The Northwest Suburbs All-Area Boys Basketball Team
Julian Campbell PalatineCampbell, who was all-area a year ago, showed huge improvement this season. He averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season. He shot 60% inside the arc and 36% from outside it. "You don't normally hear this about a player with his size, but Julian truly is an inside-outside threat," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "He has the ability to keep defenses honest from the perimeter. Another thing that makes Julian such a special player is his hands. He catches anything that is thrown his way and probably saved our guards 2-3 turnovers a game because of his ability to corral anything and everything." Campbell, who is receiving Division-I interest, was all-tournament in the three tourneys Palatine played in.
Cameron Christie Rolling MeadowsLittle brother certainly held his own this season. Christie, the younger brother of top national recruit Max Christie, put together a rookie campaign that screamed anything but youth and inexperience. "Cameron certainly did not play like a freshman this year," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said of his point guard. "He started every game for us and really helped keep the floor spread with his ability to knock down big shots. He was also our primary ballhandler at times, and showed great poise with his ability to handle pressure." Christie averaged 11 points and 4 assists per game and was named Mid-Subruban League all-conference.
Max Christie Rolling MeadowsOne of the top juniors in the country, Christie is being pursued by all the top college programs. Duke, Michigan State ... they're all in line to woo the 5-star recruit. And perhaps what is most fascinating about Christie besides his 25 points and 11 rebounds per game is his humble demeanor. Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich says that you wouldn't know that Christie is as highly sought-after as he is. Humility also seems to be a strength of the 6-foot-6 guard, who is the captain of the Northwest suburbs' All-Area team. One of Christie's best moments this season came when he scored 42 points in an epic double-overtime win over Buffalo Grove in front of a standing-room-only crowd. He was the MSL East Co-Player of the Year.
Nate Cole Buffalo GroveWhatever Buffalo Grove needed, Cole seemed to find a way to provide it. "Nate is an ultimate team player," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "He does whatever is needed to help the team win. He had to guard the other team's best post player this year and did a great job with that. He would score when we needed him to score, he would rebound when we needed rebounding and if he had to be a playmaker, he would make plays. He sacrificed scoring and shots for the good of the team. He is a great leader by his sacrifice and work ethic." Cole averaged 10.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Kam Craft Buffalo GroveA 46-point game against Rolling Meadows highlighted the season for Craft, who seemed to be able to score at will in that game and in many games during his sophomore campaign. Craft, the MSL East Co-Player of the Year, averaged 23.5 points per game. "He is an extremely skilled scorer who can score in a variety of ways," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "He really improved on his midrange and his finishing at the rim this year. He is just so hard to guard. Kam impacts the game in so many different ways. His stats speak for themselves, but his growth as a player and as a person this year was a huge reason we had the success we had." The 6-foot-5 Craft also averaged 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game and had 92 3-pointers.
Devon Ellis ConantOne of the unsung players in the area, Ellis is a fierce competitor. Despite being the focal point for opponents' defenses, his season average was 17 points and 7 rebounds per game. Ellis' play is beginning to draw the junior interest from D-I programs. "Devon is a very athletic and talented offensive basketball player," Conant coach Jim Maley said. "I am looking forward to his blossoming into a more aggressive defender as he moves into his senior year. Many people don't realize that Devon is a year young for his class. With a year of hard work, he could be one of the best players in the area."
JaQuet Hardimon LeydenHardimon wasn't quite the same player by the end of the season that he was at the beginning. He was better. "JaQuet grew as a player and as a person to put together a great senior season," Leyden coach Bill Heisler said. "He scored and defended at a high level and was still improving as the year went on, and he is still filling out into his long frame." Hardimon averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game to lead Leyden to 16 wins.
Chris Hodges SchaumburgHodges was the main cog in one of Schaumburg's most successful seasons in school history. Despite being doubled and at times even tripled-teamed, Hodges was able to average 14.5 points per game. He also was big on the glass with 7 rebounds and a blocked shot while leading the Saxons to the MSL championship. A junior who has verbally committed to Wisconsin, he was also named MSL West Player of the Year. "Chris is an incredible player who impacts the game in multiple ways," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "From being a constant scoring threat, tough on the glass, he also defends and protects the rim allowing for us to pressure the basketball. Chris will take another huge step forward between his junior and senior year because of his talent, love of the game, and work ethic."
