Hegerle named to Class A all-state second team
Jamestown High School senior Grace Hegerle was named to the 2020-21 Class A girls basketball all-state team.
A whole lot of hits come up when you type 'Grace Hegerle All-State' into the search bar.
After a stellar basketball season by the Blue Jay senior, another result has been added to her list of hits.
The Jamestown High School senior was voted to the Class A girls basketball all-state second team for the second straight year. The North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NDAPSSA) formally announced the Class A girls all-state first and second teams Tuesday evening.
"It feels awesome and it shows that our program and community is so supportive of us," Hegerle said of earning the award. "The coaches are our biggest supporters and have always pushed us to be our best so it feels good to have the hard work recognized."
The 5-foot-10 forward racked up per-game averages of 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds to go along with 16 blocked shots. Hegerle was one of three senior captains who helped lead the Jays to their first state tournament appearance in seven years. Hegerle knocked down 41% from the field and was shooting 77% from the line en route to her 295 season points.
Hegerle struggled early on in the season to find her footing, suffering a sprained ankle a couple of weeks into her senior campaign. While the senior was not putting up the big numbers Blue Jay fans were used to seeing the first few games, she was a huge asset in creating a team-ball atmosphere that helped the Jays to a 13-7 regular-season record.
"I would probably describe my team as unselfish," Hegerle said in a prior interview. "Everyone on the court and bench wanted to see each other do good and achieve big things. We were very supportive of each other and that's important to have a successful season."
On average, the Blue Jays were outscoring their opponents by more than 10 points each game, outshooting them by 4.7% from the field. The Jays were also big at the boards coming up with an average of more than 12 rebounds per contest.
Sophomore Ella Falk kept her assist leader streak alive this season racking up 134 across her 24 games played. Falk led the West Region in total assists as a freshman tallying 98 over 22 matchups. Junior Annie Nabwe made a big splash for the Blue Jays in all facets of the game leading the team in scoring (324 points), shooting (53%), rebounding (239), turnovers (81) and steals (73).
"I think every single person on the court and bench could be trusted to have the ball and score," Hegerle said of the Blue Jay squad. "I couldn’t have gotten this award without my team and what they contributed this year and I think that’s why we got farther than we have in the past. We all just had the main goal to make each other better."
Hegerle had been the Jays' main man on the inside as a junior but this year's Jays was stacked with five names who were shooting at least 40% from the field. The balance inside relieved some pressure off of the senior and allowed her to try her hand at shooting deep. The senior knocked down the most 3-pointers (17) she has since starting as a sophomore back in 2018-19.
"I was kind of forced to learn the 2 and 3 spots in all of our plays and forced me to take some shots I wasn’t comfortable with in the past," Hegerle said. "I think I’m most proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and taking more outside shots this year."
The following five athletes were selected to the girls Class A all-state first team: Fargo Davies' Ryleigh Wacha, Fargo Shanley's Moriku Hakim, Watford City's Ashley Holen, Bismarck Century's Logan Nissley and Grand Forks Red River's Alex Page.
Nissley was the only non-senior named to the first-team all-state team.
Hegerle matched up against Wacha in the state quarterfinals when the Jays took on the No. 1 seeded Eagles. The Blue Jays managed to keep Wacha to nine points but ended up losing 56-46.
Being named to the all-state team and capping off her Blue Jay hoops career with a state tourney appearance are just accomplishments the senior has been gunning for, but they have proven extra sweet to the Jays' 11th ever all-state basketball selection.
"These are unforgettable memories," Hegerle said in a prior interview. "I think these are close to the top of the best memories of my high school career."
First team numbers
-- Ryleigh Wacha, 5-10 senior guard, Fargo Davies: 16.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3.8 apg, 3.4 spg.
-- Alex Page, 6-0 senior, Grand Forks Red River: 16.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2 apg, 1.7 spg.
-- Moriku Hakim, 6-2 senior, Fargo Shanley: 18.4 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.2 spg.
-- Logan Nissley, 5-10 sophomore, Bismarck Century: 21.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 3.8 spg.
-- Ashley Holen, 5-10 senior, Watford City: 18.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.5 apg.
Class A Girls Basketball
Ryleigh Wacha, Fargo Davies (unanimous); Moriku Hakim, Fargo Shanley; Ashley Holen, Watford City; Logan Nissley, Bismarck Century; Alex Page, Grand Forks Red River.
Grace Hegerle, Jamestown; Julia Fitterer, Bismarck Century; Emma Mogen, Watford City; Jaiden Baker; Bismarck Legacy; Adie Wagner, Fargo South; Miriley Simon, West Fargo; Jailyn Martinson, Devils Lake; Jadyn Feist, West Fargo Sheyenne.