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Justin Tow, Daniel Virtue named boys basketball MVPs


March 9, 2016

BOYS BASKETBALL award winners are, from left, Ty Plebuch, Justin Tow, Daniel Virtue, Keegan Holly and Nick Rodgers.

Senior Justin Tow and junior Daniel Virtue were named most valuable players during the Sweet Home High school team’s annual boys basketball awards held on March 3.

They were tied for the honor by a vote of their teammates, said Coach Drew Emmert. The coaches broke ties in voting for awards, but the coaches also were divided on this award, giving it to both players.

Tow won the Hustle Award.

“He was always our first guy on the floor for loose balls and made hustle plays for us all year,” Emmert said. As a winner of the MVP award, “He led our team in almost every statistic in league besides scoring and he was close in that.”

Virtue won the Free Throw Percentage Award.

“He had the best free throw percentage which is why he got that,” Emmert said. “He was also much deserving of his MVP award. He led our team in scoring a lot of the games this year. He was extremely consistent both sides of the ball.”

Nick Rodgers received the Sportsmanship Award, and Tyler Plebuch was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.

“Nick had a great attitude everyday at practice and in games,” Emmert said. “He was always encouraging to his teammates and coaches and opponents.”

Plebuch, “being 6-7 and long, made him an outstanding defender,” Emmert said. “He was also great at getting position and blocking/contesting shots without fouling.”

Keegan Holly was named Outstanding JV Player of the Year.

“He had a great year on JV,” Emmert said. “He had a few games in the high 20s but was also a good defender. I am excited for him on varsity next year. He has a chance to have a good role for us next year.”

The Huskies finished the season 3-7 in league and 6-17 overall, with most of their wins coming late in the season.

“It was a scary start for us,” Emmert said. “But these guys were resilient.”

He thought their heads might be down game after game, he said, but they were laughing, and they kept working at it, and they won five of their last nine games. Before that they won just one game of 14.

“If we had a couple more weeks, I think we would have made it to state,” Emmert said. The team kept getting better all season, and the Huskies almost knocked off Cottage Grove, 9-1 in league and 18-6 overall, in their last game.

“We actually did a lot better this year than I expected,” said JV Coach Ryan Graville.

His team had four freshmen, who faced off against sophomores and juniors.

The team also had seven to eight players per game and typically faced off against teams of 13. He thinks one more player on average could have put some more wins on the record.

The JV2 team, nearly all freshmen, got better during the second half of the season, said Coach Scott Bozich. “This group got there in the end. I’m really proud of them.”

Earning their first letters were sophomores Nick Marler and Keegan Holly, junior Logan Kline and seniors Greg Staten, Nick Rodgers and Jesus Patricio.

Earning their second letters were juniors Keanu Aiona and Justin Carpenter and senior Jake Bangot.

Junior Daniel Virtue and seniors Tyler Plebuch and Justin Tow earned their third letters.

Aiona received honorable mention in all-league voting, and Tow was named to the second team.


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