St. Viator knew it was in good hands with the third-year varsity starter and returning All-Area pick running the show. Aboona averaged 15 points, 3.5 assists, 3 rebounds, hit 62 3s and 81 percent of his free throws as the Lions are a win away from setting the single-season school record. "It's really comforting to know you've got a kid like Alan out on the floor," said coach Joe Majkowski. "He's a leader, he does all the things you need a point guard to do and he's a really confident kid. He has a very good understanding of the game at both ends of the floor."
It was no coincidence Elk Grove started playing much better in late December when Battaglia elevated his game. The senior showed why he was promoted to the varsity late in his sophomore year as he found the balance of playing point guard and still scoring 11 points a game and hitting 44 3-pointers. "He turned himself into a guy who can handle the ball and get himself open," said coach Anthony Furman. "You can tell how much he cares about the game. He's always asking for film - and puts other people first."
Geraghty did more than just lead the Saxons in nearly every important statistical category. The senior and All-Area soccer co-captain was also the emotional leader of a transition year to new coach Matt Walsh. Averaged 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists a game, had 33 steals, hit 78 percent of his free throws and was their top defender. "He's really been our rock," Walsh said. "He was asked to do so much for our team."
Kemph didn't just show up when the bright lights were on and end up with 1,109 points in his three-year varsity career. The Mid-Suburban East player of the year and repeat All-Area pick did what he needed to behind the scenes to lead the league in scoring at 19.3 points a game and hit 64 3-pointers. "He's worked extremely hard at his game and he's an unbelievable talent," said coach Kevin Katovich. "He's a gym rat who puts in all the time to make himself a better player."
The tone-setter for Fremd's resurgence to its first Mid-Suburban League title since 1998 and a 24-2 record after consecutive 12-win seasons. The repeat all-area pick and three-year varsity starter averaged 17.6 points with a career-high of 36, shot 57 percent from the field and got nearly half of his 6.1 rebounds a game on the offensive end. "He assumed a leadership role early in the season on his own and he's been really solid for us in that area," said coach Bob Widlowski.
As soon as LaTulip started racing up the floor with the ball there was the anticipation of something special happening. It usually did for the repeat All-Area pick and three-year varsity player since he was part of three Mid-Suburban East titles. LaTulip averaged 15.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3 rebounds, hit 54 3-pointers at a 45 percent clip and made 81 percent of his free throws despite losing six games to a knee injury. "He's got to be one of the most accomplished guards to ever come through Prospect," said coach John Camardella.
Opponents have two more years of worrying about another LaTulip as Mike wasted on time displaying his shooting range and prowess. The sophomore averaged 14.5 points, 3 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game, hit 58 3-pointers at 45 percent and shot 86 percent on free throws. "I don't think anybody except him expected it come this fast," said coach John Camardella. "He's right there with some of the best shooters in the area and he's one of the most dynamic scorers I've been around at the high school level."
The third-year starting forward was an All-Area pick last year but took even bigger steps forward this year as he averaged 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2 assists as Viator tied the school record with 21 wins going into the regional finals. "I really think he came into his own this year," said coach Joe Majkowski. "During the offseason we recognized a huge difference in his confidence and assertiveness and it really showed."
All of the percentages - 40 on 3-pointers, 50 from the field and better than 70 on free throws - play into Miklasz's team-leading 13.2 scoring average with 56 3s. But the senior's play in other areas sparked a late-season surge into the regional final. "Kyle has embraced the defense, teamwork and work ethic top basketball players need to have a successful team," said coach Steve Messer.
The junior's seemingly unlimited shooting range added another dimension to the Mid-Suburban League champs as he averaged 17 points a game and hit 41 3-pointers. But the MSL West co-player of the year is hardly one-dimensional with 3.7 assists a game and nearly a 2-1 ratio to turnovers. "He's a very smart basketball player who can do a lot of different things," said coach Bob Widlowski. "He's very even-keeled, very focused and a very competitive kid. Zach wants to win."
No challenge has been too big or small in three varsity seasons for the repeat All-Area pick and three-sport standout. One of the Mid-Suburban League's toughest defenders and competitors averaged 12 points, 4.5 assists with nearly a 3-1 ratio to turnovers, 4.3 rebounds and had 49 steals and countless floor burns. "I feel so lucky to have such a competitor and great all-around kid as our point guard for three years," said coach Ryan O'Connor. "He really has literally willed our team to victories through three years."
