Posted On: 12/31/17 12:57 PM
Holiday tournaments around the Ozarks brought out the best in local stars. Below are the large-school players that raised their profile with sensational weeks.
2018 F Max Bilbrey, Nixa
Jay Osborne always has at least one solid big and this year it’s Bilbrey. The 6-foot-7 center is in a different mold than guys like Chase Allen and Christian Bundy because of his slight frame. However, his length allows him to change the game as a rim protector. He had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the championship against Mountain Grove, dominating a small frontline.
2018 F Kyle Bushman, Mount Vernon
The 6-foot-8 center continues to create buzz around his name with the total package he’s put together. He closed the Blue and Gold Tournament by dropping 20 points on Kickapoo, which has a big, athletic big of its own in David Senn. Bushman also threw down a pair of monstrous slams against 6-foot-10 big Cody Kelly of Hartville. He protects the rim, runs the floor and cleans glass.
— Ozarks Sports Zone (@OzarksOzone) December 27, 2017
2019 G Broc Smith, Republic
Smith has firmly entrenched himself as one of the most efficient scorers in the Ozarks. He didn’t have any massive scoring outputs – in part because that’s not the kind of game Republic plays – but he did lead the Tigers with 16 points and 15 rebounds in an upset of No. 1 Ozark. His 6-foot-3 frame and footwork make him a handful to defend.
2019 G Tanner Oetting, Kickapoo
In his last three games of the Blue and Gold, Oetting averaged 16.7 points for Kickapoo, who took third in the prestigious tournament. He’s learning how to play next to dynamic point guard Anton Brookshire, which has helped Oetting become a more efficient scorer. The 23 points he dropped on a sound defense team in Mount Vernon represent his best game of the season.
2020 G Cade Blevins, Rogersville
He’s still adjusting to a new role and new teams – as well as varsity basketball in general – but you can see it all coming together. Blevins uses his length to defend and rebound, but at 6-foot-3, the combo guard is capable of getting to the rim and shoots it at better than 40 percent from deep. He was as aggressive this week as he’s been all season.