Hawks start season with perfect 3-0 record

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

This time last year, the Tulalip Heritage boys basketball team was (0-4) and in desperate search of a W. What a difference a year makes. Coach Bubba Fryberg has taken over head coaching duties for the boys team, assisted by Jared Parks and Marc Robinson, and together they’ve coached their team to a (3-0) start to the new season. Most impressive, all three Ws have come against 2B schools, a division higher than Heritage’s 1B classification.

In their home opener, the Hawks hosted the Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes on November 29th. Family and friends filled the bleachers to watch a very entertaining game. It couldn’t have started any better for the Hawks; they jumped out to an 11-0 lead and pushed that to 17-4 at the end of the 1st quarter. The ball was moving and every starter had scored points.

Defensively, the Hawks weren’t allowing anything at the rim or in the paint. The Hurricanes were forced to settle with contested jumper after contested jumper.

Over the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the ball continued to move well for the Hawks and the point distribution continued. Going into the final quarter the Hawks led 38-24.

The 4th quarter saw a blowout turn into a grit and grind game. Suddenly, the Hurricanes couldn’t miss and the Hawks couldn’t buy a bucket. The lead dwindled by the minute and with only 21 seconds remaining the Hawks led 41-40 with Mt. Vernon Christian inbounding the ball. Tulalip played solid defense that resulted in a contested 3-pointer that missed, giving the Hawks the W in a front of a frenzied home crowd.

Freshman Alonzo Jones-Smith led all Hawks with 12 points, Rodney Barber scored 10 points, and Paul Shay Jr. chipped in 7 points.

Two days later, on December 1, Tulalip traveled to Darrington High School and won 45-37. The very next day they played again. This time taking on the La Conner Braves. In a heated game that saw multiple runs by both teams, the Hawks pulled out an impressive 49-45 victory. The (3-0) start is the first such undefeated start since the 2013-2014 team that made it all the way to State.

Coach Bubba attributes the team’s early season success to “defensive hustle, more emphasis on man-to-man defense rather than running zone, and all around team effort on offensive.”

Lady Hawks basketball makes season debut

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Last season, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks basketball team went (18-3) in the regular season, won two playoff games, and made a Tri-District tournament appearance for the second consecutive year. Expectations for this season would have to be more managed however, with only four players returning from last year’s squad. Seniors Keryn Parks, Deandra Grant, Georgie Randall, and sophomore Deachae Jones are joined by a group of fresh faces and a new head coach in Tina Brown.

The new-look Lady Hawks made their season debut on November 29th in front of their home fans when they hosted the Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes. These two teams faced off last year in the playoffs, with Heritage edging out a 48-40 victory.

Having to carry more of the offensive production on her shoulders this season, guard Keryn Parks started the new season hitting her first two-shots of the game and later assisted on a bucket by center Deandra Grant. At the end of the 1st quarter the score was 6-15, Hurricanes.

In the 2nd quarter, the Lady Hawks got hot from downtown as 3-point shots swished in by Keryn and guard Loralei Eli. But it seemed the Hurricanes were quick to answer with buckets of their own anytime the home team scored. At halftime Heritage trailed 15-32.

The Hurricanes adjusted their team defense in the 2nd half by double-teaming Keryn and constantly pressuring her in the backcourt. Her younger sister, freshman Krislyn Parks, and Deandra stepped up their offensive games, taking advantage of the smaller Hurricane players in the post. However, the Hurricanes continued having little difficulty scoring point of their own.

Heritage dropped their season opener 39-53. They were led in scoring by Keryn with 14 points, while Deandra and Krislyn both scored 10 points.

Following the game spirits were high for sisters Keryn and Krislyn who were able to play their first-ever high school game together.

“It felt really good to play with my little sister,” said Keryn. “She transitioned from MP to play here. She’s a really hard worker and I’m looking forward to seeing her grow as a player.”

