As last week’s Snowpocalypse swept across the Pacific Northwest, the region’s district basketball games were postponed. Woodinville’s Mia Hughes took some time last Friday afternoon to talk about her season and the recent news of being named Kingco 4A MVP.
Sometimes in sports, athletes make a grand debut their first year, only to take a step back in their second season. But that was not the case for Hughes. After being named first team All-Kingco as a freshman, she followed that up by winning the conference Player of the Year award.
“It did surprise me because there are a lot of good senior players in the Kingco league,” Hughes said. “I wasn’t expecting to get it this sophomore year. I don’t know how to say this -- I was just proud of myself for all my hard work paying off as a sophomore, and [I look forward] to seeing to where I can go for my junior and senior years also.”
Hughes has amassed quite a resume. Twice she has been named first team All-Kingaco 4A. She’s got an MVP award. She has been a member of two Kingco championship teams. She has played in a state championship game. And this year she’s averaging 20.2 points and 7.1 rebounds a game, while leading the way to a 20-2 record and #1 ranking in state.
“Mia is an absolute joy to coach,” Woodinville coach Scott Bullock said in an email. “Her will to win is over the top and so contagious with her team. This past year she has continued to work hard and develop her game. Already a fantastic scorer, she has now complemented her game with much improved ball handling and passing skills. She has also spent endless hours in the gym shooting free throws and now added 10% to her season percentage. Mia keeps getting better and that keeps the future looking bright in Woodinville.”
Around the basket, Hughes has the innate ability to maneuver her body to shield defenders and create optimum angles for shots. But the 5’10” forward has areas for improvement.
“I have improved on my passing and being an all-around player,” Hughes said. “I’m not tall enough to be a post player in college. So I’m going to have to develop into a point guard type of player. I need to practice with things I’m not comfortable, like ball handing under pressure, and stuff like that.”
Hughes is also working hard to develop an outside jump shot. She cites teammate Maddy DuBois as a role model.
“Maddy is one of the best shooters to come through the program, according to [Coach Bullock],” Hughes said. “I look up to her and say if I can get the confidence she has in her shot, and work hard then maybe I can get to be shooting as good as she does someday.”
This week, as the snow melts and playoffs hopefully resume, Hughes has high hopes for the Falcons.
A “Knock on wood, we have a really strong team,” she said. “Even though we’re ranked number one we can’t let up. We need to get through Districts playing as hard as we have and then at State play as hard as we did last year. Hopefully we can get back to the state championship game -- and win it this time.”