It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
Conference championships netted the South Medford girls and boys basketball teams top honors in voting by the leagues' coaches.
Ashley Bolston, a junior forward, was named the girl player of the year, and Jesse Mondry, a senior post, was similarly honored in the boys ranks, sharing it with Roseburg senior Alex Johnson. Story was corrected to include Johnson as co-player
South Medford's Tom Cole was named girls coach of the year for the third straight season, while John Parent, who has led a resurgence at Crater in his three seasons, was tabbed as the top boys coach.
Other first-team girls selections included South Medford senior guards Yaremi Mejia and Kylie Towry and North Medford senior post McKensey Peters.
Towry achieved the rare distinction of being a first-team selection four straight years.
Mejia earned the nod for a third year in a row, and Peters repeated from last year.
Other local boy players on the first team were South Medford senior guard Adrian Garcia, North Medford senior guard Oshea Bailey and Crater senior guard Cody Dismukes.
Dismukes was a second-teamer a year ago, the only player then on either of the top two teams that wasn't a senior.
Bolston routinely filled up the stat sheet for the defending state champion Panthers, who are ranked second in Class 6A and own a 20-4 overall record.
She averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks a game.
South Medford had five players in the top 10 among scorers in the SOH, but it was Bolston's overall production that set her apart.
"The difference the coaches felt," said Cole, "was that she led us in rebounding, led us in deflections, led us in blocked shots, steals and was right up there in assists. She just did so many other things statistically and was able to contribute in a lot of different ways, especially defensively."
Mejia turned in 13.0 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game, and Towry had 15.9 points and 2.0 steals on average.
Peters averaged a double-double, scoring 14 points a game to rank third in the SOH and grabbing 11 boards per outing.
Mondry scored 11.8 points per game to lead the Panther boys and had 5.6 rebounds per game. South Medford ended the regular season ranked eighth with a 19-4 overall record.
"He probably was our most consistent shooter," said Panthers coach Dennis Murphy. "What we really needed him to do was go out and score, get his average and, if he could, bump that up a couple nights, and that would be better for us as a team.
"He worked very hard all year and through the summer to make himself a better basketball player. It's nice his hard work paid off."
Garcia averaged 8.3 points, 5.6 assists and 2 steals per game.
Bailey averaged 11.9 points, 3.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and shot 38 percent on 3-pointers.
Dismukes turned in 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds a game.
Parent guided Crater to a 13-11 record and its first home playoff game (Tuesday against a to-be-determined opponent) as a 6A school. The Comets had four wins his first year and seven last season.
"I was pleasantly surprised," said Parent, "a little shocked, really. It's nice to be honored by my peers. I guess what it says about us is the kids are working really hard to change the culture around here. You can see the culture has been changing."
Shelby Snook, sr., Roseburg; Yaremi Mejia, sr., South Medford; Kylie Towry, sr., South Medford; McKensey Peters, sr., North Medford; Kayla Bice, sr., Grants Pass.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Ashley Bolston, Jr., South Medford.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Tom Cole, South Medford.
Andee Ritter, so., South Medford; Jaclyn Humphry, sr., Roseburg; Joci Ellis, jr., North Medford; Maryssa Becker, sr., North Medford; Luisa Tago, sr., South Medford.
Julissa Tago, fr., South Medford; Brittaney Scott, sr., Crater; Alexa Phillips, jr., Grants Pass; Ashley Backen, so., Roseburg; Courtney Setzer, so, Crater; Becca Heard, jr., Crater; Kayla Miller, so., Grants Pass.
Cody Dismukes, sr., Crater; Adrian Garcia, sr., South Medford; Dylan Strempel, sr., Grants Pass; Andrew Weber, sr., Roseburg; Oshea Bailey, sr., North Medford.
CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Jesse Mondry, Sr., South Medford; Alex Johnson, Sr., Roseburg. Story was corrected to include Johnson as co-player
COACH OF THE YEAR — John Parent, Crater.
Connor Lane, jr., Crater; Carson Reid, jr., Roseburg; Mark Winans, jr., South Medford; Micah Johnson, jr., Grants Pass; Tristen Holmes, so., North Medford.
Julian Gray, jr., North Medford; Matt Toreson, sr., South Medford; R.J. Morgan, sr., Crater; Kai Seely, sr., Roseburg; Hayden Lent, sr., Roseburg.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email email@example.com