Mead's Teryn Gardner is SBLive's WaFd Bank 4A/3A Senior Girl Athlete of the Year

Boise State University-bound guard is reigning two-time most valuable player in 4A/3A Greater Spokane League girls basketball
Boise State-bound Teryn Gardner led Mead girls basketball to three consecutive top-five WIAA tournament finishes, including state runner-up finish last March.
Boise State-bound Teryn Gardner led Mead girls basketball to three consecutive top-five WIAA tournament finishes, including state runner-up finish last March. /

It took just a few days for Quantae Anderson to know what he had on hand.

Something special in a girl fresh from Montana - Teryn Gardner.

Except the initial realization didn't come in the hallways at Mead High School in Spokane. It came much earlier.

"I had just gotten hired to be the eighth-grade coach at Northwood (Middle School), which is our feeder," Anderson said. "And I coached her in three games."


"I thought, 'This girl is different,'" Anderson said.

Indeed, she is.

The 4A/3A Greater Spokane League's first back-to -back MVP since Central Valley's Lexie Hull (2017, 2018), Gardner led the Panthers to three consecutive top-five finishes at the WIAA Class 3A championships, including a runner-up showing to Garfield last March.

In that title-game showdown against two-time state player of the year Katie Fiso (29 points), Gardner - a Boise State University signee - had a team-high 22 points in a 62-59 loss in the Tacoma Dome.

"This last year, she became a little more vocal," Anderson said. "That was a great learning process for her."

Growing up in Great Falls, Montana, Gardner - the youngest of four siblings - had initial hopes of playing soccer in the Summer Olympics in her early years.

By middle school, basketball had emerged as her top sport - just in time for a family move west after her father, Larry, accepted a job at Fairchild Air Force Base.

"I was the last one to know we were moving," Gardner said. "But from the start, we were all looking forward to trying something new."

When she came to Mead, the Panthers were loaded with juniors and seniors, led by Olivia Moore, the league MVP in 2022. All Gardner had to do as the lone starting underclassman was find a role - and find her way.

"Those seniors helped me branch out," Gardner said.

By 2022, she became not only the program's undisputed leader, but the best player in Spokane.

Naturally self-contained, Gardner knew one way to lead - by example.

"That is easy for me," Gardner said. "There were some challenges trying to be vocal, like I would say something competitively and people looked at it the wrong way, and took it the wrong way."

Teammates found a way to adjust, and also appreciate Gardner's clutch playmaking for a team that came so close to winning it all.

"My family and I talk about it all the time, the move (from Montana) was the best thing we could have done," Gardner said. "We've had support from so many people in Spokane, it's been amazing."



School: Mead.

Sports: Soccer, basketball, track and field.

Next step: Signed to play basketball at Boise State University (NCAA Division I) where she is undecided on what she will study.

Senior-year highlights: Was 4A/3A Greater Spokane League second-team selection at midfielder in soccer (16 goals, three assists), leading Mead to Class 3A District 8 championship and berth into the WIAA playoffs where the Panthers lost to Lakeside of Seattle in the quarterfinals. Was selected to Class 3A all-state second team by the Washington State Soccer Coaches Association (WSSCA). … Was 4A/3A Greater Spokane League most valuable player in basketball (19.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.5 assists per game) and was also named league defensive MVP. Led Mead to District 8 championship and runner-up finish to Garfield at the WIAA tournament in Tacoma. Was voted to Class 3A all-tournament first team and also selected to SBLive WA’s all-classification all-state first team. Was named MVP in Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) senior all-state game as classification player of the year. Also selected as one of 12 seniors to play in Northwest Shootout against Oregon all-stars. Played in Spokesman-Review’s High School Showcase All-Star Game. … Was 4A/3A Greater Spokane League first-team selection in track and field as hurdler and relay-team member as Mead placed 20th at the WIAA championships. Placed eighth in the 300–meter hurdles (47.08 seconds) and her school’s 4x400 relay qualified for the state meet. Also recorded career–best time in 300 hurdles (46.61) in state-meet preliminaries.

Career accomplishments: Three-time all-4A/3A Greater Spokane League girls soccer selection (first team in 2022; second team in 2021, 2023) led Mead to back-to-back WIAA tournament appearances (2022, 2023). Finished with 44 career goals, including three hat tricks … Four-time all-4A/3A Greater Spokane League basketball selection (first team in 2022-24; second team in 2021), including back-to-back MVP nods in 2023 and 2024. Led Mead to three consecutive WIAA tournament appearances (2022-24), placing fifth in 2022, third in 2023 and second last March. Was selected to SBLive WA’s all-classification all-state first team in 2023 and 2024. Finished with 1,568 career points. ... Three-time all-4A/3A Greater Spokane League first-team track and field selection (2022-24) recorded four podium finishes at the WIAA championships, including a Class 3A title in the 4x400 relay (3:54.45) in 2023. Ran a career-best 2:15.20 as a sophomore in 2022 to place fourth in the 800-meter run. … Earned 12 career varsity letters to go along with six 4A/3A Greater Spokane League and District 8 titles among the three sports.

School/community achievements: 4.0 GPA and class valedictorian taking honors courses; National Honor Society member for last two years; staff writer and sports editor for school’s yearbook for four years; selected as 2023–24 metro female athlete of the year at Spokane Youth Sports Awards, and was two–time finalist; selected as Mead’s “Blue & Gold” athlete of the season (2024); volunteered as referee and scorekeeper for Unified Basketball Games for three years; volunteered as course attendant for Jake Arnston Fun Run; volunteered for family trash pickup; held job doing neighborhood landscaping; plays piano and violin.


Ben Sherman, SBLive Sports


VP of Content & Editor-in-Chief, SBLive Sports SBLive Sports VP of Content & Editor-in-Chief Ben Sherman has been covering high school sports for the better part of 25 years. He joined SBLive in 2019 after 17 years with The Oregonian/ and Advance Local. The Oregonian/OregonLive received numerous national awards for its sports coverage during Sherman’s tenure, and he was instrumental in transforming The Oregonian’s newsroom into a digital-first organization. You can reach him at

Todd Milles, SBLive Sports


Todd Milles is a Regional Editor for SBLive Sports, covering Washington, Idaho and Montana.