All-Area Girls Basketball: Mount Rainier star keeps up family tradition
The basketball roots of Brittany McPhee’s family run deep.
Dad Bryce and uncle Jim starred at Bellarmine Prep in the 1980s and later at Gonzaga University.
Mom Alice played at Eastern Washington University and professionally in Australia.
Older brother Bryce is a sophomore on the Western Washington University men’s basketball team.
And twin sister Jordan is a teammate at Mount Rainier High.
So, when it came time for Brittany, a sophomore, to choose one sport to focus on, her selection was not a surprise.
“We could play whatever sport we wanted,” she said, “and I chose basketball.”
After guiding Mount Rainier to a No. 1 ranking and third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament, McPhee is The News Tribune’s All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“She’s certainly deserving,” Rams coach Bob Bolam said.
The 5-foot-11 wing averaged 22.7 points, 10 rebounds, 3.0 steals, 2.8 assists and 2.6 blocks per game this season. She’s aggressive and especially dangerous near the hoop.
“A lot of her points come off offensive rebounds on put-backs,” Bolam said. “When she gets a defensive rebound, she’ll beat people down to the other end of the floor and score.”
McPhee helped Mount Rainier to the SPSL North and West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament titles.
The Rams entered the state tournament as favorites, but were upended in the semifinals by Central Valley High of Spokane, 42-40.
The disappointing loss stung, but McPhee said it could be a lesson for the Rams. A few times during the 2011-12 season Mount Rainier jumped out to early leads, only to allow teams to chip away later in the game.
Against Central Valley, the Rams held a 15-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 28-23 edge at halftime before giving up the lead in the third quarter.
“We have to learn to finish,” she said.
If they can manage that, Mount Rainier and McPhee could be unstoppable next season.
Doug Pacey: 253-597-8271
ALL-AREA BASKETBALL TEAM: GIRLSFIRST TEAMPlayer of the Year:
Brittany McPhee, 5-11, Mount Rainier, sophomoreGuard: Sasha Weber, 5-11, Timberline, senior
The New Mexico State-bound point guard leaves Timberline holding school records for career points (1,503), points in a season (490) and points in a game (33). Weber helped the Blazers reach the regional round for a second consecutive season, averaging 20.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.9 assists per game.Guard: Taylor Buie, 5-5, Emerald Ridge, senior
A scoring dynamo, Buie averaged 25.4 points per game and earned co-MVP honors in the SPSL South. She also averaged 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.3 steals per game. After the Jaguars clinched a berth to the regional round, Buie broke her hand before playing in a winner-to-state game. She still managed to score 27 points, going 5-for-10 on 3-pointers, in the 59-47 loss to third-ranked Woodinville.P Caitlin Carr, 6-0, Auburn Mountainview, senior
The Lions’ all-time leading scorer with 1,297 points, Carr is the first basketball player from Auburn Mountainview – boy or girl – to crack the 1,000-point barrier. Voted MVP of the SPSL 3A her junior and senior seasons, Carr averaged 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season.Guard: Darah Huertas-Vining, 5-3, Federal Way, senior
The other co-MVP of the SPSL South, Huertas-Vining helped the Eagles reach the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season. She could take over games with her long-range shooting. She made six 3-pointers in the third quarter of an upset of top-ranked Mount Rainier. Huertas-Vining averaged 15.7 points, shooting 40 percent on 3-pointers, and four assists per game.Forward: Katie Collier, 6-3, Seattle Christian, senior
After beginning chemotherapy treatments for leukemia in the fall, it was possible the Washington commit would miss her senior season. Instead, she played nearly the entire schedule, earned Nisqually League MVP honors for a second consecutive year and a spot on the McDonald’s All-American team. Collier averaged 16.5 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and two assists per game as a senior.Coach of the Year: Chris Gibson, White River
Led Hornets to co-championship in SPSL 2A, the 2A West Central District title and third-place finish at the state tournament.SECOND TEAMTia Briggs,
6-1, Wilson, juniorJordan Asher,
5-4, Rogers, seniorsKaycee Creech,
5-9, Cascade Christian, juniorBethany Montgomery,
5-9, Wilson, juniorRiah Thomas,
6-0, W.F. West, senior