South Medford senior guard Brittney Newcomb was not handed natural basketball ability, Panthers coach Tom Cole said.

South Medford senior guard Brittney Newcomb was not handed natural basketball ability, Panthers coach Tom Cole said.

Like most of what she's achieved in her life, it has come by way of a tireless work ethic.

Here's one more — Newcomb was recently named second-team Class 6A all-state.

"Nothing has ever been given to her," Cole said. "Her background is one where she's had to earn everything. That's a testimony to her character. She's persevered through many different things. The emergence of our program, which has not been successful, parallels the off-court struggles for her personally. She's figured out ways to overcome. I'm extremely proud for her to be recognized for this because she's earned it."

Newcomb averaged 19.8 points per game, the third highest in the state, to go along with six assists and four steals per game in guiding the Panthers to their first playoff appearance since 2002.

"When we look at, from a program, what she leaves behind ... she established a work ethic of what it takes to be successful," Cole said. "She's a machine. When she's not playing basketball, she's studying. When she's not doing those two things, she's training. There are not a lot of kids at that age who have that kind of discipline and drive to be successful."

Newcomb is in the process of selecting colleges. She said last week she is leaning toward Chico State in California.

Grants Pass senior Natasha Torgerson received honorable mention selection after leading Grants Pass with 12.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

The 6-foot-2 post is headed to Sacramento State.

"The biggest thing for her to do was asserting herself more as a leader," said Grants Pass coach Robert Lingo, who recently resigned after six seasons. "She played varsity since her freshman year. She's been the kid who sat in the back. This year, she had to step up."

Central Catholic's Kate Lanz, who is headed to Oregon State, was named the state player of the year after averaging 15.4 points per game and leading the Rams to a third-place finish.

South Eugene's Steve Eastburn was honored as coach of the year.

Class 6A Girls All-State

First Team

Name, School Year Ht. Pos.

Kate Lanz, Central Cath. Sr. 5-11 G

Elizabeth Brenner, Jesuit So. 6-2 C

Renee Tzeo, Reynolds Sr. 5-6 G

Corinn Waltrip, Tigard Sr. 5-6 G

Jen Reese, Clackamas So. 6-1 C

Player of the Year — Kate Lanz, Central Catholic

Coach of the Year — Steve Eastburn, South Eugene

Second Team

Name, School Year Ht. Pos.

Megan Hingston, McNary Jr. 5-7 C

Elyse Barnes, S. Eugene Sr. 5-10 F

Melair Holterhoff, Ore. City Sr. 5-9 F

Brittney Newcomb, S. Med. Sr. 5-6 G

Calli Jackson, Oregon City Sr. 5-10 C

Shoni Schimmel, Franklin Jr. 5-9 G

Honorable Mention — Allison Greene, Southridge, So., F; Alyssa Martin, Jesuit, Jr., G; Ellen Cook, South Eugene, So., F; Kylie Kuhns, Sprague, Sr., C; Kristen Swim, Franklin, Jr., F; Samantha Potter, Sunset, Jr., C; Jude Schimmel, Franklin, So., G; Natasha Torgerson, Grants Pass, Sr., C.

Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail landrews@mailtribune.com