There’s certainly no missing Vivienne Berrett on the basketball court.
Standing at 6-foot-4, the Stanwood High School junior’s imposing size is rarely matched by her opponents.
Her presence on both the offensive and defensive ends was a game-changer for the Spartans during their run to a sixth-place trophy at the Class 3A Hardwood Classic this past season.
Berrett shot 55% from the field and averaged 14.5 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. She was first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A selection and a second-team pick at the state tournament.
“Defensively, she’s a rim protector,” Stanwood coach Alex Iverson said. “You look at it and she could have more blocks, but what she doesn’t get credit for is altering shots. That’s a stat that doesn’t show up — when somebody goes up for a shot and she makes them think about it or change the way they’re shooting and they end up missing. And that happened a number of times in a game. … That allows us to do more in terms of our pressure off the ball and on the ball knowing that we can be a little more aggressive because we know that, if for whatever reason we get beat to the rim, we have someone there to be able to protect it.”
“Offensively, obviously she’s not going to shoot the ball every time, but when she shoots at such a high percentage it’s such a good option,” Iverson added. “And being able to do stuff through her makes everybody’s lives so much easier in terms of her being able to score, and she’s also a good passer out of the post.”
Berrett’s ability was on full display back in February when she poured in 27 points against Snohomish in a winner-to-state 3A District 1 semifinal game. The Spartans trailed early in that game, but after a timeout in the second quarter Berrett went to work and scored six straight points to get her team back in it and eventually punched their ticket to the state tournament and a district title game.
“I think the biggest thing I was impressed with was that she really utilized her full arsenal of post moves,” Iverson said of the performance. “She practices those a ton. So, I wasn’t surprised by any means. … I know she has those tools, but it’s also about making the reads, too, and not being able to just do them but know when to do them. She’d score on a hook and then she go up-and-under and then the next time she’d turn away from the double team.”
Berrett, who later led the 3A state tournament with 38 total rebounds in four games, was voted The Herald’s Athlete of the Week for her efforts against the Panthers. She went on to win The Herald’s Athlete of the Month poll by claiming 1,534 (56.1%) of 2,735 votes.
We recently caught up with Berrett to talk about basketball, the places it’s taken her and her love of art.
You used a number of different post moves to get to 27 points in the district semifinal against Snohomish. How much time do you put into developing those different looks?
I usually end up dedicating a lot of time to it. If it’s not in practice, usually I have days where I’ll go like an hour or an hour-and-a-half on my own or with a trainer. To start I’ll work on my finishes really close to the basket before I get to the move. The biggest thing is to be able to practice those moves through contact.
You made a number of nice passes in the game from the high post. How have you been able to develop those passing skills?
It’s a little bit of something that I’ve had to work on, but it’s also a little natural for me. My thought process with it is that I’ll take the ball and score it when I can, but also if I can make a pass to get a better shot, I’ll make the extra pass to help get my teammates get open.
Your team made it the final day of games at the Tacoma Dome and took home a state trophy. What was that experience like?
It was really cool. It was a lot of fun to go down there and see it for the first time. I think at first it was a tiny bit overwhelming, but once we got going I felt like we showed that we could keep up with all of these teams. I think it was a good confidence booster for everyone. Now when we go into next year we know that we can keep up with all these teams that we always hear about.
What are your future plans with basketball?
I’ve been talking with quite a few colleges at the moment, and I’m hoping this summer to get ready to sign. I’m looking to play at a D-I school. The recruiting process has just been really cool, and it’s taught me a lot about what I need to look for in a school. My top priority with basketball is that this is going to get me a scholarship for college. So, I want to go somewhere where I can get a good education, the team has a good culture and the coaches are there to help us grow as players.
What would you like to study in college?
I’m looking at engineering or architecture. Engineering is something that I’m familiar with because both my parents are engineers, and then architecture I’m looking at because I like drawing and then it also includes math. Engineering also plays a part in architecture later on so it kind of combines both of my interests.
Outside of basketball, what are your hobbies?
I really like art. I like drawing. I like reading … and I like hanging out with my family and friends, and just working out.
Do you have a favorite piece of art you’ve done?
I really like working with watercolors, and recently I’ve been using colored pencils more for drawings. I usually draw a lot of animals. This year our high school offered a glass art class. I was trying that out for the first time and it was pretty fun. … We make a bunch of stained glass. We’ll get sheets of glass and cut them into different shapes and put them together to make a picture, which is really cool. A recent project we did was a mosaic mirror. So, we ended up cutting a bunch of glass and melted it and glued it onto a board. It turned out really cool.”
Do you have any favorite family vacations?
My sisters are all starting to get into basketball right now, too. If we do go somewhere, it’s usually for basketball. Most recently we went to Las Vegas for a basketball tournament. What was fun about this one is that my sisters played on one of the teams for my club team and so we got to go together and hang out with our mom. It was really fun. … I got to go to Indianapolis and Pennsylvania for the first time last year, which was really cool. I think my favorite one though was Pennsylvania. We had some down time where we could go around and explore a little more. We went to the Hershey factory and we took an Amish tour. That was really cool.
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