Category: General News

November 30 game highlights




Hanford rallied from a 42-19 halftime deficit to outscore visiting Eastmont in the second half and earn the non-conference victory and the Falcons’ first win of the season.

The Falcons outscored the Wildcats 27-7 in the third quarter and trailed by just three points entering the final frame. Trevor Kaiser led all scorers with 22 points and was 86% from the free throw line to lead the attack. Jaden Morales scored 17 of his own before fouling out.


Kennewick led 18-13 after one quarter and never looked back as the Lions picked up a 81-46 non-conference win over visiting Moses Lake.

The Lions had a balanced attack with five players in double figure scoring, led by Jackson Burns and Dierks Chavez with 15 points each.



Dylyn Dress drilled five 3-pointers and racked up 14 points to lead Kennewick to a 55-49 non-conference road win over Moses Lake.

The Lions overcame a 14-9 first quarter deficit to earn the victory despite four of its eight players in foul trouble.


Hanford senior Lynnea Moran finished with 18 points, including two from long range and a 86% performance from the charity stripe, but Eastmont was able to earn the non-conference victory.

The Falcons fall to 0-2 on the season and open MCC play hosting Kennewick on December 8.

Boys and girls players to watch


High school basketball fans should be excited about the season beginning this week with contests that count.

Earl Streufert’s Richland boys squad has four players that could vie for all-conference honors in Josh Woodard, Luke Westerfield, Jack Forbes and Landon Northrop.

Meanwhile, Chiawana’s girls, with new head coach Gary Jonas, look to be a serious contender for the state 4A title. Malia Ruud and Kaia Foster are just juniors, while Sunnyside transfer Baylee Maldonado should all lead the way. And what’s more scary about this team: there are no seniors on the roster. So they could be good for a long time.


• Peter Dress, senior, Kamiakin. He’s already committed to Embry-Riddle in Arizona, and he can shoot from deep. Dress also can shoot from around the key, and he’s a solid rebounder. If the Braves can put together a solid nucleus around him, Kamiakin can go deep.

• Dane Gardea, senior, Walla Walla. The Blue Devils have some talent back this season, and Gardea leads the way. The guard is fast and can jump. He runs in the relays for the Blue Devils during track and field season, and has cleared 6-4 in the high jump.

• Grant Olsen, senior, Hermiston. Last season, as a junior, he averaged an MCC-best of 23.2 points a game. The 6-5 guard has had offers from Pacific University in Oregon, as well as George Fox University. New head coach Brian Edwards will find a way to build the offense around this standout.

• Jesse Tijerina, senior, Southridge. As this 5-10 guard goes, so do the Suns. Tijerina led the team in scoring last season with an 18.8 point average. He’s a slick scorer who can make his way to the basket. But if a defender sags back, he’ll hammer the three.

• Seniors Josh Woodard and Luke Westerfield, Richland. The Bombers should be loaded, and these guys are two of their best. Woodard is the returning MCC boys basketball Player of the Year — just coming off of being named the MCC football Offensive Player of the Year — and averaged 19.2 points last season. Westerfield is 6-10 and will man the paint on both offense and defense. He’s got a great shot from 15 feet in and can block a lot of shots. While the Bombers can run and gun — and they will — they can also get into a great halfcourt offense with Westerfield down low. Oh yeah, both Woodard and Westerfield were members last season of the All-MCC defensive team.


• Juniors Kaia Foster and Malia Ruud, and sophomore Baylee Maldonado, Chiawana. Foster is a great inside-outside player for the Riverhawks, and she’s being recruited by a large number of schools. She’s been able to shoot the three since her freshman season. Now she can rebound and pass quite well too. Ruud has been a dominant inside post player for Chiawana since she was a freshman. She’s had international basketball experience the past two years playing for Samoa, and her 18.9 points a game was No. 2 last season in the MCC. Great rebounder and passer too. Now, let’s throw in Maldonado, who transferred in from Sunnyside this summer. As a freshman last season, she was named to the first team of the All-Columbia Basin Big Nine girls basketball squad.

