3A GIRLS STATE: Players to watch

HEATHER CORRAL

Prairie | Guard

The 6-foot-1 point guard has had a history of knee injuries, but when healthy she’s arguably the best player in this tournament. Corral, who has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Washington next year, missed her sophomore season with a serious knee injury and helped the Falcons to the state tournament a year ago before tearing a ligament in her left knee. She missed Prairie’s final game of the season with an injured knee but return for the district tournament and scored three points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists in Prairie’s 65-28 victory over Juanita in the state regionals this past weekend. Despite missing the state tournament, she made the The Associated Press’ all-state team and was named The Columbian’s All-Region player of the year in 2011. Corral’s sister, Ashley, who led Prairie to a third-place finish in the 4A tournament in 2008, is a senior at the University of Southern California.

KHADIDJA TOURE

Kamiakin | Guard

The senior guard might be the most explosive scorer in the 3A girls tournament. Toure, who is averaging 21.2 points per game this season, shattered a 27-year-old record when she scored 48 points and nearly outscored West Valley’s entire team in a 80-49 victory earlier this season. “She loves to attack and has great burst on her first step,” a scout wrote on her ESPN recruiting profile. “She brings her energy and athleticism to the defensive end as well.” If the 5-foot-9 Oregon State-signee can find her stroke and get untracked, the Braves will likely improve upon their 2011 fifth-place finish. Toure scored 30 points in Kamiakin’s dominating 76-46 win over Lakes in the state regional game. Toure’s sister isn’t alone as sister and sophomore wing Sira Toure helps out with 11.9 points per game for Kamiakin.

MYZHANIQUE LADD

Cleveland | Guard

Cleveland’s leading scorer may be MaKayla Roper, but if it’s going to win its second state title in three years, its hopes likely rest on the small shoulders of this sophomore, do-everything point guard. The 5-7 bundle of energy averaged 10.2 points per game in helping Cleveland take first in the Metro Valley standings and a No. 5 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. In the state regional win over Wilson, Ladd, who was a Metro League second-team selection, led the team with 17 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists. Her arguably best performance of the season came against another state quarterfinal participant, Seattle Prep, when she went for 20 points in January.

Kaylee Best

Lakeside | Guard

the 5-foot-6 guard leads a strong Lakeside team that made a late-season run to the 3A SeaKing District tournament championship game. Best, who was named to the Metro League first team, averaged 11.5 points per game in three straight wins over Blanchet, Bellevue and Cleveland to get to the tourney title game and help Lakeside draw a favorable matchup in the regional tournament, where Best scored 16 points to lead Lakeside to a 48-38 win over Glacier Peak and punch its ticket to Tacoma. “She has a quick first step that borders on explosive and sound shooting mechanics to convert scoring opportunities,” a scout wrote on her ESPN recruiting profile. “Defensively she can be a difference maker with her length and foot speed.”

MICHAELA CAREW

Seattle Prep | Post

In a tournament thin on dominating posts, this 6-2 forward might be able to help the Panthers to their highest finish ever at state. Seattle Prep, which has reached state in each of the past seven seasons, has never placed higher than fourth. Carew, who was named to the Metro League first team, scored a season-high 22 points against West Seattle and averages a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds per game). Carew scored 16 points in an upset victory over Auburn Mountainview in the state regional.

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