WOLSEY, S.D. (KELO) — Our fifth finalist for the KELOLAND Media Group All-Star Girls Basketball Player of the Year is Mallory Miller from Wolsey-Wessington. The senior led the Warbirds to a third-place finish in Class ‘B’ this season.
Miller, a 6-foot-4-inch center, tallied 18.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per contest. Numbers that indicate her ability to shine against typically shorter opposition.
“You’re not going up against 6’4″ all the time,” Wolsey-Wessington head coach Josh McGillvrey said. “You know there might be a 5’6″, 5’8″ defender on her. And when she square up to the hoop and sees what’s in front of her, she’s unstoppable.”
“A lot of times you don’t see my height around here,” Miller said. “And that’s actually kind of been a disadvantage because I haven’t had the ability to practice defense or offense on someone who’s like me. And that’s the kind of competition I’ll face when I get to that higher level.”
Miller found her name at the top of their opponent’s defensive assignments every game, and still averaged nearly a double-double.
“She did a good job playing through those double-teams, triple-teams,” McGillvrey said. “We had a really high offensive-powered team this year.”
That high-powered offense powered the Warbirds to the best record in Class ‘B’ during the regular season, a credit to her success and a balanced attack around her.
“This year I feel like I have more weapons on my team offensively that can score as well, so I don’t have to put so much effort into scoring so many points for my team just because I know I have other girls that can score points when I’m not having a good night,” Miller said.
“She dipped maybe a point or so this season,” McGillvrey said. “But it was a variation of things. Every time she caught the ball in the paint, she was double-teamed if not triple-teamed.”
Next season, Miller will play at Arizona State in the Pac-12. She will play alongside her sister, Hannah, which she believes will help elevate her game even more.
“I play better myself with Hannah,” Miller said. “So if you were to get me alone, I’m still going to be a great player, but it’s just I’m a lot better with her.”
She is one of two players from this year’s class that will be heading to the Pac-12 in the fall.