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Guard-heavy JG-TC area boys' basketball team features players from nine teams
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Guard-heavy JG-TC area boys' basketball team features players from nine teams

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The 38th annual JG-TC All-Area boys' basketball team features players from nine different teams in Okaw Valley, Neoga, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Casey-Westfield, Shelbyville, Tri-County, Cumberland, Mattoon and Charleston. 

Ten of the 12 all-area players are guards, while one is a forward and one is a center. There are four seniors, six juniors and two sophomores. 

Casey's Noah Livingston, a 6-1 junior guard who was also on the all-area team last year, is the player of the year.

Here's the rest of the All-Area team:

Brennyn Cutts, Jr., Cumberland

Brennyn Cutts

Cumberland's Brennyn Cutts looks to pass the ball off during the Class 1A regional semifinals.

Cutts, a 6-3 forward who was also all-area last year, scored a season-high 29 points in a 57-51 win over Decatur Lutheran. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. He was 154-of-370 (.416) from the field, including a team-high 81-of-208 (.389) from three-point range. He was 33-of-55 from the free throw line and averaged two assists and 0.8 steals per game for the 17-16 Pirates, who won the LPC tournament.

"Anytime you have a big kid that can shoot, it is a plus," Cumberland coach Justin Roedl said. "It can really create some mismatches. His leadership has improved the most. I think he realized that the other kids feed off him and that when he works hard and has a good attitude the team will follow."

Ross Hemmen, Jr., Cumberland

Ross Hemmen

Cumberland's Ross Hemmen goes up for a shot in the Class 1A regional semifinals. 

Hemmen, a 6-0 guard, led the 17-16 Pirates in scoring and rebounding with 15.9 and 6.4, respectively. He also led in assists and steals with 3.2 and 1.9, respectively. He was 200-of-396 (.505) from the field, which led Cumberland, including 24-of-75 (.320) from three-point range. The first team unanimous all-LPC player was also 105-155 (.677) from the free throw line. He had a game-high of 29 in a 70-29 win over Oblong. He was on the all-Vandalia Holiday Tournament team and the Cumberland Thanksgiving all-tournament team.

"Most of his improvement is his gain in physical strength," said Cumberland coach Justin Roedl. "He also grew a little bit, which helped a ton. He has much more of a leadership role this year and a lot of what we do runs through him. His relentlessness is what stands out for me."

Jackson Hills, Casey-Westfield

Jackson Hills

Casey-Westfield's Jackson Hills goes up for two against Teutopolis earlier this season. Hills, a sophomore and Noah Livingston, a senior, were named to the first team all-Little Illini Conference team. 

Jackson Hills, a 6-6 center, helped the Warriors go 24-8 and win a Class 1A regional title. He was a first team all-Little Illini Conference player and the teams rebound leader. He averaged 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. He led Casey in field goal shooting making 148-of-269 (.550) and was 70-of-107 (.654) from the free throw line. He scored a season-high 21 points in a 59-45 victory over Okaw Valley Nov. 30.

"His motor is what stands out to me," said Casey coach Tom Brannan. "He plays hard and never takes plays off. I am excited to have him for two more years. He is only going to get better."

Kade Kull, Jr., Shelbyville

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Shelbyville's Kade Kull (30)

Kull, a 6-1 guard, made the Vandalia all-tournament team and was a second team all-Central Illinois Conference player. He led the 9-22 Rams in scoring, free throw percentage, assists and rebounds at 16.6, .782, 1.7 and 5.3, respectively. He was 171-of-396 (.432) to lead the team from the field. He was also 36-of-110 (.327) from beyond the three-point line and averaged 1.4 steals. He led in free throws, making 136-of-174. Kull had a season-high 38 points in a season-opening 77-74 overtime win over Hillsboro.

"Kade is an absolutely great kid and team player," said Shelbyville coach Matt Colston. "We had to have him bring the ball up and carry a huge load for our team this year. Kade got very few rests because we had to have him on the court."

Pace McClure, So., Neoga

Player of the Week

Paci McClure, Neoga

McClure, a 5-10 guard, was on the all-National Trail Conference Tournament team and made the second team all-NTC squad. He averaged 14 points for the Indians and in three-pointers with 84. He averaged 1.8 rebounds and assists as well as 0.8 steals. He was 84-of-219 (.384) from three-point range and overall was 143-of-340 (.421) form the field. He scored a season-high 27 points in a 50-44 win over Sullivan.

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"Paci had an outstanding sophomore season," said Neoga coach Andrew Snow. "Going into the season we knew we were going to need a second offense threat to go along with Trevor and Paci stepped up and filled that role."

