2021 Prosser (Wash.) shooting guard Haden Hicks and his Prosser Mustangs (14-8) are eager to prove the doubters wrong this postseason.

It’s a team that for much of the season has been a distant third in the CWAC power rankings, behind Ellensburg and Selah.

Despite beating Ellensburg (the eventual CWAC champs) twice in the regular season, not many people believed they could carry that success over into the playoffs.

"It was definitely motivation for us," Hicks said. "We knew we were going to be the underdogs, so we want to show everyone what we can do."

The first step in the process was accomplished this past Thursday, when Prosser beat Ellensburg an astounding third time 82-64.

Despite losing to middle of the pack teams like Toppenish (11-12) and Wapato (13-8) in the regular season, somehow Prosser always has Ellensburg’s numbers.

Hicks believes there’s a couple reasons for their success against their CWAC rival.

The energy they come out with against Ellensburg is admittedly on another level compared to their other games. Given the size and ability of the Bulldogs, Prosser is hellbent on getting out to an early lead.

Head coach Toby Cox’s game plan is built around harassing Division I prospect Steele Venters, to take him out of his comfort zone.

Hicks was an MVP candidate this past season, averaging 22 points-per-game and throwing down thunderous dunks on the regular. He’s determined to change the basketball culture at Prosser, and turn it into the powerhouse he knows it can be.

“Some people say Prosser is known as a little football town,” Hicks said. “So winning a basketball title could mean even more.”

 

The goal is obviously to continue beating quality opponents like Ellensburg going forward, although Hicks is aware his teams best years may be ahead of them.

Built around a young core of Haden Hicks, Sal Quinones, Brock Weinmann, Tommy Inions, and Calvin Majlaars, Prosser’s stock is only going to skyrocket over the next couple years.

The college prospects of Hicks should also see similar growth over the next couple years.

When you look at the top basketball recruits in the Central Washington region, guys like Brock Ravet and Elijah Pepper come to mind. Haden Hicks could have next.

It’s something he’s been work towards for several years now. In the off-season he plays for the nationally recognized Seattle Stars AAU team.

“It’s kind of cool because we have Logan Kinloch from West Valley, and Jose Reyes from Davis on the team, so it’s been fun playing with local guys,” Hicks said.

The ability to represent Seattle on the national tournament circuit has gotten Hicks attention from several major college programs. This includes Big Sky schools Eastern Washington University and University of Idaho.

Hicks is a slim built 6-foot-2 170 pound shooting guard, although he does strangely pass the eye test even if it doesn’t appear that way on paper.

A big reason for this is he has an extremely long wingspan at 78 inches, and also an excellent 33 inch vertical jump. In other words, the intangibles are absolutely there to be a division one prospect one day.

Not only does Hicks continuously work on his on-court skills, he’s also striving to be a guy that can lead the locker room.

“It’s kind of hard to do just being a sophomore,” Hicks said. “But since our team is mainly sophomores, and we grew up playing together, we’re all trying to do those things."

This is player you’ll want to monitor closely going forward, as he’s projected to do big things over the next couple years.

You’re next chance to see Hicks and the Prosser Mustangs in action will be this Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. at the Yakima Sundome. They’re set to face the Selah Vikings with the CWAC District Title, and a ticket to regionals, on the line.