• Haylee Johnson, senior, Kennewick. She was a first-team All-MCC selection last season, averaging 15.5 points, and she’s already committed to playing basketball and running track next fall for Eastern Oregon University. She and junior Dylyn Dress will be the leaders on a very experienced Lions team this season.

• Lynnea Moran, senior, Hanford. Believe this is year seven of a Moran sister on the Falcons roster. Older sister Iliana plays at Rocky Mountain College in Montana. Lynnea is a slick shooter who can also find her way to the basket on the drive. She averaged 15.4 points a game last season.

• Izzy Simmons, junior Hermiston. Last season as a sophomore, Simmons led the MCC in scoring at 19.1 points a game. Great shooter who can drive to the basket. Along with fellow junior Ellie Heidemann, Simmons should help lead the Bulldogs to a successful season.

• Nicole Wertenberger, senior, Kamiakin. The Braves lost a lot of talent to graduation last season. But Wertenberger — along with senior Camia Howard and junior Aubrey Herrin — brings some talent back for head coach Lane Schumacher. While Howard and Herrin battle on the inside, Wertenberger will be a key from the outside.

Nov. 28 game highlights




Jaxon Niemi opened the season with a 10-point effort and was the lone player in double figures for Hanford as the Falcons fell to Ridgeline 80-53 in a non-conference contest.


Chiawana had three players in double figures, but the Riverhawks fell to visiting Mt. Spokane in Pasco.

Gage Williams led the way with 21 points, Jermell Heavens tallied 14 and Cody Iverson finished with 10.

The Wildcats shot a scorching 73% from the floor, while the Riverhawks were 40%.


Despite a fourth-quarter push by Southridge, visiting Eisenhower was able to earn the season-opening win in a non-conference matchup.

The Cadets held a one-point advantage at the half and used a 21-13 third quarter to pull away from the Suns. While Southridge was able to outscore Ike 18-10 in the final period, it wasn’t enough to earn the win.

Southridge was led by Jesse Tijerina’s 21 points, which included six three-pointers. Nick Richardson and Kellen Walford each scored 10.



Chiawana outscored Mt. Spokane 24-2 in the third quarter and turned 25 Wildcat turnovers into 32 points as the Riverhawks opened the season with a 61-35 victory over visiting Mt. Spokane.

Sunnyside transfer Baylee Maldonado fueled the Chiawana attack with 18 points, shooting 58% from the floor, including a 75% performance from long range (3-for-4). Malia Ruud chipped in eight points and five rebounds while Kaia Foster pulled down seven off the glass.


Southridge started the season off with a non-conference victory, defeating visiting Eisenhower 69-58.

Jadyn Holdren had a double-double, tallying 25 points and 13 rebounds. Taylor Luce and Aryn Sloot each netted nine points.


Izzy Simmons finished with 20 points and Lucy Teegarden contributed 14 but Hermiston came up short to Prosser 79-60.


Despite leading 16-12 after one quarter, Hanford was unable to hold on to the lead and fell to visiting University 55-39.

Lynnea Moran began her senior effort with 16 points and was 10-for-17 from the free-throw line. Payton Schmidt was the only other Falcon in double figures with 14 points.

NFHS rule changes for 2023-24 season


2-1-3 NOTE (NEW): Requires the shot clock operator to sit at the scorer’s and timer’s table, if using a
shot clock. Rationale: Establishes the placement of the shot clock operator for those states utilizing the shot clock and the growing use of video boards that allow tablet control from anywhere in the gym.

3-4-5: Requires uniform bottoms on teammates to be like-colored while allowing different styles of
uniform bottoms among teammates. Rationale: Clarifies that teammates must all wear like-colored uniform bottoms but may wear multiple styles while aligning language with other NFHS rules codes.

3-5-6: Allows undershirts worn under visiting team jerseys to be black or a single solid color similar to
the torso of the jersey. All teammates wearing undershirts must wear the same solid color. Rationale: Allows schools with hard-to-find colors to wear black under visiting team jerseys while continuing to require all team members to match.

