Knoke earns second-team all-NWOC honors
It's no surprise that the Northwest Oregon Conference boys basketball postseason awards are dominated by Wilsonville and. to a lesser extent, Parkrose and La Salle Prep.
Wilsonville went undefeated (14-0) in league play. La Salle was 10-4, and Parkrose 9-4 (calling off a game with St. Helens that wound up not counting for or against the Broncos).
Wilsonville is in this week's state tournament ranked No. 2 in Class 5A. La Salle Prep finished at No. 9 in the Oregon School Activities Association rankings and made it to the eight-team state tournament as well. Parkrose was No. 7 before losing in the state playoffs.
The NWOC coaches voted six players to the all-league first team and seven to the second team. Wilsonville has the Player of the Year in Jack Roche, a 6-0 senior guard/wing, and three others in the top 12. La Salle Prep has two players, Parkrose three.
Making the first or second team wasn't easy. Putnam which placed fourth in the league at 9-5 and was ranked 10th in the state, managed to get only one player in the top 12.
The St. Helens Lions did the same — as 6-2 junior wing Gavin Knoke earned second-team honors.
Five other NWOC players made the third team, and then 13 players were selected for honorable mention.
One other St. Helens player, 6-4 senior forward Chris Beatty, was on the HM list.
Three players from Scappoose also made honorable mention: 6-0 senior guards Jordan Buchanan and Connor McNabb and 6-3 senior post Terrence Lewis. They were keys for an Indians squad that battled injuries and learning pains in its first season up from the 4A ranks and wound up 2-21 overall, 0-14 in league action.
The Lions finished sixth out of eight teams, going 3-10 in conference games and 5-17 overall.
Knoke was their primary shooting weapon.
"He's one of the best shooters in Columbia County and in the Northwest Oregon Conference," says St. Helens coach Zach Waldher.
Knoke averaged more than 16.5 points per game, posting high games of 36 and 34 points and sinking 11 3-pointers in one game.
He did that, first-year coach Waldher notes, "for a team that struggled to pass the ball consistently."
Knoke gave the Lions many other positive attributes beyond his touch and range, though.
"Gavin is a tremendous student of the game and a tireless worker," Waldher says.
He figures to be a player the Lions can build around next season, too.
"As he develops more strength and goes through the maturity, he will only get better," Waldher says. "He's a kid who not only puts forth his best effort every night but displays the character we'd like all of our student-athletes to display. He does a variety of community service projects as well in the St. Helens community.
"I'm very pleased with his dedication and look for him to have a big senior year."
All-Northwest Oregon Conference
boys basketball team
Player of the Year
Jack Roche, Wilsonville
Coach of the Year
Chris Roche, Wilsonville
Dakota Reber, Wilsonville
Keegan Shivers, Wilsonville
Travion Weiss, Parkrose
Ruen Onishchenko, Putnam
Jace Norton, La Salle Prep
Dustin Stradley, Milwaukie
Shawn Briggs, Parkrose
Justin North, La Salle Prep
Damontae Burns, Parkrose
Nate Smith, Hillsboro
Gavin Knoke, St. Helens
Gabe Reichle, Wilsonville
Shane Halladin, Putnam
Brady Miller, Putnam
Jake Owens, La Salle Prep
Rudy Massaad, La Salle Prep
Manuel Mendoza, Milwaukie
Kane Kiaunis, Hillsboro
Alex Boyd, La Salle Prep
Nic Boyd, La Salle Prep
Nolan Grogan, La Salle Prep
James Lumanglas, Milwaukie
Mason Plumb, Milwaukie
Solomon Campbell, Parkrose
Ian Helgerson, Putnam
Jordan Buchanan, Scappoose
Terrence Lewis, Scappoose
Connor McNabb, Scappoose
Chris Beatty, St. Helens
Zach Rivers, Wilsonville