Matt Acevedo Maine WestAcevedo really stepped into his role as a starting guard as a junior this season after being brought up to the varsity at the end of last season. He averaged 15 points and 5.1 rebounds while making 64 three-point shots, including 6 in a game against Lincoln Park. "Matt is a hard-working young man who has really improved his rebounding and defense from the start of the season," Maine West coach John Bongiorno said. "He is very coachable and will be the leader of the team next season. His ability to hit the long-range shot helps us stretch the defense. He is someone the opposition had to find in transition and that opens up the court for his teammates and we have been able to count on him night in and night out to score."
Andrew Apel Buffalo GroveTwo-year starter for the Bison and all-area and all-conference last year. This year he averaged 16 points per game, leading his team in 3-pointers and assists and finishing second in rebounds. He also made more free throws (96) than any other player on his team attempted. Also played quarterback on the football team. "Andrew usually has guarded the other team's best player and was clearly the focus defensively for other teams," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. He was asked to handle the ball more this year and be more of a playmaker this year and has been successful with both of those tasks."
Ore Arogundade St. ViatorPlayer of the year. He is a four-year varsity player and three-year starter who became the leading scorer in St. Viator history with 1,531 points and 561 rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field. He had 13 NCAA Division I offers and will play at Drake next year. Put up monster numbers in all facets of the game, averaging 20.1 points, 9.2 rebounds 5.1 assists 2.6 steals for the Lions. The ultimate pressure player as well, he tied or won 4 games this year with last-second shots. "Very few kids can dominate the game like he can," St. Viator coach Mike Howland said. "He is a special player. He is a great teammate who makes everyone on the court play better."
Zach Bart BarringtonA 6-foot-5 post player who has been a two-time all-conference choice in the MSL, Bart brings a solid game every night. He average 10 points and 5 rebounds and was the Broncos' third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. "Zach has been a great leader this year," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "As a team captain he really stepped to the forefront, leading by example and showing tremendous character. Zach is a hard worker. While he was a true low-post player as junior, Zach committed to expanding his skill set for senior year. This year his dedication has paid off. He is a dual threat -- able to knock down a shot from the arc, or hurt you inside on the block. This is a combination that has caught some Division III coaches' attention. I expect Zach to be playing next year in college."
Nick Best LeydenBest was just that for an Eagle team that finished 11-15. The senior forward averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds. Outstanding student as well, scoring a 32 on his ACT. "Nick Best was the engine to our team," Leyden coach Bill Heisler said. "He developed from a key role player as a junior to our leader and top performer as a senior. He has been a true class act every step of the way, and was a pleasure to coach."
Kyle Beyak ProspectThe 5-foot-11 guard was an iron man for the Knights this season, logging nearly 32 minutes in every game. He led the team in steals, assists (77) and free throw percentage (78 percent, on 52 of 67) while averaging 10.7 points. He also had a 2-to-1 assists-to-turnovers ratio. "Kyle shouldered a great responsibility getting the ball to our two main scorers, while also scoring in double figures himself," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "He is a proven winner, winning at every level he has played. I knew he was going to be good and he has a bright future for us."
Ben Carlson FremdHad a huge year for the Vikings, averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds. Carlson is a two-year starter who was all-tournament at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. He has signed to play at Division II Indiana Wesleyan . His 6-foot-6 size makes him a force inside for the Vikings. "Ben has improved his game in all aspects," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "He can play inside and on the perimeter. Because of that versatility, he created huge matchup issues with most teams."
Matt Dolan Rolling MeadowsShowed what hard work can do for a player. On the "B" team as a freshman, has been named as an all-area basketball player twice and is coming off a football season in which he was also named all-area. One of the main reasons the Mustangs have moved up this year are his 17 points and 9 rebounds per game. "Matt has been a warrior for us," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "He was a "B" player as a freshman and he has worked to improve and improve. It is just a great story."
Bobby Frasco ProspectThe 6-foot-4 shooting guard is coming off his best season yet for the Knights. A three-year varsity player, he is considering his collegiate options and will play NCAA Division I next year. A member of the all-area team last year, Frasco was voted a captain for the second consecutive year. He led the team in points, averaging 16.3. Also led the team in rebounds with 7.1 per game and had 38 blocked shots to go with 2.1 assists per game. Hit 54 3 pointers this year and shot 40 percent from outside the arc. "His leadership has been terrific," said Prospect coach John Camardella. "He came into this program and bought in from the beginning. That is why he has been so successful."
