The Pasco girls basketball team finished their MCC schedule undefeated to clinch a league title, but their sights are a bit bigger than that.
The Bulldogs are looking for a first ever girls basketball state title and to bring the community together along the way. It’s been over a decade since the last girls basketball banner has been hung at Pasco High School.
“It’s been a while,” Assistant Coach Brittany Ortiz said.
Pasco won a regional championship and finished 6th in state back in 2008. Current Head Coach Aaron Barcot was an assistant coach of that squad, and Ortiz was part of that team.
“We were the last year before Chiawana opened,” Ortiz explained.
Ironically, the last time Pasco had a successful team was before Chiawana High School came into existence.
“It just feels good to prove people wrong,” said senior Taijah Mackey.
“Since Chiawana opened up,” said senior Taleya Maiden, “I don’t think Pasco has ever beat them, but the last two years, I think we beat them.”
Pasco Prideis something that got lost with the addition of the crosstown rival, but Ortiz said that support is still there.
“There’s a lot more purple out there than we think,” Ortiz said.
Coach Barcot says the success of his girls squad has helped rekindle some of the school pride.
“Some of the older crowd starting to talk about a little bit,” explained Barcot. “Some of the alum, even I’ve had former students because I’ve been here since ’05 and I’ve had former students get excited and bringing their little kids to come watch.”
The Bulldogs are ranked number one in the state and notice there’s no banner for a girls basketball state title.
“Yet,” foreshadows Mackey. “It’s not there yet.”
This squad has been playing together for a while.
“Our starting five is now on year three together,” Barcot said. “Our three main seniors have been together since the second grade.”
Taijah Mackey, Taleya Maiden, and Mya Groce — All seniors — Have been hooping since second grade.
“I’ve been with these girls since I was a kid,” Maiden said.
A state championship has always been the goal, and boosting the school pride is part of that journey.
“It means,” said Mackey, “honestly, the world to us just like to change the perspective of Pasco High girls basketball.”
“Growing up, playing together and we wanted to stay together,” said Groce, “so we thought is everyone is supposed to win going to Chiawana, why don’t we change it up and go to Pasco?”
The Bulldogs start their journey February 15th when they host Richland in the semi-finals for the District 8 4A girls tournament.
Coverage starts at 6:00 AM on SWX. HERE is a link to watch online.