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The rumor - and it's just wink-wink hearsay - is that Lynden Christian standout point guard Emily Mellema sank a last-second, game-winning 3-pointer to upend a higher-classification state contender in a basketball showdown over the weekend.

"Rumor? Yeah," said Mellema with a grin. "We will leave it there."

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has the state of Washington on lockdown - or in slow-play recovery - on a lot of fronts, there are no WIAA-sanctioned high school games going on right now.

If this were a normal year, not only would Martin Luther King Jr. tournaments be underway Monday, this would also be the time in a season when programs shift into overdrive as they gear up for the second half of their seasons.

As it stands, basketball players - and high school athletes, in general - have had to adjust their expectations about playing sports in 2020-21.

SBLive Washington spoke to three girls basketball standouts in different classes about how they've handled all of that:

EMILY MELLEMA, Lynden Christian, class of 2021

The last time anybody saw these Lyncs, they were dancing around the floor at the Yakima SunDome last March, celebrating a big victory over Hailey Van Lith-led Cashmere for the Class 1A championship.

"It's crazy to think our last game," Mellema said, "was in our junior year."

After a banner AAU summer playing with the Northwest Blazers, Mellema signed with Wyoming in November.

Now, she and four other Lynden Christian seniors are forced to wait, knowing even if they have a delayed season in May, they still won't get an opportunity to defending their state title.

"It's just really weird," Mellema said. "You look forward to your senior year, so not being able to play, especially this year with a good group of girls, is a bummer.

"It's not our fault. There is just nothing you can do about it."

Mellema said she hasn't allowed the pandemic woes "get to me," and one of the things that helps is that she knows her career isn't ending.

"For me, I have four more years after this, so it is a little less (difficult) on me," she said.

"Obviously, everyone in the world is getting things taken away from them. There is no way I have it worse than anyone else. Everyone is going through it right now. You just control what you can control."

JAZMYN STONE, Annie Wright, class of 2022

Stone is a naturally upbeat, positive-minded teenager - even after enduring things that would put a damper on anybody.

Not only is Stone waiting to rejoin the Gators' squad, teaming up with Syracuse signee Julianna Walker in the backcourt - she has been sidelined a bit longer than most.

Stone missed her entire sophomore season with a serious left knee injury - after averaging 19.5 points, 3.6 assists and 3.5 steals as a ninth grader.

"It gives you a different perspective being on the bench," Stone said.

In her final fall-league game in 2019, Stone was dribbling up the court when she made a move, and her leg buckled.

"No contact," she said. "All I did was step down, and I heard a pop."

Her road to recovery lasted into the early months of the pandemic. As she's gotten healthier, she's also gotten more creative with quarantine workouts.

"I don't have access to a gym 24-7, so to stay consistent, I might have to go into the garage for extra dribbling or form-shooting, or go into the backyard," Stone said. "And to keep myself in shape, I've had to just go running.

"It has helped me branch out to other aspects to improve my game."

And she wants to show her Annie Wright teammates how much more mature she's gotten in basketball - especially Walker, whom she dubs as a fellow "Splash Sister."

"It has felt like forever since I played with them," Stone said. "I miss them. And I need to take advantage of any time I have with them."

JENNA VILLA, Arlington, class of 2023

There haven't been many things, pandemic included, that have held this rising standout in check this summer.

As a member of Tree of Hope, the 6-foot forward has firmly established herself as one of the top class of 2023 recruits in the West Region. And it doesn't sound like she's spent too many nights locked in her bedroom in fear of her health.

"It was hard at first," Villa said. "But it's gotten a lot easier to deal with personally - getting into the gym and stuff like that. People aren't as afraid of it anymore, so we can do more things."

That doesn't mean the standstill of the high school season hasn't been a challenge.

After reaching the 3A semifinals last March, Arlington was on the short list of state contenders for 2020-21, especially with guards Hailey Hiatt and Keira Marsh returning.

This was also supposed to be a coming-out season for Villa, whom many expect to emerge as the team's bona fide star as a sophomore.

"It is sad," Villa said. "All of our six seniors, they are the heart of our team. We all know we probably would have gotten to that championship game."

Villa gets two more years to try to finish off that quest.

"This isn't the end of the world," Villa said. "But it is still hard."