Kory Brown Elgin
The two-time honorary captain of the Daily Herald All-area team has been the driving force behind Elgin's most successful season since 1997-98. Named the most outstanding player in the Upstate Eight River, the third-year varsity starter entered Wednesday's sectional semifinal leading the 25-3 division co-champions in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.7). Brown shoots 61 percent from the field (147 of 242), 36 percent from 3-point range (20 of 56) and 69 percent from the free throw line (119 of 172). He also has 59 steals and 60 assists. A superior defender, the 6-foot-4 senior has taken 7 charges and blocked 58 blocked shots. "He has just become a monster physically," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "He has taken his game to another level."
Matt Chaltin Bartlett
A two-time All-area pick also named all-Upstate Eight Valley, this senior marksman was an offensive force for the Hawks. The 6-foot-4 guard scored 435 points in 29 games (15.3 avg.). Chaltin finished the season as the Fox Valley area's top free-throw shooter after sinking 77 of 88 free throws (87.5 percent). He also connected on 62 of 157 attempts from 3-point range (39.5 percent), grabbed 80 rebounds and made 25 steals. "I can honestly say I have not seen growth over a four-year span the way I saw growth in Matt's game," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "He evolved into an all-around threat as well as a top-level defender. He became a vocal leader and an inspirational rock. All that is testament to how hard this kid works at his game."
Amanze Egekeze Huntley
This 6-foot-6 sophomore fought through tendinitis to emerge as the leading scorer for a team that won 26 games, a regional title and its second straight outright Valley Division title in the Fox Valley Conference. Egekeze scored 351 points in 30 games (11.7 avg.), grabbed 99 defensive rebounds, 54 offensive (5.1 avg.), made 38 steals, deflected 40 passes and blocked an area-best 67 shots. "He was on the verge of a breakthrough but tendinitis slowed his aggressiveness down," Huntley coach Marty Manning. "When he's feeling good he can change a game at both ends of the floor. I expect he'll take more big strides next year."
Connor Flexman Elgin Academy
This four-year varsity starter poured in 430 points in 24 games to finish with the Fox Valley area's highest scoring average (17.9). A 6-foot-3 slasher, Flexman scored a career-best 37 points in a 79-70 victory over Roycemore in the regular-season finale. He ended his career with 1,060 points. "Connor brings a work ethic and tenacity to everything he does," Elgin Academy coach Dewayne Robinson said. "His determination is the thing I am most proud of." A 45-percent shooter overall and a 31-percent shooter from 3-point range, Flexman averaged 6.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
Justin Frederick Huntley
This 6-foot-3 senior was a dependable leader in his third varsity season. A two-time All-area selection and a leader of the two-time outright FVC Valley champions, he averaged 8.4 points (253 points in 30 games) and a team-best 5.4 rebounds (58 offensive, 104 defensive). Frederick could score on putbacks or sink jump shots from the elbow coming off screens. "He was our steady Eddie," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "You knew what you were getting From Justin - a lot of second chances from his rebounds and great shooting from 15 to 18 feet. He had a very good year." Frederick also contributed 36 assists, 30 steals, 39 deflections and 3 blocked shots.
Alex Glover Jacobs
This 6-foot-4 center was the area's leading rebounder. The senior finished with 135 defensive rebounds, 96 offensive (9.7 average). "He's really tough on the boards, especially the defensive boards," Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle said. "Basically, he kept the other team from getting a second shot." Though he was regularly double and triple teamed as the Golden Eagles' first scoring option, he managed to notch 278 points in 25 games (11.1 avg.), including 60 points from the free-throw line. The 53-percent shooter from the field finished with 10 steals and 5 blocked shots.
Shane Hernandez Hampshire
Though his mobility was hampered much of the season due to a nagging ankle injury, this 6-foot-6 junior nevertheless delivered steady performances in his third varsity season, averaging 9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. "He was a gamer to be hurt most of the year and still do what he did," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. "Nothing gets to him. When teams were doubling and tripling Tyler Watzlawick, we moved Shane around and he'd score in the post or hit that nice 17-foot jumper. He took a few steps."
