NO. 13 SOUTHRIDGE
Location: Beaverton, Ore.
Preseason Rank: 13
2017-18 record: 40-3
Final 2017-18 Super 25 ranking: 25
Last season, Southridge won its second consecutive state title even without Kaelin Immel, who graduated the year before, went to Air Force and won the 2017-18 Mountain West Freshman of the Year award.
Oregon Live asked three coaches if 2018 Southridge ranked with the all-time great Oregon teams, and they said that if they’re not near the top, they’re close. Southridge will look to carry the bulk of that team to another championship, albeit without last year’s captains Maggie Freeman and Natalie Hoff.
At the top of the reasons why they can prevail is that they still have another two years of 6-foot-4 five-star Stanford commit Cameron Brink — the No. 2 player in ESPN’s class of 2020 rankings, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, the center who has been longtime friends with Steph Curry.
After averaging a double-double and more than two blocks and steals per game apiece, Brink might be even better this year. She played on the USA Basketball U17 women’s team that won gold over summer and will take the experience – plus, the added experience of being an upperclassman – back to Southridge, where she will likely be thrust into a larger leadership role without last year’s captains.
It’s not just Brink. Southridge is returning McKelle Meek, a point guard who spent the summer working on her man-to-man defense, according to Pamplin Media, and Maya Hoff, a sophomore with speed and length that helps her defend well.