It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
Two of the more prolific players in Phoenix boys basketball history were supplied with a fitting end to their careers recently, with senior guards Alex Young and Tyler Dungannon each named to the all-state first team at the Class 4A level.
Young and Dungannon were the only teammates to earn first-team recognition this season at any level. They helped the Pirates to the Class 4A state championship in 2011 and a runner-up showing this past season.
"All the seniors we had are special but those two especially," said Phoenix head coach Glenn Johannes. "You're talking about the two best scorers in Phoenix history and probably the two best players to go through Phoenix ever. It's pretty special to have one of those kind of guys but extra special to have two at the same time."
Young, the 4A player of the year in 2011, averaged 23 points, 8.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.6 steals and had 17 blocked shots — all tops for the 25-6 Pirates. Signed to play next year at the University of California Irvine, the 6-foot-1 point guard capped his run at Phoenix as the school's career leader in scoring (1,914 points), rebounds (752), assists (464), steals (229) and free throws (365). He also owns the single-season records in scoring (686 in 2011-12), assists (190 in 2011-12) and steals (80 in 2011-12).
Dungannon averaged 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.9 assists. He set school records with nine 3-pointers and 43 points in the state semifinal win over Sisters and finished his Pirate career with all the school's records for 3-pointers. The 6-3 shooting guard recently committed to Eastern Oregon.
While some standout players have difficulty sharing the spotlight, Young and Dungannon were perfect complements for Phoenix.
"They were definitely unselfish with one another and let each other get their own accolades," said Johannes. "They focused more on the bigger goal of team success and getting hardware in the state tournament."
"They worked hard and they did those things in the offseason that mattered," added the coach, "and during the season they executed the things I asked them to do and sometimes even more."
Also at the 4A level, North Valley junior Kevin Brazille was named to the second team and senior Jake Herklotz received honorable mention for the Skyline Conference champion Knights.
Central senior Tanner Omlid was named 4A boys player of the year and his coach, Bob McBeth, was similarly honored. Henley's Shannon Carlson was the 4A girls coach of the year, while Sutherlin's Kelsey Hill was player of the year. Henley's Elle Morgan was named to the first team.
At the 5A level, Eagle Point senior post Tyrone Holmes earned a spot on the second team after helping the Eagles to the state tournament finals site for only the third time in school history. Holmes, who has signed to play football at the University of Montana, averaged 17.6 points and nine rebounds for the 17-11 Eagles.
"Not only his physical attributes, but who he is as a person was huge for us," said Eagle Point head coach Bryan Wood. "He really became a great emotional leader for us, which was great."
Corvallis senior Jake Ehlers and Springfield junior Mercedes Russell were the 5A boys and girls players of the year, respectively. Darren Shryock of Silverton was named 5A boys coach of the year while Lebanon's Mardy Benedict earned the nod in 5A girls.
Class 4A All-State Basketball
Tanner Omlid, sr., Central; Alex Young, sr., Phoenix; Eli Harrison, jr., Sisters; Tyler Dungannon, sr., Phoenix; Jordan Schriber, sr., Tillamook.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Tanner Omlid, Central.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Bob McBeth, Central.
Blake Updike, sr., Scappoose; Joe Morales, sr., Roosevelt; Bobby Ahern, sr., Madras; John Erickson, sr., Sisters; Aaron Mateski, sr., North Bend; Kevin Brazille, jr., North Valley.
Oshay Dunmore, sr., Newport; Andrew Potter, sr., Seaside; Antonio McCowan, sr., Roosevelt; Jake Herklotz, sr., North Valley.
Kelsey Hill, sr., Sutherlin; Elle Morgan, sr., Henley; Abby Scott, sr., Madras; Kassi Sanders, jr., Cascade; Cheyenne Hahn, sr., Tillamook.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Kelsey Hill, Sutherlin.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Shannon Carlson, Henley.
Tegan Grunwald, sr., Philomath; Hannah Reynolds, jr., Mazama; Abby Hardie, sr., Banks; Payten Lighty, sr., Junction City; Lauren Mills, jr., La Grande.
Brooke Buswell, sr., Crook County; Allie Fahner, sr., Henley; Miranda Mendenhall, fr., Sutherlin; Asia Mayo-Greene, sr., Roosevelt.
Class 5A All-State Basketball
Jake Ehlers, sr., Corvallis; Bryce White, sr., Benson; Zach Gengler, jr., Silverton; James Reid, sr., Mountain View; Kevin Marshall, sr., Wilsonville.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Jake Ehlers, Corvallis.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Darren Shryock, Silverton.
Michone Hopkins, sr., Milwaukie; Emanuel Morgan, jr., Churchill; Tyrone Holmes, sr., Eagle Point; Keynan Middleton, sr., Milwaukie; Deon Davis, sr., Pendleton.
Victor Sanders, jr., Jefferson; Andrew Moore, sr., North Eugene
Mercedes Russell, jr., Springfield; Samantha Siegner, sr., West Albany; Maloree Moss, sr., Hermiston; Mekayla Isaak, jr., Bend; Lexi Bando, so., Willamette.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Mercedes Russell, Springfield.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Mardy Benedict, Lebanon.
Alyssa Clark, sr., Wilsonville; Nicole Hannifan, sr., Milwaukie; McKenzi Benedict, sr., Lebanon; Brittany Glassow, jr., Willamette; Emily Rommel, so., Cleveland.