TOLEDO — Over the last five years, the Toledo boys basketball team has won five league championships, going 56-1 in Sunset Conference play and 105-42 overall.
They made the state tournament in Pendleton three of those five years (2015, 2018, 2019) and missing the trip by one game twice (2016, 2017). The Boomers played for the state championship in 2015 and played in the semifinals last year when they took third place.
Toledo’s teams have been littered with all-state players, such as first teamers David Ammons (2014, 2015), Isaiah Marchant (2015, 2016), who was also the 2016 Oregon State Player of the Year and Conner Marchant (2017 third team, 2018, 2019 first team all-state). The Boomers have also had second team all-state players Jackson Cross (2015), Jaydn Spangler (2017, 2018, 2019), and third teamers Kyle Otis (2016, 2017) and Jaxon Rozewski (2018, 2019).
With that resumé, what do this year’s Boomers wish to accomplish?
“That is a lot of accomplishments to be proud of,” Toledo head coach Eddie Townsend said. “I am a blessed guy to be able to coach in such a great community. We have some unfinished business to attend to this year.”
Toledo has four of their five starters and two rotation players returning to a team that was one game short of the state title game last March.
Newcomers Kellan Howard, who transferred from Waldport in April, and Gunner Rothenberger will fill out the rest of the rotation for the Boomers this season. Seniors Conner Marchant (four-year starter) and Clifton Howard (three-year starter), juniors Jaxon Rozewski (three-year starter) Mason McAlpine (two-year starter) and Kellan Howard (two-year starter at Waldport) will round out the starting five.
Juniors Markus Cross and Larell Covington, as well as sophomores Coren Loper, Bubba Barnhart and freshman Gunner Rothenberger will make the rotation deep for this year’s Toledo squad.
“We are deep, have talent and length and most of all, a ton of big-game experience,” Townsend explained. “This group of guys has done great things. They have worked extremely hard since I started coaching them in middle school and on up. I am proud of what they have accomplished on and off the court. We have been building to this window of time. Now we just have to see what the game has for us. In the end, it isn’t about wins and losses, but building young men of character. Yet in that process, we play to win, so let’s go out and do it!”
This year’s Boomers have been voted #2 in the pre-season OSAA coaches poll, with seven first-place votes, just behind last year’s state champion Western Christian.
Western Christian defeated Toledo in the semifinals 67-55 after then junior Conner Marchant fouled out in the third quarter. Toledo beat Knappa 67-40 to take home the third-place trophy and deemed themselves the “Public School State Champs” after the state championship game was played by Western Christian and Columbia Christian, both private schools.
This year, the Boomers are looking to take down the Pioneers on their way to achieving the ultimate goal, bringing home a blue trophy.
“We know who the top teams are, and we are one of them,” Townsend said. “We have a few dates circled, and we talk about them — Coquille and Bandon to win the league, and then Feb.