Wallowa High School held its annual winter athletic awards banquet the night of Wednesday, March 11. The event recognized both athletes and supporters.

Les and Nancy Carlsen scored a plaque and Wallowa sports shirt for their decades of unwavering personal and financial support of the teams, especially basketball.

“They are there for every game, and they are there for us all the time,” said David Howe, high school principal and girls basketball coach.

Howe also recognized those who contributed to the athletics programs, including Marvin Gibbs and John Duckworth, who have kept the scorebooks for the teams. Duckworth confessed to keeping the books for 63 years.

Ariella Aragon also received kudos for filming the games, which helped Howe review plays with the team.

“The Arlington-Ione game was a turning point for us,” Howe said. After that, we got a call to play Burns, which is a 3A team, and we came within eight points of beating them. We nearly won our game with Joseph and also the tournament game. It was a really good season for going forward.”

Girls basketball standouts included Bailey Hafer, the best three-point shooter, Haley Brockamp, who notched 152 points, Kyla Hook who spared the defense, Jamie Johnston who totaled 383 points, and Shanna Rae Tillery who, despite breaking her hip and missing the second half of the season, was still the team leader in several categories including double-doubles and triple doubles.

Boys coach Cody Lathrop recognized the special talents in each player, including Willie Gibbs who he dubbed a defensive genius who never gives up; Tristin Bales, who displayed a true passion for the game and scored “just two points shy of 40 points” in one game; and Kolby Mandel, who can dunk the ball and is “a force to be reckoned with.”

Zeb Hermens was tapped as the team’s most valuable player, Bales earned the “Workhorse” award, and Quinten Tillery took the Foundation award as the team’s leader.

The boys basketball returns all players except for graduating senior Tillery next year.

“It’ll be a year to look forward to,” Lathrop said.

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