Daily Herald
Fox Valley All-Area boys team
By Jerry Fitzpatrick | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/4/2010 8:47 PM | Updated: 3/5/2010 8:14 AM
All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Ryan Beachler Westminster Christian

A two-time All-Area selection, this senior forward's tenacious defense led to his offense. He averaged 2 steals per game overall and 3.3 steals per game in Northeast Athletic Conference play. "Ryan is as good a defensive player as I've ever coached," said Warriors coach Bruce Firchau, an IBCA Hall of Fame member. "He is so quick, has great instincts defensively and thrived on taking on tough assignments." A three-year varsity player and two-year starter, Beachler averaged 9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Next year he will play soccer at Taylor University.

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Justin Bieber Hampshire

A two-time All-Area selection, this shooting guard was the focal point of opposing defenses. "When teams walk into the gym they know they have to guard him. That's who they prep for," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. Entering Wednesday's regional semifinal, the senior had scored 394 points (15.3 avg.) to lift his career point total in three seasons to 925. He also averages 2.1 rebounds and 2 assists per game to go with 17 steals. Bieber has canned 70-of-174 attempts from 3-point range (40.2 percent) and 66-of-86 free throws (76.7 percent).

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Kory Brown Elgin

This talented, 6-foot-2 underclassman made an impact in his first varsity season. "He's only a sophomore, but everybody on the team looks for him to be the team leader and the go-to guy in certain situations," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "He's one of our best ballhandlers and one of our best post-up players. To have that combination at the age of 15 is pretty rare." Brown averages 11.1 points per game and scored a game-high 16 points in Elgin's regional play-in victory over St. Charles East on Monday.

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Tyler Brunschon Huntley

This 6-foot-2 junior guard developed into Huntley's leader by working hard to improve his own game. "His progress from his sophomore to junior year as far as his offensive skill set was pretty remarkable," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "He became adept at putting the ball on the floor and creating scoring opportunities for himself, where last year he was just a shooter. All the hard work paid off." Brunschon scored 417 points in 27 games (15.4 avg.). A 39.4 percent shooter from long range, he drained 58 3-pointers and averaged 1.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and a steal per game.

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Tommy Childs South Elgin

South Elgin's senior scoring blur has been a driving force behind the Storm's 37-18 record over two seasons heading into today's regional title game. A 5-foot-8 guard, the honorary co-captain of the All-Area team is the area's second-leading scorer with 465 points in 27 games (17.2 avg.), thanks partly to his innate quickness. "He is so quick with the ball," South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. "There are not too many kids that I can see who are that quick. He can take the ball to the basket on anybody. His first step is very explosive." Childs has connected on 37 3-pointers, collected 88 rebounds, made 47 steals and recorded 100 assists (3.9 avg.).

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Ian Dutcher Westminster Christian

The Fox Valley's tallest player at 6-foot-8½ and still growing, this junior center led the area in blocked shots (75) and rebounding (8.7) in his second varsity campaign. "He had a terrific junior season," Westminster Christian coach Bruce Firchau said. "He did a great job on defense with those blocked shots, and he is blessed with great hands. He's just coming into his own." Dutcher led the Warriors in scoring (13.7 ppg.) and field-goal percentage (62.3). He made tremendous strides at the free throw line, finishing the season as 69.7-percent shooter (108 of 155).

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Mike Ellis St. Edward

The leading scorer for the Green Wave at 10.9 points per game, this 5-foot-11 junior developed into a formidable point guard in his second varsity season. "I think he's probably the most improved player on our team," St. Edward coach Keith Chuipek said. "He's learned how to become a point guard and yet score when he had to, and that's a big accomplishment. He gets to the basket and has a nice midrange jumpshot. I think he'll develop into one of the premier players in the area next year." The 16-year-old Ellis averaged 2.5 assists, 1.1 steals, sank 31-of-103 attempts from 3-point range (31 percent) and shot 77 percent from the free-throw line (59 of 77).

