An 18-9 season record and four post-season victories helped the Lovell Bulldogs land three players on the Class 3A West All-Conference team, along with two honorable mention picks, although coach Craig Lundberg was disappointed that the team didn’t receive an all-state selection.
Seniors Nic Haskell and Beau Green and junior Trace Murphey were named to the all-conference team, and Lundberg said senior Jacob Newman and junior Brandon Teter received votes to be named honorable mention.
Haskell was an all-around player for the Bulldogs, despite his 6-9 height, Lundberg said.
“If you look at Nic, he was second on our team in scoring, led the team in rebounding and blocked shots, was second on the team in assists and took the most charges. That tells you how valuable he is to our team,” Lundberg said, “not to mention the number of shots he changed or made difficult to shoot.”
Haskell shot 61 percent from the field and 62 percent from the foul line en route to scoring 13.7 points per game. He also averaged 8.4 rebounds per game, 2.7 blocks and 2.6 assists per contest. He was also a team leader.
“He led the team by example,” Lundberg said. “He wasn’t an in-your-face guy, but players knew what to expect and looked to him as an example. We had guys who set the example and everyone followed.”
Green was an outstanding leader, Lundberg said, calling the senior “the heart of our team, the heartbeat.”
“He made our team go,” the coach said. “He was more vocal and would get people excited by speaking up in the huddle or the locker room. He was a guy everybody followed, and guys worked their butts off because of that.”
Green hit 62 three-pointers and averaged 11 points per game for the Bulldogs. He led the team and conference with five assists per game and led the team with 43 steals. He was second on the squad with 6.1 rebounds per game.
“He was an incredible shooter who expanded his game to attack and get into the lane,” Lundberg said. “He improved his game for his senior year. He had a green light and could pull from anywhere and expect it to go in. He had the confidence of his staff and the team.”
Murphey was a “beast in the block” at 6-6, Lundberg said, and was difficult for many teams to match up with.
“He had soft hands and could score from almost anywhere on the floor,” the coach added. “He was able to score in multiple ways. He works hard in the offseason and puts in extra work, which is fantastic.”
Murphey led the team by shooting 67 percent from the field and scoring 14.5 points per game. He also averaged 5.7 rebounds per game.
Newman had a “really great” senior season, Lundberg said. Though not “a huge scorer” at 4.2 points per game, he was a tough defender who coaches could stick on an opponent’s quickest guard.
“He would do what was asked of him and did all of the little things,” Lundberg said. “He would get two to three assists and some steals and worked well within our offense. Sometimes when we needed a shot he was never afraid to take it or get a big rebound. He also hit some key free throws.”
Newman hit 14 three-pointers this season and shot 65 percent from the free-throw line. He also had 71 rebounds, 33 steals and 63 assists on the season.
Teter is a “super athlete who has a huge upside,” Lundberg said. “He goes in spurts but will do whatever you want him to do. He just needs to be more consistent. He can rebound, defend a team’s toughest player and score.
“His key is to develop a mentality and he can develop into an all-conference player or even higher.”
Teter averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
No all-state picks
Lundberg was upset that no Bulldog was selected for the Class 3A All-State team, though two were close in the voting.
“I was extremely disappointed in the fact that we didn’t get even one guy selected,” he said. “The East swept the West at State and they must have figured they had better players than the West. I was pretty upset.
“We had two guys who were very, very close. We win 18 games and don’t get one all-state kid.”
Lundberg said Haskell, Green and Murphey are three of the best players in the state, noting, “I felt bad for them, especially Beau and Nic as seniors and with how hard they’ve worked. They were deserving.”
By David Peck