Girls receive team awards

At the girls basketball dessert last Thursday, coach Jason Gorham spoke of the improvement in fundamentals as the reason for the girls improvement this year.

The girls, though they were unable to garner a league victory, had six pre-season wins, a big step forward from last year.

“Fundamentals was the difference in getting the wins we got and being competitive,” said Gorham. “The confidence we gained from the early season wins made a big difference.”

Playing teams from other leagues and then getting the jolt of the Capital Conference made basketball life difficult.

“There wasn’t an easy night,” said Gorham. “The balance in the league made it tough for us.”

Injuries to post players, first to Rachel Gaskey and then after she returned, to Ashlee Gorgita, also had a greater impact on their performance than Gorham expected, especially on a team that carried only eight players. Still Gorham saw a steady improvement.

“We played well against Sisters and Stayton the second time around,” noted Gorham. “I thought they were two of our better games, even though they were losses.”

Gorham is also positive about the upcoming players, especially the large freshman class. The freshman team, even with several of its group promoted to junior varsity, had a winning record with balanced scoring every game.

“They were easy to coach,” said coach Ann Knight. “They did everything I asked them to. They had talent and great attitudes, so it was very fun to coach.”

Though the junior varsity team had only a couple of wins, they too improved. Coach Craig Wilson said he had a number of coaches in the league tell him they had improved a hundred percent.

“We played terrific defense, so that kept us in 90% of the games they were in,” said Wilson.

“Offensively we struggled. That was the difference in the close games.”

Gorham hopes to build on this up and coming foundation, though he has to say goodbye to three starters: Kendra Greene, Rachel Gaskey, and Mallory Carlson.

“We’re going to miss our seniors, but we have a lot of good kids coming up that we think we can build on and make some improvements,” stated Gorham. “As we get a little better, we’ll build that confidence.

Greene, a third team all-league selection, was voted by the team as their outstanding player.

Gaskey, the team’s leading rebounder, also was the team’s best free throw shooter. Carlson won most inspirational in a unanimous vote by her teammates.

Three returning players also received awards. All league honorable mention player, junior Chelsea Hackworth, pocketed the hustle award while junior Ashley Wall was recognized as the team’s best defensive player. Gorgita, a sophomore, was voted most improved. Also returning next year is Hannah Swanson, the sophomore point guard and one of the team’s leaders in steals along with Greene. Sophomores Nicki Aerni, a point guard and wing, and post Dani Thireault will also be counted on next year.