Future Lady Panthers fare well at University of Montana camp

Select basketball team will take some time off for the summer

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The Future Lady Panthers basketball team recently traveled to a week-long camp at the University of Montana. Back row, from left, are Taylor Brown, Haley Briggs, Alyssa Blankenship, Crystal Chase and Alissa Lenczowski. Front row, from left, are Brenna Vargo and Sierra Carrol.

The University of Montana basketball camp was a great experience for the Future Lady Panthers and coach Jason Blankenship.

The girls spent a week playing several games of basketball, participating in one-on-one drills, three-point shooting, conditioning, and working with college players and coaches.

One of the Future Lady Panthers, Crystal Chase, and her team won the championship, while Blankenship’s daughter, Alyssa Blankenship, received the “Ms. Hustle” award at camp.

It is given by the coaches to the one girl who is willing to dive on the floor, rebound, score points and do whatever it takes for her team to win.

Alyssa, who will be an eighth-grader at Canyon Creek Middle School, was selected out of approximately 500 girls for this honor.

“It was a pretty big honor,” Coach Blankenship said. “Especially considering all the competition.”

Blankenship began the select basketball team two years ago when Alyssa began showing promise as a player.

“We played 70 games of basketball this year,” he said. “The main goal of this team is to be prepared and successful at high school ball.”

Blankenship is hoping to see the Washougal High School Panthers girls team repeat the glory of the 1992 season, when his team took fourth at state.

“We’ve got a great group of girls at the middle school level and you can really see the difference that the extra basketball has given them,” he said. “A lot of these girls practice with the high schoolers and are getting really good.”

Players who attended the camp included Alyssa Blankenship, Crystal Chase, Sierra Carrol, Haley Briggs, Alissa Lenczowski, Taylor Brown and Brenna Vargo.