Logan Atkins South ElginAn all-Upstate Eight Valley selection, this 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard came on strong in the second half of his senior year while playing for his third head coach in four varsity seasons. Atkins helped lead the Storm to an 18-10 record on the heels of last year's 13-17 finish and was a key reason South Elgin won 10 of its final 13 regular-season games. He averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game and sank 39.2 percent of his 3-point attempts (56 of 143). He finished with 943 career points. "As the year went on he became one of the true leaders of the team and understood what we were after," first-year South Elgin coach Brett Johnson said. "He bought into the goal, which is one of the reasons we looked good late. Logan took on the mentality of a leader and it showed on the court as a more positive and intense athlete."
Zach Beaugureau Cary-GroveCary-Grove improved from 6 wins last year to 15 wins this season, thanks partly to the efforts of this 6-foot-2, 170-pound scoring guard. Through 26 games entering regional play, the senior was averaging 16.2 points per game, nearly 10 more than his next closest teammate. He recorded six 20-point games and led the Trojans in scoring 23 times. He entered the playoffs shooting 45 percent from the field (152 of 334), 39 percent from 3-point range (44 of 113) and 78 percent from the free throw line (78 of 100), and he did it all "despite drawing his opponent's best defenders or double teams," Cary-Grove coach Adam McCloud said. He also contributed 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Defensively, he made 31 steals and deflected 28 passes.
Colin Cheaney BataviaAn all-Upstate Eight River selection, this 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard/forward went from a minor contributor as a junior to a key player as a senior, thanks to his off-season dedication to improve. Cheaney finished the season averaging 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He made 47 percent of his shots from the field and sank 35 percent of his 3-point attempts (45 of 126). "He's worked extremely hard and improved tremendously from last year to this year," Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. "He went from being a part of the group to a major part of the group. He's one of our hardest workers and a quiet leader. He had a great year for us and his best basketball is still to come." Cheaney has gained interest from Augustana and Illinois Wesleyan.
Courtese Cooper ElginThis 6-foot-8, 205-pound senior was an intimidating post presence defensively and offensively for a team that finished 16-14. A repeat all-area and all-Upstate Eight River pick, Cooper set a program record for single-season blocks last year with 154 when the Maroons played mostly zone defense. Though he spent more time away from the rim this year due to Elgin's switch back to mostly man-to-man defense, he nevertheless amassed an area-most 143 blocks (4.8 avg.). He increased his rebounding average from 10.5 as a junior to 12.7 as a senior, which ranks second areawide. His scoring improved from 8.9 ppg to 14.7, thanks to a smooth 3-point stroke that found the mark 55 times in 150 attempts (36.7 percent). "His shooting range increased tenfold from last year along with his court awareness and his instincts," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "He got a lot better this year and it was nice to see him take that next step. If he keeps taking steps like that, the sky's the limit for him."
Kelvin Cortez-Harvey St. EdwardHow do you top a 588-point junior season? By scoring a school-record 818 points as a senior, including a team-high 25 in a Class 2A regional title-game victory over top seed Northridge Prep. Entering sectional play, this repeat all-area selection was averaging a Fox Valley area-best 27.3 points per game. Third on St. Edward's all-time scoring list, the uncommitted, 5-foot-11, 146-pound guard shoots 47.2 percent from the field (290 of 615), 38 percent from 3-point range (84 of 221) and 78.2 percent from the free-throw line (154 of 197). He also contributes 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.8 deflections while committing only 1.8 turnovers. His 44-point effort in a Jan. 21 loss to Chicago Christian set a new single-game school record. "He's what you mean when you talk about the ultimate team player," St. Edward coach P.J. White said. "He not only scores points but he plays defense and makes all the other players around him look better."
