The 2014 Tribune Boys All-Area Basketball Team
When selecting an All-Area team, it is a unique problem to have three area teams make the state tournament and several players from each team deserving of a First Team selection.
Before even considering the strong individual performances on teams that didn’t make it as far, there was already a surplus of deserving players on the three teams to make it to state: Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in Class A, and New London-Spicer in Class AA.
ACGC and NLS were both eliminated in the quarterfinals while BBE claimed the Class A championship.
When nominations started rolling in, this quickly turned into one of the more difficult teams to pick for the Tribune staff in recent memory.
In the end, it came down to one player from each team at state: BBE’s Brian Goodwin, ACGC’s Taylor Larson and NLS’ Shane Zylstra.
The final two spots went to the Lee cousins, Joey and Michael, from Dawson-Boyd. The Blackjacks were an early favorite to make it to the state tourney, being consistently ranked in the top Class A teams in the state most of the season, but were eliminated by state tournament-bound Canby in the subsection finals.
For Goodwin and Joey Lee, it’s been quite a run – both have made the First Team three years in a row.
Michael Lee and Larson were honorable mentions on last year’s team, and for Zylstra it’s his All-Area debut.
Brian Goodwin. BBE
Senior point guard
Arguably the best player in the area the past two seasons, this season was no different.
Goodwin averaged 24.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.1 steals for a Jaguars team that won its second Class A state tournament in three years.
He double-doubled in the championship game against Rushford-Peterson with a game-high 24 points and 10 boards.
He finishes his high school career as BBE’s all-time leader in points, assists and steals, and reached the 2,000-point mark in the Jaguars’ Section 5A championship victory over Browerville.
He is a three-time Class A All-State selection by Minnesota Basketball News and Breakdown, two-time Central Minnesota Conference MVP and three-time CMC First Team.
This is his third straight selection to the Tribune’s First Team.
“(Brian) is complete player on both ends of the floor,” BBE head coach Dave Montbriand said. “Brian is a coach on the floor and understands how to get his teammates involved. He is a winner.”
Taylor Larson, ACGC
The most prolific scorer on the Falcons’ first ever state tournament team and 1,000-point scorer for his career, Larson averaged 22.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
He was especially good from as a three-point shooter, shooting 36 percent and breaking all of ACGC’s school records from the three-point line.
He had eight or more threes in a game three times this year, and set a school record with 10 against MACCRAY.
“Taylor is one of the most athletically gifted players I have ever coached,” ACGC head coach Terry Miller said. “He has the ability to carry a team by himself.”
Joey Lee, Dawson-Boyd
The four-year starter for the Blackjacks was named the Camden Conference North MVP for the second straight year and is a Tribune All-Area First Teamer for the third straight year after averaging 18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals.
The senior guard shot 49 percent from the field and 75 percent on free throws.
He averaged double figures in points all four years and finished his career with 1,634 points.
“He is a very special kid on and off the court,” Blackjacks’ head coach Cory Larson said. “Exception leadership qualities and outstanding teammate.”
Michael Lee, Dawson-Boyd
The 6’5 Lee averaged a double-double with 21.9 points and 11 rebounds per game, as well as 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals, on a Dawson-Boyd team that was ranked in the top five in Class A and undefeated for much of the season before falling in the section semifinals.
Lee, who averaged 55 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, has already reached the 1,000-point mark as a junior and has notched over 600 rebounds.
He was an All-Camden Conference selection last year and this year.
“He has great length and size,” Blackjacks’ head coach Cory Larson said. “He plays well with his back to the basket but is also tough to defend on the perimeter. Tough matchup for most teams.”
Shane Zylstra, New London-Spicer
An excellent athlete with a knack for dunks, Zylstra nearly averaged a double-double per game with 14.1 points and 9.3 rebounds, along with 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals to help lead the Wildcats to a state tournament berth.
Not just a dunker, he was also a strong shooter, going 50 percent from the field.
The 6’4 forward was an All-Wright County Conference honorable mention.
“Shane can do anything on the basketball court,” NLS head coach Chad Schmiesing said. “He is a very competitive player with a high skill set, and all the physical attributes to be the best player on the court any given night.”
Carter Asche, MACCRAY
Asche averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks on his way to a second straight All-Camden Conference selection.
This season, he broke the Wolverines’ single-game record for blocks with 14.
Bailey Boike, MACCRAY
The two-time All-Camden Conference selection averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Wolverines and reached 1,000 points for his career this season.
Billy Borgerding, BBE
A three-year starter and key member of two state champions, the 6’7 Borgerding averaged 14 points and 5.8 rebounds.
He reached the 1,000-point mark and set a school record with nine dunks this season.
Joel Carter, Willmar
A defensive specialist on man-to-man coverage, Carter was also an excellent shooter with a 62.6 percent average from the field.
He averaged 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Cardinals.
“Joel is one of the area’s lockdown man defenders,” Cardinals’ head coach Steve Grove said. “His tenacious full-court defense has been one of the variables to the Cards’ success.”
Dazhown Coleman, Montevideo
Doing a little bit of everything, Coleman shot 52.5 percent from the field and averaged 8.6 points, 3.7 boards, 3.8 assists and 2 steals per game.
Joining the team as a senior transfer, he adapted quickly and was an All-West Central Conference honorable mention and the T-Hawks team MVP.
Nick Daugherty, CMCS
Daugherty averaged 10.1 points and was an excellent rebounder and passer, averaging 8.1 boards and 4.5 assists.
The 6’4 senior was named All-Camden Conference for the second straight year.
