During the 2016-17 basketball season, Casey Armour developed into a dangerous offensive threat, a lockdown defender and an enforcer of the glass.
The 6-foot-4-inch wing turned into a player every coach would love to have, and proof of such was his performance in the playoffs — specifically Ellison’s regional quarterfinal and semifinal tilts against Duncanville and Arlington Bowie, respectively.
Armour averaged 16 points in both games. He registered 14 points and 12 rebounds in the Eagles’ 63-56 win over Duncanville, and he added 18 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in a 54-51 loss to Bowie.
The junior was rewarded for his output, earning the Freddy’s-KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week award, marking the last basketball player of the 2016-17 season to do so.
“It was a real honor,” Armour said of the award. “I was surprised to see I was even nominated to get it. Being able to win it is a whole different story.”
The experience Armour had in Ellison’s run in the postseason was unexplainable.
“When it all started, it was all new,” he said. “You just don’t get that feeling too often.
“The Duncanville game, we went in there and the energy was crazy. We just went in there and executed, did what coach (Alberto Jones Jr.) wanted us to do and got that win.
“Against Bowie, we came up short. Now that I’m looking back on this past season and our playoff run, I think we did pretty good. We had a special team.”
The Eagles were an unselfish squad that refused to put individual desires above the success of the unit.
“Everybody bought into the program and executed what our coach wanted us to do,” Armour said. “Throughout the season, we started to trust each other and knew we had each other’s backs. We just formed a bond throughout the season, and that’s what got us to the Bowie game.
“Instead of being your own player and focusing on you, we just focused on the entire team. Everybody was playing together.”
Jones said Armour’s development throughout the season helped propel Ellison on its special run.
“He’s been stepping it up all year,” Jones said. “Then, in the playoffs, he really, really got locked in. He’s one of those guys — the bigger the game is the more focused he gets.
“He was solid for us for four straight games.”
Armour even developed into a player opposing teams had to scheme against defensively in the postseason.
“He understood how big the moment was,” Jones said. “It wasn’t too big for him, and he understood that if you lose, your season is over with. He didn’t want the season to be over with.
“He was tenacious on the glass. He’s one of those kids that teams say, ‘OK — we have to keep him off the glass.’ But saying it and doing it are two different things. It’s almost impossible to keep him off the glass because he’s aggressive, he’s athletic and has a quick bounce to him.
“He did everything we could ask of him and more in the playoffs.”
After the Eagles’ loss to Bowie in the regional semifinals, Jones told the underclassmen to bottle that feeling up and use it for fuel in the offseason, and he expects Armour to be the leader next season.
“He knows next year is going to be even harder,” Jones said. “Teams really had to pay attention to Dajuan (Jones) this year, but they also had to pay attention to Casey. Now, he’s going to get the other team’s best defender every game.
“He’s going to be one of our leaders next year. Elijah (Moleon) is also going to be one of our leaders. But Casey is a hard worker, and he’s going to have to get the guys to work as hard as he does, and I think he’s going to do that.”
Others nominated for the award were Lampasas senior Logan Bender, Copperas Cove senior Amber Boyd and Salado senior Annie Ewton.