Varsity freshman Morgan Miller shoots for success

Freshman+Morgan+Miller%2C+right%2C+chats+on+the+bench+with+her+teammates+during+a+varsity+basketball+game.

Tommy Brown

Freshman Morgan Miller, right, chats on the bench with her teammates during a varsity basketball game.

For freshman Morgan Miller, basketball is second nature.

Miller started playing when she was five years old, and she officially joined a team in first grade. She isn’t the first in her family to be successful on the court.

“Pretty much everyone in my family plays basketball… My dad actually played Division I at the University of Portland,” says Miller.

Miller has followed in her dad’s footsteps. She plays with varsity as the only freshman on the team. Miller has started every game that she has played this year, and she has been a large part of the team’s current 12-6 record. 

When asked about the transition from middle school level to high school level play, Miller acknowledged that there are several challenges that come with playing at the varsity level.

“The varsity players are a lot stronger and faster than me, so that was a big change,” says Miller.

However, this hasn’t stopped her from succeeding, as she has thrived this season despite the jump in athleticism.

Miller attributes some of this success to the level of familiarity she has with her teammates. 

“Everyone on the varsity team made me feel super welcomed,” says Miller. 

Bridget Winthrop, a junior captain on the team, said that a major contributor to the team’s camaraderie was a team camp that they attended over the summer.

“It’s basically an overnight camp where [we] stay in dorms together with [our] teams,” says Winthrop. “This year, the team dynamic is so much better than every year I’ve played.”

That team spirit has proven to help the team this year. The team started off the season with two wins and four losses, but in their past 11 games they have gone 9-2, a stretch that has them excited for a playoff push.

Coach Allyson Sievers, in her second year as varsity head coach, says that Miller has shown great growth throughout her freshman year.

“[Miller] continues to grow her game…she has learned to adjust to other teams and make sure to get her other teammates involved,” says Sievers.

Winthrop, a three-year varsity player, agrees with Coach Sievers.

“She is good at distributing the ball and has a really good three point shot,” says Winthrop.

These attributes have been a major part of the Cardinal’s ascendance, and, with three games left of the regular season, the team is close to completing one of Coach Sievers’ goals. 

“We have already surpassed our win-loss record from last year. These girls show up ever get ready to compete and be better than the day before.  I’m proud of the progress that has been made already this season,” states Sievers. 

With a 9-3 record in the league, good for 3rd in the 6A Portland Standings, the team is primed to clinch a playoff spot, a marked improvement from the league record of 4-11 in the 2018-19 season.

If you have the chance to attend any of the basketball games, keep an eye out for Miller. Her blend of basketball IQ and energy makes her an exciting watch. She doesn’t plan on stopping here. If she continues at her current pace, there is no one that can stop her. 

“D-I,” says Miller.“[That’s] definitely the goal.”

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