Desert Ridge guard Washington signed, sealed to Sacred Heart

November 22, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Desert Ridge senior guard Gabby Washington was limited the first six weeks of last season due to injury. She the Pima Region player of the year for 2009, who averaged 22 points a game for the Jaguars.

Washington's injury-plagued 2010 still saw her score at better than a 16-point-per-game clip. She underwent ankle surgery earlier this year and got clearance to play just in time for season-opening practice. That combination had her on the floor Monday and in the starting lineup for  Desert Ridge's 2011 season opener with Gilbert High.

Washington opened the contest a little rusty, but finished with 20 points and tried to take charge in the final period. Gilbert was too stubborn to lose the lead it held virutally all game and pulled away in the final period for a 66-55 win.

Washington, however, already feels better about her senior season. Playing in the opener rather than sitting like last year plus signing a letter of intent last week to play Division I ball would tend to brighten anyone's outlook.

"I signed last week with Sacred Heart in (Fairfield) Connecticut," Washington said. "I felt OK today. It's been five months since my surgery and three weeks since I was cleared."

A side note to Gilbert's win. The Tigers introduced  new coach Brandon Waller, who took over for the retired Tom Bunger. Waller saw four of his players score in double figures led by Casey Heger (18), Jessica Groth (14), Siriah Yarde (13) and Vicky Gardner (10). Only Gardner had significant playing time a year ago for Gilbert.