Russ Holly named Husky boys basketball Most Valuable Player

Scott Swanson

Russ Holly was named Most Valuable Player for the boys basketball team at an awards dessert Tuesday, March 8, at River of Life Fellowship.

Coach Drew Emmert noted that the Sweet Home had only two senior starters this year, Holly and Eddie Martinez-Maya, and it showed in the Huskies’ 2-22 finish.

“We graduated 10 seniors last year, which is the most I’ve ever seen since I’ve been coaching,” Emmert said. “I was looking through the rosters tonight to make sure I’m not lying, but I know for a fact that in our league we were the most inexperienced team in the OWC.”

Best Free Throw Percentage went to sophomore Nathan Acre, who also got the Hustle Award.

Assistant Coach Ryan Adams called Aker “an extremely hard worker,” who is “the epitome of a hustler, both on the court and in the classroom.”

Defensive MVP was senior Eddie Martinez.

Adams, who also presented that award, said Martinez has “a motor that did not stop and it was kind of impressive, sometimes how much he could not stop – vocally and then with his energy.”

Emmert said Martinez,” one of the quickest players I’ve ever coached,” was also one of the hardest workers.

“He has been in the gym every morning since the beginning of, maybe, his sophomore, junior year, getting shots up, getting better. If he had a bad free-throw shooting game, he’d shoot free throws the next morning.

“That’s all through the season, every single morning he was in there working on his game.”

Emmert noted that the player awards are voted on by the team, though coaches can cast “tie-breakers.”

He said Holly, who also was named to the Sportsmanship Award, “had a role on our team that may have been the biggest role – I’ve asked more out of him than maybe any other player I’ve ever coached.”

Holly would “break a press, then go post up, then hit shots and come off screens, then set screens to come hit shots” and was regularly asked to guard the opponent’s best post player.

“That’s coming off a year where he started with a team that had 10 seniors,” Emmert said. “Not one time did Russ come in and complain about it or anything.”

Holly was named to the All-League Honorable Mention team, as was Aker, the only sophomore and one of only two underclassmen named All-League by the Oregon West Conference coaches.

“Three of the five starting point guards in our league will go to college for sure,” Emmert said “They are very, very good players.

“Those guys are still playing in the state tournament; they led their teams there. So it’s a pretty good honor.”

Martinez and Holly both received their third varsity letter. Junior Riley Korn was a second-year letterman and senior Tanner Waldrop, juniors Dylan Luttmer and Evan Towry, and sophomores Ethan Delibertis, Jon Holly, Ethan Delibertis, Will Jewell and Vegas Mauer received their first letter.