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Posted On: 02/10/18 4:00 PM
Before the season, Kamaka Hepa was the head and shoulders favorite to be the 6A Player of the Year. But is he still? Maybe, maybe not. Here are the players in the running.
(Pictured: Kamaka Hepa)
Kamaka Hepa, Jefferson senior
Okay, Hepa might still be the favorite. He is the best college prospect in the state, already has three state titles and is, once again, playing well. He’s averaging 16.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.3 blocks and 3.7 assists per game. As the most talented, most recognized player on the best team in the state, Hepa has a clear path to being crowned player of the year, especially if Jefferson wins the 6A title.
Marcus Tsohonis, Jefferson junior
If it’s not Hepa, it might be his teammate who takes the award from him. Point guard Tsohonis has been absolutely tremendous and is nearly as coveted as Hepa, if only a junior. He’s averaging 23.4 points, 7.1 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. A Jefferson player is probably going to win the award and, with all due respect to Khalil Chatman and the 13 points and 11 rebounds he is averaging, it will likely be Hepa or Tsohonis. Hepa, as a senior, certainly has the edge.
Aaron Deloney, Grant junior
Last year, Jefferson was the most dominant team all season, but their top player (Geno West) did not win player of the year honors, rather it was Elijah Gonzales of Clackamas, the state runner-up. Grant has been the second best team all year and their stud scorer is Deloney, who is averaging 26 points, 6 assists and 2.6 steals. Plus, he’s shooting 45% from deep and 80% from the line. He spent much of last year injured and came onto the scene as playoffs approached, but has been the best scorer on one of the best teams in state all of this season.
Teagan Quitoriano, Sprague senior
Quitoriano racked up major stats last year and was always going to be in the conversation this year for player of the year. But when his team started 17-2, unbeaten against Oregon 6A schools and #1 in the OSAA rankings? He appeared to be a very real contender. Then, this week happened. The Olympians lost to West Salem, a tough team. Then they lost in overtime at McKay (previously 4-9 in league play). Yikes. Of course, it’s an individual award and he’s averaging 23 points and 13 rebounds, but those losses do not help his candidacy. He’s probably not threatening any of the top three right now.
Others with a puncher’s chance…
Kyle Greeley, West Salem senior
Filip Fullerton, Southridge senior
Kaison Faust, North Medford senior
(For more prep hoops coverage, follow @HayesGardner on Twitter.)