Strong talent depth led to exciting season

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

Fred Van Vleet was the unquestioned MVP of the conference and an obvious choice for first-team NIC-10 All-Conference. Even in an off night in the regionals against Harlem, he almost posted a triple-double.

But there was a load of talent on display in the conference this season, making it difficult to narrow the field down to the top five.

After all the games have been played, however, it has been narrowed down to five, although there are plenty of other players that could have been on the list. And those five make up the second-annual Rock River Times NIC-10 All Conference Team.

First team

Chris Miller, Boylan—The senior point guard was a returning all-conference player and lived up to the hype. He did struggle toward the end of the season in losses to Hononegah and Auburn in the regionals. But without Miller, even the second-place finish wouldn’t have been possible for the Titans.

Armani Flannigan, Boylan—The 6-foot-7-inch senior took his game to another level in his third year on the varsity team. After showing flashes the previous two seasons, Flannigan put it all together and dominated games on a consistent basis.

Alonte Holliday, East—The E-Rabs came into the season with a talented team minus the senior transfer. “We had Alonte Holliday fall into our lap,” Head Coach Roy Sackmaster said. East got contributions from everywhere, but Holliday was the glue that held everything together. He may not have been the most talented player on the team, but he always made the big play when it counted.

Brandon Schwebke, Belvidere North—The Blue Thunder intended to find more looks for Schwebke going into the season. They found plenty for him as the high-scoring forward dominated inside and out to help North reach their regional final. “He is really confident,” Head Coach Darren Sisk said. “When he misses in the fourth quarter, to be honest with you, we’re really surprised.”

Second team

Luke Norman, Freeport—His 33 points in their regional loss to North should be proof enough. But in case you need more, Norman put up those stats all year and willed his team to several wins.

Dez Agee, Jefferson—The senior was a little overlooked coming into the year, but Agee got hot and went on a torrid stretch from the middle of the conference season on. “He can do that, he’s a scorer,” Head Coach Todd Brannan said.

Coop Lewis, Hononegah—The Indians were the epitome of team, and it is hard to point out one player for their success. But Lewis anchored the stiffest defense in the conference, and was key in their victory over Boylan that wrapped up the 2 seed in the regional.

LaMark Foote, Auburn—“Mark Foote is the glue for us,” Head Coach Bryan Ott said. High praise for a team that boasts the conference’s Player of the Year. He has been one of the best defenders and rebounders all year, and his offensive game has stepped up to a lethal level.

Michael Proscia, Harlem—The Huskies came into the season with a lot of juniors and were unsure who would step up. The high-scoring Proscia stepped up and stood out among that crowd all year. “We challenged him early and he accepted it,” Head Coach Chad Barger said. “I’m glad we do have him for another year, because he is going to work hard, and he is going to continue to bring it.”

Honorable mention

Quavion Scott (Freeport), Quavion Kimble (Guilford), Carlos Hendrix (Hononegah), Chase Robinson (Hononegah), Anthony Strickland (Auburn), Tre Wagner (Harlem), Javon Henderson (East), Steve McNease (East), Teyvious Montgomery (Boylan) and Kane Steger (Belvidere).

From the March 9-15, 2011, issue

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