Dylan Keenan BarringtonKeenan gave the Broncos huge production from the guard spot this season. He averaged 9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game while knocking down 81% of his free throws. He also led his team in steals. "Dylan played both ends of the floor, excelling in all phases," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "His versatility was instrumental to our success. Dylan always guarded the opponent's best player. He did whatever we needed for the team to be successful ... hitting 3s at a high percentage, attacking the rim, or sacrificing his scoring to find the open man. Dylan was a competitor, providing great leadership in word and action."
Dan Kentgen Maine WestThe quarterback of the football team, Kentgen stepped right into a leadership role and commanded his teammates' respect on the basketball court, too. "Dan was voted our team's MVP by his teammates," Maine West coach Tom Prokopij said. "Dan was a player that we needed on the floor at all times. He was a team captain and the signal caller for our defense. He was essentially a player/coach." Kentgen, named all-conference in the CSL North, averaged 8.7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He had 61 made 3-pointers.
Tyler Kipley Buffalo GroveStatistics don't necessarily best tell Kipley's story. "Tyler's impact this year went way beyond the numbers," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "He led our offense as our point guard and our defense as a disrupter. His ability to handle the basketball and run our offense is one of the reasons we could play with such pace and not have high turnover numbers. He was a coach on the floor for us and was a great leader." Kipley averaged 7.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2 steals per game. He finished with an impressive 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.
Connor Kochera St. ViatorKochera, who was a three-year starter, was everything to the Lions this season as helped lead them to 21 wins and another regional title. He averaged 24 points and 6 rebounds per game and had games of 40 points, 39 and 36. Kochera was one of the area's leading 3-point shooters, averaging an eye-boggling 43% from outside the arc. "Connor is extremely skilled with an elite work ethic," St. Viator coach Quin Hayes said. "He is definitely one of the best pure shooters in the state. Connor is a phenomenal leader and teammate. I am honored to have had the opportunity to coach such an outstanding young man." Will play at Division-I William & Mary next season.
Chase Larsen ProspectLarsen could score for Prospect and averaged double-figures at 10.2 points per game. But his defense is what really made him valuable for the Knights. "Chase is one of the top defenders in the MSL and he guarded the other team's top player in each game this season," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "His offensive numbers took a bit of a hit due to this assignment, but by the end of the season, he was producing at high levels on both ends without coming off the floor. Larsen, a junior, also averaged 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and had games of 17 and 19 points in the regional and sectional, respectively.
Vaurice Patterson SchaumburgJust a sophomore Patterson was the engine that got the Saxons moving this season. He played the point with precision, speeding up or slowing down the Saxon offense as he helped direct them to a 27-win season. He averaged 6.5 points and 3.5 assists for an offense that could change on a dime. He also had 2.5 rebounds. "Vaurice has incredible composure and court vision," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "He had the highest plus/minus rating on the team because of his impact from the point guard position. He will make another big jump in the offseason from his talent, love of the game, and work ethic."
Jared Pearson Maine WestPearson isn't just a Maine West Warrior, he's a bulldog. "Jared was a bulldog for us this season," Maine West coach Tom Prokopij said. "He was our hardest worker this past offseason and is ultra competitive." Pearson, a junior, was named all-conference in the CSL North after averaging 14.3 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He connected on 56 3-pointers and 108 free throws at an 81% clip. "He's already focused on next season and excited about all of the work he's going to put in the offseason," Prokopij said.
Ethan Roberts HerseyRoberts transferred into Hersey after moving to Illinois from Tennessee. It didn't take him long to feel right at home with his new team. "It was a unique transition for him but he handled the entirety of the situation admirably," Hersey coach Austin Scott said. "Our team was made better by his play this season in so many ways. When we were playing our best basketball as a team this season, Ethan was a central cog in everything we did." Roberts averaged 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He also drained 43 3-pointers.
