La Salle High's Niebergall to play basketball at LCSC
Brittaney Niebergall, who was twice named The Oregonian high school basketball player of the year in her classification, has signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at Lewis-Clark State College, Warrior coach Brian Orr has announced.
Niebergall was chosen by the state’s coaches as The Oregonian Class 4A Player of the Year this past season after helping La Salle High, located in Milwaukee, Ore., to a near undefeated season. The 5-foot-3 point guard helped the Falcons to 27 straight wins to start the season, but the team suffered a 58-56 loss to Cascade in the state championship game.
That snapped a personal 57-game win streak for Niebergall, who was the 2A Player of the Year her junior season at Portland Christian and led her team to a 29-0 record and the state title.
“We are thrilled that Brittaney is joining our program,” Orr said. “She’s a ‘coach’s kid’ who has all of those implied leadership qualities. She also has what I would call a commanding court presence and plays with both poise and confidence. She has a very high basketball IQ and a solid set of skills to go with her court savvy.”
Known for her grittiness and energy on the court, Niebergall averaged 14.6 points, 6.3 assists, and 7.4 steals per game last season. She also shot 53 percent from the field, 82 percent from the foul line and 35 percent from the 3-point line (45-of-129). She also drew praise for her defensive abilities.
“From a coaching perspective, we always want a point guard that passes what we call the ‘fox-hole-test’ (able to handle pressure situations) and that may be what is most noticeable; Brittaney is a tough, tough competitor who plays every possession like its game point. All year, we have been trying to fill this position with a junior college player because we felt it was important to bring in someone more mature with college experience. In a way that is why we are so excited, because she plays like she’s both. Brittaney plays like a veteran who knows how to win. There’s no doubt she will make an immediate impact on our program.”
In an article printed in the Oregonian earlier this year, La Salle coach Jared Curtiss said after Niebergall injured her foot in a game, he tried to hold her out of drills, but “she wasn’t having it,” he said. She played with a steel plate in one shoe.
Niebergall also played in the Northwest Shootout All-Star Game in early April in Portland. The game featured the top 10 high school seniors from Washington against the top 10 from Oregon. Washington, with nine NCAA Division I signees on its 10-player roster, won the game 103-101. Niebergall finished with seven points.
Niebergall grew up in Oregon City and played in youth programs through eighth grade until she transferred to Bend. She earned all-conference honors as a freshman at the 5A school, and then transferred to Portland Christian, a private Catholic school. She tore her anterior cruciate ligament her sophomore season, but bounced back to average 19.3 points as a junior to lead her team to the state title.
Niebergall said she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and be a coach and a teacher. He father is former Oregon City baseball coach Tom Niebergall.
Niebergall is the fifth freshman to sign with LCSC for next season. She . She joins Lewiston High’s Tanis Fuller, Colton High’s McKenzie Heaslet, Priest River High’s Melissa Hopkins, and Kelli Ann Rice of Thurston High in Springfield, Ore.
LCSC lost four seniors from last year’s squad, which posted a 29-5 record and won the Frontier Conference Tournament title for the fourth straight season. LCSC also advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Tournament.