Prairie senior is All-Region girls basketball player

Cori Woodward does it all for Prairie girls basketball

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter



Rest of All-Region first team

Jessica Chatman, jr., Union: A BYU recruit, Chatman led Titans to their best season in history.

Megan Lindsley, sr., Prairie: Averaged 13 points a game and had a nose for rebounds.

Stephanie McDonagh, jr., Skyview: Scored plenty, but her defense and passing were awesome.

Aubrey Ward-El, jr., Skyview: Instramental in leading Skyview to a repeat in 4A GSHL.

All-Region honorable mention

Carly Holboke, sr., Mountain View: Always a scorer, more of an an all-around threat this season.

Brenna Khaw, so., Camas: Coaches see special talent in this soph. Voted first team, all-league.

Aislinn Konig, fr., Prairie: So strong on defense, even playing out of position. Future is bright.

Katelyn McGuire, jr., Hockinson: Led Hawks in scoring and was named to first team 2A GSHL.

Mar’Shay Moore, sr., Fort Vancouver: Pure scorer could put up 30+ points on any given night.

Deja Nicholas, sr., Evergreen: Led Plainsmen in scoring and was voted first team, all league.

Katie Whitten, so., La Center: Voted co-player of the year by the coaches of the Trico League.

She could score when she needed to, or find an open teammate. She would get the big steal, or maybe make the pass that led to the pass the led to the easy basket.

Cori Woodward was a lot of things to her team.

She needed to step up her game to lead the next era at Prairie. After all, there were a lot of changes since the Falcons won the Class 3A state championship in 2012. There were three new starters, and a new coach.

Cori Woodward and Megan Lindsley -- co-captains -- maintained stability. Then they went out and dominated every team in Clark County.

Woodward got the nod from the coaches as the MVP of the 3A Greater St. Helens League, and she earned our choice as The Columbian's All-Region girls basketball player of the year.

"It really wasn't a hard job to do," she said of being a co-captain.

That's because she loved her teammates.

"We didn't have any drama this year. Our team got along really well. I enjoyed the new girls and our new coach," she said. "I just had fun. I got to goof around at practice and be happy, and be serious when I had to, and do what I love to do."

Of course, the Falcons did fall a game short of reaching the state tournament, ending a streak that went back to 1998. It hurt, but Woodward took comfort in knowing the Falcons did reach the sweet 16 with their new team and new coach.

She said it would be tough for any new coach to take over for Al Aldridge. Woodward said she expects Mike Smith to have a lot of success in the future, especially now that this transitional year is over.

Perhaps a state championship is still in Prairie's future. Woodward knows what that is like.

"I'm glad we got it last year. I have one ring," she said. "I would have liked another one for the other hand. That's OK. I have one."

No state title this year, but she still found success as a talent and a leader.

This season, Woodward brought a little bit of everything to the floor for the Prairie Falcons.

Season highlights

  • Point guard led the Falcons to the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League title and district title.
  • Voted the league’s MVP by the coaches after leading the team in scoring at 16.7 points a game.
  • Made nine 3-pointers and scored career-high 33 points vs. Mountain View.
  • While one streak came to an end, another is very much alive: Prairie has now won 156 league games in a row.

More about Cori

  • Favorite movie: “How to Train Your Dragon.” “It’s really cute,” she said.
  • Favorite book: The “Evernight” series. Vampires. Enough said.
  • Favorite subject: “I hate science, but I love math,” she said.
  • Most inspirational person: “My best friend,” she said of Megan Lindsley. “Megan was there through it all. I don’t think anybody has a best friend like I do.”

Next year and beyond

  • Woodward has signed with the University of San Diego, where she is expected to compete for playing time right away next season. “It was a hard decision, but once you go down there, you’ll understand. It’s beautiful.”

“I really learned to love my teammates no matter what. They’re the ones who will get you to where you want to be.”

— Cori Woodward, on being a co-captain and then being named player of the year