Aurignac shines during stormy winter

© 2017-Paso Robles Press

Templeton junior’s tenacity garners All-NC honors

TEMPLETON — In the wake of a tragic blow for the Templeton High School varsity girls basketball team, the Eagles pulled together to finish the season without one of the shining lights of the program. The loss of Shelby Sudbrink overshadowed, and burdened, a young basketball team.

Channeling her energy into the game, junior Julia Aurignac battled in the trenches to average a double-double, and earn the title of 2017 All-North County Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Aurignac posted a total of 13 double-doubles over 23 games on the season.

“That is pretty tough to do game after game,” THS head coach Shawn Koehler said. “She has really improved this year.”

For Templeton this season, the basketball on the court was sandwiched by the sadness the community felt for the loss of Shelby Sudbrink, and the games were a brief reprieve for all those sharing sorrow in the loss.

“Once the warmups were over and when the appreciation [for Shelby] was done, she flipped the switch,” Koehler said. “Once she got between the lines, she was all business.”

Aurignac’s demeanor was a fair mix of sweetness and toughness that was channeled when it was appropriate.

“She is as tough as any of them. Don’t let her size or demeanor fool you,” Koehler said. “I saw her one time, she missed four shots and kept getting the rebound and finally made it.”

Aurignac was a fierce force of determination when the Eagles needed the hard baskets. She battled for 238 rebounds and scored 286 points on the season. She led the Eagles in both categories.

Her tenacity on the court, amidst a tumultuous season for the community was a beacon of reprieve. But her gift to the fans was a byproduct of an intense, and even ruthless, love of the game.

“She will cut your heart out on the court,” Koehler said, “but she will bring you cookies after the game.”

Aurignac was also a dominant force on offense and defense, dishing out a runner-up 40 dimes and was No. 3 with 51 steals on the season.

Aurignac spent time working out with all-time THS double-double record holder Mari Stewart, with a focus on her shot. Not only did Aurignac lead the team in points, but she ranked near the top in field-goal percentage at 42 percent.

One of her major contributions was making her way to the free throw line, where she led the Eagles with 64 percent conversion, scoring 49 of her points from the charity stripe.

“She worked hard on that,” Koehler said. “She stayed after practice to improve that. We knew that would be a major part of her game.”

Aurignac was voted onto the All-Los Padres League first team, and has another year of basketball eligibility to offer the Eagles next year.

All-NC Girls Basketball

All-NC Player of the Year

THS junior Julia Aurignac

All-NC Defensive POY

THS junior Haley Hurdle

All-NC Offensive POY

AHS junior Taylor Degnan

All-NC Team

THS junior Julia Aurignac

THS junior Haley Hurdle

AHS junior Taylor Degnan

THS junior Vanessa Urciuoli

AHS sophomore Aryana Gonzales

PRHS sophomore Kim Buchanan

AHS Reylyssa Reyes

PRHS junior Sydney Meneses

THS senior Annie Elterman

THS senior Shelby Sudbrink

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