Panthers’ Cole named Player of the Year

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

March 25, 2014

Twin Valley South’s Wes Cole helped guide the Panthers to a 13-10 overall record this season, the best among Preble County’s boys basketball teams, thus earning him The Register-Herald’s Player of the Year for the 2013-2014 season.

He is one of three Panthers to earn first team honors. He is joined by seniors Seth Baker and Michael Green. Also earning first-team honors are Erik Hoke of Eaton, Josh Willoughby of Preble Shawnee and Austin Hutchins of Tri-County North.

Cole, a 6 foot, 2 inch junior, averaged 16.9 points per game, including a career-high 29 against county rival Preble Shawnee in early February. Cole pulled down 5.1 rebounds a contest and dished out nearly 3 assists per game.

Baker, a senior, finished the season averaging 14.2 points per game, 5.8 rebounds a contest, 1.5 assists per game and 1.4 blocks.

Green completed his senior season scoring 13.2 points a contest, while grabbing 6.6 rebounds a game. In addition, he averaged 1.5 assists per game and blocked nearly 3 shots a game. Green finished his career with 1,017 points, tied for sixth all-time with Rodney Blair. He is just the seventh player in Panthers history to score more than 1,000 career points.

Hoke led an Eaton team which struggled this year to a 2-21 record. The senior averaged 12.1 points and 4.9 rebounds a game.

Willoughby helped guide the Arrows, who played more than half of their scheduled in the first part of February, to a 10-13 record. The senior scored 16.4 points a game, while pulling down 5.7 rebounds, dishing out 2.8 assists and collecting 2.3 steals per contest.

Hutchins concluded an outstanding career for Tri-County North. Last year’s POY, Hutchins averaged a double-double this season. In scoring 14.8 points a game and grabbing 11.3 rebounds, he led the Panthers to an 8-15 record. He also averaged 3.4 steals per contest, 2.4 blocked shots a game and 2.9 assists.

Preble Shawnee tops the list with three second teamers led by a pair of seniors. The All-County second team includes: senior Brian Ketring of Preble Shawnee, senior Eric Deaton of Preble Shawnee, sophomore Trey Smith of Preble Shawnee, sophomore Trey Smith of Eaton, sophomore Bailey Stewart of National Trail and Tri-County North senior Hunter Gleadell.

Honorable mention selections are J.J. Utz of Twin Valley South and Matt Sullender of Eaton.