Krislyn added, “Playing on this team means playing with family and that’s a cool feeling. It’s been an exciting process getting to learn from Keryn and it brings us closer as sisters.”

Tulalip has an upcoming two-game home stand when they host Orcas Christian on Thursday, December 7, and the Marysville-Getchell JV team on Saturday, December 9.

Ball is Life for RaeQuan Battle

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

When RaeQuan Battle was in the third grade he was recruited by Cyrus “Bubba” Hatch to play in a basketball tournament at Lummi. At the time, young RaeQuan hadn’t really given basketball much thought, because his favorite sport was football. RaeQuan accepted the invitation and not only did his team win the championship, but he was presented with the Most Valuable Player award, resulting in a new love for the game.

Now a sophomore at Marysville Pilchuck High School (MP), Battle devotes the majority of his time to perfecting his basketball skills and focusing on his grades. He advises young hoopers to put down their smart phones and pay attention during class because at the young age of fifteen, he is aware of the opportunities a good education can offer.

College will begin in a short couple of years for RaeQuan. This is something he is well-aware of and has already started thinking of where he would like to attend. He states, “I would want to play [college basketball] for Kentucky, but I’m looking [into] the University of Washington. A lot of my family members love UW, so that’s a school I would have to consider.”

 

Family is indeed of great importance to him, citing his grandfather, Hank Williams, as his biggest inspiration. Every time Battle suits up for a game, he puts on a jersey with the number twenty-one on display. He chose twenty-one because it is his mother’s favorite number. A few of his relatives also wore that number when playing for MP.

The basketball season for MP recently concluded with an appearance in the playoffs as RaeQuan’s squad battled for a shot at State. Standing at six-foot, four-inches Battle towers over most of his teammates as well as the competition. He is effective on both ends of the floor often getting buckets and grabbing boards. His favorite position to play is small forward, a position that is played by NBA stars such as Kevin Durant and Lebron James. His height advantage, paired with his skill, gives him the versatility to play any spot on the floor, and MP utilized him in every position throughout their season.

Battle states that basketball has given him a strong work ethic and has taught him many valuable lessons that he can apply on and off the court. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to stay humble. When I first started playing I used to get benched because I didn’t have the right attitude. If you want to improve your game or get anything productive accomplished, you have to remain humble and focused,” he states.

Now that the basketball season is over RaeQuan will participate in some extra-curricular activities including driver’s education and track, but the majority of his time will be spent studying. However, he vows to continue to get in the gym and work on his game during the off-season as he continues to follow his dream of playing in the NBA.

 

Start small, aim high: Biddy Ball

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Youth Services mission is to serve all youth by utilizing recreational and educational programs. That mission was put to service on Saturday, February 11, in the form of a Biddy Ball tournament.

“2017 Biddy Ball was family fun for everyone, and Tulalip Youth Services wants to thank all of the families, participants and volunteers for helping make this a day to remember for all of the youth that participated,” stated Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Coordinator. “Youth Services is looking forward to many more great programs for 2017.”

Biddy Ball provides a great tool for developing our youth in the sport of basketball while helping children to gain knowledge, skills and competencies that are an important part of a global, multicultural society.

To assist in its mission, Youth Services provided the venue, healthy snacks/drinks and all the modified equipment necessary to fit the young athletes. From the size of the balls, the height of the rims, to the size of the courts, everything about Biddy Ball is slightly modified to permit the young and highly spirited players to learn the fundamentals of the game while indirectly improving a wide range of cognitive and social skills.

Approximately forty mini-hoopers attended, falling under one of three age groups: 3-4 years old, 5-6 years old, and 7-10 years old. Concluding the 1:00pm – 5:00pm event, was an awards ceremony in which each and every participant received a commemorative t-shirt, medallion and trophy for all their hard work.

“Thanks everyone for coming out and bringing your little ballers!,” said Sheena Robinson, Youth Services Activities Specialist. “I enjoyed every little bit of it. The faces when they got their prizes was priceless.”

