Some things change, and some things stay the same.
We can safely say that next year’s all-star team will not include the leading scorers from this past season. Afton’s Bryant Winans and B-G’s Dani Conway followed up their 2007 scoring titles with even better efforts this season en route to another 2008 All-Evening Sun All-Star selection.
Winans played with great distinction this season scoring over 30 points six times. Just as comparison, the rest of Chenango County’s boys had three total 30-point games. Winans hit 82 three balls, the second most single-season effort in Chenango County history behind Norwich’s Charlie Wightman.
Winans is the lone returning player that includes nine fresh faces to our all-star aggregate. Among those are seniors Patrick Coates, Norwich; Scott Seiler, Oxford; Taylor Duell, Otselic Valley, Raffi Perry and Mason Wyman, Unadilla Valley; and Garrett Porack, Sherburne-Earlville. Underclassmen who will lead the way for next year are Oxford’s Alex Champlin, Otselic Valley’s David Cerasani, and Norwich’s Vaughn Labor – all juniors.
Conway is a third-year all-star selection and raised her scoring average nearly a full point to 18.1, while moving over 1,000 points for her career.
Conway had two triple-doubles this past season and was the only area player – boy or girl – to average a double-double for the season pulling down 10.8 boards per contest. Conway is joined by returning all-stars, teammate Mariah Schaeffer and Sherburne-Earlville senior Courtney Kurtz.
Senior all-stars also include Amber Wood of Otselic Valley and Ashlea Osborne of G-MU. That leaves five underclassmen back next season.
Among that quintet are Jessie Winans of Afton; Barb Borst and Megan McDermott of Greene; Megan Record of Sherburne-Earlville; and Hannah Johnson of Unadilla Valley. Winans is the lone sophomore, while the others are all juniors.
Finally, the sports staff extends an apology to the players who attended our all-star pictures at the Norwich YMCA earlier this month. As you can see on today’s pages, the group shots of our two teams were replaced by head shots of the respective players. A technical error in the photo processing deleted the images for publication. Special thanks go out to BCH Photos for the photo of Afton’s Jessie Winans; additionally, a thank you to Otselic Valley schools for providing head shots of its three all-star representatives.
All-Stars listed by alphabetically by school:
Bryant Winans, sr, Afton
The four-year guard for the Crimson Knights won his second straight area scoring title averaging 25.6 points per game, a total that was number one in Section IV in 2007-2008. A do-it-all player, he added five assists, five rebounds, and over four steals a game. “We couldn’t stop him the last two years, and he had over 30 (points) at least two of those four games,” said B-G coach Ben Nelson. “He’s very unselfish, and maybe passes too much. If you lay off him, he’ll shoot the three, if you guard him close, he’ll drive to the basket. In my opinion, he is a great team player, and I never saw him force a shot.” Winans connected on a single-season school-record, 82 three-pointers this season including four or more on 14 occasions. His 1,353 career points – 538 this season – are among the most in school history, and he was named this week as the Section IV Class D player of the year.
Patrick Coates, sr., 6-1, Norwich
Coates was Norwich’s team leader in scoring at 11.6 points per game, and proved one of the team’s most versatile players. He was a STAC Central/East all-conference selection, and was recently named to the Basketball Coaches Association of New York all-Section IV team. “He really put it all together this year and had a solid year,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “Patrick basically came out of our program blueprint. You really work hard as a junior to learn how to compete at the varsity level, and if you do your job well enough, then you’ll reap the benefits as a senior.” Coates led Norwich in field goals made, was second in rebounding at 6.9/game, second in steals, second in free throw shooting, and third in assists. He had three 20-point games for the balanced Tornado, and was MVP of the Unadilla Valley Tournament. “Patrick is not flashy or flamboyant, but he just gets after it and never gives up,” Abbott said.
Vaughn Labor, jr., 6-4, Norwich
Labor was Norwich’s muscle on the interior and the team’s best low-post threat. H made huge strides on the varsity level from his sophomore to junior season finishing second on the team in scoring, first in rebounds, and first in field goal percentage. He was an STAC all-division selection, and as Mark Abbott described in the season-ending banquet, may become STAC’s premier big man his senior season. “There were games this year when Vaughn just dominated the paint,” Abbott said. “...When he shows the necessary patience, he is pretty much unstoppable.” Labor was a steady scorer on a deep Norwich team that rotated 10 or 11 players, still, he was in the eight-points-or-better range 14 times. “He showed great improvement from last year to this season, and with similar growth, should be a real force next year,” Abbott said.
