Record-setting girls basketball players have elevated Mid-Valley

Record-setting girls basketball players have elevated Mid-Valley

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Record-setting girls basketball players have elevated Mid-Valley

This has been an unprecedented time for girls basketball teams in the Mid-Valley.

Never before have there been so many teams that have won state championships and placed at the state basketball tournaments.

In the past three years there were eight girls basketball teams that won state championships.

This year alone, there were 10 teams that won trophies at state tournaments, the most notable being Blanchet’s OSAA Class 3A state championship.

That’s because of a record-breaking group of players.

Whether it be Madison Hull’s extraordinary efforts to take Western Mennonite to a second-place finish, Shawnie Spink’s leadership that helped Dayton to its third state championship game in a row, Evina Westbrook’s outstanding all-around play that helped elevate South Salem to four straight state tournament trophies or Sophia Poole’s clutch play in Blanchet’s 3A state championship run, there were great players who did greater things this year.

South Salem stands with their trophy following the Grant vs. South Salem girl's basketball game to determine third place in the OSAA Class 6A State Championships at the University of Portland on Saturday, March 11, 2017. South Salem won the game 58-53.

South Salem stands with their trophy following the Grant vs. South Salem girl’s basketball game to determine third place in the OSAA Class 6A State Championships at the University of Portland on Saturday, March 11, 2017. South Salem won the game 58-53.

This is the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Mid-Valley girls basketball team.

Three finalists from the group will be announced Sunday, March 19. Of the three finalists, one will be awarded the girls basketball player of the year at the June 6 Statesman Journal Awards at the Salem Convention Center.

bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler

FIRST TEAM

Madison Hull

School: Western Mennonite

Year: Senior

Position: Point guard

Height: 5-9

Statistics: Hull averaged 22.4 points, 15.4 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 3.3 assists per game.

Honors: First-team all-Tri-River Conference; Tri-River Conference player of the year; first-team all-Class 2A state tournament.

Sydney Hunter

McNary senior Sydney Hunter

McNary senior Sydney Hunter

School: McNary

Year: Senior

Position: Guard/post

Height: 6-1

Statistics: Hunter averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.7 assists per game.

Honors: First-team all-Greater Valley Conference.

Shawnie Spink

Junior Shawnie Spink leads the Dayton High School girl's basketball team. Photographed at Dayton High School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.

Junior Shawnie Spink leads the Dayton High School girl’s basketball team. Photographed at Dayton High School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.

School: Dayton

Year: Junior

Position: Guard

Height: 5-6

Statistics: Spink averaged 16.9 points, 6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game.

Honors: First-team all-West Valley League; West Valley League player of the year; first-team all-Class 3A state tournament.

Evina Westbrook

Evina Westbrook reveals her decision to sign a letter of intent to play basketball for the University of Tennessee. The South Salem senior has been named the best female guard in the country by ESPN. Photographed at The Hoop in Salem on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.

Evina Westbrook reveals her decision to sign a letter of intent to play basketball for the University of Tennessee. The South Salem senior has been named the best female guard in the country by ESPN. Photographed at The Hoop in Salem on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.

School: South Salem

Year: Senior

Position: Point guard

Height: 6-0.

Statistics: Westbrook averaged 25.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 5.2 steals per game.

Honors: First-team all-Greater Valley Conference; Greater Valley Conference player of the year; first-team all-Class 6A state tournament; Gatorade Oregon girls basketball player of the year.

Halle Wright

Halle Wright on the Cascade High School girl's basketball team on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Turner, Ore.

Halle Wright on the Cascade High School girl’s basketball team on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Turner, Ore.

School: Cascade

Year: Junior

Position: Point guard

Height: 6-0

Statistics: Wright averaged 18.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 4.1 steals and 2.1 blocks per game.

Honors: First-team all-Oregon West Conference; Oregon West Conference player of the year.