Brett Czerak Aurora Central CatholicThough this repeat all-area selection and four-year varsity performer was the target of opposing defenses, he entered regional play averaging 25.5 points per game. Czerak shot 50.9 percent from the field (145 of 285), 44.3 percent from 3-point range (66 of 149) and a Fox Valley area-best 92 percent from the free-throw line (149 of 162). Czerak became Aurora Central Catholic's all-time leading scorer in January and finished with 1,843 career points in 111 varsity games, 214 points clear of the previous record. "His ability to just score in spite of all the special attention that defenses have thrown at him this year is truly remarkable," ACC 12th-year coach Nate Drye said. "He is a terrific shooter and his pull-up jumper off the bounce is unstoppable. Brett is the best pure scorer I have ever coached." The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 4.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.4 steals.
Anthony Delisi St. Charles NorthAn all-Upstate Eight River selection who St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin calls "one of the best we've had come through the program," this competitive, 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior has been a key to the North Stars 19-win campaign. In the final week of the regular season, Delisi was averaging 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals. His 4.8 assists per game ranks fourth among players from 26 Fox Valley area schools. Talk about clutch, Delisi sank 5 of 6 free throws in the final 42 seconds to defeat St. Charles North 44-40 on Dec. 3. On Feb. 21, he sank the game-winning jump shot with 4 seconds left in overtime to defeat Geneva, which entered 26-0. "Anthony has made the most out of his senior season," Poulin said. "His point guard play has been the main reason for our turnaround from last season. He worked hard in the summer and fall to prepare and has taken the reins and directed this group very well."
Camron Donatlan West AuroraA repeat all-area selection, this explosive 6-foot-2 junior guard helped lead West Aurora to the outright the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division title. Entering regional play Donatlan leads the Blackhawks (19-8) in scoring (16.5 ppg), assists (3.4) and steals (3.0). His 40.4-percent rate on 3-point attempts (23 of 57) also leads the team. "He went from being a drive-first player to being able to consistently hit the 3-point shot, which, in turn, opened up driving lanes for himself," West Aurora coach Brian Johnson said. "The pressure he put on the opponent's defense opened up scoring chances for his teammates and Camron was able to take advantage of those assist opportunities. The sky is the limit for Camron and he is only going to get better." A third-year varsity performer, Donatlan scored his 1,000th career point on Feb. 21 against Glenbard East.
JJ Flores Harvest Christian AcademyThis 6-foot-2 guard has done a bit of everything for Harvest Christian Academy since his transfer from Huntley. After helping the Lions go undefeated in Northeastern Athletic Conference play, he scored 32 points in two playoff games to help secure the first regional title in school history. Flores enters sectional play averaging 15.7 points, 6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3 steals per game. "I think he's one of our most improved players from the start of the season," Harvest Christian Academy coach Andre White, Sr. said. "He checked his ego, humbled himself and really became a good player. He really listens."
Justin Hardy St. Charles EastA repeat all-area selection, this talented junior was named Upstate Eight River player of the year for his all-around contributions to a team that won 18 of 26 regular-season games. Entering postseason play the 6-foot-5, 200-pound forward led the Saints in scoring (19.9 ppg), rebounding (8.2), steals (26) and blocks (24), all while playing 98 more minutes than his next closest teammate. Hardy shoots a team-best 56.8 percent from the field (197 of 347), a team-best 37.1 percent from 3-point range (36 of 97) and 69 percent from the free-throw line (87 of 126). A deft passer, he averages 2.5 assists. "He's a hardworking kid, a great kid and also a great student," St. Charles East coach Patrick Woods said. "He's pretty much the all-around package, just an awesome kid. I'm glad we have him back for another year."
TaVontae Harris Burlington CentralA 5-foot-7, 140-pound senior point guard, Harris has propelled the Rockets since being called up midway through his sophomore season. Burlington Central has gone 59-14 since, a run that includes back-to-back conference titles. Entering regional play the senior ranked third in the area in assists with 5.4 per game (150 in 28 games). Harris' blend of quickness and court savvy has yielded 98 steals -- 31 more than his closest teammate -- and 84 deflections while committing just 45 turnovers. He scores 7.9 points per game while shooting 35 percent from the field (78 of 222) and 27 percent from 3-point range (20 of 73). "He's such a good ballhandler and he contributes so much to our success both offensively and defensively," Central coach Brett Porto said. "Our record with him in the lineup speaks to what kind of player he has been for us."
