Taking the floor for the Republic girls basketball team includes two Colville tribal members and two tribal volunteer coaches.
The lady Tigers have a young team, anchored by sophomore guard (and tribal member) Kayla Tonasket. Three eighth graders have moved up to provide depth, and freshman tribal member Josephine Pakootas also gets time on the court. Despite their youth, the Tigers are getting closer to .500, and coach Dan Graham believes in his team.
“We are real young,” Graham said after a 76-22 loss to No. 2-ranked Inchelium in December. “The girls did good scrapping. We fought hard. … I was happy with them. I think we are getting mentally tougher.”
The Tigers are 3-5, notching wins over Bridgeport (41-34) and Cusick (53-42 and 44-38) at mid-January. With 10 games left on the schedule, Republic could make its way into postseason contention if it can string together some wins.
Shania Graham — a tribal member that led the Tigers to the 2017 State 1B Basketball Championship has volunteered to help the team coached by her father. Her significant other, tribal member Quentin Holford — who was an All- League talent for Inchelium in his day — also volunteers.