King’s Way Christian boys earn fourth consecutive title, while Seton Catholic and King’s Way Christian girls share championship
The King’s Way Christian boys took a loss early in the league season and used that result to reset their focus on the way to another Trico League championship.
The King’s Way Christian girls lost a major talent to graduation last year, and while this season had some uncertainty, they managed to tie for another league championship.
The Seton Catholic girls, meanwhile, ascended to the top, as well, going from one win in the abbreviated COVID season in 2021 to eight wins last year and a school-record 18 wins this season, en route to a co-league title.
These are their championship stories.
King’s Way Christian Boys Basketball
The Knights picked up their fourth consecutive league title, and Gio Evanson earned quite a lot of individual praise along the way.
He became the first player in program history to score 40 points in a game, while becoming the charter member of the program’s 40-5–5-5 club with 40 points, five assists, five rebounds, and six steals. He had zero turnovers that night, while connecting on eight 3-pointers in the first half.
“It was a really fun night. Just came out hot. I really felt it,” Evanson said. “I let it fly.”
Evanson did not play in the fourth quarter that night. He said he had no idea how many points he had when he was pulled out of the game, with King’s Way comfortably ahead of Castle Rock. Instead, he was just thrilled with the victory. Castle Rock had beat the Knights in the first league game of the season.
“It showed us what we needed to work on,” Evanson said. “It proved to us we weren’t going to walk into league and win every game, so we can’t take any games for granted.”
The Knights won their four consecutive league title and recently Evanson was named the league’s player of the year for the third time.
He said this season has been so much fun because he and his teammates compete every day, to try to prove who is the best.
Naturally, Evanson was asked if he ever just reminds his teammates that he has multiple MVP awards.
“I can’t pull that card,” he said with a laugh.
Next: King’s Way Christian boys host Tenino at 6 p.m. Friday in the opening round of the district tournament. The top three teams from district qualify for the state regional round.
King’s Way Christian Girls Basketball
In small school basketball, one player can make a huge difference.
Which means when that player is an MVP, and she graduates, there is a huge hole to fill for the program.
The King’s Way Christian Knights are co-league champions again after building the right kind of chemistry back in November and December.
“We lost a really good player last year, Laurel,” Ella Zimmerman said, referring to co-player of the year Laurel Quinn. “This year, we were kind of like … ‘It might be a little different.’ It was really cool to get another league title without one of our best players.”
Zimmerman said the team used the November practices and the preseason games in December to bond.
The Knights lost to Seton Catholic by five points in the first meeting of the season, but responded with a close victory the second time to share the league title.
“I know a couple girls on their team. It’s fun to play against each other. We’re all good friends,” Zimmerman said of the Cougars. “Just a fun game. It was fun to beat them there, for sure.”
The key to the Knights’ success has been the family-like bond the team has this season.
“We have really good friendships off the court, which makes playing the game that much more fun,” Zimmerman said.
Next: The King’s Way Christian girls host Eatonville at 6 p.m. Thursday night in the opening round of the district tournament. The top three teams from district qualify for the state regionals.
Seton Catholic Girls Basketball
From one win two seasons ago to a share of a league title. That’s the Seton Catholic Cougars.
The Cougars ended up with eight wins a year ago and made it to the district tournament. That team lost three starters and a fourth player in the regular rotation.
Coach Joe Potter emphasized summer workouts, and he said he knew back then that this team was going to be decent.
Then the Cougars got news that Anna Mooney was changing schools from Camas to Seton Catholic. Mooney played in the Class 4A state tournament a year ago.
“Anna makes everybody a better player,” Potter said. “Not all really good players do that. It takes a special type of player.”
And it turned into a special type of season for Seton Catholic, now 18-2 this season.
Potter said this squad has a great mix of senior leadership and youth. The seniors, he said, are focused, knowing this is their last go-round in high school basketball. The team also features five freshmen.
“They goof off when they should. They’re serious when they should be,” Potter said. “The program is in pretty good hands.”
The coach is extra motivated, too.
“I can’t wait to get to practice. Every day I watch them get better,” Potter said. “These are the nicest, kindest young ladies to be around. They’re learning how to win, and they expect to win.”
Next: Seton Catholic hosts Elma at 6 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the district tournament. The top three teams from district qualify for state regionals.
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