Everett’s Alana Washington poses for a photo at Everett High School on March 24 in Everett. Washington is The Herald’s 2023-24 Girls Basketball Player of the Year. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Everett’s Alana Washington poses for a photo at Everett High School on March 24 in Everett. Washington is The Herald’s 2023-24 Girls Basketball Player of the Year. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The Herald’s 2023-24 Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Alana Washington

The Everett senior upped her game in the postseason to help the Seagulls overcome injuries and claim their first state trophy in 41 years.

It was only a matter of time before Alana Washington would follow in her cousin’s footsteps and play under the Tacoma Dome lights at the Hardwood Classic.

Washington’s cousin? Former Snohomish point guard Maya DuChesne, who helped the Panthers to a district title and three state trophies before graduating in 2019.

“I always would go and watch my cousin … at the Tacoma Dome because she made it like three years in a row. And I just remember thinking like, ‘Those are real girls. I’m going to be there. I’m going to be a high school player one day,’” Washington said. “But it really hit me this year, like I am one of those girls playing at the Tacoma Dome, and there’s probably little girls looking up to us now. And I’m just thinking like, ‘That’s us. Everett is here.’”

After a standout senior season and spectacular play during the postseason, Washington has another thing in common with her cousin. She’s The Herald’s Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Washington is noticeable when she steps onto the court wearing her No. 12 jersey. She stands out not only because she’s a 6-foot-1 guard and has a twin sister, Mae, who’s also six feet tall, but because she flips the switch on her demeanor as soon as she steps on the court. Alana, who can usually be seen smiling and displaying her bubbly personality off the court, turns into a fierce competitor as soon as she steps on the hardwood.

Alana entered this season with the same mindset she had all her other years while on the Everett girls basketball team — win and have fun. But being it was her senior year and the team had just graduated a handful of seniors after making a historic appearance at the Class 3A Hardwood Classic in 2023, it was her time to take charge and continue the momentum.

The Everett girls basketball team advanced to the state round of 12 and reached the Tacoma Dome last year for the first time since 1996, and Alana finished the season averaging 12 points, six rebounds and two steals per game.

Not only did Everett return to the Tacoma Dome and round of 12 this year, it advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in 41 years, and it brought home a sixth-place trophy. Alana finished this season averaging 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals per game, nearly doubling her points per game from her junior season.

Everett senior Alana Washington takes a steal the other way during a Class 3A state quarterfinal game against Garfield on Feb. 29 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett senior Alana Washington takes a steal the other way during a Class 3A state quarterfinal game against Garfield on Feb. 29 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Alana’s last few games of the season were memorable for her own basketball career and the program she played for. She scored 32 points to help Everett past Meadowdale in a winner-to-state, loser-out District 1 consolation game and 33 points against Seattle Prep during the state regional round to advance Everett to the Hardwood Classic. She made the game-winning layup with two seconds remaining to oust fourth-seeded Auburn in the round of 12, and she registered 37 points against North Thurston in the loser-out consolation game to propel Everett to a state trophy.

“My play my senior year, I was kind of surprised,” Alana said. “I didn’t really have it in my mind like, ‘I’m going to try to go out and drop like 20 (points).’ I was just taking it one game at a time. And I literally remember thinking after almost every game like, ‘I can’t believe I just did that?’ … I was just super, super proud of the team, and that we were able to come together and place sixth.”

But earning a state trophy was no easy task this season for the Seagulls. Plagued with injuries, Everett constantly adjusted its lineup. At one period in the season, only six varsity players were healthy to play.

Seagulls senior point guard Mylie Wugumgeg suffered a leg injury in early January and also experienced medical issues that sidelined her for most of the district tournament and all the team’s state games.

Mae dislocated her shoulder against Monroe in late-January for the second time since summer AAU ball. She was absent for Everett’s next five games, which included district tournament matchups against Edmonds-Woodway, Lynnwood and Shorecrest. Mae returned to the lineup and scored 21 points in Everett’s victory over Meadowdale but dislocated her shoulder again versus Auburn and against North Thurston at state. She did not play in the fourth/sixth-place game against Arlington.

