Paul Valencia: Remembering the Storm of 2012

Paul Valencia: High School Sports

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



We know where Aubrey Ward-El was two years ago this state championship week.

She was busy winning the Class 4A state title game for the Skyview Storm with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

We know where Stephanie McDonagh was two years ago this week.

She hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left to win Skyview’s quarterfinal game, and then assisted on Ward-El’s winner in the final.

We know where Jocelyn Adams was two years ago this week.

She was establishing herself as an inside force, shooting 8 of 9 in the championship game and getting a double-double.

All three were sophomores, winning a state championship. All three have a chance to do it again this week. Skyview opens the Class 4A state tournament at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the Tacoma Dome against Gonzaga Prep.

There are nine more girls going with them, of course, and they all have interesting tales to tell from the first week of March, 2012.

Hannahjoy Adams was a freshman on that team. She played two minutes in the championship game.

Did you do anything special?

“No,” she said with a smile.

Well, other than win a state championship.

That was two more minutes than Carli Fultz got on the floor that evening. A sophomore at the time, she was in uniform but did not play.

Her favorite memory was the dog-pile after the championship game.

“It didn’t matter if you played zero minutes or the whole game, we accomplished something as a team,” Fultz said. “That was the greatest feeling ever.”

Ashlee Comastro was a seventh-grader. “I was at home, keeping updates with the game.”

And just how was she doing that?

“I was on The Columbian’s site,” she said.

Right answer!

Sydney Friauf, then a seventh-grader, was in Seaside, Ore., with her basketball team, the “Mini Storm.” She and her friends were in a pizza place, watching the game on a tablet.

“As soon as they won, we were all screaming and cheering,” she said.

Georgia Romine-Black was an eighth-grader.

“I did not go to the tournament. I really wish I had,” she said.

At least she gets to go this year.

Hanna Van Nortwick, then a seventh-grader, was at the Dome, but …

“I was planning on going to Prairie,” she said. “I was at their championship game.”

Oh yes, on the same night two years ago, Prairie won the 3A state title, roughly four hours after Skyview’s 4A victory.

Kirsten Johnson was an eighth-grader. She made it to the Dome.

“Prairie was there, too. I watched both of them win championships,” Johnson said. “It was pretty cool.”

Neesen Bristow was a sophomore who played JV and varsity that season. She was not in uniform for the postseason, though, and instead was in the student section.

“It was so intense,” she said. “I was shaking the whole time. I was so excited for them.”

Genevieve Lo was a freshman who worked out with the team throughout the postseason but was not among the 12 who could be in uniform for games. Instead, she was one of the managers, on the bench, supporting the Storm.

“I felt really lucky to be part of it,” Lo said. “As a freshman, I got to experience the intensity of what it takes to be varsity.”

Plus, she had a front-row seat to a state championship game.

Two years later, the program is in position to get another title. Eight teams remain. Only one can go undefeated this week.

The Skyview Storm have players with championship game experience, and a whole team with championship game memories.

Later this week, the 2014 Skyview Storm hope to create new memories that will last a lifetime.

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