PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: 2013 Daily Globe All-Area Boys Basketball Teams
6-2 senior guard
Red Rock Central
Playing an aggressive style of basketball, Jeff DeCock knew how to attack the basket and get to the free-throw line as well as any other player in the area and led the Red Rock Central Falcons to an overall record of 16-10 this season.
DeCock has scored in double figures in 56 straight games dating back to his sophomore season and was the Falcons' leading scorer in each of the last three years. He averaged 22 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game this year while being selected to the All-Red Rock Conference team for the third time.
"Jeff is probably the most athletic player that I have ever had the privilege to coach," RRC head coach Brian Walker said. "His quickness and jumping ability makes him a tough matchup for opponents. He has great offensive talents, as his ball-handling skills and knack for getting to the basket are some of his greatest strengths."
DeCock set a single-game school record when he scored 42 points in RRC's Section 3A South quarterfinal victory over Adrian. He was a perfect 16-for-16 at the free-throw line in that game, was 160-for-226 (71 percent) from 15 feet away this season and finished his career going 377-for-541 (70 percent) from the charity stripe.
Finishing his career with 1,376 points (second all-time in school history), DeCock also racked up 383 rebounds, 351 assists and 162 steals in his three years as a varsity starter for the Falcons.
6-1 senior guard
Capping his varsity career with a sterling 29-point, seven-assist and zero-turnover performance in the Class A state championship game, Dominic Nibbelink showcased the complete set of skills that made him an elite guard for the Southwest Christian Eagles over the course of the last three seasons.
Nibbelink was a three-year starter and a three-time pick to the All-Red Rock Conference team. He finishes his career with 947 points, 393 assists (all-time school record at SWC) and only 155 turnovers while doing much of the ball-handling for the Eagles' high-powered offensive attack.
"Dominic ran the show for us and was kind of the glue that held everything together," SWC head coach Jamie Pap said. "He made us go and always played with the same demeanor regardless of the game situation. He is one of those quiet players who leads the right way and is just so steady night in and night out."
Nibbelink averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game while only turning the ball over 53 times this season. His consistent play was a major factor in helping SWC enjoy a perfect 16-0 conference record and a dominant regular season overall (30-1 record).
In addition to setting the all-time assists record at SWC, Nibbelink -- who is signed on to play at Dordt College next year -- also made the most 3-pointers of any Eagle in the eight seasons that Pap has served as head coach of the program.
6-6 senior post
Featuring tremendous size and athletic ability, Worthington's Morgan Traylor was certainly one of the area's most electric players and thrilled Trojan fans with several slam dunks throughout the season -- including five of them in a 69-62 home victory over the Windom Eagles on Jan. 18.
Traylor earned All-Southwest Conference recognition and was selected by his teammates as Worthington's Most Valuable Player. He consistently recorded double figures in both points and rebounds on a nightly basis, becoming a "double-double machine" according to Worthington head coach Ron Vorwald.
"Morgan was a model of consistency for us this season and really had a terrific senior year," Vorwald said. "He ran the floor hard in both directions and turned many open-court situations into a highlight reel with some incredible dunks. He worked hard defensively and was able to guard people on the perimeter, as well as in the low-post area."
Traylor averaged 17.3 points and 11 rebounds per game this year, finishing his career with 909 points and 534 rebounds. Both of those totals put him in the top-10 all-time in the Worthington scoring and rebounding record books.
After helping lead the Trojans to a berth in the Class AA state tournament last season and a return trip to the Section 3AA South finals and a 17-9 overall record this year, Traylor will continue his basketball career at Iowa Lakes Community College.
6-5 junior post
After going up against Zach Huisken (Augustana recruit, all-time leading scorer and rebounder in SWC history) in practice for the last couple of seasons, Leighton Sampson burst onto the scene and became a big-time performer in the Southwest Christian Eagles' impressive run to the Class A state championship this year.
