Yerington High graduate Brandee Smith has made a big splash as a freshman at Yakima Valley Community College and Carson graduate Meghan Gradert, a sophomore at Yakima, is picking up right where she left off as a freshman.
Both Carson Country players have led the Yaks to a 4-2 record this season. Smith, one of the best players in Northern Nevada last season, is averaging 11.5 points per game and 2.5 assists per game and scored a game high 26 points in a 73-57 win over Edmonds Community College on Tuesday night in Edmonds, Wash.
Gradert scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting against Edmonds. The local products are the top two scorers on the team.
"In last night's game vs. Edmonds Community College, it was the Brandee Smith and Meghan Gradert Show," said coach Cody Butler. "Due to injuries, Brandee has been forced into a starting role earlier than we would have liked but she has responded well."
Gradert, meanwhile, is doing everything Butler had expected her to, which is a lot. She leads the team in scoring (12.2), rebounding (9.33) and steals (4.33). Amazingly, the 6-foot-1 former Carson High star averages more offensive boards (5.0) than defensive.
"She's doing really well this season," Butler said of Gradert, who is also the school's student body president. "We are a very young team, only one returning sophomore (Gradert) and 11 freshman. Meghan is the team captain and doing a great job leading the team both on and off the floor."
Smith and Gradert are the only two Yakima Valley players to start all six games this season. The Yaks plays in a tournament in Tacoma this weekend before Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) plays begins next month.