No. 5 Varsity Girls Basketball Team Takes Home the State Championship Title

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No. 5 Varsity Girls Basketball Team Takes Home the State Championship Title

Sophomore Addi Wedin locks in during the game after a play.

Sophomore Addi Wedin locks in during the game after a play.

Sam Hull

Sophomore Addi Wedin locks in during the game after a play.

Sam Hull

Sam Hull

Sophomore Addi Wedin locks in during the game after a play.

By Emily Hawkins, La Salle Catholic College Preparatory

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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.”

This story was originally published on The La Salle Falconer on March 13, 2019.