SECOND TEAM

Sydney Brown

Sydney Brown for Salem Academy girls basketball

Sydney Brown for Salem Academy girls basketball

School: Salem Academy

Year: Junior

Position: Forward

Height: 6-1

Statistics: Brown averaged 11.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.3 assists per game.

Honors: First-team all-PacWest Conference; PacWest Conference player of the year; first-team all-Class 3A state tournament.

Delaney Henery

Delaney Henery, a junior basketball player, stands for a portrait at West Salem High School on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

Delaney Henery, a junior basketball player, stands for a portrait at West Salem High School on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

School: West Salem

Year: Senior

Position: Guard

Height: 5-10

Statistics: Henery averaged 19 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.3 assists per game.

Honors: First-team all-Greater Valley Conference.

Dani Harley

South Salem senior Dani Harley

South Salem senior Dani Harley

School: South Salem

Year: Senior

Position: Wing

Height: 5-7

Statistics: Harley averaged 14.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

Honors: First-team all-Greater Valley Conference.

Sophia Poole

Blanchet senior Sophia Poole

Blanchet senior Sophia Poole

School: Blanchet Catholic

Year: Senior

Position: Point guard

Height: 5-7

Statistics: Poole averaged 12.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

Honors: First-team all-PacWest Conference; first-team all-Class 3A state tournament.

Hailey Smisek

Senior Hailey Smisek, with the Silverton girl's basketball team, on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.

Senior Hailey Smisek, with the Silverton girl’s basketball team, on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.

School: Silverton

Year: Senior

Position: Wing

Height: 5-3

Statistics: Smisek averaged 11.5 points, 3.7 steals and 2.3 rebounds per game.

Honors: First-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference; second-team all-Class 5A state tournament.

COACH

Ron Hittner

Blanchet head coach Ron Hittner calls to his team in the Blanchet vs. Salem Academy girl's basketball game at Salem Academy High School on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2015. Blanchet won the game 56-43.

Blanchet head coach Ron Hittner calls to his team in the Blanchet vs. Salem Academy girl’s basketball game at Salem Academy High School on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2015. Blanchet won the game 56-43.

School: Blanchet

Year: Third

Team accomplishments: Blanchet went 24-3, was the co-PacWest Conference champion at 11-1 and came back from down 16 points in the final quarter to defeat two-time defending state champion Dayton 36-34 in the OSAA Class 3A state championship game for the program’s first state championship.

Coming Sunday

The three finalists for each of the winter sports – boys swimming, girls swimming, wrestling, girls basketball and boys basketball – will be announced Sunday for the Statesman Journal Sports Awards.

The awards show, featuring Mia Hamm and Joey Harrington, takes place June 6 at the Salem Convention Center. For tickets and more information on the program, go to StatesmanJournal.com/sportsawards.

South Salem huddles together before the Grant vs. South Salem girl's basketball game to determine third place in the OSAA Class 6A State Championships at the University of Portland on Saturday, March 11, 2017. South Salem won the game 58-53.

South Salem huddles together before the Grant vs. South Salem girl’s basketball game to determine third place in the OSAA Class 6A State Championships at the University of Portland on Saturday, March 11, 2017. South Salem won the game 58-53.

South Salem warms up before the Grant vs. South Salem girl's basketball game to determine third place in the OSAA Class 6A State Championships at the University of Portland on Saturday, March 11, 2017. South Salem won the game 58-53.

South Salem warms up before the Grant vs. South Salem girl’s basketball game to determine third place in the OSAA Class 6A State Championships at the University of Portland on Saturday, March 11, 2017. South Salem won the game 58-53.

Western Mennonite junior Madi Hull

Western Mennonite junior Madi Hull

Blanchet Caholic School's girls basketball team poses with its OSAA Class 3A state championship trophy on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Blanchet Caholic School’s girls basketball team poses with its OSAA Class 3A state championship trophy on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Blanchet's student section celebrates after the girls basketball team won the OSAA Class 3A state championship.

Blanchet’s student section celebrates after the girls basketball team won the OSAA Class 3A state championship.

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