Meet the boys basketball honorees for the 2021 Central Illinois High School Sports Awards
There was no postseason, but plenty of Journal Star-area basketball players shined enough in this shortened season to rise above.
Here are the boys basketball honorees for the 2021 Central Illinois High School Sports Awards, which debuted June 30, with POY first followed by finalists and the rest in alphabetical order.
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Devon Vanderheydt, Washington
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: The 6-foot-7 senior forward and unanimous first-team all-conference selection could hit the three, or take you inside as the leader for a Class 3A No. 8 ranked Panther team that went 17-1 and finished as Mid-Illini Conference unbeaten regular season (14-0) and tournament champions. Averaged 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. A first-team IBCA all-state pick, AP honorable mention all-state. Committed to Lewis University.
Daniel Duncan, Peoria Christian
POY FINALIST: The 6-0 senior guard and two-time all-area selection averaged 20.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, despite being double teamed most of the season. Scored a season-high 30 against Illinois Valley Central and 24 in a victory against Class 1A No. 10 ranked Roanoke-Benson. Fourth on the Chargers’ all-time scoring list. An IBCA first-team and AP honorable mention all-state pick, plus a first-teamer in the Inter-County Athletic Association.
Noah Reynolds, Notre Dame
POY FINALIST: The 6-foot-3 guard and defending Journal Star Large School Player of the Year took on a more of a facilitator role in his senior season for a Notre Dame team that finished 14-2 overall and ranked high in Class 3A all season. Reynolds still averaged team highs of 15.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. A second-team AP all-state pick, plus first team from the IBCA. Committed to Wyoming.
John Blumeyer, Dee-Mack
The senior shooting guard was an IBCA special mention and an AP honorable mention all-state selection, after averaging 16.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.0 steals for a 10-4 team. A two-time Heart of Illinois first-team all-conference and all-defensive team pick. Committed to North Central. Finished with 1,063 career points and as Dee-Mack’s career assist leader (378).
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Luke Braman, Roanoke-Benson
Big part of R-B’s run to the state tournament a year ago. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound senior dominated inside, averaging 20.4 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks per game for a 13-3 team that finished ranked No. 10 in Class 1A. IBCA and AP first-team all-state selection. Unanimous Tri-County Conference pick for second year in a row. Headed to Olivet Nazarene.
Emaryon Byrd, Manual
The 6-foot-5 senior forward was a four-year starter and leader of a young Rams team this season. The first-team all-Big 12 pick averaged 13.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. A Class 3A all-state pick from the IBCA (special mention) and AP (honorable mention).
Gabe Calhoun, Dunlap
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior was a shining light on a team that struggled through a 3-12 season. He averaged 19.1 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals per game. Led the Mid-Illini Conference in scoring for the second year in a row, finishing his career as a member of the 1,000-point club. Uncommitted.
Jaxon Cusac-McKay, Fieldcrest
The all-around senior athlete averaged 16.9 points, 5.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals for a team that finished 12-1, ranked No. 8 in the final AP Class 2A poll and as Heart of Illinois Conference champions. The AP all-state honorable mention pick and unanimous first team all HOI pick wrapped up his career as the Knights’ all-time assist leader and scored more than 1,400 points.
Isaiah Donnell, Richwoods
The 6-foot-3 senior guard joined with Jamauri Winfrey to form one of the area’s top scoring duos. Averaged 18.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 87 percent from the free throw line. A first-team Big 12 Conference pick.
Beau Durbin, Morton
The 6-foot junior guard led the Potters to a 12-5 record by scoring a team-high 14.5 points per game. A unanimous first-team Mid-Illini Conference selection and an IBCA special mention all-state pick. Scored a season-high 27 points against Metamora.
Holt Geltmaker, Illinois Valley Central
The 6-2 senior guard/forward became the all-time scoring leader at IVC, despite the shortened season. The Grey Ghost senior was hard to stop on drives to the basket, averaging 17.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the 10-3 Illini Prairie champs. A two-time all-conference pick. An IBCA first-team and AP honorable mention all-state pick. Headed to the University of Illinois on a baseball scholarship.
Trevor Heffren, Eureka
The 6-foot-2 junior leaper was the leading scorer on an 11-2 team that was ranked in the Ap Class 2A state poll much of the season. He averaged 16.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals, 2.3 assists. The IBCA all-state special mention selection is also the defending 2A state high jump champion.