Riley Glassmann FremdOne of the area's top players this season and MSL West player of the year. A four-year varsity player, Glassmann scored over 1,200 points in his career while averaging 17.8 points per game. He was an all-tournament pick at Thanksgiving, and MVP of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. And, quite clearly, a key ingredient in the Vikings' undefeated regular season. His 6-foot-5 frame will be a huge asset to Cornell University next year. "Riley has really worked on all aspects of his game," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "He is very consistent in all phases of the game. His leadership has been a key for us this season."
D'Angelo McBride ConantThe best pure athlete in his school, McBride also plays football, where he was all-area and a top track star. Was an unanimous all-conference selection after averaging 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds while usually drawing his opponent's top scorer. "I can't think of many student-athletes that have his ability to accept responsibility and display leadership while doing so with great humility," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. "He does so many things for us both offensively and defensively."
Chris Macahon, PalatineThe Palatine offense ran through this hard-nosed player, who averaged 12.5 points and 5 rebounds with 3 assists. "We've asked Chris to wear a lot of different hats this year," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "He's had to distribute, score, rebound, defend the post; pretty much every facet of the game if we wanted to be successful. He's a competitor and he's versatile, which in turn makes him a very good high school basketball player."
Patrick McNamara St. ViatorMcNamara kept opposing teams from collapsing their defenses on the Lions, hitting 74 three-pointers. A two-year starter, McNamara averaged 13 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while playing the No. 2 guard spot. "Pat is one of the best shooters in the area," St. Viator coach Mike Howland said. "If he was somewhere else, his average would be way higher. I think he has become a big-time player, and his playmaking has been great. He is so unselfish. What a great weapon to have."
Joell Melendez Elk GrovePlayed point guard, running the offense for the Grenadiers with 61 assists. Averaged 12 points and was able to grab 4.1 rebounds with 36 steals. Melendez scored a season-high 24 points against Proviso West. "Joell understands when he needs to be a point guard," Elk Grove coach Anthony Furman said. "He understands that he can score or shares the ball more with his team. That is what made our offense run so well."
Alex Mueller Hersey
Mueller lLed the Huskies in scoring and defense while averaging nearly 12 points. He shot 30 percent from outside the arc and 62 percent from inside while converting 71 percent from the free throw line. Mueller was a team captain and is also a three-sport athlete, competing in soccer and volleyball in addition to basketball. "His leadership skills have been put to the test and he has aced that test with flying colors'" Hersey coach Steve Messer said. "That is because he is an excellent vocal leader, as well as a leader by example. Alex competes while maintaining a single focus. He is always playing at full speed and always looking to improve."
Matt Ochoa FremdOchoa went from part-time player last year to being a leader on the court for the Vikings. His off-season workout regimen led to him averaging 10.6 points and 5.7 rebounds. His 6-foot-6 frame took up a lot of space at both ends of the court and caused problems for opponents. "Ochoa was extremely consistent all season," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "Sometimes he gets overlooked. He has been a difference-maker for us. He creates matchup issues for other teams. He has made us hard to beat up front the throughout the season and his rebounding has been key."
Josh Rahn SchaumburgRahn stepped up big for the Saxons this season. His work ethic and hard play on defense was a big factor in many of Schaumburg's games this season. He averaged 11 points and 5 rebounds, swinging between guard and forward. "He truly was our best player," Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh said. "He was terrific on defense and usually guarded our opponent's best scorer. He was a versatile player and did so many things for our team."
Joe Ranallo ConantThe team leader for the Cougars was never afraid to go inside and mix it up. He was a unanimous all-conference selection after averaging 14 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3 assists. Ranallo is an inspiration off the court as well, having directed a fundraiser for tornado-ravaged Washington High School in central Illinois. "Joe is a scoring point guard," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. "He is a great combination of shooting, finishing, and distributing. He hit some big shots for us all year."
Jordan Robinson Hoffman EstatesRobinson has quietly become one of the top players in the area. His play has led to the resurgence of Hoffman Estates basketball this season, having averaged 18.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and nearly 2 steals. He was named to the all-tournament team at Crystal Lake Central at Thanksgiving and at Glenbard West at Christmas. Shot 51 percent from the field for the season and 76 percent at the free throw line. "Jordan has in inexhaustible work ethic and began working on his game as soon as the season ended," Hoffman Estates coach Luke Yanule said. "But not just on the court. He really committed to the weight room and physically transformed his body. He's highly coachable, humble, and has exhibited tremendous leadership this year."
Roosevelt Smart St. ViatorDidn't miss a beat after transferring Palatine last season. Smart followed up on his all-area play with another spectacular season. Averaged 15.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for the Lions. He has already attracted Division I offers from 5 schools. "Roosevelt has been awesome for us," St. Viator coach Mike Howland said. "One of the happiest players I have ever coached. Comes in every day and works hard. He has defended some of the best players we have played. Completely has bought in for us and does whatever it takes to win."
