The 17th edition of the Denison Bulletin and Review’s All-Area Basketball Teams hits the stands today with a total of 30 athletes being recognized for their outstanding play on the hardwood floor during the 2019-20 winter campaign.
As in the past, the all-area teams feature 10 athletes honored on the top two units with five first-team and five second-team selections for girls and boys.
A total of 10 other athletes, five girls and five boys, will be selected as honorable mention choices.
The DBR tabbed a pair of Denison-Schleswig standouts as this newspaper’s players of the year, including senior point guard Charlie Wiebers for the boys and junior guard-forward Paige Andersen for the girls.
Wiebers, a 6-1 senior, is being honored on the first team for the second consecutive season after leading the Monarchs to a 15-9 overall record and to within one game of the state tournament for the second year in a row.
D-S lost 60-58 to Harlan on a last-second basket in the Class 3A, Substate 8 final at Atlantic.
In that game, Wiebers scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 points.
Wiebers averaged 17.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, while leading D-S with 43 three-point baskets, 87 assists and 77 steals.
Wiebers is joined on the first team by fellow-Monarch senior post player Goanar Biliew, IKM-Manning senior forward Colby Keller, Boyer Valley senior post player Lucas Berens and Ar-We-Va sophomore guard Will Ragaller.
Biliew, who stands 6-8, is being honored on the first team for the second year in a row after being an honorable mention pick as a sophomore.
Biliew was the DBR player of the year last winter.
The 6-0 Keller and 6-5 Berens both moved up to the first team after being honorable mention selections a year ago.
Denison-Schleswig boys’ head coach Derek Fink said that Wiebers was the heart and soul of his team.
"What an outstanding honor for Wiebers. He has been a three-year starter for us. His abililty to impact the game from the offensive end and his ability to score at all three levels and being one of the top assist guys in the states shows his ability to find open teammates for good looks," Fink commented.
"Additionally, his quickness was a great attribute on the defensive end, as he was state leader in steals as a junior and in the top three his senior year," he added.
Wiebers finished his career with 190 steals, good for first on the school’s all-time list in that category. He also finished with 276 assists, good for second on the school’s leader chart behind Parker Eller’s 304 assists total from 2012-15.
Wiebers also will leave Denison fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,037 career points.
His career numbers also include 258 rebounds and 106 three-point field goals.
"Wiebers’ character, I believe, is what has best impacted this program, though. His ability to have composure in the moment, the ability to lead his teammates in both success and adversity and his overall pride to wear the purple and gold are some of the things that our program is most proud of from him and some of what we are going to miss the most," Fink said.
Named to the second team for the boys are senior 6-0 forward Damien Magnuson of D-S, 6-4 senior forward Dylan Berens of Boyer Valley, 6-3 senior forward Parker Behrens of IKM-Manning, 6-2 junior guard-forward Gavin Reineke of Boyer Valley and 6-0 junior point guard Kyler Rasmussen of IKM-Manning.
Magnuson moves up to the second team after being an honorable mention pick a year ago.
Berens made it back-to-back years on the second team, while Reineke inches up to the second team after being an honorable mention selection as a sophomore.
Recognized as honorable mention picks this season are 6-2 senior forward Austin Korner of D-S, 6-1 senior Colten Brandt of IKM-Manning, 6-2 sophomore post player Cooper Kock of Ar-We-Va, 5-11 sophomore guard Jaidan Ten Eyck of Boyer Valley and 5-9 freshman guard Andres Cruz of Ar-We-Va.
All five honorable mention selections are first-team honorees by the DBR.
Boyer Valley’s Shane Reineke was named the DBR Coach of the Year for the boys after leading the Bulldogs to the Rolling Valley Conference championship and 20 victories in 23 games this past season.
Reineke’s BV club won the RVC title at 16-1 and won 18 consecutive games after a season-opening loss to CAM.
The Bulldogs lost a tough 41-39 decision on a last-second basket to Woodbine in a district semifinal game.
Andersen headlines the list of first-team selections for the girls.
The 5-10 junior Andersen had a terrific season for D-S, leading the Monarchs in scoring and rebounding at 15.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
She also knocked down a team-high 28 three-point baskets and led the team with 55 assists, while placing second in shot blocks with 34.
Andersen earned a spot on the first team for the second straight year.
Other first-team honorees are 5-9 senior forward Lexi Branning of IKM-Manning, 5-8 junior point guard Alexa Ahrenholtz of IKM-Manning, 5-10 junior forward Jadeyn Smith of Ar-We-Va and 5-2 junior point guard Katelyn Neilsen of Boyer Valley.
Ahrenholtz landed a spot on the first team for the second year in a row.
Smith and Neilsen both moved up to the first team after being second-team selections as sophomores, while Branning is now a first-teamer after earning honorable mention recognition as a junior.
D-S girls’ head coach Adam Mich said the Andersen’s hard work in the offseason paid off for her during the season.
"We knew going into the season that things were going to be harder for Andersen because she would be the focal point of our opponent’s defensive plan," Mich said.
"She still was able to increase her offensive production in every category from last year."
