Senior centered: Upperclassmen dominated
At a lanky 6-foot-3, Jesse Munger may not have been the biggest guy, but he hit the glass like an absolute maniac.
The Tornado senior forward, who played a good chunk of the season with a broken hand, was the only player in the Lakes Conference to average double figures in both points (12.3) and rebounds (10).
Munger, who brought a relentless work ethic to the gym against 3A and 2A competition night in and night out, was the league's rebounding champ and its 10th highest scorer.
He shot 50 percent from the floor, 64 percent from the line and was named first team all-Lakes Conference
For those reasons, Munger was a fairly obvious choice for the 2007-08 Pilot-Tribune Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, Laurens-Marathon's Matt Winter has been named the Pilot's Coach of the Year. In his third season at the helm, Winter led the Chargers to a second-place finish in the Northwest and an upset over Alta in a district barn-burner.
The Chargers were one play and a questionable foul call away from beating eventual 1A runner-up George-Little Rock in substate.
As for the All-Area selections, upperclassmen comprised all 16 of the picks (including 12 seniors) over the first two teams - a sharp contrast to the girls All-Area team, in which 10 of the 16 selections were freshmen or sophomores.
Following is a look at the rest of the first team, as well as the entire second team.
* Stuart Goslinga (Sioux Central): An Alta transfer, Goslinga tore things up in the Rebels' final 11 games after playing jayvee the first part of the season under the mandatory sit-out rule. A second team all-Northwest Conference pick, he averaged an unparalleled 20.8 points and 11.7 rebounds while shooting 65 percent from the field. A clear favorite for next season's Player of the Year.
* Travis Leuer (Laurens-Marathon): The high-flying senior big was perhaps the area's most athletic player. A first team all-Northwest Conference pick, Leuer averaged 11.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals while shooting 52 percent.
* Mike Huseman (Alta): A true jump-shooter who was named first team all-Northwest Conference, Huseman paced the Cyclones with 11 points and 2 steals per game. The junior shot 51 percent from the field (85-for-167), 39 percent from downtown (26-for-66) and 78 percent at the stripe (35-for-45).
* Jared Bruce (Aurelia): Mr. Do-it-all. The point guard capped off his Bulldog career with first team all-Northwest Conference honors after producing 12.4 points, 5.9 assists, 4.4 steals and 3.7 rebounds per outing.
* A.J. Croker (Storm Lake): The Tornadoes' quick senior guard earned second team all-Lakes Conference honors after scoring 8 points a game and leading his team with 42 assists and 28 3-pointers.
* Jordan Hinkeldey (Alta): The Cyclones' nifty inside-outside senior averaged 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He shot 50 percent from the field and made 14-of-34 treys for 41 percent. He was named first team all-Northwest Conference.
* Nathan Schumann (Newell-Fonda): A Northwest Conference first-teamer, the Mustangs' senior forward had a solid final campaign, putting up 11.2 points and 5.6 boards a night while shooting 51 percent from the field and 74 percent at the line. He also nailed 20-of-49 3-pointers (41 percent).
* Aaron Bruce (Aurelia): Stellar numbers for an honorable mention all-Northwest Conference selection: 16.3 points. 5.4 rebounds. 57 percent from the floor. Bruce, a junior, has one more season to earn league-wide respect.
* Aaron Hansen (Alta): A big part of the area's best regular-season team, the senior forward notched second team all-Northwest Conference recognition after tallying 10.3 points and a team-best 5 rebounds per night. He shot 54 percent from the field and had 25 steals.
* Kiley Murra (Schaller-Crestland): An agile big, the senior averaged 10.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals while co-leading the Cats to a turnaround season. He was named second team all-Northwest Conference.
* Adam Woodin (Laurens-Marathon): A junior, the Chargers' 2-guard was named first team all-Northwest Conference after charting a team-best 12.2 points a game and leading the area in 3-pointers (45-for-113). He notched 64 rebounds, 32 assists and 29 steals, and made 77 percent of his free throws.
* Collin Johnson (Schaller-Crestland): A dangerous long-range sniper, the senior Wildcat earned first team all-Northwest Conference honors after averaging a team-best 12.9 points and pumping in 44 percent of his triples (43-for-97). He charted 41 rebounds, 40 assists and 21 steals.
* Will Franzmeier (Sioux Central): A senior, Franzmeier was named honorable mention all-Northwest Conference. He averaged 9 points and 5.3 boards while shooting 42 percent from downtown (15-of-36). He also posted 31 steals and 30 assists.
* Jordan Carlson (Storm Lake): The senior big had a shooting guard's touch at the foul line, hitting 78 percent, which ranked him fourth in the Lakes Conference in that category. Carlson, who scored 34 points in the Tornadoes' final regular-season contest, put up 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds a night.
* Jon Foell (St. Mary's): A bulldog on the boards. The senior forward earned honorable mention all-league honors after leading the Panthers with 8.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game.