Strong season earns Crater, Ashland all-state honors
Ashland and Crater went head-to-head this season in a battle for the girls Southern Sky Conference basketball crown.
The Comets ultimately came out on top, but both schools benefitted when the Class 5A all-state list was announced on Wednesday.
Crater senior Kenna Reiter and Ashland senior Josi McDermott and sophomore Brenna Heater were each named second-team all-state.
Ashland also placed senior Rory Blanche on the 5A boys second team, while Hidden Valley's Alex Demith was a 4A boys second-team member and Illinois Valley senior Sheena Cole made the 4A girls second team. North Valley senior Nate Ellis made the 4A boys honorable mention list.
Danielle Bellando was named the 5A player of the year for Willamette, while North Eugene center Brian Conklin was the 5A boys player of the year.
At the 4A level, Stayton's Courtney Cremer was tabbed the girls player of the year and Zach Anderson of Yamhill-Carlton was named the boys top player.
Reiter led Crater in steals, assists, was second in rebounds and second in points with an average of about 10 points a contest.
The 5-foot-10 wing was also a four-year varsity member and helped the Comets to a SSC title and an 18-6 record overall this year. Crater lost in the second round of the state playoffs.
"I'm really happy for her," said Crater coach J.T. Thomas. "She had such a great overall year.
"It's such an honor, especially considering we got out (state playoffs) when we did. I think the fact we played such a good early-season schedule allowed coaches to see her. And she played her best games against the best competition."
Reiter's signature moment came against Ashland.
In the first of three meetings between the schools, Reiter scored a game-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds and five steals. Her five points in the final quarter helped squash a late rally by the Grizzlies.
"That game defined her in terms of competitiveness and the ability to put a team on her shoulders," said Thomas. "She played about 31 minutes that game because we couldn't afford to have her come off the floor. She refused to let us lose."
McDermott did a little bit of everything to help the Grizzlies to a runner-up finish in league and a state-playoff berth.
The 5-11 wing/post averaged around 12 points a game and did much of the heavy lifting on offense while Heater nursed a sprained ankle during the latter part of the season.
"I had Josi for three years," said Ashland coach Ken Lathen, "and she was just a fantastic player. She's always been solid fundamentally but her confidence started to grow and she turned into a shining star this year."
Heater, a 6-3 post, averaged just over 14 points per outing and scored in double figures in 18 of Ashland's 26 games.
A severe ankle sprain forced her to miss two games late in the season.
"Brenna is a great athlete," said Lathen. "She had kind of a tough year. She missed a few games and she ended up playing injured the last part of the season.
"I thought she showed great courage and perseverance to overcome all that."
Blanche scored about 20 points per game in leading the Ashland boys to an SSC title and a trip to the state tournament.
Demith and Cole each were named the Skyline Conference's player of the year after leading their respective squads to postseason berths.
Player, School Ht. Yr. Pos.
Brian Conklin, N. Eugene 6-8 Jr. C
Abe Lodwick, Mt. View 6-7 Sr. P
Nadav Heyman, Corvallis 6-1 Jr. G
Cameron Jackson, Roosevelt 6-0 Jr. W
Nick Schultens, Hillsboro 6-3 Sr. G
Player of the Year — Brian Conklin, North Eugene.
Coach of the Year — Bill Wagner, North Eugene.
Antwon Wooten, Jefferson 6-3 Sr. W
Andrew Schumacher, Churchill 6-5 Sr. P/F
Rory Blanche, Ashland 6-5 Sr. W
Chehales Tapscott, Century 6-4 Jr. W/P
David Reeher, Crook County 6-8 Jr. F
HONORABLE MENTION — Lary Richards, Roosevelt, So., 6-0; Andrew Hookland, North Eugene, Sr., 6-4; Kevin Heath, Corvallis, Sr., 6-3; Richard Townsend-Grant, Jefferson, Sr., 6-5; Miles Haley, Springfield, Sr., 6-2; Ramiro Alatorre, Hermiston, Sr., 6-2; Anthony Golden, Madison, Jr., 6-1; Curtis Denos, West Albany, Sr., 6-6.
Player, School Ht. Yr. Pos.
