Posted On: 02/17/20 1:23 AM
Both the boy’s and girl’s career scoring records were broken this past week with Odessa High School’s Ryan Moffet breaking Brock Ravet’s scoring mark of 3,100, while Hailey Van Lith surpassed Jennifer Stinson’s career record of 2881. Annie Wright School Junior, Julianna Walker, is on pace to break Van Lith’s scoring mark by next season and Chiawana High School’s junior, Talia von Oelhoffen, has over 2,000 career points and counting as well.
The two common denominators between each of these players are 1) They can put the ball in the hoop at a high rate and 2) They have all attended small schools. Focusing on the girl’s scoring mark, Jennifer Stinson attended Davenport High School from 1991-1995, which competed at the “B” class in those days. For reference, Davenport competes in the 2B classification in 2020. The current career scoring record holder is Hailey Van Lith who attends 1A Cashmere High School. Julianna Walker, who is in contention to break Van Lith’s record, plays at 1A Annie Wright. Talia von Oelhoffen now plays at 4A Chiawana, but spent her first two years at 2B Tri Cities Prep. Essentially all of these players have averaged right around the 30 point per game mark, while attending small schools. 5-star recruit Talia von Oelhoffen is an interesting case study as an extremely talented scorer that moved from a small school to the state’s largest classification (4A). Talia is currently averaging 26 points per game, after averaging a little over 30 a year ago at Tri Cities Prep. In a recent playoff game, she dropped 40 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a win for Chiawana. I was on hand for Hailey Van Lith dropping 40 points on 3A runner-up Mt. Spokane a year ago. So, there is obviously no doubt that these players can score the ball versus higher level classes and there’s a reason Van Lith is a McDonald’s All-American headed to Louisville and von Oelhoffen is being recruited by UConn. All of that being said, there have also been multiple other extremely talented scorers that are not at the very top of the record books. I decided to ask some of the most knowledgeable and influential coaches in Washington’s grassroots scene about who the best all around scorer was that they have ever seen. Each of those players mentioned to me have something in common as well and that is the fact they attended “large schools” in the 4A class.
Steve Klees, Director of the Northwest Blazers travel program, has seen more than his fair share of high level scorers in the last 40 years. He listed three players’ scoring ability that he has been most impressed with through the years. 1) 6’0 Brittany McPhee of Mount Rainier HS, 2) 5’10 Tia Presley of Gonzaga Prep, and 3) 6’0 Angie Bjorklund of University HS (*Feature image). “All three of these girls competed at the 4A level and all three went on to play and start at Power 5 schools.” McPhee is the state’s only three time Gatorade State Player of the Year and is number three in career scoring with 2,815 points. She averaged 27 points and 13 rebounds per game in her senior year. Klees added, “She was really tough and could go to the rim.” McPhee would go on to be a starter and captain for the Stanford Cardinal. Tia Presley once scored 52 points on Oregon’s 6A State Champion, Jesuit High School, out of Portland. “Tia could finish through contact and never scored less than 10 points in a high school game.” She would go on to star at Washington State University and make three All-Conference teams thanks to her explosive scoring ability. She has been playing professionally overseas for several years upon graduating from WSU. Finally, Steve Klees talked about Bjorklund’s versatile scoring ability. “Angie had a variety of shots and a true 15 foot pull up jump shot.” Ranked as the number two high school player in the country behind Maya Moore, Bjorklund would go on to play at Tennessee and start as a freshman, winning a national championship under Coach Pat Summit.
Columbia Cascades travel ball Director and retired 32 year Prairie High School Head Coach, Al Aldridge, said the best scorer he ever saw was McDonald’s All-American, Ashley Corral. When asked what made her such a great scorer, Aldridge said, “Well she shot it really well…When she graduated, she won the national All-American 3 point contest and after she led USC to so much success, she won the National Collegiate 3 point contest.” Ashley Corral is a successful basketball trainer in the southern region of Washington today, but she was a big time shooter and double digit scorer for USC from 2008-2012. Aldridge, who coached her at Prairie High School from 2004-2008 said, “We crushed people by so much that she barely played two quarters by her junior and senior years. Had she played like most kids did in high school, she would have easily scored over 3,000 points and maybe a bunch more. She was pretty much unstoppable off the bounce and could shoot it from deep!”
Some other names that come to mind include 6’2 Katie Starbird who starred for Lakes High School in the 1990’s and scored 2,753 career points. Starbird would go on to have a successful career at Stanford. Chief Sealth’s 5’7 Sheila Lambert was a super scorer from 1994-1998 and finished with 2,534 for her high school career before moving onto Baylor and then winning a WNBA championship with the Detroit Shock. Starbird ranks number four and Lambert checks in at number eight for Washington’s career scoring record list. All of the other players currently in the top 15 hail from small schools.
The bottom line is all of these past players have been extremely successful scorers and all have gone on to put together illustrious college and professional careers. The new crop of players putting up big numbers all have future college careers ahead and are deserving of all of the accolades they receive, no matter what level they are playing at. How their college and potential professional careers pan out is still be determined, but the bar has been set very high by some of the other top scorers Washington has ever seen. Small school or big school, Washington continues to pump out some high level scorers.
Let us know, who is the best scorer you have ever seen come out of Washington?
Photo credit: Seattle Times (2007)