Former all-league player making impact as reserve

by: GREG ARTMAN - Emily Dungey (with ball), who transferred to Wilsonville after two years at Lakeridge, is now on the women's basketball team at Colorado State Pueblo.After graduating from Wilsonville High School in 2011, Emily Dungey went directly to Colorado State Pueblo to continue her career on the hardwood as a member of the women’s basketball team.

Playing for the ThunderWolves under coach Kip Drown, the 5-foot-11 wing wrapped up her sophomore campaign at the Division II school earlier this year.

“It’s been a really good experience,” said Dungey, whose program competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. “I love my team, and I love my coaches. The transition from high school to college has been better than I could have expected.”

Dungey, who is studying business marketing, said she was satisfied with her first two years on the team even though she received limited playing time.

She appeared in six games as a freshman in 2011-12, when CSU Pueblo went 21-7 overall and 18-4 in league play to place third in the RMAC standings before taking fifth in the league tournament and fifth at NCAA regionals.

This past season, Dungey played in 11 games as the ThunderWolves posted an 18-9 overall tally and a 15-7 mark in league play. The squad reached the conference tournament quarterfinals before falling to Fort Lewis.

“Since my team has been so successful, and I’m working every day to make my starters better, it’s been a rewarding experience for me,” Dungey said.

Even as a reserve, Dungey has come to appreciate the heightened level of competition in the collegiate ranks. Her training regimen is a frequent reminder.

“It’s definitely a different game,” she said. “I’m faster and I’m stronger now. Weightlifting every week and being on that schedule of required workouts, I’ve developed a lot as a player.”

Dungey started playing in 3rd grade, put her skills in a competitive setting two years letter and never really looked back. She later played club basketball with Kellie Krueger, Ashley Walters and Megan Arnoldy, who impacted her decision to transfer from Lakeridge High School to Wilsonville before her junior season.

“I knew some of those girls and I got along with them, so it was a good fit for me,” said Dungey, the older sister of current Lakeridge quarterback Eric Dungey. “It ended up working out. It was a good decision for me.”

Dungey was an all-conference honoree in her two years with the Wildcats, helping the team reach the Class 5A finals in 2010 and boosting them into the state quarterfinals in 2011.

As a senior, she averaged 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals per game.

“It was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Dungey said. “Playing for a state title my junior year was an unforgettable experience.”

It was an experience she shared with Krueger and fellow Wilsonville teammate Nicole Gearhart, both of whom now compete in the same conference as members of the women’s basketball team at UC-Colorado Springs. Their school is only 45 miles from Dungey’s.

“Colorado has a lot of Division II schools, and the RMAC is very competitive,” Dungey said. “And it’s tight-knit. There are so many schools just in that one region, so our league is big, and they’re all pretty close geographically.”

Dungey and CSU Pueblo are scheduled to face UCCS at home Jan. 4 and on the road Feb. 8.

“It’s cool,” she said. “It’s a really good thing. I don’t think people realize how long basketball season is, so it’s a nice break to see your hometown friends in the same state and on the road. That should be fun.”

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