Top boys basketball players exhibit variety of talents

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

Top basketball players exhibit more than a single facet of the game. They are top athletes, can score in a variety of ways, set up their teammates, rebound and play solid defense, and exhibit solid leadership qualities.

The 2021 Ottawa Herald All-Area boys basketball team members are front row (from left), Jarod Crawford, Central Heights; Brady Burson, Central Heights; Noah McCullough, Ottawa; Brady Beets, Ottawa; back row, Jimmy Dorsey, Wellsville; Jake Titus, Ottawa; Kaden O’Neil, Wellsville; Trey Rogers, West Franklin: and Cade Fischer, West Franklin. Not pictured are Ethan Rowan, Central Heights, and Jackson Showalter, Wellsville.

The 2021 Ottawa Herald All-Area boys basketball team members exhibit many of those qualities. The team members are:

Brady Burson, Sr., CH

Burson’s total game blossomed this season. He was a captain and on-floor leader for the Vikings. Central Heights coach Tyler Oestriecher said Burson played with poise and leadership throughout the season.

Burson averaged 10 points, 8.0 rebounds and one steal per game.

Jarod Crawford, Sr., Central Heights

Crawford teamed with Burson to give the Vikings leadership and determination on the floor. Crawford was also a captain and led by example. Oestreicher said the seniors showed the younger groups how to really play the game with the right attitude and effort.

He led the Vikings in scoring at 12 points per game. He snared five rebounds and averaged a steal per game. He is a two-time all-area selection.

Ethan Rowan, Fr., Central Heights

Rowan made an immediate impact for the Vikings. Oestriecher said Rowan grew tremendously throughout the season and developed into a confident player. He earned the starting point guard position.

He averaged 10 points, five rebounds and two steals per game.

Brady Beets, Sr., Ottawa

Beets’ aggressive style ignited the Cyclones on offense and defense. The point guard was a key player on defense in both man and zone. He was always looking for cracks in the defense to drive to the basket. He developed into an outside shooter with range.

He averaged 5.6 points, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals. He shot 42 percent from three-point range.

Noah McCullough, Jr., Ottawa

McCullough was the only returning starter for the Cyclones from the 2020 state tournament team. He learned to become a leader for the Cyclones. He did a little of everything for Ottawa. He shouldered ball-handling duties and grew into a top scorer and rebounder.

McCullough led Ottawa in scoring (16.3), rebounding (7.6), assists (2.1) and steaks (2.0).  He is a two-time all-area selection. He earned all-league recognition.

Jake Titus, So., Ottawa

Titus went through growing pains in his first year of varsity action. The 6-5 post displayed touch inside and showed his range by hitting threes. He went up against bigger and taller players a lot this season.

He averaged 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds a game. He received all-league honors.

Jimmy Dorsey, Jr., Wellsville

Dorsey was a tough matchup for opposing defenses. His size (6-5) gave him an advantage over guards and quickness over forwards and posts. He developed a long-range shot and also could give defenses fits with his driving ability.

He led the Eagles to the state tournament. He averaged a team-best 19.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals per game. He finished with 43 blocked shots. He shot 46 percent from the field and 40 percent behind the arc. He received all-league, all-Eastern Kansas and all-state honors.

Kaden O’Neil, Sr., Wellsville

O’Neil has been a stalwart for the Eagles the past three seasons.  He used his 6-2 size to his advantage on the outside. He could shoot over shorter defenders and also use his ball handling skills to drive to the hole.

He averaged 11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.7 steals. He is a repeat all-area selection. He received all-league, all-Eastern Kansas and all-state honors.

Jackson Showalter, Sr., Wellsville

Showalter’s strength and athletic talent made him a tough player to guard on the block during his four-year career. He was a three-year starter for the Eagles. As a senior, he averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 3.6 steals per game. He shot 50.6 percent from the field. He is a repeat member of the all-area team. He received all-league, all-Eastern Kansas and all-state honors.

Cade Fischer, Sr., West Franklin

Fischer was another top outside shooter with size (6-7). West Franklin coach Kris Hassle said he was a tough matchup for opposing teams with his three-point shooting. He shot 40 percent from behind the three-point line. He averaged a team-best 11.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He earned all-league honors. He is a two-time all-area selection.

Trey Rogers, So., West Franklin

Rogers was a key cog all over the floor for the Falcons. Hassler said he was an athletic sophomore that oftentimes assigned to the opponents’ best player. He averaged 11.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He earned all-league honors.