The Olympian’s 2019 All-Area boys basketball team
Each year, with input from local coaches, The Olympian selects its All-Area boys basketball team.
This year, seven high schools from Thurston County and surrounding areas are represented by players and coaches selected to the first and second teams.
The 12 spots, broken down by leagues, are 4A South Puget Sound League (four), 3A South Sound Conference (six), 2A Evergreen Conference (one) and 2B Pacific League (one).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Guard, 6-1, senior
Penner wraps up his remarkable athletic career at Capital as a five-time Olympian All-Area first-team selection — three times in football, and twice in basketball, including this season’s player of the year nod. He’s also a six-time 3A SSC first-teamer in both sports. But, he seems to be leaning toward a college basketball future after a stellar finish in the Tacoma Dome earlier this month, where he tied the all-time 3A state tournament record for 3-pointers (18 in three games). He averaged 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season — including 23.3 points per game in the Tacoma Dome on 42.9 percent shooting from 3-point range — in guiding the Cougars to their best tournament finish since 1996.
COACH OF THE YEAR
18-7 record this season, 3A SSC co-champions
How big of a challenge did Thomas face in his seventh season with Timberline? He graduated his top three leading scorers — including four-year starter and current Wichita State freshman Erik Stevenson — following last season’s fourth-place run in the 3A state state tournament, and still managed to bring the Blazers to the brink of a return trip to the Tacoma Dome this year. Timberline shared the 3A SSC title with Capital, and finished the season one win short of a state regionals berth. Thomas was dubbed the league’s coach of the year, and his point guard Hunter Campau was the MVP.
Guard, 6-0, senior
Campau was named The Olympian’s All-Area football player of the year in the fall, and has enjoyed breakout senior seasons in football and basketball, earning 3A SSC MVP honors in both sports. The point guard made sound decisions with the basketball and was always ready to take the big shot, coach Allen Thomas says. Campau averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals per game in pacing the Blazers to a share of the 3A SSC title and the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament — where Timberline finished one game short of a fourth consecutive appearance in the state playoffs.
Forward, 6-6, senior
A big presence in the paint for the Cougars during his career, Erickson was named the 3A SSC defensive player of the year this season, and is a two-time first-team 3A SSC and Olympian All-Area pick. He provided a good complement for Penner’s sharp outside shooting, averaging 11 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game in helping Capital secure a share of the 3A SSC title, and reach the Tacoma Dome for just the second time in the past decade. Erickson leaves Capital shooting a school-record 66 percent from the floor in his career.
Forward, 6-9, sophomore
The towering sophomore has already generated plenty of Division I interest with two seasons left to play, and was the youngest first-team selection in the always-competitive 4A SPSL. Grant was a consistent threat inside — and had a pleasantly smooth 3-point shot for a power forward, who projects as a wing at the next level — for an Olympia team that finished as the 4A SPSL runner-up, and was two wins away from advancing out of the 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament. Grant averaged 13.1 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.
Guard, 6-2, junior
Another key piece for the Bears, the 4A SPSL second-teamer averaged 12.3 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game, on a balanced team that featured four scorers who averaged double figures this season. Johnson often provided an offensive spark for Olympia, in helping the program to a runner-up finish in the 4A SPSL, and a 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament berth — where the Bears finished two wins short of the state playoffs. He returns next year, along with Grant and several other impact players, in what certainly could be a state tournament season for Olympia.
Forward, 6-4, senior
The only returning returning starter from a North Thurston team that reached the 3A state regionals a year ago, Tenkley carried the scoring load for the Rams. The 3A SSC first-teamer put up impressive numbers — nearly averaging a double-double with 22.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Though the Rams finished short of the playoffs, TenKley was a player for opponents to game plan for, leading the program in nearly every statistical category. He also chipped in 1.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
Jackson Bauer, Black Hills, sr.
Ethan Gahm, Olympia, jr.
Andrew Lindsay, Olympia, sr.
Nick Tarabochia, Northwest Christian, sr.
Ty Thompson, Shelton, sr.