stripe in the opening quarter.

In the 2nd quarter, trailing 2-12, Myna and Aliya both hit a 3-pointer and Deandra added two more buckets from the painted area. The defense did its job and held Cedar Park to only four points in the quarter, putting the Lady Hawks right back in the game and trailing by only four points, 12-16 at halftime. It was the lowest score half for both teams on the season with defense being played at a high level and no offense coming easy.

The 3rd quarter was much more defense and very little offense. In fact, the Lady Hawks were held scoreless and Cedar Park only scored three points. With the game still very much in reach, trailing 12-19, the Lady Hawks weren’t able to respond and go on that scoring run we’re used to seeing. The girls were content to pass the ball around the perimeter because no one was eager to put a shot up.

Over the game’s final few minutes, Cedar Park knocked down a few more jumpers while Tulalip struggled to execute. On this day, Cedar Park was just plainly the better team by being able to out execute the Lady Hawks on both ends of the floor. When the game ended, the Lady Hawks had been held to their lowest offensive output of the season in a 15-32 loss.

Deandra led her team with 7 points, while Alyia and Myrna both had 3 points, and Keryn Parks added 2 points.

The loss cost the Lady Hawks the #1 seed in the upcoming District 1B playoffs, but they will still host a home game as the #3 seed. They host the Grace Academy Eagles on Tuesday, February 5 at 5:45 p.m. at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium.