The Chronicle's 2023-24 All-Area Boys Basketball Team

Napavine scoring machine James Grose heads up all-area talent


It was a banner season for James Grose at Napavine, something that has become routine for the back-to-back All-Area MVP.

Grose followed up a record-setting junior campaign with another stellar winter, one where he led the Tigers to a C2BL league title, a District 4 Championship, and a fifth-place finish at the state tournament in Spokane.

He averaged 26.9 points per game, once again flirting with a 50-40-90 season, shooting 51.3 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from deep, and 84.5 percent from the charity stripe. He scored 30 or more points nine times.

He also grabbed just under five rebounds per game, dished out 2.7 assists per game, and came away with 2.2 steals per game, all en route to earning C2BL MVP honors.

It was the final chapter of an incredible high school career, one where he scored over 2,000 points and leaves with the single-game, single-season, and career scoring records at Napavine.

“I have a lot of appreciation for Napavine as a community,” Grose said. “They allowed me to be the player I am and allowed me to do the things I did. It’s really awesome.”

It was fitting that Napavine was where he was able to reach the 2,000-point milestone, and it was even sweeter that he got to do it against Adna.

After that late January contest, Napavine coach Rex Stanley spoke about how it was a milestone that everybody got to be a part of, including Grose’s long-time teammates.

Grose spoke about those teammates and the bond he has with them, mentioning that for many of them, their friendships go back to before they took the court together at Napavine.

“I used to play basketball with Cael (Stanley) and Jarin (Prather) in seventh grade,” Grose said. “All of our starters, we’ve all played together a long time. You kind of just build that relationship with them, and it’s a pretty amazing thing when you’re on the court with them.

“You have so much trust in your guys and guys have trust in you. It’s a truly great thing to have.”

And, of course, Rex Stanley has been his coach every step of the way.

Grose is currently mulling over his options to play at the next level, but he certainly will always remember the man who has helped him get to where he is today.

“I’m gonna miss him getting on me a lot,” Grose said. “He pushed me really, really hard, and I’m so thankful for it.”

The Chronicle's  2023-24 All-Area Boys Basketball Team

Karsen Denault, Napavine

Denault dominated inside all season long for the Tigers, averaging 14.2 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 65.5% from the floor on his way to earning first-team C2BL honors.

Braeden Salme, Adna

Salme missed the first part of the season with a foot injury, but when he returned, he helped lead the Pirates to the district title game and a fourth-place finish at the state tournament in Spokane. Salme scored 21.5 points per game while also tallying 6.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Lane Johnson, Adna

Johnson stepped up big time in Salme’s absence, averaging a double-double to keep the Pirates among the C2BL’s best. Johnson averaged a double-double, scoring 14.2 points per game and grabbing 10.1 rebounds per game while also dishing out 4.6 assists per game.

Tyler Klatush, W.F. West

Klatush led the Bearcats to a 2A EvCo title and the regional round of the state tournament, scoring 16.3 points per game en route to winning league MVP. He also tallied 4.6 rebounds and assists per game and shot 35.6% from deep.

Noah Schow, Tenino

Schow, the 1A Evergreen League MVP, led Tenino to its first league title since 2013 and helped the Beavers earn a spot in the state tournament in Yakima by scoring 24.9 points and grabbing 8.0 rebounds per game.

Zack Munoz, Mossyrock

Munoz not only helped lead Mossyrock to the state tournament in Spokane, but he helped lead the Vikings all the way to the state championship game. The 1B Columbia Valley first-teamer scored 16.3 points per game while also logging 3.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game.

Clay Morgan, Tumwater

Morgan a first-team averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists to earn 2A EvCo first-team honors and lead the T-Birds to within one game of the state tournament.