Sampson saw limited varsity action as a sophomore last year, but he emerged into a cornerstone for the Eagles this season. He averaged 16.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 shot blocks per game.
"Leighton had some big shoes to fill with Zach graduating," SWC head coach Jamie Pap said. "He did an outstanding job of stepping into the role of our go-to guy in the low post. He is a strong, athletic kid who knows how to move and his play was very instrumental in our season-long success."
SWC's success included pure dominance in the Red Rock Conference, as the Eagles won all 16 of their league games by at least 15 points and several by more than 30 points. Sampson was one of four Eagles to earn All-RRC accolades.
Sampson delivered a huge 33-point, 12-rebound double-double in the Class A state semifinals and finished the tournament with 72 points and 22 rebounds. He was named to the All-Tournament team, along with teammates Dominic Nibbelink and Klint Knutson.
6-7 junior post
Mountain Lake Area
Leading the Red Rock Conference in both scoring and rebounding, Carter Kirk put up some monster numbers and led the Mountain Lake Area Wolverines to a second consecutive trip to the Class A state tournament this year.
Kirk's season totals of 736 points (24.5 per game) and 395 rebounds (13.2 per game) increased his career marks to 1,651 and 967, respectively. He became the Wolverines' all-time leading scorer and still has a year remaining.
"Carter improved his skills a great deal from last year to this year and was an outstanding leader for our team, as we transitioned our pairing from Butterfield-Odin to Mountain Lake Christian," MLA head coach Shawn Naas said. "He did a lot of things very well, and while his scoring and rebounding abilities certainly stand out, he could really pass the ball to the open man and handle the ball against pressure when we needed him to."
Kirk averaged 3.5 assists and 2.5 shot blocks per game. He brought the ball up the court against Southwest Christian and helped the Wolverines take several first-half leads (tied at halftime) before the Eagles eventually won 84-69 -- by far the closest winning margin for SWC in Red Rock Conference action -- on Feb. 15.
A varsity regular since his freshman season, Kirk earned All-RRC honors for the third straight year after producing 26 double-doubles and one triple-double while leading MLA to a 24-6 overall record (14-2, conference runners-up) and a Section 2A championship.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
6-0 senior guard
A steady and versatile performer, Brett Heronimus helped lead the Luverne Cardinals to a 14-win campaign and earned All-Southwest Conference honors for the third straight season.
Heronimus averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists this year, his second as a team captain and his fourth as a Cardinal starter. He finished his career with 1,247 points and became Luverne boys' basketball's first ever 1,000-point scorer.
"Brett is a gamer and loves to compete," Luverne head coach Tom Rops said. "He is also a very smart and fundamentally-sound player who could do a variety of things well to help our team strive to win ballgames."
6-0 senior guard
A big-time scorer for the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots, Jeff Sandbulte joined the 1,000-point club in the final 10 seconds of his career during a Section 3A South semifinal loss to eventual state champion Southwest Christian.
Sandbulte scored 20 points or more in 18 of H-BC's 25 games and had performances of 34, 33, 32 and 30 points this season. He averaged 22.2 points and seven rebounds per game.
"Jeff is an outstanding player," H-BC head coach Steve Wiertzema said. "He has that basketball sense, knowing where the open cuts are, where the rebounds are going and how to get himself open."
6-3 senior forward
One of the key cogs in the machine that was Southwest Christian, Eric Talsma provided consistent play during the Eagles' dominant 30-1 season.
Talsma averaged 10.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and three assists on a very well-balanced team that had all five of its starters average at least 9.8 points per game.
"Eric's size, length and versatility made him a tough matchup," SWC head coach Jamie Pap said. "He was a big part of our team for the last two years, when we went a combined 58-3 and reached the state championship game back-to-back."
5-9 senior guard
Known as a shutdown de-fender on the perimeter, Southwest Christian's Klint Knutson could also score, pass and handle the ball with the best guards in the area.
