Umpqua Community College women’s basketball coach Dave Stricklin confirmed 10 players who will be in his 2018 recruiting class on Tuesday.
Stricklin, the Riverhawks’ head coach the last 23 years, lost eight sophomores off his 2017-18 team that finished 31-2 overall and dropped a 90-74 decision to Walla Walla in the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament championship game. Among them were Roseburg High graduate Jordan Stotler, a two-time Southern Region MVP, and Dajanay Powell and Bria Thames, both all-league selections.
Planning to join UCC this fall are 5-foot-9 Alexus Woodard (Crater High in Central Point); 5-9 Grace Campbell (Gladstone High); 5-8 Macie Reinen (Sheldon High); 5-6 Cielo Gonzalez (Springfield High); 5-9 Brooklyn Gilbert (Thurston High in Springfield); 5-11 Sienna Riggle (Stansbury High in Stansbury Park, Utah); 6-2 Brooke Padgett (Great Oak High in Temecula, California); 5-5 Lainey Rincon (Douglas High); 5-4 Kiersten Porter (Sutherlin High); and 5-9 Hannah Maxwell (Elkton High).
“It’s certainly going to be different than what we’ve been (roster-wise) the last few years,” said Stricklin. “We’ll be going from having six or seven players over 6-feet to one this year. This group resembles our team from five years ago. We’ll be more versatile and will probably try to play faster than we have.”
Riggle was a second-team all-state selection in Class 4A for Stansbury, averaging 10.2 points and 7 rebounds a game. One scouting report called her “a dominant rebounder and post presence.”
“She plays hard and reminds me a lot of Hayley Reynolds (a former Yoncalla High standout who played for the Riverhawks),” said Stricklin. “She’s a big personality and is really good from the high post. She doesn’t have great range, but plays pretty good defense and can rebound and run.”
Padgett will be the tallest player on Umpqua’s roster.
“She comes from a small school and their offense wasn’t post-oriented,” said Stricklin. “But she can hit the 3. She can block shots and rebound.”
Campbell, who comes from an Oregon 4A program, might be the best all-around athlete of the group. She was a first-team all-state soccer player for the Gladiators as a senior and was the state champion in the long jump in track and field in 2017. She received honorable mention all-state in basketball last season.
“She turned down a DII track scholarship to come to UCC,” said Stricklin. “She’s point guard material.”
Woodard, Gonzalez and Reinen all come from successful high school programs that played in 5A and 6A state tournaments last season. Gonzalez was a first-team all-state selection and Reinen was on the all-Southwest Conference second team.
“(Gonzalez) led the state in scoring as a junior,” said Stricklin. “She had meniscus surgery after their season was over. She’s a legit point guard, but shoots well enough and can play the wing.”
Rincon, Porter and Maxwell come from winning Douglas County programs.
Rincon, an all-Far West League first-team pick, averaged 12 points and 3.5 assists for the 4A Trojans as a senior. She was also a strong defender, according to Douglas coach Jason Dickover.
Porter was a member of three Sutherlin 4A state championship teams and was a teammate of current UCC guard Taylor Stricklin, the daughter of the coach. Sutherlin coach Josh Grotting loved Porter’s energy on the court and called her a tenacious defender (she led the Bulldogs with over three steals a game).
Maxwell was a first-team all-Skyline League selection for 1A Elkton, averaging 15.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Elks coach Rob Parker praised her leadership.
Taylor Stricklin, a second-team all-league selection, will be the lone returning true sophomore for the Riverhawks. Coach Stricklin said Kalli Frieze (North Douglas) and Tynesha Parnell (Cleveland) won’t be returning for their sophomore seasons.
Darian Mitchell (Douglas) and Kim Ortiz (Scio) both redshirted last year and have two seasons of eligibility remaining at UCC. Coach Stricklin expects Mitchell, a 5-11 post, to contend for a starting spot.
Five of the departing UCC sophs have signed with bigger schools — Stotler (Portland State), Powell (Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas), Thames (Saint Martin’s in Lacey, Washington), Merrily Jones (Evergreen State in Olympia, Washington) and Adrionna Taylor (Multnomah University in Portland).