The article also called out another Barlow wing, Annie Koenig, who is an amazing 3-point shooter. I watched some film footage on her and she really strokes the 3 very well. Wonder if OSU is recruiting her?
The Barlow Bruins made history in 2022. They are looking to create more history in 2023.
The Bruins reached the Class 6A state championship game for the first time in school history in 2022. They lost to the Beaverton Beavers 56-39 in the championship game, but the loss is fueling the Bruins in 2023.
“There’s unfinished business,” senior Kennedie Shuler said. “That’s always the goal, to get to the championship game.”
If the Bruins (11-3, 3-0 in Mt. Hood Conference) continue to play solid basketball, they just might get another shot at the title.
The Bruins, No. 5 in the latest Oregonian/OregonLive power rankings, have won three consecutive games leading into their game against Nelson Friday night. Their losses have come against highly-ranked teams – Jesuit (No. 3), Beaverton (No. 2) and La Jolla Country Day, one of the top-ranked teams in the country.
The Bruins are led by Shuler, who is once again doing a little bit of everything this season after earning a first-team all-state selection and the conference co-Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Shuler, an Oregon State commit, is averaging 17.5 points, 7.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game this season. The point guard posted a rare quadruple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds, 11 steals and 11 assists) during the Bruins’ 65-32 win over Liberty on Dec. 13.
“One of her biggest improvements has been her outside shooting,” Barlow coach Nick Hudson said. “Another area that has stood out is how well she’s pushing the ball in transition.”
Shuler wants to grow her game as an all-around scorer on the floor. She’s been working on improving her perimeter game, particularly from the 3-point line.
“I’ve always been a point guard with a pass-first mentality and get my teammates involved. But I have to step outside my box and become a better all-around scorer,” Shuler said. “At the next level, I’m going to have to score at all three levels – behind the arc, midrange and near the rim. I want to be unguardable. That’s my goal.”
The Bruins expect Shuler to fill the stat sheet during the game. The question is who else would step up after Barlow lost two starters and three seniors – Melanie Hiu, Lindsay Barden and Jessie Matthews – who were important players during the Bruins’ run to the championship game.
Senior Annie Koenig, an accurate shooter from the perimeter, is one of the Bruins’ top scorers. Seniors Haidyn Sobella, Olivia Payne and Rilyn Quirke, along with junior Kylie Ihrig and sophomore Maiya Hardy, have made valuable contributions for the Bruins.
“I think we have gotten better individually and as a team,” Shuler said. “We’ve been playing together for a long time and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Shuler has fond memories from the championship run. The unexpected run was an experience she won’t forget.
“It put Barlow on the map,” Shuler said. “I thought it was a unique way of bringing the community together.”
The Bruins have a legitimate chance to reach the championship game again. This time, Shuler and the Bruins want to etch their names in the school’s history book as the first Barlow team to win a state title in basketball.
The Oregonian/OregonLive conducted a question and answer session with Shuler to learn a little more about her life off the court.
Sports background: Soccer was my first true love. I started playing around the second grade I really liked it. I became serious about it at end of my freshman year. It was a hard decision on whether to play soccer or basketball. After I made the decision, it kind of lifted a weight off my shoulders.
Non-sports hero: My dad (Jason). He’s always wanted what’s best for me. We butt heads sometimes when it comes to basketball, but he’s always been my best friend. If I need to vent about a game or whatever it is, he’s always the one I can talk to. He’s the one pushing me to be the best version of me.
Favorite thing to do to pass the time: I enjoy being with my friends and family. Creating life-long relationships is really important to me.
Career aspirations: I’m not sure yet, but potentially business marketing. It’s a broad major and I feel like I have some room to find out what really interests me. In today’s world, marketing in business is super important and I’m trying to set myself up for success.
Favorite sports memory: Getting to the championship game last year. Just doing something that had never been done before in Barlow history. There wasn’t a lot of people who thought we could do it and that was the most rewarding part of it.
Why do you play: I’m a super competitive person and I just love just being in the game and competing. I like winning games with my teammates and continuing to try to grow my game.