The Times area saw many fine individual and team performances this season. Newark topped the 13 local schools with 20 victories, while Streator and Fieldcrest won 19 each, followed by Seneca 18 and Marquette Academy 17, with the Fighting Irish and Knights earned Class 2A regional plaques. There were also a handful of players that surpassed the 1,000-point career milestone, while many collected tournament and conference honors along the way. Although some of the following players laced up the sneakers for the final time on the high school level, there will also be a fine crop of returning athletes to watch in the upcoming season.
We give to you the 2017-2018 Times boys basketball all-area teams.
It was a highlight-filled season for Braddish to say the least. The Indians' guard ended the year averaging 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0, including 41 points in his teams come-from-behind win over Reed-Custer. He made 22-of-23 free throws (20 straight in the fourth quarter) and netted 37 points in a win over Marian Central. Surpassed 1,000 points for his career in a loss to Lisle. Led all scorers (91) at the Plano Christmas Classic and was named to the the all-tournament team. Unanimous pick to this years Times First Team after a honorable mention nod as a sophomore.
He was named to the Interstate Eight all-Conference and all-tournament teams. He won the Class 3A 3-point title in Peoria before capturing the King of the Hill championship.
The Falcons forward earned his second straight selection, this year unanimous, to the Times First Team squad after averaging a double-double. Durdan posted norms of 20.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.9 blocks. He shot a solid 54 percent from the floor and 82 percent from the free-throw line. He had 28 points, 12 rebounds and went over 1,000 career points in a victory over Leland-Earlville in the consolation title game at the Marseilles Holiday Tournament, while registering 21 points, 18 rebounds in a HOIC triumph over Blue Ridge.
He was named to the all-tournament teams at the Route 17 Classic and Marseilles, as well as being selected as a All-HOIC honorable mention member.
This year's Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year was a Third Team honoree as a junior and compiled a long list of accolades for his play this winter. Patrick was named most valuable player at the Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament, scored the second-most points in earning all-tournament honors at the Plano Christmas Classic and was a unanimous All-Little Ten Conference pick. He was an IBCA Class 1A/2A and AP Class 1A All-State Second Team selections.
He averaged an area-high 24.8 points and led the 20-win Norsemen with norms of 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.9 steals. He had seven games with 30 or more points and finished 12 on the NHS all-time scoring list with 1,280. In the LTC tournament championship game, Patrick led Newark to the title over Indian Creek by scoring 35 points, with four rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The Huskers shooting guard took over unforeseen responsibilities when point guard Dawson Fuller suffered a season-ending knee injury during soccer. Setchell showed he will be a force to be dealt with next season, averaging 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2,8 assists overall and norms of 19.0 points, 4.6 boards and 4.3 assists in Little Ten Conference contests as a junior.
He was named to the all-tournament teams at the Coal City/Manteno Thanksgiving Tip-off and Marseilles Holiday Tournaments, as well as being a unanimous All-LTC pick. He was a Times honorable mention honoree as a sophomore. He scored 33 points and surpassed the 1,000-career point mark in a win over LaMoille-Ohio, had 29 points in a victory over Woodland, and netted 29 points, plus the game-winning 3-pointer to lift Serena over Putnam County in consolation bracket game at Marseilles.
After a slow start to the season, Vickers was a key member of the senior-laden Bulldogs club that won 19 contests, including a runner up finish at the Interstate Eight Conference tournament. He was a honorable mention Times selection as a junior. Vickers averaged a team-best 15.5 points, with 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.0 steals and shot 82 percent from the free-throw line. He was named to the I-8 all-conference and all-tournament teams, as well as all-tournament at the Plano Christmas Classic where the Streator captured the third-place game over La Salle-Peru. He led the Bulldogs in scoring in 17 of their 28 games.
He had a season-high 29 points in a win over Putnam County, 22 points in Streator's first win over Ottawa in seven tries and poured in 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a road victory at Peotone.
The Fighting Irish forward averaged 9.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals and helped his 18-win team to a Class 2A regional championship. He was named to the Seneca Thanksgiving all-tournament team, the Interstate Eight Conference Second Team and was a honoree to the I-8 all-tournament squad.
He had his two best games of the year in Seneca wins against Reed-Custer, first scoring a season-high 22 points with eight rebounds in January, then registering 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the regional opener.
The Pirates guard averaged 11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals. He was a Times Third Team honoree as a sophomore. Hill was a unanimous First Team Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division selection.
