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Harsin named new basketball coach at Hilhi


Former JV coach Sara Harsin will take over varsity duties next season

Hillsboro is handing over the reins of its girls basketball program to Sara Harsin. After spending the past year as the Spartans’ junior varsity head coach and following the retirement of Lloyd Suiter, Harsin was hired for the position on April 8.

“I’m really excited about it,” Harsin said. “The kids are great. I’m just really looking forward to building onto a program that has gotten off on a positive foot and then adding to it.”

A 2002 Forest Grove graduate, Harsin coached previously at her alma mater for three years and at Banks while she was a student teacher. She was a three-sport athlete in basketball, soccer and softball in high school, and she played basketball in college at Pacific.

Harsin is in her fourth year at nearby South Meadows Middle School, which feeds into Hilhi. She is a math teacher and department coordinator at the school.

“Even in this last year, I had kids that I had in middle school, so I saw them as seventh-graders, eighth-graders, and then as freshmen. There were a couple of them,” Harsin said. “So that was definitely a positive. I know the kids, they know my expectations. I know them, I know the families. It’s a really good situation to be going into right now.”

Harsin working at South Meadows was also significant to Hilhi athletic director Steve Drake.

“In education now, there’s fewer and fewer people that are getting involved in teaching and coaching because of the time commitment, so this is a win-win for us that we are able to hire an experienced coach,” Drake said.

Seven seniors were on the 2012-13 roster for the Spartans, who went 11-15 overall, finished eighth in the Pacific Conference (2-12), and lost to Oregon City in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs after knocking off Grant in the play-in round.

Hilhi is expected to return Lauren Lykins, a first team all-conference selection at guard this past season, for her senior year.

Harsin also is excited about the Spartans’ incoming freshman class that she described as committed and whom she knows through their attendance at South Meadows. And she is committed to building a youth program of players who are enthusiastic about playing for Hilhi once they reach high school and who come in with a competitive mindset.

“We have to really, really build that positive foundation at that level,” Harsin noted.

And though the basketball season does not get underway until the fall, Harsin is already getting to work. Earlier this week, she had designs on finalizing the team’s summer schedule within a week, and she plans to get open gyms going, likely starting next week.

“She made it very clear that, ‘I want to be a Spartan, I want to teach here at Hilhi if I get that opportunity, I want to coach here. This is a long-term thing, and I’m committed to being the best coach I can be,’” Drake said.

Fifth doubles match added as tiebreaker in NWOC tennis

Northwest Oregon Conference tennis is trying a new look this season thanks to the addition of a fifth doubles match in varsity contests.

The rationale behind the change — standard procedure in Oregon high school tennis is to stage four singles matches and four doubles matches — was two-fold, Sherwood athletic director Randy Ramp said.

The additional doubles match provides an easy way to break ties, Ramp said, and it also gives more players the chance to play at the varsity level.

Currently, team winners of 4-4 matches are determined first by the number of sets won and then by the number of games, if the sets criterion is also a tie. That can make for a lot of counting and a cumbersome way to determine a winner.

But teams are not penalized because of a lack of players. If a squad cannot field a fifth doubles team, said Ramp, only four doubles matches are played and standard tiebreak procedures are used.

“I don’t have to worry about it,” Liberty girls coach Dan Snyder said. “I don’t have to worry about counting sets, I don’t have to worry about counting games. You play nine matches, and whoever wins five, wins.”

The Falcons picked up a 5-4 win at Parkrose on April 9.

Free wheelchair tennis camp coming up in Beaverton

The Northwest Wheelchair Tennis Association is staging its second annual Wheelchair Tennis Camp for Kids on Saturday. All kids with mobility impairments are encouraged to register for the free camp, which will take place from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m. at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton.

David Wagner, a gold and silver medalist in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, will participate in the camp. Wagner and two other tennis pros will conduct skill-building activities.

The camp is the first event of a six-week tennis skill-building course that will conclude with a Juniors Mini-Jamboree/Tournament on June 15.

For more information, go to nwwheelchairtennis.org.