Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
South Medford senior Ashley Bolston capped her girls baskeball career as the winningest player in program history and, on Wednesday, added an exclamation point to her run with a first-team all-state selection at the Class 6A level.
Bolston, who has signed with Washington State, paced a list of locals who were honored in some way during voting by their classification's coaches. A four-year varsity performer and three-year starter, the versatile 6-foot-2 wing was the only Medford-area player to land on the first team.
Bolston averaged around 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks while shooting 61 percent from the field for South Medford, which finished runner-up in the state tournament for the second straight year after winning it all in 2012.
She became the first Panthers player in the girls basketball program to reach the state tournament in all four of her years, and the team posted an impressive 101-16 record in that span.
"I thought she put together a season that was deserving of player of the year recognition, honestly," said South Medford head coach Tom Cole. "The numbers she put up with our record (26-4), and against the caliber of opponents and nationally recognized teams we played, I just thought she had an incredible senior season. That's not to take anything away from Jaime Nared, because she had a great season as well, but this is one of those times I think you could have seen co-players of the year."
Nared averaged around 28 points, 14 rebounds and four steals for Westview, which placed third at state. The Tennessee-bound standout was previously named a McDonald's All-American and added her state player of the year honor to the announcement of her as the Gatorade Oregon girls basketball player of the year.
Joining Bolston on the all-state listing at the 6A level was sophomore teammate Julissa Tago, who averaged about 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals while shooting 57 percent from the field. Tago was named to the second team and, along with junior Keyari Sleezer, helped shoulder the load when standout junior Andee Ritter was lost to a torn ACL in early January.
"Juli had a really good season and I thought she peaked at the time of the year that it mattered most, which was later in the season for us," said Cole. "It was nice to see both her and Ashley get recognized."
No players south of Eugene were named to the 6A boys all-state squad, which was led by West Linn player of the year Payton Pritchard.
At the 5A level, Eagle Point senior point guard Cesar Chavez was named to the second team after guiding the Eagles to the state tournament for the second time in three years, while senior teammate Austin Holmes was an honorable mention selection. In 5A girls, Ashland junior Georgia Williams was named to the second team and Eagle Point sophomore Adrienne Wood earn honorable mention acclaim.
In 4A girls voting, Phoenix senior Baylee Toney secured honorable mention honors after averaging 13.5 points and 11.5 rebounds for the Pirates, while North Valley senior Cameron Lyon was a first-team pick and junior teammate Chris Morsa was on the honorable mention list for 4A boys. The Knights placed fourth at the state tournament.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Jaime Nared, Sr., Westview.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Kurt Guelsdorf, Oregon City.
FIRST TEAM — Jaime Nared, Sr., Westview; Ashley Bolston, Sr., South Medford; Katie McWilliams, Jr., South Salem; Lexi Carter, Sr., Tigard; Jessica Gertz, Sr., Oregon City.
SECOND TEAM — Cierra Walker, So., Oregon City; Martina McCowan, Jr., St. Mary's Academy; Julissa Tago, So., South Medford; Tyschal Blake, Jr, St. Mary's Academy; Danielle Hartzog, Sr., Beaverton; Pele Gianotti, Sr., Roseburg.
HONORABLE MENTION — Emilee Cincotta, Sr., Tigard; Jordan Woodvine, So., South Salem; Belle Diouf, Sr., Sheldon; Erica Pagano, Sr., Clackamas.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Payton Pritchard, So., West Linn.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Erik Viuhkola, West Linn.
FIRST TEAM — Payton Pritchard, So., West Linn; Tyler Gutierrez, Sr., Sunset; Deante Strickland, Jr., Central Catholic; Anthony Mathis, Jr., West Linn; Nick Nestell, Sr., Sheldon.
SECOND TEAM — Keaton Bankofier, Sr., Clackamas; Bryan Berg, Sr., Tigard; Ryan Shearmire, Sr., West Linn; Collin Huun, Sr., South Salem; Eli Lininger, Jr., South Eugene.
