While it’s impossible to accurately predict how high school coaches will vote in individual postseason selections, both the PHS boys and girls basketball teams appear to have strong contenders for All-Section III and All-Division III honors.
The honorees the coaches finally settle on will be announced at the conclusion of the division tournament on Feb. 23.
For the Lady Longhorns, Chioya Hill is expected to be recognized, mostly because she led the team in scoring (11.2 ppg) and rebounding (15.2 rpg) and during the regular season set a school rebounding record.
She was also an exceptional all-around performer with 59 steals, 25 blocked shots and 19 assists.
Also, she is a senior, and coaches often look favorably on the older players because it’s their final opportunity for honors.
Arissa Paulson is just a freshman, but that shouldn’t preclude her from garnering plenty of votes. She was one of the most tenacious players in the division this past season and oft recognized for scrappiness. She averaged 10.8 points and 9 rpg, both second on the team to Hill. She also had 53 steals and 43 blocked shots.
Those credentials, along with her wham-bam style of play, should be enough to earn her a spot on either the all-section or all-division team, or both.
Among the Longhorns, seniors Tanner Hintze and Guillermo Lopez showcased all season long the talent and dedication it takes to win postseason honors.
Hintze led the team in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg) and was generally regarded as one of the best so-called “Big Men” in the division.
His exploits at both ends of the floor often prompted opposing coaches to double- and triple-team him.
Lopez, also a standout on the Horn soccer team that advanced to the state semifinals, was one of the more hardnosed players in S-III. His scoring average of 14.2 ppg should impress voting coaches, as should his 35 three-pointers.
Lopez also dished out 42 assists, corralled 39 rebounds and had 22 steals.
Traditionally, it is the most successful teams that garner the most postseason honorees and since PHS came up short of making the state tournament, the Horn players might have lost some recognition.
But in the end, coaches usually acknowledge season-long accomplishment and PHS boys and girls players appear destined for some type of recognition.