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MG girls look to continue success

 

Kirk Boxleitner

Marysville Getchell's returning girls basketball players are led by, from left, seniors Jadyn Noriega, Carley Wika and Gabby Grandbois.

Marysville Getchell's girls basketball team is returning to the paint after a season that saw them continue to build on their success over the years.

"We ended the regular season at third, and got into the playoffs, which is the first time that's happened in MG history," coach Shannon Grandbois said. "We didn't make it out of districts, but each year we've done better than the previous year, and this was no exception. We'll take any success we can get."

Because of the nature of the Marysville School District, Grandbois admitted that it can be hard to anticipate upcoming seasons, since she doesn't always know which players will come to her and which will go to Marysville-Pilchuck.

"I teach middle school, so I know a lot of the girls who wind up going to M-P," Grandbois said. "It's a fun rivalry between the two schools. All the girls are friends. In the event they do lay against each other, it's like the Apple Cup. You never know how it'll turn out."

Now that her players have been hitting the court, she can confidently say that this year's freshmen bring a lot of knowledge about the game with them.

"They're very fast and have high IQs in basketball," Grandbois said.

Among the more promising freshman are Brionna Palm, who made varsity, and her own daughter, Maddy Grandbois, who's played basketball with Brionna as her main sport since fourth grade.

Although MG lost a number of players to transfers and injuries, Grandbois has still been able to count on a core of six returning players.

"Some of these have played together since the sixth grade," Grandbois said. "The bonds they have are really amazing. Osh Taylor is our lead sprinter, and after a shoulder injury last year, Kiki Green is coming back, raring to go."

Heading up the returnees are a trio of seniors - Jadyn Noriega, Carley Wika and Grandbois' other daughter, Gabby.

"Our practice centers around defense," Grandbois said. "Our philosophy is, if you're strong on defense, the offense will come."

Grandbois expects those skills will be put to the test when MG faces its perennial rivals, Arlington and Stanwood.

"It's a really open field right now," Grandbois said. "Arlington lost nine of its starters, but they have a lot of depth to pull from. And Stanwood is always a challenge."

In the meantime, MG will ring in the holidays with a first-ever opportunity, heading to Alaska, Dec. 26-31, to play in the Capital City Classic in Juneau.

"We're the first Marysville team to play outside of Washington," Grandbois said.

Even with MG receiving a $2,000 grant to attend, it's had to raise close to $7,000 just to cover the cost of airfare for all the girls, but Grandbois considers it more than worth it.

"We just focus on getting better and better, and developing a fun, family environment," Grandbois said.

 

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