HONORABLE MENTION — Jazz Johnson, Jr., Lake Oswego; Gage Gubrud, Sr., McMinnville; Taylor Harris, Sr., Sunset; Reggie Oliver, Sr., Lakeridge; Seth Erickson, Jr., South Salem; Jordan Alexander, Sr., Sheldon; Mitch Herbert, Sr., Sheldon.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Lexi Bando, Sr., Willamette.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Paul Brothers, Willamette.
FIRST TEAM — Lexi Bando, Sr., Willamette; Leslie Robinson, Sr., Corvallis; Delaney Crook, Sr., Bend; Jenna Morch, Sr., Lebanon; Emily Bailey, Sr., The Dalles.
SECOND TEAM — McKenzie Byrd, Sr., Hermiston; Sami Osborne, Sr., Willamette; Mallory Shields, Jr., Sherwood; Emily Rommel, Sr., Cleveland; Maci Benedict, Sr., Lebanon; Corey James, Jr., West Albany; Kalani Kast, Sr., Willamette; Georgia Williams, Jr., Ashland.
HONORABLE MENTION — McKenna McGowan, Sr., Corvallis; Mariah Oliver, Sr., Putnam; Merrily Jones, So., Milwaukie; Shelby Sanders, Sr., Hermiston; Sarah Reeves, Fr., Summit; Ellen Berkley, Sr., Wilson; Autumn Baumgartner, So., Willamette; Adrienne Wood, So., Eagle Point.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Silas Melson, Sr., Jefferson.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Pat Strickland, Jefferson.
FIRST TEAM — Silas Melson, Sr., Jefferson; Aubrey Stephens, Sr., Madison; Nate Sherwood, Sr., West Albany; Malik Morgan, Sr., Churchill; David Shedrick, Sr., Churchill.
SECOND TEAM — Jordan Kurahara, Sr., Sherwood; Grant Lannin, Sr., Mountain View; Cesar Chavez, Sr., Eagle Point; Devaunte Paschal, Sr., Jefferson; Connor Scott, Sr., Bend; Kadeem Strickland, Jr., Jefferson.
HONORABLE MENTION — Tyler Hieb, So., Wilsonville; Vonte Carter, Sr., Benson; Ian Sucich, Sr., Silverton; Tanner Sanders, Sr., Crescent Valley; Jake Flyg, Sr., Hermiston; Nick Ah-Sam, Fr., Springfield; Ben Lensch, Jr., Wilson; Mak Hutson, Sr., Madison; Austin Holmes, Sr., Eagle Point.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Miranda Mendenhall, Jr., Sutherlin.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Josh Grotting, Sutherlin.
FIRST TEAM — Miranda Mendenhall, Jr., Sutherlin; Megan Morris, Sr., Mazama; Tierra Stephenson, Sr., Philomath; Natalie DeLonge, Jr., Henley; Olivia Guilliford, Jr., Sutherlin.
SECOND TEAM — Maddi Utti, Fr., Seaside; Mariah Stacona, Jr., Madras; Kaitlin Lewis, Sr., Seaside; Kayce Mock, So., Sutherlin; Avery Albrecht, So., La Grande.
HONORABLE MENTION — Sara Kesling, Sr., Elmira; Sterling Swift, Sr., La Salle; Baylee Toney, Sr., Phoenix; Aleah Goodman, Fr., La Salle; Drew Farmer, So., Brookings-Harbor; Britanny Kochenderfer, Jr., Henley; Caileigh Smith, Sr., Mazama.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Ben DeSaulnier, Sr., Philomath.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Blake Ecker, Philomath.
FIRST TEAM — Ben DeSaulnier, Sr., Philomath; Cameron Lyon, Sr., North Valley; Tyson Wicklander, Sr., La Grande; Joey Hancock, Sr., Tillamook; Jered Pichette, Jr., Madras.
SECOND TEAM — Keeston Smith, Jr., La Salle; Garrison King, Sr., Cottage Grove; Noah Caillier, Jr., Sutherlin; Reece Wible, Jr., La Salle; Josh Delamarter, Sr., Cascade.
HONORABLE MENTION — Chris Morsa, Jr., North Valley; Mason Mueller, Sr., Cottage Grove; Troy Williams, Sr., La Grande; Jesse Hilyard, Sr., Henley; Handsome Smith, Jr., Gladstone; Connor Weidner, Sr., Yamhill-Carlton.