PREBLE COUNTY — Jacob Bassler came into this own this season. He became one of the best scorers in the county and was the leading scorer on his team.
He was a leader on the court for the Panthers and was hardly ever taken off the floor because of that value.
During the season on the floor for South, Bassler averaged 17.2 points per game and also led in rebounding, pulling down 6.2 per contest. He also averaged 2.7 assists.
It’s because of this high output and his ability to lead South to a 13-9 record – the best in the county – that he is awarded the boys basketball Player of the Year honor.
He is joined by senior teammate J.J. Utz. His head coach, Tony Augspurger, called Utz one of the five best defenders he’s ever coached, and crediting him as a big reason for any success they were able to have this season.
Utz was also the second leading scorer, behind Bassler, posting 10.9 points and 3.5 assists per game.
They are joined by junior Trevor Pittman from Eaton, who was the best scorer in the county with 17.5 points per game – and 35.7 percent from three-point range and three games with 30 points or more. He also had 5.5 boards and two assists before ending his season early.
Aside from making first team all-SWBL, he was also in the District 15 first team for underclassmen.
“Trevor had to shoulder a lot of the load on offense for us. He did it well. He kept us in a lot of games and hit big shots,” said Eaton assistant coach Nick Flynn. “When the game was on the line, he was at his finest. Trevor made shots that tied or put us ahead in games five times this year in the final minute of play.”
Also making the first team honors is Preble Shawnee’s Thomas Buell. He was a big man for the Arrows and played that role very well, averaging 13 points and nine rebounds per game. He also showed off his range from time to time, knocking down 31.3 percent of his shots from behind the arch.
Kurt Brinson, a senior from Tri-County North, rounds out the first team honors. His team only won three games on the year, but he was a big reason they were able to stay in many of the contest. On the season, he averaged 13.5 points and seven rebounds per game.
“He kept us competitive in a lot of games and provided excellent leadership by working hard every day in practice and never taking any plays off,” said North head coach Dale Spitler.
Kicking off our second team all-county roster is Mike Meyers from South. He was the Panthers third leading scorer with nine points per game and also pulling down 4.7 rebounds.
Trey Smith, a senior for Eaton, also makes the cut.
“Trey was asked to change his role in a different system and did his job admirably,” said Flynn. “He was asked to handle the scoring load after Trevor Pittman was injured and hit some big shots: including a game winner at Brookville.”
Flynn added that Smith was a fantastic leader and the heart and soul of the team, who averaged 13.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and one assist per game.
Joining him is teammate Daniel Howard, who averaged 8.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
“It may not of shown in the scoring column, but Danny Howard was at the top of nearly all defensive categories in the SWBL. Most nights, Danny was asked to guard the other team’s best player,” said Flynn. “Danny kept us in a lot of games with his defense and rebounding.”
Joby Williams, a four-year varsity letterman from Shawnee, is also deserving of a mention. He had 89 total assists for the year and dictated the flow of game from point position, said his coach Jason Crider.
Finishing off our all-county mentions is Dalton Mason from National Trail.
Mason led us the Blazers in scoring at 10.2 points per game while also pulling down 6 rebounds.
“There were several games, particularly early in the season, where Dalton carried us offensively, scoring 17 against state-ranked Seton Catholic, and recording 3 double-doubles on the year,” said Trail head coach Mike Harrison.
Garrett Woodyard, Tri-County North; Joey Bates, Preble Shawnee; Peyton Harrison, National Trail.
Reach Jeremy Erskine at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.