Orris received a difficult education last year as a freshman point guard leading a varsity team in the Mid-Suburban League. Some of those tough lessons started paying off this season as he averaged 9.5 points, 3.4 assists. 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals as Palatine nearly tripled its win total. "We asked Michael to do quite a few things for us and he's taken every challenge and done a nice job," said coach Eric Millstone. "It's taken awhile to be really comfortable and convince himself he could be that go-to guy."
Letting Prus get loose became a dangerous proposition as he rebounded from an injury-plagued sophomore year to lead Buffalo Grove in scoring at 13.9 points a game and hit 61 3-pointers while shooting 45 percent from the field overall. He also averaged 3 rebounds a game. "He allows us to feel we'll always be in it because he can score in bunches," said coach Ryan O'Connor. Prus twice hit a high of 28 points.
6-foot-3 Redding had the versatility to do all of them when needed for Prospect the last two seasons. The senior was the No. 3 scorer this year at 11.5 ppg, averaged 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists and hit 26 3s for the repeat MSL East champions. "He's sort of been our do-it-all - last year he had a major rebounding role and this year was more of a scoring role," said coach John Camardella. "He does a lot of intangible things to help us win."
Samuelson extended his offensive game away from the basket and the result was a leap from 6.6 points a game as a junior to 15 a game this season while shooting 47 percent from the field. He was also the Warriors' No. 2 rebounder at 3.5 a game. "He's by far our most consistent all-around player," said coach Erik McNeill. "After every game the opposing coach always said something about Alex for his toughness and effort and that's a great compliment."
Sotos went from rarely playing as a junior to playing at a dynamic level that made him one of the best players in the area. The 6-foot senior averaged 12.8 points, 3 assists and 2.5 rebounds a game and hit 42 3s while displaying the ability to score in a variety of ways. "Christian is a great example of the improvement a player can make with a lot of hard work in the offseason," said coach Tom McCormack. "He has made himself one of the hardest players in the area to guard with his ability to handle, pass and shoot the ball."
Tiongson is proof the best things in life can be free as he became the best free-throw shooter in school history. The senior hit 93 percent this year en route to an average of 12 points a game and also hit 37 3s while running the offense. "He's a very passionate player and when he's going the team is going," said coach Bill Wandro. "You can say he's the heart of the team. When he's pumping good we're going good."
Wegner personified Barrington's turnaround from 7 to 16 wins and a berth in the regional final. The senior guard leads the Broncos in scoring (15.4 ppg), rebounding (4.3), assists (3.0) and steals (2.0) and shot 51 percent from the field. "Bryan has meant so much to our team," said first-year coach Bryan Tucker. "He had some tough times when teams started tagging him, that was a new experience for him. But he is a really heady kid and he really cares about the success of the team."
Williams went from not factoring into the equation much as a junior to becoming what coach Bob Widlowski called "our X-factor" as Fremd won the Mid-Suburban League title and 20 games for the first time since 1998. He averaged 8.7 points, played some point guard and routinely guarded the top offensive threat. "He's been a big difference for us," Widlowski said. "He's played a wide variety of positions for us and he's been extremely consistent."
Woolf's responsibilities grew as he became Leyden's primary offensive threat and he delivered by averaging 16.3 ppg while hitting 53 3s and shooting 46 percent from the field. But the 6-foot senior did more than just score by averaging 5 rebounds and 3 assists a game. "We expected him to have a great year and he really lived up to everything we hoped he would do," said coach Bill Heisler. "He's an unbelievable scorer and I think his best basketball is ahead of him."
Mike Cornely (Buffalo Grove, Sr., F), Donny Duschinsky (Elk Grove, Sr., F), Garett Gatz (Conant, Sr., G), Jordan Mertes (Hersey, Sr., G), Brian Nelms (Rolling Meadows, So., G), Taylor Peterson (Conant, Sr., F), Charlie Rosenberg (Fremd, Sr., F), Brandon Stinson (Leyden, Jr., F-G), Lance Vesper (Hoffman Estates, Sr., C)
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