The Cougar senior is looking for her own state title after watching her former teammates at Shorecrest get one last year. Bothell, ranked No. 2 in the preseason, could be good enough to get her there.
Keyonna Jones felt no twinge of regret. Didn’t lament any lost opportunity.
Jones simply congratulated her friends and former teammates at Shorecrest High School on their Class 2A state basketball championship last season.
That was their moment. She still believes she can have hers with Bothell.
5 players to watch
Cameron Tyson, Bothell (6-2, Jr., G): Electric scorer (No. 2 in KingCo last year at 21.0 ppg) hit better than 40 percent from 3-point land as a sophomore and can also penetrate.
Jake Medjo, Bothell (6-5, Sr., W): Most skilled big-man in the conference can stretch the floor and create matchup problems for most teams. Also a force on defense.
Kellan Przybylski, Skyline (6-2, Sr., G): Steady shooter from nearly anywhere on the court, Przybylski was Skyline’s top scorer last season (14.7 ppg) and is multifaceted.
Michael Roth, Woodinville (6-4, Jr., F): Dynamic athlete doesn’t just rely on his abilities as he’s known for his hustle plays that pay dividends at both ends of the court.
Tanner Davis, Issaquah (6-6, Sr., F): Led the Eagles on the boards last year and appears ready to step into the offensive spotlight with his combination of size and athleticism.
Taya Corosdale, Bothell (6-2, Sr., W/P): Reigning MVP, who has signed with Oregon State, consistently delivers double-doubles and can score inside or out.
Gina Marxen, Eastlake (5-7, Jr., G): Smooth and poised at a young age, Marxen was the league’s second-leading scorer and top three-point shooter as a sophomore.
Jade Loville, Skyline (5-10, Jr., G): Ultra-athletic with a deceptively quick first step, Loville can explode to the hoop and creates matchup nightmares for many opponents.
Regan Schenck, Woodinville (5-6, So., G): Combination of speed and strength give the returning point guard a huge upside. Scored, boarded and dished with the best as a frosh.
Amanda Luckett, Inglemoor (6-1, Sr., F/C): A force inside, Luckett uses footwork to her advantage; was part of the 2014-15 team that reached state championship game.
“I was really excited for them,” said Jones, who started for Shorecrest as a freshman before moving to Bothell the following year. “They all said, ‘Hey, you could have been part of this.’ I was like, ‘No, you guys got it, I’ll get mine.’ ”
The second-ranked Cougars are seen as contenders in Class 4A again after reaching the state semifinals last season, where they lost to Snohomish and ultimately placed fifth — the school’s best finish. A young Bothell squad went 0-2 at state the year before.
Jones and Taya Corosdale were sophomore stars on that surprising 2014-15 team and had a little of that just-happy-to-be-there fairy dust — Bothell hadn’t reached the round of eight since 2007.
This is their final fling before heading to college — Corosdale (last year’s KingCo 4A MVP) to Oregon State and Jones (a two-time first-team choice) to Western Oregon.
Jones’ mindset is clear.
“This is my senior year — I’ve been to state twice now and it’s about time for me to win it,” she said.
Her determination and abilities have always been clear on the basketball court.
“It was a very easy decision for me to start her as a freshman,” Shorecrest coach Dori Monson said. “I thought she had the talent to be one of the best I’ve coached.”
Generously listed at 5-foot-8 (she might be closer to 5-6), Jones plays bigger than she looks and this year will play less at point guard and more at the wing, often posting up.
5 teams to watch
Bothell: The Cougars get the early nod as favorites with a trio of the league’s top players (Jake Medjo, Cameron Tyson, Josh Kollman) and a high-octane offense. Could run away with the title if they play up to potential.
Woodinville: Even without Tony Miller, the league’s top scorer the past two years, the Falcons expect to contend again after last year’s regional loss to two-time champ Federal Way; look for up-tempo game under new coach Greg Turcott.
Issaquah: Defending league champions, who went on to place sixth at state, lost their top three scorers to graduation and have a new head coach (former assistant Chris Lyle), but feature enough size and depth to make an impact again.
Mount Si: The Wildcats won just four league games last year and return only one full-time starter, but former Issaquah coach Jason Griffith steps in with a talented group of underclassmen and this team could be a dark horse.
Skyline: There’s never a lack of athletes on the Plateau and the Spartans should be a more balanced team this season. If the race is for second behind Bothell, they could be in the hunt after adjusting to their fourth coach in four years.
Bothell: With two of the league’s most prolific scorers returning in Taya Corosdale and Keyonna Jones, the Cougars come in with high expectations (and No. 2 ranking) after their run to the state semifinals in 2015-16.
Eastlake: A seasoned team (four returning starters) that was among the Sweet 16 last season, Eastlake appears primed for another strong run and have a promising freshman in 6-3 Keeli Burton.
Woodinville: All but one starter returns from a team that averaged nearly 60 points per game last season, including one of the program’s most prolific 3-point scorers in sophomore Maddy Debois (third all-time with 47).
Skyline: Some were surprised to see the Spartans start the season ranked No. 9, but they look to be much improved from last year’s .500 team that narrowly missed the regional round. Young overall with just three seniors.
Inglemoor: The Vikings could be the spoiler team in the league with a strong core of returning seniors and a driven group of underclassmen anxious to make an early impression.
“She knows how to attack the basket and her defense is very intimidating to players because she’s so strong,” Corosdale said. “She plays like a tall person.”
Jones averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.2 steals in KingCo play last year, increasing her numbers from her sophomore season. In last week’s 80-64 victory over West Seattle, she put together 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals.
“I like her as a competitor,” Eastlake coach Sara Goldie said, calling Jones a “blue-collar player.”
Jones, who started playing in first grade, said she has worked hard on her game over the past year, but perhaps her most significant growth has been in maturity. She loves to laugh and joke — her desire to talk to people fuels a desire to pursue a communications degree (possibly as a sports broadcaster). But now she is quicker to show a serious side when needed and was voted a team captain.
“She has really turned into a great leader on our team,” Bothell coach Kent Schaefer said. “She is way more mature than when she first got here. She has just grown a lot and she is excellent with our younger kids.”
Jones is focused doing whatever it takes to help her team succeed this season.
“I need to do everything in my power so my team knows how serious I am and my coaches know how serious I am and that I know how serious I am, and that’s how I take every practice and every game,” she said.