Bryce McPhee was a fast-and-furious slasher, always finding creative ways to score against bigger basketball players at Bellarmine Prep and Gonzaga University.
Younger brother Jim McPhee was a lights-out perimeter scorer – a classic jump shooter. Also from Bellarmine Prep, he left Gonzaga as its No. 2 career scorer with 2,015 points, and went to camp with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1990.
Alice (Davis) McPhee had the brains and the toughness. She exited Eastern Washington University with its third-highest career scoring average, and played professionally in Australia.
Blend the best traits of all three standouts from yesteryear, and you could build a peerless superstar with endless potential.
You could build someone like Mount Rainier’s Brittany McPhee.
This next-generation McPhee has all of the aforementioned qualities of her dad (Bryce), uncle (Jim) and mom (Alice), yet plays the game with her own unique flair.
The reigning Gatorade state player of the year, and now two-time SPSL North Most Valuable Player, the 6-foot junior has been selected at The News Tribune’s 2012-13 All-Area girls basketball player of the year.
Is it her statistics? Not entirely, although this season’s numbers are as good as anybody’s
– averages of 26.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocked shots and 3.1 steals a game.
Is it the number of games she has helped the Rams win? That is some of it; Mount Rainier has won 73 games since Brittany has been a starter.
Mostly, it’s because of her endless pursuit of on-court production.
“I try not to think about the stats during the game. I am just trying to win,” McPhee said. “I look for the easiest open shot – if it is my teammate or if it’s me. If it is a big possession, I know we have to focus and get down to it.”
On Monday, she led the Rams to their second consecutive Class 4A West Central District championship. She is their best interior presence, even though down the line she projects to play on the wing.
And she takes a pounding inside, too. After she snipped a piece of the net down in celebrating her team’s district title, she immediately went for a bag of ice – and had it wrapped on her lower back. She is also playing with a sore knee.
“Right now her knee is black and blue,” Bryce McPhee said. “She is tough. She does not let you know anything is bothering her, even though she is battered and bruised repeatedly.”
Yet, as Brittany says, “I may be sore, but if I can get up and down the court, I am going to play.”
She doesn’t just play – she puts on a show at breakneck speed.
Similar to her father, she has a knack of getting the ball, studying how a team is trying to defend her, patiently waiting for a crease to open – then going for it.
Sometimes the crease stays open for an easy layup. Other times, it closes right at the time she arrives, forcing her to twist, turn and do contortions with her body in order to accomplish her mission.
“She has got that knack to go sideways and slide through – and then finish,” Mount Rainier coach Bob Bolam said. “It has been really nice. We’ll take another year of it.”
Because of her role with the Rams, she does not take a whole lot of 3-point shots. That is left for the summer AAU season.
“I have been practicing it a lot, and been working on getting better from the outside for college to open my game up more,” McPhee said.
As relentless as she is on the court, she is just as reserved off it. Talking about basketball isn’t at the top of her priority list. And mention the topic of recruiting, information becomes more classified.
“I have a small idea,” she said. “I have talked about it a little with my parents, and kept it in the family.”
She is currently the 21st-ranked small forward recruit for 2014, listed by ESPN.com
Does she have a short list of favorite schools?
“Yeah,” she said bashfully.
Care to share it?
“No,” she said.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@ thenewstribune.com
THE NEWS TRIBUNE'S 2012-13 ALL-AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM
Federal Way Guard, 5-10, senior
What more can you say about the SPSL South player of the year - and the last remaining member of the Eagles' state-contending teams. Easygoing by nature, her jumper is as sweet as her on-court demeanor (she shot 42 percent on 3-point attempts). She tallied 1,304 points for her career - with 638 coming this season (27.2 ppg), including nine games of 30 or more points. She has GPA over 3.0.
Center, 6-1, senior
For the girl teammates dub "Beast, " she truly plays like one on the low block for the Rams. Strong and surprisingly mobile for her size, she was selected to the Narrows League 3A first team this season (12.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, shot 53 percent on field goals; 1,036 career points). She has a 3.7 GPA, and is considering the Naval Academy, New Mexico State, Boise State and Western Washington.
Guard, 5-8, senior
A small-school standout who could play on any big stage with her multifaceted skills. The Cougars' four-year starter can play guard or forward, and is equally adept off the dribble or shooting on the perimeter. The Nisqually League MVP (18.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.3 steals) has also been selected to the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) All-State team. Leaves program as member of 1,000-point club.
Forward, 5-11, senior
Some girls take time to do other school activities. Hobert is strictly a basketball player. From dawn to dusk, she tirelessly works on her game as a true inside-outside scoring threat for the Hornets. The SPSL 2A player of the year (20.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg) has 1,162 career points, ranking her No. 3 all-time in this storied program's history. Has a 3.68 GPA, and is getting interest from Southern Oregon and Cal State-East Bay.
Guard, 5-9, senior
She is as captivating as she is frustrating. Uber-talented, no girl in the South Sound can match her first step off the dribble. Scoring-wise (16.4 ppg), the Eastern Washington signee - and this season's Narrows 3A MVP - is a slasher and a shooter. When she decides not to force bad shots, Wilson is elite - as shown by the team's blowout win over No. 1 Prairie in the district title game. Has 1,120 career points, and carries a 3.8 GPA.
Player of the year: Brittany McPhee, Mount Rainier
Coach of the year: Russ Riches, Yelm
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
KATIE HOLLAND, Enumclaw, G, 5-5, senior
MEGAN HUFF, Beamer, C, 6-3, junior
ANUSHKA MALDONADO, Yelm, C, 6-1, senior
IONNA PRICE, Bellarmine Prep, F, 6-0, senior
SARAH TOEAINA, Kentwood, G, 5-10, junior