Ray Hunnicutt Burlington Central
This four-year varsity performer was the catalyst for Burlington Central. The 5-foot-11 senior guard led the Rockets with an area-best 490 points in 28 contests (17.5 avg.) and 233 rebounds (8.3). Hunnicutt finished his career with 1,522 points to surpass the previous program record of 1,504. "Everyone knows what type of penetrator he is and the skill set he has, but he also did a darn good job of rebounding the basketball over the course of four years," Rockets coach Brett Porto said. "It was nice to see him mature as a person and a leader." Hunnicutt sank 124 of 170 free throws (72.9 percent), contributed 64 assists and 52 steals.
Quantice Hunter Larkin
This second-year varsity player enjoyed a breakout junior season for the resurgent Royals. Larkin improved from 4 wins in 2010-11 to 16 wins in 2011-12, thanks in part to his team-best 315 points in 28 games (11.2 ppg). Hunter sank 52 shots from 3-point range. The 6-foot-1 guard also averaged 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and an area-best 3.1 steals per game. Hunter was named to the all-Upstate River first team. "He really stepped up for us this season," Larkin coach Deryn Carter. "Inside, outside, he can score points several ways. I look forward to seeing what he can do next year."
Dylan Kissack Dundee-Crown
This 6-foot-2 junior stepped up his game in every category in his third varsity season. Kissack averaged 9.8 ppg on 105-of-211 shooting (49.8 percent), including 30 of 75 from 3-point range (40 percent). The forward also led the Chargers with 112 rebounds (43 offensive, 4.1 avg.) while contributing 55 assists and 18 steals. "Dylan is the type of kid who gets all he can out of the talent he's been given," D-C coach Lance Huber said. "He does so many things well that it's hard to take him off the floor."
Brandon Larkin-Guilfoyle Streamwood
Every Streamwood opponent knew this 6-foot-2 guard was the Sabres' main offensive weapon, yet he excelled nonetheless. The senior finished with the area's fourth-best scoring average (16.7 ppg). The all-Upstate Eight River selection also grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game and nabbed 35 steals. "He was a very steady and versatile player," Streamwood coach Tim Jones said. "He could go inside, he could shoot from outside. When you needed a basket, he could give you a basket."
Jake Maestranzi South Elgin
A two-time All-area selection also named all-Upstate Eight Valley, this junior stepped into the role of leading scorer in his third varsity season. The point guard led the Storm with 333 points in 61 games (11.9 avg.). He made 56 of 157 attempts from 3-point range (35.7 percent), dished 87 assists (3.1 avg.) and grabbed 48 steals. One of the area's better free-throw shooters, he sank 58 of 74 attempts (78.4). "He took a big step as a junior in the scoring department," South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. "He did a good job of handling the adversity that comes with being asked to score."
Max Meitzler Crystal Lake South
This 6-foot-5 junior led the Gators in scoring (10.4 ppg) and rebounding (4.7 rpg). The forward scored 270 points and grabbed 123 rebounds (42 offensive) in 26 games. He boasts a dependable shooting touch from the outside, demonstrated by 22 3-pointers in 67 attempts (32.8 percent). "Max put team first and worked hard every day," CL South coach Dan DeBruycker said. "He accepted all the challenges thrown at him. He understands sports and leadership and I expect him to have a great baseball season this spring." Meitzler also contributed 15 assists, 19 steals and 12 blocked shots.
Troy Miller Huntley
This three-year varsity starter helped the Red Raiders win their second straight outright FVC title and second straight regional championship with his accurate shooting and leadership. The 6-foot senior guard connected on 61 of 169 attempts from 3-point range (36 percent) en route to 308 points in 30 games (10.3 ppg). Miller led Huntley with 70 assists (2.3) to go with 56 steals. "He did a great job this year of being more vocal than he ever has," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "He could have scored 15-20 points a game, but he is the epitome of a guy who sacrificed a lot of his game to make his teammates better."
