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Full-court force

Nobody ignited her team quite like Saugus High senior Nicole Hicks

Posted: April 9, 2009 12:38 a.m.
Updated: April 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
This past season, no team in Foothill League girls basketball demonstrated the concept that strong defense breeds efficient and instant offense better than Saugus.

And arguably no player exemplified that more than 2009 All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Basketball Player of the Year Nicole Hicks.

Hicks set a school record for single season-scoring this winter with 510 points, and she also became the Centurions’ all-time leader in career steals.

While Gabrielle Conn held down the middle for Saugus and Amanda Scholl and Kaylynn Martin provided reliable guard play, it was Hicks’ ability to finish on the fast break that ultimately pushed the Cents to the league crown.

The senior guard displayed athleticism that was unmatched in Foothill League play and averaged 19.6 points per game, including 27 against Palos Verdes Peninsula in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIA playoffs and 29 in the Centurions’ second-round swan song against Newbury Park.

Hicks’ performances in the postseason proved to be a fitting conclusion to her career at Saugus, as was her honor as Foothill League Player of the Year.

It was Hicks’ speed and quick hands that helped balance the strong post play of Conn to bring home the Centurions’ second consecutive Foothill League crown.

During the Centurions’ five-game winning streak to open league play, Hicks averaged 4.4 steals per game to provide a spark for a team that was looking for a way to create offense after an 8-7 pre-league season.

She finished the season with an average of 3.1 thefts per contest overall.

Hicks further showed her all-around game in the Centurions’ league-clinching game against Hart. With Saugus needing a win to have a shot at the outright championship, Hicks snagged eight rebounds — including three on the offensive end — to go with 17 points as Saugus earned its eighth Foothill League victory to edge seven-win Valencia for the top spot.

Four of Saugus starters are set to graduate and move on from the Centurions, and Hicks’ legacy will display the balance of a group that came together to function as a fluid and dominant unit.

On both ends of the floor, Hicks was a force and a catalyst that pushed the Centurions to Foothill League success.

kdamore@the-signal.com

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