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High 5: Locals dominate all-MWL voting

Southern Oregon saw three Midwestern League teams advance to the Class 5A boys basketball state tournament, and all three schools saw their top players rewarded for their efforts in recent all-league voting by the conference’s coaches.

Eagle Point senior Brennen Neyt, Crater seniors Tate Broesder and Javon Smith and Ashland senior Hawthorn Lapierre and junior Egan Shields were each recognized with first-team selections to highlight the all-MWL voting.

Neyt helped lead a dramatic resurgence for the Eagles, who had one win in each of the previous two seasons, to an 18-9 campaign by averaging 17.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.

Broesder averaged 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while Smith contributed 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.6 assists per game for the Comets, who placed fourth at the state tourney.

Lapierre and Shields played key roles in Ashland advancing to the state tourney for the first time since 2007, with the Grizzlies finishing sixth. Lapierre averaged 17.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists while Shields posted 10 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for Ashland.

For his part, Eagle Point head coach Ryan Marrs shared MWL boys coach of the year honors with Churchill’s Kelly Bokn after the Eagles made their first state tournament appearance since 2014.

Churchill senior Samaje Morgan was named MWL boys player of the year, with Thurston senior Jacob Newell also named to the first team.

In the all-MWL girls basketball voting, Crater senior McKenzie Hirsch was the lone local player to secure first-team recognition after averaging 11 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 1.2 assists for the Comets.

Springfield sophomore Danaeja Romero Ah Sam earned MWL girls player of the year honors, with Willamette’s Danielle Bellando named coach of the year.

ALL-MWL BASKETBALL

BOYS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Samaje Morgan, Sr., Churchill.

CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR: Kelly Bokn, Churchill, and Ryan Marrs, Eagle Point.

FIRST TEAM

Samaje Morgan, Sr., Churchill; Brennen Neyt, Sr., Eagle Point; Tate Broesder, Sr., Crater; Hawthorn Lapierre, Sr., Ashland; Jacob Newell, Sr., Thurston; Egan Shields, Jr., Ashland; Javon Smith, Sr., Crater.

SECOND TEAM

Ty Weiskind, Sr., Churchill; Parker Bracy, Sr., Willamette; Matthew Forsyth, Sr., Churchill; Tommy Johnson, Sr., Eagle Point; Anthony Hill, Sr., Springfield; Devon Anderson, Jr., North Eugene.

THIRD TEAM

Caden Lasater, Sr., Crater; Cooper Case, Jr., Churchill; Izzy Golden, Jr., Ashland; Logan Price, Sr., Crater; Joey Banry, So., North Eugene; Mickey Redondo, Sr., Eagle Point.

HONORABLE MENTION

Miguel Perez, Sr., Thurston; Mike Small, Jr., Willamette; Colton Vranes, Sr., Crater; Paolo Flores, So., North Bend; Derek Vaughn, Sr., North Eugene; Toby Barnes, Sr., Ashland; Bugsy Jensen, Jr., Churchill; Kaden Price, Sr., Crater; Triston McGuire, Sr., Eagle Point; Kalani Kapihe, So., Springfield; Kayden Sandow, Sr., Willamette.

GIRLS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Danaeja Romero Ah Sam, So., Springfield.

CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR: Danielle Bellando, Willamette.

FIRST TEAM

Danaeja Romero Ah Sam, So., Springfield; Brynn Smith, Fr., Willamette; McKenzie Hirsch, Sr., Crater; Victoria Nguyen, Fr., Willamette; Stella Scott, Sr., Churchill; JuJu Henderson, Fr., Springfield.

SECOND TEAM

Alexi Morgan, Jr., Springfield; Rivers Richardson, Sr., Churchill; Abigail Winslow, So., Crater; Adrianna Frank, Sr., North Bend; Maddy Warberg, Fr., Willamette.

THIRD TEAM

Natalie Hobbs, Sr., North Eugene; Brooklyn Moody, Jr., Churchill; Bailey Tovey, So., Thurston; Addison Dippel, Fr., Crater; Kayleigh Gugliotta, Sr., Crater; Kyle Rankins, Jr., Springfield.

HONORABLE MENTION

Trinity Barker, Jr., North Bend; Morgan Dole, Jr., Eagle Point; Emilee Nielsen, Sr., Eagle Point; Gabby Heiken, Sr., Ashland; Harper Wagner, Fr., Willamette; Sage Winslow, Fr., Crater; Lana Nguyen, So., North Eugene; Mayana Dotts, So., Churchill; Nancy Coffman, Jr., Willamette; Quealey Carpenter, Sr., Thurston; Lydia Traore, Fr., Crater; Chase Weaver, So., Crater; Kenzi Phillips, Sr., Springfield; Kylee Lambert, Sr., North Bend; Kayla Morris, So., Willamette; Emily Hardrath, So., North Eugene.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Hawthorn Lapierre drives to the basket during the second quarter against Willamette.