Sports

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Is this the year Beamer makes a run at state title?

Beamer sophomore Nia Alexander is one of five returning starters for the Titans this season. Alexander averaged 10.6 points a game for a team that won the SPSL South title. - File photo
Beamer sophomore Nia Alexander is one of five returning starters for the Titans this season. Alexander averaged 10.6 points a game for a team that won the SPSL South title.
— image credit: File photo

The expectations are sky high for the Todd Beamer girls basketball team.

But that’s just fine with second-year head coach Corey Alexander. The Titans, who won the South Puget Sound League South Division title a season ago, return their entire starting lineup from a team that was one win away from the Class 4A State Tournament. Beamer finished 15-1 in the SPSL South and 20-6 overall.

“We want to make a run for a state title,” Alexander said.

The Titans have only one senior on their entire roster, but she is a good one. The 6-foot-3 Megan Huff has already signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Hawaii. But she might be a better basketball player.

Huff led Beamer in scoring and rebounding last season and was a first-team, All-SPSL South selection. She averaged 14.3 points and had 28 points and 13 rebounds in the SPSL Championship game.

“I will lean on her leadership to help such a young team,” Alexander said.

Also back are starters Nia Alexander, Bria Rice, Quinessa Caylao-do and Liesa Young, who are all sophomores.

Alexander, a 5-foot-10 wing, averaged 10.6 points last year, but proved to be Beamer’s biggest scoring threat during their impressive postseason run. The daughter of head coach Corey Alexander scored at least 13 points in the Titans’ final four games, including a team-leading 15 points during the season-ending loss to Arlington at regionals.

Caylao-Do averaged 13.5 points and was in double figures in all but four games for Beamer as a freshman. She finished the year with 11-straight double-digit games.

Rice was Beamer’s point guard and was the motor that made the Titans go all season long. She averaged 10.5 points a game, but suffered an ankle sprain during the Titans’ postseason opener and missed the rest of the postseason. Rice also broke her arm during the summer.

“Everyone thought she might be done,” Corey Alexander said. “She proved everyone wrong. She said, ‘Coach, I have one goal in mind, to lead this team to state.’”

Caylao-do also missed Beamer’s final postseason game last year with a hair-line fracture in her elbow and Young went down in the middle of last season with a knee injury.

“This team will be very successful if we stay healthy,” Corey Alexander said. “Not if we have players get hurt late in the season.”

Beamer will also be counting on juniors Carrie Lyn Ramos and Jefferson transfer Jalyn Piper, sophomores Sophie Afework and Talea Culp and freshmen Japhera McEachin and Giavanni Flowers.

The Titans start the defense of their SPSL South title Tuesday at home against Emerald Ridge.

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