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Sharpshooter led St. Helens boys basketball attack this season as junior wing

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Gavin Knoke (right) fires a shot from the corner for St. Helens in a game against Wilsonville.It's no surprise that the Northwest Oregon Conference boys basketball postseason awards are dominated by Wilsonville and. to a lesser extent, Parkrose and La Salle Prep.

Wilsonville went undefeated (14-0) in league play. La Salle was 10-4, and Parkrose 9-4 (calling off a game with St. Helens that wound up not counting for or against the Broncos).

Wilsonville is in this week's state tournament ranked No. 2 in Class 5A. La Salle Prep finished at No. 9 in the Oregon School Activities Association rankings and made it to the eight-team state tournament as well. Parkrose was No. 7 before losing in the state playoffs.

The NWOC coaches voted six players to the all-league first team and seven to the second team. Wilsonville has the Player of the Year in Jack Roche, a 6-0 senior guard/wing, and three others in the top 12. La Salle Prep has two players, Parkrose three.

Making the first or second team wasn't easy. Putnam which placed fourth in the league at 9-5 and was ranked 10th in the state, managed to get only one player in the top 12.

The St. Helens Lions did the same — as 6-2 junior wing Gavin Knoke earned second-team honors.

Five other NWOC players made the third team, and then 13 players were selected for honorable mention.

One other St. Helens player, 6-4 senior forward Chris Beatty, was on the HM list.

Three players from Scappoose also made honorable mention: 6-0 senior guards Jordan Buchanan and Connor McNabb and 6-3 senior post Terrence Lewis. They were keys for an Indians squad that battled injuries and learning pains in its first season up from the 4A ranks and wound up 2-21 overall, 0-14 in league action.

The Lions finished sixth out of eight teams, going 3-10 in conference games and 5-17 overall.

Knoke was their primary shooting weapon.

"He's one of the best shooters in Columbia County and in the Northwest Oregon Conference," says St. Helens coach Zach Waldher.

Knoke averaged more than 16.5 points per game, posting high games of 36 and 34 points and sinking 11 3-pointers in one game.

He did that, first-year coach Waldher notes, "for a team that struggled to pass the ball consistently."

Knoke gave the Lions many other positive attributes beyond his touch and range, though.

"Gavin is a tremendous student of the game and a tireless worker," Waldher says.

He figures to be a player the Lions can build around next season, too.

"As he develops more strength and goes through the maturity, he will only get better," Waldher says. "He's a kid who not only puts forth his best effort every night but displays the character we'd like all of our student-athletes to display. He does a variety of community service projects as well in the St. Helens community.

"I'm very pleased with his dedication and look for him to have a big senior year."

Sidebar

All-Northwest Oregon Conference

boys basketball team

Player of the Year

Jack Roche, Wilsonville

Coach of the Year

Chris Roche, Wilsonville

First team

Dakota Reber, Wilsonville

Keegan Shivers, Wilsonville

Travion Weiss, Parkrose

Ruen Onishchenko, Putnam

Jace Norton, La Salle Prep

Second team

Dustin Stradley, Milwaukie

Shawn Briggs, Parkrose

Justin North, La Salle Prep

Damontae Burns, Parkrose

Nate Smith, Hillsboro

Gavin Knoke, St. Helens

Gabe Reichle, Wilsonville

Third team

Shane Halladin, Putnam

Brady Miller, Putnam

Jake Owens, La Salle Prep

Rudy Massaad, La Salle Prep

Manuel Mendoza, Milwaukie

Honorable mention

Kane Kiaunis, Hillsboro

Alex Boyd, La Salle Prep

Nic Boyd, La Salle Prep

Nolan Grogan, La Salle Prep

James Lumanglas, Milwaukie

Mason Plumb, Milwaukie

Solomon Campbell, Parkrose

Ian Helgerson, Putnam

Jordan Buchanan, Scappoose

Terrence Lewis, Scappoose

Connor McNabb, Scappoose

Chris Beatty, St. Helens

Zach Rivers, Wilsonville

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