4A Girls Notebook | Yo, Ballard! This Dane can also rap
What does Ballard coach Karen Blair think of the basketball skills of Jeanette Hansen, her 6-foot-5 exchange student from Denmark? "She's a great shot-blocker...
Special to The Seattle Times
Scores & stats
TACOMA — What does Ballard coach Karen Blair think of the basketball skills of Jeanette Hansen, her 6-foot-5 exchange student from Denmark?
"She's a great shot-blocker, a great rebounder and she's worked hard on her offense," Blair said of her senior who averages 9.6 points. "The game here is a lot more intense, a lot more physical. She's developed in a lot of ways in her one year here."
Now, how about Hansen's language skills, which is what Hansen was really hoping to improve by spending a school year in the states?
"We call her our 6-5 Danish rapper," Blair said. "Maybe you can get one of those out of her."
Not likely, Hansen says. She and teammate Yordanos Kasahun once tried rapping for the team, just for laughs.
"It was more like a joke for the team, using all this slang I've learned," the 18-year-old Hansen said. "It's kind of a joke on the team that I'm trying to act cool, and I'm not."
Hansen is a Copenhagen resident and one of two Danish players on Ballard's roster (5-8 senior guard Anika Jakobsen is the other). The big appeal of coming to America was the chance to work on her English, not so much her inside game.
"I was getting kind of bad grades in English, so I wanted to change that before my graduation," said Hansen, who has one more year of high school to complete when she returns home after the school year ends.
Has it worked out? "It's been undescribable," she said, unknowingly uttering one of her few language glitches in a 10-minute conversation. "Everyone is so cool. Every minute is an adventure all the time. I've experienced so much that I would never have dreamed of."
She said trying to master American slang might be her proudest accomplishment.
"I like 'Yadadamean' — 'You know what I mean?' "
Ashley Corral goes out a winner — and a record-breaker.
In Prairie of suburban Vancouver's 51-39 win in the third-sixth-place game over Pasco, Corral scored 15 points and had six steals, setting career tournament marks for steals (42) and points (247).
"It's almost been perfect," said Corral of her high-school career. "I've gotten every personal accolade that I could ever imagine. I've gotten this, I've gotten that. But the one thing I didn't get was a state title."
The 5-foot-9 guard finished fourth her freshman year, second her sophomore year, and sixth as a junior.
The USC-bound senior broke records set by Lakes' Kate Starbird (242 points, 1991-93) and Kennewick's Leilani Mitchell (39 steals, 2000-03).
Corral, who played in 16 tournament games, also set records with 13 three-pointers in one tournament (eclipsing the previous mark of 12) and 32 career threes, bettering the record of 24.
"It's been awesome," said Falcons coach Al Aldridge of her career. "I feel bad she never got the team thing with us. It's the one thing she really misses."
Pasco guard Kelsey Ramsey said she would celebrate the same way again, even though the knee injury she suffered jumping up and down caused her to miss the state tournament.
Ramsey, a senior and leading scorer for the Bulldogs, remained on crutches at the tournament after she tore the ACL and MCL in her right knee celebrating her winning shot in the district playoffs last week against Moses Lake.
"That was the game that got us to state," Ramsey said. "They're here, so I'd do it all over again."
Ramsey said she turned and jumped twice after hitting the winning basket. She was about to jump into a teammate's arms when her right knee gave out.
"Everyone was jumping around me and I was on the ground," Ramsey said. "It was horrible."
Pasco, which lost in the semifinals Friday to Moses Lake, finished sixth after losing Saturday to Prairie.
"My goal was accomplished by getting to state," said Ramsey, who will have knee surgery in the next two weeks. "We got sixth in state. I'm happy with that."
• Saturday's paid attendance was 4,732. Four-day attendance was announced as 30,092, up 1,356 (4.7 percent) from last year, when poor weather caused problems for Eastern Washington teams crossing the Cascades. It's also slightly higher than 2006's 29,347.
• Mel Olson, the 79-year-old broadcaster for KBSN-AM in Moses Lake, made an extra trip to the Tacoma Dome.
Olson, a retired junior-high football and wrestling coach, always makes the trip to Tacoma to cover the state wrestling championships because Moses Lake is a perennial power.
But this was the first trip for him and his statistician wife, Vicki, because this is first time the school has qualified for state in girls basketball.
"Basketball is the easiest sport to broadcast," said Olson, speaking from 45 years of broadcast experience. "There's always something going on in front of you. Wrestling is the toughest."
• The slogan for the Snohomish girls team this year was "One School, One Name, One Team, One More Year." Glacier Peak High School will open in the Snohomish School District in the fall.
Seattle Times staff reporter Sandy Ringer and freelancers Zach Landres-Schnur and Steve Hunter contributed to this notebook.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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