Two senior standouts from the Molalla and Colton girls' basketball squads have been chosen to represent their schools at the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association All-Star series coming up next week.
Audrey Rieskamp and Rachel McCoy are two of ten players that were selected for the North Team in the basketball All-Star series coming up on June 16 and 17 at West Salem High School.
Rieskamp was a second team All-League finisher for the Tri-Valley Conference last season as the Indians won their first league title since 2002. She said she wasn't expecting to be chosen for the All-Star series, but whne the invitation came in the mail, she was very excited.
"It's an honor to have been chosen and I'm excited for it," she said. "I think it will be fun to play with people I have played against before."
Rieskamp does not plan to play basketball in college, so this will be one last high school game where she'll get to wear her jersey for the final time.
"I'm very thankful and honored for this opportunity to play one last time," Rieskamp said. "Thinking about not playing competitive basketball next year makes me sad, but I know I'll still play for fun when I'm in college."
Rieskamp said basketball has always been the one sport she's loved, and if she didn't play basketball, she didn't know that high school would have been like for her.
"I've been playing since kindergarten and throughout the years, I've put in a ton of work to improve and get better," she said. "Getting to play in this little tournament shows that my hard work hasn't gone unnoticed."
When Rieskamp asked about her favorite memory from her high school basketball career, she recalled the team's trip to Sisters for a tournament last season.
"It was super fun with all the team and we made some great memories," she said. "I am going to miss all my teammates, but I know they are going to kill it this upcoming season; I'll definitely be back to watch them."
She said playing basketball, or any other sport, benefits individuals in ways additional to athletics.
"From playing basketball, I have become a stronger leader on and off the court," Rieskamp said. "I have also grown in my ability to work together with other people (my team). It has shown me to respect my opponent, whether it be on the court or in any other situation life throws at me."
More information on Rieskamp's plans for college can be found here.
McCoy was a second team All-League selection for the PacWest Conference last season as she led the Vikings in nearly every statistical category.
She said being chosen for the All-Star series means that all the hard work she put in during her high school career has paid off.
"My freshman year was all about learning how to be a teammate and a supporter," she said. "I was injured and I was able to learn the mental part of the game from observation. My sophomore and junior year I was still building confidence, sharpening my skills, and finding my role on the court."
"Finally, my senior year I was able to take more risks in the game and be a leader on the court," McCoy said. "I had to step up as point guard and I loved it."
McCoy was also a second team All-League winner in volleyball last season, and she has committed to continue her volleyball career at Clackamas Community College this fall. She will be studying to earn a transfer degree in Marketing and plans to transfer to a university in Oregon or California.
She said she considered playing basketball in college as well and is still on the fence about it, but she doesn't want to over extend herself.
"I love basketball, it will always be a part of my life in some form whether it's intramural or just open gyms," McCoy said.
McCoy said her favorite high school basketball memory was scoring 26 points against Jefferson on her home court.
"Overall, though, my senior year was my favorite season," she said. "Each game was memorable in a different way; I was lucky I got to play with my best friends and accomplish huge goals."
McCoy has been playing sports in Colton since kindergarten, and she said participating in athletics has taught her "so much, on and off the court."
"I have been incredibly lucky to have coaches that teach me how to be a good athlete and important life lessons," McCoy said. "I am a better teammate and leader because of my sports career."
She said the biggest thing she takes away from her high school athletics career is her confidence. She learned that work ethic can build and athlete.
McCoy commented on the standing of the program and said the sports programs in Colton are continuing to develop and improve constantly.
"From freshman year to my senior year, Colton is breaking down walls that we didn't think we could before," she said. "There are a lot of determined athletes her in Colton that are always raising the bar; I am confident that Colton will continue to achieve big things."
After college, McCoy said she plans to travel and "go on a lot of adventures."
When asked about her expectations for her freshman year, she said she's excited to be in a new environment.
"I am hoping for a successful volleyball season as a Cougar," McCoy said. "I'm excited to meet the team and get started."
Rieskamp and McCoy will compete for the North Team against the East Team at 5 p.m. June 16. The winner will move on to the championship game on June 17 at 2 p.m. against the winner of the West-South game, while the loser will play in the consolation game for third place at 12 p.m.
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