Jake Schofftsall FremdSchofftsall has been a thorn in the side of Viking opponents for all three years of his varsity career. From his willingness to take charges, to his aggressive defense, to his playmaking and 3-point-shooting, he has been a valuable asset on the court. "Jake brings a rare combination of strength and athleticism to the court," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said." He has a nonstop motor. Jake has been a fierce competitor for us. He carried a lot of responsibilities for us this year. He stepped up for us after Kayman Hopkins went down with an injury. He brought a competitive edge to his play on a daily basis." He averaged 11.7 points per game for the Vikings.
Jared Schoo SchaumburgSchoo was a pivotal cog in the Saxons' offense all season. The senior made teams pay dearly for doubling and tripling Chris Hodges. The two-year starter was able to weave his way past defenses and come up with key scoring plays. For the season he averaged 8.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2,5 assists per game. "Jared is an incredible leader who does the intangible things in the game that makes a team win," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said, "even though they are not always fun and get recognized. He rebounds, defends, plays physical, and makes free throws in big moments. Jared plays with grit, which leads to winning basketball plays."
Luke Seiffert PalatineA two-year varsity player, Seiffert stepped up big-time for the Pirates this season. The junior averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 assists per game. "It seemed like the bigger the game this year, the more Luke stepped up," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "That seems to be a quality that you either have or don't have, and Luke definitely has it. He wants the ball in his hands when it matters. A lot of kids say they want the ball in their hands but then don't want to deal with the consequences if it's not a good outcome. At the end of the game, you put the ball in the hands of your best decision-maker, and we have a real good one in Luke."
Max Wexley FremdWexley was perfect. Not only for head coach Bob Widlowski and his Fremd teammates, but on his ACT test, where he scored a perfect 36. He averaged 10.3 points per game this season thanks to some solid marksmanship from outside the arc. "Max is much more than a 3-point shooter," Widlowski said. "He is a versatile player who has improved his all-around game. He has been rock-solid for us at both ends of the floor. Max has become a complete player for us. He has been one of most consistent players game in and game out. You could always count on Max when the ball went up. Max is a true leader by example on and off the floor."
Matt Woloch ProspectA role player last season who got limited minutes, Woloch certainly played a different role this season. "Matt really came into his own this year," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "He played sparingly as a junior and he helped take our program to another level as our leading scorer this year. He was also a top defender and one of our co-captains." Woloch averaged 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He also was efficient with his shot selection, connecting on 57% of his field goals. "I still feel that Matt's best basketball is ahead of him," Camardella said.
Damian Zivak Barrington Zivak stepped into the starting role for the Broncos and hit the ground running. He led his team in scoring and had 15 games where he scored in double digits. He had a season-high 22 points against Conant and averaged 12 points per game. He also pulled down 5.5 rebounds and had 2.3 assists, leading his team in both of those categories. He also hit 81% of his free throws. "Damian was a consistent scorer, even with teams game-planning to limit him," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "He is a hard-nosed kid who had the ability to create offense from the perimeter as well as, in the paint. He plays all facets of the game."
Titus Bennett, Christian Liberty, sr., Matt Brunelli, Buffalo Grove, sr., Mike Campagna, St. Viator, sr., Brian Dini, Prospect, sr., Owen Hickey, St. Viator, sr., Kayman Hopkins, Fremd, sr., Joe Jordan, Wheeling, jr., Arnav Karnik, Schaumburg, jr., Devin McKinney, Elk Grove, sr., Christian McLaughlin, Wheeling, sr., Jordan Miller, Elk Grove, sr., F Tyler Morgan, Leyden, sr., Jonah Ogunsanya, Rolling Meadows; Nick Ostojic, Maine South, sr., Vastal Pandya, Hoffman Estates, sr., AJ Prowell, Schaumburg, jr., Ben Randall, Hersey, sr., Javen Reid, Wheeling, sr., Jacob Riedl, Maine West, sr., Scott Rogowski, Hersey, sr., Aaron Sarkar, Barrington, sr., Daniel Sobkowicz, Rolling Meadows, jr. Tommy Swanson, Palatine, sr., Jaden Terrell, Wheeling, jr., Justin Timmerhaus, Leyden, sr., Armen Torosian, Schaumburg, jr.