Leaders come in various forms. Basketball team leaders are usually associated with scoring. But those with other facets to their game have a much greater impact on the game and to their teams.
The 2013 Ottawa Herald boys all-area basketball team members did more than score for their teams.
The team includes those recognized at the state level and one of the best high school players in the state’s history.
Here are the team members:
Eric Tastove, senior, Anderson County
Tastove was the centerpiece of the Bulldogs. He was a four-year varsity player. The senior came into his own this season.
He led the Bulldogs to a Pioneer League title and a sub-state championship. This was Anderson County’s first state tournament appearance since 1997.
Tastove led the league in scoring (21.7), rebounding (10.8), field goal percentage (56.8) and blocks (35).
He was a first-team all-league selection.
Tanner Erhart, junior, Central Heights
Erhart grew into his role as an inside presence for the Vikings. The 6-foot-5 junior improved his game in nearly every facet.
He averaged 10 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He shot 56.4 percent from the field to rank right behind Tastove in the league.
Erhart sank a 40-foot buzzer-beater to beat Wellsville in the sub-state tournament.
He is a second-team all-league selection.
Jordan Horstick, junior, Central Heights
Horstick shouldered a lot this season after the graduation of several seniors from the 2012 squad. He delivered for the Vikings.
He was among the league leaders in several categories: second in scoring (17.4), rebounding (8.8), steals (55) and free throw percentage (79.7).
He was a first-team all-league selection and was named to several 3A all-state lists.
Alex Hasty, senior, Ottawa
Hasty was a tough matchup for opposing teams. He had size, length and speed along with some crafty play. Hasty had three-point range and could slash to the basket.
His defense was stellar, especially at the top of Ottawa’s press where he forced turnovers and caused havoc.
Hasty, a three-year varsity player for the Cyclones, ranked in the program’s top 10 in several career categories. He was second in blocks (116), sixth in games played (77), seventh in steals (134) and eighth in rebounds (377).
He played on three Cyclones teams that played in the state championship games. As a senior, he averaged 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.9 steals and shot 45 percent from the field.
He scored a career-high 22 points in the win over Anderson County in the first round of the 4A state tourney.
He is a two-time all-league and all-area selection. He was named to several all-state teams.
Dallas Natt, senior, Ottawa
Natt was the motor behind the Cyclones. He matured into a floor leader all over the court. He played hurt most of the season with a foot injury at the beginning and a wrist injury in midseason.
The Ottawa attack became lethal in the later stages of the season when Natt became healthy. He used his speed to get easy hoops and steals.
He was also a three-year varsity member. He ranked in the top 10 in three school categories. He was fifth in steals (153), seventh in assists (309) and sixth in games played (77).
This season he averaged 8.2 points, 5.2 assists, 2.3 steals and shot 45 percent from the field.
He is a two-time all-league and all-area performer. He was selected to several all-state teams. He is a two-time state champion in triple jump and signed with Pittsburg State University’s track team.
Semi Ojeleye, senior, Ottawa
Ojeleye had a record-breaking career in leading Ottawa to four straight 4A state championship games. He led Ottawa to a school-best 25-0 record and to the school’s second state championship with a 54-45 win over Highland Park.
His presence brought out college recruiters from everywhere during his first three seasons. Fans and media flocked to see him in his senior campaign. He was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd. Every major newspaper in Kansas wrote profiles on him. He appeared on radio, and Ottawa’s game with Grandview was televised in the Kansas City, Mo., area.
A sellout crowd witnessed his final game at the 4A state championship game. Fans lined up for autographs and pictures after nearly every game.
His numbers are mind-boggling. He is ranked in the top 10 in 13 state records and owns five state records.
He ranks No. 1 all-time in Kansas in career points (2,763), single-season points (952), season scoring average (38.1), career field goal percentage (55.8) and free throw made in a season (240).
The Duke signee is second in field goals in a season (340), career free throws (722) and free throws in a season (236). He is fourth in career scoring average (26.8), points in a season (836) and season three-point field goals (96).
He is sixth in career treys made (249). He ranks ninth in season average (32.2) and single-game scoring (58).
He has four career 50-point games. He is the school’s all-time leader in career rebounds (744), ranks fourth in blocks (84), sixth in steals (140) and second in games played (103).
He was a consensus all-state selection and was ranked in the top 40 in the nation by various recruiting services for the class of 2013. He was a finalist for the McDonald’s All-American game.
Shamus Kearney, junior, Wellsville
Kearney is the leader of the Eagles. He has been a starter since his freshman season. He moved from point guard to a shooting guard this season.
He averaged 12 points, 2.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds, two steals and shot 70 percent from the free-throw line. He was fifth in the league in points.
“He is a great leader and an important part of everything we do,” Wellsville coach Thatcher Decker said.
He was a first-team all-league selection. He is a two-time all-area team member.
Carter Mann, junior, Wellsville
Mann became the focal point for Wellsville, which posted a 14-7 record. His game matured in every facet.
He was among the league leaders in several categories. He was third in scoring (16.0), third in three point field goals made (42) and percentage (41.2), fifth in field goal percentage (50.7) and assists (2.95).
Mann was a first-team all-league selection in basketball and football. He also was an all-area selection in football.
He was selected to various all-state teams in both sports.
Brady Geist, senior, West Franklin
Geist blossomed into an all-around player for West Franklin and helped lead the Falcons to two straight winning seasons.
Opposing coaches devised game plans to slow him down. Even with all of the defensive attention, he averaged 13.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists this past season. He shot 40 percent from the field.
He was a first-team all-league selection. He is a two-time all-area team member. Geist was selected to all-state teams.
Matt Gray, senior, West Franklin
Gray became a force inside for the Falcons. Gray and Geist gave the Falcons a nice inside-outside punch.
He led the Falcons in scoring (14.4), rebounding (7.0) and field goal percentage (56) and free throws made (71).
Gray was a first-team all-league selection.