The accomplishments were notable for the Jewell girls basketball program in 2016-17: A tie for third in the Casco League standings, a 14-win season, and the Lady Jays managed to go three games deep into the district playoffs.
Not bad, when you’re battling the likes of private schools Crosshill Christian and Willamette Valley Christian, and 1A power Perrydale.
Ultimately, Jewell came up short of the state playoffs, but it was a season to build on.
As they enter a new season, “I think we’ll be more competitive,” said Jewell coach Mark Fick. “We’ve got good numbers, a little more experience, and the kids are really working hard.”
The league “will be about the same,” Fick said. “Perrydale and Crosshill have some real athletic girls, who are all 5-9 or in that range. Falls City and us will be about the same size. We’re hoping to compete for first and second, and we’ll have a real good shot at third.”
THE LADY JAYS
“A lot of guards, with four or five who can play post,” is how Fick describes this year’s version of Jewell girls basketball.
The go-to players include senior Gabi Morales, a shooting guard; and senior post Emma Guillen.
In supporting roles, the Jays have senior Ashley Wammack, a 5-5 forward/post; juniors Lilly Kaczenski and guard Sophie Olvera; and sophomores Amber DeWees, Serena Haddock, Haven Shaw, Nereida Morales and Haley Norman.
“Lilly Kaczenski can play post at 5-4, or she can play wing,” Fick said. “She’s worked on her shooting, so she should help with scoring, and she’s active defensively.”
Fick, who has 176 career wins at Jewell and 222 including his years at Astoria, said, “We’ve got 10 or 12 kids who can play minutes. I’m hoping we can be really scrappy on defense, and get the ball up and down the floor on offense.”
Other varsity contributors include juniors Dahlia Park, Cheyenne Stapleton and Rebecca Wammack; and freshman Lillie Meier.
Jewell Girls Basketball
Coach: Mark Fick, 13th year
2016-17: 14-10 (7-5 league)
Playoffs: Defeated Falls City, lost to Perrydale twice in league playoffs.
All-league returner: Emma Guillen