Hawks start season with perfect 3-0 record

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

This time last year, the Tulalip Heritage boys basketball team was (0-4) and in desperate search of a W. What a difference a year makes. Coach Bubba Fryberg has taken over head coaching duties for the boys team, assisted by Jared Parks and Marc Robinson, and together they’ve coached their team to a (3-0) start to the new season. Most impressive, all three Ws have come against 2B schools, a division higher than Heritage’s 1B classification.

In their home opener, the Hawks hosted the Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes on November 29th. Family and friends filled the bleachers to watch a very entertaining game. It couldn’t have started any better for the Hawks; they jumped out to an 11-0 lead and pushed that to 17-4 at the end of the 1st quarter. The ball was moving and every starter had scored points.

Defensively, the Hawks weren’t allowing anything at the rim or in the paint. The Hurricanes were forced to settle with contested jumper after contested jumper.

Over the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the ball continued to move well for the Hawks and the point distribution continued. Going into the final quarter the Hawks led 38-24.

The 4th quarter saw a blowout turn into a grit and grind game. Suddenly, the Hurricanes couldn’t miss and the Hawks couldn’t buy a bucket. The lead dwindled by the minute and with only 21 seconds remaining the Hawks led 41-40 with Mt. Vernon Christian inbounding the ball. Tulalip played solid defense that resulted in a contested 3-pointer that missed, giving the Hawks the W in a front of a frenzied home crowd.

Freshman Alonzo Jones-Smith led all Hawks with 12 points, Rodney Barber scored 10 points, and Paul Shay Jr. chipped in 7 points.

Two days later, on December 1, Tulalip traveled to Darrington High School and won 45-37. The very next day they played again. This time taking on the La Conner Braves. In a heated game that saw multiple runs by both teams, the Hawks pulled out an impressive 49-45 victory. The (3-0) start is the first such undefeated start since the 2013-2014 team that made it all the way to State.

Coach Bubba attributes the team’s early season success to “defensive hustle, more emphasis on man-to-man defense rather than running zone, and all around team effort on offensive.”

Celebrating athletic accomplishment

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos courtesy Heritage H.S.

Tulalip Heritage High School faculty and coaches honored their Fall and Winter sports participants with a joint celebration and banquet-style potluck on Wednesday, March 29 in the Heritage Commons.

With friends and family in attendance, the players took center stage and received recognition for their dedication to practice, constant improvement and teamwork during the sports season.

Bringing cheer and halftime entertainment to every home and playoff game were the Heritage cheerleaders. They always kept a positive attitude, smiles on their faces, and were determined to keep the home crowds upbeat.

 

The Hawks football team was short on eligible players this past season, but that didn’t stop them from showing up come game day and leaving their all on the field. After a narrow 2-point loss in their opening game, the football program showed out the very next game for a 51-26 victory in front of the home crowd.

 

Lady Hawks volleyball had another productive season under coach Tina Brown. The girls opened the season with five straight victories on their way to a 9-6 regular season record and a trip to the postseason. At the 1B District playoffs, they dropped their first match before bouncing back with back-to-back Ws and earning a trip to Tri-Districts.

 


Coaches Marlin and Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg made the best of a rebuilding year for their boys basketball program. With so many new faces on the team there was a steep learning curve. The Hawks opened the season 1-6, but soon after found their identity and went 7-5 down the stretch to clinch a playoff spot. In the postseason, the boys played their best basketball and defeated two teams with better records to earn a Tri-District berth.

 

The Lady Hawks basketball program achieved the most this year. The girls carried a stellar record all season long on their way to battling for the NW1B regular season crown. Led by their Big 3 (Aliya Jones, Keryn Parks, and Deandra Grant), they finished the regular season 16-3. With two decisive victories to open the playoffs, the Lady Hawks matched up with inner-league foe Cedar Park Christian for the third time in the NW1B championship game. Back and forth for nearly the whole game, Cedar Park pulled away in the final minutes. It was a heartbreaking game for the Lady Hawks, but they bounced back admirably to win two more games at Tri-Districts and clinched consecutive trips to Regionals.

