#5 Varsity Girls Basketball Team Takes Home the State Championship Title

Emily Hawkins, Editor

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  • Junior Lindsay Drango passes the ball to junior Emily Niebergall.

  • Niebergall scores a layup after beating three Springfield defenders.

  • Senior Alyson Miura stands defensively as her opponent approaches.

  • Niebergall rushes the key from outside the three-point line.

  • Sophomore Addi Wedin moves down the court looking for an open teammate.

  • Miura tries to draw a foul as she pushes an opening between two defenders.

  • Freshman Mia Skoro calls out for an open pass.

  • Miura lands a twisted layup after finessing her way through several Springfield defenders.

  • Wedin looks down the court calmly as the third quarter comes to an end.

  • Miura catches the ball one-handed and looks for the next open pass.

  • Wedin gets the “and one” after being pushed from behind.

  • Miura pushes the base line looking for either an open basket or an open teammate.

  • Miura finds the open teammate, Niebergall, and passes her the ball just before stepping out of bounds.

  • Wedin lines up for a free throw…

  • and sinks the shot, holding the position with perfect poise.

  • Miura follows up after Wedin and lands her free throw.

  • Miura passes the ball across the court as the last minute of the game counts down.

  • As the buzzer signals, the girls congratulate each other with hugs and cries of happiness.

  • The girls dog pile on Niebergall, celebrating the victory.

  • Jim Simms, one of the assistant coaches, embraces Niebergall as tears run down her face.

  • The girls all hug one another just before the awards ceremony.

  • Wedin gets her first place medal on top of her First Team All-Tournament medal that she was awarded just moments before alongside Miura.

  • Skoro, only a freshman, receives her state championship medal.

  • Senior Grace Felder finishes off her high school basketball career by receiving her first place gold medal.

  • Sophomore Mandy Sisul (left) and seniors Miura (center) and Jessie Loboy (right) stand side by side to show off their new medals.

  • The whole team gathers together to pose for the mass of photographers taking their photos.

  • Wedin hugs Miura just before the team recieves their final congratulatory announcements.

  • The whole team gathers around the final bracket presented by OnPoint Community Credit Union, holding the state champion plaque and first place ball.

  • The girls form a mosh and start jumping around, celebrating their state championship win.

  • Skoro cuts off her piece of the net.

  • Wedin smiles as she collects her piece of the net.

  • Drango successfully clips off her string of the net.

  • Sisul examines the net to find a piece to cut off.

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The varsity girls basketball team had one goal this year: return to Gill Coliseum for a chance to play for a state championship title.

They did that, and more.

On Saturday, March 9, the #5 girls basketball team played against #3 Springfield in the finals and won 55-48, earning their third state championship title in the past five school years. In addition, they came close to winning it all in 2014 and 2018, placing second.

Last year, the team was defeated by Marist Catholic 44-59 in the final round of playoffs.

“It feels so good to bounce back from the loss last year,” sophomore Addi Wedin said. “Last year was one of the worst feelings ever and just before going into the final game this year, I thought of that feeling and told myself that I refuse to feel that again.”

The team finished this season with an overall record of 25-4 and a league record of 13-1.

Wedin and University of Southern California women’s basketball commit senior Alyson Miura were both awarded the first team all-tournament medal after winning the state championship. Junior Emily Niebergall was awarded the second team all-tournament medal.

“Emily played great the whole time, but she had an especially amazing game our second game [versus] Wilsonville, which was huge for us,” senior Lauren Vreeken said. “She knocked down some big shots for us and gave us the momentum and energy to finish the game with more points than the other team.”

They played against #4 Silverton in the quarterfinals on Mar. 7, finishing with a final score of 57-46. The team also defeated their rival #1 Wilsonville 79-63 in the semifinals on Mar. 8, earning redemption for their only league loss this year.

Miura says that rebounding was one of the team’s strengths throughout playoffs.

“I think our mental toughness really showed throughout the tournament,” Miura said. “We had the right mindset going into every game and knew that no matter what happened, foul trouble, bad calls or anything else, that we were going to have to play through it and find a way to win.”

The lead scorer in the championship game was Wedin, with 18 points, and following close behind her was Niebergall, with 16 points.

“Our guard play was really strong,” Niebergall said. “We could shoot [three pointers and] also attack and had mid-range game. We were in shape and outran other teams that just got tired.”

The team credits their success to the special connection they share on and off the court.

“We play very well together,” senior co-captain Jessica Loboy said. “I think our team had a bond like no other in the state and it helped us to have a chemistry that meshed together on the court and [united] us as a team.”

This state championship title adds to the team’s impressive record of winning it all, building on their wins in 2015 and 2017.

The best moment was when the buzzer went off at the end of the game and we had realized we really did it,” Wedin said. “Everyone did a dog pile and cried happy tears, and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.”