Dennis Moore Elgin
A three-year varsity starter and two-time All-area pick, this 5-foot-11 guard missed 6 games with a broken hand. That's when Elgin suffered 2 of its 3 regular-season losses. Moore returned to spark Elgin with 14 points in a win over rival Larkin. He entered sectional play this week averaging 7.1 points. One of his team's top defensive players, Moore also has 47 assists and 30 steals. "The first thing you think of is his defense, but he really doesn't have any weaknesses," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "One night he can score 20 and the next he can score 3 but we wouldn't win without him getting loose balls and rebounds. He's just tough." Moore is committed to play running back at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Eddie O'Halloran St. Edward
This 5-foot-10 guard led St. Edward in scoring with 371 points in 28 games in his second varsity season (13.3 avg.). The senior led the Green Wave with 41 3-pointers. He also notched 37 steals, dished 43 assists and grabbed 36 rebounds. "He was our leading scorer and we basically ran everything through him," St. Edward coach P.J. White said. "Teams would try to shut him down by playing a box-and-one defense against him. To me, that's an indicator of who your best player is."
Bryce Only Huntley
This dynamic third-year varsity athlete enjoyed a breakout season after being asked to contribute more offensively. The 6-foot-1 guard used his ability to slash to the basket and score on putbacks to average a career-best 8.8 ppg (263 points in 30 games). He connected on 96 of 204 field goals (47.1 percent). "He really wanted to show what he could do offensively and he's made great improvements," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "Some would say he's the MVP of our team because of what he does on defense combined with what he gave us offensively this year." Only averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists to go with team highs in steals (58) and deflections (87).
Ryan Ritchie Burlington Central
The area leader in 3-point field goals, this 5-foot-11 junior connected on 74 of 214 attempts from beyond the arc (34.6 percent) and made 142 of 377 field goals overall (37.7 percent). Ritchie scored 385 points in 28 games (13.8 ppg). He also made 33 steals and grabbed 46 rebounds. "When all was said and done he was probably our most improved player," Burlington Central coach Brett Porto said. "He always had great skill and a great shot, but his ability to get to the rim improved and we started seeing signs of the defensive player he could be."
Brandon Rodriguez Dundee-Crown
This junior emerged as one of the Fox Valley Conference's best players in his second varsity season. The 6-foot junior guard led a 16-win team with 330 points in 27 games (12.2). He also led the Chargers in assists (90), steals (54) and blocked shots (11) and finished second with 110 rebounds (4.1 avg.). "B-Rod" sank 137 of 259 field goals (57.3 percent), including 11 of 39 3-pointers (28.2 percent) and 45 of 66 free throws (68.2 percent). "He sped up a little from his sophomore year, and I expect more of the same in the future," Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber said. "He has a natural knack for getting open. Defensively, he's able to get steals and create some easy baskets."
Cortez Scott Elgin
No Maroon exemplifies long-range accuracy better than this shooting guard. Entering sectional play, the 6-foot senior was the area's most accurate 3-point shooter with 45 in 98 attempts (45.9 percent). He is Elgin's third-leading scorer with 237 points (8 ppg) and has also contributed 38 assists and 57 rebounds. Scott has been a mainstay at both ends of the floor. "Beyond what he gives us offensively, he's incredibly valuable as a defender," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "He can shut people down." Scott has 24 steals.
Derrick Streety Larkin
This 5-foot-10 sophomore made an impact in his second varsity season for the improved Royals. The speedy point guard used his superior ballhandling skills to penetrate the lane and score among the trees or kick the ball out to the team's perimeter shooters. He finished with 269 points in 28 games (9.6 avg.), 80 assists (2.8), and 61 steals (2.1). He also sank 50 of 73 free throws (68.5 percent) and grabbed 44 rebounds. "He really grew up fast," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "His speed as a ballhandler was something other teams weren't always ready for."
Tyler Watzlawick Hampshire
The first four-year varsity player in coach Bob Barnett's 25-year career, this 6-foot-6 senior was a consistent force for the Whip-Purs. A two-time All-area pick, the Carroll University-bound center led 17-win Hampshire with averages of 15 points and 7 rebounds. "Watz" passed the 1,000-point mark for his career on Feb. 7, and he became Hampshire's all-time leading scorer on Feb. 16. He ends his career with a program-best 1,110 points. "To score and rebound the way he did when he was pounded with double and triple teams is a testament to the weight training he went through," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said.
