Bulldogs Anderson, Walker named all-state, Crosby all-conference

David Peck

A 21-8 record and a consolation championship at the state basketball tournament has resulted in two Lovell Bulldogs being named to the Class 3A All-State boys basketball team, with three named the 3A West All-Conference team.
Selected to the Class 3A All-State team were senior Parker Anderson and sophomore Owen Walker. They are also 3A West All-Conference and are joined by junior Davin Crosby.
Anderson was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game (10th in the state and sixth in the 3A West), and he led the team in three-point shooting at 28 percent, free throw shooting at 67 percent (ninth in the 3A West), steals with 42 and assists with 76 (third in the conference, eighth in the state).
“I have a lot of respect for Parker,” Lovell head coach Shane Durtsche said. “Nothing comes easy for him. Parker has had to work really hard to become the player he is. No one works more on his game than he does. He will be up at 4 a.m. getting shots up. He does an unbelievable amount of work.
“He’s turned into such a versatile scorer. He used to be a spot-up shooter, but we told him to get to the basket. He really gave people fits getting inside. He can finish with both his left and right hand, and he has really good footwork, including a Euro-step. He does a really good job getting himself open and is a very good free throw shooter.”
Anderson expanded his overall game, Durtsche said, noting that the senior became a much better passer and rebounder and worked on the physical aspect of his game to improve defensively.
“He uses his length, and his anticipation is great,” Durtsche said. “He knows where to be and what to look for.
“He never rattled and was cool and calm. He’s a self-made player and a quiet leader.”
Owen Walker
Walker was “just a force” for the Bulldogs and “a game changer,” Durtsche said.
The 6-6 sophomore led the team and was third in the conference and seventh in the state in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game while shooting a team leading 57 percent from the field, fourth in the conference and fifth in the state.
“Owen is loaded with talent. He’s as good a shooter as we have on the team,” Durtsche said.
Walker led all of Class 3A in blocked shots, swatting 2.9 shots per game, and he was second in the state in rebounding, pulling down 10.3 boards per contest.
“He averaged a double-double,” Durtsche noted. “He changed games around the rim with his shot-blocking presence and length. He jumps well and has good instincts. He’s comfortable facing the rim, which leads to his versatility.
“I probably coached that kid harder than anyone, and he’s as coachable as it gets. He’s just a great kid and has a very high ceiling. He shows up every day. He didn’t miss a practice or a workout.”
Davin Crosby
Crosby was a solid jack-of-all trades player for the Bulldogs who was a leader, defender, spot scorer and strong in fundamentals, Durtsche said. He averaged 5.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, essentially tying with Walker and Matthew Newman in the assist category.
“Davin is our glue guy,” Durtsche said of the junior. “He does every little thing and is a coach’s dream. He always brings a positive attitude, energy and effort to every practice and every game. He doesn’t ever take a play off, and he’s a leader, a great kid.
“He makes the right decisions, and he dives on the floor. He does every little thing we preach.”
Durtsche said Crosby improved his game between his sophomore and junior seasons.
“Last year he was raw and rough around the edges,” the coach said. “His shot’s getting better, and he can finish around the rim. His ball-handling has improved. He’s turned himself into a solid basketball player. He has all the intangibles that make Davin who he is. We wouldn’t be the team we are without Davin. He’s well regarded in the conference.”
Awards night
The Bulldogs held an end-of-the-season awards night Tuesday, during which Durtsche expressed many of the same accolades about his all-conference/all-state players.
Durtsche began by thanking parents and fans for their support during the season, “especially the moms,” he added. He also thanked Megan Wilson for the support provided by the Bulldog Booster Club.
Durtsche said there’s something special about coaching in a community that supports student athletes the way Lovell does, noting that the attendance at the regional and state tournaments “speaks volumes.”
After passing out letters, Durtsche told his players that he loves and appreciates each one of his players, even though playing for him is not always easy and that he can be demanding. He said he already misses being around the team.
“We just have good kids,” he told the audience. “They come and work hard every day, and we don’t have problems off the court. Our chemistry was good this year.”
Durtsche honored team captains Parker Anderson and Crosby, who were chosen by a vote of the players, calling Anderson “a natural leader who plays for his teammates” and Crosby a player who leads by example and “does all of the little things” a coach preaches.
Postseason awards
Durtsche noted the all-conference selection of Walker, Parker Anderson and Crosby and the all-state honor for Walker and Anderson. All three are well deserving, he said, and his other comments were similar to the above interview.
He called Walker “as coachable a kid as there is,” adding, “He never even blinks (when yelled at).” He called Crosby a coach on the floor, noting that the junior provides leadership, defense and fundamentals like “being in the right place, getting that rebound and making that shot.” And he said Anderson was a player who, when the offense was struggling, could create points, noting, “You have to have a guy who can get a bucket.”
Durtsche also noted the contributions of Blake Wilson, who would willingly take on an opposing team’s best perimeter player, and Newman, who he said has athletic ability “off the charts” and makes it hard for defenders to stay in front of him due to his quickness. Robert Romero has similar skills, he added.
He gave Walker a special award of a pack of Reese’s Big Cup candy for being “the most yelled at player on the team,” and he praised the work ethic of Anderson, who he said put in hours of extra practice and watching film.
Durtsche thanked assistant coaches Nicc Crosby and Michael Jameson, noting that he doesn’t want “yes men” on his staff, preferring coaches who will tell him what they think.
Crosby thanked seniors Parker Anderson and Blake Wilson for sticking with the program and challenged the remaining players to work hard during the offseason to improve so that they can challenge for a state title next season.