EWU Women's Basketball Signs Three Local Standouts - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

EWU Women's Basketball Signs Three Local Standouts

EWU signs three local standouts on Nov. 13. Photo Courtesy: EWU Sports Information EWU signs three local standouts on Nov. 13. Photo Courtesy: EWU Sports Information
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by Eastern Washington Athletics

Eastern Washington Women's Basketball head coach Wendy Schuller has announced the signing of three high school seniors to National Letters of Intent Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The class includes forward Mariah Cunningham (Spokane, Wash./Central Valley HS) and guards Delaney Hodgins (Pasco, Wash./Chiawana HS) and Kiana Brown (Triangle Lake, Ore./Triangle Lake HS).

"We're very excited to have such high-character, hard-working people like Mariah, Delaney and Kiana join our program," Schuller said. "It's a talented group that possesses a tremendous work ethic and a desire to keep getting better. All three bring something different to the table, and their unique abilities will help make our team better."

All three bring different things to the table and will make our team better in a lot of ways."

"They all come from great families and are also very committed to their academics, which is what this program is about. All three will fit right in with our team and will prove to be great pieces to our program. I have no doubt they will represent our program and athletic department in the right way both on campus and in the community."

A local product from Central Valley High School in Spokane, Cunningham immediately upgrades the Eagles' athleticism at the forward position. A four-year letter winner in both basketball and track, she averaged 13.8 points per game last season, earning First Team All-Greater Spokane League honors. She was also a second team all-league pick as a sophomore after leading her squad to the state title game. Cunningham is also accomplished on the track, owning her high school's all-time long jump record.

She plans to major in social work at Eastern with the goal of becoming an adoption counselor.

"We're really excited about Mariah," Schuller said. "She fit in really well with our team the moment she set foot on campus. She has a lot of upside, and I think she'll be one of the best pure athletes to ever play here. Her work ethic is tremendous, and I think she'll continue to get better and better because she's willing to work so hard."

The younger sister of sophomore Hayley Hodgins, Hodgins gives the Eagles a long, versatile player that can play multiple positions. She earned First Team All-Mid Columbia Conference honors as a sophomore and junior, and was a second team all-state pick last season after leading the league in scoring with an average of 18 points per game. The Tri-City Herald named her to its all-area first team the last two seasons, participating in the paper's Media Classic event both years. Academically, Hodgins received the WIAA Distinguished Scholar Award as a junior and is a two-year member of the National Honor Society.

She plans to major in health while at EWU.

"In a lot of ways, Delaney has been a part of our program for a long time, and we've been fortunate to watch her grow up," said Schuller. "She's like her sister in that they both have high basketball IQs, but they are different players. They score in different ways, and Delaney is a little bit longer than Hayley. I've seen Delaney play 1-5 for her high school and club teams, so she can do a little bit of everything. The growth she's shown from her sophomore year to now tells me she has a great upside. I think she has a chance to be very good for us."

One of the most prolific scorers in Oregon history, Brown gives Eastern a ready-made scorer with a great shooting touch from outside. She currently ranks ninth all-time on the state's career scoring list with 2,059 points after pouring in an average of 28 points per game as a junior. She was named the Oregon 1A Player of the Year a season ago, finishing second in state history with 833 points that year. She led Triangle Lake HS to the state tournament as a sophomore and junior, breaking the tournament record for points in a game with 37. Brown was also a First Team All-Mountain West selection all three years

"Kiana is a phenomenal shooter with a great stroke," Schuller said. "Physically, she has a really good body that will fit well in the college game. The bottom line for us in the recruiting process was that she knows how to score, and she has a scorer's mentality. She finds ways to score both inside and out. It'll take her a little time to adjust, coming from such a small school, but I don't worry about that because I think if you can play, you can play."

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