4-8-1: Eliminates the one-and-one for common fouls beginning with the seventh team foul in the half
and establishes the bonus as two free throws awarded for a common foul beginning with the team’s
fifth foul in each quarter and resets the fouls at the end of each quarter. Rationale: Improves flow by providing an opportunity for teams to adjust their play by not carrying over fouls from quarters 1 and 3 to quarters 2 and 4 while significantly reducing the opportunity for correctable errors to occur. Minimizes risk of injury by eliminating the one-and-one and reducing opportunities for rough play during rebounding opportunities.

7-5-2 thru 4: Establishes four throw-in spots (the nearest 28-foot mark along each sideline or the
nearest spot 3-feet outside the lane line on the end line) when a team gains or retains possession in
their frontcourt after the opponent commits a violation, a common foul prior to the bonus, or the ball
becomes dead (i.e. inadvertent whistle or a held ball). Rationale: Simplifies throw-in procedure when a team gains or retains possession for situations other than an out-of-bounds throw-in.

7-6-6: Allows the official administering a throw-in to the wrong team to correct the mistake before the
first dead ball after the ball becomes live unless there is a change of possession. Rationale: Allows for a correction of an official’s mistake in a more reasonable timeframe.

9-3-3: Establishes that a player may step out of bounds without penalty unless they are the first player
to touch the ball after returning to the court or if they left the court to avoid a violation. Rationale: Allows a player to step out of bounds if they gain no advantage and penalizes a team only if they gain an advantage by leaving the court and returning to avoid a violation or to be the first to touch the ball.

Gary Jonas next Chiawana girls coach


Longtime assistant Chiawana boys coach Gary Jonas has been named the new head girls coach for the Riverhawks.

Jonas was a three-sport athlete at DeSales High School in Walla Walla and went on to Eastern Washington University. His first head coaching stint was a Silver Valley High School in Yermo, Calif. from 2000-2005.

He moved back to the Tri-Cities and Pasco High School where he was the baseball coach. Jonas moved to Chiawana went the school opened and coached baseball for the Riverhawks along with coaching the boys basketball squad with head coach Chad Herron.

Jonas replaces Mike Brown who led the Lady Riverhawks for four seasons and compiled a 62-30 overall record, including a conference championship in 2020 and qualifying for the state tournament in 2020 and 2022.

Suggs named Hanford girls coach


The Hanford Athletic Department announced Nate Suggs as the next head coach of the girls basketball program on May 25.

Hanford Girls Coach Nate Suggs

Suggs grew up a sports junkie and, like most kids, played whatever sport was in season at the time. That included basketball, where he developed a strong passion for the game.

Following college, Suggs accepted an assistant coaching position for the boys’ program at Olympic High School in Bremerton, starting with the 2006-07 season. Suggs helped turn the boys’ program around, going from a season with six wins to a season with a sixth-place finish at state and the teams first state appearance in 20 years.

Suggs moved his family back to Richland and began to assist former head coach Evan Woodward at the start of the 2016-17 season and continued through end of Woodward’s tenure at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Suggs hire marks the third coach of the program in three years. Following Woodward’s departure, CoCo Gall led the program for one season, compiling a 7-15 record and taking the Falcons to the District 8 tournament in which the team when 0-2, ending its season.

Sierra Perez to lead Pasco girls


The Pasco athletic department announced Sierra Perez as the next coach of the girls basketball program on April 27.

Pasco head coach Sierra Perez

Perez was a Bulldog from 2013-15 where she was a standout player on the court, earning all-conference honors for two seasons and was a Media Classic All-Star player for two seasons. She was also voted team captain and team MVP both seasons. Academically, she was class valedictorian.

Perez went on to attend Columbia Basin College, earning a 4.0 GPA and her Associates degree off the court and was an NWAACC All-Star player and was voted NWAACC Female Athlete of the Year and was on the Academic Excellence team. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Perez has been an assistant coach at Tri-Cities Prep over the past six season where she helped the Jaguars to four league titles, three district titles and four state appearances with a state championship in 2019.

