The Philomath High School boys basketball team had two players make the first team and two others earn honorable mention on the all-Oregon West Conference squad.
Released after the regular season ended and before the state playoffs, the all-conference selections included juniors Ty May and Cole Beardsley on the first team.
“They deserve that role of being first team,” Ecker said. “Both of them were very consistent throughout the season.”
May scored 366 points in 25 games — he missed one game — for an average of 14.6. He hit for double digits in all but three PHS games and his season high of 23 occurred in a win over Stayton.
Beardsley averaged 9.0 points per game for the season — 12.9 in the stretch run over the team’s final eight games. Beardsley’s season high for points came against Crook County when he hit for 20.
“Cole really, really improved and got better and better as the season went on,” Ecker said. “I think that next year, those two guys have a good opportunity to be player of the year.”
The Warriors also placed two players on the honorable mention list with junior Chad Russell and senior Cole Matthews.
Ecker was named the conference’s coach of the year.
“It’s nice to get those awards but it really comes down to how well our kids execute and play,” Ecker said. “I don’t get that if our kids don’t play well. I appreciate the other coaches in the league voting for that but our kids did play well to get that co-championship.”
Philomath had a strong season with an 11-1 record in the league and 21-6 overall. The Warriors settled for a fourth-place trophy at the 4A state tournament — their only loss coming by one point in the quarterfinals against Seaside.
The all-tournament team included May on the second team and Ecker felt strongly that Beardsley should’ve earned the honor as well.
“We had a good tournament,” Ecker said. “We led the tournament in scoring and we were second in field goal percentage, first in 3-point percentage, second in rebounding, second in steals, first in assists, third in scoring defense, second in blocked shots. As a team, we did really well.”
May averaged 14.0 points and was among the top free-throw shooters in the three games. Beardsley was among the best at shooting at 13.7 points per game and a 58.3 shooting percentage, including an exceptional 53.8% from 3-point range. He also had a tournament-high 17 assists and came away with seven steals, which ranked second overall.
The team is losing five players to graduation but a strong group returns with May, Beardsley and Russell to keep Philomath as a top league contender in 2022-23. Jacob Peters and Preston Kramer, both sophomores, were significant contributors to the varsity this past season as well.
“With some of our younger kids moving, such as Jacob Peters and Justin Kramer — those guys are going to be pretty good moving forward,” Ecker said.