 

 

Lady Hawks rise to #2 in standings

Lady Hawks host the (2-4) Eagles from Grace Academy on Tuesday, January 3.

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Last we checked in the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks had just dismantled Summit Sierra, 71-0, in front of their home crowd. The win gave them their third 50+ point blowout victory on the young season. Yet, the question still remains: How good are the Tulalip girls really? Yes, they had those three dominant wins, but each came against out of league opponents made up of freshman and sophomores. They had a 36 point win over inner league Orcas Christian, but Orcas has lost big in every game. Only once this season have the Lady Hawks played a quality opponent, in Tacoma Baptist, and in that game it was the Lady Hawks getting blown out, 23-63. So the question remains.

On Tuesday, December 27, the (4-1) Lady Hawks traveled to the Puyallup Reservation to take on the (1-4) Warriors of Chief Leschi. The game started off with both teams trading baskets to the tune of an 8-8 tie midway thru the opening quarter. Aliya accounted for all 8 points, scoring six and having an assist to Myrna. Things quickly went south from there. Tulalip couldn’t buy a bucket against the full-court press and Chief Leschi was running their offense to perfection. Leschi finished the quarter on a 15-0 run, leaving Tulalip trailing 8-21.

 

 

In the 2nd quarter, Aliya tried to rally her team by making back-to-back 3-pointers. Claudia Parker also scored a 3-pointer and Myrna added a 2-point basket of her own. That was the only offense the Lady Hawks could muster, long jumpers, because the Chief Leschi defense prevented the girls from getting to the rim, while forcing many turnovers that they turned into lay-ups on the other side. Going into halftime Tulalip trailed 21-39.

The 2nd was much more of the same. Chief Leschi’s defense was just too good and kept the Lady Hawks from finding any offensive rhythm. Even worse, it’s safe to say the Lady Hawks committed twice as many turnovers as they had field goal attempts. With so many turnovers it would be improbable to make a comeback.  Led by Aliya’s 17 points, Tulalip lost the game 44-66.

The Lady Hawks had no other choice but to shake off the loss and get focused on their next opponent as they played the very next day. On Wednesday, December 18, they traveled to Lummi Nation to play the (2-0) Blackhawks. It was the perfect remedy to get over their loss the previous day. Tulalip made quick work of Lummi, winning the game 51-28. They were led by a huge game from Deandra Grant who had 20 points.

After back-to-back road games, the (5-2) Lady Hawks returned home to host the (2-4) Eagles from Grace Academy on Tuesday, January 3. The game couldn’t have started off better for the home team. Tulalip was very active on the defensive end, crashing for rebounds and contesting nearly every shot. Then on the offensive side, the girls were running their offensive sets and getting the looks they wanted. All of this led to the Lady Hawks dominating the 1st half and having a 28-8 lead at halftime.

In the 2nd half, the offense sputtered by shooting a few air-balls and not making the same crisp passes like they did in the previous quarters. The errant passes led to Grace getting multiple transition lay-ups, but it wasn’t enough to cut into their 20-point deficit. Tulalip led 38-17 going into the final quarter.

 

 

Deandra Grant got rolling in the 4th quarter, having her way in the post and leaving Grace players with no other option but to foul her. Tulalip guards looked for Deandra to get into good post position before feeding her the ball. She scored three buckets and got lots of free-throw attempts in the final eight minutes. That was more than enough, as the Lady Hawks won 46-25. Aliya led all scorers with 14 points, Deandra finished with 12 points, and Keryn added 8 points.

The win puts the Lady Hawks at (6-2) on the season and in firm possession of the 2nd seed in league standings. The question of just how good are these Lady Hawks will be better answered on Friday when they host undefeated Cedar Park Christian. At (10-0), Cedar Park looks to be the Lady Hawks only competition for capturing the league title.  They play at 5:00 p.m. this Friday, the 6th, at Heritage High School.

