Dane Hankamer was the forgotten man.
With Austin Adams and Brandon Womac rolling in the last half of District 8-3A, Hankamer was dismissed by opposing defenses as the playoffs began.
That won’t be the case anymore.
The senior scored 18 points as the Eagles rallied to beat Marlin 59-56 in a Region III-2A area-round playoff game.
For that effort, Hankamer was voted the KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week for Feb. 17- 23.
Hankamer collected 473 votes, easily beating out the second-place finisher.
Ellison post Ronnie Edwards finished second in the voting with 263 ballots cast. The junior scored 15 points and had 15 rebounds as the Eagles defeated Flower Mound 61-52 for an area-round playoff win.
“I knew (I was nominated) at the beginning of the week,” Hankamer said. “I am thankful for all the support that friends and community of Salado has given me this week.”
Hankamer did not stop his hot play against Marlin, though. He scored another 20 as Salado won its regional quarterfinal game 60-24 over Trinity on Tuesday.
“(His play) has been really huge for us,” Salado basketball coach Kenny Mann said. “Because Austin and Brandon had such a strong finish, I think teams forgot about him a little bit, but if he had not stepped up his game we would not be where we are.
“He played real well early in the year and he was our leading score for a while, but in the last part of district, he was little more quiet. Once the playoffs started, he has turned his game back on.”
Hankamer and the rest of the Eagles will have to have their games on again when they face No. 2 White Oak today at 6 p.m. in the Region III-2A semifinals at Stephen F. Austin.
“Everybody is going to have their A game tomorrow. When we get open shots, we are going top have to make them, because White Oak scores even if they see good defense,” Mann said.
Hankamer agreed with his coach and said he knows he has to continue his hot streak in order for Salado to win.
“We are going to have to hustle and get back on defense and not give them too many opportunities and for myself I need to create opportunities for others and if I am open shoot it and make it,” he said.
Rounding out the voting were wrestlers KyIra Gibson and Dineesha Jones. Gibson, an Ellison senior finished third at the 5A State Wrestling Championships in the 185-pound division. Jones, a Shoemaker senior, placed second in the 110-pound division.
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569