We salute Edwards as our standout girls basketball player at state
LA CENTER — A few days after the Class 1A state girls basketball tournament, Molly Edwards is still wearing a sling, keeping in place her injured right shoulder, the one she uses to drain 3-pointers.
Before the injury, she made a little bit of state basketball history.
After the injury, she inspired her teammates by playing one more game for the La Center Wildcats.
For her performance, ClarkCountyToday.com is naming Edwards our girls Statement Player of the Year — the athlete who played the best and/or had the most enduring moments in the final week of the season at the state tournament.
The Wildcats were not happy with how they had been playing leading up the elimination game Wednesday at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Edwards said she and her teammates talked about getting back to playing team basketball.
“It came to game time, and we all did what we said we were going to do,” Edwards recalled. “The shots were coming with the ball movement.”
Whitley Seter, in fact, had seven assists in the game, the most by any Clark County basketball player in any game in the final week of the season.
Eventually, Edwards knew she was in a zone.
“I was like, ‘OK, guess you’re going to keep making it,’” she said. “I tried not to think about it. Just kept going. If my shot’s there, my shot’s there.”
Oh, it was there. As in there for seven 3-pointers. Edwards tied the tournament record for most 3-pointers in a game.
“It was awesome. I was just really excited to come through for my team,” Edwards said. “It could have been our last game together.”
Instead, La Center rolled to a victory over Freeman, assuring the Wildcats of at least two more games in Yakima.
Not two games for Edwards, though. Toward the end of one of the best games of her life, an opponent crashed into her, and Edwards felt the pain immediately. She had an AC joint separation in her left shoulder earlier in her career, and this felt exactly like that, only with her right shoulder.
“I was just mad right away,” she said, because she knew she was probably done.
The pain was too severe for her to play in Thursday’s game. La Center lost in the quarterfinals and fell into the consolation bracket.
By Friday, Edwards wanted to try again. She used a “ton” of Icy-Hot, so much, she said, that her arm burned but she could not feel the pain in her shoulder.
“It kind of worked,” she said.
Edwards played more than half the game, the last game of her high school career.
“I shot one left-handed layup. It was horrible,” Edwards said. “But Whitley got the rebound and the layup.”
Edwards could not shoot her normal shot, but instinct took over a few times when she jumped and grabbed three rebounds.
“I surprised myself,” she said.
A few days later, the arm remains in a sling. She planned on heading to the doctor this week, and she expected to hear that she had another AC joint separation.
But for the final game of the season, she just had to be on the court.
“It was really painful,” Edwards said.
“It was my last year playing with my best friends. I really wanted to do that. I had a lot of motivation.”
Here are some of the other notable performances from Clark County girls basketball players in the final week of the season, making their own statements:
Courtney Clemmer, Camas: A double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds) in a win in an elimination game Wednesday. Team-high 14 points in final game of season. Shot 61 percent from the floor at the Tacoma Dome.
Haley Hanson, Camas: Three 3-pointers and four assists in final game of the season.
Brooke Walling, Prairie: Scored 27 points on 9-for-17 shooting, with three steals in team’s game at Tacoma Dome.
Whitley Seter, La Center: Dished out seven assists – the most by any Clark County player in a game during final week of the season – in Wednesday’s game, then had 10 rebounds in team’s final game.
Later in the week, we will post the boys Statement Player of the Year.