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Ashland High's Pippa, Elder-Hammond earn all-MWL recognition

 ASHLAND — Call it a pretty good bounceback year for Ashland High junior guard KJ Pippa.

After missing all of his sophomore season due to injury a year ago, Pippa was honored as a third-team all-Midwestern League selection, it was announced on Monday after a vote by the league’s coaches.

League champion Crater took home both of the individual awards, with Crater’s Chris Schmerbach being named the MWL’s Coach of the Year. Comets senior guard Kiefer Edwards, who averaged 21 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in the regular season, was named MWL Player of the Year.

Pippa, one of the Grizzlies’ top 3-point shooters this season, finished the regular season as Ashland’s leading scorer in league play with 14 points per game.

A 40 percent shooter from behind the 3-point line, Pippa shot close to 55 percent from the field while also averaging four rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

“I think that KJ was very well-deserving of that recognition,” Ashland head coach Sam Osofsky said. “It’s pretty remarkable what he did this season coming off the broken leg he had last year and missing all of football and basketball as sophomore. To be honored in this league at any level is an accomplishment.”

Ashland seniors Anthony Swanson and Adam Jones were also nominated, but were simply a victim of the MWL being so deep this season, according to Osofsky.


PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kiefer Edwards, Crater.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Schmerbach, Crater.

First Team

Kiefer Edwards, sr., Crater; Zach Brown, jr., Springfield; Isaac Lange, jr., Thurston; Isaiah Wallace, so., Churchill; Nate Bittle, fr., Crater; Mason Miller, jr., Thurston.

Second Team

Mason Vranes, sr., Crater; Bryson Bresee, sr., Springfield; Sterling Minor, sr., Thurston; Silas Bennion, so., Churchill; Cameron Parks, so., North Eugene.

Third Team

Jayden Vranes, so., Crater; Isaac Zachem, sr., Marist; KJ Pippa, jr., Ashland; Jesse Connor, sr., Thurston; Jordan Carrillo, jr., Springfield.

Honorable Mention

Jadan Reynolds, sr., Springfield; Jonathon Nchekwube, jr., Churchill; Spencer Franssen, sr., Marist; Ivan Enciso, sr., North Eugene; Zakk Scott, sr., Eagle Point


Ashland High senior guard Mya Elder-Hammond was the lone Grizzly to earned all-MWL honors, as she was named to the honorable mention team on Monday.

Elder-Hammond, who was a standout on the soccer field the past four years and signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Eastern Washington earlier this month, was one of two seniors on a team that had a total of nine freshmen or sophomores on its roster.

Starting every game for the Grizzlies this season, Elder-Hammond proved to be a contributor all over the court. On top of averaging seven points a game, she also averaged 8.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4.1 steals a contest.

“She is a player that could play defense and did a little bit of everything for our team,” Ashland head coach Antione Perry said.


PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Emma McKenney, Marist.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Terry Harrison, Marist.

First Team

Cielo Gonzalez, sr., Springfield; Rebecca Durbin, jr., Springfield; Isis Smith, jr., Churchill; Claire Eagen, sr., Marist; Lauren Eagen, sr., Marist.

Second Team

Sydney Gray, jr., Crater; Maya Van Hook, jr., Crater; Kayla Nesbitt, sr., Churchill; Maddy Carrier, sr., North Eugene; Megan Miller, fr., Thurston; Madison Ficek, jr., Marist.

Third Team

Lexi Woodard, sr., Crater; Brooklyn Gilbert, sr., Thurston; Reice Newell, fr., Springfield; Aliyah Dade, sr., Springfield; Kayley Elliott, jr., Marist.

Honorable Mention

McKenna Williams, jr., Marist; Claire Baboyan, sr., North Eugene; Mackenzie Ryerson, sr., Crater; Neykyah Ellis, jr., Crater; Carlene Hart, sr., Eagle Point; Mya Elder-Hammond, sr., Ashland; Sydney Johnson, jr., Marist; Natalie Elstone, so., Churchill; Sophie Elstone, so., Churchill.


ASHLAND — Coming off a weekend where she continued her early-season success in the circle, Southern Oregon sophomore right-hander Gabby Sandoval has been named the Cascade Conference’s Pitcher of the Week, it was announced Monday.

Bouncing back from her shortest start of the season in the opening game of last Friday’s doubleheader split against Menlo College, Sandoval came in and pitched two innings for her first save this year in the night cap.

On Saturday, she continued her streak of consecutive starts with a decision, picking up her sixth straight win in as many starts.

In her last 25 innings of work, Sandoval has allowed all of two earned runs.

Sandoval currently leads the CCC in wins (7), innings pitched (44 ⅓), strikeouts (37) appearances (12) and shutouts (2). She is second in the CCC with five complete games.

Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or dpenza@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.