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Boys all-league hoop honors announced
by Damian Tromerhauser
Feb 28, 2013 | 3450 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file photo - Spanish Springs boys basketball coach Kyle Penney works with senior guard Connor Naisbitt during a Cougars workout this past season. Penney was recently named High Desert League co-coach of the year by his peers.
Tribune file photo - Spanish Springs boys basketball coach Kyle Penney works with senior guard Connor Naisbitt during a Cougars workout this past season. Penney was recently named High Desert League co-coach of the year by his peers.
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Tribune file photo - Reed swingman Trae Wells earned first team all-league honors in a recent vote of HDL coaches.
Tribune file photo - Reed swingman Trae Wells earned first team all-league honors in a recent vote of HDL coaches.
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The Spanish Springs boys basketball team notched a number of milestones in program history this past season. After a winter campaign that saw the Cougars earn the High Desert League’s second seed and the right to host Spanish Springs’ first-ever playoff game, the Cougs were rewarded with four players named to all-league lists.

At the top for SSHS was senior T.J. McCauley, who averaged 15.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a contest, and junior Kenny Meyer (14.5 points a game), as both were named to first team for the HDL and All-Region.

“Kenny and T.J. were very deserving of the awards,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. “They were our leading offensive output and we went through them when we needed to score or when we needed a big basket.”

On the High Desert second team, senior Austin Damoth represented SSHS, while senior Zach Shaw was an honorable mention pick.

“Austin was a big piece for us as well," Penney said. "He is as tough a kid as you will find. He literally played the whole season with a leg injury. He was a dominant post player when we were able to feed him the ball on time and he was really a great team defender.

“Zach was just a great team guy for us. He would do the little things. He led our team in taking charges, which is really an important piece to me and he did it with pride.”

Penney said the awards were just a small symbol of what the players contributed to the program.

“All four guys were very important to our success. They were all important to our program this year and they will be important to our program for future years,” he said. “They aren't just basketball players to me. They are program and community guys in our basketball program. They are a big part of any camps we do or have done, and they are a big part of our D-league. They simply don't and haven't missed anything we have done. When you have multiple guys with these types of attributes, success has to happen.”

The player awards were not the only honors the Purple and Silver received. Penney was named co-Coach of the Year for both the High Desert and Division-I North.

“It is very humbling,” Penney said of the recognition. “To be voted on by your peers does mean a lot, but honestly I am not a coach of the year if I don't have the players I have, willing to do what we ask and demand of them and executing our stuff.

“And this reflects our coaches on staff, too. It isn't by any means just about me. My assistant coaches are a very important piece in our program, from my varsity assistants whom spend a great deal of time in the program year round to the coaches on the lower levels. They all work very hard to do the things I ask of them to help our program grow, and when you have guys that are loyal, committed and motivated from players to coaches, great things have the opportunity of happening.”

The other Rail City squad in the Division I North also had four players recognized with all-league honors, as Reed was headlined by a first-team HDL and All-Region selection for Trae Wells.

Coming off a season in which Wells propelled the Raiders to a 13-11 mark with an average of 18 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, Reed coach Dustin Hall said the junior guard was well deserving.

“Trae had an outstanding year, so he was an easy selection for that,” Hall said. “I think a lot of the coaches in the area have a lot of respect for him. He just has the ability to take over games, not only by scoring but also distributing the ball and rebounding as well.”

Senior captains Devin Gray and Ty Shepard also were on the all-league list, with Gray taking home second-team recognition and Shepard an honorable mention.

“Devin and Ty, they both had really good years,” Hall said. “It was tough having Devin out for the first part of the season. He missed a lot of games, but he was back for most of league and he was an instant contributor. He hit a lot of big shots for us and made a lot of big plays. The team really got an extra spark we he got healthy.

“Ty had a great year. He was our leader as far as just being our captain. He had a great career at Reed as a three-year starter.”

Joining Gray on the second team for Reed was junior Alonzo Vega.

“It was Alonzo’s first year of playing any type of organized basketball, so for him to be an all-league player is outstanding,” Hall said. “It just shows how talented he is. He has a bright future next year.”

At Sparks High School, the Railroaders also collected a hefty amount of hardware after capping off a 19-9 campaign.

Leading the way for the Railroaders were a handful of seniors, starting with Bobby Brown. Brown was named the Mount Rose League Player of the Year, first team for the Division I-A North and second team All-Division I-A.

Behind Brown, seniors D.J. Devine and Keiffer Putman garnered first team Mount Rose recognition, along with second team All-Division I-A. Seniors Mike Albior, Adam Morgan and Geo Vasquez were each Mount Rose honorable mentions. Isaiah Campbell, the lone non-senior to receive an accolade, was named to the Mount Rose second team and grabbed an honorable mention in the division.

Sparks coach Dan Schreiber said the Railroaders’ haul was reflective of the Maroon and Gold’s success.

“I just think it goes to show their hard work and dedication throughout the year,” he said. “It’s a huge honor for those guys, especially them all being seniors. All of those accolades just kind of fall into place after the season they had. We had that nice little streak there toward the end, winning 13 straight games, so to finish off this way is perfect.”
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