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Washington girls contribute to homeschool team state basketball win

Kathy Koehn
Janaya and Lianna Washington from rural Pratt County won a state basketball tournament title with their homeschool team, the Hutchison Sabres earlier in March.

Members of the Washington family near Sawyer were part of the Hutchinson Sabres high school girl's team that won the HSG A bracket 46-43 at state last week. Janaya and Lianna Washington were both members of the team that came back from being down 9 points in the fourth quarter against the Cornerstone team of Topeka, Kansas, to win it all.

Both Washingtons also placed in basketball shooting competitions.

Lianna took 2nd in free throw and Janaya took 1st in the 3-point contest.

A winning team trip to the National Tournament in Springfield was canceled due to the coronavirus disease outbreak.

"This was our third year in a row to make it to the finals. But this year we finally won, making history for the Sabres,” said Janaya Washington. “It was the first ever Division A Championship for the program. It was an amazing experience."

Janaya said the Sabre organization is made up of amazing people.

“They've been very supportive since day one,” she said. “My team is like family to me. Always there ready to help. Very loving and caring. Ever since the fire, they've helped our family out a lot by helping us finish out the season. I'm very thankful for them."

The Washinton’s family home was burned in February 2020.

For Lianna, winning the homeschool basketball championship was an incredible experience.

“The past two years we came just short,” she said. “This year we have worked really hard for it. It was my senior year and I really wanted it! I love the people in the Sabres organization. They have been so supportive. All of our coaches and parents are so involved with everything. I really appreciate all they do for us. We also have such a great crowd. They're my family and I'll miss playing with all of them next year."

Washington family boys Tadan, Lex and Koby also play on Sabre basketball teams and all agreed that basketball is fun to play. They all really like their teammates and they have made such great friends. They said, overall that basketball is fun, challenging and teaches them many skills, not just athletically but also teamwork, respect for others and accountability.