 

 

Hawks finding their identity, get 2nd W 

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The (1-4) Tulalip Heritage Hawks were coming off their first W of the season when they defeated Summit Sierra, 51-46, back on December 20. They traveled to Puyallup on Tuesday, December 27, to play the (4-2) Chief Leschi Warriors. Tulalip only had 5 players for this one.

The Warriors were just the better team, especially with the Hawks missing guys, and had their way on both ends against Tulalip. The Hawks hadn’t played an opponent like Chief Leschi and struggled to matchup with their athleticism. With only five guys the burden would fall on guard Josh Iukes to carry the team, but the Warriors knew this as well and constantly threw a double-team at him, forcing Josh to give up the ball.

Tulalip trailed 8-21 after the 1st quarter and the deficit only increased at halftime when they trailed 16-48. When the game was over Tulalip lost 28-75. The only bright spot for the Hawks was forward Samuel Fryberg finding a rhythm and getting buckets in front of his cheering family. Sam knocked down three 3-pointers and led his team with 13 points.

 

 

Lummi Nation hosted the Tulalip Hawks the very next day. The game played out very similar to the Leschi game, with Lummi opting to press and double Tulalip’s key ball handler. The strategy worked again as Tulalip committed many turnovers on errant passes that led to easy transition buckets for the Blackhawks. Tulalip would lose the game 31-65.

After losing back-to-back games to fellow tribal schools, the Hawks returned home to host (2-5) Grace Academy on Tuesday, January 3. These two teams matched up very well on paper and with a large crowd turn-out, the people were expecting a highly competitive game. Got to give the people what they want.

 

 

In the 1st quarter, Nashone Whitebear caught fire by making three straight baskets. Trailing 6-9, freshman Josh Miranda found his spots in the offensive sets and made Grace pay for leaving him open. Josh splashed in consecutive 3-pointers to keep his team close. At the end of the opening quarter, Tulalip trailed 14-18.

After some quick buckets by the home team, it was a 19-20 game before Grace went on a 12-2 run. Trailing 21-31, Tulalip called a timeout. The Hawks players were strongly urged to turn up their defensive intensity and stop giving up uncontested buckets if they were going to get back in the game. Paul Shay responded, coming up with two timely steals and going on a 6-0 run of his own. Tulalip finished the quarter strong and cut their deficit to only 4 points, 31-35 at halftime.

Starting the 2nd half, Miranda hit another 3-pointer to bring his team within one point, 34-35. However, this time it was Grace finishing the quarter strong, leaving Tulalip to trail 41-48 with one quarter to play.

In the 4th quarter, the Hawks as a team collectively willed their team to victory. Everyone was scrambling on defense to not give up any easy buckets, they were crashing the boards, and hitting the deck diving for loose balls. Nashone once again got the hot hand and scored three straight baskets. With just over five minutes to go, the Hawks took their first lead of the game 49-48. With the defense still turned on full throttle, Grace Academy was at a loss on the offensive end. They were held to only 5 points in the quarter.

In the game’s biggest moments down the stretch, guard Josh Iukes was clutch. Josh hit a corner 3-pointer to give his team a 52-49 lead and then he sealed the deal draining another 3-pointer with only seconds remaining. Tulalip played their best team game of the season and earned their second victory, 55-53.

Nashone and Josh both led all scorers with 16 points each, Miranda with his three 3-pointers scored 9 points, while Paul and Rodney both added 8 points.

Lady Hawks set school records in 74-6 rout of Chargers

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Led by All-State talent Adiya Jones, last season’s Lady Hawks team went a perfect (19-0) in the regular season, winning those games with an astoundingly high 30-point average margin of victory, and made it all the way to the State tournament. That team finished with a (23-3) overall record as they rewrote the Heritage history books.