He had 21 points and 11 rebounds in Ottawa's win at Sterling; 23 points (including five 3s), six rebounds, seven assists and five steals in a victory over Geneseo; 20 points in a win over Parkside Christian; and 17 points, including five triples in the Pirates big victory over rival La Salle-Peru at Kingman Gym.
The big man in the middle for the Bulldogs, Jolly posted norms of 13.2 points and 7,9 rebounds, while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. He was a Interstate Eight Conference First Team pick, while also being named to the Plano Christmas Classic all-tournament team.
He had 14 points and 12 rebounds in Streator's win over Yorkville at the Dean Riley “Shootin the Rock” Thanksgiving Tournament; 23 points in a win over Reed-Custer; 15 points and 12 boards in a victory over La Salle-Peru; and 15 points and 13 caroms in the Bulldogs season-ending opening round regional loss to Pontiac.
Junior, Marquette Academy
The Crusaders shooting guard registered averages of 15.o points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.9 steals this year. He was a unanimous Tri-County Conference First Team honoree and was a honorable mention Times pick as a sophomore.
He was named the most valuable player at the Marseilles Holiday Tournament after scoring 27 points, grabbing five rebounds and making the game-winning pass on Chase Thumm's layup to help Marquette top Indian Creek in three overtimes in the championship contest. He had 21 points and seven rebounds in season-opening win at St. Bede and 18 points and eight rebounds in a season-ending loss to DePue in the regional semifinals.
The promising guard led his team with 12.6 points, while posting norms of 2.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals for the 15-win Pirates. He was named the Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division First Team.
He netted a career-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers in a victory at Geneseo; had 27 points (5 3s), three assists and three steals on the road at Rochelle; 22 points against Moline; and 18 points each in home triumphs against the Maple Leafs and La Salle-Peru.
The Knights' inside presence with the ability to shoot from the perimeter if needed, Grandy averaged 11.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.6 blocked shots. He was named to the Colmone Classic all-tournament team and was a honorable mention Heart of Illinois Conference pick.
He had 23 points and five blocks in Fieldcrest win over Hall at the Colmone and a team-high 19 points in a triumph over Heyworth.
The leading scorer at 13.2 points per game, May also posted norms of 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals for the 19-win, regional champion Knights. He was named to the Heart of Illinois Second Team and was a honorable mention Times pick as a sophomore. He had 30 points to help Fieldcrest upset then Class 1A No. 2 Ridgeview in early January and also netted 21 points in a HOIC victory over Fisher.
Junior, Marquette Academy
The Crusaders post player averaged 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Thumm was named to the Tri-County Conference Third Team and was a member of the all-tournament team at the Marseilles Holiday Tournament. He had a 14-point, seven-rebound game in a win over Mendota at the Colmone Classic; 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting in a victory over Woodland at Marseilles; and 24 points against rival Seneca.
The Warriors guard posted norms of 12.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.6 steals. He was named to the Tri-County Conference Third Team. He had 32 points in Woodland's regional semifinal loss to Grant Park and 20 points, including five 3-pointers, in a quarterfinal victory over Gardner-South Wilmington and 21 points in a triumph over Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy. He was also a Times Third Team member as a sophomore.
The Bobcats forward registered a team-leading 11.9 points per contest, as well as posting norms of 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals. He was named to the Little Ten All-Conference team. He had 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists and six steals in a victory over rival Leland-Earlville; 13 points and 10 rebounds in a win over St. Anne at the Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament; and 24 points in a triumph over Serena at the Marseilles Holiday Tournament.
Leland-Earlville — Tyler Bretsch (Jr.)
Fieldcrest — Hayden Carls (Jr.), Jaxon Cusac-Mckay (Fr.)
Flanagan-Cornell — Karson Kimpling (Jr.), Andrew Kozak (Jr.)
Marquette Academy — Austin Threadgill (Sr.), Logan Komater (Jr.)
Newark — Corey Jacobson (Jr.), Brett Myre (Jr.)
Ottawa — Kendall Brent (Sr.), Tyler Carson (Jr.)
Paw Paw — Brandon Heiman (Sr.)
Sandwich — Mike Frieders (Jr.)
Seneca — Erik Bendt (Sr.), Owen Barnett (Jr.), Sam Grushkin (Jr.)
Serena — Branden Franzen (Sr.)
Somonauk — Brady Kreiter (Sr.), Liam Roberts (So.)
Streator — John Benckendorf (Sr.), Joey Byers (Sr.), Noah Mascal (Sr.)
Woodland — Nate Carby (Jr.), Collin Hjerpe (Jr.)