Ellensburg’s Dylan Philip Named Female Athlete of the Year | University of Washington

June 9—From a young age, Dylan Philip of Ellensburg knew she wanted to be a Division I basketball player.

Along the way to that goal, the Montana State signee decided that playing football in the fall would be a good way to prepare for basketball season. She scored a school-record 43 times last season to become the Yakima Valley leading scorer, then focused on leading the Bulldogs basketball team to one of its most dominant seasons. of Washington‘s history.

This unprecedented success earned Philip the title of Female Athlete of the Year. Of course, winning is nothing new for someone who has helped their talented basketball teams win league, state and even national championships.

“Coming from a winning record, I take it a lot harder to lose,” Philip said. “I do not like losing.”

She played a key role in raising the bar for Ellensburg’s program, starting with a 16-9 record and a district title appearance as a rookie. But even before he became one of the CWAC’s top guards, Philip made a name for himself on the AAU circuit.

The Northwest Blazers, an elite team of players from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, first invited Philip to join them the summer before he started high school. She stayed with a team that also included Prosser’s Halle Wright and they won a national championship last summer, earning Philip plenty of attention from college coaches along the way.

“It definitely opened my eyes to what I needed to do to achieve the end goal,” Philip said. “It’s so different playing locally than playing with everyone in the country.”

They traveled to tournaments all over the place, including Alabama, Indianapolis, and finally Pennsylvania for nationals. Philip initially dreamed of going to play at the University of Washington, but she said it became clear after visiting Bozeman that Montana State would be a much better choice.

She took on a leadership role with the Blazers similar to Ellensburg, where Philip never really needed to be a dominant scorer thanks to his capable teammates. Despite averaging a team-high 15.5 points per game, Philip said she never really tried to take control of games offensively.

“I don’t really like being selfish on the pitch,” Philip said. “It almost stresses me out. I tend to put more pressure on myself than necessary.”

Additionally, she prefers to play defense, where she can take advantage of her speed and quickness to pressure opponents, often creating easy baskets. Philip is looking forward to a similar style at Montana State, and she has also proven capable of becoming a go-to scorer.

Most notably, the 5-foot-8 guard scored 16 of his 20 second-half points, including eight on a 13-0 run, to put WF West in the 2A semifinals. That 42–25 victory proved to be Ellensburg’s closest of 26 games, and Philip won the tournament’s Player of the Year award.

It wasn’t the first time she played for an undefeated high school team. She scored a league-best 19 goals in 14 games for the Bulldogs football team in 2021, when COVID-19 restrictions eliminated the playoffs. Philip acknowledges that his technical skills on the ball have improved throughout high school, but she mostly attributes his offensive prowess to superior speed and good practice.

Football has always been an afterthought for most of the year, while Philip’s main focus has been on basketball. Still, she benefited from every extra run, often overtaking helpless defenders.

“I was definitely in my best shape during the football season,” Philip said. “Moving from soccer to basketball season is the best because you’re in the best shape possible.”

She’s been playing both sports since kindergarten and finished her high school career leading the Bulldogs to remarkable records over the past two seasons – 29-3-1 in soccer and 36-2 in basketball. Philip plans to head to college later this month to see if she can find similar success at Montana State, which has won three of the last seven Big Sky titles.

Contact Luke Thompson at [email protected]


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