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2A/1A WIAA Hardwood Classic boys and girls notebook: Another Hailey Van Lith legend exists in Cashmere, and it's eye-opening


YAKIMA - Cashmere High School boys basketball coach Levi Heyen is both cagey and honest.

The former college post player knows he is well past his prime years when he won an NWAC (formerly NWAACC) men's basketball title at Wenatchee Valley in 1996.

So, at open-gym sessions in town, Heyen always makes sure to get one particular player on his team.

It is Hailey Van Lith, star point guard of the varsity girls team.

"I am not going to look silly," said Heyen, now 43. "I am too old, and too out of shape. She will break my knees, break my ankles."

During the summer when Cashmere hosts a few boys scrimmages with area high school teams, Heyen asks Van Lith to play on his varsity squad.

She had to play with the bigger men's basketball, but regularly scores "15 to 16 points a game." And she will always guard the opposing team's best player.

"I have to get on my guys, 'Why is Hailey guarding the best player?'" Heyen said. "And they say, 'Well, she wants to.' So I have to tell them to step up their game."

But it is at those open gyms where she really busts moves.

"We get guys coming back from college - grown men. And she gets buckets," Heyen said.

"People say, 'Well, she is a girl.' They have no idea. She will take it at 6-foot-5 dudes, throw a shoulder into their chest to extend and get finishes. She can shake anybody."

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Annie Wright junior Julianna Walker knows everything it takes to get buckets - she is on pace to become the state's all-time leading scorer, boy or girl.

But she never had hit a halfcourt shot before - until Friday.

With 0.4 seconds to go in a 1A consolation game against King's, she grabbed the rolling (and untouched) inbounded pass, and in one fluid swoop, launched a prayer at the basket.

It went in. Game over. Gators win, 61-58.

"I got that ball, and I shot it - just like a regular ol' shot," Walker said.

"It felt good."

That "3-pointer" also tied her single-game tournament record of eight, set last season against Zillah. She now has 18 3-pointers in the 1A tournament, also a tournament record.

And now with more than 2,400 career points, she could be the state's next all-time leading scorer.

"I am just trying to get a state title," Walker said.

Would earning both be acceptable?

"I mean, who wouldn't like both?" she said.