SAN LUIS OBISPO (March 1, 2018)— Cuesta Men’s Basketball team finished 3rd in the Western State Conference with a 6-4 mark against the loop and returned to the post-season after a one-year absence.  The Cougars, 16-16 overall, earned a home game as the #15-seed in the CCCAA Playoffs, but lost their opening round playoff game to #18 Antelope Valley, 64-58, to end their run.  The Western State Conference held its season-ending coaches meeting last weekend and has released the 2018 All Western State Conference seasonal awards.  Four members of the Cuesta starting line-up were honored, including two first team selections! 

2017 Team MVP Noah Saunders (Pittsburgh, PA) repeated as a member of the All Western State Conference First Team.  Saunders was a force to be reckoned with during his sophomore campaign. Saunders averaged 17.9 points per game on the season, the 10th highest mark in school history, and his career average of 15.1 points per game ranks 9th all time.  He also led the team with 8.0 rebounds per game which landed him at #10 at Cuesta for a season and 3rd all time with 7.6 boards per contest over his career.  He led the Cougars in scoring 15 times and rebounds 19 times during the season, including eight double-doubles.  On defense, Saunders also led the Cougars with 51 blocked shots and was second on the team with 28 steals.  He ranks 4th all time at Cuesta in career blocked shots (76).  Saunders is only the 19th two-time all-conference first team selection in 53 years of Cuesta College Basketball.

Sophomore Center Finn Whetstone (Sacramento) was also selected to the 2018 All-WSC First Team. Whetstone took some time to establish himself and did not crack the starting line-up during the first month of the season, but once installed in the rotation he made his mark in the paint.  He averaged 9.8 points per game over the season, however his 61.1 shooting percentage ranked 9th in the State and 3rd all time at Cuesta.  Whetstone was also second on the team with 39 blocked shots and third with 4.8 rebounds per contest.  His 32-point game at Oxnard on January 20 was the team’s season-high. 

Shooting Guard Josh Wilson-Murry (San Luis Obispo: Paso Robles HS) and Power Forward Iker Cruz (Madrid, ESP) were both accorded all-WSC Honorable Mention.  Wilson-Murry was second on the team with 11.1 points per game.  He netted a team-high 15 points in the Cougars’ playoff loss to Antelope Valley and was the Cougars most prolific three-point scorer.  The Southpaw converted 79 three-point shots on the season, which ranked 13th in the State and are the 4th highest total in Cuesta history.  Wilson-Murry also led the Cougars with 39 steals on defense and added 2.3 assists per game on offense.  Cruz’s team-first style and his efficiency made all of his teammates better.  Cruz averaged only 6.8 points per game, but made more than 50% of his field goals, 70% of his free throws, and led the team in three-point accuracy at 45.7%, which also ranked 13th in the State (min 40 3FGM).  Cruz was second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game and was one of four players on the team to average more than a couple assists per game (2.1 apg). 


All-WSC Honors

Noah Saunders- First Team

Finn Whetstone- First Team

Josh Wilson-Murry- Honorable Mention

Iker Cruz- Honorable Mention