Second-team selection Roney leaving big hole in Tornadoes program
Roney is the seventh individual selection in Tornadoes history.
OAKES, N.D. — When the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association announced their All-State teams, Oakes senior Laikyn Roney was named to the All-State Second Team.
Roney is the seventh individual and eighth overall selection in Oakes Tornadoes girls' basketball history. Her selection is the first time a Tornado has made it since the 2020-21 season.
“It’s a great award and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Roney said. “(It) shows me all the hours and hard work in the gym were well worth it.”
Roney said she was told by head coach Judy Hansen, who was anticipating Roney receiving the honor.
“I wasn’t surprised, I actually expected it,” Hansen said. “I was hoping for it. I know what kind of work and time it takes to earn something like that, I’ve witnessed her grow up on the basketball court. So, I wasn’t surprised by it by any means.”
Roney said her first reaction to her coach’s text was one of confusion because of her lack of knowledge of the award.
During her senior season, Roney averaged 18.9 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game, 2.7 steals per game and 1.9 assists per game. Roney credited her big season to her teammates and coaches for helping her to continue to push herself to get better. Hansen said Roney’s success came from her leadership ability.
“She was tremendous to coach, she’s so coachable," Hansen said. "She’s a good teammate, she’s not super vocal on the court, she just lets her actions, and shows her leadership. She performed to the best of her ability.”
Roney is the first Tornado to receive the honor since Hansen’s daughter Sadie in the 2020-21 season.
“Sadie was more of a shooter, a really good shooter, she attacked a little bit, Sadie rebounded really well … Laikyn is just attack, she likes to attack the basket, works hard, crash the boards, she can handle the ball,” Hansen said. “They play a little bit the same but yet you see a lot of differences in their game as well.”
Roney is one of seven seniors on the Tornadoes roster. Hansen said the team will miss Roney for her play but also for the leadership and off-the-court pieces that she brought.
"She wore a lot of hats for us, so as hard as she worked, the things that we asked her to do, she did without even questioning," Hansen said. "That’s why I’m probably the happiest that she got this award because she had to do a lot of things that maybe a lot of people didn’t see on the court, handle the ball for us, get rid of the presssure, just different things.”
Roney said her senior season was her last season of organized basketball and she’s ready to be finished.
“I’ve done this sport since third grade with travel teams and decided it was time to be done,” Roney said. “This year was a great year for us seniors and I will definitely miss playing with them.”