2017-01-13 / Sports

Porter delivers for Simi

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL /// Simi Valley Pioneers Sophomore star has helped revive Pioneer girls’ basketball program
Jonathan Andrade
@J_ Andrade_ on Twitter


DELIVERY—Alicia Porter is enjoying a breakout season with the Simi Valley High girls’ basketball team. DELIVERY—Alicia Porter is enjoying a breakout season with the Simi Valley High girls’ basketball team. Rain, sleet or snow, Alicia Porter delivers the goods for the Simi Valley High girls’ basketball team.

“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.


LIBERTY—Simi Valley’s Alicia Porter shoots a free throw at practice. Porter is averaging a double-double this year for the Pioneers. 
Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers LIBERTY—Simi Valley’s Alicia Porter shoots a free throw at practice. Porter is averaging a double-double this year for the Pioneers. Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers She corralled a career-high 17 rebounds against defending Coastal Canyon League champion Camarillo on Wednesday. She also chipped in 11 points, five blocks and two steals in the loss.

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.”


A LIGHTER MOMENT—Simi Valley High girls’ basketball center Alicia Porter, left, shares a laugh with teammate Jessica Kabat at practice on Jan. 10. Porter averages 11.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. 
BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers A LIGHTER MOMENT—Simi Valley High girls’ basketball center Alicia Porter, left, shares a laugh with teammate Jessica Kabat at practice on Jan. 10. Porter averages 11.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers Porter, who suited up at middle blocker for the girls’ volleyball team in the fall, also plays softball in the spring.

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.

She comes from a long line of Porter women to roam the playing fields and courts at Simi Valley.

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.

Coaches are working with Porter to keep her out of foul trouble.

“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 jandrade@theacorn.com.

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