By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Imagine being a Senior on a team that was young in Varsity minutes and having to step up as a leader.
Stayton’s KJ Nyquist had to do just that adjusting into more of a leadership role her Senior Year as the Eagles, under first-year Head Coach Wendi Nyquist, as Stayton finished 17-8 and 8-4 in the Oregon West Conference. Nyquist was named Second Team All-State as a Senior.
“KJ showed tremendous leadership this season. We had a new coach a new system and a whole new team that had competed very little on a varsity floor. Our success was a direct reflection of her leadership. KJ is a fierce competitor. She will do whatever it takes to win,” said Wendi Nyquist of KJ. “That being said, with this team, KJ knew how important it was for her teammates to feel comfortable and confident. We had success this season because KJ was a selfless leader.
“She never put herself above the team. She loved her teammates and always found a way for all teammates to feel involved and loved.”
North Marion had plans to return to the Elite 8 once more, but after a slow 2-6 start the Huskies wheeled off of 17 straight wins and were the hottest team entering the 4A State Playoffs in Forest Grove before the Coronavirus cooled off their hot-hand.
Senior Katie Ensign was named to the First Team All-State team and Junior Mya Hammack was named to the Honorable Mention All-State Team.
“We had big plans for the final 8 with a defense I have never used before and the girls were really understanding it well. Obviously very disappointed that we couldn’t play but certainly understood the risks,” said North Marion Head Coach Trevor Bodine. “I feel bad for the seniors on all the teams that didn’t get a chance to finish things out the right way. I was very proud of my team and coaching staff in how we came together after December and really developed as a unit.
“As far as Katie and Mya go, they really did a great job leading the team this year. Katie averaged a double-double in league and Mya does what she always does. The only one that was able to stop Mya this year was Mya. Both Katie and Mya developed their all-around games and became more multi-dimensional which was great to see especially from Katie because most people thought she was just a three-point shooter.”
See the full 4A Girls Basketball List here:
Katie Ensign- North Marion
Kaiah Fisher- Hidden Valley
Brooklynn Hankwitz- Astoria
Sage Kramer- Philomath
Sydney Younger- Baker
Camryn Collman, La Grande, junior
Matty Ladd, Cottage Grove, junior
Josie Napoli, Valley Catholic, junior
KJ Nyquist, Stayton, senior
Emma Pankalla, Philomath, senior
Ella Dunlap, La Grande, junior
Mya Hammack, North Marion, junior
Teryn Powers, Hidden Valley, sophomore
Mia Rust, Philomath, junior
Jiana Smith-Francis, Madras, senior
Coach of the Year: Ben Silva, Philomath