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Walker comes up big for Sierra hoops

Local grad helps Lady Wolverines bag share of Big 8 championship
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Even at 5-feet-10-inches tall, Michelle Walker is considered undersized to play the post position these days in the women’s college basketball ranks.

But despite being short for her position, Walker has come up big for the  Sierra College women’s team as she helped the Lady Wolverines bag a share of this year’s Big 8 Conference championship.

For her efforts, Walker, a 2011 Colfax High graduate, was recently named to the all-Big 8 all-conference team and has been selected to the all-state third squad.

“It’s pretty exciting about the season we’re having,” said Walker, whose Lady Wolverines took a record of 22-7 with them into last night’s State JC second round game against Ohlone.

 “We started the season pretty rough but then we settled down and we’re playing well right now,” she said.

Walker averaged 10.7 points per game for Sierra this season. She also led the team in rebounding by snaring 9.4 boards a contest.   

In last Friday’s State Tournament opening round game, Sierra received a 27-point evening by guard Kirstie Williams (Bella Vista), 17 more from Kayla Reeves (Placer), 15 by Joie Camalo (Rocklin) and 14 from Walker to notch an 89-67 win over Mendocino.

“We’ve had god balance all season long,” said Sierra coach Brandie Murrish about the Lady Wolverines who are rated 10th in the state JC poll and fourth in Northern California. “It would be nice to get a shot at the Final Four,” Murrish said.

To do that, Sierra would have had to defeat Ohlone last night and then get past the winner of Wednesday’s Fresno City-Merced game on Saturday, to be played at the home of the higher-seeded remaining team.

Murrish notes that one of the big pluses with her squad this season is that the Lady Wolverines have been winning with local talent.

“The purpose of junior college basketball is for schools to provide local athletes with a place to play,” Murrish said. “That’s always been a big selling point here and it’s working.”

Walker has been talking with coaches from four-year schools but hasn’t been offered anything just yet.

“Michelle will play at the next level,” Murrish said. “It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for her.”