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Ryan Cork Hampshire
A 6-foot-1 junior point guard, Cork became the area's top ball distributor in his third varsity season. He led the co-champions of the Fox Valley Conference's Fox Division with 155 assists in 29 games for an area-best 5.3 average. "He sees the floor so well and he handled the pressure all year," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. "He can really handle the ball. He beats people off the dribble and draws defenders to him at just the right time, which is a gift." Cork was Hampshire's third-leading scorer with 244 points (8.4 avg), including 30 successful 3-point attempts. He finished with 82 rebounds (2.8) and 41 steals.
Tyler Crater Hampshire
A three-sport athlete, this 6-foot-3 guard elevated his game to a higher level in his third varsity season. The senior helped lead Hampshire to 23 victories and a share of the Fox Valley Conference's Fox Division title by scoring a team-high 522 points in 29 games (18.0 avg), the third-highest scoring average in the Fox Valley area this season. Crater led the Whip-Purs with 58 made 3-pointers, dished 61 assists, made 29 steals and finished second his team with 162 rebounds (5.6 avg). "The maturity he gained between his junior year and senior year was evident," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. "He was a team leader with a good head on his shoulders who didn't get rattled a lot, even when teams were doubling him and putting their best defender on him. It was a joy, an honor and a pleasure to coach him this year."
Moter Deng Burlington Central
This 6-foot-5 senior was a dangerous offensive threat and an aggressive defender for the Big Northern East champions. Deng led the Rockets with 326 points in 28 games (11.6 avg.) while shooting 49 percent from 2-point range (93 of 187), 29 percent from 3-point range (24 of 82) and 61 percent from the free-throw line (68 of 110). He led the Rockets with 68 assists (2.4 avg.) and 58 blocks (2.1) and was second on his team with 158 rebounds (5.6). "As the season went on he just got better and better," Central coach Brett Porto said. "He's a dynamic player who matured into a leader on the court for us once he bought into the fact he could change a game by altering shots and starting our transition game."
Antonio Domel St. Edward
This 5-foot-7 point guard led the Green Wave to 20 wins, their highest total since 1996-97. Domel finished as the area's third-leading passer with 134 assists in 28 games (4.8 avg). The senior was St. Edward's second-leading scorer with 288 points (10.3 avg). He shot 69-of-133 from 2-point range (51.9 percent) and 35-of-92 from 3-point land (38 percent). He also made 68.2 percent of his free throws (45 of 66), grabbed 66 rebounds and led the Wave with 69 steals. "He set the tone," St. Edward coach P.J. White said. "He was the one who originally set the goal for this team to win 20 games. He was pretty much the leader of the team and a huge overachiever. Whatever we accomplished had to go through him and he did a great job."
Amanze Egekeze Huntley
The season didn't begin for this 6-foot-7 forward until he recovered in January from September knee surgery to address patellar tendinitis, yet the talented junior soon returned to form as one of the area's premier players. Egekeze averaged 12.3 points in 13 contests on 52-of-108 shooting from 2-point range (48.1 percent) and 7-of-27 shooting from 3-point range (25.9 percent). He sank 35 of 51 free-throw attempts (68.6 percent), grabbed 69 rebounds (5.9 avg), blocked 25 shots, dished 10 assists and made 7 steals. "I appreciate how hard he worked just to come back to play at the level he played at for the last 4 or 5 games of the season," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "Offensively, he started showing the versatility he developed in his game over the summer."
Jason Gregoire Cary-Grove
The backup quarterback for Cary-Grove's state runner-up football team, this 6-foot-2 sophomore made an immediate impact in his first varsity basketball season. With only two days of practice under his belt after football ended, he scored 17 points in his first varsity game and improved as the season progressed. Gregoire finished with a team-best 264 points in 23 games (11.5 avg), a total spurred by a 41.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range (34 of 82). One of the area's top free-throw shooters, he drained 78 of 93 attempts (83.9 percent). He also averaged 4.7 rebounds to go with 55 assists and 26 steals. "Not a lot of seniors can do what he did as a sophomore," Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle said. "People probably don't realize what he meant to our team and what he had to do. We put a lot on his shoulders."
