A total of 73 area players and three coaches were honored when the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association's Central District released its all-district basketball teams today.
Earning the Coach of the Year honors in their respective classes were Helias' Josh Buffington for the Class 4 boys, Eugene's Craig Engelbrecht for the Class 3 boys and St. Elizabeth's Sheila Heckemeyer for the Class 1 girls.
Jefferson City had three players honored in Class 5, as O.G. Anunoby and Jake White made the boys team and Megan Foster landed on the girls squad.
The Helias Crusaders, who finished third in the state in Class 4, led the district with four players - Adam Bax, Collin Caywood, Hale Hentges and Isiah Sykes - while the Eldon Mustangs had three - Graham Baucom, Chris Hulsey and Josh Jones.
Among the Class 4 girls, Helias' Meghan Nappier and Mai Nienhueser were honored, as were Eldon's Treva Hankey and Sara Rhine.
The largest concentration of honorees came in the Class 3 boys, where 16 players made the squad. Eugene, which gave eventual state champion Cardinal Ritter its closest game of the playoffs in falling by eight points in the quarterfinals, had Tyler Kempker and Cody Shaw on the first team and Travis Kempker on the second team.
Other first-teamers were Blair Oaks' Kory Franks, California's Dylan Albertson, School of the Osage's Dylan Jeffries and Versailles' Trey Woods. The remaining second-teamers were Blair Oaks' Logan Bax, California's Jaden Barr, Fatima's Zach Buscher and Tom Zeilman, School of the Osage's Collin Samuelson, South Callaway's Troy Hentges and Cody Vandelicht, and Versailles' Borden Edgar and Ryan Surface.
Four girls made the Class 3 first team - LeeAnn Polowy of Blair Oaks, Morgan Brandt of Fatima, Sydney Deeken of California and Isabelle Morris of School of the Osage. The second team included Blair Oaks' Lauren Viessman, Fatima's Annie Bock and Kate Massman, California's Meleigha Caudel, Southern Boone's Skyler Beeson and Kylie Shoot, School of the Osage's Monica Cisar, and Versailles' Duanna Frerking.
Among the boys in Class 2, Russellville's Levi Anderson and Tipton's Dylan Cooper made the first team, while the second team had Tipton's Dylan Tate and Linn's Jesse Wiggins and Sam Vogel.
The lone Class 2 girls first-teamer was Russellville's A.J. Grellner, while the second team had Tipton's Caroline Combs, Ashton Pace and Jessica Petree, and New Bloomfield's Bethany Craighead and Zoe Welschmeyer.
In the Class 1 boys, Calvary Lutheran's Trevor Dusheke joined fellow first-teamers Wyatt Ahart and Zane Humphreys of Tuscumbia and Trevor Barbour and Alden Rohrbach of Jamestown. The second team had Calvary's Beau Monson, Braydon Holtmeyer and Brian Wilde of St. Elizabeth, Clay Nolte of Chamois and Andy Thompson of Jamestown.
The St. Elizabeth Lady Hornets, who gave back-to-back Class 1 state champion Walnut Grove its closest game of the postseason while falling in the state sectionals, got two first-team all-district picks in Allie Heckemeyer and Savannah Stiles.
Tuscumbia had first-teamers Tempary Gunter and Kendra Vaughan and second-teamer TaKayla Gunter, Chamois had first-teamers Alison Mehmert and Paige Nolte, Jamestown had first-teamer Ali Muri and second-teamer Mickayla Strother, and Calvary Lutheran had second-teamer Kara Wehmeyer.
For the complete list of honorees, please see page C7.