Outside the Huddle and Bounce are counting down who it feels are the top 50 individual boys basketball players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2021-22 season. This is our third annual Top 50 countdown.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 20-16
No. 20 Jacob Boyer, Blackhawk Christian
There may be an underestimation to just how much Boyer meant to Blackhawk Christian’s state title team last season. As he steps up as a senior to be the real lynchpin of the program, more respect surely should come his way. Boyer has been able to develop his game from a bit of a shooter early to being the grit and grind guy for the defending Class 2A state champions. He can score inside and out and isn’t afraid to beat and bang with some of the tougher players in the area. That shined last season as he showed that he was one of the best offensive rebounders in the area. Boyer’s second chance opportunities were a big part of his eight points per game in 2020-21. He tallied just two less offensive rebounds (93) than defensive (95) over the season, peaking with nine on the offensive end against Lakewood Park. He averaged 6.1 rebounds per game.
Boyer is an all out hustler on both ends of the floor. Offensively, getting out on the break helps the Braves offense flow. Defensively, he always hustles back and makes uncontested offense nearly impossible. Boyer’s brick wall defense and frame works so much more efficiently because of his work ethic. At the end of the day, you can count on Boyer to always make something happen.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JACOB BOYER
“JB is a coach’s dream- first of all, the kid works his tail off. Combine that with the fact that he is an incredibly fundamental basketball player who does everything well on a basketball court. Add to that the fact that he does all the little things- he led our team last year in dives on the floor, and he has a chance to be Blackhawk’s all-time leader in charges drawn by the end of this season. All those things make him a really special player.” – Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson
No. 19 Gabe Trevino, Eastside
A hard nosed player whether he is on the basketball court or elsewhere, Trevino should fit in well with new coach Ed Bentley. He is a bit of a chameleon in how he plays, matching the styles and tempos needed any given night. Trevino isn’t going to take breaks and that it something to hang your hat on if you are the Blazers. That effort is clear on the defensive end, where Trevino proved time and time again last season that he was among the NECC’s best on that side of the basketball court.
Throughout the season, Trevino was able to increase his playmaking and keep Eastside as a team that always had the top teams on upset alert. There was balance and depth for the Blazers, but if it wasn’t for Trevino, that first punch wouldn’t have been as strong. He has demonstrated a great ability to get to the rim as a slasher and his speed makes him hard to contain. Trevino averaged 14 points per game last season.
No. 18 Nick Thompson, Bishop Luers
Just a stud of an athlete, there is a lot of like about Thompson’s game as he now comes into the complete forefront for Bishop Luers with the graduation of older bother Naylon. Nick Thompson is a high end rebounder and has been since he was a freshman. He doesn’t mind battling on the board with his high athleticism and it has forced other teams to be aware of his presence every second he is on the floor. He averaged 5.2 rebounds per game last season, which was second on the team and makes him the top returning rebounder for the Knights this season.
He also averaged 9.5 points, 3.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game, showcasing his versatility, especially in two close games with eventual state runner up Leo that bookended the season in 2020-21. Against Lakewood Park, he was just two assists shy of a triple double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. And in the final three games of the season, he averaged 4.7 steals per game because of how he was able to use his length to cut off open passing lanes.
COACH’S QUOTE ON NICK THOMPSON
“Great athlete, tremendous upside and will have to use his athletic ability for every minute of every game. He is the main man on the team and should that he has to be a vocal leader and lead by example on and off the court. I would like to Nick get more of a three point shot that is knocked down consistently. Also knowing that he has to get the other guys to buy in to what you guys the coaches are saying. He’s gotten a lot stronger and his frame as increased. So he’ll be guarding the big which he’s had no problem doing. I’m excited to see Nick play this year.” – Bishop Luers coach Fonso White
No. 17 Gage Sefton, Blackhawk Christian
Last year was a breakout a year earlier than expected for Sefton. He seamlessly fit into the Blackhawk Christian lineup and added another element to their offense that the Braves probably weren’t expecting in 2020-21 and maybe didn’t even need. Yet, because he was there, every game flowed easier for the Class 2A state champions. Sefton became critical in the Braves ability to secure big runs in the second half of the season and stop opposing offenses from doing the same. He is a gifted true two way player and that made his presence a requirement for the Braves.
Sefton ended up averaging 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, combining that effort you seek out of a player with a high end athleticism. Sefton became one of the most relied on sophomores in the area and that wouldn’t normally be easy in such a top heavy program. The multi sport standout is incredibly versatile and quick, opening himself up to be able to attack opponents from many angles. This season, as a junior, Sefton may be the key to the Braves sustained success.
COACH’S QUOTE ON GAGE SEFTON
“Gager is poised to have a breakout year. He is very athletic, can defend anyone on the floor, shoots it, handles it, drives it, rebounds it. We’re looking for Gage to really step up and be a leader for us this year, on and off the floor.” – Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson
No. 16 Mason Yoder, Westview
Yoder answered the call on how the Warriors could possibly replace even a percentage of cousin Charlie’s offense. After previously showing his shooting prowess, Mason Yoder became one of the area’s hardest working scorers in 2020-21 and led Westview to a share of the NECC title along the way in what was expected to be a rebuilding season. At 15 points per game, Yoder showed his ability to do it all last year that he hadn’t fully displayed before. He got to the basket well and learned how to create much better spacing for himself. He continued to show that threat over the summer while healthy and Yoder comes into his senior season as one of the very best players in the conference again.
Another high quality attribute is his defensive prowess. You don’t often hear about how a kid can read the floor well on defense but Yoder certainly does that. He keeps his head on a swivel, his body loose and he is always moving and active. That activity was a major part of so many close wins that helped the Warriors to a share of the conference title. And, with a roster shift midway through last season, Yoder saw his leadership be forced to pick up too, which was massive for Westview.
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