Muscatine Journal's 2020 All-Area 2020 Boys Basketball Team

Muscatine Journal's 2020 All-Area 2020 Boys Basketball Team

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First team

Joe Lilienthal

Team: Durant (10-13, 8-11 RVC)

Year: Senior Height: 6-foot-7

2019-20 statistical line: 14.1 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.2 blocks per game. RVC South Divisional team.

Durant coach Matt Straube on Lilienthal: "Joe understands the game very well. Not only did he grow into his body but he developed the confidence to be a go-to guy and get to his spots. When he wanted to, when he saw a challenge in front of him, he took it personally and rose to the occasion. When we needed a basket, he was who we went to. If we could get him the ball on the block, we had a pretty good chance of getting something good out of it."

Maddox Griffin

Team: Wapello (9-12, 8-8 SEISC)

Year: Sophomore Height: 6-foot-1

2019-20 statistical line: 16.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 3.8 steals per game. SEISC North Division first team; Class 1A Substate 4 team.

Wapello coach Ken Spielbauer on Griffin: "Maddox was a unanimous all-conference selection. He had an outstanding sophomore season, he led us in scoring, assists and rebounds. I thought he showed a lot of moxie for his age. He's got a chance to be a really good player for us." 

Josh Dieckman

Team: Muscatine (4-18, 3-13 MAC)

Year: Junior Height: 6-foot-6

2019-20 statistical line: 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 rebounds, 1 steal per game. All-MAC second team.

Muscatine coach John Windham on Dieckman: "*(Josh and Noah) did an outstanding job considering they were marked ball players. The nights they were both on were the nights we competed and won some ball games. Josh showed some people he can be a factor inside."

Caden Kirkman

Team: Wilton (4-18, 2-17 RVC)

Year: Freshman Height: 6-foot-5

2019-20 statistical line: 14.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.8 assists per game. RVC South Division team.

Wilton coach Erik Grunder on Kirkman: "As a freshman, it is a big jump from junior high to JV ... but for him to come up and average a double-double for us was very impressive. What's more impressive is his work ethic, he is always putting in time at the gym and at home to get better."

Noah Yahn

Team: Muscatine (4-18, 3-13 MAC)

Year: Junior Height: 6-foot-2

2019-20 statistical line: 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.3 steals per game. MAC honorable mention.

Muscatine coach John Windham on Yahn: "(Noah and Josh) were our two key players ... Noah has an outstanding outside jump shot and did a nice job handling the additional defensive pressure that came his way this season."

Second Team

Eric Valdez

Team: Columbus Community (3-19, 3-13 SEISC)

Year: Senior Height: 5-foot-11

2019-20 statistical line: 19.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals per game. SEISC North Division first team.

Columbus coach Dave Lekwa on Valdez: “Eric had a great senior season. He battled through a sprained wrist early on (and missed the first seven games), but finished second in the conference in scoring average. I wish we would have had him for all 22 games, but Eric had a great varsity career that was capped off by back-to-back SEISC North first-team selections.”

Caden Thomas

Team: Wapello (9-12, 8-8 SEISC)

Year: Junior Height: 6-foot-5

2019-20 statistical line: 14 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.3 blocks per game. SEISC North Division second team.

Wapello coach Ken Spielbauer on Thomas: "Caden has been second-team all-conference two straight years. As the year went on, he got better and better. We were trying to put him in more scoring situations. He had a solid junior season."

Gavin Chown

Team: West Liberty (2-20, 0-17 RVC)

Year: Senior Height: 6-foot

2019-20 statistical line: 14 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist per game per game. RVC South Division team.

West Liberty coach James Laughlin on Chown: "Night in, night out, Gavin was getting double-teamed ... I thought he did an outstanding job of keeping his composure, given that was happening. Years prior, he would get a little flustered, he did a nice job this year of understanding that, in order for us to have a chance, he needed to stay on the floor."

Brendan Paper

Team: Durant (10-13, 8-11 RVC)

Year: Senior Height: 6-foot-2

2019-20 statistical line: 10 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals per game. RVC honorable mention.

Durant coach Matt Straube on Paper: "Brendan did a nice job stepping up this year. He needed to be another scorer for us and was another do-it-all force. He really developed his game. In the past, he's been a three-point shooter but he focused on getting better all-around and was really coachable through it all." 

Brock Jeamby

Team: Louisa-Muscatine (2-20, 1-15 SEISC)

Year: Senior Height: 6-foot-2

2019-20 statistical line: 10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.3 steals per game. SEISC North Division second team.

Louisa-Muscatine coach Mark Wehrle on Jeamby: “Brock is a wonderful athlete. He used his athleticism each and every game to keep us competitive. Brock led by example. He is a good kid that made good choices both on and off the court. He has left a legacy of working hard in practice and competing hard every time he stepped on the floor.”

Third Team

Rhett Smith

Team: Wapello (9-12, 8-8 SEISC)

Year: Junior Height: 6-foot-3

2019-20 statistical line: 9.8 points, 6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals per game.

Wapello coach Ken Spielbauer on Smith: "We put Rhett in a position to handle the ball a lot. As a big kid, he's very crafty and he did a very good job of handling the ball. He's a capable scorer and I think you'll see more of that next year. His overall floor game is what I really like ... really enthusiastic and works hard."

Drew DeLong

Team: Durant (10-13, 8-11 RVC)

Year: Senior Height: 5-foot-10

2019-20 statistical line: 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 steals per game.

Durant coach Matt Straube on DeLong: "Drew is a tremendous competitor. He stepped up into a bigger role for us this year in being our point guard. He had some big shoes to fill with Easton Botkins graduating last year. Drew did a good job with it, he wants to win as much as any kid I've ever coached. ... He did a little bit of everything for us."

Jackson Hull

Team: Wilton (4-18, 2-17 RVC)

Year: Sophomore Height: 6-foot-1

2019-20 statistical line: 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.8 steals per game. RVC honorable mention.

Wilton coach Erik Grunder on Hull: "Jackson was our only returning letter-winner and our only guy with any experience. We leaned on him heavily and he was really a calming presence on the floor for us."

Marcus Engstler

Team: Durant (10-13, 8-11 RVC)

Year: Senior Height: 6-foot

2019-20 statistical line: 5.7 points, 4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.6 steals per game.

Durant coach Matt Straube on Engstler: "Marcus has been a joy to coach his entire career. He does everything for us. Marcus was our team's defensive player of the year when we voted on our awards. We put him on the other team's best player. He does all the little things that go unnoticed."

Buddy Darting

Team: Wilton (4-18, 2-17 RVC)

Year: Senior Height: 5-foot-10

2019-20 statistical line: 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.2 steals per game.

Wilton coach Erik Grunder on Darting: "Buddy turned into a great senior leader for us and really had some standout performances. He also was an outstanding defender and was always ready to (contribute)."

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