Coach Bubba Fryberg was recognized as Coach of the Year in the Northwest 1B League, while three of his players (Aliya, Keryn, and Deandra) were named to the All-League 1st Team. Additionally, Aliya earned All-State recognition with an honorable mention by the Associated Press.

Hawks finding their identity, get 2nd W 

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The (1-4) Tulalip Heritage Hawks were coming off their first W of the season when they defeated Summit Sierra, 51-46, back on December 20. They traveled to Puyallup on Tuesday, December 27, to play the (4-2) Chief Leschi Warriors. Tulalip only had 5 players for this one.

The Warriors were just the better team, especially with the Hawks missing guys, and had their way on both ends against Tulalip. The Hawks hadn’t played an opponent like Chief Leschi and struggled to matchup with their athleticism. With only five guys the burden would fall on guard Josh Iukes to carry the team, but the Warriors knew this as well and constantly threw a double-team at him, forcing Josh to give up the ball.

Tulalip trailed 8-21 after the 1st quarter and the deficit only increased at halftime when they trailed 16-48. When the game was over Tulalip lost 28-75. The only bright spot for the Hawks was forward Samuel Fryberg finding a rhythm and getting buckets in front of his cheering family. Sam knocked down three 3-pointers and led his team with 13 points.

 

 

Lummi Nation hosted the Tulalip Hawks the very next day. The game played out very similar to the Leschi game, with Lummi opting to press and double Tulalip’s key ball handler. The strategy worked again as Tulalip committed many turnovers on errant passes that led to easy transition buckets for the Blackhawks. Tulalip would lose the game 31-65.

After losing back-to-back games to fellow tribal schools, the Hawks returned home to host (2-5) Grace Academy on Tuesday, January 3. These two teams matched up very well on paper and with a large crowd turn-out, the people were expecting a highly competitive game. Got to give the people what they want.

 

 

In the 1st quarter, Nashone Whitebear caught fire by making three straight baskets. Trailing 6-9, freshman Josh Miranda found his spots in the offensive sets and made Grace pay for leaving him open. Josh splashed in consecutive 3-pointers to keep his team close. At the end of the opening quarter, Tulalip trailed 14-18.

After some quick buckets by the home team, it was a 19-20 game before Grace went on a 12-2 run. Trailing 21-31, Tulalip called a timeout. The Hawks players were strongly urged to turn up their defensive intensity and stop giving up uncontested buckets if they were going to get back in the game. Paul Shay responded, coming up with two timely steals and going on a 6-0 run of his own. Tulalip finished the quarter strong and cut their deficit to only 4 points, 31-35 at halftime.

Starting the 2nd half, Miranda hit another 3-pointer to bring his team within one point, 34-35. However, this time it was Grace finishing the quarter strong, leaving Tulalip to trail 41-48 with one quarter to play.

In the 4th quarter, the Hawks as a team collectively willed their team to victory. Everyone was scrambling on defense to not give up any easy buckets, they were crashing the boards, and hitting the deck diving for loose balls. Nashone once again got the hot hand and scored three straight baskets. With just over five minutes to go, the Hawks took their first lead of the game 49-48. With the defense still turned on full throttle, Grace Academy was at a loss on the offensive end. They were held to only 5 points in the quarter.

In the game’s biggest moments down the stretch, guard Josh Iukes was clutch. Josh hit a corner 3-pointer to give his team a 52-49 lead and then he sealed the deal draining another 3-pointer with only seconds remaining. Tulalip played their best team game of the season and earned their second victory, 55-53.

Nashone and Josh both led all scorers with 16 points each, Miranda with his three 3-pointers scored 9 points, while Paul and Rodney both added 8 points.

Lopsided 2nd quarter dooms the Hawks in 48-68 loss

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by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On Saturday, February 13, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (14-9) traveled to Seattle Lutheran High School to play their opening game of the Tri-District Tournament. Their opponent was the Shorewood Christian Lions (16-3). It would be a matchup of #2s, as the Hawks finished #2 in the Northwest 1B league and the Lions finished #2 in the SeaTac 1B league.

The Hawks were hoping to build off their play-in victory over the Muckleshoot Kings just days before.

