Four Vikings honored by Pacific Conference coaches following one of the best seasons in school history

This winter, the Forest Grove boys basketball team produced one of the finest seasons in school history.

Accordingly, the Vikings were recognized by the league’s coaches and landed four players on the Pacific Conference all-league team.

Sophomore guard Taylor Jensen was a first team selection, while backcourt mate Michael Garcia was pegged for the second team despite missing half of the conference season with a knee injury. Seniors Zac Collins and Jon Cirlincione earned honorable mention status.

Overall, coach Greg Evers was pretty happy with how the awards shook out for his team. Evers led the Vikings to a 15-10 overall record and an 8-6 mark in the Pacific Conference, which slotted the team in fourth place behind Tigard, Tualatin and McMinnville.

Though Evers’ historical records for the program are not absolutely complete, they are pretty extensive, and this year’s squad became just the sixth since 1941 to post at least 15 wins. The Vikings also spent a considerable amount of the season sitting in the top 10 of the Class 6A state rankings until taking a bit of a dip while adjusting to Garcia’s absence in the wake of his knee injury.

Though he is still an underclassman, the 6-foot-4 Jensen established himself as one of the premier players in the conference, averaging 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game. He becomes just the 13th Viking since 1967 to make a league first team.

“I think everybody felt like we were one of the best teams in the league, and when Michael went down, Taylor’s the one that they game-planned for,” Evers said. “He does a little bit of everything.”

Garcia, a first team all-league pick in 2013, was honored despite missing almost all of the Vikings’ final seven games due to a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Evers said Garcia plans to continue his basketball career at Pacific University next year.

“It’s been a pleasure having him, just knowing you could pencil him in the lineup and that position is taken care of,” Evers said about his longtime varsity mainstay.

In 19 games this season, the 5-6 point guard averaged a team-best 14.6 points per game, to go along with 2.2 steals, 1.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

“I thought that was great recognition by the coaches in our conference to allow a kid that only played half the (league) season to get as many votes as he did,” Evers said.

Collins, a 6-2 wing/post, repeated as an honorable mention selection after averaging 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He played a go-to role as the team’s defensive stopper, and with a season high of 20 points, also showed capability on the offensive end.

“He can play any one of the five positions for us,” Evers said. “He took on some pretty good defensive assignments. Being tall and quick, he’s able to guard a variety of different people.”

Cirlincione came on over the course of his senior season, particularly after Garcia’s injury. Cirlincione averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, but he upped his scoring average to 11.2 points per outing during league play and increased it even more while filling in as a starter for Garcia, getting up to 13 or 14 points per game, Evers said.

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