CENTRAL VS ELKHORN

Central’s Jaeden Zackery, shown here earlier this season, is a repeat first-team selection on the All-County Boys Basketball Team.

With four seniors on last year’s first-team roster, there was plenty of room for turnover this year on the 55th annual Kenosha News All-County Boys Basketball Team.

Except for one spot.

Central senior guard Jaeden Zackery was a no-brainer for his second consecutive first-team selection after closing his career as one of the best players in program history.

In three varsity seasons, Zackery helped lead the Falcons to new heights. They reached the WIAA Division-2 sectionals three years in a row — they’d never been there before — and last season made the state tournament for the first time in program history.

And though this season ended with a disappointing loss to Elkhorn in the sectional semifinals, Central went 23-2 overall and 14-0 in Southern Lakes Conference play to capture an undefeated conference title.

Zackery was the driving force behind that.

The powerful 6-foot-3 guard led the SLC with 21.5 points and 5.0 assists per game and was second with 2.4 steals per game. He was named the SLC Player of the Year, first-team All-State in Division-2 by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association and Associated Press All-State honorable mention for the second straight season.

Zackery finished his Central career with 1,250 points, just 15 shy of the all-time program record held by 1989 graduate Tim Cates.

Four first-team newcomers joined Zackery on this year’s squad.

His teammate, 6-3 senior forward Dylan Anderson, moved up from last year’s second team after another season as a steady presence both inside and outside for the Falcons.

Also making the first team from the SLC was Wilmot junior guard Zack Watson. The 5-9 sparkplug, who starred at quarterback for the Panthers in the fall, helped guide Wilmot to an 18-win season and a third-place finish in the SLC behind Central and state qualifier Elkhorn.

A pair of Southeast Conference players, meanwhile, rounded out the five-player first team.

Indian Trail sophomore point guard Ezra Stargell, listed at 5-10, continued his growth from a freshman season in which he was thrown into the fire running the point.

He helped guide the Hawks to a tie for third in the SEC and moved up to the first team after being a second-team pick last season.

Bradford’s Maxwell Glass, a 6-2 junior forward, stepped into the scoring void left by a roster that was senior-laden in 2017-18.

An honorable mention pick after mainly coming off the bench as a sophomore, this season Glass ascended to the first team after leading the young Red Devils and finishing eighth in the SEC at 14.7 points per game.

Here is a capsule look at the first-team performers, in alphabetical order:

Dylan Anderson, Central

Stats: 12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, shot 60.2 percent (53-of-88) from the free-throw line and 38.5 percent (42-of-109) from 3-point range.

Honors: All-Southern Lakes Conference (first team).

Lowdown: The Falcons didn’t feature the biggest frontcourt, but the 6-foot-3 senior gave them both an interior and exterior presence. ... Led the team in rebounds and was fourth in the SLC in rebounds per game. … Was also seventh in the conference in points per game and fifth in 3-pointers made. … With the ability to pick-and-pop, made multiple 3s 12 times, including a season-high five in both meetings with Wilmot. … Had his best scoring games against the rival Panthers, notching a season-high 23 at Wilmot on Dec. 20 and 21 in Paddock Lake on Jan. 25. … Also scored 23 points on Dec. 12 against Antioch (Ill.). … Will play in college at NCAA Division III Dominican in River Forest, Ill.

Coach’s comment: “Dylan was a consistent team leader from day one,” Central coach James Hyllberg said. “He played just as hard in practice as he did in games. Dylan’s work ethic, his basketball IQ and his ability to score from anywhere on the court made him a matchup problem for teams.

“Dylan is the type of player that every coach needs on their team for a variety of reasons. I see Dylan being a successful coach one day.”

Maxwell Glass, Bradford

Stats: 14.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, shot 53 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.

Honors: All-Southeast Conference (second team).

Lowdown: Played a major role for the young Red Devils and responded by leading the team in scoring, rebounding and 3-pointers made. … Finished fourth in the SEC in rebounds per game and eighth in points per game. … Had two huge games against rival Tremper, scoring a season-high 31 points on Jan. 25 at Tremper and 29 on Dec. 11 against the Trojans at Bradford Fieldhouse. … Drilled five 3s in a 21-point effort against conference champion Racine Park on Jan. 4.

