Molalla High School’s girls basketball team had a tough season in league, ending the year 2-8 and 6-17 overall. Despite not collecting as many wins as they would have liked, the Indians are happy with their season.

“The players and the coaches, none of us wanted the season to end,” Coach Phil Wiesner said, adding that by the end of the season the girls’ confidence was booming and they were showing “tremendous growth.”

In the second half of the Indians’ league play, they played exceptionally better. For instance, the first time Molalla played La Salle, on Feb. 4, the Indians lost 59-19. The second time around, Molalla fought to a 67-43 loss. That’s a major improvement against a team that went unbeaten in league play.

“We felt good about things,” Wiesner said. “We had good atmosphere.” Wiesner said he had one of the athlete’s parents tell him that the girls were playing intense but smiling and relaxed. That atmosphere is partially set by the coaches and partially by the players, particularly the seniors, who help lead the team.

The Indians graduate five players this year: Amanda Rieskamp, Katelin Satyna, Alisha Laren, Isabella Petitta, and Josie Child.

“For the season, the seniors helped set the tone and showed great work ethic,” Wiesner said. “All five seniors, I can’t say enough about them.”

Reiskamp led the team in rebounds and tied for Petitta for blocks. She also had a great early season offensively. “She carried us through offensively early on and was a great floor leader,” Wiesner said. “She’s very versatile. She played point early in her career, and that helped her on the wing this year.”

Childs was the leading scorer, and Larsen also finished strong, finding her range, Wiesner said.

“Satyna was a rock all season,” Wiesner said. “She battled kids two to six inches taller than her.”

Petitta led in deflections, and tied with Reiskamp for blocks, Wiesner said. “Leadership from those five was amazing. I’m going to dearly miss them.”

Next year, the Indians will be a young team, predominantly sophomores, Wiesner said, but “we won’t be raw.” This year, Wiesner “seasoned the freshmen,” getting them floor time and letting them see how seniors play. Wienser is also looking at the JV and JV2 teams for potential new talent on varsity.

“The JV and JV2 have improved as well and will be competing for spots,” he said.

Overall, the team is excited for next year. Wiesner said he’s begun lining up summer basketball camps for them and the girls can’t wait to start. “We’ve just basically collected the uniforms and the kids already want to jump in again.”

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