Teammates Araceli Vasquez and Katie Hanson to extend their basketball careers in NWAC

COURTESY PHOTO: JEREMY MCDONALD/JMCDONALDMEDIA - Araceli Vasquez (left) and Katie Hansen sit in the Gervais High School gymnasium to sign their letters of intent to compete in collegiate basketball for the 2021-22 season. Vasquez will join the Chemeketa Storm while Hanson will play for the Lower Columbia Red Devils.Araceli Vasquez and Katie Hanson have spent the past three-plus years as teammates for the Gervais High School girls basketball program. Their college careers will see the two diverge on separate paths as potential rivals after the pair signed their letters of intent on Friday.

Hanson inked her commitment to Lower Columbia Community College in Longview, Washington while Vasquez will stay closer to home as a member of the Chemeketa Community College women's basketball team.

Lower Columbia and Chemeketa are both members of the Northwest Athletic Conference, comprised of 34 community colleges across the Pacific Northwest. The Red Devils of LCCC compete in the West division, while the Chemeketa Storm are part of the South division.

Vasquez and Hanson are part of a senior class that has helped lift the Gervais girls basketball program back into the spotlight, making consecutive state playoff berths in 2018 and 2019, the latter of which culminated in a trip to the 2A quarterfinal tournament in Pendleton.

Hansen joins a Lower Columbia team that is coming off a 21-10 finish in the 2019-20 season, finishing second in the west with a 12-2 record before falling in the quarterfinals of the NWAC championship tournament.

Vasquez's Storm failed to make the conference tournament after finishing sixth in the South standings with a 12-16 record, including 7-9 in league play. She will join a Chemeketa team that includes older sister Bella Vasquez, who made her debut with the Storm on April 7.

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