Everett’s Alana Washington (12) and Mae Washington (14) huddle with teammates during a game Jan. 26 in Everett.(Annie Barker / The Herald)

Everett’s Alana Washington (12) and Mae Washington (14) huddle with teammates during a game Jan. 26 in Everett.(Annie Barker / The Herald)

A twin thing: Everett, Arlington sisters grow connections on the court

Everett’s Washington sisters and Arlington’s Snow sisters are among several area twins playing prominent roles for their high school basketball teams.

It’s not a rare sight to see siblings sharing the court together at the high school level. Twins, however, are a little more few and far between.

But in Snohomish County, there’s a number of twins playing together on their varsity basketball squads, many of whom are playing key roles for teams with state tournament aspirations.

On the girls side, seniors Alana and Mae Washington lead the way for the Everett Seagulls. The dynamic, 6-foot guards have helped revive the Everett program. About 30 minutes northeast, the multi-faceted Snow sisters, seniors Katie and Rachel, have developed into critical contributors for the powerhouse Arlington Eagles. Their efforts have aided Arlington’s continued success in Wesco 3A/2A.

Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a two-part series about basketball twins in the area. Part II runs in Saturday’s edition of The Herald and features twin brothers from Sultan and Marysville Getchell.

Washington wonders

Everett’s Mae Washington (14) and Alana Washington (12) stand together during a game Jan. 26 in Everett.(Annie Barker / The Herald)

Everett’s Mae Washington (14) and Alana Washington (12) stand together during a game Jan. 26 in Everett.(Annie Barker / The Herald)

The competitiveness between Alana and Mae Washington began at a young age, specifically on days when their dad, Alphonso, took them to the YMCA to work one-on-one drills.

“(Those outings) would be like, ‘OK. I got to beat her,’” Alana said, “especially because I’m like one minute older.”

Alphonso’s job was to make sure winning and losing stayed under control and didn’t get out of hand, always reminding his daughters basketball was “not a blood sport” and they were practicing to improve together.

The twins were around 5 years old when they played on their first basketball team together, and though soccer and softball were in their lives, basketball and aspirations to play in the WNBA were priority.

“I feel like we’ve always wanted to play beyond high school at least,” Mae said.

“When we played soccer,” Alana said, “I always saw soccer as like, ‘This is just soccer, like a second sport.’ But I was like, ‘This is basketball.’”

Committing to basketball and never looking back, the pair have thrived for Everett. They helped lead the Seagulls to the state regionals as sophomores in 2022 and the Hardwood Classic in 2023, breaking program droughts of nine and 27 years, respectively. They earned all-league selections their sophomore and junior seasons and were named to The Herald’s All-Area teams last year.

Everett girls basketball coach Darrell McNeal said the duo look for each other, and their unspoken link means they’re often in the right place at the right time to correct each other’s mistakes.

“There’s a connection between the twins that only twins have,” he said. “It’s really something neat to see. And sometimes you go, ‘Hey, that was not a good pass, but your sister bailed you out. OK.’”

Everett’s Alana Washington (12) moves with the ball during a game on Jan. 26 in Everett. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Everett’s Alana Washington (12) moves with the ball during a game on Jan. 26 in Everett. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Alana said in earlier years the pair was at time out-of-sync, but as they’ve continued to play with each other every year, their connection has flourished.

Everett rests in the upper half of the conference standings and is poised to contend for another 3A state berth this season. There’s nothing the Washingtons would love more than to cap their senior season with a return trip to state.

“I just want to see how far we can go,” Alana said. “If we could get a place at the (Tacoma) Dome, that would be amazing. But definitely making it to where we were last year and then beyond would be great.”

Everett’s Mae Washington lays in a contested shot against during a state regionals game on Feb. 21, 2023, in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett’s Mae Washington lays in a contested shot against during a state regionals game on Feb. 21, 2023, in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The Washingtons will continue their education and basketball careers next fall at Arizona Christian University, an NAIA school. The pair explained they didn’t want basketball engulfing their lives, and this opportunity was a “stepping stool” to play ball in college while getting their tuition paid for and growing their relationship with God. Plus, the warm-weather ambiance that Arizona provides to its residents played a small role in their overall decision.

“My hat’s off to them. They will be truly missed,” McNeal said. “Their growth from the time that I met them to today, it has been amazing. It’s been an honor to coach the girls, be a part of their basketball endeavors, and I wish them all the best.”

Let it Snow

Arlington twins Rachel Snow (center left) and Katie Snow (24) yell in celebration with teammates after winning the Class 3A District 1 championship Feb. 18, 2023 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington twins Rachel Snow (center left) and Katie Snow (24) yell in celebration with teammates after winning the Class 3A District 1 championship Feb. 18, 2023 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Katie and Rachel Snow started their basketball careers at Arlington as freshmen on the junior-varsity team. After their freshman seasons of learning Eagles basketball, the twins have grown into key contributors for the varsity squad.

“They’ve definitely made an impact on the floor,” Arlington coach Joe Marsh said, “and that’s one of the things that stands out about them is how hard they work. They’re both physical players.”

Not only is physicality a trait the twins share on the hardwood, they also demonstrate it on the soccer pitch. Katie is the shot stopper in goal, and Rachel is a defender. Even though they’ve improved immensely as basketball players, their heart is set on soccer, both committing to play at Northwest University in Kirkland next fall.

Arlington’s Rachel Snow makes a 3-point shot during a game Dec. 11, 2023, in Arlington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington’s Rachel Snow makes a 3-point shot during a game Dec. 11, 2023, in Arlington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The pair played sports together throughout their childhood. They began their athletic journey playing 3-on-3 soccer at Strawberry Fields in Marysville at around 4 years old, and their mom, Christina, who played college soccer at the University of Portland and professionally in Sweden, coached them until they were around 10.

“We’ve always told them give 110%. … (and) leave your best out on the field or court,” Christina said. “We’ve tried to teach them it’s all about the team because it takes a team to win a championship, not just an individual. … And I think that’s done very well for them because being twins, I think you’re a little more unselfish just because there was always two of them.”

Pictured are Katie (left) and Rachel Snow. (Photo courtesy Christina Snow)

Pictured are Katie (left) and Rachel Snow. (Photo courtesy Christina Snow)

After running around the pitch for a few years, their dad, Ed, signed them up for basketball at the Boys and Girls Club. The experience gained playing two sports together has further added to the duo’s cohesiveness.

“I feel we can anticipate each other’s moves and what we’re about to do next pretty well,” Rachel said. “We know each other’s styles of games, and having the connection on the court and off the court has been able to help us in sports.”

Marsh stationed Katie at post sophomore year to rebound and guard other teams’ bigger players. He noted he hadn’t had a force like her in that position for a few years. Katie was a defensive specialist and rebounder in her early years but has evolved into a scoring threat since. Rachel improved her game after her sophomore year of playing a mix of JV and varsity, and Marsh has kept her on the perimeter. He described Rachel as the team’s X factor because “when she’s playing well, the team is playing well.”

Arlington’s Katie Snow looks for an opening to shoot during a game Dec. 11, 2023 in Arlington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington’s Katie Snow looks for an opening to shoot during a game Dec. 11, 2023 in Arlington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The twins’ communication directing traffic on the pitch has translated well to the court and has helped the Eagles earn top-five finishes at the past two state tournaments.

“When you put the Snows together on the floor, there’s just a different feel because they do have an awareness of each other and knowledge of what each other is going to do,” Marsh said. “They have a thing, and it’s nice to see.

“They’re the whole package: great students, great kids, great basketball players. I love having them in the program,” Marsh continued. “Their work ethic is outstanding. … As a coach, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

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