Kashmir Ivy LarkinAn all-Upstate Eight River selection, this 5-foot-9 guard contributes in a unique way for the Royals after accepting a move to the sixth-man role at midseason. The result has been positive for both the two-year varsity performer and his team. The only senior in Larkin's lineup, Ivy supplies leadership off the bench. He also supplies a scoring jolt with 13.4 points per game, a total that includes 41 3-pointers. He averages 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals. "We had a chance to be really good when he accepted the role of coming off the bench because he brings so much to the floor offensively and defensively as an energy guy," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "He's the only senior and he's done a really good job the last six weeks with leadership and accepting responsibility. I'm just really proud where he's come from."
Kyle King St. Charles NorthAn all-Upstate Eight selection, King puts his 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame to good use for the 19-win North Stars. Entering regional play this week, the third-year varsity performer was averaging 15.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.4 assists per game. One highlight was a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) in a Feb. 21 overtime victory against previously undefeated Geneva. "He is one of the best passers we have had," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said. "We have played our best basketball when we have played inside out through Kyle. He has been very effective scoring and has consistently been our top rebounder. Kyle has also developed, as the year has gone on, as a quality leader in practice each day."
Cam Krutwig JacobsFew high school teams have the personnel to cope with this 6-foot-9, 270-pound Loyola-bound senior, a repeat all-area selection. Krutwig has been named honorary captain of the 2016-17 Daily Herald All-Area Team/Fox Valley after leading Jacobs to its third straight title in the Fox Valley Conference. Seeking the program's third regional title in his four varsity seasons, he enters the regional championship averaging 15.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.4 assists per game. Krutwig has 1,458 career points and 1,211 career rebounds. He needs 5 more rebounds to move into 10th place in IHSA history and 24 more rebounds to move into ninth place. "He's incredible," Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. "Most coaches dream of coaching a big-time player like him but the experience isn't always what they thought it might be. I couldn't imagine going through the last four years with a better kid."
Anthony Lynch LarkinAn all-Upstate Eight River selection who transferred to Larkin after two varsity seasons at South Elgin, this hardworking guard fit right in by scoring 15.8 points game. Entering regional play the 6-foot-3 junior was averaging 4.6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.2 steals. Lynch was named second-team all-tournament at the Rockford Public Schools Thanksgiving Tournament and the Jefferson J-Hawk MLK Showcase. He was named honorable mention at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. "And he's only scratching the surface," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "He's going to be really good the rest of this season, but once we get a spring, a summer and a fall with him, next season he's going to be an animal. I can't wait."
Jack McDonald GenevaHow adept a playmaker is this 5-foot-10, 150-pound sophomore point guard? He was named all-Upstate Eight River after breaking the school record for assists in his first varsity season. His 168 assists through the end of the regular season represent a 5.8 per-game average. A 10.8-point-per-game scorer, McDonald shoots 48.8 percent from the field (104 of 213), 45.1 percent from 3-point range (32 of 71) and 84.9 percent from the free-throw line (73 of 86). He also contributes 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per outing for the 28-2 UEC River champs."We don't have the record we have if we don't have Jack," Geneva coach Phil Ralston said. "Jack allows us to do things that we have not been allowed to do the last several years because he is a true point guard. We run a lot more ball screens because we have him in the game."
