Girls Varsity Basketball
April 20, 2016 By:Hunter Watson
by Nadia Witt
McNary’s Girls Varsity basketball team is having one hell of a season. Their overall record so far is 17-5 which, according to Mr. Derick Handley the varsity head coach, “is the most wins McNary has had since 2010.” Handley has many goals set to finish this season out successfully. “Our goal is to win the league title and win a playoff game. But all along our goal as a team has been to get to the State tournament. While our season won’t be a failure if we don’t, these girls know that the ultimate goal is to be one of the final 8 and play in the tournament in Portland,” he added.
Handley has some girls who have been leading the way for the team. “Our leading scorer and leader in assists this year is Madi Hingston. Reina Strand and Sydney Hunter have both been named the player of the week for what they’ve been able to do this year. Kaelie Flores has been able to take over a few games this season offensively and pick us up when we needed her, and Kailey Doutt is, in my opinion, one of the best defenders in the state. Jaylene Montano has been essential for us off the bench, even making a game winning 3 pointer with 11 seconds left against the #4 team from Washington.” Handley said. He also added that “Paige Downer is our energy player off the bench who we credit with willing us to the victory on the road against Forest grove. It’s such a deep team, it’s hard to just name 1 or 2 girls.” Handley really encourages his players. “They have what it takes to be one of the best teams in the state. So our advice to them is to one believe that they belong alongside the best teams in the state and two bring consistent effort in order to reach that goal.”
Although the girls have had a great season it hasn’t been a walk in the park. Handley says “we’re playing a much tougher schedule. We have played seven teams in the top 10 and have competed in every game. We have played #1 Jesuit, #2 South Salem twice, and #3 Oregon City.” Although they didn’t come out with the wins, they were still close games with the girls putting up a good fight. “We have also played #6 Sheldon.” Some key elements that have pushed the girls to be able to compete with the top teams in the state and has made the season such a success is “how close we are inside and outside of basketball, we take every practice seriously, we make each other better players,” says senior, Kaelie Flores. According to Flores one of the best and most memorable games “was against West Salem on February 9, 2016. We executed plays well, none of us let the pedal off the gas. Every player on the floor and coming off the bench knew the game plan and gave 100% effort.”