High-scoring Holm repeats on all-league team
Michael Fendall came to St. Helens as the new girls basketball coach having heard a few things about junior forward Maddie Holm.
Like, that was she pretty good.
He soon began to find out why, and she lived up to the billing.
"She met all my expectations and exceeded them," he says.
This week, Fendall's fellow Northwest Oregon Conference coaches voted Holm to the all-league first team for the second year in a row.
Holm was again the driving force behind the Lions' improvement, as they went 11-12 overall, after finishing 9-16 in 2017-18. (And, in effect, they were 12-12, having a second game called off with Parkrose, a team they beat by 26 points).
"Maddie proved to be our leader all year, on and off the court," Fendall says. "She was amazing."
In what ways?
"She's just tenacious," he says. "Always attacking. Always trying to get better."
Holm averaged 23.8 points per game this season — and that number is a bit deceivingly low. The calculation includes one game in which she scored only four points, having to leave in the first quarter due to concussion symptoms. It also includes an 11-point outing in which she sat out the second half to nurse an injury.
Holm scored in a variety of ways. She's a noted slasher who "can be effective inside, off the boards, really good from midrange … and I think he jump shot really improved," Fendall says.
Early in the season, it looked like Holm was a serious NWOC Player of the Year candidate. That honor wound up going to a freshman, a high-scoring, 3-point shooting, wizard-like ballhandler from Milwaukie, Cali Denson.
La Salle Prep, which tied Class 5A No. 1-ranked Wilsonville for the best record in the league, also had some standouts, notably 5-11 sophomore guard Addison Wedin.
"I voted for Wedin and voted Cali second (we can't vote for our own players)," Fendall says. "It was a very tough decision. I don't mean it to slight Cali at all. They're both incredible players. The whole first team in our conference is amazing."
As good as Holm was this season, and as strong as her statistics were, Fendall says in a way he'd really like to see the numbers not necessarily so high next season.
"I would like to ask less of her, and have other players get better and be able to contribute more," he explains. "I know she's capable of doing even more, but it takes a real toll on you when you have to be extremely aggressive on offense and yet still play hard on defense.
"So the main goal is to provide her with some more help next season."
Four other local players received honors in the all-conference voting.
Holm's senior forward teammate, Kaela Lee, was chosen for honorable mention.
Also making the honorable mention list were three members of the Scappoose Indians — senior guards Sara Mills and Payton Fisher and junior forward Gaby Dague.
All-Northwest Oregon Conference
girls basketball team
Player of the Year
Cali Denson, Milwaukie
Coach of the Year
Justin Duke, Wilsonville
Cali Denson, Milwaukie
Addison Wedin, La Salle Prep
Emilia Bishop, Wilsonville
Sarah Rope, Putnam
Sydney Burns, Wilsonville
Maddie Holm, St. Helens
Rian Porter, Hillsboro
Kylie Fernstrom, Hillsboro
Imani Royster, Parkrose
Cydney Gutridge, Wilsonville
Emily Niebergall, La Salle Prep
Dylan Kern, Hillsboro
Amanda Sisul, La Salle Prep
Mia Skoro, La Salle Prep
Lauren Vreeken, La Salle Prep
Jessica Loboy, La Salle Prep
Makenna Presley, Milwaukie
Jayden Tuel, Milwaukie
Emma Whittington, Putnam
Miranda Evans, Putnam
Abigail Paul, Putnam
Kae Delgado, Parkrose
Gaby Dague, Scappoose
Payton Fisher, Scappoose
Sara Mills, Scappoose
Kaela Lee, St. Helens
Teagan McNamee, Wilsonville
Kayla Hieb, Wilsonville
Hannah McKinney, Wilsonville