Orion's James named MVP

Mindy Carls
Orion varsity girls basketball players receiving awards on Monday, March 22, are, from left, Jenna Drish, Most Improved Player; Riley Filler, Legacy Award; Jennie Abbott, Sportsmanship; Marly Lillibridge, Best Defense, and Hailey James, Most Valuable Player.
Orion sophomore basketball players taking home awards on Monday, March 22, are, from left, Kayleigh Kovac, Most Improved Player; Adah Swanson, Most Valuable Player; Ella Sundberg, Sportsmanship, and Mary Mohr, Best Defensive Player

Hailey James received the varsity Most Valuable Player award at the girls basketball banquet on Monday, March 22, at Orion High School.

Other varsity award winners were Marly Lillibridge, Best Defense; Jenna Drish, Most Improved Player; Riley Filler, Legacy Award, and Jennie Abbott, Sportsmanship.

Varsity letters were awarded to Abbott, Adah Swanson, Marly Lillibridge, Riley Filler, Mary Mohr, Drish, Ella Sundberg, James, Courtney Farwell, Madeline Nightingale, Kayleigh Kovac, Kamryn Filler and Katie Christensen.

Kamryn Filler and Christensen received freshman numerals.

Orion finished 3-12 overall and 2-6 in the Three Rivers West.

Coach Tony Stiles noted Orion’s first two games were with the #1 team in Class 2A, Riverdale. The Chargers lost both games.

Orion also played two Western Big 6 teams, United Township and Galesburg, falling to both of them.

As the season wound down, the girls were looking for their first win. They wound up winning three of their last four.

Stiles said the Chargers started the season averaging more than 30 turnovers a game but cut that number down to less than 19 in the last seven games.

They averaged 35.7 rebounds per game, making them fourth in Class 2A in that stat according to the MaxPreps website.

Orion was 12th in 2A with 62 percent success at the free-throw line, Stiles said. Charger Courtney Farwell was first in the state with a free-throw average of 94 percent. She made 15 of 16 attempts.

The Chargers scored 535 points, including 95 by Farwell, 92 by James, 75 by Drish, 62 by Riley Filler and 50 by Lillibridge.

Riley Filler arched in seven triples, while Abbott, Lillibridge and Drish had six each, Mohr five and Sundberg one for a team total of 31.

Orion had 536 rebounds, with James collecting 135; Drish, 92, and Farwell, 72.

Stiles said the team has a lot to build on for next season.

Coach Jill Filler’s sophomore team finished 5-8 overall, with three losses by less than five points. Three of the wins came after losing to a team in the first game of the week.

In a lot of games, four players scored in double figures, and not always the same four, Filler said.

Swanson was the sophomore team’s MVP award winner. Mohr was named Best Defense; Kovac, Most Improved Player, and Sundberg, Sportsmanship.