St. Helens girls get a spirited jump on summer basketball
Trinity Degraffenreid, Maddie Holm and the Lions can't wait for a bright summer.
The junior, freshman and St. Helens played to a 5-1 record for third place as they fell only to Class 6A Madison -- which ended up second to Washougal (Wash.) -- for third at the 26-team Mountain View Tournament June 2-4 in Vancouver, Wash.
The Lions are determined to make the most of themselves.
"Trinity had the game of her life," St. Helens coach Billy McKinney said. "She wasn't happy with the finish and said, 'We should have won that tournament.'"
Holm said Madison had 10 girls available to the Lions' five but gave the Senators their best.
"We play a lot better as a team, especially after league [an 0-14 stretch riddled with injuries]," Holm said. "Defense is definitely our strong suit: We never give up and we always keep trying."
Mady Lokken, who will complete her freshman season shortly, said she underwent back surgery in July 2016 between pitching St. Helens Black Ops softball to undefeated seasons and joined the basketball program with McKinney's encouragement.
"It's hard to play with rods in your back and [Wednesday] is my sixth or seventh practice, but I got the hang of it," Lokken said.
Next for St. Helens is the Hub City Classic, in which each team is guaranteed three games and where St. Helens will open against Chehalis (Wash.), scheduled for Sunday in Centralia, Wash.
"It's going to be tougher," Degraffenreid said. "It's good for development."