Zack Harris Streamwood
Injury free for the first time in his varsity career, Streamwood's 6-foot-9 center made an impact whether he was hitting shots, hauling in rebounds or intimidating opposing players in the lane. The senior center finished the season averaging 11 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game. "Zach's first full year without injury made him a valuable commodity," Streamwood coach Tim Jones said. "His size and outside shooting ability made him a threat any time he had the ball. His better days are still ahead of him. His size and athletic ability will make some college very happy."
Shane Hernandez Hampshire
Committed to Wisconsin-Whitewater, this 6-foot-6 senior was a key figure in Hampshire's drive to a shared title in the Fox Valley Conference's Fox Division. A four-year varsity player and repeat all-area pick, Hernandez helped the Whip-Purs to a 23-6 record by leading the area with 253 rebounds (8.7 avg.) and 80 blocked shots (2.8). He was Hampshire's second-leading scorer with 300 points in 29 contests (10.4 avg). "He's a great player but he's a great person, more importantly," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. "He's so big hearted, like our big teddy bear. He helped make this entire year fun."
Quantice Hunter Larkin
Formerly considered a spot-up perimeter shooter only, this 6-foot guard expanded his game in his third varsity season and helped lead Larkin to its first conference and regional titles in seven years. The team's emotional leader, according to his coach, this repeat all-area selection entered sectional play leading the Royals with 411 points (15.2 avg), a total that includes 53 3-pointers. The senior has also contributed 114 rebounds (4.2 avg), 84 steals (3.1) and 75 assists (2.8). "He does everything for us and he's a leader in practice," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "He's transformed his game. As recently as last year he was primarily a shooter, but now he's a scorer. What most people don't know is that from December through the end of January he had no confidence in his jump shot, but you couldn't tell because he was still making plays for us."
Dylan Kissack Dundee-Crown
A repeat all-area pick, Kissack posed a threat for the 19-win Chargers due to his versatility. The 6-foot-3 senior forward not only led Dundee-Crown with 156 rebounds in 27 games, he also hit a team-best 47 3-pointers in 132 attempts (35.6 percent). D-C's second-leading scorer finished the season with 313 points (11.6 avg.), 53 assists and 20 steals. "Dylan was our best shooter and very consistent," D-C coach Lance Huber said. "The remarkable thing was he was patient enough to wait for his shot when everyone was keying on him and he still managed to make 47 3-pointers. He added to his game every year he was on the team. Steady as they come."
Kendale McCullum Larkin
This junior enjoyed a breakthrough season in his second varsity campaign. Considered among the area's best defensive players, the 6-foot-1 point guard entered sectional play as the team leader with 108 steals in 28 games (3.9 avg). The deft passer leads the Royals with 140 assists (5.0 avg) and has contributed 315 points (11.2 avg), 131 rebounds (4.7) and 13 blocks. A slasher who prefers to penetrate, McCullum has been to the free-throw line 167 times and made 115 (68.9 percent). "It's hard to encapsulate what he does for us because he does everything," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "He's probably the best defender in the area and I think he's the best on-ball defender I've seen in a long time. He just hounds the ball. When we're playing well, we're a real good defensive team and it starts with him."
John Moss Bartlett
Few players possess the shooting capability of this 5-foot-10 senior guard. In his third varsity season Moss finished with the area's best free-throw percentage (97.2) after canning 35 of 36 attempts. A dangerous 3-point shooter, he stroked 36.9 percent shots (62 of 168), many from 23 feet and beyond, en route to 331 points in 30 games (9.2 avg.). He also contributed 81 rebounds, 28 assists and 25 steals for a team that won 20 games. "John became a better all-around player this year compared to the previous couple years when all he did was shoot," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "He rebounded real well for us, which is not easy to do when you're 5-10. He handled the ball so well it was like having another point guard, and he improved his shooting range."