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Ray Hunnicutt Burlington Central

This 5-foot-11 sophomore guard became one of the area's leading scorers in his second varsity season. Hunnicutt scored 365 points in 27 games (13.5 avg.) and shot 66-of-105 from the free-throw line (62.9 percent). He also averaged 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and sank 14 3-pointers. "I think he has the potential to be the most feared player in the area the next couple of years if he continues to develop and work at his game," Burlington Central coach Brett Porto said. "He has strength, speed and size for a sophomore that I haven't seen in too many gyms. And he has a great ability to penetrate. The sky is the limit for him."

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Luke Labedzki Bartlett

A four-year varsity performer, a three-year starter, a three-time All-Area selection and the honorary co-captain of the 2009-10 All-Area team, this 6-foot-1 senior guard entered regional play this week as the area's leading scorer with 435 points in 25 games (17.4 ppg.). "He knows how to score and he knows how to get shots off," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "And he's done that since he was freshman. I think it's something genetic with him." A gym rat who practices his shot for hours on end, Labedzki is shooting 131 of 226 from 2-point range (58 percent), 36 of 117 from 3-point range (30.8 percent) and 65 of 82 from the free-throw line (79.3 percent). He has also contributed 40 steals and 3.2 rebounds per game.

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Shane Larkin Burlington Central

A three-year starter and a two-time All-Area selection, this senior was a reliable performer for the Rockets while adjusting to a new system under a new head coach. The 6-foot-2 forward recovered from an ankle injury early in the season to score 235 points in 24 games (9.8 ppg.) and was second on his team in rebounding average (5.4). "Shane had a much different role this year," Rockets coach Brett Porto said. "He did a good job of playing a whole different style of basketball after we asked him to do things defensively he'd never done before."

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Marcus Lewis Streamwood

A two-time All-Area pick and one of the area's more gifted athletes, this versatile 6-foot-4 senior led the Sabres in scoring (14.2 avg.) and steals (44) entering Wednesday's Class 4A regional semifinal. The senior was also averaging 2.8 rebounds and was second on his team in assists (2.0 avg.). "He's probably one of the most talented players that I've ever come across," Streamwood coach Tim Jones said. "When he realizes that and how much hard work he can put into it, he can be a tremendous basketball player in the future."

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Chad McCarron Cary-Grove

An All-Area football player and a two-time All-Area basketball selection, this 6-foot-3 forward helped add division-championship hardware to go next to the state championship football trophy in the school's trophy case. McCarron played in his first basketball game five days after the Trojans won the Class 6A football state title. Entering Wednesday's regional semifinal, the senior led Cary-Grove in scoring for the second straight year with 332 points in 20 games (16.6 avg.) and was second in rebounding (5.3). "He's a competitive young man who is going to find a way to win," Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle said. "He's very crafty, very instinctive. He just understands how to play the game and can carry a team."

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Sean Meyer Jacobs

Meyer was a bankable asset in a season of uncertainty for the Golden Eagles. The 6-foot-1 senior forward led Jacobs in rebounding (8.4 avg.) and was his team's third-leading scorer, able to score on putbacks of his 57 offensive rebounds or by stepping out to face the basket. "We started out with him as a big man and we moved him out more and more to the perimeter," Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle said. "He became a very versatile player and by far our leading rebounder. By the end of the year we were putting him on the better offensive players on the other team because his defense really improved. Meyer finished the season with 43 steals and sank 15-of-41 attempts from 3-point range (36.6 percent).

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Shyler Ralphs Hampshire

A 6-foot-3 point guard, this senior made opponents pay for double teaming teammate Justin Bieber. Entering Wednesday's regional semifinal, the senior was second on his team in scoring (11.4 avg.) and rebounding (4.3), and he led the Whip-Purs in assists (80) steals (22) and free-throw percentage (88 of 114, 77.7 percent). He is also Hampshire's shut-down defender. "He's a kid who is unafraid," Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. "He'll guard anybody and he'll do anything to try to win, and that's nice to have." Ralphs also sank 23-of-50 attempts from 3-point range (46 percent).

