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Oct. 2, 2022

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Hockinson Girls Basketball: Payton Wangler, Grace Russell look to leave a legacy

The Columbian
Published:

Grace Russell doesn’t mind putting the rest of the 2A Greater St. Helens League on notice.

“I think they’re going to overlook us,” the senior said. “We’re going to take people by surprise.”

Between Russell and four-year starter Payton Wangler, the Hawks have one of the top backcourt tandems in the league. Both averaged double-figures in scoring last season.

Both will leave a legacy at Hockinson. Wangler entered the season needing 303 points to become the school’s first 1,000-point scorer.

Russell entered the season needing five blocks to become Hockinson’s career leader.

“They’re quiet, but they’re just monsters on the court,” coach Damon Roche said.

Roche said this season will hinge on how Wangler and Russell elevate three sophomores and four freshmen who will see significant playing time.

Wangler embraces that role.

“I just trust the play, trust our coaches and trust each other,” she said.

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