The Delta Panthers had a great year in basketball and the list of players on this year's 4A All-Conference selections reflect that. Delta placed four athletes on the First Team and had one on the Honorable Mention Team.
Seniors Jake Ames, Colin Fraser, and Ethan Jack Baier were jonied by junior Chris Black on the 4A's elite squad. Blake Velasquez, who had an outstanding season as well, was selected to the Honorable Mention Team.
Ethan Jack Baier
Ames, the team's top sharpshooter finished with 431 points for an average of 18.7 points per game. His long-range shooting, along with mid-range and close in game, averaged out to a remarkable 91 percent shooting from the floor. Ames' three-point goal average was 67 percent and he was a 74 percent free throw shooter for the Panthers.
Ames finished the season with 26 assists, 57 rebounds and 22 steals.
Fraser's stats included a 14.4 points per game scoring average equating to a 91 percent from the floor as well, including a 65 percent average from beyond the arc. Fraser had a 57 percent from the free throw line and had 25 assists, 34 rebounds, and 16 steals for the Panthers.
Baier's 10.2 points per game gave the Panthers three players with double figure scoring in most games during the season. He was a 56 percent shooter from the free throw line, had 16 assists, 15 blocked shots, 91 rebounds (to lead team), and had 18 steals.
One of the most important facets of Baier's abilities was his versatility. Baier took over the point guard's position when Black was forced to end his season with a broken ankle.
Black, a speedy and agile play-maker, was a constant threat from outside and to penetrate defenses. His 6.9 points per game was fifth on the Panthers' team and carried a 76 percent shooting average for the season from the floor. Black shot at a 67 percent clip at the free throw line.
Black's ability to dribble the ball and get into the paint allowed him the luxury of dishing off the ball for 60 assists during the season. Black also surprised opponents with his ability to jump as he blocked five shots and grabbed 30 rebounds. His 31 steals topped the Panthers' statistics in that category.
As for Velasquez, his 7.1 scoring average was fourth on this year's team. He was active around the basket at both ends of the court where he dished out 22 assists, blocked 10 shots, pulled down 84 rebounds (second highest on the team), and had 31 steals.
Delta garnered one more top honor with head coach Von Mitchell being selected by his peers as this year's 4A Coach of the Year.
Other WSL 4A players selected to this year's All-Conference Team included Eagle Valley's Tim Wells (Sr) and Cooper Sean (Sr). Sam Lansberry (Jr), Ayren Hart (Jr), and Jeremy Sabo (Sr) were selected to the Honorable Mention Team.
Palisade's Kane Gunther (Sr) and Kyle Monger (Sr) gave the Bulldogs two players on the First Team. Gered Kusal (Sr) and Conner Whaley (Sr) were Honorable Mention Team selections. Gunther was voted by league coaches as this year's WSL's 4A Player of the Year.
Seniors Jake Miller and Kit Croop were Steamboat Springs' First Team selections with Carter Koorvansky (So) earning Honorable Mention accolades.
Mike McGraw was the lone Glenwood Springs player to be selected to the First Team. Kellin Casey and Randy Burbidge were Honorable Mention selections. All three are seniors at Glenwood Springs High School.
Moffat County had one First Team selection, senior Tyler Hildabrandt (Jr). Senior Andy Browning was Honorable Mention.
Battle Mountain's Joe Lybarger (Jr.) was tabbed as the Huskies' lone First Team selection. Senior Jake Engle was selected to the Honorable Mention Team.