Tri-City girls, Yakima boys win All-Star game


The Tri-Cities girls and the Yakima boys extended their series winning records in the 27th Annual SWX All Star Classic game at Columbia Basin College on April 15.

The Yakima boys eeked out the 83-78 win in a contest that came down to the final minute of play.

Toppenish’s Shane Rivera was able to break a 78-78 tie with a three-pointer from the left wing to put the Yakima All-Stars ahead for good. On the ensuing possession, Tri-Cities attempted two from long range, however neither shot was able to fall. Yakima grabbed the defensive rebound and Cesar Hernandez (Davis) dunked as time expired to give Yakima the five-point victory and its second-straight series win.

Hernandez and Luke Navarre (Zillah) combined for 30 points while Emmett Fenz (Ellensburg) added 14 and Rivera finished with 10. Navarre was named the game’s MVP and Javier Sideregts (Kamiakin) won the halftime dunk contest.

The Tri-City boys were fueled by 23 points from Donavin Young (Chiawana) and 13 points from Peter Dress (Kamiakin). Tri-City was a pale 13% from beyond the arc (5-for-38) and attempted 102 field goals in the game, which featured five lead changes and six ties.

In the girls game, Tri-City jumped to a 23-10 lead after one quarter and never trailed in the 80-74 win. Tri-Cities was hot, shooting 48% from the floor and 64% from the free-throw line. Haylee Johnson (Kennewick) had 17 points while Malia Ruud (Chiawana) talled 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Maddy Rendall (Kamiakin) capped her high school career with 12 points, six rebounds and one block as she tied for second place in the record book with four 3-point baskets in the game.

The Tri-City girls dominated in nearly every stat category, including rebounds with a 56-47 edge, defensive rebounds (40-22), assists (19-9) and second-chance points 17-11.

The game raises money for charity with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Boys the Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin County.

MORE: Boys game statistics | Girls game statistics | Complete game rosters

Photo credit: Cesar Solis Photography

Bryan Edwards to lead Hermiston boys


Hermiston High School announced Bryan Edwards as the next head coach of the Hermiston boys program on March 31.

Edwards coached at Columbia Basin College for the previous three saesons, including one season as its head coach.

“Bryan brings a lot of experience in working with players of all ages and ability levels,” Hermiston Athletic Director Larry Usher said in a statement. “He has tremendous positive energy in the gym and respect from the basketball community in our region. We look forward to him bringing all of this to our program in Hermiston.”

Edwards is a native of Hermiston, but moved to the Tri-Cities and graduated from Pasco High School. He was a guard for then-coach Chad Herron who now is head coach at Chiawana.

State: Kamiakin girls win, advance to semis



(2) MT SI 70, (8) RICHLAND 47

Richland never got untracked in its quarterfinal, losing to No. 2 Mount Si 80-46 in the Tacoma Dome on March 2.

Richland will face No. 5 Gonzaga Prep at 10:30 a.m. March 3 in a loser-out game.

Luke Westerfield led the Bombers with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Richland couldn’t get its 3-point shot attempts to fall, only going 2 for 20.



Kamiakin’s Maddy Rendall was 6 for 13 from 3-point field goal range to send the No. 7 Braves over No. 8 Emerald Ridge into the semifinals of the WIAA state tournament.

The 55-52 quarterfinal victory means Kamiakin advanced to take on No. 4 Eastlake on March 3.

Rendall led all scorers with 18 points and 7 rebounds, and she was the only Braves player to score in double figures.

The Braves outscored the Jaguars 43-23 in the middle two quarters to take control of the contest. But Emerald Ridge had a furious fourth-quarter rally that just came up short at the end.

As a team, Kamiakin went 12-for-25 from the 3-point line and set the record for the most 3-point field goals made by a 4A girls team. Rendall was one trey short of tying the individual tournament record.