David Cerasani, jr., 5-6, Otselic Valley
The second leading scorer in the area at 17.1 per game, Cerasani not only topped his team in points, but also in assists and was second in steals. “He came every day to play hard; it didn’t matter if it was practice or a game,” said OV coach Dave Loomis. “He set the tone for our team.” With over 900 points in his three-year career, Cerasani is on pace to surpass the school’s all-time leading scorer, Doug Caldwell. “I expect him to take on more of a leadership role next season,” Loomis said. “He has been a consistent performer for us, and I expect he will continue to step it up next season.” Cerasani scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games, and had 20 or more eight times including a season-high 29 points against Cincinnatus.
Taylor Duell, sr., 6-1, Otselic Valley
As dependable as they come, said OV coach Dave Loomis. Duell was the Vikings’ second leading scorer at 13.9 points a game, and he led in two significant defensive categories: Rebounding (9.0/game) and steals (3.0/game). “He was a real sound player for us,” Loomis said. “Every night we could depend on his defense, and he made good decisions on offense. He gave us great effort, and that was a reason he was a leader for us.” Duell had multiple double-double games of points and rebounds, and reached a season-high 25 points in a season-opening win over Edmeston. He scored at least eight points in every game and shot a solid 47 percent from the field,
Alex Champlin, jr., 6-4, Oxford
Always under control and composed on the floor, Champlin made a significant jump in production for Oxford finishing with a 14-points-per-game scoring average including a career-high 30 points in a sectional win over Candor. “He’s a guy that plays within himself, who doesn’t force things, and probably should shoot the ball more,” said B-G head coach Ben Nelson. “He’s fundamentally sound and you cannot leave him alone.” Champlin scored in double figures 19 times this season totaling 323 points. He made 34 three-pointers and shot 77.5 percent from the foul line as well. “I was impressed with his shooting ability,” said UV head coach Matt Osborne. “Not only that, he is able to put the ball on the floor and take it to the basket with his left or right hand.”
Scott Seiler, sr., 6-1, Oxford
Seiler’s combination of outside shooting and ability to drive to the basket made him a difficult defensive matchup each night. A three-year player for the Blackhawks, he led Oxford with 14.6 points per game, shot 74 percent from the foul line, and had 14 or more points 16 times – a testament to his consistency on the offensive end. “I was most impressed with his leadership this year, especially at the Norwich Tournament (won by Oxford),” said B-G coach Ben Nelson. “He brought his team together well and stepped it up as a senior.” Seiler canned 42 three balls this season to lead his squad, and had three 20-point games including a season-high 22 against Harpursville – a total compiled in barely over half a game. “He’s a tough guy to guard,” said UV coach Matt Osborne. “He handles the ball well and he uses his body well to protect the ball and get inside for easy shots.”
Garrett Porack, sr., 6-2, Sherburne-Earlville
No player increased his scoring – or overall impact – on his team’s offensive performance than the S-E senior. A reserve as a junior on a highly successful Marauders team, Porack moved into the starting lineup as the most experienced returning player, and led the Marauders to a winning season. “This year he really took over a leadership role, and he not only had a good individual year, he was the leader of his team,” said S-E head coach Kevin Vibbard. “He led by example. He was the first one to dive after loose balls and was not afraid to sacrifice his body. That stuff sort of rubs off.” Porack was also Mr. Clutch with six tying or game-winning shots in the final two minutes of ballgames. “We definitely exceeded expectations, and Garrett was a huge part of that,” Vibbard said. “He was very cool under pressure and developed into a good outside shooter.” Porack was fourth in area scoring at 16.3 per game, and had six 20-plus-point games including a career-high 27 in the season finale against Mt. Markham.
Raffi Perry, sr., 6-0, Unadilla Valley
Third in Chenango County scoring at 17.0 per game, he was a clutch performer throughout a three-year varsity career, and his defining game may have come against Greene when he poured in 36 points – 30 in the second half, while also sinking the game-winning basket in the final seconds. “He stepped up and became our offensive leader,” said UV coach Matt Osborne. “When he wasn’t making the outside shot, he could take the ball to the basket and either make difficult shots or draw fouls.” An underrated, but strong defender, Perry was second on the team in rebounding at over six per game, and picked up two steals a contest. “He plays really hard all the time, and does a lot of things not kept in the stats,” Osborne said. “He expected a lot out of the other kids, and the others stepped up because he was more of a vocal leader this year.”
Mason Wyman, sr, 5-7, Unadilla Valley
A natural leader on the floor, Wyman had the uncanny knack to slither through defenses and knock down his patented fade-away jumper. He also improved his three-point shot and finished with 12.1-point-per-game scoring average. “He was the glue guy to keep everyone together,” said UV’s coach Osborne. “This year, he rarely looked to me to call a play. He called a variety of plays on his own to change or fool the defense. He knew the offense, and when we were on defense, he looked to me for the signals. He was a true floor leader.” Wyman sizzled early in the season scoring 40 points in the S-E Tournament, and he was a steady double figures scorer reaching 10 points or more 14 times. He also led the Storm with a little more than four assists a game.