PHS girls basketball: Haidyn Ecker

Philomath senior Haidyn Ecker looks for a teammate after pulling down a rebound in a game against Stayton.

The Philomath High girls had three players named to the all-Oregon West Conference squad with sophomore Emma Pankalla, senior Haidyn Ecker and junior Lauren Berklund.

Ecker and Pankalla were selected to the second team.

"I think most of what we did on offense ran through those two," PHS coach Shelly Brown said. "Haidyn, she wasn't one of our biggest scorers ... but just what she does as far as the defense. A lot of times she would be double-teamed or triple-teamed just right out of the gate or a box-and-one on her and it gave Emma a lot more opportunities offensively."

Ecker will take her game to the next level after graduating in June with plans to compete for Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She had per-game averages of 8.2 points and 8.3 rebounds with a team-high 28 blocks in the 10 league games. For the 23-game regular season, she shot 43.0 percent from the field and a steady 78.7 percent from the free-throw line.

"Haidyn's game is really on defense," Brown said. "I think every night she probably took a charge and had at least a couple of blocked shots. So defensively, she would be irreplaceable to our team."

Pankalla, who got off to a slow start sidelined with an injury, was one of the team's most aggressive players on offense.

"Emma's just one of those players who's able to take what she's given and make something happen," Brown said. "She's a fun player in that when you make a suggestion to her, she tries it and is usually successful and then just continues to do that."

In 10 conference games, Pankalla averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and had 25 steals. She finished with those same per-game averages through 19 games of the regular season. Pankalla shot 39.7 percent from the field and 67.4 percent from the foul line.

Berklund was an all-conference honorable mention pick. She averaged 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

"Lauren, when she came back from her injury, she was pretty hesitant and she just really started to come on at the end of the season," Brown said. "Once she kinda got her confidence and got her feet under her, she was so much fun to watch and I felt like she didn't quite get going until her last five games."

Brown recalled a 3-point experiment that occurred one day.

"One day, we had shoot-around and she and Emma, we got out the shooting gun and they shot over a hundred shots, just 3-pointers, and shot 36 percent," Brown said. "They both put in a lot of extra time on their shooting."

Cascade's Halle Wright repeated as the conference's player of the year. A senior, Wright averaged 16.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

North Marion had five players make the all-conference team while Cascade had four.


All-Oregon West Conference


GIRLS

First Team

Halle Wright, Sr., Cascade

Ally Umbenhower, Sr., North Marion

Alexa Bender, Sr., Stayton

Kelsey Moran, Sr., Cascade

Sadie Horne, Jr., Yamhill-Carlton

Megan Wagner, Jr., Newport

Second Team

Marri Martinez, Jr., Stayton

Emma Pankalla, So., Philomath

Madison Hargett, Jr., Newport

Mya Hammack, Fr., North Marion

Haidyn Ecker, Sr., Philomath

Honorable Mention

Lauren Berklund, Jr., Philomath

Gracie Rasmussen, Sr., Cascade

Lexi Loukojarvi, Sr., Cascade

Hannah Kinniburgh, Sr., North Marion

Alli Nyguist, Jr., North Marion

Aliya Seibel, So., Yamhill-Carlton

Kaitlyn Mitchell, Jr., Newport

Lindy Wing, Sr., North Marion

Megan Gaibler, Sr., Yamhill-Carlton

KJ Nyquist, So., Stayton

Player of the Year: Halle Wright, Cascade

Coaches of the Year: Mark Stevens, Cascade; Steve Sain, Newport; and Darren Shryock, Stayton.

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