BOYS BASKETBALL: All-Area Second Team
Marshall also looked to senior guard C.D. Douglas on both ends of the floor this season. Douglas swiped an average 2.7 steals (78 total) per game, third-best in the area. Along with 11 blocked shots, Douglas also recorded 440 points (15.2 average), 138 rebounds (4.8) and 76 assists (2.6) this season. At the line, he was 62 of 97 for .639.
“C.D. Was a leader for us in almost every statistical category,” Carroll said. “We depended on him to guard the other team’s best player. His field goal percentage was very high to go along with his scoring.”
Junior forward Josh Gallegos nearly averaged a double-double for Canby this season, finishing the year with a 14.5 point (435 total) and 8.9 (266) rebound average. Gallegos went 73-for-121 at the stripe for 60.3 percent. He also contributed a 2.1 steal (62 total), 1.8 assist (54) and 1.3 block (39) average for the Lancers.
“Josh had a good year, especially considering it was the first year he really played a lot,” Hanson said. “Wherever the ball was, that’s where he was it seemed. He was a good rebounder and a good scorer, too. But I think his best attribute was his defense. He has long arms and got so many steals the last few games. That really helped our team.”
Sophomore forward Josh Kirk led a young Tracy-Milroy-Balaton team to a 15-13 season. Kirk poured in 522 points for an average of 18.6 per game, seventh best in the area, including 95 baskets out of 132 attempts for a solid 72 percent from the line. Kirk also averaged 5.8 rebounds (127 total), 2.5 assists (70) and 1.4 steals (39) per game this season.
“I thought Josh had a tremendous season,” TMB coach Rick Haberman said. “I really thought he had a break-out year this year. What was impressive was that he did everything well, but we also did everything well on a consistent basis. He was always solid in every game we played. He didn’t have games where he was down. We look forward to some great things for him in the future.”
Senior guard Alex Knutson put up an average 18.3 points per game (440 total) for Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Knutson finished third in the area with 145 assists, an average of 6.0 per game, in addition to pitching in 104 rebounds (4.3 average) and 39 steals (1.6). At the line, he went 61-for-102 for 59.8 percent.
“Alex is a four-year letterwinner for the Chargers,” WWG coach Derrick Jenniges said. “He’s a young man who is truly passionate for the game. He’s one of the fastest players in southwest Minnesota. Alex will continue his basketball career at Waldorf in Forest City (Iowa), playing for Coach Nigel Jenkins.”
Minneota/Lincoln HI junior guard Dylan Tolk finished fourth in the area in free-throw shooting, going 61-for-79 for .772, in addition to dishing out 78 assists, an average of 3.0 per game, and grabbing 70 steals, an average of 2.7 per game, this season.
“Dylan had some knee issues and had to sit out three games,” Minneota/LH coach Dave Busselman said. “So his stats weren’t quite as high as they could have been. But he takes good care of the ball for us. He touches the ball about 90 percent of the time.”
Tolk helped lead the Vikings to an 18-8 record this year.
“He and Daniel (Harrison) are the last two out of the gym every night,” Busselman said. “It says a lot that we have to kick them out every night.”
Leading the area, senior forward Tanner Bock hauled down an astronomically-high 19.0 average rebounds per game, for a total of 475, in addition to compiling an average 17.6 points (441 total) this year for Wabasso. Bock also tallied an average 2.0 steals (50) and 1.6 assist (40) per game along with 18 blocked shots. At the line, he shot 72-for-135 for 53 percent.
“Tanner came in with a great attitude this year, and he really worked his butt off underneath the basket,” Hadley said. “You look at him and he’s not that improsing. He’s only 6-foot-2 or 6-3, but he is one of the strongest guys I’ve ever seen. He just goes after the ball.”
Bock now holds Wabasso school records for most rebounds per game (33), most rebounds per season (475) and best rebound average in a season (19.0). In the Tomahawk Conference, he left his mark for most rebounds per season (325) and best rebounding average in a season (20.3). At the state level, Bock is currently tied for fourth for rebounds in a game (33) and eighth in rebounds per season (475).
“Tanner is so fast off of the floor,” Hadley said. “While everybody else is waiting to jump for a rebound, he’s already got the ball. He’s a hard-working kid. Both he and Neil are unique individuals in their own way and they’ll both be missed in our program next year.”
Junior guard Blake Lindstrom came on strong partway through the season for Yellow Medicine East, having battled back from an injury suffered in football this past season.
“Blake missed three games early in the season with an MCL tear from the football season, and probably didn’t begin playing his best basketball until late January,” YME coach Jake Suter said. “Having Blake on the floor at full strength made everyone on the floor better and allowed us to play other guys on our team in positions that allowed them to be more successful.”
Lindstrom finished second in the area in free-throw shooting, connecting on 71 of 88 shots at the line for 80.7 percent. He averaged 17.3 points (397 total), 5.0 rebounds (115), 3.6 assists (82) and 2.7 steals (63). His 66 shots from behind the arc were second-best this year as well.
“Blake is an outstanding shooter from the 3-point line with great range, but he’s improved greatly from last year by finding more ways to score than just shooting the 3-point shot,” Suter said. “He did a great job getting in the paint as well as getting to the free-throw line more frequently. He also does a great job delivering the ball to his teammates in places in which they can score.”
Elkton-Lake Benton junior guard Heath Schindler collected an area-leading 93 steals this season, for an average of 4.1 steals per game. Schindler was also second in assists with a 6.6 average (151 total) and fifth in free-throw percentage (93-for-121 for .769). He finished the year with an 18.2 point (413 total) and 4.6 rebound (104) average for the Elks, who compiled a 17-6 record this year and fell just short of the state tournament.
“Heath is our point guard and he runs the show for us,” Elkton-Lake Benton coach Steve Erickson said. “He can score when he needs to and he wants to in addition to setting other people up. And both he and Nathan (Krog) are very good defenders. Defensively, they were the keys to what we did on the floor.”
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton senior forward Brett Vercruysse averaged 18.9 points (454), 8.1 rebounds (195) and made 71 percent (80 of 112) of his free-throw attempts.
“Vercruysse was as hard a worker as I have ever coached and did a great job as far as giving us a strong inside presence,” RTR coach Ted Kern said.