Prep basketball: Parker one of five area all-state players
Following are Garfield County Athletes who received recognition on the Colorado High School Activities Association’s all-state basketball teams, which were selected by a voting panel from across Colorado.
Boys: Cameron Horning, Jr., Glenwood Springs
Girls: MadiSpence, Sr., Glenwood Springs
Boys: Sam Parker, Sr., Grand Valley
Boys: Ben Carpenter, Sr., Roaring Fork
Girls: Kyra Chenoweth, Sr., Grand Valley
PARACHUTE — Sam Parker proved himself to be one of the most consistent scoring threats in the Class 3A Western Slope League this past season.
The Grand Valley High School senior rarely had an off night throughout the season, and the Cardinals usually came out on the short end of the scoreboard when he did. But when the 6-foot shooting guard was on, there wasn’t much that could be done to stop the high-octane offense of the Cardinals this past season.
It was because of that scoring performance that Parker, who finished the 2014-15 campaign as the second-leading scorer in Class 3A for the second consecutive season, earned first-team recognition on Wednesday on the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 3A all-state boys basketball team.
“This is really surprising,” said Parker, who was a third-team, all-state award winner as a junior last season. “I’m very thankful though, and it was because of the kind of team we had that I was able to do this.
Parker was one of five athletes from Garfield County who earned all-state recognition in basketball but was the only first-team award winner. The four others earned third-team honors: Glenwood Springs junior guard Cameron Horning and senior post player Madi Spence were named to the third team in 4A, and Grand Valley senior guard Kyra Chenoweth and Roaring Fork senior guard Ben Carpenter were named to the third team in Class 3A.
Parker’s quickness and quick-shooting ability helped him finish the season averaging 22.4 points per game for a team that averaged 69.5 points per game, which according to statistics posted at http://www.maxpreps.com was second only to the 69.7 points averaged by third-place finisher Faith Christian. He also was an 88 percent free-throw shooter (108 for 123) — the best percentage in Class 3A and sixth best among all classifications — and nailed 77 3-pointers this season, which ranked fourth in Class 3A and 11th among all players in Colorado. His scoring average was right behind the 23.0 points averaged by Colorado Academy junior Justin Bassey.
“We were so diverse this year,” said Parker, whose teammates John Parker, Tanner Magee and Gunner Rigsby were each first-team all-WSL players. “It’s because of them that was able to do what I did.”
Parker, who is considering Western State and Otero Junior College after graduation, was one of three area players who earned Player of the Year honors in their league.
One of them was Horning, the 4A WSL POY who averaged 17.2 points per game with 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He also had the luxury of having a deep team that could step up and score — Glenwood ran the table on the 14-game league schedule and won each of the three games where he was limited to single-digit scoring.
The other third-team award winner from Glenwood was Spence, who at 6-0 joined Hailey Armstrong as a force in the paint for the Demons this season. She finished the season averaging 13.4 rebounds per game, which was second in 4A only to Mesa Ridge junior Kylie Shook (14.9). She was also a top POY candidate in the WSL who earned first-team recognition thanks in part to her 15.9 points and four blocks per game.
Chenoweth shared POY honors in the 3A WSL with Leah Camilletti of Moffat County, who averaged a league best of 18.4 points per game in helping lead the Cardinals to the Class 3A state playoffs. She also played an insane amount of minutes on the floor without tiring since she was one of only six full-time varsity players on the Cardinals’ roster this season.
Carpenter earned first-team honors in the 3A WSL and averaged 12 points and 5.7 assists per game this season, with that assist average tying Chris Hildenbrand of Colorado Springs Christian for second best in Class 3A. Carpenter, who will attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs next fall, still averaged that many points while typically drawing the best defender of a Roaring Fork opponent, coach Larry Williams said.
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Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.