Inchelium girls bring home the golden ball; Lady Hornets knock off Oakesdale 46-34 in the WIAA 1B girls state championship game culminating the season for six seniors

SPOKANE – Tears of joy:  After the final seconds ticked away, players and coaches rushed to the middle of the court to celebrate with those players already on the court.

The Inchelium girls basketball team accomplished their goal of winning the school’s first basketball state championship.

“Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be a state champ,” said Rylee Desautel (Colville tribal member) of Inchelium. “A state championship always seemed so out of reach. Our journey was definitely hard. It happened so fast, that it is still unbelievable that we truly won it.”

The Lady Hornets held off a pesky Oakesdale squad for a 46-34 win in the WIAA 1B girls state title game on March 7 at the Spokane Arena.

“We just got a state championship,” said Ted Torzewski, head coach for Inchelium. “This is great for the school, the community, the Colville Tribe.”

The win was felt across the reservation.

“On behalf of the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Colville Business Council, I want to congratulate the Inchelium Lady Hornets,” wrote CBC Chair Rodney Cawston after the game. “On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to watch them play hard and win the State Championship. This was a huge win for their community, their families and most importantly for themselves. With family and community support behind them, these young ladies demonstrated incredible athleticism and teamwork. Inchelium you have a lot to be proud of. Seeing so many Colville Tribal members in the stands Saturday night was fantastic.”

Inchelium, who had been hovering near the top of the RPI rankings for the whole year proved that they deserved to be there.

“It’s great. We’ve worked so hard as a team,” said Mia Pakootas, (Colville tribal member) of Inchelium. “We’ve put in so many hours of extra work for each other and our community. For us to come out on top, it’s so awesome.”

For the first time in the tournament, Inchelium would trail after the first quarter, as Oakesdale would hold a 15-13 lead after the first quarter.

The Lady Hornets appeared to settle their nerves in the second quarter as they outscored Oakesdale 9-6 in the quarter, taking a 22-21 lead at halftime.

Only 16 minutes away from their first state championship in school history, Inchelium buckled down defensively in the second half. 

 They held Oakesdale to just seven points in the third quarter and six points in the fourth outscoring the Nighthawks 24-13 in the second half.

Oakesdale closed the margin early on in the fourth quarter as they battled back to within three points (33-30) but that would be the closest they would get.

From that point on, Inchelium would go on a 13-4 run in the final six minutes, winning by 12 points and bringing the golden ball to the deep woods of Inchelium.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” said Steven Carson (Colville tribal member), assistant coach and athletic director for Inchelium. “The hard work, dedication and determination of each Lady Hornet was a dream come true.”

“Being able to participate, help, talk, scream and warhoop with these ladies the whole way and watch their dreams come true is what any Coach, AD, and Lady Hornet could ever ask for!”

Pakootas led the Lady Hornets in scoring as she finished with 12 points and hauled in 15 rebounds to go along with four blocks and three steals.

Annmarie Simpson (Colville tribal member) of Inchelium scored 10 points and Chenoa Erickson stepped up and scored nine points.

Desautel in her final game as Lady Hornet filled the stat sheet as she scored eight points, had nine rebounds and three steals.

“It has been the most challenging and rewarding journey I have ever been on,” said Desautel. “I’m so thankful I ended my career with a state championship, my team, and coaching staff.”


Oakesdale – [15]  [6] [7] [6] - 34

Inchelium – [13]  [9] [11] [13] – 46



Their journey to first

3/4/2020 –           Bye                                       First round

3/5/2020 – Wellpinit           W    74-62               quarterfinals

3/6/2020 – Mount Vernon   W    67-42                 semifinals

3/7/2020 – Oakesdale        W    46-34           state championship

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