“The first couple games, it hindered me just because I was concerned. I felt bad, like those are crucial games, and we obviously need her,” Alana said about her sister missing from the lineup. “But it also did allow me to push harder and obviously rely on my teammates more because I do tend to look sometimes only to Mae during the game. It did bring us together in that way, but it also somewhat hindered myself and the team just because we were obviously losing a body and a crucial part of our team.”

Everett senior Alana Washington scores in the paint against Seattle Prep during a state regionals matchup at Shorewood High School on Feb. 24 in Shoreline. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett senior Alana Washington scores in the paint against Seattle Prep during a state regionals matchup at Shorewood High School on Feb. 24 in Shoreline. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Third-year head coach Darrell McNeal said Mae’s absence forced Alana and the other team members to mesh in a different fashion.

“It was basically coaching them one quarter, one possession at a time, getting them to learn how to play together and rely on each other even more so than having other people learn how to take on some other roles,” McNeal said. “(Missing Wugumgeg and Mae) caused a little stress at times. However, it made other girls step up and put other girls in a position on the floor gaining the experience, improving on their confidence.

“In the end, it was great because when we got to the state tournament, we were still banged up, and when we played in that last game on Saturday, we only lost by five, (and) that’s with Mylie and Mae out,” McNeal continued. “So the other girls were familiar and comfortable, and they knew their roles and they were able to step up and do well.”

Both Alana and Mae continue their basketball journeys at Arizona Christian University next school year and look to use their experiences from the challenging Wesco 3A/2A league in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

“People counted us out when our point guard went down and when we lost Mae for a little bit. … People didn’t think my girls would rise to the occasion,” McNeal said. “With Alana leading the way, along with everyone else getting in line and doing their part and playing their role, we were able to have a successful run. … It didn’t matter who was on the floor, it didn’t matter who we were going to go against, these girls always showed up to play.”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington tabs alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

The Everett Silvertips remain confident in signing defenseman Landon DuPont, the first-overall selection in this year’s WHL prospects draft, who’s considered a generational talent. (Photo courtesy of Chris Mast)
Patterson: Have patience Tips fans, offseason news is coming

Everett is close to hiring a new GM and new coach, and still confident of signing Landon DuPont.

Dan Parker with the Snohomish High School girls cross country team. (Elizabeth Armstrong / The Herald)
2024 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame class announced

Five athletes, one coach, one contributor and one team are being inducted.

Why Seahawks are joining NFL trend with joint practices

Seattle will conduct practices with the Tennessee Titans prior to their preseason game.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

AquaSox second baseman Brock Rodden throws out a runner June 5 during a game against the Vancouver Giants at Funko Field in Everett. Rodden has been the team’s top offensive performer so far this season. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
AquaSox week in review: Keystone capers buoy Everett

Brock Rodden and Josh Hood have a friendly rivalry that pushes both players.

Snohomish Summer Smash returns for ninth edition

Registration is open for the tennis tournament for high schoolers, which takes place July 18-21.

2024 small school spring all-conference

Here are the 2024 all-conference selections from local small schools. Teams are… Continue reading

Seahawk and Archbishop Murphy grad Lucas hosting free camp

Registration is open for the youth camp, which takes place June 29 at Archbishop Murphy High School.

Glacier Peak’s Nicholas Miller. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 All-Wesco boys soccer teams

Here are the 2024 All-Wesco boys soccer teams. Teams are chosen by… Continue reading

Stanwood's Mary Andelin takes off from the starting line in the Women’s 800 Meter during the Eason Invitational at Snohomish High School on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 All-Wesco girls track and field teams

Here are the 2024 All-Wesco girls track and field teams. Teams are… Continue reading

Wolfpack weathering a chaotic AFL storm

General manager Miguel Morga talks about carrying on, despite the indoor football league’s struggles.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.