Big day for Corral sisters

Heather is AP player of the year; Ashley wins college 3-point contest

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



It was a full day of basketball at the Corral household.

That might not sound out of the ordinary, but Thursday was a bit unusual.

In the morning, Heather Corral learned she was voted The Associated Press’ girls basketball state player of the year for all high school classifications.

In the evening, older sister Ashley Corral was on ESPN, winning the women’s college basketball 3-point contest in New Orleans.

“I would say it’s a good day to be a Corral,” Heather said.

Heather, a senior at Prairie, led the Falcons to the Class 3A state championship. She was named the tournament’s MVP, as well as The Columbian’s All-Region player of the year. Thursday, the AP released its results from a statewide panel of reporters and editors.

“After knowing what it is, I realized how big of an honor it is,” Heather said.

It is the second AP player of the year award in the household. Ashley took that title as a senior at Prairie in 2008.

Thursday, Ashley completed her career at the University of Southern California by representing the Trojans — and Clark County — in the 3-point contest.

“She’s always wanted to do this,” Heather said. “To watch her on TV is amazing.”

Ashley also won the McDonald’s All-America 3-point contest as a senior in high school, giving her two national titles.

Just a few minutes before the competition, Ashley tweeted: “About that time to shoot some money balls!!”

The “money” balls are the final — multi-colored — balls among the five on each rack. “Money” balls were worth two points.

Ashley was 15 of 25 from 3-point range in the first round, knocking down all five “money” balls for 20 points. She reached the finals with 14 points in the second round. She matched her score of 20, including all five “money” balls, to win the women’s title.

Heather Corral edged out Seattle Christian’s Katie Collier in the AP voting.

Interestingly, the two will be teammates in the fall at the University of Washington. Collier played in the McDonald’s All-America Game on Wednesday in Chicago.

Brooke Bowen of Skyview, who helped her team to the 4A state championship, was named to the AP’s first team for 4A schools.

Jordan Chatman of Union, who helped the Titans to a third-place finish in the 4A boys tournament, also was first team all state.

Jackie Lanz of Prairie and Caleb Dressler of Evergreen were honorable mention in their classifications.

The AP awards likely will be the final accolades for the 2011-12 Washington high school basketball season.

“It’s good and bad. It’s sad. High school basketball has been such an amazing experience for me,” Heather Corral said. “But I’m definitely ready to move to college. I’m going to work hard for U-Dub and help that program and hope to get better every year.”

Sounds like a lot more days of basketball in the Corral household.

Thursday, though, will always stand out as special.