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La Salle players celebrate after defeating Lynden Christian 56-49 to win the Class 1A girls state championship on Saturday, March 2, 2019 in Yakima, Wash. The Lightning were one of four Valley basketball teams winning championships on that day, along with Zillah, Kittitas and Sunnyside Christian boys. (Evan Abell, Yakima Herald-Republic file)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Between the all the smoke and all the still-lingering snow there was one remarkable winter sports season.

Four state basketball champions crowned on the same day, including a 27-0 team and two threepeaters, 14 state champions and three team trophies at Mat Classic, including a Toppenish crew regarded as the state’s best overall, and the fastest sprinter in the Valley’s swimming history.

So, yeah, it was an OK season.

Naturally, with such a wealth of success in the area, it took quite an accomplishment to stand out and Selah and Toppenish did it best with five finalists each for winter’s athlete of the year selections.

West Valley and Zillah had four apiece.

Not surprisingly considering the monster day we had on March 2, basketball dominated the team category with four champions — Zillah, Kittitas and Sunnyside Christian in boys and La Salle in girls. Those four teams were a combined 107-3.

Two weeks earlier, Toppenish wrestling owned the Tacoma Dome with six champions and 310 points for the program’s third title in four years.

A total of 14 schools are represented among the winter finalists in basketball, wrestling, swimming and bowling along with team and coaches.

Among the 40 finalists are five returning winners — Toppenish’s Andres Aguilera (boys wrestling), West Valley’s Erik Feldmann (boys swimming), Kittitas’ Brock Ravet (boys basketball), Sunnyside’s Ashlee Maldonado (girls basketball) and Kittitas’ boys basketball.

The 17th annual Yakima Valley Sports Awards Luncheon will be held at the Yakima Convention Center on June 6, a Wednesday.

The awards program is sponsored by the Yakima Herald-Republic, Les Schwab, KIMA, Pepsi, Townsquare Media and hosted by the Yakima Valley Sports Commission.

The finalists and winners are selected by the Herald-Republic sports staff. The Monday Morning Quarterbacks Club also has a vote in the final balloting.

The finalists:


Earl Lee III

Davis junior

CBBN’s player of the year averaged 23.25 points with highs of 41, 37 and 36.


Elijah Pepper

Selah senior

2A state MVP as a junior missed 15 games, returned to lead Viks to state final.


Noah Pepper

Selah sophomore

CWAC MVP averaged double-double with 22.6 points, 12 boards for state runner-up.


Brock Ravet

Kittitas senior

Gonzaga signee became state’s all-time leading scorer with 3,094 career points.


Antonio Salinas

Zillah senior

SCAC West player of the year was the tournament MVP for 1A state champions.



Chastitee Garza

Sunnyside senior

CBBN first-team pick was also named to the league’s all-defensive team.


Trista Hull

La Salle sophomore

The co-SCAC West MVP was first-team all-tournament for 1A state champions.


Ashlee Maldonado

Sunnyside senior

Santa Clara signee swept CBBN’s player of the year and defensive MVP honors.


Ashley Shurtleff

Selah senior

Leading scorer for team that won CWAC league championship by three games.


Janealle Sutterlict

Wapato senior

CWAC MVP was the Valley’s top scorer and finished career with 1,800 points.



Andres Aguilera

Toppenish senior

The Wildcats’ first three-time state champion finished with 155 career wins.


Franky Almaguer

Granger senior

Finished 12-0 at Mat Classic with three 1A state titles, 38-1 as a senior.


Amadeo Flores Pimentel

Selah junior

Won 50 matches as a junior and repeated as 2A state champion at 220.


Nate Mendoza

Zillah senior

Two-time state academic champion captured the 1A state title at 106 pounds.


Carson Northwind

Toppenish senior

Recorded 148 career wins and capped three state medals with 2A title at 195.



Liliana Luna

Granger sophomore

Three pins at Mat Classic for state runner-up at 115 pounds.


Kaylee Moore

Naches Valley senior

Valley’s lone state champion was a four-time medalist and 41-0 as a senior.


Isabella Morales

Toppenish freshman

Won 37 matches and finished second at 100 pounds in her Mat Classic debut.


Viktorya Torres

Granger junior

Reached the championship finals for the third time, placed second at 135.


Lourdes Torres

Sunnyside junior

Recorded four pins to reach 155 state final, repeat runner-up finish.



Maxx Black

Naches Valley junior

State qualifier in 100 free and 200 free, among Valley’s top three in both.


Erik Feldmann

West Valley senior

Rewrote Valley records in 50 free and 100 free, third at 4A state in both.


Will Richardson

West Valley senior

4A state qualifier in 200 IM, anchored Valley’s fastest 200 free relay ever.


Jase Wilske

West Valley senior

Valley leader in 100 breast, ranked second in 50 free, key to WV’s relays.


Coleman Wright

Prosser sophomore

Valley leader in 500 free also ranked second in 200 free and 200 IM.



Asia Evans

Selah senior

Seventh at 2A state with a 1,020 series that included a 221 high game.


Sam Hugill

Eisenhower senior

Back-to-back seasons on the all-CBBN second team, 168 season average.


Lani Makalii

West Valley junior

Named to all-CBBN first team with the league’s fourth-best average of 182.


Lexy Santiago

Eisenhower senior

Two-time CBBN first-teammer was sixth at district and top local at 4A state.


Sydney Turner

Eisenhower junior

Second team all-CBBN pick was fifth at district, rolled a 201 game at state.



Kittitas boys basketball

Captured the program’s third straight 2B state title, 28-1 season record.


La Salle girls basketball

Capped 27-0 season by rallying to beat Lynden Christian for the 1A state title.


Toppenish wrestling

Regarded as state’s best overall team, six champions led Wildcats to 2A title.


Sunnyside Christian boys basketball

The Knights rolled up 26 wins en route to the program’s third 1B title in a row.


Zillah boys basketball

1A state champions scored the most points in the championship game in 42 years.



Johnny Cerna

Toppenish wrestling

Produced third 2A state title in four years with Valley-record six champions.


Alyssa Goins

La Salle girls basketball

Coached her second undefeated team at La Salle, has 241 wins in 12 seasons.


Mario Mengarelli

Zillah boys basketball

In three seasons his teams have won two state titles and a third-place trophy.


Tim Ravet

Kittitas boys basketball

Sixth-year coach led Coyotes to a 2B state threepeat and Valley-record 28 wins.


Dean Wagenaar

Sunnyside Christian boys basketball

Third straight 1B state title brings his total to nine with 494 career wins.