Tatum Thompson pulls down a rebound and looks for an outlet. Bob Kirkpatrick photo
By Bob Kirkpatrick
The Woodinville Girls’ basketball team turned in another masterful performance on the hardwood last night, May 4, soundly defeating Bothell 77-53 in front of the Falcon faithful.
“I thought the girls played fantastically; this is one of the best teams I’ve ever had,” coach Scott Bullock said. “Bothell has a good talented young team of sophomores and juniors and gave us a good challenge in the first game. They’ll be a good team for years to come.”
This one was never in doubt as Woodinville was up big, 21-7 midway through the first quarter.
The team keeping its foot on the accelerator, raced out to a 24-point lead with just over a minute to go in the first half. A skillful behind-the-back pass from Tatum Thompson to Mia Hughes for a bucket made it 45-21 and brought the crowd to its feet seconds before the break.
Hughes and Thompson set the pace in the second half of play as well, and the Falcons put the Cougars in the rearview mirror up 76-48 with 2:38 left in the game. Coach Bullock then unloaded his bench and let his sub’s close it out.
Thompson finished the game with a triple-double of 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Hughes matched her offensive output with 23 points as well.
Hughes, an outgoing senior, will lace it up one last time with her teammates Friday night, May 7, at 5:45 p.m. when the Falcons host the Inglemoor Vikings.
“I have a weird feeling about that,” Hughes said. “I remember my freshman year talking with Regan Schenck and Jordan Berday (2017-18 teammates) before our first game, and they told me to enjoy it while I can because it (high school career) goes by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t believe them then, but I do now. Everything has gone by a lot faster than I could’ve imagined.”
Hughes said it would be sad not to be a part of the team next season but added she couldn’t have asked for a better four-year experience.
“We never got a state championship trophy, but I never thought we’d have as much success as we’ve had. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” she said. “I am going to miss the overall culture surrounding the team. I’ve been lucky to have two great coaches who’ve been so supportive both on and off the court. We’ve also had very supportive parents, a great fan base, had many students at the games, and I’ve also had a lot of caring teachers here. I’m going to miss all of that for sure.”
Woodinville made four appearances in the State tournament during her four years with the team. The Falcons finished runner-up to Central Valley in the 2018 and 2020 championship games.
Hughes will end her high school basketball career as Woodinville’s all-time leading scorer and leave behind close friends to carry on a program that has become one of the best in the State in 4A Girls Basketball.
“Mia broke the scoring mark in 2017,” Bullock said. “She’s averaging 20 points per game and was on pace to get 2,000 points for her career, but unfortunately, this season was cut short because of COVID.”
Hughes will take her game to the next level and play roundball for the Montana State University Bobcats next season.
“I think I’ll fit in well there because their style of play is a lot like ours here at Woodinville,” Hughes said. “Their coaching is similar, and from what I’ve seen on livestream, their players play fast and work hard and that’s what I like to do.”
Coach Bullock agrees.
“I think she’ll be a fantastic player at MSU,” Bullock said. “Some people may be concerned about her height. But I have seen her play against taller, faster people, and I think she’ll be fine. Basketball is as much about heart and wanting it more than anyone as it is about height. Mia is tenacious and works hard on her game, and if she keeps that level of energy up, she’ll be fantastic at the next level.”
As far as how the team will measure up when she’s gone, Hughes said the Falcons still have a lot of talent on their roster.
“There are potentially four or five D1 players on the team, which is a lot for a high school program to have,” she said. “Veronica (Sheffey) and Tatum (Thompson) will still be there and there are a couple of good freshmen who’ll contribute too. I’m planning to come back and watch them play. It’ll be exciting to see what they do next year.”
Hughes, coach Bullock said, will be sorely missed.
“I’ve never had anyone quite like her. She has a motor in her that you don’t see in any player, male or female,” he said. “We are going to miss her.”