The Salado boys basketball team liked to call itself the “arsenal,” given the many different weapons at their disposal.
But it was their two senior “big guns” that seemed to have the biggest impact on the Eagles’ regional tournament run this season.
The pair were acknowledged for their efforts Monday as Salado 6-foot-3 post Austin Adams and 6-2 wing Brandon Womac were named co-MVP and co-offensive player of the year, respectively, when the District 22-2A all-district basketball team was announced Wednesday.
“They’re just great players and I think they were great choices for those awards,” said Salado head coach Kenny Mann, who was named co-Coach of the Year along with Jarrell’s Drew Sumner and Academy’s Ed Glendening. “Both of them were our leading scorers all year long … they were both just all-around great players and leaders for us. Obviously, it’s going to hurt quite a bit losing those two guys next year.”
Salado and Jarrell finished tied as 22-2A co-champions, but the Cougars earned the No. 1 seed with a 75-55 win in a pre-playoff seeding game.
The Eagles, despite just the two seniors, had a run for the ages this season, tying a school-record with 28 wins (28-9) — the most in seven seasons under Mann — en route to an appearance in the Region III-2A semifinals Friday, where Salado fell 63-44 to second-ranked White Oak (34-1) in Nacogdoches.
“This was a great year, I don’t know if any of us would have guessed it would have been as good as it was,” Mann said. “Just overall it was a great year.”
Adams, who was joined in the honor by Jarrell senior James Klepac, led Salado (28-9) in scoring, averaging 16 points per game, 8.1 rebounds with a team-high 44.8 field-goal percentage.
Womac wasn’t too far behind, scoring 15 points per game, pulling down 6.1 rebounds and racking up 3.2 steals per game.
Jarrell’s Landon Ledbetter joined Womac as co-offensive MVP while Cougars freshman Tony Brown was named newcomer of the year. Rosebud-Lott senior Artis Johnson was crowned defensive player of the year while Little River-Academy sophomore won sixth man of the year.
Representing Salado on the all-district first team were a pair of junior starting guards in Dane Hankamer and Kase Spears. Hankamer was third on the team, averaging 13.5 points and seven rebounds per game, while Spears led the Eagles with 3.8 assists per game and averaged 9.2 points per game.
Florence senior Matthew Mellette was also named to the all-district first team.
On the girls’ side, Salado’s lone senior, Meredith Ward, was named to the first team along with junior Ashley Adams, while Florence senior Chelsey Lansford was the Lady Buffs’ only representative.
ALL-DISTRICT 22-2A TEAMS
MVPs — Austin Adams, Salado, sr.; James Klepac, Jarrell, sr.
Offensive MVPs — Landon Ledbetter, Jarrell, sr.; Brandon Womac, Salado, sr.
Defensive MVP — Artis Johnson, Rosebud-Lott, sr.
Newcomer of the Year — Tony Brown, Jarrell, fr.
Sixth Man of the Year — Philip Redwine, Academy, soph.
Co-Coaches of the Year — Ed Glendening, Academy; Kenny Mann, Salado; Drew Sumner, Jarrell
First Team—Academy: Grant Glendening, sr., Caleb Hill, soph.; Cameron Yoe: Edgar Luna, sr.; Florence: Matthew Mellette, sr.; Jarrell: Wesley Alvarez, sr.; Lexington: Eric Mitchell, jr., Jason Washington, sr.; Rosebud-Lott: Eddie Peel, jr.; Salado: Dane Hankamer, jr., Kase Spears, jr.
Second Team—Academy: Ian Ash, sr., Waston Schrader, sr.; Cameron Yoe: Denzel Haynes, sr.; Florence: Christian Gomez, jr.; Lexington: Zach Lay, sr.; Rosebud-Lott: Brady Weaver, jr., Juwan Roberson, fr.; Salado: Andrew Warren, sr., Kyle Heiner, jr.
Honorable mention—Academy: Eric Bigon, jr.; Cameron Yoe: Jason Kopriva, jr., Reid Nickerson, soph., Tyler Sapp, sr., Aaron Sims, soph.; Florence: Wyatt Odom, jr., Alfredo Pena, soph.; Jarrell: Travis Nemec, jr., Houston Stewart, jr., Tyler Krupp, sr., Emilio Villafranco, soph.; Lexington: Cash Flot, sr., London Jacob, jr.; Rogers: Mason Marinik, soph., Erique Godino, jr.; Rosebud-Lott: Michael Heise, Corliss Buhl; Salado: Tyler Ramthun, jr.
MVP — Rachael Nemec, Jarrell, sr.
Offensive MVP — Brianne Coffman, Jarrell, sr.
Defensive MVP — Brianna Chudej, Academy, sr.
Newcomer of the Year — Breanna Wright, Jarrell, fr.
Sixth Man of the Year — Stormi Hebert, Rogers, soph.
Coach of the Year — Marlena Brown, Jarrell
First Team—Academy: Kelsey Sprinkles, jr., Kelby Sprinkles, fr.; Cameron Yoe: Kausion Wells-Cameron, sr.; Florence: Chelsey Lansford, sr.; Jarrell: Jessica Garcia, sr., Margaret Sukup, sr.; Lexington: Mackenzie Brown, sr., Madison Bexley, jr.; Rogers: Paige Williams, sr.; Rosebud-Lott: Deann Meyer, sr.; Salado: Meredith Ward, sr., Ashley Adams, jr.
Second Team—Academy: Erica Pritchard, sr., KacieTuerck, sr.; Cameron Yoe: Jamecia Smith, sr., Sierra Flemings, jr.; Florence: Shali Simpson, sr.; Jarrell: Krista Nelson, jr.; Lexington: Kristen Boettcher, jr., Christen Schneider, jr.; Rogers: Lainey Hebert, sr., Abigail Patterson, jr.; Salado: Jaylee Sebek, jr.
Honorable Mention—Academy: Rachel Bakke, jr.; Florence: Abby Hattaway, sr., Nikkole Morgan, sr., Meagan George, sr.; Salado: Taryn Kornegay, jr.