The East Oregonian's choice as the All-Area Coach of the Year is Pendleton's Todd Zimmermann.

Zimmermann guided the Buckaroos to a 22-6 record this past season and a trip to the Class 4A state quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.

The sixth-year coach also picked up his second straight Intermountain Conference title, while Pendleton posted its third 20-plus-win season in a row.

All six of the Bucks' losses came to teams that qualified to the 4A state playoffs.

"Zim treats us like we're his daughters; he looks out for us," Pendleton wing Mackenzie Larson said. "We admire the way he coaches and all the time he puts in.

"We all respect him a ton."

Zimmermann is 111-49 since taking over the program during the 1999-00 season.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Megan Orr

Freshman, Heppner

For most casual girls high school basketball observers, Heppner freshman Megan Orr exploded onto the scene during the 2004-05 campaign.

But Heppner coach Mark Dowdy knew he had a keeper from the first time Orr took to the court for preseason drills.

"I knew during the first few days of practice that she had a lot of ability," Dowdy said. "She really blossomed and found out how good she could be, and I think she realizes how good she can be."

The 5-foot-7 wing averaged 10.7 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals a game while helping the Mustangs (19-7) reach the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs.

"I think where she raised some eyebrows early in the season in the open floor," Dowdy said. "She was really battle tested this year in some pressure situations, and as a freshman, she came through many times."

FIRST TEAM

Ashley Emerick, Pendleton

Senior, guard

Point guard Ashley Emerick was Pendleton's X factor this season. Each and every game, the 5-9 senior gave the Buckaroos intense defensive pressure out front and a third offensive threat behind teammates Mackenzie Larson and Marissa Hammond.

Emerick, who transferred from Hermiston at the beginning of the school year, also was a force distributing the ball as evidenced by her 4.7 assists a game. Emerick's 132 assists this season is second highest ever for a Pendleton player over a single season.

"It was a very nice turn of fate for us when Ashley showed up in Pendleton," Pendleton coach Todd Zimmermann said of Emerick, who scored 8.6 points and had 2.6 steals a game. "She gave us an outside perimeter threat and a person who could get to the rim and finish."

Katee Humphrey, Condon

Senior, post

It's difficult to say Katee Humphrey played any one position for Condon, because she didn't.

"She's a versatile player and played every position for us this season," Condon coach Teresa Humphrey said. "I think it made us a more versatile team.

"We didn't have a lot of height this year, so we had her post up, and if the other teams packed it in, we had her take it outside."

Humphrey averaged 16.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and three steals per game while leading the Blue Devils back to the state tournament. The four-year letter winner and three-year starter led her team in scoring in 26 out of 28 games.

Kayla Johnson, Weston-McEwen

Senior, guard

Weston-McEwen's run to the Class 2A state championship was charged by the play of 5-5 guard Kayla Johnson.

Johnson, the 2A Player of the Year, averaged 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, five steals and five assists per game, but it might of been her harassing presence on the defensive end of the court that stood out most.

"She always did what needed to be done," Weston-McEwen coach Jeff Griggs said, "and she definitely stepped it up at the (state) tournament.

"She elevated the play of all the kids around her."

The TigerScots finished the season 24-1.

Kayla Paredes, Weston-McEwen

Senior, post

Kayla Paredes meant as much to Weston McEwen inside as teammate Kayla Johnson meant outside.

Paredes, a 5-10 senior post, dominated the paint, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds a contest.

"Kayla's been an infusion of offense the last three years," Weston-McEwen coach Jeff Griggs said of Paredes. "One of the things about her game I think was overlooked - because she scored so much - was how well she played on defense.

"She had a lot of tough draws during the (state) tournament."

Paredes was a 2A first-team All-State selection.

Amanda Sivey, Hermiston

Senior, guard

The Hermiston Bulldogs needed a go-to player this season and 5-6 off guard Amanda Sivey stepped up to fill that role.

Sivey averaged 12.5 points and 2.4 steals a game while leading the Bulldogs to the first round of the 4A state sub-tournament. She also shot 73 percent from the foul line.

"She was our most consistent offensive threat," Hermiston coach Mike Royer said of the two-year starter. "She's always had good shooting range ... and I think she's improved all throughout her career, especially on the defensive end of the floor."

SECOND TEAM

Tanae Chadwick, Hermiston

Junior, wing

Tanae Chadwick was given an assignment at the beginning of the basketball season that was simple: Do whatever it takes to help Hermiston win.

And Chadwick more than met coach Mike Royer's expectations, even if her eight points and four rebounds a game aren't great indicators of the type of season she had.

"She did the things that didn't always show up in the stats," Hermiston coach Mike Royer said. "She's a smart player and an overall hard worker."

Carly Edwards, Pendleton

Senior, post

Pendleton's Carly Edwards is another player who went the extra mile to make her team successful.

Playing alongside scoring machines such as Mackenzie Larson and Marissa Hammond, Edwards made her presence known both defensively and on the boards.

"Talk about a tone-setter and a presence in the paint; she was the quintessential worker," Pendleton coach Todd Zimmermann said. "She absolutely dominated on the low block for us and did a great job of making life difficult for opposing players."

Edwards, who started every game for the Bucks this season, finished with 203 rebounds, 53 steals and 28 assists.

Austin Harvey, Umatilla

Senior, forward

Tenacity, tenacity, and yes, even a little more tenacity. That's exactly the role that Umatilla's Austin Harvey played for the Vikings during the 2004-05 basketball season.

"She was a monster on the boards for us," Umatilla coach Wendell Kreder said. "She could have scored a lot of points, but she didn't. She wanted what was best for the team.

"She didn't back down from anybody, either. She brought an intensity and toughness with her."

Harvey, a 5-6 forward, averaged 11 rebounds and seven points a game.

Sara Peck, Ione

Senior, post

Consistency was the biggest asset Ione's Sara Peck brought to the court with her each and every game.

And according to Ione coach Ryan Rudolf, that's impressive coming from a 5-9 post.

"Obviously, being 5-9, she gave up a lot of height a lot of the time," Rudolf said. "But you could always count on her night in and night out.

"She was a stabilizing factor for us in the big games. She was the one that led us."

Peck posted 9.5 rebounds and 7.5 points per game.

Shanna Rietmann, Heppner

Senior, guard

Heppner's Shanna Rietmann averaged just seven points a game for the Mustangs, yet she was named to the 2A honorable mention All-State team.

That alone speaks volumes about Rietmann's play if you ask Heppner coach Mark Dowdy.

"She normally was an off guard, but she filled in for us at point guard wonderfully this season," Dowdy said. "She picked up other teams' top offensive players and was one of our better rebounders on the floor.

"And when it mattered most for us, she shot the ball."

Rietmann also averaged six rebounds, 4.5 assists and four steals a game.

- Lance Ogden and the EO sports staff selected the All-Area girls team.

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