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Nick Richter Cary-Grove

Before he broke a bone in his foot with three weeks left in the regular season, this 6-foot-1 point guard was a driving force behind Cary-Grove's rise to the top of the Valley Division of the Fox Valley Conference. The junior scored 266 points in 23 games (11.6) and averaged 2.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Richter also blocked 12 shots and sank 68.2 percent from the free-throw line (60 of 88). "He just got better and better and better and more confident as the season went on," Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle said. "It was a big blow to us to lose a player like that."

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Kevin Rogers Crystal Lake South

This junior forward is the leading scorer for the Gators heading into today's regional championship contest with 319 points in 26 games (12.3 avg.). One of the area's most accurate 3-point shooters, he has connected on 61-of-161 shots from beyond the arc (37.9 percent) and 47-of-63 attempts from the free-throw line (74.6 percent). "Kevin is a great set shooter," Gators coach Dan DeBruycker said. "He affects other teams' game plan on defending us. He is one or our top rebounders and is very vital in our 1-3-1 zone defense. His leadership skills and team play have grown all season."

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Ryan Smith Larkin

When Larkin needed 3-points, the Royals turned to their catch-and-shoot deadeye. The 6-foot-2 guard canned an area-best 98 shots from 3-point range this season, including 6 from beyond the arc in his final high school contest against Dundee-Crown on Monday. He sank 10 triples en route to a season-high 34 points in a 90-54 victory over Parkview, Wis. "I think he's one of the purest shooters Larkin has had in its existence," Larkin coach Steve Knapp said, "and he is probably one of the hardest-working kids I've ever coached. He came to the gym every day mentally ready to go." Smith led Larkin in scoring with 12.4 points per game.

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Sam Sutter South Elgin

One of the finest long-distance shooters in the Fox Valley, the 6-foot guard had drained 76-of-183 attempts from 3-point range heading into today's regional title game (41.4 percent). "I thought he made an outstanding transition from his sophomore year to his junior year to becoming another scorer on the perimeter for us," Storm coach Chaz Taft said. "He's really improved as far as his basketball IQ and his toughness. We asked him to guard guys a little bit bigger and stronger than him and he's done an outstanding job at that." Sutter is second on his team in scoring with 337 points in 27 games (12.5 avg.) and has contributed 29 steals and 66 assists.

All Area BoysGirls Basketball Team 2010 | Fox Valley
Larry Whitaker Bartlett

Asked to play in the paint in his senior season because his team lacked size in the middle, this 6-foot-5 forward was a consistent scorer and rebounder for the Hawks. Entering regional play this week, Whitaker was averaging 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He had also connected on 70-of-109 free throws (64.2 percent) and was averaging 1.7 steals, 1.5 blocked shots and 1.4 assists per game. "I couldn't be more proud of a kid taking the step as the leader of the team and stepping into a scoring role, in some cases, sacrificing for the team," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. "Those kinds of kids you can't do without. That aspect of Larry we'll miss the most when he graduates."

Honorable mention

Bartlett - Mike Banks (Sr., F), Frankie Cleope (Sr., G)

Burlington Central - Sam Klein (Sr., G/F)

Cary-Grove - Ryan Barker (Sr., F), Matt Jones (Sr. G)

Crystal Lake South - Ethan Breitenstein (G, Jr.), Alex Macaulay (G, Sr.)

Dundee-Crown - Sean Bernhard (Sr., G), Ryan Smith (Jr., F)

Elgin - Jordan Dean (Jr., G), Dennis Moore (So., G)

Elgin Academy - Paul Leonardis (Sr., G)

Hampshire - Tyler Watzlawick (So., C)

Huntley - Dylan Neukirch (Jr., F)

Jacobs - Mike Peterson (Jr., G), Matt Schmidt (Sr., G)

Larkin - Garrett McDaniel (Sr., F)

South Elgin - Sam Jordt (Sr., C)

Streamwood - Derrick King (Sr., F)

 

  DuPage  |  Lake  |  Fox Valley  |  Tri-Cities