Troy Diggins, Montevideo
A versatile 6’3 sophomore, Diggins averaged 12 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
He shot 38 percent from the field and 69 percent on free throws, and was All-Conference selection in the West Central Conference.
Jacob Goff, Benson
Goff averaged 16.4 points and 6.2 rebounds to earn an All-West Central Conference berth.
He consistently drew the toughest matchups but found ways to score, shooting 52 percent from the field and 74 percent from the line.
Trey Heinsius, BBE
Heinsius started for two years for BBE and was the sixth man on the 2012 state championship-winning team.
The 6’2 senior was the Jaguars top defender and routinely matched up with the opponent’s best player.
While not a dominating offensive player, averaging 10 points per game, he made the shots he took, shooting 56 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line.
Taylor Holleman, Hancock
The four-year starter and three-time All-Pheasant Conference selection averaged 21.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the Owls.
He set a school record with 44 points in a single game this season, and finished his career with 1,250 points, good for second in school history.
Kyler Johnson, Willmar
The top scorer for the 18-8 Cardinals, Johnson averaged 15.4 points, 3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
The 6’4 guard shot 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from the three-point line. He was also the team’s best free throw shooter at 78.2 percent.
“Kyler is one of the best shooters I have seen in my tenure as head coach,” Willmar’s Steve Grove said. “Kyler has adapted his game because of the attention the opponents give him, adding other elements such as the drive and pull-up jumper.
Johnson will play at NAIA Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, next season.
David Kinzler, ACGC
Kinzler was the glue to the Falcons on defense, consistently drawing the opposing team’s best player.
On offense, he averaged 14.4 points, 2.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds.
Dylan Kotzer, Litchfield
Kotzer averaged 7 points per game and shot 47 percent from three.
A strong defender, he always guarded the opponent’s best player and was the Dragons’ lone All-Wright County Conference selection.
Kyle Kubesh, BLHS
Kubesh averaged a double-double with 19.8 points, shooting 54.3 percent from the field, and 13.9 rebounds per game.
The 6’7 senior also averaged 5.3 blocks.
He reached the 1,000-point mark this season, finishing his career with 1,075.
Kubesh was a two-time All-Tomahawk Conference selection and a three-year starter for the Mustangs.
Nick Kubesh, BOLD
The 6’2 forward shot 44 percent from the field and averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Warriors.
His rebound total and 38 percent shooting from three both were team highs.
He scored a school record 41 points on Feb. 11 against BLHS.
Kubesh’s performance earned him an All-West Central Conference selection.
James Kuefler, BBE
A three-year starter along with Brian Goodwin and Billy Borgerding, Kuefler helped form the nucleus of the Class A state champs with 10 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
He helped the Jaguars come back against Rushford-Peterson in the Class A title game with 10 points all coming in the second half.
Tate Lange, BLHS
The primary ball-handler and outside shooter for the Mustangs, Lange averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds and was named All-Tomahawk Conference.
He also led the team with 85 steals and 85 assists.
He was a 37.3 percent shooter from the field and 32 percent from three.
Blake Lindstrom, YME
Junior point guard
Lindstrom, who didn’t begin basketball until late January due to an MCL tear, averaged 17.3 points and 5 rebounds.
He set the Sting’s team record for steals in a game this year with 9 and averaged 2.7 per game.
Lindstrom was named All-West Central Conference for the first time after being an honorable mention last year.
Adam Nibaur, Willmar
An excellent shooter, the 6’7 Nibaur averaged 62 percent from the field, 55 percent from three and 74 percent on free throws.
He notched 12.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Brett Olson, New London-Spicer
Senior point guard
The leading scorer on the Wildcats’ state tournament team, Olson averaged 15.6 points and 3.9 rebounds, along with 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals.
He was 46 percent shooter with an excellent 83 percent on free throws.
The 6’2 senior was an All-Wright County honorable mention.
Tyler Stegeman, Willmar
The second-leading scorer on the Cardinals, Stegeman averaged 14.4 points and shot 46 percent from the field.
He also contributed 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists, and shot 70.7 percent from the line.
“Tyler is an electrifying player,” Cardinals’ head coach Steve Grove said. “His athleticism gives him great leaping ability and allows him to cover great distances quickly. Tyler in some games, single handedly changes the outcome.”
Stegeman will play college hoops at Ridgewater next season.
Jordan Thompson, Montevideo
The 6’5 senior led the T-Hawks with 14.3 points per game and shot 42 percent from the field.
He set a school record for three-pointers in a game with 11, and tied the mark for three-pointers in a season with 85.
He shot 43 percent from three and 76 percent from the line.
Andrew Topp, Paynesville
Senior power forward
Topp racked up 12 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
He averaged 43 percent from the field and shot 76 percent from the line, and was an All-West Central Conference selection.
Lucas VanEps, CMCS
Junior point guard
The two-time All-Camden Conference selection averaged 12.3 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 45 percent on three-pointers.
Ryan Vraa, New London-Spicer
Senior point guard
Running the point for the Wildcats, Vraa averaged 9.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.3 steals.
He shot 40.4 percent from the field, 33.3 percent on threes and 82.4 percent from the line, and was named All-Wright County Conference.
Mitchell Weidner, Paynesville
A pure scorer with strong defensive ability, Weidner averaged 15 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
He set a school record with 67 three-pointers in a season and shot 35 percent from three and was a 45 percent shooter overall while averaging 76 percent from the line.
The 6’1 junior recorded three double-doubles on the season and had nine games with 20 or more points.