2022-23 Journal-World All-Area Teams: Boys Basketball

photo by: Chance Parker

Lawrence High junior Zaxton King celebrates after scoring through a foul against Dodge City on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at Lawrence High School.

The following selections were made by the Journal-World’s sports staff.

• Coach of the Year: Donald Blanchat, Baldwin High School

Donald Blanchat

Blanchat, wrapping his third season with the Bulldogs’ program, resurrected a lowly BHS team back to winning status. This year’s team finished 18-4 with a substate championship and first-round exit at the Class 4A state tournament in Salina.

• Player of the Year: Zaxton King, Lawrence High School

Lawrence High junior Zaxton King talks to coach Mike Lewis during the game against Topeka West. Lawrence High advances to the final with a 45-43 victory during the Topeka Invitational Tournament on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

King, heading into his senior year, finished this season with Sunflower League Player of the Year and All-Class 6A honors. At the forefront of LHS’s starting five, King averaged 24.4 points per game and was an 84.5% free-throw shooter seeing nearly 30 minutes of playing time per game.

• Jailen Thompson, Free State High School

Free State junior Jailen Thompson drives the ball against Olathe Northwest. Free State won 58-34 on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

Thompson, a senior leader in the first year of the Sherron Collins era, led the Firebirds with 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Thompson picked up Second Team All-Sunflower League honors this postseason.

• Caleb Carr, Baldwin High School

Caleb Carr

Carr, who closed out his senior season this year, was one of the Bulldog’s key defensive pieces and a go-to guard throughout the year. In the six games leading up to the Class 4A state tournament, Carr helped BHS limit opponents to 40 points or less.

• Chase Honarvar, Bishop Seabury Academy

Chase Honarvar

Honarvar, bursting onto the scene during his sophomore season, finished the year as the state’s top defender averaging 6.2 blocks per game. The 6-foot-6 center logged eight double-doubles through his final 10 showings, ending the season averaging 10.2 points and 10 rebounds through 26.2 minutes per game.

• Ameer Dowdell, Veritas Christian School

photo by: Conner Becker

Veritas Christian senior Rahseem (left) and junior Ameer Dowdell (right) smile together before the Eagles’ regular season finale on Feb. 21, 2023.

Dowdell raised the bar for the Eagles during his junior season, averaging 16.5 points per game and pushing Veritas toward a second-place finish at the Kansas Christian Basketball Association state tournament in Salina. Dowdell capped the year off with a monstrous 41-point performance in the semifinal round against Smoky Valley.

• Kenton Simmons, Lawrence High School

Number four pick, linebacker Kenton Simmons is pictured with head coach Clint Bowen, right, and Matt Llewelyn, owner of 23rd Street Brewery during the 2022 Lawrence High football draft at the brewery on Monday, June 27, 2022.

Simmons cemented his place on the Chesty Lions’ starting five this season, opening up his scoring ability and making his presence known on the block. The 6-foot-4 forward snagged LHS’s Senior of the Year honors.

• Logan Sullivan, Eudora High School

Logan Sullivan

Sullivan, closing his junior campaign averaging 17 points and three rebounds per game, picked up First Team All-Frontier League honors.

• Cole Parker, Eudora High School

Cole Parker

Parker, ending his senior season with First Team All-Frontier League honors, averaged 12 points and four rebounds per game.

• Zeek Brown, Free State High School

Free State sophomore Zeek Brown dribbles against Lawrence High on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Brown, closing out his sophomore campaign, averaged 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with the Firebirds. Brown picked up Third Team All-Sunflower League honors this postseason.

• Jace Smith, Bishop Seabury Academy

Jace Smith

Another second-year breakout star for the Seahawks, Smith contributed immensely for Seabury this season. Smith averaged 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game on his way to a First Team All-Kaw Valley seat.

• Kamryn Kaniper, Perry-Lecompton High School

Kamryn Kaniper

Kaniper led the Kaws with 17.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his senior season.

• Gunnar Ball, Perry-Lecompton High School

Gunnar Ball

Ball, closing out his senior season, averaged 16.1 points and 10 rebounds per game with the Kaws.

Honorable Mention: Jude Harris (Lawrence), Macade Lewis (Lawrence), Will Leuschen (Lawrence), Conor Dunback (Eudora), Jaylon Case (Lawrence), Rahseem Dowdell (Veritas), Truman Hill (Bishop Seabury), Enzo Karam (Bishop Seabury), Aidan Page (Bishop Seabury), Dash Johnson (Free State), Dre Daniels (Free State), Tay Daniels (Free State), Samuel Darnell (Baldwin), Cooper Carr (Baldwin), Ryker Grossner (Baldwin).


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