Motisi is girls Fremont County Player of the Year

Apr 12, 2020 By Steve Peck, Publisher

Alexxis Motisi already was one of Riverton High School's most versatile athletes of the 21st century before the 2019-2020 basketball season began. She was a three-sport all-conference performer last year in volleyball, basketball and soccer, and last month was named first-team all-state in basketball for this, her senior year.

Now the do-it-all Lady Wolverine adds another honor to her lost list: Fremont County Basketball Player of the Year.

The 5-foot-10 star helped lead coach Travis McIntosh's Wolverines to a winning record this season and a win in the Class 4-A West Regional.

"We got to play on Saturday this year," said RHS coach Travis McIntosh of the regional tournament. "That hasn't happened for quite a while."

A big part of it was Motisi, who played virtually every minutes of every game for Riverton -- aside from a two-game injury absence late in the conference season. She returned for the regional, and led RHS to the brink of its first state tournament berth in years.

"These last three years have just been a whirlwind in watching Alexxis develop and grow as a player," said McIntosh. "She's here as a senior, and now she and our other seniors are graduating. It's still surreal to me that this time upon us now."

With teammates Kelsey Milleson, Akaysha Menor, both seniors, and sophomore Savannah Martinez, Motisi was part of Riverton's "4-M" attack that formed one of the best 3-point shooting contingents in Class 4-A basketball.

And if there were an all-state defensive team, Motisi would be a first-teamer there, too. Seemingly inexhaustible on the court, she was a relentless pursuer on defense and easily led the team in blocked shots.

"It was just so enjoyable watching her going through the maturation process and coming into that leadership role that she did as a junior. She started doing everything for us," McIntosh said. "She started to take on more scoring, more rebounding, more leadership. I've enjoyed watching here evolve as a player into an into an all-stater."

Motisi proved herself a top scorer from anywhere in the half court, hitting 3-pointers, taking the ball in the low post and creating her shot in the paint, and dribble-driving from the key toward the basket for pull-up jump shots or continuations to the hoop for layups and/or free-throw opportunities.

But her speciality on offense came from her speciality on defense -- intercepting opponents' passes at the top of Riverton's zone defense and sprinting the other way for a layup. It happened dozens of times over the past two seasons.

Motisi has the size to play the "bottom" of the zone defensive set, but she was ideal up top.

"That's because of her quickness, and her long arms," McIntosh said. "She gets to a lot of passes that other players don't."

Motisi saved some of her best basketball for cross-county rival Lander, leading the Wolverines to memorable victories at Bob Carey Fieldhouse in the county seat in both her junior and senior years.

"This has been such a great group of seniors," said McIntosh, who was runner-up in voting for the Fremont County Coach of the Year. "They supported each other so much as a unit," he continued, adding 5-10 senior Jordan Hanway to the credited group of 12th-graders.

"They are top-notch students. You see them planning to go into a health care or science field. We have a lot of National Honor Society girls in our program, and they are getting athletic scholarships or the Hathaway Scholarship."

There was interest in Motisi from junior college basketball teams, but she opted to sign for college volleyball instead. She'll play this fall at Sheridan College.

McIntosh, completing his third year as head coach, said he will mark his first stint leading the program by his years with Motisi and the class of 2020.

"She is such a good teammate on top of it all, and a great team player. This finally is the time of year when players get the individual accolades, and I'm very happy for Alexxis."

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