Danny Sotos ConantA part-time player as a sophomore last year, Sotos cam into his own this season for the Cougars. He was a swing man on offense, shuttling between forward and guard where and averaging 8.2 points and 5 rebounds. "It is great to see Dan's versatility developing, as a junior, playing well both inside and outside," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. "We have high expectations of him."
Jeremy Stephani WheelingA repeat all-area choice, Stephani continued to pick up his play, averaging 24 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Thanks to 76 three-point baskets this year, he became the highest scoring player in Wheeling history with over 1,500 points. He has been the leading scorer for his team in 23 of 26 games this year despite drawing his opponent's top defensive player. Scored 30-plus points 6 times this year, including a school-record 39-point performance. "Jeremy has been a fantastic player for us this season," Wheeling coach Anthony Como said. "He has improved in every facet of his game, and that truly speaks volumes.He's a smart player who has had to deal with swarming defenses that are geared on stopping him, and he has met every match head on."
Danny Thomas ProspectThe second-leading rebounder and scorer for the MSL East champ Knights, Thomas averaged 11.6 points, 4 rebounds and 2.2 assists while playing the wing. He had a huge tournament at Wheeling,where he was named to the all-tournament team. Has the second-best field goal percentage -- 61 percent on 105 of 172 -- in coach John Camardella's seven years with the program. "Danny just has a knack around the rim," Camardella said. "He is extremely versatile and was tough in the paint. His leadership and skill have been one of the reasons we have been so successful this year."
Jorden Thornton Hoffman EstatesThe future looks bright at Hoffman Estates, thanks in part to Thornton. The guard has dazzled opponents with his shooting and playmaking skills. He averaged 13 points as a sophomore while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. Converted 72 percent from the free throw line (69 of 96) and averaged 2.3 rebounds as a point guard, with 1.2 steals per game. "JT has shown a maturity beyond his years this season," Hoffman Estates coach Luke Yanule said. "His willingness to be coached has been tremendous. Not only is he a student of the game, constantly studying film, but he's also a tremendous student in the classroom which only benefits him on the court. He plays with a high skill level and it's been fun to see him grow this year as a player."
Player School Pos. Yr.
Matt Acevedo G Maine West Jr.
Andrew Apel F Buffalo Grove Sr.
Ore Arogundade* G St. Viator Sr.
Zach Bart C Barrington Sr.
Nick Best F Leyden Sr.
Kyle Beyak G Prospect Jr.
Ben Carlson F Fremd Sr.
Matt Dolan F Rolling Meadows Sr.
Bobby Frasco G Prospect Sr.
Riley Glassmann G Fremd Sr.
D'Angelo McBride F Conant Sr.
Chris Macahon G Palatine Jr.
Patrick McNamara G St. Viator Sr.
Joell Melendez G Elk Grove Sr.
Alex Mueller F Hersey Sr.
Matt Ochoa F Fremd Sr.
Josh Rahn F Schaumburg Sr.
Joe Ranallo G Conant Sr.
Jordan Robinson F Hoffman Estates Sr.
Roosevelt Smart G St. Viator Jr.
Danny Sotos G Conant Jr.
Jeremy Stephani G Wheeling Sr.
Danny Thomas F Prospect Sr.
Jorden Thornton G Hoffman Estates So.
* All-area team captain
Honorable mentionRyan Blaha (Conant, F, Sr.), Mark Falotico (St. Viator, G, Jr.), Scott Furlong (Elk Grove, G, Sr.), Max Heeren (Hersey, G, Jr.), Rapolas Ivanauskus, (Barrington, F, So.), Pat Kramp (Rolling Meadows, G. Sr.), Austin Madzryk (Barrington, F, Sr.), Xavier Williams (Fremd, F, Sr.)
Special mentionDom Aiello (Leyden, G, Jr.), Bryan Alcazar (Elk Grove, G, Sr.), Anthony Dones (Maine West, G, Sr.), Tyler Ingebrigtsen (Elk Grove, F, Jr.), Johnnie Flynn (Schaumburg, F., Sr), Kyle Formanski (Prospect, F, Jr.), Garrett Groot (Fremd, G, Sr.), Trevor Pye (Hoffman Estates, G, Sr.), Scott Smithern (Buffalo Grove, F, Sr.), Matt Ulrich (Palatine, G, So.), Paul Weiss (Christian Liberty, Jr.).
Selections and profiles by Dick Quagliano