You might want to rename our 2014-2015 Evening Sun boys’ basketball all-stars the “junior all-stars.” Seven of the 11 players named to this year’s squad are juniors, a fact that indicates a senior-dominated all-star team next year.
Fresh faces also dot our elite eleven with eight first-time all-stars named to the squad. Incumbents from last year are triple-double machine, Oxford’s Kevin Davis, and Norwich all-stars Michael Oralls and Zan Stewart.
Oralls and Stewart deserve a little extra attention in this space as each proved consummate winners in matching three-year varsity careers for the Purple Tornado. In three varsity seasons, the duo made large contributions to 53 Norwich wins, multiple tournament titles, three STAC division titles, two overall STAC titles, and two Section IV championships.
“Michael and Zan leave a great legacy behind them,” said Norwich fourth-year varsity coach Tom Collier. “I have coached both of them since the seventh grade, and one thing you can say about them is that they won at every level. To have that many wins against the caliber of teams they played is phenomenal.”
This section is reserved for the elite individual players in our area, but to combine that with a consistent level of winning deserves a hearty pat on the back for Oralls and Stewart.
The other two seniors on our all-star list, S-E’s Ben Khoury and Otselic Valley’s Matt Neal, made the most of their final season to shine. Playing more complementary roles in previous years, the 2014-2015 season was one in which Khoury and Neal became unquestioned go-to players. Khoury doubled his scoring average, and Neal was his club’s top returning scorer, but did so with erratic shooting. Khoury and Neal became consistent players for their teams displaying quiet leadership on both ends of the floor.
Then there are our juniors led by Davis, a return pick, who won the area scoring title at 16.7 points a game. Juniors joining Davis are Greene’s Joe Miranda and Jordan Harrington; G-MU’s Nate O’Hara, Sherburne-Earlville’s Gavin Giroux, and Unadilla Valley’s Ryan Postma and Brett Hanslmaier.
Five of the eight teams we covered reached the postseason with .500-or-better records. We’re expecting even better performances next year with a veteran corps of all-stars expected back.
As always, all-star selections were chosen by Evening Sun Sports Editor Patrick Newell along with recommendations from area coaches. Statistics and honorable mention picks also appear on today’s pages.
Kevin Davis, jr., Oxford
The scoring champion in the area this year - and likely the rebounding leader at nearly 13 per game - Davis was a do-everything player for the seven-win Blackhawks this past season topping the charts in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocked shots. In addition to his 16.7 points a contest, he dished out 4.6 assists, picked up better than six steals, blocked more than two shots a game, and averaged better than one three a game. And Davis became the first boys' basketball player in the area to record at least three triple-doubles in the same season finishing with four during the season in just 17 games. With more experiencing coming back, his head coach (and father), Tim Davis, expects an even more dominant season from his four-year varsity player.