Tigers snag player and coach of the year honors in basketball
Any coach would love to have a six-man rotation that made up the All-Southwestern League boys basketball team.
With five seniors and a combined 14 All-SWL awards, talented is an understatement with this group.
Leading the way is Grand Junction’s Everett Robinson, who was selected as the player of the year and made the first team for the second consecutive year. Robinson was on the second team as a sophomore.
“I think he is very deserving to be the player of the year for the last two seasons,” Grand Junction coach Dutch Johnson said. “He got better from his sophomore to his junior year and got a lot better from his junior to his senior year.”
Like Robinson, Central’s Clay Kame made the first team for the second straight season after being a second-team pick as a sophomore.
“Clay had a great year distributing the ball and scoring,” Central coach Phil Cain said.
The other three-timer is Grand Junction’s Geoff Baldwin, who made the first team as a sophomore and junior.
“He is a talented, athletic kid,” Johnson said. “When it is not basketball season, he is working on baseball, so while he doesn’t put as much time in on the court, he is works really hard and is very deserving.”
Fruita Monument’s Alex Mende was the only Wildcat to make the all-league team, but the Wildcats’ big man is a repeat selection. Mende averaged 15 points per game this season.
Cortez’s Micah Conrads is on the team for a second time and Durango’s Loren Doughty made his first appearance on the All-SWL team.
“It seems like all those guys got so much better from their junior to their senior year,” Johnson said. “All those kids were guys you had to key on every time you played their team.”
Johnson was selected the conference coach of the year for third time in the past four years.
“I feel grateful to coach the player of the year,” Johnson said, “because he is the reason I am coach of the year.”
The second team was led by Nathan Robertson and Mac Alexander of Montrose. Kahler Grandbouche and Michael Wiedrich of Central, Grand Junction’s Justin Trujillo and Cortez’s Darren Parker rounded out the second team.
The Montrose girls won the SWL and parlayed that into a run to the Class 4A final four. The Indians landed three players on the first team. Hannah Bowden and Katie Able made the first team along with repeat selection Rachel Hansen.
Durango’s Katarina Garcia was selected the player of the year for the second year in a row and made the all-league team for a fourth consecutive year.
Central’s Amy Kame averaged more than 20 points per game and led the Warriors to the Class 5A Great 8 and made the first team for the third year in a row.
Central’s Haleigh Higgins received second-team honors.
Grand Junction sophomore Fawn Brady made the first team and the Tigers’ Lisa Hughes was selected to the second team.
Fruita Monument had three players on the second team: sophomore Taylor Johnson, junior Sarah Hensley and senior Mary McGee.
Retiring Montrose coach John Mraule was voted the coach of the year.