Danielle Bellando, Willamette 5-9 Sr. W/P
Janita Badon, Jefferson 5-6 Jr. G
Melinda Ingallis, Wilsonville 5-6 Jr. P
Emily Doran, Crescent Valley 5-11 Sr. G
Shoni Schimmel, Hermiston 5-8 Fr. G
Player of the Year — Danielle Bellando, Willamette.
Coaches of the Year — Paul Brothers, Terry Harrison and Lance Haas, Willamette.
Josi McDermott, Ashland 5-11 Sr. W/P
Brenna Heater, Ashland 6-3 So. P
Susan Smith, Churchill 5-5 So. G
Kenna Reiter, Crater 5-10 Sr. W
Nyesha Sims, Jefferson 5-8 Jr. W
HONORABLE MENTION — Kayla Hubrich, Hillsboro, Sr., 5-7; Madison Steinmetz, Glencoe, Sr., 5-9; Kourtney Parks, Summit, Sr., 5-4; Sarau Morrison, Hermiston, Sr., 5-7; Sarah Eischen, Hillsboro, Sr., 5-11; Tasha Vanelli, Crescent Valley, Sr., 5-8; Alexis Nissen, Lebanon, Jr., 6-1; Carly Towne, Wilsonville, Sr., 5-5; Shawndez Santiago, Marshall, Jr., 5-8; Mattea Williams, West Albany, Sr., 5-5; Aly Bruns, Willamette, So., 5-5; Alison Worthen, Marshfield, Jr., 5-10; Briana Stacona, Madras, Jr., 5-4.
Player, School Ht. Yr. Pos.
Zach Anderson, Yamhill-Carlton 6-4 Sr. W
Cody Britton, Stayton 5-9 Sr. W
Grant Johnson, Baker 6-4 Sr. P
Bryant Sentman, Cottage Grove 6-3 Sr. F
Nash Keen, Cascade 6-0 Sr. G
Player of the Year — Zach Anderson, Yamhill-Carlton.
Coach of the Year — Craig Woods, Baker.
Alex Demith, Hidden Valley 6-1 Sr. W
Ben Motter, Philomath 6-6 Sr. P
Buster Hartford, Tillamook 6-5 Sr. P
Drew Holden, Siuslaw 5-10 Sr. PG
Matt Duman, Baker 6-4 Sr. P
HONORABLE MENTION — Justin Engstrom, Scappoose, Sr., 6-6; Colin Stock, Henley, Sr., 6-1; Travis Mastrude, Baker, Jr., 5-10; Jordan Rainwater, Siuslaw, Sr., 6-0; Gabe Kauffman, Sweet Home, Jr., 6-2; Tyler Dragt, Elmira, Sr., 5-11; Nate Ellis, North Valley, Sr., 6-0; Andy Murray, Astoria, Sr., 5-8.
Courtney Cremer, Stayton 6-3 Sr. P
Stephanie Babij, Ontario 6-0 Sr. G
Kellie Holmstead, N. Bend 5-8 Sr. G
Tasha Dearborn, Gladstone 5-9 Sr. W
Danielle Albus, Cascade 5-9 Sr. PG
Player of the Year — Courtney Cremer, Stayton.
Coach of the Year — Chad Meadors, Stayton.
Leah Mancino, Junction City 5-8 Jr. F
Sheena Cole, Illinois Valley 5-11 Sr. PG/F
Stephanie Beeler, Tillamook 5-10 Sr. P
Annan Applebee, Gladstone 5-7 Sr. PG
Rylee Peterson, Newport 5-11 Jr. F/C
HONORABLE MENTION — Kaitlyn Kronberger, Cottage Grove, So., 5-8; Molly Frogge, Scappoose, Sr., 5-5; Jeni Gabriel, Stayton, Jr., 5-9; Francy Bellan, Tillamook, Sr., 5-7; Alysha Moore, North Bend, Sr., 5-11; Katy Sullivan, Baker, Sr., 5-9; Jessica Rouse, Cascade, Sr., 6-0; Jacki Cunningham, Scappoose, Sr., 5-11; Natasha Crisman, Stayton, Sr., 5-4; Kayla Raushert, Junction City, Jr., 5-8; Mikell Woodfield, La Grande, Sr., 6-2.
Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org