Perhaps the greatest high school girls basketball player to come through the state of Oregon and certainly the best to pass through the Metro League is taking her talents across town.
Two-time Class 6A and Metro Player of the Year Cameron Brink is officially transferring from Southridge High School down Scholls Ferry to Mountainside. The decision was finalized and confirmed to the Valley Times on Thursday afternoon. Brink is officialy registered at Mountainside after her new class schedule was approved by the school. It's a monumental move, one that will send shock waves through the 6A girls basketball terrain and impact multiple programs across the classification.
But Brink's choice was not solely about basketball. The Brink family lives in the Mountainside school zone. When the school opened up two years ago, Cameron had the choice to stay at Southridge or attend Mountainside and elected to stay a Skyhawk. Now, as she prepares for her senior season before heading off to Stanford next summer, Brink is going with her heart and putting her happiness first.
"Cam just feels she'd like to enjoy her last year of high school in the school she's zoned to be in," Michelle Brink said. "She wants to reconnect with friends she grew up with. She had a great run at Southridge and wishes everyone there - coaches, teachers, teammates - all the best."
From a pure basketball perspective, Brink is going from a Skyhawk team that went to three straight state championships and won back-to-back titles in 2017 and '18 to a Mountainside program that lost in the first round of the 6A playoffs last season. And while both teams are bringing back their entire rosters this coming season, the Skyhawks sport the sort of supporting cast that would have put Southridge in pole position to win its third state crown in four years— had Brink come back.
Beaverton just breathed a huge sigh of relief. With Brink out of the middle making lives miserable both offensively and defensively, the Beavers' rising senior core of Laura and Sydney Erikstrup, Mary Kay Naro, Jordyn Reverman and others have to be licking their chops. The Beavers didn't beat Southridge when Brink was in the lineup. She was their night terror. Yet, Brink isn't going too far. And she won't be on her own when she slips on a Maverick jersey. Rising sophomores Halle Hageman and Lindsey Wilson were both second-team All-Metro a year ago, forming a formidable, promising inside-outside duo that Mountainside could build around. Now, seasoned head coach Glen Lee gets to drop a generational talent into his young nucleus. Brink is Mountainside's manna from heaven. Wilson won't see a double team in the post as long Brink is on the floor. Hageman gets to run the floor with the most athletic high school post in the United States, one who doesn't drop passes in transition and can lead the break herself if need be. Any shooters Mountainside puts on the floor will have the most open looks they've ever enjoyed, with time to set their feet, rise and fire with no hassle because of Brink's omnipresent existence. Brink is arguably the best interior defender the state has ever seen. She alters twice as many shots as she blocks, rebounds anything with her condor-like wingspan and plays with a contagious passion and energy.
Mountainside just went from one-and-done in the postseason to state title contender. Brink is that impactful. Her outside shot is improving, her perimeter game is evolving and the passing ability that was often overlooked will only be heightened. She's tall, surely, but she has touch and feel in the paint offensively with an array of post moves. Brink has been where Mountainside wants to go too. Two state titles and three title game appearances are the ultimate trump cards when it comes to experience. She can steady what will still be a young Mavs team and get the most of out of them with her distinct leadership qualities.
From Southridge's perspective, this is a gut punch, there is no getting around it. The Skyhawks' offense and defense, while multi-faceted and diverse, revolved around singular Brink's ability. She is a consensus five-star recruit and is ranked No. 3 overall in ESPN's class of 2020 girls basketball recruiting rankings. She averaged 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game in regular and postseason play. Brink shot 64 percent from the field and 78.4 percent from the foul line, helping the Skyhawks win 21 consecutive games before falling to Benson in the state championship. Her departure leaves a gaping hole that can't be closed with one player alone. The good news is, Southridge won't be short on talent. Rising senior point guard McKelle Meek is an all-state tournament, first-team All-Metro performer who will now be entrusted with even more responsibility. Junior Kailyn Dawkins earned a starting role and starred after transferring from Lake Oswego. Junior guard Maya Hoff is one of the best two-way players in the state and is back for vengeance after breaking her jaw against Beaverton in the 6A semis. Senior Kaylen Blair is an invaluable wing who's a bully on defense and an accurate outside shooter. Southridge didn't graduate a single senior. The reigning 6A runner up will still be loaded and motivated, albeit without its tour de force as the fulcrum.
What ensues as these three titans clash will be fascinating not just locally but at the state level as teams catch wind of Brink's big move. Surely, it will make for intriguing Metro drama as the season unfolds with Beaverton, Southridge and now Mountainside waging war against each other both during the regular season and campaign and possibly if we're lucky enough, the 6A state tournament come March. The balance of power has shifted.
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