Isaac Miller, Sr., Charleston

GALLERY-Charleston-At-MtZ-007-011520.JPG Miller

Isaac Miller

Miller, a 6-3 guard who was also all-area last year, was on the Apollo All-Conference team and on the all-Cumberland Thanksgiving Tournament squad. He averaged a team-high 12.4 points for the 12-18 Trojans. He was 139-of-358 (.388) from the field, including 52-of-174 (.299) from three-point range. His 52 three-pointers were the most on the team. He was 41-of-65 (.631) from the free throw line. He averaged four rebounds per game and had a season-high 21 points in a 64-56 season-opening win over Newton.

"Isaac scored off catch and shoot opportunities as well as pull ups off the drive," said Charleston coach Brad Oakley. "The effort and attitude he brought each day was a positive influence on the team."

Austin Plank, Jr., Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

austin plank

Arthur-Lovingtoin-Awood-Hammond's Austin Plank with his three-point contest certificate. 

Plank, a 6-0 guard, was a second team all-LPC player and was the team's offensive player of the year. He led the LPC regular season champions in scoring at 11.4 points per game. He was 102-of-237 (.430) from the field, including 47-of-120 (.392) from three-point range. He led the 18-10 team in free throw shooting, sinking 56-of-75 (.747). He also averaged 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He scored a season-high 20 points in a 59-47 win over Cerro Gordo-Bement.

"What stood out to myself and the coaching staff was the fact that, in his third season as a starter, Austin Plank didn't sneak up on anyone and he still was very successful," said ALAH coach Brad McGill. "Plank has the leadership and personality that, whatever it takes on any given night, he will bring it."

Mitch Pollock, Sr., Tri-County

Mitch Pollock

Tri-County's Mitch Pollock follows through after shootng a three-pointer in a game this season. 

Pollock, a 6-0 guard, led the 17-14 Titans in scoring, rebounding and assists at 16.2, 7.2 and 1.1 blocked shots per game, respectively. He was 178-of-388 (.459) from the field, including 32-of-106 (.302) from three-point range. He was 98-of-133 (.737) from the free throw line, which led the team. He was a first team all-LPC player. He had a season-high 30 points in a 75-58 win over Sangamon Valley. He was the MVP of the Tri-County Holiday Tournament.

"Mitch's play and attitude is everything a coach wants in a player," said Tri-County coach Cyrus Furgeson. "He is a a true captain and leader that will do anything to help the team succeed."

Trevor Roy, Sr., Neoga

Trevor Roy

Neoga senior Trevor Roy (33) drives to the basket in a National Trail Conference game against Effingham St. Anthony. Roy will continue his basketball career at Lake Land College. 

Roy, a 6-2 guard, was a first team all-National Trail Conference player, who was also on the all-Monticello Holiday Tournament team and the NTC Tourney team. He averaged a team-high 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocked shots for the 17-15 Indians. He was a team-high 224-of-413 (.542) from the field. He was 79-of-116 (.681) from the free throw line and 19-of-75 (.253) from three-point range. He scored over 1,000 points for his career and his headed to Lake Land. He had 33 points in a 63-59 win over Shelbyville.

"Trevor’s greatest strength is most definitely his athleticism," said Neoga coach Andrew Snow. "He was the most athletic kid on the court every single game we played this year. He has such an outstanding ability to get to the basket and finish at or above the rim."

Cameron Sharp, Sr., Okaw Valley

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Okaw Valley guard Cameron Sharp (3) shoots for two during the first quarter of the Class 1A Bethany (Okaw Valley) Regional championship at Okaw Valley High School.

Sharp, a 5-10 guard, was on the Cumberland Thanksgiving All-Tournament team and a first team all-LPC player. He was also on the all-tournament team at Vandalia, where he scored over 100 points. Sharp was 231-of-498 (.464) from the field, including 20-of-66 (.303) from three-point range. He averaged a team-high 18.7 points and 2.8 steals. He was 98-of-165 (.594) from the free throw line and averaged 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the 22-9 Timberwovles.

"Cameron is a unique talent for sure and one of the best players I have had the opportunity to coach in my nine years as a head coach," said Okaw Valley coach Brooks Inman. "The biggest thing for him was that he bought in to what we do on the defensive end and that gave him many opportunities to get in the open court."

Cam'Ron Thomas, Mattoon

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Mattoon guard Cam'Ron Thomas (2) moves up the court in the first quarter of the Class 3A Mattoon Regional semifinals on Wednesday.

Thomas led the 12-16 Green Wave in scoring at 14.4 points per game. He averaged 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He shot 42 percent from three-point range, making 60-of-144, and was 52-of-172 from inside the arc (.529). His season high was 28 in a 76-71 Apollo Conference loss to Effingham.

"Cam's biggest attribute is the ability to shoot from both inside and out," said Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere. "He can hit pull up 3-pointers one trip down the floor and then blow by the defender and get to the rim on the next possession. He was our leading scorer but was also very unselfish."

Contact Mike Monahan at (217)-238-6854. Follow him on Twitter: @monahanmikejgtc

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