Cortes, Stone top vote-getters, Reese coach of year in new, bigger conference
The conference has a new name with new teams, but was still dominated by the Kingfisher High School boys in the regular season and in postseason honors.
Two KHS players were on the first team and another on the second team when the Western Athletic Conference announced its all-conference teams after a recent vote of its coaches.
Bijan Cortes was the top vote getter and tops the list for boys’ first team.
Matthew Stone also received first-team recognition and was second in points tallied from the coaches’ vote.
The top-10 points earners were named to the first team and the next 10 to second-team.
Jarret Birdwell was among those on the second-team.
All three KHS players are juniors who contributed to the Jackets going 11-0 in conference games.
They led Kingfisher to a undefeated regular season, which is just the second time that’s happened in the program’s history.
The Jackets were 26-1 heading into the Class 4A state tournament, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Cortes led the Jackets with 21.9 points per game, but proved to be an allaround threat.
He also was the team leader with 5.8 assists and 2.6 steals while also pulling down 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Cortes, who earlier this year committed to play for the University of Oklahoma, shot 49.6 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the foul line.
Stone also filled the stat sheet as he scored 17.7 points while leading the team with 9.7 rebounds a contest.
He also averaged 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
Stone shot 56 percent overall from the field, which included 72.2 percent from two-point range.
Birdwell led the team in overall field-goal percentage as he made good on 69.5 percent of his shots.
He was the team’s third-leading scorer at 11.6 points per game while also grabbing 4.5 boards.
Maverick Ridenour, another junior who averaged 7.7 points and shot 38 percent from 3-point range, was all-conference honorable mention.
The honors weren’t limited to the players. Jared Reese was named the conference’s coach of the year. It’s the fourth consecutive year he’s won the award.
KHS is 110-6 (.948) overall during that four-year stretch, which is more wins than any boys team in any classification during that time frame.
Formerly known as the Canadian Valley Conference, this was the first year of the WAC, which is now a 12-team conference that includes KHS, Anadarko, Weatherford, Tuttle, Newcastle, Clinton, Blanchard, Cache, Bethany, Chickasha, Elk City and Elgin.
Prior to this year, the conference voted on MVPs for both boys and girls, but no longer does that.
Jett Sternberger earned MVP for KHS in 2017 and then shared the honor with teammate Trey Green in 2018 and 2019.