Androus has had plenty of "And-one's," and other various scoring configurations, during his career at Lakes. He'll rank as one of the all-time leading scorers at the school for years to come. But it's the rest of his game, his quiet leadership and his knack for setting up his teammates, that defines him just as much. "John would much rather get his teammates involved," Lakes coach Brian Phelan said. "If you're talking about stats, he'd much rather get a triple-double than have it be just all about the points." Androus got two triple-doubles over the course of his career, including one this season against Grayslake North. In that game, he had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. For the season, Androus, who started every single game over the three years he played on varsity, averaged 17.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. Many Division III programs have expressed interest in him.
The Iowa-bound Brust has been nothing short of spectacular all season. Often facing double teams, he was still nearly impossible to stop, averaging an area-best 24.6 points per game. He poured in a career-high 50 points twice this season, scored more than 40 points four times and more than 30 points five times. A versatile player who can score from just about anywhere, his specialty still remains the three-pointer. He hit 83 of those. "He just loves basketball. He's a gym rat," Knar said of Brust, the honorary captain of the Daily Herald's Lake County all-area team. "But for as good as he is and for as much as he's done, he's an amazingly regular guy. He is by far one of the most down-to-earth kids you'll ever meet and I think one of the things that impresses me most about him is that he's handled everything that has come his way with such grace."
In an up-and-down season at Warren in which lineup changes were frequent, one player was the rock that held the starting five together: Burton. Valued for his defense and leadership, Burton was a constant. "He started most every game, if not all of them," Warren coach Chuck Ramsey said. "Craig has been our steadiest, most consistent player from Day One. We really like the way he plays defense. He almost always guards the other team's best player and he's met that challenge game in and game out. He also set a very good example for our team, leadership wise." Burton, who was Warren's No. 2 scorer at 8.6 points per game, hit 41 percent of his 3-pointers and averaged 2 steals a game. He plans to attend Hampton next year and may walk on to the basketball team.
At 6-foot-2, Cox isn't small, but he's a bit undersized for the position he plays. Yet, even though he's hanging and banging with the bigs down low, Cox himself has managed to come up big for the Corsairs. He averaged a team-leading 11 points and 9 rebounds in a season in which Carmel hit the 10-win plateau for the first time in years. "Patrick has been our leader all year long on the court. He's a big part of what we were able to do this year with the double-digit wins," Carmel coach John Ryan said. "I think it says a lot that he was going up against bigger guys but he was still so explosive and powerful and he put up really good numbers for us every night." Cox, also a standout football player, is planning to play football next year at Northern Illinois.
A standout on the gridiron as well as on the hardwood, Daniels has made quite a name for himself with his top-notch athletic abilities. But Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty says that's only part of what makes Daniels a great basketball player. "What makes him special is his coachability," McCarty said. "DaVaris always comes to practice with a great attitude and he is one of the most unselfish players I have ever encountered during my coaching career." Daniels averaged 4 assists per game to go along with 21 points and 3 steals per game. He was the leading scorer at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic and had season highs of 36 and 35 points against Stevenson and Mundelein, respectively. "On the court, he combines his athletic skills with a determination to get to the basket and score," McCarty said. "Basically, when he drives the ball, he is going to score or find an open teammate."
Johnson is going to have a busy spring of decision-making. Also a star football player, he is fielding calls from both football coaches and basketball coaches at the college level. "He's a great athlete and in terms of basketball, he just got better in every game," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "His shooting, rebounding, ball-handling, passing, everything improved this season. It's not that he was deficient in anything. He's always been good. He just put in the time during the off-season to keep up his skills. He was even coming in to shoot during football season. From all that time he put in, he was going to get even better and he did." Johnson averaged 16 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He hit 53.5 percent of his field goals and 46.7 percent of his three-pointers.
Just a freshman, Knar has had to prove himself all season. Interestingly, his dad, Mundelein coach Dick Knar, used to be one of the biggest skeptics. "At first, I was thinking, there's no way Robert can play varsity with the strength and speed. He's still too small and not strong enough yet," Knar said. "But he played well this summer and my assistant convinced me that he could handle it. His first game, he scored 10 points and I was like, 'Wow.' Then, he had some 20-point games and averaged 19.6 points per game over Christmas. Robert has really surprised me and it's been great. He's playing with a quiet confidence and that's been nice to see." Knar, whose season-high in scoring came in a 32-point outburst against Marian Catholic in December, averaged 15.1 points per game. He also drained 78 three-pointers and still managed to dish out a team-high 5.1 assists per game. He rolled up a career-high 11 assists in a single game twice this season.
Don't get Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh wrong. He loves the offense that Ludwick has given him this year. He'll take 14.5 points per game and 57 three-pointers on a season any day of the week. But that's not why he's so proud of Ludwick. "I am most proud of the amount of work that he has put in on the defensive side of the court," Grunloh said. "This was an area of weakness for Teddy prior to the season and he has committed himself to becoming a top-notch defender. It's night and day from where he came from and that's all about him wanting to do what's best for the team. He has matured into an extremely sound basketball player." Ludwick, just a junior, also pulled down 3.4 rebounds per game. His 57 treys in one season are more than anyone has ever gotten over an entire career at Grayslake North.
