Eighty percent of the area’s boys basketball teams finished above .500 this season, producing plenty of talented options for the 2013 Morris Daily Herald All-Area team.
Darrin Myers, Minooka
The Indians’ leading scorer at 13.8 points per game, Myers reached double figures in each of their Southwest Prairie Conference games, helping earn him first-team All-Conference honors. Myers also averaged 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
“Darrin was a huge reason that we have had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1990,” Minooka coach Scott Tanaka said.
Conlan Callahan, Seneca
A 42.3 percent three-point shooter and an 86.7 percent three-point shooter, Callahan scored 12.4 points per game to pace the Fighting Irish. He also averaged 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
“Conlan really started to come into his own this season and accept his role of being a shooter for us,” Seneca coach Russell Witte said. “His 18-point game again St. Bede in the regional championship highlighted what we hope to see from him all of next season as he looks to take that next step in his development process. The upside is great for Conlan, which is scary for everybody else.
Jake Hogan, Minooka
A second-year captain and fourth-year varsity player, Hogen averaged 12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He was first-team All-Conference in the SPC and All-Tournament at Galesburg and the WJOL Thanksgiving event.
“Jake is a huge reason that we have had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1990,” Tanaka said.
Ben Ortiz, Morris
Ortiz had the area’s highest scoring average this season at 14.9 points per game. He also averaged 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, totaled 18 blocks and 18 steals, was a unanimous first-team All-Conference pick in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East, was All-tournament at Coal City and Plano. and won the Redskins’ MVP and Rebounding Award.
“I can’t think of a player that has improved more freshman year to senior year than Ben. He dedicated himself to basketball year-round and turned himself into a very good high school basketball player,” Morris coach Joe Blumberg said. “He battled through an injury at a tough time, and I’m proud of his determination to get back on the court for the postseason. He was the first guy mentioned on everybody’s scouting report, yet still found ways to put the ball in the hole.”
Nick Peters, Coal City
The 2013 All-Area Player of the Year scored an area-high 460 points (14.4 per game) on 58 percent field-goal shooting, grabbed an area-high 7.5 rebounds per game and blocked an area-high 67 shots. He also averaged 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game, was first-team All-Conference in the Interstate Eight and was All-Tournament at Coal City, Plano and the I-8 Tournament.
“Nick has put up some really big games in the second half of the season,” Coal City coach Brad Boresi said. “His defensive presence has caused a lot of problems for other teams trying to score around the basket.”
Brennen Shetina, Coal City
The Coalers’ assist leader with 115 (3.6 per game), Shetina also finished second on the Coalers with his average of 11.0 points per game. Shetina added 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game and was second-team All-Conference in the I-8.
“Brennen has been a huge reason for our success this season,” Boresi said. “He had some big shots in the regional championship win versus Morris. He runs our offense, and if he goes, we go. He showed a lot of maturity as the season progressed and really developed into a team leader.”
Peyton Schrag, Seneca
Schrag handed out a Seneca-high 3.1 assists per game while scoring 10.1 points per game and making 85.2 percent of his free-throw attempts. He added 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
“He has been a vital part of our rebuilding here at Seneca,” Witte said. “His work ethic and dedication to the sport and his craft really are second to none. Peyton was the glue for us when the games got tough. I am very proud of all that he has accomplished in his four years here at Seneca and look for to watching him play next season at either Lake Forrest or Judson University.”
Jimmy David, Seneca
Seneca’s leader in steals with 42, Davis scored 9.2 points per game and made 79.2 percent of his free throws. He also grabbed 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
Austin Patterson, Morris
Patterson averaged 10.1 points per game while making 43 percent of his three-point attempts and 79 percent of his free-throw attempts. He also finished second among the Redskins with 4.9 rebounds per game and added 31 assists and 22 steals.
“Austin developed into a scorer for us in his first varsity basketball contest,” Blumberg said. “He can flat-out shoot the basketball, and rebounded for us as well. With an offseason in the weight room and a continued commitment to improving on both ends of the floor, he will be a very good three-year varsity basketball player.”
Kyle Robison, GSW
Not only did Robison average a GSW-best 10.0 points per game, he averaged 11.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game after being permanently promoted to the varsity on Dec. 26 and made 26 percent of his field goals on the season. Robison also won the Panthers’ Defensive Player of the Year award.
COAL CITY — Senior guard Joe Micetich, who made winning baskets against Rockford Christian and Herscher for the Coalers and averaged 6.3 points per game. “When other teams have tried to take away our main scoring threats, Joe has done a great job of stepping up,” Boresi said. ... Senior forward Jon West, who averaged .93 points per game on 60 percent field-goal shooting. GSW — Junior forward Tristan Noonan, who averaged 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and was All-Tournament at Coal City. MINOOKA — Senior guard P.J. Jones, who led the area with 4.5 assists per game, also averaged 4 points and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2-to-1. “P.J. was a vital component to the success of our team this past year,” Tanaka said. ... Freshman guard Joe Butler, who averaged 4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. “Joe always guarded the opponent’s best scorer and player,” Tanaka said. ... Senior guard Adam Holstine, who averaged 5.1 points per game. “His 43 percent three-point shooting was important in all of our wins. MORRIS — Senior guard Jake Hogan, who averaged 9.8 points and 2.3 assists per game and was a 35 percent shooter from three-point land. “He can shoot the three, but really developed the ability to get to the basket and dish to open teammates,” Blumberg said. ... Senior guard Jason Matteson, who averaged 7.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. “He was our floor leader, physical on defense and carried us offensively in some ballgames,” Blumberg said. SENECA — Senior forward Chris Lee, who led the Irish in rebounds with 160 and blocks with 21 and scored 4.7 points per game. ... Senior guard Brian Bergeson, a 53.7 percent shooter from the field who averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.