Jason Hise, Knoxville
The senior shooting guard was the leader on the floor for a 13-3 Blue Bullets team that captured the Prairieland North Conference title (6-0) . He averaged 19 points and 6 rebounds per game. A unanimous first-team Prairieland Conference pick.
West Hunt, Peoria Christian
The 6-foot-7 junior leaper provided a challenging matchup for small school foes. The first-team Inter-County Athletic Conference selection averaged 18.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game for the Chargers, who were 10-8 overall and 5-1 in league play. A Class 2A IBCA special mention all-state pick.
Ethan Kizer, Metamora
The 6-foot-7 sophomore proved to be a human highlight film once again, with not only flashy dunks but an improved 3-point shooting game. The unanimous first-team Mid-Illini all-conference selection averaged 16.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.8 assists. He hit 53.7 percent of his field goals and 44 percent from 3-point range. A Class 3A IBCA first-team all-state selection and honorable mention pick from the AP.
Drew Lewis, Washington
The 6-foot-1 junior guard showed his athleticism on both ends of the court, as a clutch scorer and lock-down defender for the 17-1 Mid-Illini Conference champs.. The first-team all-Mid-Illini Conference selection averaged 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He capped the season with 24 points in the Mid-Illini tournament title game. A Class 3A IBCA all-state special mention pick.
Andrew Marincic, Elmwood
The IBCA special mention all-state selection led the Trojans to a 9-4 record by scoring 20 points per game and connecting on 41 percent of his 3-point attempts. A unanimous first-team Prairieland North pick and also a first-team ICAC selection. Scored 31 points in a victory against Illini Bluffs.
Mac Parmelee, Illinois Valley Central
The sharp-shooting senior guard averaged 22.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3.6 steals per game for the Illini Prairie Conference champion Ghosts (10-3). Hit 37.9 percent of his 3-pointers. Tied a school record with 45 points against Class 1A No. 1 ranked Yorkville Christian. An AP second-team all-state pick and IBCA special mention. Signed to play for Wisconsin-Platteville in college.
Coltin Quagliano, Wethersfield
The three-time IBCA and AP first-team all-state pick helped the Geese share for the Lincoln Trail Conference title, after spearheading the offense from his guard position with 20.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Became both the school and conference all-time leading scorer with 2,219 career points. Helped Wethersfield to a 15-1 record.
Nelson Reynolds, Notre Dame
The 6-1 junior guard came out shooting right from the start, with a 22-point night against Peoria High in the opener, and remained a threat all season from outside and driving the lane. He hit 51 percent of his 3-pointers (47-for-93) while averaging 13.3 points per game for a 14-2 team ranked high in Class 3A all season. A Big 12 Conference first-team selection.
Jacob Schleich, North Fulton
The senior guard scored an area-best 27.8 points per game and added 5.3 rebounds and five steals per game, to go along with 82 percent free throw shooting. A unanimous Prairieland North first-team and two-time ICAC first-teamer. North Fulton’s career scoring leader at 1,757 points. Had 10 steals against South Fulton. An IBCA first-team and AP second-team all-state selection in Class 1A.
Zack Schroeder, Metamora
The.Metamora offense flowed through the 6-foot-2 junior, who helped lead the 15-4 Redbirds to the Mid-Illini Conference tournament title game and 11-2 regular season league record. A unanimous Mid-Illini Conference first-team selection averaged 16.2 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, while averaging 54.7 percent from the field, 34.4 percent on 3-pointers and 81.7 percent from the line. An IBCA special mention all-state pick.
Drake Weber, LaSalle-Peru
The senior guard earned IBCA special mention Class 3A all-state honors, after averaging 22.6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals while connecting on 45.5 percent of his shots. A unanimous Interstate 8 pick. Named LaSalle News Tribune Player of the Year.
Jamauri Winfrey, Richwoods
The 6-0 junior guard came into his own this year as one of the top scorers in the Peoria Journal Star area. Could score at all three levels. Deadly 3-point shooter. Averaged 23 points, 7.7 rebounds and shot 57 percent from the field. A first-team Big 12 Conference and Class 3A AP honorable mention all-state pick and special mention IBCA pick.