In the 1st quarter, the two teams traded baskets repeatedly with Robert Miles doing his best to match the scoring output of the Lions’ best player, Jovi Fevaleaki. At the end of the quarter the Hawks were very much in it, trailing by only 1 point 14-15.

However, things turned drastically for the Hawks in the 2nd quarter. The offense completely disappeared for the Hawks. They repeatedly settled for long-range, contested jumpers and were unable to attack the rim. Add in their turnovers and it’s no wonder that the Lions opened the quarter with a 15-0 run. The Hawks didn’t score until late in the quarter when Willy Enick connected on a 3-pointer. Willy added in another basket to give his team their only 5 points of the 2nd quarter. At halftime the Hawks trailed 19-36.

Following the halftime intermission things didn’t get any better for the Hawks. The offense continued to struggle with the size and athleticism of the Lions, while defensively they were unable to contain Jovi Fevaleaki who finished with a game high 27 points.

The Hawks lost the game 48-68, and would be put in a loser-out game vs. their league rivals the Orcas Christian Saints.

 

Hawks defense steps up big time in 43-37 win

 

Following the loss to Shorewood Christian, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (14-10) found out their post-season hinged on a loser-out game vs. in league rivals, the Orcas Christian Saints (15-2). It wasn’t a matchup that appeared to be in the Hawks favor, as they had lost all three regular season matchups with the Saints. In fact, the Saints had won those three games by an average margin of 18 points per game. But in the playoffs anything can happen.

After the 1st quarter the Hawks found themselves trailing 7-11 and struggling to find their offense. On the positive side, the Hawks were liking their defensive intensity, especially on Saints point guard Michael Harris. Harris, who had given the Hawks defensive fits all season long, was constantly hounded by Nashone Whitebear.

Things continued in the 2nd quarter with the Hawks not converting their shots, but continuing to play strong defense and not letting Harris beat them. At halftime the Hawks trailed by only 4 points, 15-19. It was by far the lowest scoring 1st half the Hawks had been a part of all season.

During the intermission, the Hawks realized the ball was sticking too much on offense and wanted to move the ball more in the 2nd half; more passing to open up quality looks for their shooters. On defense, they just wanted to keep up the tempo and to continue making everything difficult for Harris while continuing to crash the boards.

In the 3rd quarter, the Hawks finally got their offense going. They scored 15 points in the 3rd, as much as they scored in both the 1st and 2nd quarters combined. The solid defense was still in effect and to this point they had held the Saints best player to only 3 points. Going into the final quarter the Hawks had taken a 30-29 lead.

The ball continued to move well for the Hawks and they found open looks for Josh Iukes who came up huge for his team in the clutch. Josh and Robert Miles both scored a game-high 15 points and it would be good enough in the low scoring game to take the victory. After losing their first three matchups with the Saints, they made the necessary adjustments and found the will to win in a 43-37 thriller for the Hawks. With the victory the Hawks season remained alive and they were guaranteed two more Tri-District games.

 

Tulalip Hawks get pummeled by Neah Bay, 45-106

 

Just when things were looking up for the Heritage Hawks (15-10), after a hard fought victory over the best team in our league, things came to a crashing halt at the hands of the Neah Bay Red Devils (16-3). The two teams played on Wednesday, February 17, at Evergreen Lutheran High School in a 3rd round matchup of the Tri-District tournament.

The game started out as a competitive one, with the Hawks and Red Devils both executing their offense. Just under four minutes into the 1st quarter the game was tied at 11-11. Then it all went south for the Hawks. The Red Devils finished the quarter on a 20-2 run to take a commanding 31-13 lead.

The Hawks did what they could offensively, scoring 17 points in the 2nd quarter, but they just had no answer defensively for the Red Devils who were shooting lights out. At halftime the Hawks trailed 30-55.

Things only got worse in the 2nd half for the Hawks, as Neah Bay continued to pile on the points with little fight from Tulalip. Getting outscored 6-27 in the 3rd quarter and 9-24 in the 4th quarter added up to a 45-106 loss for the Hawks. This game goes down as easily the worse loss for the Heritage Hawks basketball program in years.

Luckily, the Hawks get a shot at redemption with a huge upcoming game against Lummi Nation. With a win, the Hawks will play on at Regionals, but if they lose their season will be over.

Robert’s 35 points not enough in 57-67 loss

Tulalip Heritage Hawks vs. Mt. Vernon Christian Hurricanes in the second round game of the  District 1B boys basketball tournament.  Photo/Micheal Rios

Tulalip Heritage Hawks vs. Mt. Vernon Christian Hurricanes in the second round game of the District 1B boys basketball tournament.
Photo/Micheal Rios

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

The Hawks (13-8) traveled to Lummi High School on Saturday, February 6, to take on the Mt. Vernon Christian Hurricanes (10-11) in a second round game of the District 1B boys basketball tournament.

Unfortunately, it only took three minutes of game time to see the Hawks were in deep trouble. With 4:50 remaining in the 1st quarter, seniors Willy Enick and Robert Miles collided at mid-court. Both players were attempting to pick off a long outlet pass and had their eyes on the ball, which led them running full speed into each other. Both players fell to the floor and the unintentional collision led to Willy suffering a laceration to his lip. Unable to get the bleeding under control, Willy was helped off the court, taken to get stitches, and unable to return to the game.

Without Willy, the bulk of the Hawks offense and playmaking went onto Rob’s shoulders. It took a while for Rob to find his offense, as he started the game shooting 1-7 from the field. In the final two minutes of the 1st half he was able to score a quick 9 points, giving him 13 at halftime with his team trailing 24-31.

In the 2nd half, the Hawks gave a good fight, but their lack of interior size and rebounding gave the Hurricanes many offensive rebounds and extra possessions. Rob continued to do what he could on offense, even putting on a one man show by scoring 22 points in the 2nd half. Josh Iukes chipped in 7 points down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough to overcome all the point blank shots and layups the Hurricanes continued to get.

When the game ended, Rob led all scorers with a season best 35 points, but the Hawks would take the loss 57-67. The Hawks have a few games off before their play-in game to the Tri-District Tournament and the hope is Willy will be able to play in that game. The Hawks need all the playmaking they can get in order to advance and keep their season alive.

 

Contact Micheal Rios: mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Hawks End Regular Season on a Winning Streak

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On Tuesday, January 26, the Heritage Hawks traveled to Eastsound, WA to play the league’s 1st place team, the Orcas Christian Saints. It was a big game for the Hawks, who were looking for a statement win after losing their previous two matchups vs. the Saints. It was a highly competitive game from the opening tip, but just like the last two matchups the game would slip away from Hawks down the stretch. Saints point guard and leading scorer Michael Harris continued to give the Hawks’ defense matchup problems and made timely plays for his team. The Hawks would lose 58-71 and fall to 0-3 vs. the league’s best team.

The Hawks bounced back in a big way when they hosted the winless Grace Academy Eagles on Friday, January 29. From the very beginning onlookers knew it was going to be a blowout, as the Hawks executed flawlessly on both ends of the court. At halftime the Hawks held their largest lead of the season, 46-2. In the 2nd half, with such a massive lead, the coaching staff pulled their starters and let the reserves get in a lengthy run. The Hawks finished the game with a 58-18 win. They were led by Josh Iukes and Samuel Fryberg in scoring, both had 13 points.

On Monday, February 1, the Hawks held their final regular season game at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasiums when they took on Providence Classical Christian. The Hawks had beaten Providence by at least 20 points in their previous two matchups. This would be no different. Willy Enick led all scorers with 18 points, as his Hawks won easily, 66-35.

After starting the season off with a 1-5 record, the Hawks finished the season strong by winning 11 of their final 14 games. Now, with a 12-8 overall record (11-4 in their league) the Hawks have earned a top 3 seed in the upcoming District 1B tournament.

Hawks offense turns stagnant in 33-65 loss

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Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Heritage basketball team (5-5) hosted the Saints from Orcas Christian (6-0) at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium on Monday, January 11. After the 1-5 start to the season, the Hawks had returned to their winning ways and were on a 4-game win streak that propelled them into 2nd place in their Northwest 1B league. The only team above them in the standings? The undefeated Orcas Christian team.

These teams previously played on December 10. It was a highly contested match that saw the Hawks lose a late lead as the referees took over the game and sent Orcas to the free throw line time and time again. The Hawks would lose the game 52-61.

Coming into the rematch the Hawks were confident they would avenge their previous loss and continue their win streak. Orcas Christian had other plans however. The 1st quarter yielded the worst offense output from the Hawks all season, just 5 points, as they trailed 5-12 going into the 2nd quarter. Whether it was due to the 2-3 zone Orcas applied that clogged the paint and forced the Hawks to keep the ball on the perimeter, or the Hawks missing close, albeit contested, shots at the rim, the Hawks just were unable to get into a groove offensively.

In the 2nd quarter, senior forward Willy Enick did away with the game plan and found his own offense through isolation plays and some timely shooting. Willy scored 8points in the quarter and had 10 of the team’s 17 points at halftime.

Trailing 17-27 entering the 3rd quarter, the Hawks looked to rebound quickly by putting more defense pressure on the Orcas points guard, Michael Harris. Unfortunately, that game plan didn’t come to fruition as Harris repeatedly was able to cut through the Hawks defense and either score a layup or find an open teammate for a quality look from 3-point territory. The Hawks would be outscored 6-27 in the quarter, making the score 23-54 going into the final quarter.

The Hawks would go on to lose the game 33-67, snapping their win streak. The 33 points was the lowest offensive output on the season. Willy led all Hawks scorers with 17 points.

Now, with a 5-6 record, the Hawks remain in 2nd place in their league but know they have work to do. They have to clean up the offense and defense if they want to have a good showing at the District Tournament next month, where they’ll likely face this same Orcas Christian team who has beaten them twice now.

The Hawks next home game is Friday, January 22, vs. the Lummi Blackhawks.

 

Hawks on 3-game win streak, beat Lobos 59-33

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photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

After a disappointing 1-5 start, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks have turned their season around with a 3-game win streak. Their latest win came at home on Monday, January 5, when they hosted the Lobos of Lopez Island.

Defensively, the Hawks opened the game with active hands and constant movement. They contested every Lobos shot and forced several turnovers that they were able to turn into easy transition points. The Hawks rode the hot hand of Josh Iukes, 13 points in the first half, and their suffocating team defense to the tune of a 30-9 halftime lead.

The game would tighten up in the 2nd half. However, seniors Robert Miles, Jr. and Willy Enick put the offense on their backs and combined to score 21 points down the stretch to secure the victory. The 59-33 win moved the Hawks record to 4-5 on the season and only 1 game below .500.

 

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Hawks drop season opener to MP, 52-58

Hawks1

Photo/Micheal Rios

 

by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Heritage Hawks basketball team opened their season with a home game vs. the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawk JV team on Wednesday, December 2. Last year, the Hawks defeated the MP JV team 70-54 in their season opener, their first win on route to a 13-5 regular season and a deep run into the 1B Tri-District tournament. This season is going to be quite different however, as the Hawks graduated four senior starters last year. Returning to the team is Robert Miles, Willy Enick and Nashone Whitebear. There will be an adjustment period as they are joined by a bunch of new players who are still learning the offensive and defensive sets the Hawks typically run.

Keys to a successful season will be senior Robert Miles continuing to be that do-it-all player for the Hawks, leading the hawks in scoring while anchoring the defense, and for senior Willy Enick to take on a larger role on both sides of the ball. These two will have to lean on key contributions from their teammates and the hope is sophomore Josh Iukes will be able to fill that primary ball handler roll.

 

Hawks2

Photo/Micheal Rios

 

The 1st half was a turnover fest for the Hawks as they tried to force too many difficult passes, choosing to lob passes over the top instead of using a crisp bounce pass. The Hawks overcame the turnovers in the 1st quarter, taking a 9-6 into the 2nd quarter.

When Josh Iukes found himself in foul trouble seconds into the 2nd quarter, picking up three quick ones, it really hurt the Hawks game plan. He had to hit the bench, taking the Hawks point guard off the court. The turnover continued to pile on while MP went on a 21-10 run spanning the quarter. At halftime, the Hawks trailed 16-27.

 

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Photo/Micheal Rios

 

In the 3rd quarter, the Hawks came out determined to take the lead back. Defensively, it was their best quarter of the game. Everyone was staying active, contesting shots, and going after rebounds. The Hawks got within 4 points, 29-33, late in the 3rd quarter. In the closing seconds Josh Iukes picked up his 4th personal foul moments before MP’s Raequan Battle, a fellow Tulalip tribal member, launched a 3-pointer that swished in.

The Hawks were down 7 points, 29-36, with one quarter left to play. They executed their defensive press nicely, forcing key turnover and finishing layups on offense, allowing them to cut their deficit to only 2 points, trailing 38-40 with a little over five minutes to go. When Josh Iukes fouled out of the game, it become that much more difficult to take the lead. The Hawks continued to keep pace, but weren’t able to pull the victory. MP would take the game 58-52, leaving the Hawks to ponder what could have been if not for all the costly turnovers.

Heritage Hawks basketball awards banquet

 by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

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Members of the Heritage Hawks basketball team.
Photo/Micheal Rios

 

Members of the Heritage Hawks basketball team.Photo/Micheal Rios

Members of the Heritage Lady Hawks basketball team.
Photo/Micheal Rios

 

On Thursday, April 2, the annual awards banquet was held to recognize the Heritage Hawks basketball players. This year’s banquet took place at Alfy’s Pizza in Marysville. All the Hawks and Lady Hawks players attended, accompanied by their family and friends who cheered them on throughout the basketball season.

Each player from both the Hawks and Lady Hawks teams received a participation award congratulating them for playing varsity basketball. A second award was given to each player that was specifically personalized to commemorate something special they did on the court or brought to the team.

Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg, Lady Hawks coach, opened up the girls’ awards ceremony by thanking each and every one of his players for making the best out of their season, “First of all I’d like to thank everyone for being here and taking the time to come and finish up the season. The girls worked really hard and played really hard and we had fun. Practices were really fun and I thought we really gave the effort I expected. Early in the season there really weren’t many girls playing. We only had five Lady Hawks for our first several games, so we had to really start recruiting girls to come out and play. After we did that, then we had a full team and really started to play. It took a few week to build up that sense of team with all the new girls, but they all played hard. I really want to thank my girls for all their hard work, especially the seniors.

“Going into next year, for the girls coming back, we are going to keep working hard and to continue focusing on improving as a team. We have six girls coming back and we expect to add more girls onto the team. I just want to thank you all for doing what I asked on the floor and off the floor and for making this season a fun one for the players and the coaches. I really appreciated all the hard work we put in to improving and we’ll continue to work on doing better things next year.”

The following list is the name of each personalized award handed out to the Lady Hawks and the player who received the award.

 

Awards: 

Rookie of the Year: Larissa Menser

Most Coachable: Shaelynn Sanchey

Most Dedicated: Cyena Fryberg

Most Inspirational: Mikaylee Pablo

Best Defender: Jaylin Rivera

Most Rebounds: Nina Fryberg

Captain’s Award & Miss Hustle: Myrna Red Leaf

Captain’s Award, Best Offensive Player & Most Outstanding Player: Michelle Iukes

 

Marlin Fryberg, Hawks coach, opened up the boys’ awards ceremony by saying, “I want to thank all the families who are here to support your children, and I want to say thank you to all the high school faculty staff who are here for our kids. To my players, I hope you all recognize that the time and work you have put into this game together has created a friendship and bond between you all that will last the rest of your lives.

“This season was a mediocre one. We all know that it could have been better, that we could have been better. We’ll use this season and learn from it so that we can continue to develop the team for next year.”

The following list is the name of each personalized award handed out to the Hawks and the player who received the award.

 

Awards: 

Rookie of the Year: Nashone Whitebear

Most Improved: Anthony McLean

Most Rebounds: Willy Enick

Mr. Hustle: Dontae Jones

Captain’s Award: Jessie Louie

Captain’s Award & Best Offensive Player: Robert Miles, Jr.