2017-01-13 / Sports
Porter delivers for Simi
GIRLS’ BASKETBALL /// Simi Valley Pioneers Sophomore star has helped revive Pioneer girls’ basketball program
“She makes a huge impact,” head coach Tanya Wismann said. “Not only is she tall, but she’s very athletic. She can get up and down the court.”
Porter, a 5-foot-9 sophomore center, produces more double-doubles than In-N-Out. She’s already tallied 14 in the team’s first 17 games.
“Offensively, she can get a lot of points because she can finish,” Wismann said. “That’s a big deal. You have to finish.”
Porter averaged 11.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and nearly two steals per game.
While Simi Valley can rely on Porter in every game, the big-time matchups awaken the beast within.
She recorded a triple double and had a block party against La Reina on Dec. 9. Porter rejected a career-high 10 shots in a threepoint victory. She added 12 points and 12 rebounds that night.
The center also has the occasional offensive outburst. She dropped 21 points against Buchanan and 20 against Santa Paula earlier this season.
Miranda Carabello, a freshman guard, said she’s been impressed with Porter, but then again, Carabello expects the center to dominate.
“I expected her scoring and rebounding stats to be pretty high,” the rookie guard said. “It’s been really helpful. She’s pretty tall so she towers over other girls.”
She says rotating sports throughout the year helps her focus on improving specific skills while keeping each sport from getting stale. Volleyball helped her add some hops.
“I have a much stronger vertical so I can out-jump people that are taller than me,” she said. “(Volleyball) also helped me not get burnt out as much. It kept me fresh for basketball. I was really excited to get back.”
The Porter name is one that Pioneer fans might recognize.
Her mother, Shannon Porter, played softball and volleyball for the Pioneers before graduating in 2001. Alicia Porter’s aunts, Sharee Porter (Class of 2005) and Sharell Porter (2006), played volleyball and soccer, respectively.
Alicia Porter is also teammates with her cousin, Paige Porter, a junior guard.
“I love saying that my mom and aunts played here,” Alicia Porter said. “Some teachers know me because they played sports with my aunts. It’s really cool that I get to follow through to keep the Porter name going.”
The rising sophomore star has breathed life into the girls’ basketball program. Simi Valley (9-8 overall, 0-1 in league) already has two more wins than it scrounged together all of last season.
“We’ve had some games where calls haven’t gone our way,” Wismann said. “Because she’s a sophomore, she has to learn from that. She has to play smarter and less timid when she’s in foul trouble.”
Porter said the stats are nice, but she’s focused on leading Simi Valley to greater heights.
“We all have a dream to take first place in league,” she said. “We want to get more team wins so we can show who Simi Valley really is.”
After high school, Porter, who maintains a 4.0 grade-point average, plans on becoming either an Air Force firefighter or a teacher.
She will be happy to play basketball, volleyball or softball at the next level.
“Any sport that will get me to college and pay for my education is what I’m trying to work towards,” she said.
Wismann just wants Porter to continue to improve throughout her time at Simi Valley.
“As a freshman she came out and you couldn’t have guessed she was a freshman,” the coach said. “I knew she was going to bring something to the court.
“I expect even greater things for the years to come.”
CATCH UP WITH THE PIONEERS
Simi Valley’s already celebrated more victories this season than all of last winter.
The Pioneers (9-8 overall, 0-1 in the Coastal Canyon League) thrive with a deep bench and quality wings on the perimeter.
“I have more options this year,” head coach Tanya Wismann said. “It’s nice to have a lot of players that can play in the post or at guard.
“Our speed’s improved a lot on transition, which has definitely helped in a lot of games. It’s brought a lot of victories.”
Allison O’Toole is a crafty junior point guard with sharp court vision. She averages 4.1 assists per game.
Miranda Carabello is an up and coming freshman guard.
“She’s surprised a lot of people,”
Wismann said of Carabello. “She’s very quick on defense.”
Seniors Amanda Burlingham and Hannah Westrup are talented outside shooters.
Forwards Andrea Nuño and Jessica Kabat, both seniors, give Simi Valley a solid post presence.
Email Jonathan Andrade at email@example.com.