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SC’s Backes Earns Player of Year, Highlighting AVCTL-I Honors

Pat StrathmanMarch 12, 2018

After a thrilling 2017-18 basketball season, the AVCTL Division One has released its postseason honors as voted on by the coaches.

Salina Central senior Elisa Backes was tabbed as player of the year. The future Nebraska-Kearney Loper averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Mustangs, who advanced to the Class 5A state tournament for the third consecutive year. Backes also set single-season records for points scored, rebounds and two-point field goals made. Central finished 15-8 this campaign after being bounced by eventual state champion St. Thomas Aquinas. In addition to Backes’ prestigious honor, coach Chris Fear earned coach of the year after completing his second year as head coach.

The rest of the league saw plenty of success as Derby went on to win the Class 6A state championship. Maize finished fourth at 5A after losing to St. Thomas Aquinas in the semifinal round.

For the boys, Salina Central was a hair shy of winning the Class 5A state championship. The Mustangs appeared in their first state title match since 2001. In 6A, Derby settled for fourth.


Player of the Year – Elisa Backes, Salina Central
Coach of the Year – Chris Fear, Salina Central

First Team
Elisa Backes, Salina Central
Kennedy Brown, Derby
DesiRay Kernal, Newton
Tor’e Alford, Derby
Halie Jones, Maize
Kasey Hazell, Hutchinson
Alexis Cauthon, Maize

Second Team
Myah Ward, Salina Central
Camdyn Schreiber, Salina South
Gabby Posch, Hutchinson
Sydney Nilles, Derby
Savannah Simmons, Newton

Honorable Mention
Campus – Elizabeth Baalmann, Hannah Schutte
Derby – Holly Mills, Aliyah Myers
Maize – Emily Laham
Newton – Taylor Antonowich, Kyndal Bacon, Jada Berry
Salina Central – Kadyn Cobb, Selah Merkle
Salina South – Gretchen Cox, Jadyn Zamecnik


Player of the Year – Caleb Grill, Maize
Coach of the Year – Chris Grill, Maize

First Team
Caleb Grill, Maize
Ty Berry, Newton
Tyler Brown, Derby
Harper Williams, Salina Central
Bryant Mocaby, Derby
Sam Shaffer, Salina Central

Second Team
Damarius Peterson
Brandle Studevan Jr., Maize
Tyler Kahmann, Campus
Jalen Johnson, Maize
Ethan Speer, Salina Central
Emilio Valetin, Derby

Honorable Mention
Campus – Steele & Sterling Chapman
Newton – Cailen Valdez, Alex Krogmeier
Hutchinson – Max Ontjes, Davian Vigill
Salina South – Elex Banks, AJ Johnson, Isaac Mitchell
Salina Central – Mark Grammer
Derby – Clayton Hood, Adrian Brown
Maize – Antonio Espinoza, Devon Koehn

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.




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