The Associated Press announced its All-Southwest District boys and girls basketball teams for the 2016-17 season, and top honors went to a local player and a local coach.
Nathan Lessing, the Fairlawn phenom who became the first player in Shelby County history to score over 2,000 points in his career, was not only named to the Division 4 first team, but was also named the D-4 Player of the Year. He led the area from start to finish in scoring, closing out regular-season play with a 28.1 average. He shot 58.1 percent from the field and was the area’s top free throw shooter at 79 percent on 200 attempts.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Spencer Cordonnier was named the Division 4 Coach of the Year after leading his Raiders to an outright County championship at 11-1 and an overall mark of 16-5.
In his two seasons as Russia’s head coach, Cordonnier has a record of 39 wins and just 10 losses, as well as two County titles.
Joining Lessing on the D-4 first team is Jackson Center standout Brady Wildermuth, who finished second behind Lessing in the player of the year voting. Wildermuth, a 6-foot-6 post player, averaged 21.3 during the regular season and also grabbed 6.8 rebounds per game for the Tigers.
Two more County standouts were named to the D-4 second team in senior Luke Bergman of Botkins and junior Dillon Braun of Fort Loramie. Bergman finished the regular season as the area’s third-leading scorer at 23.0 and also led the area in steals with 68. He also shot 77 percent from the line and 52.5 from the field.
Braun averaged 13.9 for the Redskins this season and shot 47 percent from the field.
A host of other county players were named to the honorable mention list, including Kam Lee and Dylan Arnold of Lehman, Cole Tebbe, Dylan Cordonnier and Jack Dapore of Russia, Cameron Arnold of Houston, Nick Brautigam of Fairlawn and Tyler Siegel and Evan Berning of Fort Loramie.
In Division 1, Sidney sophomore sensation Andre Gordon was named to the second team, with junior Ratez Roberts on the honorable mention list. Gordon averaged 19.7 during the regular season.
And in Division 3, Versailles junior Justin Ahrens was named the Player of the Year after leading the Tigers with a 23.4 average.
Teammate AJ Ahrens was named to the third team.
Their coach, Travis Swank, was named the D-3 Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to the Midwest Athletic Conference championship.
In the girls all-Southwest District voting, there were three county/area girls named to the first team.
One was Sidney’s 6-2 center Celena Taborn in D-1. She averaged 26.8 and became Sidney’s all-time career scoring leader.
Russia’s Maria Herron, the County Player of the Year, was named to the first team in D-4, and Kami McEldowney of Versailles was named to the D-3 first team.
Also in D-4, Jackson Center’s Cassie Meyer was named to the second team and Sarah Bergman of Botkins was a third-team selection.
Named to the D-3 honorable mention list were Macey Huelskamp of Anna, and Danielle Winner and Elizabeth Ording of Versailles.
Named to the D-4 honorable mention list were Grace Monnin and Hannah Fogt of Lehman, Sarah Stang and Reyan Frey of Fort Loramie, Jenna Pitts and Paige Lane of Botkins, Kara Maier of Houston, Kennadie Reese of Jackson Center and Laurissa Poling of Russia.