Cole Navigato GenevaAn all-Upstate Eight River selection, few area players shoot with the efficiency of this 6-foot-5 senior guard. He entered regional play as the leading scorer for the UEC River champion Vikings (13.4 ppg) following a regular season in which he made 59.6 percent of his field-goal attempts (140 of 235). If the Vikings have the lead late, which they often do, they get the ball to their leading free-throw shooter. Through Tuesday's regional semifinal win over Lyons, Cole Navigato had drained 95 of 121 attempts from the line (78.5 percent). "Cole is a fantastic free-throw shooter. He helps bury teams," Geneva coach Phil Ralston said of a player named MVP at the DeKalb Chuck Dayton Holiday Classic. "He shoots at such a high percentage and he literally is our best interior player." Navigato averages 5.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Dominic Navigato GenevaA repeat all-area selection and all-Upstate Eight River pick, this 6-foot-5 senior forward's defense and accurate, long-range shooting helped the Vikings win the Upstate Eight River and earn a No. 2 sectional seed. Dom Navigato finished the regular season averaging 12.2 points per game on 123-of-230 field-goal shooting (53.5 percent) and 75-percent free-throw shooting (57 of 76). Most impressive? He shoots 40.2 percent from 3-point range (51 of 127) while averaging a team-high 7.1 rebounds. "Dom is typically guarding the other team's best post," Geneva coach Phil Ralston said, "At the same time, he is probably the best stretch-four in the area because he can hit threes, he can finish inside and he can make free throws."
Ryan Phillips JacobsA second-year varsity starter, this 6-foot-3 junior provides Jacobs with perimeter scoring punch. The guard averages 11.1 points per game by shooting 48.8 percent from the field (117 of 240), 34.9 percent from 3-point range (38 of 109) and 75.3 percent from the free-throw line (55 of 73). He also averages 3.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. "I thought he took major steps as far as toughness and maturity," Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. "I think he showed that as a competitor in some big-time games. When we went to shootout environments he performed his best." In a 67-55 win over Hillcrest, Phillips scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 23 points in a 63-49 win over New Trier by making 10 of 16 shots, including his first 7 attempts.
Zach Schutta Burlington CentralThis 6-foot-1, 160-pound junior is a big reason the Rockets own a 26-3 record and gained a berth in a Class 3A regional title game. A third-year varsity standout, Schutta led Burlington Central to the outright Kishwaukee River Conference title by leading the team in scoring (15.2 ppg). He shoots 45.5 percent from the field (156 of 343), 35.8 percent from 3-point range (38 of 106) and 70.8 percent from the free-throw line (75 of 106). A repeat all-area selection, Schutta averages 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals while committing only 1.5 turnovers per game. He surpassed the 1,000-point plateau on Feb. 17 but is more concerned with team achievements, according to his coach. "For a guy who's our leading scorer like he is, he really doesn't care about that stuff," Central coach Brett Porto said. "For him it's about whatever it takes to win."
Caleb Siler West AuroraThis senior's many contributions have kept the Blackhawks on track since November, not the least of which has been his steady leadership. "Caleb has been our constant all season long," West Aurora coach Brian Johnson said. "He routinely guards the opponent's best player, he rarely is subbed out of games, he has been both reliable and clutch on the offensive end of the floor and he is the heart and soul of the team." An all-Upstate Eight Valley selection, the 6-foot-3 forward enters regional play averaging 13.5 points on 48.5-percent shooting (114 of 235), 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals.
Ben Tompson BartlettAn all-Upstate Eight Valley pick, this junior guard emerged as the leading scorer on a junior-laden team that had 17 wins entering Wednesday's regional semifinal. A 6-footer with a nose for the basket, Tompson opened the playoffs as Bartlett's only double-digit scorer with 16.2 points per game, thanks to 47.8-percent field-goal shooting (164 of 343) and 69.5-percent shooting from the free-throw line. He also leads the Hawks in assists (78) and steals (76). "He is an instinctual player so he always finds himself around the ball," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "He has a knack for finishing on the break and is among our team leaders in steals. He has a bright future."
Ben Versylus Westminster ChristianThis 6-foot-5 junior forward was a key player in the Warriors' 18-10 season. Already one of the top players in the Northeastern Athletic Conference, the arrow is pointing up for this second-year varsity performer, who led the Westminster Christian in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.5). He also blocked 52 shots and averaged 2.6 assists. "He took it a step further this year" Warriors coach Andy Zelinski said. "He grew and inch or two, he got stronger and his overall game developed. He's more mature and he's still not done growing. He'll put on some weight and be even better next year."