Arie Williams Elgin
This dynamic point guard is quick to the rim, can create his own shot off the dribble and can drill 3-pointers. A third-year varsity player, Williams averages 12.7 points (355 in 28 games), 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals. The 5-foot-8 junior has connected on 40 percent of his 3-point attempts (43 of 108) and 84 percent of his free throws (84 of 115). The two-time All-area selection also yields intangible benefits. "He is huge as a team leader, keeping us on an even keel," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "When things aren't going well, Arie will be the one to get everyone motivated in the huddle and playing well."
Will Woodhouse Westminster Christian
This junior guard led the 16-win Warriors in scoring with 440 points in 30 games, an average of 14.7 per game. The all-Northeast Athletic Conference selection sank 65 3-pointers, the second most in the Fox Valley area, and he connected on 61 of 80 free-throw attempts (76.3 percent). "Will had a very strong finish," Westmsinter Christian coach Bruce Firchau said, "and his shooting percentage from 3-point range really jumped up, which was impressive. That was a sign he was letting the game come to him rather than forcing things."
2011-12 All-area roster
Player School Pos. Yr.
*Kory Brown Elgin F Sr.
Matt Chaltin Bartett G Sr.
Amanze Egekeze Huntley F So.
Connor Flexman Elgin Academy G Sr.
Justin Frederick Huntley F Sr.
Alex Glover Jacobs F Sr.
Shane Hernandez Hampshire F Jr.
Ray Hunnicutt Burlington Central G Sr.
Quantice Hunter Larkin G Jr.
Dylan Kissack Dundee-Crown F Jr.
Brandon Larkin-Guilfoyle Streamwood G Sr.
Jake Maestranzi South Elgin G Jr.
Max Meitzler Crystal Lake South F Jr.
Troy Miller Huntley G Sr.
Dennis Moore Elgin G Sr.
Eddie O'Halloran St. Edward G Sr.
Bryce Only Huntley F Jr.
Ryan Ritchie Burlington Central G Jr.
Brandon Rodriguez Dundee-Crown G Jr.
Cortez Scott Elgin G Sr.
Derrick Streety Larkin G So.
Tyler Watzlawick Hampshire C Sr.
Arie Williams Elgin G Jr.
Will Woodhouse Westminster Christian G Jr.
* - Honorary captain
Bartlett - Lorenzo Mitchell (Sr., F)
Cary-Grove - Ryan Arquette (Jr., F) Jake Bianchi (Sr., G)
Crystal Lake South - Will Ahsmann (Sr., G)
Dundee-Crown - Kyle Bernhard (Sr., G)
Elgin - Gerardo Mojica (Sr., F)
Hampshire - Tyler Crater (Jr., G), Brock Ralphs (Sr., G)
Harvest Christian Academy - John Vislisel (So., F)
Huntley - Jake Brock (Sr., G)
Larkin - Quentin Ruff (Jr., G), Antonio Pipes (Sr., F)
St. Edward - Antonio Domel (Jr., G)
South Elgin - Darius Wells (So., G)
Captains Honor Roll
1995-96 - Muamer Karamovic (St. Edward)
1996-97 - Kevin Jarm (Elgin)
1997-98 - Sean Harrington (Elgin)
1998-99 - Sean Harrington (Elgin) and T.J. Sportsman (Burlington Central)
1999-2000 - Marcus Smallwood (Elgin) and Marcus Howard (Elgin)
2000-01 - Jason Kalsow (Huntley) and Pat Kalamatas (Huntley)
2001-02 - Anthony Maestranzi (Bartlett)
2002-03 - Eric Vierneisel (Jacobs)
2003-04 - Eric Vierneisel (Jacobs) and Phil Wallace (Crystal Lake South)
2004-05 - Ryan Brown (Crystal Lake South) and Kas Wleklinski (Burlington Central)
2005-06 - Dayvon Ellis (Larkin) and Sam Lynch (Dundee-Crown)
2006-07 - Johnny Moran (Jacobs) and Cully Payne (Burlington Central)
2007-08 - Johnny Moran (Jacobs) and Mike McCurdy (Burlington Central)
2008-09 - Conrad Krutwig (Jacobs) and Marc Little (Bartlett)
2009-10 - Tommy Childs (South Elgin) and Luke Labedzki (Bartlett)
2010-11 - Kory Brown (Elgin)
2011-12 - Kory Brown (Elgin)