The El Campo Ricebirds basketball season did not end with a return to the playoffs. However, the Ricebirds (13-11, 4-6) finished above .500 and the four district wins were their most since the 2015 season when they won six. El Campo down the stretch lost three district games by five points, with two games going into overtime and of those going into double overtime.
At one point during the season, the Ricebirds were second in the district. After starting the year 0-3, El Campo went on an eight-game winning streak which included beating the Schulenburg Shorthorns who went on to make it to the 2A State Semi-finals.
Ricebird senior post Reagan Spenrath was a big factor in scoring and limiting opponents. He was awarded El Campo’s lone first-team honor. Spenrath led the Ricebirds in points, rebounds and blocks. He was just short of averaging a double-double with 14.7 points and 8.2 rebounds a game.
“He definitely played a major role all season long,” Ricebird coach Kevin Lewis said. “He provided us with an inside and outside presence, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. His presence will definitely be missed next year.”
Junior forward Trinceton Foley and sophomore guard Rueben Owens II both earned second-team recognition.
“Foley and Owens played exceptionally well all season long, especially down the stretch,” Lewis said. “I personally thought they played like first-team all-district players. I’m very excited to get next season started and build off the success we had this past year. Foley and Owens are building blocks that can take us where we need to be next season.”
Foley was a lockdown defender and a good offensive rebounder, picking up put-back points finishing slightly behind Spenrath in both categories. Owens’ speed and athletism helped him get to the rim. He also led the Ricebirds in three-pointers made and three-point field goal percentage. Owens and Foley combined to score 21.2 points a game.
El Campo’s offense this year averaged 57.7 points per game, their highest scoring output since 2017 when they averaged 58.1 points per game.
The Ricebirds this year had five seniors Spenrath, Charles Shorter, Trayton Vaclavik, Blake Korenek and Andrew Kresta.
El Campo will have a good core next season, returning four starters in Foley, Owens, junior guard Isaiah Anderson and freshman guard La’Darian Lewis.
The Louise Hornets had one player earn all-district honors. Hornet senior point guard Rogeric Schooler received first-team recognition. This is the second year in a row he had first-team honors.