TJ Best Wheeling
Best has done everything for the Wildcats this year leading them in scoring with 12 ppg, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He also averages 3.3 rebounds from the guard spot. "TJ has to fly around the court," Wheeling coach Michael O'Keeffe said. "He has to defend the other team's big man when the ball is at the left or right guard spot, and has to close out properly, pressure the ball, contest shots, and keep the ball out of the paint when the ball is in the corner."
Mac Camardo Buffalo GroveCamardo led the Bison in scoring with 13.4ppg, rebounding (7 per game) and in blocked shots. He also shot 67 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the free throw line. "Mac is a very efficient scorer," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "He does a great job of finding an open area and finishing at the rim. He has really worked to make himself a presence at the rim on both offense and defense."
Joey Coffaro HerseyA scoring machine for the Huskies, Coffaro averaged 18.6 points. He also had 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Coffaro had 87 3-pointers entering the postseason -- and 208 in a distinguished varsity career. "Joe is such a prolific scorer, creating shots for himself and teammates," Hersey coach Steve Messer said. "He also is a scrappy defender with a nose for the ball. Hersey is very proud to be represented by such a fine athlete and excellent basketball player."
Ryan Davis Conant"Big Country" is in his third year as a varsity starter, and is one of the Cougars' two big men. He is averaging 14.5 points, he had 28 blocked shots entering the Class 4A playoffs. Davis also leads the Cougars with just under 10 rebounds per game. "He is truly an extremely versatile player," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. " Ryan is as conformable on the perimeter shooting 3s, driving and handing out assists as he is posting up. He helps us release pressure, has great hands and vision, and is an excellent passer."
Brian Dompke FremdDompke has been a solid performer for the Vikings in his three years on the varsity. He has averaged 10 points this year thanks to converting 65 percent (104-of-160) of his field goal attempts. He also averages 5.5 rebounds. "Brian has worked on his game to become a complete player," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "He can play multiple positions at both ends of the floor."
Julian Dones Maine WestOne of the main reasons the Warriors have won 16 games this season, Dones is averaging 11.8 points and 2.7 assists. A three-year starter, Dones went over the 1,000-point mark earlier this season. "Julian is a threat to score anytime the ball is in his hands," Maine West coach Thomas Prokopij said. "Julian is also in every team's scouting report, and this season has embraced the team concept and has shown great maturity in not forcing the issue and instead, setting up his teammates for easy buckets."
Michael Downing ConantDowning has been a huge threat on both ends of the court for the Cougars this season. He has averaged 10.2 points, but it his defensive presence, where he has 45 blocks, that has given opponents fits. "Mike Downing was the same type of dominating defensive force that, to a degree, Bill Russell was for the Celtics," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. "Shot-blocking is a facet of the game that we usually don't have in our league, but Mike brought a whole different dimension."
Jeremiah Hernandez St. ViatorHernandez, who is only a sophomore, quickly grew into a solid performer for the Lions. His ability to play anywhere on the court is one of the reasons the Viator has regularly posted huge wins against top foes this season. Hernandez was averaging 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game entering the postseason. "Jeremiah is one of the most versatile players I have coached," St. Viator coach Quin Hayes said. "He has played all five positions for us and has an extremely high basketball IQ at such a young age.
Aaron Kline SchaumburgKline has been solid for the Saxons for the past two seasons, earning all-conference honors both years. He average 10 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds while frequently drawing his opponent's best defender. "Aaron is a very smart basketball player," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "He does a ton of things for our team that may not go into the stat lines. He has an innate understanding that makes him a constant threat on the court."
Frankie Mack Prospect
As powerful as a truck for the past three seasons for the Knights. He is a three-time all MSL selection who has scored over 1,000 career points. Mack was at 17.3 ppg and 2.4 assists while shooting 44 percent from outside the arc and 88 percent from the line before the playoffs. He has an offer from Minnesota State. "Frankie is one of the best scoring guards I've ever coached and became a threat from all areas of the floor this season," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "His leadership over the past couple of years was a big reason for our success."
Jared Murphy Rolling MeadowsMurphy has been a huge cog for the Mustangs the past three seasons. He averaged 18 points and 6 rebounds while becoming the second leading scorer in school history with over 1,500 career points. "Jared Murphy has certainly left his mark on Rolling Meadows basketball," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "Jared does things on the offensive end that we haven't seen here at Meadows in a long time. He has worked tirelessly to improve his game and will continue to improve."
Johnny O' Shea Palatine
O'Shea was as solid on the basketball court as he was on the football field, where last fall he was an all-area wide receiver. O'Shea led the Pirates in scoring with 11.3 ppg. He also averaged 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals. "If we need something done on the court, chances are it falls on Johnny's shoulders," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "He's a statistical leader in almost every category for us, but he does so many things throughout a possession that don't show up in a scorebook. He always seems to be in the right spot, no matter what end of the floor."
Shaan Patel, FremdPatel's ability to step into key situations and play all over the court has been invaluable to the Vikings. He was averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists heading into the postseason, and he also had 25 blocks and 41 steals while converting 81 percent of his free throws. "A very versatile athlete, Shaan has played all five positions this season," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "Because of his size and athleticism, he creates a matchup problem for our opponents. He is an unselfish player who is known as an excellent passer."
Michael Ritchie ProspectRitchie has done all the blue collar work for the Knights this season while averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. His work inside and ability to score when needed helped his team to a second consecutive MSL East title. "Michael was the utility man for our team this season," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "He fulfilled many different roles, including scoring, rebounding and defending -- and excelled in all aspects."
