Elmore is co-MVP; Somerset places three, New Richmond one on All-MBC boys basketball team
The third conference championship in Somerset boys basketball team history yielded three all-conference selections for the Spartans on the 2013-14 All-MBC team.
New Richmond, which finished at the bottom of the MBC standings, had one player earn all-conference honors.
Somerset’s all-conference selections were led by senior center Gaelin Elmore. Elmore was named to the All-MBC first team for the third straight season. He also was named Co-Conference Most Valuable Player along with Prescott guard Clay Seifert.
Joining Elmore on the All-MBC first team from Somerset was senior guard Jack Emmert. Elmore and Emmert formed one of the best inside-outside scoring tandems in the area.
Somerset’s third All-MBC selection is junior guard Heaven Hunt, who was honored for the first time. He was a second team selection.
Also being honored for the first time is New Richmond junior guard Josh Geigle. Geigle was voted onto the All-MBC second team.
The Spartans tied Prescott with 13-1 records to earn a share of the Middle Border Conference title. The leaders for the Spartans were Elmore and Emmert, who were both four-year varsity players. The Spartans finished 21-4 overall, recording the most wins in one season in team history.
Elmore is heading to the Minnesota Gophers to play football, but you can bet there are college basketball coaches who would have gladly taken him for their program. Elmore finished the season with 17.7 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game, both which ranked among the best in the conference this season.
“He was the heart and soul of the team,” said Somerset coach Brent Larson. “He did a great job being a leader, both on and off the court. He made the people around him better because he drew so much (defensive) attention.”
Emmert averaged 15.2 points per game and he made 84 percent of his free throws. He led the Spartans with 93 assists and 57 steals.
“Jack did a very good job in his aggressiveness, getting into the paint and creating opportunities for his teammates and himself,” Larson said. “He’s probably the most skilled player I’ve coached.”
Hunt’s emergence this season was critical as a third scoring option for the Spartans. He averaged 10.5 points per game and was Somerset’s most accurate three-point shooter, hitting 34 percent of his attempts. Larson said Hunt was also a crucial defender, facing off against top perimeter players like Seifert and Ellsworth’s Chrystian Kulow.
“He made a big jump from his sophomore to his junior season,” Larson said. “His defense improved throughout the year.”
Hunt figures largely into the Spartans’ future plans after 75 percent of the team’s scoring graduates with this season’s senior class that included 10 players.
“There will be a lot of opportunities to incoming sophomores through seniors,” Larson said about his expectations for next season. Larson said the team will have stability at guard, with Hunt and Jon Sullivan returning for their senior seasons after seeing extensive time this season. Larson said with the youth he expects on the the team next season, it will be an important off season for the players to work themselves into a position to be ready for varsity play by next winter.
The Tigers had little to celebrate in a 4-18 season. Tiger coach Rick Montreal said he wants the team to view the 2013-14 season as a learning experience that will help the team be ready to perform much better next winter.
There are a number of pieces in place for the Tigers to be more successful next season, starting with Geigle. Geigle led the Tigers with 193 points and 61 assists this season.
“Over the last two-thirds of the season, he was our leader,” Montreal said. “He’s our cornerstone to build from. He wants to be one of the elite players in the conference and he’s got the skill set to do it.”
Junior center Noah Berger and sophomore guard Caleb Manecke completed their second season on the varsity squad this year and Montreal said they are in a position to greatly improve their production next winter.
Montreal said he foresees Cole Nord, Jack Hop, Ben Peterson and Nate Mortensen all taking on bigger roles for the varsity team next winter.
“We’ll have a real strong top seven or eight guys and we’ll really focus on that,” Montreal said.
Montreal said the coaches were greatly encouraged by the attitude of the players who showed up for an open gym days after the season concluded. He said there were 20 players at the open gym. Montreal said the attitude shown in that open gym shows the players are ready to put this season behind them and start writing a new chapter in the team’s history for next winter.