Other than a one-year hiatus – after the 1994-1995 basketball season, The Evening Sun has named its basketball all-stars en masse. In other words, if a particular player had an exceptional season within his or her league, we honored that player with a selection to our postseason hoops team.
For the first time, we undertook the process of breaking down the talent across the county, and naming a first team, a second team, and honorable mention selections – a break from our yearly tradition. The second team and honorable mention players were already announced in the Wednesday, March 24 edition, and today, we unveil who we believe are the top players in the area – regardless of their school’s size or the conference that their team plays in.
Breaking it down in simple terms: If The Evening Sun was to put together an all-star team from the basketball players we cover throughout the season, these young men and women would get the starting nod.
We do have one minor anomaly to our selection process this season. Our girls’ team actually has six players instead of five. Looking down the line for Sherburne-Earlville’s ladies, two of its players – each of whom earned co-MVP honors in their league – had virtually identical statistics up and down the line, so we have paired those two as a package deal.
The aim of this year’s selection process was to develop exclusivity amongst the players. Year in and year out, we have named anywhere from 10 to 12 players as first-team Evening Sun All-Stars. The truth, though, is that only five of those players would actually start a real basketball game.
We made it a point this season to view every basketball team in the area – and its players – at least one time (with the exception of Otselic Valley’s girls), and several teams and players we viewed multiple times. After much thought and analysis, the players listed below, we believe, are our circulation area’s most deserving first-team all-stars for the 2009-2010 basketball season.
Players are listed alphabetically:
Sean Boise, sr. 6-foot-1, Sherburne-Earlville
Boise averaged in double figures scoring all three of his seasons for the Marauders, and his 20.0 points per game average this season led all Chenango County players. He finished with 854 points over his three-year career, and was a co-Center State Conference Division II MVP.
“He was just a great teammate, and not just a scorer,” said S-E head coach Kevin Vibbard. “If you’re open, he’ll get you the ball. He didn’t force things and was a very good passer. He was just a complete offensive player. He can shoot, penetrate, and was clearly a great finisher.”
Boise was the model of efficiency on his career-best scoring night. On his way to a 34-point night in a win over highly regarded opponent Westmoreland, Boise took just 16 shots from the field – making 10 – and went to the foul line 16 times as well, nailing 11. He scored 20 points or more in seven out of eight games in one stretch, and had nine 20-point games. Not once did a team hold the prolific scoring Boise under 12 points. “I’m glad he made the decision to stick with basketball as a freshman, because he’s probably the best bowler in the school district, too,” Vibbard said.
Richie Bonney, sr., 6-foot-5, Norwich
Bonney came up through the Norwich basketball system as an outside shooting presence. As the biggest player on the NHS team this season, he developed an inside game to complement his guard-like skills, and proved one of the most difficult matchups in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference. “Richie had one of the most outstanding individual seasons I have ever seen a player accomplish, and he did it within the realm of the team concept,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott.
Bonney was second in the area in scoring at 17.5 points per game, led Norwich with 12.1 rebounds, and made 44 percent of his three-point attempts (21-for-48), while leading all Norwich starters in overall field goal percentage at 50.2 percent. Among two-year NHS players, his 561 points are second all-time under Abbott’s 24-year stewardship, and his 385 rebounds are the best two-year total.