Posted On: 03/11/19 2:11 PM
Samake doesn’t always put up monster numbers, but his sheer presence in the paint entirely changes the way that teams attack the Thunder. A 6-7 forward with freakish athleticism and length, he’s the type of player nobody in 1A sees during the year, and when he stays out of foul trouble, he’s dominant. Look no further than his game against Montezuma in the semifinals – 19 points, 11 rebounds and 9 blocks. He had 3 more blocks in that game than any other team in the 1A field had the entire week. That type of defensive presence is invaluable.
The 5-10 sophomore guard provided one of the best games of the tournament in the Braves’ quarterfinal clinic against Bishop Garrigan, scoring 25 points (on 8-14 shooting, including 5-5 from the arc) and dishing out six assists. An electric scorer with fantastic ball handling abilities, Shearer was the leading scorer in the 1A field, averaging 20.3 points a game, and he put his name on the map with that quarterfinal showing.
Caves struggled with his efficiency during the week, shooting below 30% from the floor, but he led the 1A field in free throws made and attempted, and delivered some huge plays for the Pirates in their surprising runner-up run. A physically well put together guard, he thrives on getting into the paint and finishing through contact, and his work on the glass was huge as well, finishing with the third most rebounds in the 1A field, despite being a guard. He made the game-winner in Alburnett’s quarterfinal upset of second-seeded Sioux Central, and showed how tough he can be in the semifinals, returning to the game after taking a big blow to the area above his left eye which drew a lot of blood. His 2.3 steals a game also led the 1A field.
The leading scorer during the week for the 1A champions, Sissoko combined with Samake to provide plenty of rim-rattling highlights during the week, and he showcased a little bit of everything in his offensive arsenal, getting to the rim for buckets, making two of his five attempts from the arc, and scoring from the mid-range. He finished fourth in the 1A tournament in rebounds, pulling down 20 during the week, including eight on the offensive end.
Harpenau was the team’s fourth leading scorer during the year, but finished second for St. Mary’s in scoring last week, averaging 11.7 points a game (Spencer Schorg averaged 13.7). After going just 7-19 from behind the arc heading into the tournament, he made four 3s in the Hawks’ three games, including a pair within 14 seconds of each other in the final minute to tie the game against Alburnett in the semifinals. His eye-popping efficiency is what lands him the spot on the first team over Schorg.
Spencer Schorg, St. Mary’s (2020)
Arturo Montes, Grand View Christian (2019)
Hunter Ray, Montezuma (2019)
Izic Mackey, Alburnett (2019)
Bryce Crabb, Grand View Christian (2019)
Honorable mentions: Cole Watts, Montezuma (2021); Austin Huber, Alburnett (2020); TJ Schnurr, Bishop Garrigan (2019); Angelo Winkel, Bishop Garrigan (2021)