Knutson averaged 11.6 points and 3.3 assists per game while hounding the opposing team's primary ball-handler and spearheading the Eagles' suffocating pressure defensive tactics.
"Klint did so many little things well and was very unselfish," SWC head coach Jamie Pap said. "He played defense with great intensity and really improved offensively throughout his varsity career."
6-5 junior post
Scoring over 20 points nine times and averaging a double-double (17.5 points and 12.2 rebounds per game), Jon Harmening had a big season in his third year as a starter for JCC.
Harmening shot 63.5 per-cent (193-for-304) from the field and had a pair of 20-rebound games -- including a huge 33-point, 22-rebound double-double in an 83-66 Huskies' win over Windom on Jan. 29.
With a season still to go, Harmening has 996 career points (second in school history) and 724 career rebounds (first in school history).
ALL-AREA THIRD TEAM
6-3 senior guard
Despite playing hurt with a couple of different injuries for most of the season, Jon Vorwald contributed greatly to the Trojans' 17-9 record and earned All-Southwest Conference accolades.
Vorwald averaged 9.4 points per game and shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range. He led Worthington in charges taken (11) and was the Trojans' best perimeter defender.
"We needed Jon in the lineup, as he was a stabilizing factor for us," Worthington head coach Ron Vorwald said. "He shot the ball well this year and always played great defense."
6-2 senior guard
Developing into a solid all-around player, Collin Lovell led the Windom Eagles in scoring and earned All-Southwest Conference honors.
Lovell frequently got hot from 3-point range, as he tied the school record with seven treys in one game. He averaged 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game this year.
"Collin had a very good season," Windom head coach Dane Nielsen said. "He was a great leader for our team and he was able to score in a variety of ways, from hitting the 3-point shot to going to the basket."
5-10 senior guard
One of the quickest guards in the area, Taylor Christopher had a knack for scoring off the dribble and was selected by his teammates as JCC's co-offensive MVP (with Jon Harmening).
Christopher averaged 15.4 points and 5.1 assists per game, finishing his career in the top-10 in school history in both points (589, 10th) and assists (199, sixth).
"Taylor had a fantastic season for us," JCC head coach Trent Sukalski said. "He had one of the best halves of basketball I've seen when he scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half during our Section 3AA South semifinal loss to Fairmont."
6-5 senior post
A four-year letter winner who earned All-Red Rock Conference each of the last two seasons, Henry Rogotzke was a formidable force down low for the Falcons.
Rogotzke, who along with teammate Jeff DeCock gave RRC a solid 1-2 punch, averaged 16.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 shot blocks per game this year.
Finishing his career with 1,221 points, Rogotzke also racked up 721 rebounds and 179 shot blocks -- with both totals placing him second all-time in school history in those categories.
6-1 senior forward
Described by Fulda head coach Colby Pack as "the hardest worker and best all-around player I've ever coached," Andy Oakland had perhaps the most impressive three-game stretch of any area player in terms of shooting and scoring.
In that three-game span, Oakland had scoring outbursts of 29 points (seven 3-pointers), 45 points (school-record nine 3s) and 29 points (seven 3s) -- giving him 103 points and 23 3-pointers in those contests late in the season.
Oakland averaged 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while shooting 40 percent (78-for-196) from 3-point range this season.
Marcus Potter, Worthington
Matt Arends, Luverne
Andy Pfeffer, Windom
Parker Lanoue, T-M-B
Nick Reyne, Adrian
Mitch Leuthold, Ellsworth
Dan Kramer, Ellsworth
Dylan Gehrke, H-BC
Andrew Kramer, SWU
Zach Schumacher, SWU
Nate Pfeifle, SWC
Clayton Huisken, SWC
Taylor Lindaman, W-WG
Alex Knutson, W-WG
Todd Peterson, Fulda
Jack Thony, MCC
Josiah Stoesz, MLA
Andrew Hempeck, MLA
Brett Ford, Edgerton
Isaac Heard, Edgerton