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First team

1. Tanner Oelrichs

6-5, junior, center

Cole Camp (23-4)

Stats: 18.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg

Oelrichs not only scored points and grabbed rebounds, he was an excellent defender. He blocked 67 shots this season and saved his best work for big games. He had a team-high 17 points in the Bluebirds’ 59-45 victory over Sacred Heart in the Kaysinger Conference boys basketball tournament title game. He had 21 points and 12 rebounds in a 70-35 win over Windsor that clinched an undefeated run through the Kaysinger regular-season schedule. Oelrichs had 26 points when the Bluebirds’ ended Sacred Heart’s Kaysinger regular-season win streak at 32.

2. Jacob Schowengerdt

6-1, jr., guard

Sweet Springs (18-9)

Stats: 20.7 ppg, 4.6 ppg, 3.5 apg, 2 spg

Schowengerdt was one of only four players in the Democrat’s coverage area to average more than 20 points a game. Schowengerdt broke the 30-point milestone four times,  including a season-high 39 against Slater. He was a Democrat athlete of the week in January and was the athlete of the month for January.

3. Malik Hackett

6-0, soph., forward

Sacred Heart (25-5)

Stats: 18.2 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 spg

Hackett was the most electrifying player in the area. Not only was he a good shooter — he had 11 games where he made three or more 3-pointers — but he was hard to defend because of his athletic ability. He was often the fastest player on the court and his vertical leap allowed him to play above the rim when needed. His best game came in the Class 2, District 14 championship game where he scored 29 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 71-65 win over Santa Fe. He added five assists and one steal.


4. Ryan Benny

5-11, sr., guard

Otterville (17-8)

Stats: 18 ppg, 6 apg, 2.5 spg

Benny ended a brilliant career with a season to remember. Benny’s statistics are more impressive when you consider that he was double-teamed all season. He finished second in career points and holds the record in career assists and steals for Otterville. He helped Otterville win a district championship in 2012 and led the team to seven tournament championships over the past two years.

5. Timothy Ward

6-1, sr., guard

Cole Camp (23-4)

Stats: 10 ppg, 9 apg, 5 rpg, 2.2 spg

Ward was the top point guard in the region and was a big reason why Cole Camp won 23 games, the Kaysinger Conference regular-season championship and Kaysinger tournament title. He made things happen on defense, too, where he drew 30 charges.

Second team

6. Wade Wood

5-10, sr., forward

Tipton (19-9)

Stats: 13 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.9 spg

Wood was the heart and soul of the Cardinals this season. When he was in the game, the Cardinals played better and showed more fight. He was an all-around player, contributing on offense and defense.

7. Ethan Koechner

6-1, sr., guard

Tipton (19-9)

Stats: 15 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5.5 apg, 4.7 spg

Koechner was the Cardinals’ go-to player. Whether they needed a shooter, a guy to drive inside and draw a foul or someone to deliver a pass inside to one of the big men, he was there. He led the team in scoring, assists and steals.

8. Cortlen Austin

6-2, jr., forward

Northwest  (10-17)

Stats: 15 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.5 spg

Austin used his athleticism to make things happen for the Mustangs. He regularly faced double-teams and was triple-teamed at times because he was by far the team’s best player. Not only did Austin lead his team in scoring, but he was also its top rebounder.

9. Randall Sherman

6-2, soph. guard

Warsaw (15-10)

Stats: 20.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apg

Sherman was the Wildcats’ most consistent scorer and playmaker. He was the MVP of the Warsaw tournament that the Wildcats won with a 77-67 title-game victory over Butler. In that game, he scored 27 points that featured an 8-of-8 showing at the free-throw line. He had 16 points in the Wildcats’ 69-58 win over Sacred Heart that snapped the latter’s home win streak at 35.

10. Dane Apsher

6-1, jr., guard/forward

Smithton (5-20)

Stats: 22.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.2 apg

Apsher was the area’s leading scorer this season because of his knack for getting open inside. He earned himself additional scoring opportunities with his rebounding game. He scored his 1,000th career point as a junior as part of a dominating performance in an 81-67 win over La Monte. He scored 34 points with 16 coming in the third quarter.

Third team

11. Dalton Christian

6-4, sr., guard/forward

Smith-Cotton (7-15)

Stats: 11.1 ppg, 6 rpg

Christian was the leading scorer on a team that averaged only 52 points a game. The Tigers played the toughest schedule of any team in the Democrat’s coverage area, making his job more difficult. He was a Democrat athlete of the week in January following a 22-point, 11-rebound effort in a 54-46 win over Eldon.

12. Garrett Strange

6-0, soph., forward

Sacred Heart (25-5)

Stats: 11.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.5 spg

Strange was the Gremlins’ top threat inside. He posted six double-doubles this season and had double-figure rebounds in eight games. His defense is what made him stand out. He had 66 steals, including six against Windsor and Lincoln and five against Versailles.

13. David Barton

6-8, jr., center

Knob Noster (21-8)

Stats: 14.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2 bpg

Barton’s 6-8 frame made him a presence inside. Combined with his wingspan, Barton was a dominant force on defense, blocking and altering shots. He posted 10 double-doubles and his best game came in the Panthers’ biggest win of the season, a 59-52 win over then undefeated Higginsville. He had 20 points, 14 rebounds (seven offensive), three blocked shots and three deflections.

14. Seth Johnson

5-8, jr., guard

La Monte (5-19)

Stats: 22 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.9 spg

Johnson was a game-changer for the Vikings. His scoring ability, especially from the perimeter, was something opposing coaches kept in mind. A few of the top area teams held him in check, but the rest of the Vikings’ opponents could not. He also made things happen on defense, leading his team in steals on many nights. He was an athlete of the week in  January, following a 28-point performance in a 70-63 loss to Green Ridge. He had a career-high 36 points that included eight 3-pointers  in the Vikings’ 64-42 win over Chilhowee.

15. Austin Story

6-4, sr., forward

Green Ridge (16-10)

Stats: 14.6 ppg, 10 rpg

Story had the ability to carry the Tigers, but he struggled with foul  trouble at times throughout the season. Many teams would have to settle for outside shots when he was in the game.

The Democrat’s All-Area Boys Basketball Team was selected by sports editor Kyle Smith, sports reporter Eric Ingles and sports copy editor John Hansen. The coverage area includes the Kaysinger Conference plus Smith-Cotton, Sweet Springs, Otterville, Knob Noster and Warsaw. The girls team ran in last weekend’s edition and can be found at sedaliademocrat.com.

  1. Tanner Oelrichs

  2. Jacob Schowengerdt

  3. Malik Hackett

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