Coach’s comment: “We asked Maxwell to change his game midyear, and that is never an easy adjustment to make in-season,” Bradford coach Greg Leech said. “He flourished in the second half of the year as he became more comfortable playing with his back to the basket, as well as along the 3-point line.

“This ability will make him a tough matchup for teams next year. Having Maxwell back next season, along with a very talented core, will make for some exciting basketball on the northside next year.”

Ezra Stargell, Indian Trail

Stats: 15.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, shot 52 percent from the field, 73.4 percent (58-of-79) from the free-throw line and 48 percent from 3-point range.

Honors: All-Southeast Conference (second team).

Lowdown: Continued to develop his instincts as a point guard, leading the Hawks in scoring, assists and finishing second on the team with 26 3-pointers made. … Was third in the SEC in assists per game, fifth in points per game and seventh in free-throws made. … Scored in double figures 13 times, including seven games of 20 points or more. … Erupted for 36 points and made four 3s in the Hawks’ second game of the season, an 80-69 home win over Tremper on Nov. 30. … Also scored 27 points and made four 3s against Racine Horlick on Feb. 15 and had 25-point games at Milwaukee Bradley Tech on Dec. 3 and at Racine Case on Feb. 14.

Coach’s comment:

“Obviously, he’s getting a little bit stronger,” Indian Trail coach Al Anderson said. “Hopefully this summer he even gets stronger yet.

“On-the-court leader, obviously. The things he did for our team, he’s very unselfish. He didn’t shoot a ton, but he shot when we needed it. … He took over in games when we needed him to. Incredibly high IQ for his age. Just incredible.”

Zack Watson, Wilmot

Stats: 11.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.5 steals, shot 54.1 percent (105-of-194) from the field, 63.4 percent (45-of-71) from the free-throw line and 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from 3-point range.

Honors: All-Southern Lakes Conference (first team).

Lowdown: The scrappy junior guard came from playing QB on the gridiron to lead the Panthers on the hardwood. … Led the team in assists and steals and was second in scoring and rebounding. … Led the SLC in steals per game and was third in assists per game. … Steadying presence scored in double figures 15 times, including a season-high 19 points on Feb. 18 against Shoreland Lutheran. … Scored 18 points in Wilmot’s big second-half comeback against Jefferson on March 1, a 63-56 victory in a WIAA Division-2 regional semifinal at Wilmot.

Coach’s comment: “He really had a good season and guided our team to success,” Wilmot coach Jake Erbentraut said. “He was our floor general, making great decisions on offense — he had a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio — and was our defensive stopper on opposing perimeter players.

“He has a competitive fire about him, and that fueled our team when we needed it.”

Jaeden Zackery, Central:

Stats: 21.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.4 steals, 0.7 blocks, shot 61.5 percent (203-of-330) from the field, 75.3 percent (113-of-150) from the free-throw line and 40.8 percent (20-of-49) from 3-point range.

Honors: All-Southern Lakes Conference (first team), SLC Player of the Year, Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association first-team All-State (Division-2), Associated Press All-State (honorable mention).

Lowdown: Without question the best player in the county this season, the senior guard led the Falcons to an undefeated SLC title and to the WIAA Division-2 sectionals for the third straight year. … Led the team in scoring, assists, steals, free-throws made and was second in rebounds and blocks. … Was the SLC leader in points per game and assists per game, second in steals per game, sixth in rebounds per game and tied for seventh in blocks per game. … Could generate offense from anywhere on the court and finished an efficient 60-75-40 in percentages (FGs, FTs, 3-point FGs). … Scored in double figures in all 25 games, including 16 games of 20 or more and four of 30 or more. … Season high was 34 points against Waukesha West, which received a No. 1 seed in the Division-1 postseason draw, in a 75-65 win on Feb. 8. … Scored 30 points to reach exactly 1,000 for career on Feb. 25 at home against Wilmot. … Is drawing interest from NCAA Division I and II programs but has not committed yet.

Coach’s comment: “J.Z. played every position on the court for us this year and established himself as one of the best overall players in the state,” Central coach James Hyllberg said. “He was our team leader, our go-to guy, and he never took a play off.

“J.Z.’s playmaking ability, his instincts and his desire to win were second to none. J.Z. was a dominant force on both sides of the ball, and he took pride in making his teammates better.”

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