Fast forward nine months and the Lady Hawks are looking to replicate that same level of success in the upcoming season. Gone now are Adiya, Michelle Iukes, Desirae Williams, and Kaenishia Herrera who all graduated, but remaining are talented seniors Aliya Jones, Myrna Redleaf, and Cyena Fryberg. Along with stand-out junior Keryn Parks and a bunch of new faces who intend on being key contributors, the expectations remain high for the Lady Hawks basketball program.

On Monday, November 28, the Lady Hawks returned to action as they hosted the Marysville Getchell Chargers c-team in the 2016-2017 season opener. It’s worth noting two Tulalip tribal members play on the Chargers c-team, freshman Jasmin McLean and sophomore Kecia Zackuse.

From the opening tip it was obvious that it wasn’t a question of if the Lady Hawks would win, it was only a question of by how much. The Chargers c-team is comprised of all freshman and sophomore players who are still learning to play the game, while the Lady Hawks have players with years of experience and are coming off a State run.

It couldn’t have been gone any better as the Lady Hawks opened up the game hitting their first six shots and taking a 12-0 lead before the Chargers called a timeout. Following the timeout, the home team continued to hit shots and execute their offense, while playing stifling defense. At the end of the 1st quarter Tulalip led 24-0.

In the 2nd quarter, the game continued to be all Lady Hawks. In fact, Tulalip led 48-0 at one point before the Chargers made their first basket of the game with only nine seconds to go in the half. At halftime the Lady Hawks were up 48-2.

 

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With the victory already well secured, Keryn got the home crowd going with a one-woman scoring demonstration to open the 3rd quarter. In what seemed like only a matter of seconds, she scored back-to-back-to-back-to-back buckets giving her team a 57-2 lead. After hitting the bench for a quick breather, the hot-handed Keryn returned to score two more buckets, making it six straight shots without a miss for her.

Going into the 4th quarter, Tulalip led 61-2. Even in a blowout of this nature there is valuable experience to be had. All the new faces on the Lady Hawks were able to get a lot of run and get familiar with running the team sets in real game action.

When the final game buzzer sounded, Tulalip had won their season opener 74-6. In the process they set team records with the 68-point margin of victory and a team total 34 turnovers forced, including a record breaking 31 steals.

Keryn led all players with 19-points and 7-assists. Adding to the awesome game notes was every Lady Hawk player scoring at least 4-points. Not a bad way to start the season.

The Lady Hawks next home game is Wednesday, December 7, when they host Chief Kitsap Academy. Tipoff at 5:00 p.m.

 

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Tulalip hosts unprecedented Jr. NBA camp

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

History was made at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club over the weekend of July 8, as the National Basketball Association (NBA) selected the Tulalip Tribes to host a first of its kind summer basketball camp focused on engaging Native American youth. The three-day Jr. NBA camp was developed to be a youth basketball participation program for boys and girls ages 10-14. With the NBA holding this event on Tulalip Tribes’ land, it marked the first time ever a Jr. NBA camp took place in Indian Country.

“The Jr. NBA is always looking to engage different communities that love basketball,” said David Krichavsky, the NBA’s vice-president of youth basketball development. “Working with Tulalip provides us a unique opportunity to connect with our young fans and their coaches alongside some of the NBA’s best ambassadors.”

Jr. NBA camps are designed to teach the game’s fundamental skills and core values at a grassroots level to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches, and parents. Within the Tulalip community, we know how much our people, especially our youth, love the game of basketball. To have NBA players involved, such as SuperSonics legend Detlef Schrmpf and former University of Washington stand-out Spencer Hawes, the opportunity for camp participants to make life long memories and have memorabilia signed added even more benefits.

 

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“Our Native community loves basketball and the NBA,” stated Marlin Fryberg Jr., executive director for the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. “The Jr. NBA camp acknowledges our Native American passion for the game and will help make NBA fans for life while teaching basketball’s important values.”

