Stenerson To Stay Close To Home With Lady Trappers
Adding to an already impressive list of accomplishments and accolades, Powell High School girls’ basketball standout Aubrie Stenerson will stay close home to begin her collegiate career. Stenerson signed Monday to play for Northwest College.
Named a Senior Athlete of the Year at Monday’s PHS Awards Night celebration, Stenerson is the first Lady Panther to sign with NWC since Leslie Thronburg joined the Lady Trappers prior to the 2012-13 season.
“We’ve been working on getting Aubrie to commit to NWC for a long time; she had other schools looking at her and was debating playing volleyball at one point,” said NWC head coach Camden Levett. “I finally talked her into basketball. I told her she’s going to have new teammates, something she hasn’t had for a while. Not to mention a new system — a style that kind of fits her game as a really good athlete.”
A three-time All-Conference and two-time All-State selection for the Lady Panthers, Stenerson averaged 12.4 points per game as a senior. She shot 47 percent from the field and a whopping 81 percent from the free throw line on 150 attempts. She and her teammates finished fourth this year at the 3A State Basketball Tournament in Casper.
A gym rat since the third grade, Stenerson said her first team was a traveling squad she played on with her sister, Taylie.
“I didn’t get much playing time with them, as they were older,” Stenerson explained. “But I eventually moved into a group of girls that were my age and started playing with them, and just never stopped.”
That group went on to become the core of the Lady Panthers’ varsity squad for the last four seasons.
“It was fun playing with those girls for so many years. We had really good chemistry and knew each other’s strengths,” Stenerson said. “We knew what each other could handle. We all stuck together.”
Levett said Stenerson has been on his radar since he arrived on campus last May, and he made a point of following her senior season closely. The second-year coach said it’s his policy to recruit from the inside out: mine the local talent and branch out from there. Getting Stenerson to sign was a coup not just for the college, he said, but for the community as well.
“Aubrie has been on my big board for a long time, and I was able to watch three or four games — not only me, but my team as well, we all went and supported the Powell Panthers women’s basketball,” he said. “I just really liked her [Stenerson’s] game, to me she was the best athlete on the court most of the games I watched. I started talking to her early and had her over for some workouts.”
Stenerson liked what she saw during her workouts with the Lady Trappers, and felt an early connection with Levett and his approach to the game.
“I met Coach Cam during my season, and got to know him pretty well,” she said. “I really like his coaching style and his game plan. I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Stenerson is also excited to play close to home — a sentiment shared by her parents.
“I think it will be super-cool staying in my home town,” she said, adding, “I think my parents are going to like it a lot having me close. I think it will bring in a lot of fans, a lot of support. That always helps us out.”
Levett had Stenerson on the bench for the Lady Trappers’ final home game of the season in February, a 86-82 overtime win against Western Wyoming, giving her the opportunity to get to know a few of her future teammates.
“She [Stenerson] was a little shy,” he said, laughing. “She came back to the locker room, and we had Dave [Fink] come back there with us to introduce her to the team. We put her on the spot, but she was smiling ear-to-ear. She’s a great kid, a little shy, but she turns it up when it’s game time.”
As for where Stenerson will play, Levett said her quickness and athleticism opens up a few options.
“I see her playing an off guard, maybe a two or a three, really running the court hard and attacking, getting to the basket, getting to the free throw line,” Levett said. “Just putting her in the right spot. With her and the make-up of the team we have coming back, we’ll do some different things on defense. We want to be a quick, athletic team, and she fits the mold for us.”
Stenerson said she’s looking forward to playing for a new coach and teammates. While she’ll miss her old coach and teammates at Powell High School, next season should be an exciting one.
“I’m super-excited to play with this new group of girls and a new coach, see what everyone can bring,” she said. “I’m anxious to see how well I work with them and how our strengths work out. I’m looking forward to seeing what more can be brought out in me.”
Stenerson plans to major in physical education, with an eye on a career as an adaptive PE teacher, helping students with special needs.