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The Hawks have both key returnees and promising newcomers going into the Lewis & Clark season

PHOTO COURTESY OF OSAA - The Horizon Christian High School girls basketball team is looking to make a return to postseason play in the 2019-20 season.The Horizon Christian High School girls basketball team continues to grow.

This year, the Hawks look to take another step with a youthful squad.

"Horizon continues to build a strong varsity program," Horizon Christian coach Scott Olson said. "We are very young, but athletic, this year. We hope to be in the mix for league playoffs again this year."

The Hawks do return some key players from last year's squad that finished in fifth place in the final Lewis & Clark League standings, while going 10-13 on the season and reaching the league playoffs.

Among the returnees for Horizon Christian is junior guard Alyssa Smith (5-foot-11) who earned all-league honors a year ago as a sophomore.

"She's a very strong rebounder and defender," Olson said. "She's a great leader, who will set the tone for us."

The Hawks also return junior forward Katie Graham (6-1), who is in her third year as a starter for Horizon Christian.

"She's a great all-around player.," Olson said. "It should be a big breakout year for her. She has a great inside and outside game."

Horizon's third returning varsity player is sophomore guard Keslyn Peterson (5-8).

"She's a good scorer and defender," Olson said. "She will be a team leader as a sophomore."

Among the key newcomers to the Horizon Christian varsity is junior forward Grayson Carley (5-10).

"She's a high-energy defensive standout who can make things happen," Olson said.

Freshman guard Kenzie Kosik (5-8) could also make an impact.

She's a great, young freshmen talent," Olson said. "She will be one of our key leaders on the court, very solid on both ends of the court."

Freshman forward Reagan Anderson (5-9) and sophomore forward Ainsley Jorgensen (5-10) could be other key newcomers for the Hawks.

Other players on the Horizon Christian varsity roster include junior guard Julia Cloud (5-5), freshman forward Leah Clements (5-9), junior forward Molly Brennan (5-9), freshman guard Cassie Wedin (5-7), senior guard Naomi Ford (5-6), sophomore guard Cindy Xu (5-3), sophomore forward Hayes Johnson (5-9) and sophomore guard Victoria Hernandez (5-1).

"We have youth and inexperience," Olson said. "It's going to matter how quickly can they come together on the court."

As for the Lewis & Clark League this season, Olson is expecting more strong competition.

"It's a tough league again this year," he said. "OES (Oregon Episcopal School) returns a strong team, as does De La Salle. We are hoping to be there when league playoffs roll around."

The Horizon Christian squad is off to a 6-5 start to the 2019-20 season. The Hawks will open their Lewis & Clark League schedule on Tuesday, when they host Portland Adventist Academy in a league game starting at 6 p.m. at Horizon Christian High School. On Thursday, Horizon will host Oregon Episcopal School in a league game starting at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Hawks will travel to Westside Christian for a league game starting at 6 p.m.

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