The boys hoops season will wrap up no matter what on Saturday at the state finals and that means basketball is….over?
Well, it will never be over here at Outside the Huddle (more on that later), but with the 2018-2019 season officially coming to an end, it is time for Bounce to do for the boys what I did for the girls: name some officially unofficial awards!
Don’t forget to check back on April 1 when the inaugural Outside the Huddle Boys Basketball Player of the Year and All-Area team of 15 players are named.
Without further ado…
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
WILL GEIGER, NORWELL
By now you should know the drill. This award isn’t for the best player, but rather the most valuable (the title says so, doesn’t it?). That means, who was the most important to their team. Bounce struggled with this one. This was a year of important players, but more so whole teams. There wasn’t much single-player focus for any of the teams who found real success.
I say all that and I will say all of this: a young Norwell team was fun to watch, but there is no denying the value of Will Geiger, who somehow I find to still be underrated in the eyes of many. Geiger was a revelation most of the season, including his infamous (to me) ‘flu game’ against Concordia. He scored 39 percent of Norwell’s points and had 44.7 percent of its rebounds. The Knights’ season revolved around Geiger and for good reason.
Honorable Mention: Sydney Curry (Northrop), Frankie Davidson (Blackhawk Christian), Charlie Yoder (Westview), Mitchell Wilson (Columbia City).
WOODLAN AT HERITAGE, ACAC TOURNAMENT
This one is well documented on Outside the Huddle (Heritage wins feisty exchange with Woodlan to advance to ACAC final) so I am not telling you anything you shouldn’t already know. Heritage was one of the top two teams in the conference and a still-young Woodlan had its struggles mixed in with fun successes. But in this game none of that mattered. These two teams slugged it out in one of those games you’d love to play in, coach, write about and cheer for.
The tight confines at Heritage and being part of the older-than-everyone ACAC Tournament just made it feel that much more vibrant and important. The Patriots emerged with a 57-56 win.
The second game between the two couldn’t live up to the hype. But everyone got involved in some way in this one from Alec Burton vs. Aiden Bayman on the perimeter to Cameron Mitchell vs. Joe Reidy inside. I loved this game. I wasn’t shy about saying that. Of the over 70 games that Bounce saw in person this year, I am not sure how anything else could be my favorite.
Honorable Mention: Fairfield/Angola (NECC Tournament), Northrop/South Side (Regular season), Snider/Northrop (SAC Tournament), Snider/East Noble, Norwell/Concordia,
COACH OF THE YEAR
MARC DAVIDSON, BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
No matter what happens at the state finals, Marc Davidson has secured his spot as a coaching legend, especially at Blackhawk Christian. Davidson has been game for every opponent, every scenario and every challenge. Have the Braves come out unscathed? As close as anyone.
Davidson, if you ask him, will preach about being humble and hungry when it comes to his team. He will tell you that mentality is what makes his team tick. It also makes their head coach go. Davidson himself is humble each and every time that you talk to him. No game is bigger than the next, no moment is overwhelming. Yet, the hunger in his eyes and voice is evident. Marc Davidson wants more; he wants better.
Honorable Mention: Rod Chamble (Northrop), Chris Johnson (Homestead), Ryan Eakins (East Noble)
ZAK KRUEGER, HOMESTEAD
Is this the toughest category on the boys side? Probably, because there were a lot of guys who we knew about but didn’t really KNOW about that made an impact this year. The Homestead losses to graduation and both Jake Archbold and Trevin Taylor electing to focus on football really made us question — maybe more than ever — how coach Chris Johnson would reload. And while I could name countless Spartans who stepped up into important roles, Zak Krueger was constantly a game changer. He hit big buckets about any time he could create separation from his defender (spoiler: he is really good at creating separation) and his buzzer beater against Carroll personified the word clutch this season.
Honorable Mention: Trent Loomis (Homestead), Kamron Mitchell (South Side), Kade Fuelling (Bellmont), Mike Perkins (Prairie Heights), Connor Essegian (Central Noble), Joe Reidy (Woodlan)
BIGGEST SURPRISE TEAM
Bellmont gets the nod here because of the fact they were able to win more games this season than the previous four seasons combined. Kade Fuelling was one of the best players and best breakout players in the area, but I think Bellmont’s senior class was what was most captivating. That group willed themselves through tough games and willed themselves to wins. There is something special about that and even though the Braves didn’t win any title, they earned a lot of respect and the senior group changed the dynamic of the program.
Honorable Mention: Prairie Heights, Northrop, Heritage, Central Noble
TRENT LOOMIS, HOMESTEAD
This isn’t a traditional category for me, but this kid went viral twice, kind of for all the wrong reasons. First was the charge he was called for in the SAC Holiday Tournament that made all of the rounds, including popular social media page ‘Overtime.’ Then came his dunk against Norwell that led to an expletive laden rant from the announcer that was even discussed on The Dan Patrick Show. Fort Wayne was full of great basketball this year, but nationally it was Trent Loomis who took the headlines and the Twitterspehere over. Congrats?
Honorable Mention: Zane Burke for his semistate third quarter buzzer beater
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