Journal-World’s 2017-18 All-Area boys basketball team

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Journal-World's 2017-18 All-Area boys basketball team, from left: Thomas diZerega, Bishop Seabury; Trey Huslig, Veritas Christian; Clarence King, Lawrence; Brett Chapple, Lawrence; Canaan Daniels, Perry-Lecompton; Colton Mallonee, Perry-Lecompton; Coach of the Year Jared Swafford, Perry-Lecompton; Player of the Year Garrett Luinstra, Free State; Zach McDermott, Free State; Jalan Robinson, Free State; Rock Jerome, Eudora; Jayce Dighans, Baldwin; Mac Thompson, Tonganoxie.

Player of the Year: Garrett Luinstra, Free State

Named the Sunflower League’s Player of the Year, Luinstra highlighted the Firebirds’ offense with 19 points per game. Luinstra led Free State to its second straight league title and second place in the Class 6A state tournament, the highest finish in program history. The 6-foot-3 senior guard will walk on at Kansas next year.

Coach of the Year: Jared Swafford, Perry-Lecompton

Guiding to the Kaws to three wins in sub-state, Perry-Lecompton returned to the state tournament for the first time since 1982. The Kaws, who finished with a 20-4 record, lost to Cheney in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.

First team

Brett Chapple, Lawrence — Known for his strong rebounding and play in the low post, Chapple earned second-team all-Sunflower League honors after averaging nine points and nine rebounds per game. The 6-foot-5 junior led the Lions to their fourth straight Class 6A state tournament appearance.

Canaan Daniels, Perry-Lecompton — A 6-foot-3 senior guard, Daniels averaged a team-high 15 points and was a first-team all-Big 7 League selection. Adding three rebounds and two assists per game, Daniels led the Kaws to a 13-3 record in the league standings.

Jayce Dighans, Baldwin — Dighans turned into the Bulldogs’ go-to scorer in his senior season with his strong work ethic, recording 15 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Leading his team to seven wins, Dighans made a team-best 41 3-pointers.

Thomas diZerega, Seabury — Whenever the Seahawks needed a big play, they turned to diZerega. The 6-foot senior was Seabury’s only returning starter and averaged 13.5 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds. A talented passer and defender, he helped his team to 10 wins.

Trey Huslig, Veritas — A sharpshooter, Huslig led the Eagles to their second straight KCAA Class 2 state title. The junior, who recorded 13.1 points and 2.9 assists per game, was named MVP of the state tournament after averaging 19.7 points and 4.3 assists in the three games.

Clarence King, Lawrence — Despite missing the first six games of the season with a knee injury, the shifty junior guard averaged a team-best 13 points per game. King, listed at 6-foot-2, was third on the team in rebounds and assists, earning third-team all-Sunflower League honors.

Rock Jerome, Eudora — An athletic inside scorer, Jerome received first-team all-Frontier League recognition after averaging 16 points, four rebounds and two assists per game. One of Eudora’s two returning starters, he led the Cardinals to a 14-7 record.

Colton Mallonee, Perry-Lecompton — Always capable of filling up a box score, Mallonee hurt opposing teams with his scoring and rebounding. The 6-foot-3 junior averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, receiving an all-Big 7 League honorable mention.

Zach McDermott, Free State — Skilled in ball handling and defense, the 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 9 points and a team-high 4 assists. McDermott earned third-team all-Sunflower League honors in his senior season, helping the Firebirds to a 19-6 record.

Jalan Robinson, Free State — Dominant in the paint with his 6-foot-5 frame, Robinson frustrated opponents with his ability to score inside or shoot midrange jump shots. A second-team all-Sunflower League selection, the senior averaged 9 points and 7 rebounds.

Mac Thompson, Tonganoxie — Despite playing with a torn tricep all season, Thompson never let it affect his shooting. The 6-foot-2 senior averaged a team-high 14 points and 6 rebounds per game, shooting 35 percent from the 3-point line and 48 percent from the field.

Honorable mention

Toby Baker, Perry-Lecompton; Zach Bloch, Seabury; Noah Butler, Free State; Chandler Caldwell, Tonganoxie; Quinton Donohoe, Veritas; Tucker Flory, Veritas; Cobe Green, Seabury; Noah Katzenmeier, Eudora; Kyle Norris, Baldwin; Jayden Pierce, Eudora; Trey Quartlebaum, Lawrence; Anthony Selden, Lawrence; Savonni Shazor, Lawrence; Reece White-Downing, Free State.