The Lake Oswego boys basketball team was virtually unstoppable in the second half of the 2019-20 season.
The Lakers went unbeaten in the Three Rivers League, won both their playoff games and were poised for even more greatness when the threat of the COVID-19 virus led the Oregon School Activities Association to cancel the Class 6A state tournament.
While Lake Oswego didn't get the big payoff at the end of the season, the Lakers did get plenty of recognition in the TRL all-star voting for 2019-20.
All five Lake Oswego starters were honored this year, with senior Casey Graver and junior Trace Salton named to the all-TRL first team, senior Jack Chlumak selected to the second team, and seniors Sam Abere and Grant Brauner picked to the TRL honorable mention team.
Further, Abere was named TRL co-Defensive Player of the Year — sharing the award with West Linn senior wing/post Parker Durbin — and Lakers' coach Marshall Cho was named TRL Coach of the Year.
For Lakeridge, senior wing Mason Nelson was named to the all-TRL honorable mention team.
Graver, a 6-4 guard, averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in his senior season, hit nine or 10 buzzer-beating shots and led his team in charges drawn.
"Casey was just the heart of our team, along with Sam Abere," Cho said. "It was great to see him go out playing his best basketball. … I thought he should have been the Player of the Year since we won the league by four games."
Salton, a 6-5 post, made his first full season — he missed much of his sophomore season with an injury — with the Lakers a keeper, averaging a team-high 13.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
"On any other team, he's a (20-point, 10-rebound) guy, but he's an unselfish character. He's willing to sacrifice for his team," Cho said. "And he's a matchup nightmare for other teams."
Chlumak (a 6-4 guard) and Abere (a 6-3 guard) were excellent, too, with Chlumak averaging 13.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game, and Abere named Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career, while averaging 6.4 points and 3 rebounds per game.
"(All-league honors) just aren't that important to him," Cho said of Abere, whose last three LO teams went 36-2 in league and never lost at home. "For him, it was just about being the best leader and best teammate he could be."
As for Chlumak, who shot 65% from the field, Cho said "There wasn't a more productive player in the league. He is extremely coachable and a great teammate."
Cho's Lakers went 12-0 in the TRL to win their third straight league championship; they also finished 18-8 overall and held a 12-game winning streak at year's end.
Brauner, a 6-5 post, earned his spot on the honorable mention team after averaging 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
For the Pacers, Nelson averaged nine points, three rebounds and four assists per game.
"He was the best senior leader I have had in my tenure," said Lakeridge coach Fred Gold, noting that Nelson didn't miss a single practice in his high school career. "That alone ... should be applauded. He competed every night and led the team in all categories."
Drew Carter, jr., Tigard; Micah Garrett, sr., West Linn; Casey Graver, sr., Lake Oswego; Andre Best, sr., Oregon City; Diego Arredondo, jr., Canby; John Miller, sr., Tualatin; Trace Salton, jr., Lake Oswego.
Player of the Year — Drew Carter, Tigard
Defensive Players of the Year — Parker Durbin, West Linn; Sam Abere, Lake Oswego
Coach of the Year — Marshall Cho, Lake Oswego
Jackson Shelstad, fr., West Linn; Jack Chlumak, sr., Lake Oswego; Jake Gettel, sr., Oregon City; Parker Durbin, sr., West Linn; Malik Brown, fr., Tigard; Sam Noland, sr., Tualatin.
Alex Evans, so., Canby; Sam Abere, sr., Lake Oswego; Grant Brauner, sr., Lake Oswego; Mason Nelson, sr., Lakeridge; T.J. Warren, sr., Oregon City; Dalton Welch, sr., Oregon City; Steven Long, sr., Tigard; Brett Moss, jr., Tigard; Peter Burke, so., Tualatin; Malik Ross, so., Tualatin; Bryson Crockett, sr., West Linn; Gus Michelon, jr., West Linn.
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