The basketball world doesn’t have to revolve around Port Angeles junior point guard Millie Long. And that’s an uplifting fact for a Roughriders squad that grew together exponentially this past season.
A shark-like blur on the court, Long’s signature abilities include fast-twitch reflexes that help her pick the pockets of opposition ball handlers, court vision used for reading ball movement and intercepting passes, passing instincts that allow her to throw a teammate open and the arm to fit the ball through tight windows of space.
Long possesses the skills to make all of her teammates better.
“There are so many things that stand out,” Port Angeles head coach Michael Poindexter said of Long’s game.
“The unselfishness is not just ball distribution. It is, but it is the emotional maturity that it doesn’t have to revolve around her on the court. There’s a pride in that passing ability and its justifiable.
“There’s a real willingness to put the ball in other people’s hands and letting them make the play.”
Long said her style of play boils down to a desire to win.
“I’m not worried about setting my shot up,” Long said. “The goal is to get the best shot up and score and I’m not worried about who makes the shot — I just want one of us to make that shot. I just want to win, you know, so I don’t care who’s hitting them.”
And the Riders won and won big, rolling through the Olympic League slate undefeated, earning a back-to-back district championship and a win at the Class 2A state tournament, the team’s third consecutive trip.
Long led Port Angeles (20-7) in a host of statistical categories, putting up the most points per game (13), the most assists (4.6), and steals (3.3). She also was second in rebounding with 4.7 boards each time out and hit 44.4 percent of her shots, good for second on the team.
An easy choice as a first-team All-Olympic League selection, Long is the 2019-20 All-Peninsula Girls Basketball MVP as determined by area coaches and the sports staff of the Peninsula Daily News.
It’s the third straight All-Peninsula honor for Long. She was picked as the girls soccer MVP for the third straight season last fall and was the girls track MVP after winning the state championship in the 300 hurdles last spring.
MVP: Millie Long, jr., G, Port Angeles.
• Eve Burke, so., F, Port Angeles — Averaged 11.7 points per game with team-highs in shooting percentage (51.2 percent) and rebounds (6.8) to earn first-team All-Olympic League honors.
• Jayla Julmist, jr., P, Sequim — First-team All-Olympic League pick totaled 10 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, two assists and 1.4 blocks each time out for Wolves.
• Jaida Wood, jr., F, Port Angeles — Pushed Port Angeles to third straight state trip by providing 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
• Rian Peters, sr., F, Forks — Second-team All-Evergreen League pick posted 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. Four-time Spartans girls basketball MVP.
• Chloe Leverington, jr., P, Forks — Averaged a double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds plus 2.5 steals and two blocks.
• Hope Glasser, sr., F, Sequim — First-team All-Olympic Leaguer was one of four Wolves to score 10 or more points per game. Also averaged four rebounds, 2.7 assists and two steals.
• Kalli Wiker, jr., F, Sequim — Second-team All-Olympic League sharpshooter tied school record for made 3-pointers in two different games this season. Averaged 10.7 points, three rebounds and two assists.
• Ruth Moss, jr., G/F, Neah Bay —Red Devils’ floor leader was counted on by Neah Bay coaching staff.
• Jessica Dietzman, sr., G, Sequim — Wolves’ point guard put up 10.3 points, four rebounds, 2.7 assists and two steals.
• Izzy Hammett, sr., P, Port Townsend — First-team All-Olympic League pick was a double-double machine for the Redhawks.
• Bailee Larson, so., G, Port Angeles — Teamed with Long to produce potent defensive backcourt for Port Angeles. Totaled 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists for Riders.
• Mikkiah Brady, sr., G, Port Angeles — Team captain provided ample leadership to her Riders’ teammates. Second-team All-Olympic Leaguer put up 6.1 points per game.
Honorable Mention: Laila Greene, jr., G, Neah Bay; Katie Clark, jr., G, Chimacum; Cei’J Gagnon, sr., F, Neah Bay; Amber Swan, jr., G/F, Clallam Bay; Cedar Johnson, jr., G, Clallam Bay; Gina Brown, jr., P, Port Townsend; Kadie Wood, fr., Forks.
Coaching Staff of the Year: Port Angeles. Riders lost the reigning Olympic League MVP and dealt with health scares for head coach Michael Poindexter, but still found ample success this season, earning third-straight league title, back-to-back district championship and third-straight state tournament berth.