The Breckenridge boys basketball team wasn’t able to meet for their annual awards banquet to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the players were still informed on what awards they were given.
Cooper Yaggie was unsurprisingly the top vote-getter for the Steve Lipp Award (most valuable player). Yaggie averaged over 17 points per game to lead his squad in scoring and was also frequently tasked with locking down the opposing team’s best guard. His teammates recognized that and also voted for him to win the Best Defensive Player award.
“Cooper had a phenomenal season. He had a phenomenal season because he was coming off of a major injury the year before with his shoulder, so he didn’t really get to see a lot of playing time a year ago,” Breckenridge coach Arly Ohm said. “What he did offensively and defensively are in the record books. He was in the top five for scoring in a game and every night he had to guard their best player. He did a fantastic job.”
Yaggie was also named a member of the Heart O’ Lakes All-Conference Team. Jonah Christensen, the team’s second leading scorer and top rebounder, also earned the honor.
“(Christensen) had a phenomenal year. He’s a very undersized post being 6-foot-2 going up against the size that we see night in and night out. He was another guy that reached the record board with 22 rebounds in a game and that’s not easy to do,” Ohm said. “He had to make the transition from B-squad to A-squad because he didn’t really see varsity time until the last quarter of the season as a sophomore. He made some big jumps and I think this whole group did.”
Junior Perez had the tall order of running the point for Breck this season. The varsity newcomer made up for what he lacked in height by frequently sparking his team with his effort and constant motor, which led to him being awarded the Cowboy Hustle award.
“You’ve really got to give him credit because he’s coming off a B-squad year and anybody that’s gone through the transition knows, jumping from B-squad to A-squad is a major transition,” Ohm said. “Junior is a great team-first guy, very coachable and I thought he really developed a lot this year. He’s just kind of that glue that keeps everyone together because they know he’s in it for the right reasons. He’s definitely a scrappy player and fun to watch.”
Another varsity newcomer recognized for his team-first mentality was Adam Ohm. The junior earned the Cowboy Award for his work ethic, attitude and ability to put the team before himself.
“I thought Adam had a really good year because we played four different guys at that spot this year. I think the guys see him day in and day out at practice and he’s in it for the right reasons,” Coach Ohm said about his son. “He works hard everyday, is obviously very coachable and I think his peers recognize that he describes that award to be honest with you.”
Anthony Conzemius started multiple games throughout the year and when he wasn’t in the starting five he was bringing energy and rebounding off the bench. His progression from last year to this year earned the junior the Most Improved Award. Coach Ohm said it was encouraging for his team that several players received votes for this award.
“Anthony came a long way this year and he worked really hard at it. Not only did he get better, but he was willing to put the time in,” Coach Ohm said. “I’ve already seen Anthony putting the time in by himself already, which is a great sign for a kid that’s going to be a senior. He’s very deserving. Anthony’s a great kid, works hard at it and obviously improved dramatically compared to a year ago.”
Voting for the Buckets and Books Award (top senior student-athlete) wasn’t very difficult for the team considering they only had one senior. Tyson Piechowski received the award and was recognized for his leadership with a young group around him.
“It kind of illustrates the character of what we want to see, ‘Once a Cowboy always a Cowboy,’” Coach Ohm said.
Gus Hasbargen rounded out the award recipients with the Bench Captain honor. The award is given to someone who doesn’t see the floor on a regular basis, but is still active in the game by cheering his teammates on and helping the team succeed with other duties.
“In many ways, back when we had our state tournament runs, you thought of Whitey (Ethan Friederichs). We look at that as an honor and we expect a lot out of them. It’s not just the games, but who can get us going in practice, who can get us going in the games, who’s going to help with our scout teams and that was very evident that Gus Hasbargen stood out in that area,” Coach Ohm said. “He’s very deserving and I think if you ask Gus if he had a good year, I think he’d say he had a great year. It tells you that he was a team-first guy.”
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Minnesota, had the most All-Conference selections with four and Finn Diggins from Perham, Minnesota, was named HOL MVP.