(MTN News) Malta guard Sophia Stiles was named the 2016 Gatorade girls basketball player of the year Thursday.
At the time of her selection, Stiles, a 5-foot-9 junior, was averaging 17.2 points, 5.8 assists, 5.2 steals and 4.3 rebounds per game in helping the M-Ettes to an undefeated record. Malta, now 24-0, defeated Bigfork in the first round of the Class B state tournament Thursday.
“Sophia impacts the game on both ends, as she is long, fast and has outstanding court awareness, all of which complement her high basketball IQ,” said Fairfield coach Dustin Gordon. “All year, she has demonstrated a much improved shooting touch and level of consistency that makes her so dangerous and extremely difficult to defend.”
Stiles has helped guide Malta to the state championship game each year she’s been in high school. The M-Ettes lost to Fairfield when she was a freshman and won the title last season. They play undefeated Shepherd in a semifinal game Friday.
The Gatorade award not only recognizes athletic excellence, but also high standards off the court. Stiles has maintained a 3.73 grade-point average, is a member of student council and has volunteered locally at Malta.
Stiles is the second girl from Malta to win the award. Linda Cummings also won it in 1996.
Hamilton’s Taylor Goligoski won the award last year.