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The Class 5A girls' basketball Player of the Year graduated on June 16 and then left the next day to join the St. Mary's Gaels

PAMPLIN MEDIA: JIM BESEDA - La Salle Prep's Taycee Wedin played in 112 games during her high school career and scored 2,097 points on 46.2 perecent shooting from the field for the Falcons.On June 16, Taycee Wedin received her high school diploma along with the other seniors in La Salle Prep's Class of 2018.

The next day, the 5-foot-9 shooting guard boarded a plane in Portland and took off for Moraga, California to begin the next chapter in her basketball career with the St. Mary's College Gaels of the West Coast Conference.

PHOTO BY KELLI WEDIN - La Salle Prep's Taycee Wedin graduated high school on June 16.Wedin had an impressive run at La Salle Prep, capped by a remarkable senior season that saw her named the Class 5A Player of the Year after leading the Falcons (23-5) to their third appearance in the championship final in four seasons.

Coming back from reconstructive knee surgery in March to repair a torn ACL and meniscus, Wedin averaged 19.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.3 steals a game despite playing the entire season in pain.

"I definitely was in some sort of pain after every practice and every game," Wedin said. "I probably only about 80 percent the whole season. I mean, I was never fully recovered.

"I went home and iced every night and continued to do physical therapy throughout the season, so it wasn't like I was holding back."

She said sitting out even a portion of the season was never an option.

"I was so eager to get back playing after sitting out for six months without even touching a basketball or running," Wedin said. "I was so ready to get back and I worked my butt off to be there the first day of tryouts.

"Even though I wasn't fully recovered, I wanted to be there with my teammates and go through everything with them. I didn't want to sit out any longer. And if I had it to do over again, I would do anything differently."

Wedin finished her career as La Salle's all-time leading scorer with 2,097 points and is the state's all-time career leader in three-point field goals with 359, breaking the previous record of 353 set by Franklin's Shoni Schimmel (2007-10).

"It certainly was within the realm of possibilities for Taycee to not even play her senior year, but she wasn't willing to let that be the case," said Kelli Wedin, Taycee's mother, and the Falcons' head coach. "She loves La Salle basketball and she loves her teammates. That's her comfort zone, that's her family, and she wanted to be a part of it in whatever shape or form she could be."

She scored 20 or more points in 13 games as a senior, including a season-high 30 points in two Northwest Oregon Conference games -- a 72-33 blowout of Putnam, and an 89-21 romp against Parkrose.

"She wasn't the same player she was her junior season, but I just felt that she did everything she possibly could to be the best she could be for her team," Kelli Wedin said. "She really wanted to make this a special year, and I think she did.

"All the things she did, it's just crazy to think that she was probably 75 or 80 percent healthy all year and it was a tough season. Every game, she was face-guarded and mugged and all that stuff, yet she showed tremendous maturity and composure, and her leadership and all those little pieces were the most special things of all."

Wedin also was a nominee for the annual McDonald's All-American Game and was one of three finalists for the Oregon Sports Awards Female Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

"Obviously, my teammates and I really wanted to get another state championship, but I was super-proud of our team and getting second place," she said. "Considering some of the circumstances we dealt with, I think we proved a lot of people wrong and worked super-hard to get where we were at."

COLLEGE-BOUND FALCONS

La Salle Prep has 13 student-athletes who have opportunities to continue their athletic careers in college in the 2018-19 school year. They are:

Isaac Bridgeman, University of Puget Sound (football)

Tae Brooks, Wayne State College (football)

Jacob Brumbaugh, University of San Diego (football)

Tony Huynh, University of Redlands (football)

Izzy Ierulli, Chapman University (equestrian)

Andy Krueger, Queens University of Charlotte (triathlon)

Sydney Nakagawa, University of Redlands (swimming)

Michaela Pinto, Coe College (tennis)

Kiley Russell, Centralia College (soccer)

Kendal Shride, Azusa Pacific University (acrobatics)

Hannah Sisul, Utah State University (softball)

Taycee Wedin, St. Mary's College (basketball)

Matt Werner, La Salle University (golf)

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