The Lady Saints kicked off a new era in their 2015-2016 season with a revamped coaching staff led by Head Coach Roger Worley. Joining Worley on the bench was Michelle Bechtel, a college basketball standout while at Walla Walla University, and Troy O’Neal, a seasoned veteran and coach of the game who has worked with many local basketball programs.
The Orcas Christian School Lady Saints ended their 2015-2016 season with a celebration of the basketball career of Maelle Comrie, the Lady Saints lone senior. Comrie had been a significant part of the lady Saints’ dynamic during the 2015-2016 Northwest 1B campaign.
“Maelle’s endurance and perseverance was what made our program happen this season. Without Maelle, we would not have a team this year,” said Athletic Director Breezy Davis. “She and her teammates worked together to grow and push through each game they faced. She was vital to our program!”
The Lady Saints lost to Arlington-Highland Christian, 38-37. The Saints had led Arlington-Highland for a majority of the game, but Arlington-Highland put together a stout and fierce second half comeback.
Despite the loss, Comrie was the Saints’ standout player in the contest with 15 points. Nine of those were 3-pointers. Juniors Emily Toombs and Caitlin Fowler had four each, while Alaena Comrie finished with two to round out the Saints’ score line. In the previous game, the Saints lost a close game to the Lummi Nation, 29-21.
The Lady Saints had a lot to be proud of. They played almost their entire season with no substitutions, and were competitive in many of their games. Day in and day out, the Lady Saints came to work. They showed, heart, hustle and determination. This Lady Saints team has paved the way for a new era of Orcas Christian basketball players who refuse to give up or give in.
Each game we endeavored to improve our play. Never giving up was what we did well,” said Worley. “Even when we had to play parts of a game with four players, no one complained.”
Orcas Christian’s historic boys’ season came to an end after a 43-37 point loss to Tulalip-Heritage High School in the second game of the Tri-District Tournament. In the first round of Tri-Districts the Saints fell to the Evergreen Lutheran Eagles, 67-52.
In the first game against Evergreen Lutheran, Senior Guard Michael Harris had 19 points, while Junior Forward Cyrus Amour had 11 points and excelled on the low block. In their game against league rival Tulalip, Junior Guard Cameron Aragon led his Saints teammates with 12 points, all from beyond the 3-point line. Forward Cyrus Amour kept the Saints in the game with a solid rebounding performance and post scoring performance which earned him 11 points.
The Saints’ season was filled with great memories and moments of triumph. The Orcas Christian Saints were ranked the number one basketball team in the state’s 1B classification for several weeks, and held a top five ranking all season. The Saints won the Northeast 1B League Championship with an impressive 14-1 league record, and won nine straight games in the process. On top of the league title, the Saints were crowned District 1 Champions after they beat Mount Vernon Christian in a decisive 52-28 game.
“Winning the league title and district title reflected on the hard work we put in over the last off season,” said Harris. “We were successful because we were motivated by the attitudes of each individual, every step of the way.”
The Saints changed the landscape of the role of eighth-graders playing at the varsity level with the breakout season of eight-grader, Corey Aragon. Aragon started most of the games for the Saints and led the team in three-pointers, along with showing tremendous courage on fearless drives against the league’s “Big Men.”
The Saints had a solid second place finish in the Walla Walla Friendship Tournament. A tournament that featured the West Coast’s top Adventist high school teams.
There the Saints beat Auburn Adventist Academy, a school with 230 students, Walla Walla Adventist Academy; and put up a fight against the “2A” classified San Gabriel Academy in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,000 fans at Walla Walla University Arena.
The Saints will continue to build on their staples of: class, team play and sportsmanship. The Saints set a new level of sportsmanship on the floor, as no one was given a technical foul all season.
The Saints made a dramatic turnaround from just one season ago. This time last year, the Saints finished with a 5-15 record. This season, the Saints, under new direction, led by Ryan Davis, established themselves as contenders. Their home games were often standing room only, as the atmosphere embodied a game at Madison Square Garden with the crowd’s electricity and the program’s professionalism.
“This was a great season. We showed people we are contenders and that we are a strong program. I was very proud of our guys and how they play the game,” said Davis. “Winning league and districts was very nice. Going into Walla Walla and beating schools 10 times our size was great. Seeing the guys’ development and their understanding of the game was something that we are proud of.”