Despite battling through nagging injuries during the second half of the season, Meyer keeps adding to his collection of accolades. He was named to the all-tournament teams at the Fenton Thanksgiving tournament and the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. He also made the North Suburban all-conference team, and now this. "Billy is a hard-working athlete who gets the most out of his abilities. He's fought through this second half of the season," Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil said. "He is the emotional leader of our team." Meyer averaged 11.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. His highlights included a 36-point game against Notre Dame and a 24-point game against Grant.
As of now, Pucher isn't planning on playing basketball in college. He wants to focus on his academics as hard as defenses have had to focus on him for the last three years. A fixture in the Grayslake North lineup since his sophomore year, Pucher has had the offense run through him more and more each season. "This year, he is the engine of our offense," Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh said. "He's a great point guard who can do more than just score. He creates opportunities for his teammates, which is clearly seen in his assist-to-turnover ratio, which is close to 2-to-1. He single-handedly creates the fast-paced tempo that we try to establish on a nightly basis." This season, Pucher averaged 18.1 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Want to get a rise out of Rappaport? Good luck. "He really doesn't get fazed by anything," Grayslake Central coach Brian Moe said. "With Josh's calm demeanor, our team never gets too high or too low. With so many young guys on our team this year, that's been really key to what we've been able to do." Rappaport was a key in a more tangible way, too. He averaged a team-leading 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and was the Rams' go-to guy. "Josh was never afraid to take a big shot, or to make it," Moe said. "After struggling against Vernon Hills (during the regular season) for most of the game, Josh made a tough, fading contested jumper in the lane to tie the game with less than a minute left." The Rams went on to win that game by two points. Rappaport has received plenty of interest from college coaches but is leaning heavily toward playing at St. Norbert next year.
A starter last year as a sophomore, Richardson took his game to the next level this season. "He really emerged as our best player," Grant coach Wayne Bosworth said. "Last year, Shane would get down on himself at times and show that immaturity of being a sophomore. But he really grew up a lot this year and he got more of a fighter's attitude. He kept pushing on and that allowed him to become our most consistent player." Richardson averaged a team-leading 13.4 points, but was scoring upwards of 17 points a game throughout the second half of the season. He also paced Grant with 4.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
At 19.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, Sawvell has typical stats for an elite big man. But Sawvell is anything but a prototypical big man. "At 6-foot-8, he's a big guy," Mundelein coach Dick Knar said. "But for someone who is close to averaging 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds), he's different from a lot of big guys in that he's really athletic and active and he can shoot the ball from outside." Actually, Sawvell can just plain shoot the ball, and had several games in which he was stuck on automatic. He poured in a career-high 36 points in a win over Prairie Ridge in December. In that same game, he also ripped down a career-high 19 rebounds. During Mundelein's holiday trip to Arizona, he put together a game in which he scored 28 points and rolled up 19 rebounds. Sawvell, a junior who is already entertaining several Division I offers, also racked up 42 blocks this season.
Sipes, coming back from a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines almost all of last season, averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game this year. But Grayslake Central coach Brian Moe says it's what the senior forward does each game that doesn't make the stat sheet that often helps his team most. "Andrew is the kid you sometimes miss when you're looking at the stats," Moe said. "He not only gets rebounds, he gets the big rebounds, he gets the big steals. He does little things all game long. He also gives us so much leadership. As a four-year starter on varsity, he's given us that consistency and calm that we've needed with a relatively young team." Sipes, whose numbers were bigger before his injury, gradually returned to form this season and is still hoping to play in college next year.
In an unusual season in which perennial power Warren started off 3-10 and was trying to weather the growing pains of an extremely young roster, senior big man Shahron Thomas provided some much-needed stability. Especially down low. "Shahron was our best inside player over the course of the entire season," Warren coach Chuck Ramsey said. "He's our leading scorer this season, he rebounds the ball well and has been a pretty decent defensive player." Thomas averaged a team-leading 11.5 points per game and ranked second on the team with 4.5 rebounds per game.
Juddon Carter (Round Lake, Soph. G), Kevin Earl (Stevenson, Jr. F), Jerry Gaylor (Grant, Soph. F), Tyler Gick (Wauconda, Jr., F), Eric Hartnett (Wauconda, Sr., F), Hobie Herberger (Libertyville, Sr. F), Jonathan Huisel (Carmel, Sr. F/C), Jeremiah Jackson (Warren, Jr. F), Marcell KirkmanBey (Lakes, Sr. F), Jeff Levitt (Stevenson, Sr. G), Jon Martinez (Round Lake, Sr. F), Kyle Melton (Antioch, Jr. G), Chris Morgan (Vernon Hills, Sr. G/F), Matt Murphy (Grayslake Central, Sr. F), Cameron Nelson (Grayslake Central, Sr. G), Tyler Swindle (Lakes, Sr. G), Jordan Taylor (Grayslake Central, Soph. G), Marquise Thomas (Warren, Sr. G)
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