Over the next four days, the Cashmere Bulldogs girls basketball team will try to etch their names in the history books. And for three seniors, the bumps and bruises have been all worth it. Eric Granstrom has more on The Chase for the Gold Ball…
Cashmere has three seniors that start. Hailey Van Lith, Grace Hammond and Grace Erdmann. Since their freshman year, the Bulldogs have gone an incredible 93-and-6 with two State runner-ups and one third. And while their sites are on The Chase for the Gold Ball this week in Yakima and a lot of work at hand, I asked them for their most fun memory of playing basketball.
Erdmann’s favorite memory was in the semifinals her sophomore year
Erdmann says it happened three years ago. “I would say it was in the semifinal game of my sophomore year. We beat La Salle. And just looking into the stands and seeing everyone on their feet and our community and thinking, WOW, these people really support us!” Erdmann says she thinks the culture that they’ve created at Cashmere with both the boys and girls programs is remarkable.
Hammond has loved all four years of playing high school basketball
For the other Grace, Hammond, she says she’s enjoyed the entire experience of her four years in high school. “Definitely these years as a high schooler are the most rewarding years. You put all this work and time in building up to high school, I think being able to be around your teammates and play on the big stage at the Sun Dome is definitely the most rewarding.” She says that a lot of hard work goes into the end result. “Especially when you look back at everything you’ve done throughout the season. The sweet sixteens (running lines), push-ups, all the hard work. When you get to go to the Sun Dome and play with your whole community behind you. That’s a pretty neat experience.”
Van Lith’s favorite basketball memory was winning gold last summer
Hailey Van Lith is a different story. She’s traveled internationally for the past three summers, playing on gold-medal-winning teams representing the US. She says her best memory so far happened last summer. “Team USA in Thailand when we made a comeback in the Gold Medal game against Australia (that was Hailey’s best basketball memory).”
Van Lith says it was an eye-opening moment. “It’s the hardest to make Team USA. We have the hardest training camps. It’s a grind to play for Team USA and face the best players in the country all day long.” Hailey says it was all worth it. “To experience that experience when I got to hold that Gold Medal and see the confetti coming down after we won. I would do it all over again, no brainer.” She says she’d gladly go through all that pain again to relive that feeling.
There’s no doubt that a 22-and-oh season so far has also provided incredible moments for these three senior starters, as well as the rest of the Bulldogs. But I’m sure hoisting that Gold Ball Saturday night would be the icing on the cake.
Watch the Cashmere girls Thursday LIVE on NCWLIFE Channel
We will have the Cashmere girls against either Meridian or Annie Wright tomorrow LIVE at 5:30 on TV-ONLY here on the NCWLIFE Channel. If you’d like to watch the game on-line, you can stream it through the NFHS Network.
Watch NCWLIFE’s Facebook page for LIVE updates on the girls AND boys
And Eric will keep you up to date with LIVE Facebook reports throughout the State Tournament on both the Cashmere boys AND girls, so head there for the latest. In fact, Eric will be down there this afternoon doing his sports LIVE from the Sun Dome tonight with Grant Olson, so be sure to tune in for that.