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Barlow senior Melanie Hiu to lead Bruins; Sandy junior Grace Lucky returns as scoring star

COURTESY PHOTO: BARLOW HIGH SCHOOL - Barlow senior Melanie Hiu averaged 3.6 steals per game last season. As the 2021-22 high school basketball season tips off across the state, there are plenty of talented girls to keep an eye on from the Mt. Hood Conference.

So we asked those who know them best, their coaches, which players will make the biggest impact on the court this season in girls basketball. From a senior defensive menace on the perimeter to a player able to score from every inch of the court, here are the players to watch this season:

Melanie Hiu, Barlow, senior

One of the best defensive players in the conference, Hiu has made a living swiping pockets on the court. She averaged 3.6 steals last season, and again looks to bring her patented aggressive defensive into the new year. On offense she is a capable scorer and playmaker, averaging 12.7 points and 3.6 assists.

Grace Lucky, Sandy, junior

The Pioneers returning leading scorer, Lucky will look to set the tone all season on offense. Last year the Second-Team All-League star averaged 12.5 points as a sophomore — a number she will look to top this year with more experience on the court.

Grace Togamae, Reynolds, junior

This is Togamae's first year as a Raider after transferring to the program from Roosevelt. She brings a workhorse mentality to the team, hustling after loose balls. On defense she will mark the opposing team's best player, no matter the position.

Aleena Baisden, Gresham, senior

Baisden is a name fans will recognize as she enters her fourth year on varsity for the Gophers. An athletic player with an infectious competitive spirit, she brings leadership to a rebuilding Gresham team.

Sydney Brewster, Sandy, junior

Another returning leader for Sandy, Brewster is able to use her length and height to gain an advantage over her opponents on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court. Last year she averaged 10 points en route to a Second-Team All-League nod.

Kennedie Shuler, Barlow, junior

Perhaps the best comeback story in the league, Shuler returned to the court last year after a brutal injury to play the final 3 weeks of the season, averaging 9.9 points, 3.4 assists and 3 rebounds. She looks to add to her hardware this year after earning a First-Team All-League nod in 2019/20, and an Honorable Mention All-League in 2020/21.

Vanessa Salguero, Gresham, junior

The newest addition to the Gophers after moving to the city about 9 months ago, Salguero is one of the most technically skilled players in the conference. Her signature move is a slashing, driving layup at the hoop that opens up space for her teammates to find open looks.

Annie Koenig, Barlow, junior

One of the best shooters in the conference, Koenig nailed 43% of her 3-point attempts last year. The First-Team All-League player averaged 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and shot 87% from the free throw line.

Sofia Cordway, Reynolds, freshman

The youngest player on the list also fills a critical need for the Raiders after they lost a star guard last season to graduation. From day one Cordway has been able to handle the pressure of running the offense, and will be a major threat from the 3-point line.

Awek De Polk, David Douglas, senior

With a new coach in Heather Marshall at David Douglas, Polk looks to provide some consistency as a senior and honorable mention all-conference last season.


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