Hoop Duo Chosen All-Grand Canyon Region


A pair of Longhorn basketball players have been named to all-region teams in voting by seven Grand Canyon head coaches.


Donnie Wilbanks

Senior Donnie Wilbanks was chosen second team and junior Brian Schwind tapped honorable mention.

According to coach Mike Loutzenheiser, Wilbanks missed making the first team by a single vote.

Wilbanks' and Schwind's selections to the All-GCR teams was announced at the team's season-ending award festivities March 1 in the PHS cafeteria.

Wilbanks, a three-sport star at PHS, built a reputation as a hard-nosed competitor who used his height -- 6-foot, 3-inches -- to battle inside and go outside to shoot the three-balls.

One of his finest performances during the season came during the Bradshaw Mountain Invitational tournament against a Glendale Apollo team that eventually won the Class 4A state championship. Although the Horns lost 47-39, Wilbanks turned in a banner game with 17 points.


Brian Schwind

Also in the tournament, Wilbanks scored 16 points in a 56-48 win over Estrella.

Among his senior memories will probably also be his performance Jan. 28 during a 62-53 win over the Chinle Wildcats in Wilson dome.

In front of a vocal crowd of both Horn and Cat fans, Wilbanks hit two three-pointers early in the game that helped erase a Chinle lead. His 15 points, coupled with fellow senior Wellington Cassuto's 16, propelled Payson to perhaps their finest showing of the season.

Battling injuries the entire year, including a knee injury suffered in football, he shot 48.9 percent from the field, 66.7 percent from the line and averaged 10 points per game and seven rebounds.

"He played with a lot of heart all year," Loutzenheiser said. Schwind, a 6-foot, 3-inch forward, known for his versatility and leaping ability, shot 43.3 percent from the field and averaged 7 ppg and 6.2 rebounds.

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