In the gymnasium at Bishop Miege High School, there are too many state championship banners to count.
At times the reminder of the school’s tradition of athletic success can cause some undue pressure. But senior Hunter Bentley, who’s played at Miege long enough to put three entries on the girls basketball banner herself, didn’t shy away from expectations as she embarked on her fourth season on the court.
After the departure of seven seniors, Bentley stepped into a leadership role, uncomfortable as it was at first, and became a bigger offensive threat, scoring 17.7 points per game and averaging 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
“I’m more of a leader by example,” said Bentley, The Star’s All-Metro girls basketball player of the year. “But my teammates put their trust in me. … The biggest thing for me was taking more shots, because they needed me to take them. I couldn’t be so passive and unselfish.”
That aggressiveness was the key piece to Miege’s fourth consecutive Class 4A-Division I title. With Bentley, who averaged 2.6 steals, stifling the biggest threats, Miege held opponents to about 40 points a game while averaging 56 points in a 22-3 season.
In the state tournament, Bentley scored 67 points and was 29 of 35 on free throws.
“Hunter will go down as one of the most accomplished kids in the history of our program,” Miege coach Terry English told the Wichita Eagle when Bentley was chosen to the All-State team.
Bentley hasn’t declared her future college yet but she is confident she’ll continue to play at the next level.