With the assistance of NBA and Boys & Girls Club staff, the Jr. NBA camp taught our youth the importance of hard work, teamwork, discipline and self-respect. Their focus was to provide the young Tulalip athletes of all skill levels with the instructions and training that have made some of the NBA’s brightest stars elite on and off the court.

“Skills like teamwork, passion, accountability, and responsibility are at the core of these communities and the core of our game,” said Brooks Meek, NBA vice-president of International Basketball Operations and 1994 graduate of Marysville-Pilchuck High School. “I am especially excited to help bring the NBA to my home community, having grown up with so many friends from Tulalip. We are very fortunate to work with such committed partners as we bring our League to these passionate fans.”

Every camp session started with plyometric warm-ups that got the youth primed for the next series of basketball training. After several rotations through four different fundamental skill stations that emphasized proper footwork, ball handling, shooting and defense the campers would get a short water break before moving on to team competitions. Team competitions varied by day and age group. There were shooting competitions showcasing the forgotten art of the mid-range jumper, a team oriented 3-point shot contest, and even a point-blank range, lay-up style competition. But what the youth looked forward to most were the daily 5-on-5 half court and full court games that ended every session.

 

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During the spirited team competitions there were several game winning shots made. Each one was met with a booming celebration from the kids and the NBA staffers. A highlight of day 3 took place during the 5-on-5 full court championship game between the 10-12 year olds. With the score tied and only seconds remaining, 11-year-old Frank Salomon from Lummi corralled a rebound and launched and connected on a fade-away jumper as the game buzzer sounded.

“Hitting the game winning shot was amazing,” boasts Frank. “I didn’t know it would go in. I just shot the ball and can’t believe I made it before the buzzer. It was awesome!”

It was an unprecedented weekend all around. From all the youth who got up and got to the Boys & Girls club by 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday and Sunday, the dedicated parents who made it happen, the NBA and Boys & Girls Club staff and trainers who made this Jr. NBA camp special and memorable for all the youth participants, to breaking down a barrier and hopefully forming a lasting partnership between the NBA and the tribes.

 

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“The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club had a great experience working hand in hand with the Jr. NBA basketball team,” adds Marlin Fryberg Jr. “We were selected to be the first Tribe ever to host a Jr. NBA camp for kids. Talking to the kids over the weekend they really enjoyed themselves. We had approximately 140 boys and girls participate, which involved representation from other tribes including Puyallup, Nooksack, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Swinomish, Klamath, and Alaska Natives.

“We are very proud to say we are the first tribe in Indian Country to host a Jr. NBA camp. To know now that Tulalip has opened the door for the NBA to expand their basketball clinics and resources to include tribes is truly an honor.”

 

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Contact Micheal Rios at mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Memorable season comes to an end for Lady Hawks

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

On Friday, March 4, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (23-2) played a loser-out game in the State tournament held at Spokane Arena. Their opponent was the Warriors from Almira-Coulee-Hartline.

In the 1st quarter, Adiya Jones came out very aggressive and scored on three of her first four shots. Tied at 6-6, the Warriors started double teaming Adiya as much as possible, which put the clamps on the Lady Hawks offense. The Warriors finished the quarter on a 12-2 run to take an 18-8 lead over Tulalip.

In the 2nd quarter, the Lady Hawks went on a 10-4 run sparked by Aliya Jones connecting on a 3-pointer and a long two, then Adiya added a couple free-throws and a 3-pointer of her own. Trailing by only 4 points, 18-22, the Lady Hawks put enough pressure on the Warriors that they called a timeout. Following the timeout, the Warriors again adjusted their defense to pick up Aliya at half-court and pressured her to give up the ball. The Warriors adjustment worked as the Lady Hawks were unable to get their offense going to close the half and were trailing 22-30 at the intermission.

The Warriors ability to disrupt the Lady Hawks offense by forcing turnovers, corralling seemingly every rebound, and using their own size and athleticism to score on the Tulalip defense proved to be too much to overcome. The Lady Hawks lost the game 43-64, ending their season.