Bryce Only Huntley
A four year varsity player, three-year starter and two-time all-area selection, this 6-foot-1 guard was the driving force behind Huntley's third straight Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title. A senior committed to play baseball at Nebraska, Only led the Red Raiders with 164 rebounds in 25 games (6.6 avg). He also paced his team in assists (66), steals (51) and deflections (73) while averaging 9.6 points per game on 98-of-197 shooting. Long considered one of the area's best defensive players, he even sank 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range. Only finishes as Huntley's all-time leader in steals and assists. "We're going to miss him greatly," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "He was a fantastic team leader this year. Bryce guarded everyone from the other team's center to the other team's point guard. We just put him on the best player on the other team."
Adrian Ponce St. Edward
St. Edward enjoyed its best season in 16 years due in part to the production of this tenacious 6-foot-4 forward. The senior helped lead the Green Wave to a 20-8 record by grabbing a team-best 165 rebounds (5.9 avg) and scoring 288 points without attempting a single 3-point shot. Ponce made 38.8 percent of his attempts from the field (108 of 278) and 60 of 89 free-throw attempts (67.4 percent). He also contributed 43 steals and 35 assists. "We don't win 20 games without Adrian," St. Edward coach P.J. White said of the all-SCC Gold selection. "He was a very versatile player who could play on the point of the press, and play forward, center or out on the wing. When he played really well, we played really well."
Brandon Rodriguez Dundee-Crown
A two-time all-area selection, this 6-foot-1 senior guard was the leading offensive force for a team that won 19 games and the Sycamore Thanksgiving Tournament. The senior led the Chargers with 416 points in 27 games (15.4 avg.) while shooting 53.2 percent from the field (125 of 235), 31.9 percent from 3-point range (30 of 94) and 63.9 percent from the free-throw line (76 of 119). Rodriguez finished with 113 rebounds (4.2 avg.), 45 steals and 42 assists. "He had a heck of a year for us and I still don't think he's reached the limits of his ability," D-C coach Lance Huber said. "I hope he goes on to play at the next level because there is still a lot of untapped potential there."
Austin Rogers Crystal Lake South
Also his school's starting quarterback last fall, this 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard developed into a force for the Gators in his junior basketball season. Rogers led CL South with 423 points in 28 games (15.1 avg), but scoring is just one facet of his well-rounded game. Physical enough to fight for 180 rebounds (6.3 avg) and get to the free-throw line 156 times (making 101), Rogers also possessed a soft shooting touch responsible for 17 3-pointers. "Austin has incredible strength and toughness for a junior guard," CL South coach Matt LePage said. "He is a relentless attacker and can score from anywhere on the court. He is a tremendous athlete that makes everyone else better." Rogers found teammates for 70 assists, made 25 steals and blocked 4 shots.
Quentin Ruff Larkin
Few players have the ability to stretch opposing defenses like Ruff, who has buried a team-best 67 shots from 3-point range for the UEC River and Class 4A regional champions. Entering sectional play the 6-foot senior guard ranked second on his team with 385 points in 28 games (13.8 avg) and was tops among starters with a 71-percent free-throw percentage (76 of 107). Also a tenacious defender, he has 60 steals (2.1) to go with 88 rebounds (3.1) and 58 assists (2.1). "He not only can shoot it really well and score, but defensively he's as good as we've got," said Royals' coach Deryn Carter. "We can use him to guard a point guard or a post player because we have the confidence he can bang with them on the offensive glass."
Will Schwerdtmann Jacobs
This 6-foot-3 senior guard could carry the Golden Eagles when his shots were falling. "He was a streak shooter and, boy, when he got in a streak he could ride it," said Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle. "He had a lot of confidence in his ability to score and didn't get down on himself. We depended on him a lot and he hit a lot of big buckets to tie a game up in the last minute of play or give us the lead." Schwerdtmann scored 144 of his 327 points on 48-of-164 shooting from 3-point range (29.3 percent). He shot 71.2 percent from the free-throw line (37 of 52) while averaging 4.2 rebounds per game. He finished with 47 assists, 25 steals and 14 blocks.