Andre White, Jr. Harvest Christian AcademyWhether he's scoring or setting up his teammates, this dynamic 5-foot-8 sophomore point guard uses his creativity and court vision to propel the Lions. Entering Class 1A sectional play the Loyola Academy transfer leads the Fox Valley area with 8.2 assists per game (180 in 22 games). An all-around perimeter threat, White, Jr. averages 15.3 ppg by shooting 51.8 percent from the field (118 of 228) and 39 percent from 3-point range (32 of 82). "He's a natural point guard," said his father and coach, Andre White, Sr. "He thrived last year in a systematic program like Loyola, but this year he had way more freedom and was able to show all the stuff he is able to do." White, Jr. also averages 8.5 rebounds and leads the area with 4.2 steals per game.
Jake Wolfe Aurora ChristianA repeat all-area selection, this 6-foot-4 junior was the driving force behind Aurora Christian's push for its 14th regional title and second straight. The guard scored 27 points in the regional championship game, bettering his season average of 18.9 ppg. Entering sectional play Wolfe had again proven himself as one of the area's best shooters, making 52 percent from the field (167 of 321), 40.4 percent from 3-point range (46 of 114) and 79.6 percent from the free-throw line (107 of 147). He also averages 6 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the Eagles (20-8). "Jake has been a constant for us all year in terms of consistency," Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe said. "With him being the only returning starter, he had to carry us early this season and has continued throughout the year to lead us. His stats indicate he is capable of contributing in many different ways at both ends of the floor."
Brennen Woods Harvest Christian AcademyPreviously a three-year varsity player at Hampshire, this 6-foot-4 guard/forward is the only senior on a team that went undefeated in the Northeastern Athletic Conference and won the school's first Class 1A regional title. Woods topped 20 points on 15 occasions and averages a team-best 20.1 ppg entering sectional play. He shoots 39 percent from 3-point range (77 of 197). Two weeks after he scored a then-career-best 34 points in a Jan. 27 win at Aurora Christian, he poured in 38 points in an 81-79 victory over Marian Central Catholic. "I didn't see his first three years of high school, but this has to be his best year," Harvest Christian coach Andre White, Sr. said. "His shots really started falling once he got his legs under him." An all-around threat, Woods averages 10 rebounds 2.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Aurora Christian -- Tanner Dissell, sr., G; Will Wolfe, fr., G
Aurora Central Catholic -- Kyle Czerak, so, G
Bartlett -- Austin Gates, so., G
Batavia -- Eric Peterson, jr., G
Burlington Central -- Michael Kalusa, jr., G; Joey Ratzek, sr., F
Cary-Grove -- Matt McCumber, sr., F
Crystal Lake South -- Matt Meyers, sr., G
Dundee Crown -- Gabriel Bergeron, jr., F; Jack Orndahl, jr., G;
Elgin -- Reggie Cole, sr., G
Geneva -- Matt Johnston, sr., G; Mitch Mascari, so., G
Harvest Christian -- Jack Nohava, so., C
Hampshire -- Frederick "Tre" Powell, jr., G
Huntley -- Matt Seng, sr., G
Kaneland -- Dan Franck, sr., F
Larkin -- Jalen Shaw, jr., F
Jacobs -- Nikolas Balkcom, jr., G; Mason Materna, sr., F; Cooper Schwartz, sr., G
Marmion -- Michael Sullivan, jr., C
St. Charles East -- Zach Mitchell, sr., G
St. Charles North -- Cade Callaghan, jr., F
St. Edward -- A.J. Franklin, jr., F; Steve Poremba, sr., G
Streamwood -- Brendon Marton, jr., F
South Elgin -- Collin Uveges, sr., G
West Aurora -- Jared Crutcher, jr., F; Damian Virgen, jr., F
Westminster Christian -- Caleb Thomas, sr., C