SALEM, Ore.– Here are the honoree’s from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club for the Week of March 15:
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from South Salem Boys Basketball – Eric Lungu. Eric, a senior, played guard for the Saxons. South wrapped up their season with a 13-1 conference record and Mountain Valley Conference title, going on to the state tournament for a fifth-place finish. Eric is a defensive specialist, though he could bust out some offense – including a season high 19 points and 8 rebounds against Jefferson High of Portland. Throughout the playoff he stepped up in every game. In the second round win over West Linn he held their best player to 13. In the first round he defended Tigard’s best player to just 7 points (5 in the final minutes). And in the semifinal loss to Jefferson, Eric held their future D-1 University of Washington point guard to just 10. Eric is the Mountain Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year as voted by the conference coaches.
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week, from West Salem Girls Basketball, is Paige Alexander. Paige, a junior, plays guard for the Titans who finished 11-3 in conference and made it to the second round of the playoffs. On the season Paige averaged 8 points per game, 2 boards, and 4 assists, but it was her defensive play that earned her accolades. Averaging 5.5 deflections and 3.5 steals a game, Page was recognized by her teammates as the team’s defensive player of the year. She was named by the Mountain Valley Conference coaches as the MVC Defensive Player of the Year in her first year as a Titan hooper.
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Senior Athlete of the Year for Boys Basketball, from South Salem, is Jaden Nielsen-Skinner. Jaden played point guard for the Saxons. This season Jaden was the leading scorer for South with a 21.4 points per game average. But that didn’t mean Jaden was just a scorer, as he also led the team in assists with 7.4 per game while averaging 4.6 boards. Jaden ended his career at South Salem as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the school with 1,821 points, passing South Salem great Jeremiah Dominguez’ 1413 mark. Jaden will be attending Portland State University next year. This year Jaden was named Player of the Year for the Mountain Valley Conference. He was also named First Team All-Tournament last week at the Chiles Center. Later this spring, he will be representing Oregon in the Northwest Shoot Out versus Washington.
The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Senior Athlete of the Year for Girls Basketball is from West Salem – Maddie Bertsch. Maddie, a guard, has led the Titans as team captain the past two years. For the season Maddie averaged 17.1 points per game 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 steals. In the elimination loss to eventual state runner-up Southridge, a team loaded with committed D1 players, Maddie put the team on her back scoring 24 on the night. A first team all-Greater Valley Conference pick last year, she was named the Mountain Valley Conference co-Player of the Year this season by the MVC coaches. She was also honored by her team as their MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.