Jake Wagner Huntley
Accuracy was the hallmark of this 6-foot-2 shooting guard. The senior led the three-time FVC Valley champions with 252 points in 26 games (9.7 avg), including a 41.3-percent shooting performance from 3-point range (43 of 104) and an 82.5-percent showing from the free-throw line (33 of 40). "He was the best shooter on our team and our second-best defender," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "His quickness and athleticism really bothered some players in our conference." Wagner set a school record when he connected on nine 3-pointers in a victory at Prairie Ridge. He finished the season with 74 rebounds (2.8 avg), 30 assists, 29 steals and 46 deflections.
Bryce Warner Burlington Central
This 6-foot-2 senior forward was a relentless force on the glass for the Big Northern East champions. A unanimous all-conference selection by league coaches and voted team MVP by his peers, Warner grabbed a team-best 180 rebounds, 67 of them offensive, and led his team in steals (47). He was Central's third-leading scorer with 197 points (7.3 avg). "I'm not sure where we end up without him," Central coach Brett Porto said. "He just got it done and really didn't care what he had to do. He was always doing something to help us win the game."
Darius Wells South Elgin
A repeat all-area selection, this 5-foot-10 guard's season was cut short due to a foot injury after 11 games, but not before he again proved he is among the area's elite basketball players. The junior averaged a team-best 13.5 points to go with averages of 3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game. His season highlights included a 3-pointer that beat Fenton in the waning seconds and a 32-point performance in a win over Elk Grove. "He works hard for us and he's our leader," South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. "Unfortunately, he went down with a nagging foot injury, but when he was playing he was solid and very tough to stop."
Lance Whitaker Bartlett
A varsity performer since his freshman year, this 6-foot-4 senior guard returned from an ACL tear that sidelined him last season to reestablish himself among the area elite. Committed to Illinois-Chicago, he led 20-win Bartlett with 556 points in 30 games (18.5 avg.). He sank 47.5 percent of his 2-point attempts (149 of 314), shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range (33 of 89) and made 159 of 230 free throws (69.1). Whitaker also paced the Hawks in rebounding (7.1 avg.), steals (29) and blocks (20) and he dished 60 assists. "Not only did he come back from a serious injury to be the player he was, but he grew as a player," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "He worked hard to come back. Realistically, Lance really pulled this team together this year. We had a really good group of kids and a really good season, and it was a neat thing to see his season come together like it did."
Arie Williams Elgin
The honorary captain of the 2012-13 Fox Valley all-area team excelled in the face of mounting attention. Regularly double and triple-teamed as the season progressed, this 5-foot-8, four-year varsity wing nevertheless led the Fox Valley area with 622 points in 28 games (22.2 avg.). Williams was remarkably accurate, sinking 55.6 percent of his 2-point attempts (99 of 178) and an eye-popping 50.5 percent from 3-point range (99 of 196). Named the Upstate Eight River Player of the Year by league coaches, he also led the Maroons in assists (121) and steals (69) while managing 3.5 rebounds per game. "He competed every second of every game, and that's the best compliment I can give," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "He wanted the ball in his hands and he wanted to guard the other team's best player at all times."
Will Woodhouse Westminster Christian
This repeat all-area selection rebounded from a December illness to lead the Warriors with 444 points in 28 games (16.1 avg). An all-Northeast Conference pick, the 6-foot-1 guard set a single-season school record with 78 3-pointers in 212 attempts (36.8 percent). He also connected on 78 of 135 attempts from 2-point range (57.8 percent) and 54 of 73 of free throws (74 percent). He finished with 87 assists and 48 steals while halving his 2011-12 turnover total. "One of the neatest things about this season was watching Will Woodhouse mature into a complete player for us," Westminster Christian coach Bruce Firchau said. "He had a great second half and finished strong." Committed to Judson University, Woodhouse finishes as Westminster's all-time leader in career 3-point percentage (38.2) on 145-of-380 shooting.
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