Luke Schoffstall FremdSchoffstall has made the Vikings go all season. His play at point guard has dictated the tempo for Fremd. Schofftsall has averaged 8 points and 3 assists while amassing a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. "Luke has been rock steady for us all season," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "An experienced point guard who knows and runs our stuff as well as any guard has. His poise and ballhandling have been keys for us this season."
Jack Schoessling Rolling MeadowsA three-year starter, Schoessling has been made the Mustangs go during that span. He averaged 10 points and 4 assists while breaking through the 1,000-point barrier for his career earlier this year. "Jack is a team-first player who has been our point guard for the last three years," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "Jack will do anything that he can to help his team succeed on and off of the court. He is the steady hand that guides our team."
Ben Schols ConantSchols is in his third year as a varsity player and has made huge contributions this season. His defensive prowess has been a key factor for the Cougars, and he has chipped in offensively as well, averaging 7.3 points while converting 45 3s and shooting 90% from the line. "His mental and physical approach to the game have made him both an outstanding defender and shooter," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. "He usually draws the toughest defensive assignment, a role he also had as a sophomore."
Kyle Sliwa FremdSliwa is a three-year varsity player whose play has led the Vikngs to over 75 wins. This season, he is averaging, 17 points thanks to converting a sizzling 45 percent (58-of-129) from outside the arc. The honorary captain of the all-area team also averages 2 assists while hitting 80 percent of his free throws. "Kyle leads by example and effort," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "He has been unbelievably consistent this season. He has a non-stop motor that makes him a difficult player to matchup against."
Jimmy Sotos Conant
Sotos has done it all in his four years on the Cougars varsity, including leading his team to a school-record 26 wins. Sotos was MVP of the Jack Tosh York Christmas tournament and scored his 1,000th career point earlier this season. Sotos, who averages 16.9 points and 4.5 assists, will play at Bucknell next year. "Jimmy Sotos has worked harder on his game than any player I have known," Conant coach Tom McCormack said. "His skill set is so complete on both offense and defense it's tempting to play him everywhere."
Anthony Spann Barrington
Spann took over the reins for the Broncos and led them in points (with 12 ppg) and assists (with 3 per game). He was also second on the team in steals and rebounds while shooting 35 percent from the arc and 73 percent from the foul line. "Anthony is a complete player," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "He orchestrated the offense and scored on one end of the floor, and defended and rebounded at the other end. He set the tone for the team. His energy got us going most nights."
David Swedura Prospect
Swedura was the straw that stirred the drink for the Knights this season. His ability to make plays and also hit key shots was one of the main reasons Prospect was so successful this year. He was averaging 10.8 ppg and 2.6 assists heading into the playoffs. "David utilized his skill, speed and athleticism this season to became one of the better point guards in the MSL," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "He will be relied upon heavily next year to lead our team on all fronts."
Matt Szuba Prospect
If there was rebound needed, the Knights could always count on Szuba to come up with it. The MSL East's player of the year averaged 9.7 rebounds to go with 8.5 points and 5.1 assists per game. He also is the all-time rebound leader in Prospect school history. "Matt is hands-down the best passing and rebounding forward I've ever coached," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "He's improved each season and has a very bright future ahead of him."
Player School Pos. Yr.
TJ Best Wheeling G Sr.
Mac Camardo Buffalo Grove F. Jr.
Joey Coffaro Hersey G Sr.
Ryan Davis Conant F Jr.
Brian Dompke Fremd F Sr.
Julian Dones Maine West G Jr.
Michael Downing Conant F Sr.
Jeremiah Hernandez St. Viator G Soph.
Aaron Kline Schaumburg F Sr.
Frankie Mack Prospect G Sr.
Jared Murphy Rolling Meadows G Sr.
Johnny O' Shea Palatine F Jr.
Shaan Patel Fremd F Sr.
Michael Ritchie Prospect F Sr.
Luke Schoffstall Fremd G Sr.
Jack Schoessling Rolling Meadows G Sr.
Ben Schols Conant F Jr.
Kyle Sliwa* Fremd G Sr.
Jimmy Sotos Conant G Sr.
Anthony Spann Barrington G Jr.
David Swedura Prospect G Jr.
Matt Szuba Prospect F Sr.
* All-area team captain
Honorable mentionColin Colagno, Buffalo Grove; Nico Collazo, Elk Grove; Marshall Davis, Hoffman Estates; Jack Framke, Maine West; Ken Hasley, Hersey; Cortez Hogens, Palatine; Deshon Jacobs, Wheeling; Addison Lubert, St. Viator; Ryan Martin, Fremd; Michael Patrella, Schaumburg Christian; Jackson Perkins, Barrington; Grant Zellmer, Prospect; Jack Vaselaney, Buffalo Grove
Special mentionJose Alvarado, Leyden; Jason Boock, Barrington; Kyler Britten, Leyden; Jesse Castro, Christian Liberty; JR Cison, St. Viator; Jalen Dennis, Wheeling; Antonio Gardner, Prospect; Randy Kent, Maine West; Eddie Mlecko, Hersey; Chris O'Toole, Hersey; Jake Moertl, Palatine; Kameron Powell, Schaumburg; Hezekiah Trotter, Schaumburg; Danny Ranallo, Conant; Steve Ringstrand, Christian Liberty; Mitch Winters, Schaumburg Christian; Adrian Punzalan, Hoffman Estates
Selections and profiles by Dick Quagliano