 

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Adiya finished her last high school game again filling the box score with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 6 blocks. Even more impressive, Adiya scored or assisted on 37 of the teams 43 points. Aliya added 9 points, Keryn 5 points, and Desirae 2 points.

This season was a tremendous success for the Lady Hawks. After a season to forget last year, in which the team went 2-18, the program added the talents of Aliya, Keryn and all-state selection Adiya. With a renewed vigor the Lady Hawks power housed through their regular season schedule going undefeated and winning by a whopping 30 points per game. They won their league, finished 2nd at Tri-Districts, and were one of only eight teams to play for the State title.

Senior players Adiya Jones, Michelle Iukes, Desirae Williams, Kaenishia Herrera, and Geri Iukes will be graduating this spring.

Shown below, Adiya Jones and Keryn Parks were recipients of the Hardwood Classic sportsmanship award for their play at State.

 

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Contact Michael Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov 

Lady Hawks stunned in State quarterfinals

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by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (23-1) were one of only eight teams in the entire state to have the opportunity to play in the 2016 WIAA 1B State Girls basketball tournament. The state tournament took place March 3 – March 5 at Spokane Arena.

After finishing their regular season undefeated and easily winning their district playoffs, the Lady Hawks saw their quality of opponent get better and better with every game. First it was in the Tri-District tournament where they played one good team after another before suffering their first loss of the season in the championship round. Then at Regionals they trailed early on before stepping up the defense and securing their bid to State with a win.

Now at State, the Lady Hawks found themselves among eight of the best teams in Washington. At this level every team had the stifling defense and explosive offense that the Lady Hawks showcased all season.

Their quarterfinal opponent was the #2 ranked Knights from Sunnyside Christian. The Knights lost in the State championship game last season and were undefeated to this point. By far this would be the highest quality opponent the Lady Hawks had faced all year.

In the 1st quarter, the Lady Hawks were slow getting their offense going and trailed 0-8 minutes in. The Knights featured three girls 5’10 or taller, so they were sure to keep two of them around Adiya at all times. Adiya struggled with her shot against the stifling defense put on by the Knights, shooting 2-8 in the opening quarter. The score was 5-16 when the Lady Hawks got some good ball movement going that resulted in consecutive 3-point buckets by Keryn, Michelle, and Keryn again. At the end of the 1st quarter they were very much in the game, trailing 14-20.

 

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Both teams struggled to score any points early in the 2nd quarter as both defenses tightened up, contesting all shots. The score was still 14-20 midway through the 2nd until Adiya sank two free-throws. Seeing the ball go in the net got Adiya going and she added five more points for her team before being called for her 3rd foul and forced to sit. With Adiya on the bench, the Lady Hawks were unable to get any more offense going and trailed 21-30 at halftime.

In the 2nd half, some quick whistles against the Lady Hawks led to many Knight free-throws, and unfortunately Adiya fouled out with 2:05 remaining in the 3rd quarter with her team trailing 24-41.

Things continued to get worse as Lady Hawk turnovers and fouls made it impossible to mount any kind of a comeback. When the final game-buzzer sounded the Lady Hawks lost 31-65.

As a team, the Lady Hawks shot 10-43. Adiya finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds, Keryn added 9 points, Aliya and Michelle both had 3 points.

 

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It’s always easy to complain about officiating, and yes the free-throw shooting was lopsided in the Knights favor, but it was also easy to see that Sunnyside Christian was the better team. With their speed and size they made it extremely difficult for Adiya to get in her usual offensive groove near the rim, evident by her settling for outside shots and shooting a season high four 3-point attempts. Also, the Lady Hawks were sloppy with the ball, to the tune of a season high 30 turnovers, which a team like the Knights was able to turn into easy transition buckets.  At this point in the season it’s all about execution and taking care of the ball.

 

Contact Micheal Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov