With the 2019-2020 Washington high school boys basketball season in the books, it’s time to hand out some awards.
Here are Scorebook Live’s postseason boys basketball all-state teams, spanning all classifications. In addition to first and second team all-state, we also have awards for player of the year, coach of the year, underclassman of the year, breakout player, most improved player, top glue guy and Mr. clutch.
The awards were compiled by Scorebook Live reporter Andy Buhler and analyst Dan Dickau:
STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tari Eason, senior, Garfield
Eason capped his strong senior season with a crown. The Cincinnati commit averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds all season and did a little bit of everything in a 3A tournament MVP performance to lead Garfield to its second 3A state championship in three years.
STATE COACH OF THE YEAR
Rick Skeen, King’s
Skeen wasn’t afraid to put the toughest teams in the state — and out of state — on the schedule as a 1A school, even knowing it may hurt his team in the RPI. After a being seeded as a 14-seed, Skeen’s Knights won back-to-back loser-out games, the second eliminating reigning 1A champ Zillah in the first round, en route to a 1A state championship.
UNDERCLASSMAN OF THE YEAR
Tyler Linhardt, sophomore, King’s
Linhardt led King’s, a 14-seed, through a schedule gauntlet of some of the top teams across all classifications in the state — and region. The Knights went from a loser-out regional game, beat defending 1A champ Zillah in an opening round loser-out on its run to the state title. Linhardt re-tooled his body after a strong freshman campaign and became a dynamic scorer on all three levels.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Tucker Molina, junior, Glacier Peak
Went from fringe rotation player to perhaps the most impactful player on both sides of the floor for a Glacier Peak team that went undefeated until the state semifinals, before finishing fourth in the 4A state tournament. As a 6-foot-5 point guard with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Molina demanded attention from opponents’ best defenders, and was named second-team all-tournament.
Koren Johnson, sophomore, Garfield
The sophomore guard poured 34 points on Eastside Catholic in the regular season, and capped Garfield’s state title runs with a 22-point semifinal and a 16-point state championship performance. Johnson provided outside shooting and a consistent spark for the Bulldogs.
TOP GLUE GUY
Brad Lackey, senior, Union
Lackey was a key leader of a team that posted an undefeated regular season. Though he tore his ACL late in the regular season, he still made first team all-4A Greater St. Helens League and once he got hurt, Union struggled in the state tournament. It was clear how much balance he brought to Union on the floor in addition to off the court, and the Titans missed their sure-handed point guard in their state tournament run, which ended in a third place finish.
Josh Lear, senior, Sumner
Lear hit the shot of the 3A/4A tournaments — a first round go-ahead catch-and-shoot corner 3 with seconds left to knock off two-time defending 4A champ Gonzaga Prep, earning its first state win in 49 years.
Said Sumner coach Jake Jackson: “He’s the heartbeat of our team. That kid has put in thousands of hours outside of team practices and games to improve his skillset. He’ll invite teammates to the gym, he’ll open up the gym late at night at his church.”
Jabe Mullins, Mount Si, sr. G
If the 4A state tournament MVP wasn’t scoring (he often was), he’d impact the game in another way. Mount Si’s versatile senior frontman — and Saint Mary’s commit — led the Wildcats to a 4A state championship.
Tanner Toolson, Union, sr. G/F
The state coaches association’s “Mr. Basketball” made a significant leap from his junior to senior season, going from second option to league and state player of the year in a season which Union entered the state tournament undefeated, the top overall seed and wound up finishing third.
Nolan Hickman, Eastside Catholic, jr. G
Hickman made a strong case as the state’s top point guard this season. He raised his field goal percentage nearly 20 percent, helped lead Eastside Catholic over regional and national powers early on and helped the Crusaders win a program-first district tournament en route to a third place state finish.
Paolo Banchero, O’Dea, jr. F
Banchero’s strong junior season only reinforced why he’s among the class of 2021’s top recruits in the country. The 6-foot-10 forward scored at all three levels, entertained with thunderous dunks and eye-popping highlight moments and helped O’Dea to a second place finish in the 3A state tournament.
Kaden Perry, Battle Ground, jr., F
The dynamic Gonzaga commit led Battle Ground to a 4A state tournament berth averaging 24.5 points and well over 10 rebounds, asserting himself as one of the most dominant big men in the state along the way.
Tyson Degenhart, Mt. Spokane
After leading Mt. Spokane to the 3A state title game as a sophomore, the Boise State commit took his game to another level, terrorizing opposing defenses along the way.
Tyler Linhardt, King’s
The sophomore made good on a preseason promise to King’s coach Rick Skeen that he’d win tournament MVP and a 1A state championship. And Linhardt excelled against some of the top teams in the state — Mount Si, Glacier Peak, Lyden, Zillah and more — along the way.
Jayce Simmons, Central Valley
Cool-handed point guard was a leader on both ends of the floor, and guided Central Valley to a 4A state runner-up finish.
Liam Lloyd, Gonzaga Prep
After losing most of the core around him that won back-to-back 4A state championships, Lloyd put up big performance after big performance to lift Gonzaga Prep to a district berth, regional thriller and state appearance.
Ryan Moffet, Odessa
Became Washington’s all-time leading scorer with more than 30 points per game and led Odessa to a program-first state championship game.