By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
As usual, this season in boys? basketball saw ups and downs, close games and blow outs and a few deep runs from the area?s teams.
A state tournament appearance for Mt. Pleasant led the way for the Golden Triangle area teams, and Iowa Mennonite nearly made it to Des Moines themselves with a memorable postseason run.
Henry County had seven players named to the squad, four of which came on the large school team and three of which came in the small school team.
Listed below are the 2017-18 All-GTNS teams in the sport of boys? basketball.
Coach: Paul Rundquist, Mt. Pleasant:
The Mt. Pleasant boys dominated Southeast Iowa once again this season. Coach Paul Rundquist?s team finished the year 21-4 overall and wend undefeated in the Southeast Conference.
The Panthers ran through the substate tournament, topping West Liberty 75-25, Ft. Madison 67-25 and Solon 68-47 to earn a spot in the Class 3A state tournament.
Coach Rundquist will have an interesting challenge next season as the Panthers lose the entire starting five from this year?s state tournament team.
Captain: Brady Sartorius, senior, Mt. Pleasant: Brady Sartorius is simply one of the best boys? basketball players in Panther history.
The senior point guard led the team with 23.1 points per game this year, hitting 43 three-pointers along the way. He also led Mt. Pleasant with 113 assists and 69 steals.
Sartorius was the leading scorer for Mt. Pleasant for four straight years, helped lead the team to two state tournaments and finished his career as the second leading scorer in Panther history.
Jordan Magnani, senior, Mt. Pleasant: Jordan Magnani has been a vital part of Mt. Pleasant?s starting five for the last four years and had another great season in 2017-18.
Magnani scored 14.5 points per game, hit a team-leading 45 three-pointers and was second on the team in rebounds (93), assists (71) and steals (56).
Magnani went over 1,000 career points this season and had plenty of high-scoring games, including 26 points against Ft. Madison in the substate semifinals.
Austin Simpson, junior, Fairfield:
Simpson earned first-team all-SEC honors along with being named to the Class 3A substate 5 team after leading the Trojans with 261 points, 183 rebounds and 16 blocks. Simpson also had 39 assists and 24 steals and was selected as the offensive low-post award recipient during the teams? banquet earlier this month.
An avid baseball player who had to be convinced to play basketball instead of laser focusing on baseball, this is Simpson?s third consecutive all-GTNS team after making the baseball and football teams last spring and fall, respectively.
Dante Cingire, senior, Fairfield:
Cingire finishes his career at Fairfield after four increasingly good years with the program. The point guard?s Trojan totals are 512 points, 152 rebounds, 143 assists, 80 steals and five blocks and he received the offensive perimeter award at the team banquet after hitting 31 three?s on 40 percent shooting.
The soon-to-be-graduate was named first-team all-SEC, and he participated in the Southeast Iowa senior all-star game in Burlington. This is Cingire?s first all-GTNS selection.
Kieran Kohorst, senior, Mt. Pleasant:
On a team filled with backcourt talent, Kieran Kohorst was the ultimate man in the middle.
The senior post battled inside all season, scoring seven points per game and leading the squad with 109 rebounds and five blocks.
Kohorst had plenty of big games, but the most important was an 18-point, nine-rebound performance in the substate final against Solon. He finished that game a perfect 8-8 from the field.
Jonathan Ita, senior, Mt. Pleasant: Jonathan Ita was a spark plug all season for Mt. Pleasant in his return to the starting lineup.
Ita scored seven points on 61.1 percent from the field and 48.6 percent from behind the three-point line.
He also pulled down 85 rebounds this year and had 28 steals and four blocked shots on the defensive end.
Coach: Dwight Gingerich, Iowa Mennonite: The Iowa Mennonite basketball team was one of the most fun teams to watch in the SEISC this year.
IMS went 21-4 this season, placing second in the SEISC North Division and advancing to the Class 1A substate finals.
The top two scorers on the team will be gone next year, but the IMS seniors went out with a bang this year, nearly making the Class 1A state tournament.
Captain: Zack Lasek, sophomore, Highland: Big man Zach Lasek towered over defenders all year, and was the focal point of Highland?s inside attack.
Lasek scored 20.7 points per game this year and pulled down 217 rebounds, both of which led the team.
He was a menace on the defensive end as well, blocking 49 shots in his sophomore campaign.
Mitchell Schmieder, senior, Iowa Mennonite: Senior Mitchell Schmieder led the squad all year during their substate-final run.
Schmieder scored 13.6 points per game, pulled down 185 rebounds and blocked 50 shots, all of which helped IMS get to over 20 wins this year.
He was also active in the other statistical categories, dishing out 61 assists and finishing the year with 36 steals.
J.D. Stout, sophomore, Keota:
Keota sophomore J.D. Stout had a breakout year on the scoreboard in 2017-18.
Stout led the team with 23.6 points per game, hitting 41 three-pointers and making 94 free throws.
Stout also co-led the team with 45 steals this year and filled the stat sheet with 71 rebounds and 58 assists.
Isaac McSorley, junior, New London:
The injury to junior star Mason Porter left a hole in the scoring column for New London this year, and nobody filled that hole as well as Isaac McSorley.
The junior guard filled the stat sheet all year, leading the team with 16.4 points per game. He also went over 100 rebounds and 100 steals on the year.
Keontae Luckett, junior, New London:
Keontae Luckett is one of the hardest players to guard in all of Class 1A basketball.
Luckett scored 14.1 points per game this year and went over 150 assists and 80 steals in his junior campaign.
Luckett?s stellar performance helped him claim a spot on the All-State team, and he and the Tigers will be one of the teams to look out for in the Class 1A race next year.
Nik Coble, sophomore, WACO:
The WACO basketball team made a ton of noise in Southeast Iowa this year and a big part of that was due to sophomore post Nik Coble.
Coble did a bit of everything for the Warriors this season. He led the squad with 10.6 points per game, 261 rebounds and 54 blocked shots.
Coble and the WACO boys look to be a major player next year, with the vast majority of their scoring coming back in 2018-19.
The All-GTNS boys? basketball teams were selected by Andy Krutsinger of the Mt. Pleasant News, Justin Webster of the Fairfield Ledger and Matt Bryant of the Washington Evening Journal.