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DFJ ALL-DECADE TEAM: BOYS BASKETBALL

Conner Hill

Conner Hill, South Hamilton, 2015-19

The evolution of Conner Hill’s game during his four years at South Hamilton from 2015-19 was nothing short of astounding. Primarily a long range bomber when he stepped onto the scene as a freshman, Hill transformed himself into arguably one of the top two guards in Class 2A by his senior campaign when he directed the Hawks to a Class 2A third-place finish at the state tournament.

He was a defensive stopper. He was a scorer. He was a leader. He was as smooth as butter. As a senior, he was everything an elite team needs its best player to be to contend for a state championship.

Over Hill’s career, South Hamilton went 83-16, and 10 of those losses came during his freshman season.

THE NUMBERS

Jonny Davis

•1,243 career points, No. 5 all-time at South Hamilton.

•A school-record 182 career 3-point field goals.

•338 assists and 172 steals, No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, on the South Hamilton leaderboard.

WHAT MADE HIM SPECIAL?

Conner was probably the most natural leader I’ve ever coached. He was my coach on the floor and he did whatever it took to win.

Marco Balderas

–Nathan Hill, former South Hamilton head coach

Jonny Davis, Webster City, 2008-12

Statistics are a huge part of any basketball player’s resume, but when it comes to Webster City’s Jonny Davis, his greatness was about so much more than numbers.

On the court, on the football field, on the baseball diamond and, heck, even on the soccer pitch for just one season, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better leader than Davis.

Davis was a versatile, skilled basketball player, but it was what he did between the whistles that set him apart from the pack. He directed everything, motivated everyone, and willed the Lynx to a lot of victories.

Clay Harreld

Defensively, he’s the best WCHS has had this century. Just a fact.

THE NUMBERS

•Career totals of 936 points, 314 assists and 136 steals over 3 seasons.

•Averaged 14.0 points and 4.9 assists per game over career, led WCHS in scoring all 3 seasons.

•Led Lynx to 46 wins, including a 36-10 mark as a junior and senior.

Collin Hill

WHAT MADE HIM SPECIAL?

Jonny had a lot of God-given talent, but he took that and did all the little things. His leadership, his work ethic, his competitiveness … he just had the stuff you really can’t coach.

–Marty McKinney, current Webster City head coach

Marco Balderas, South Hamilton, 2014-18

There were times early in Marco Balderas’s career that he was mocked by opposing fans because of his small stature. And then those same fans watched him play and quickly shut up.

The kid could flat out play the game of basketball better than almost everyone else.

South Hamilton’s point guard from 2014-18, Balderas was a major player in a pair of trips to the Class 2A state tournament. With a great handle and a driving float shot he perfected, Balderas was a human highlight reel each time he stepped onto the court.

THE NUMBERS

•Ranks seventh all-time in scoring at South Hamilton with 1,020 career points.

•Hawks’ all-time assists leader with 406.

•170 career steals, No. 3 all-time.

WHAT MADE HIM SPECIAL?

Marco had a natural instinct for the game that really is not coachable, that was probably his greatest asset. He had a natural knack to be in the right place at the right time.

—-Nathan Hill, former South Hamilton head coach

Clay Harreld, Northeast Hamilton, 2008-12

Let’s just put this out there — Clay Harreld’s career numbers at Northeast Hamilton are ridiculous.

A four-year varsity contributor from 2008-12, Harreld could do it all — score, rebound, distribute, defend — and the Trojans were the beneficiaries. They went 67-6 over his final three seasons.

Harreld ranked second in the state in scoring as a senior at 28.3 points per game, trailing only Linn-Mar’s Marcus Paige (28.4), who went on to become an All-American at North Carolina.

The crowning jewel — a 51-point outburst in a 90-61 win over Tripoli in December of 2011. Harreld went 18 of 22 from the floor, including 9 of 11 from behind the arc, and 6 of 6 at the free throw line.

THE NUMBERS

•1,605 points, 717 rebounds, 330 assists and 193 steals in his career.

•1,107 points as a junior/senior.

•Averaged 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over his final three seasons.

WHAT MADE HIM SPECIAL?

Clay just had a special drive and determination in him. He always wanted to get better and he absolutely hated to lose.

–Brandon Kelley, former Northeast Hamilton head coach

Collin Hill, South Hamilton, 2013-17

The body of a forward and the skill set of a guard helped to make Collin Hill one of the best players in Class 2A throughout his South Hamilton career.

At 6-foot-5, he could bury opponents from the perimeter or inside the paint if that’s what the Hawks needed.

What could he have accomplished had he not missed his entire sophomore season due to a broken leg? You can only wonder, but it’s safe to say that Brad Barkema’s school record 1,906 points would have been in jeopardy.

Simply put, over South Hamilton’s most recent run of excellence, there wasn’t a better player.

THE NUMBERS

•1,473 career points in three seasons, No. 3 all-time at South Hamilton.

•Averaged 21.1 and 21.9 points per game, respectively, as a junior and senior.

•605 rebounds and 161 steals, Nos. 3 and 4 all-time at South Hamilton.

WHAT MADE HIM SPECIAL?

He had the size and athleticism that really made it difficult for opponents to guard. He had a determination out on the floor too and he didn’t like to lose.

—-Nathan Hill, former South Hamilton head coach

HONORABLE MENTION

Over the past 10 seasons, the Daily Freeman-Journal coverage area has produced more than a few basketball standouts, which made picking a five-player All-Decade Team challenging.

A handful of stars were unfortunately left off the team, but they still deserve to be recognized.

Here’s the best of the rest from Webster City, South Hamilton and Northeast Hamilton from 2010-20:

•Alec Fuhs, Webster City, 2012-16: A tough, gritty point guard who directed the ship on the Lynx 2015-16 North Central Conference championship team that went 20-3 and reached the Class 3A substate round, he scored 720 points in his career.

•Avery Fuhs, Webster City, 2012-16: He played on the wing while twin brother Alec was at the point. Avery had a smooth stroke from the perimeter and he could also take the ball to the hole. Scored 860 points over his three-year varsity career.

•Mason Myers, Webster City, 2011-15: There are only a select few Lynx players that generated 1,000 career points and Myers is one of them. He capped his three-year varsity career with 1,017 in 2015.

•Logan Peters, South Hamilton, 2015-19: A four-year varsity contributor who scored 848 career points, 654 of those as a junior and senior. Was an all-state performer as a senior when the Hawks took third in Class 2A.

•Marcus Mechaelsen, Northeast Hamilton, 2008-12: Scored 1,271 career points and averaged 17.8 points per game over his final two seasons. Alongside Clay Harreld, formed one of the best one-two punches in Class 1A.

•Logan Seiser, Northeast Hamilton, 2010-14: Finished his career just four points shy of 1,000. Took over the lead for the Trojans following the graduations of Clay Harreld and Marcus Mechaelsen and averaged 24.0 points per game as a senior in 2013-14.

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