"Her rebounding is overlooked. She averaged 9.4 rebounds per game and is currently fifth all-time in school history," Mich remarked.
In three years of playing time at the varsity level, Andersen will enter her senior year next winter with 728 career points, 479 rebounds, 98 assists, 71 shot blocks, 68 steals and 45 three-point baskets to her credit.
Girls honored on the second team are 5-3 senior point guard Leslie Luft, 6-0 junior post player Hannah Neemann of D-S, 5-8 junior guard Ellie Magnuson of D-S, 5-5 sophomore guard Leah Cooper of Boyer Valley and 5-8 sophomore forward Bianca Cadwell of IKM-Manning.
Neemann earned a spot on the second team for the second year in a row, while Luft is an honorable mention pick for the second straight season.
Luft missed the majority of the second half of the season with a torn ACL.
Girls recognized as honorable mention selections are 5-9 senior forward-post player Taylor Klein of Boyer Valley, 5-6 senior guard Emily Kerkhoff of IKM-Manning, 5-9 junior post player Bre Muhlbauer of IKM-Manning, 5-9 freshman forward Talia Burkhart of Boyer Valley and 5-6 junior guard Sara Schurke of Ar-We-Va.
All five girls listed as honorable mention picks were recognized for the first time by the DBR sports department.
After leading his team to 17 victories in 23 games and a spot in the regional semifinals, IKM-Manning’s Gene Rasmussen has been selected as the DBR Coach of the Year for the girls.
Rasmussen’s club went 12-4 in the tough Western Iowa Conference this past season and finished 17-6 overall after falling 69-65 to Panorama in a regional semifinal game at Panora.
Rasmussen just completed his 12th season with IKM-Manning and 21st overall as a head coach with a remarkable record of 416-95.
Season statistics for those boys and girls named to the first and second teams are as follows:
Boys First Team
Goanar Biliew, Denison-Schleswig, 6-8, Sr., P
15.1 p/pg, 8.3 r/pg; 71 blocks, 29 assists, 14 steals, 9 three-pointers
Will Ragaller, Ar-We-Va, 5-8, Soph. G
15.6 p/pg, 6.4 r/pg, 34 three-pointers, 68 assists, 52 steals
Charlie Wiebers, Denison-Schleswig, 6-1, Sr., PG
17.4 p/pg, 3.6 r/pg, 43 three-pointers, 87 assists, 77 steals
Colby Keller, IKM-Manning, 6-0, Jr., F
9.6 p/pg, 5.7 r/pg, 34 three-pointers, 73 assists, 34 steals, 7 blocks
Lucas Berens, Boyer Valley, 6-5, Jr., P
13.0 p/pg, 6.3 r/pg, 39 assists, 35 blocks, 27 steals
Boys Second Team
Damien Magnuson, Denison-Schleswig, 6-0, Sr., F
6.5 p/pg, 3.6 r/pg, 17 three-pointers, 76 assists, 18 steals, 6 blocks
Dylan Berens, Boyer Valley, 6-4, Sr., F
10.9 p/pg, 6.7 r/pg, 43 assists, 36 steals, 9 three-pointers, 6 blocks
Parker Behrens, IKM-Manning, 6-3, Sr., F
9.1 p/pg, 5.3 r/pg, 25 assists, 17 steals, 16 blocks
Gavin Reineke, Boyer Valley, 6-2, Jr., G-F
12.1 p/pg, 3.0 r/pg, 49 three-pointers, 60 steals, 48 assists, 7 blocks
Kyler Rasmussen, IKM-Manning, 6-0, Jr, PG
8.3 p/pg, 3.0 r/pg, 37 three-pointers, 77 assists, 42 steals, 6 blocks
Girls First Team
Paige Andersen, Denison-Schleswig, 5-10, Jr., F
15.1 p/pg, 9.4 r/pg, 28 three-pointers, 55 assists, 35 steals, 34 blocks
Lexi Branning, IKM-Manning, 5-10, Sr., F
15.8 p/g, 7.6 r/pg, 55 assists, 35 steals, 16 blocks
Jadeyn Smith, Ar-We-Va, 5-10, Jr., F
14.7 p/g, 9.1 r/pg, 14 three-pointers, 51 steals, 24 assists, 14 blocks
Katelyn Neilsen, Boyer Valley, 5-2, Jr., PG
14.1 p/pg, 4.1 r/pg, 61 three-pointers, 54 assists, 48 steals, 4 blocks
Alexa Ahrenholtz, IKM-Manning, 5-8, Jr., PG
13.0 p/pg, 5.3 r/pg, 36 three-pointers, 68 assists, 105 steals, 10 blocks
Girls Second Team
Leslie Luft, Ar-We-Va, 5-3, Sr., PG
11.2 p/pg, 1.7 r/pg, 13 three-pointers, 31 assists, 26 steals
Hannah Neemann, Denison-Schleswig, 6-0, Jr., P
13.3 p/pg, 8.5 r/pg, 39 blocks, 34 assists, 32 steals, 4 three-pointers
Ellie Magnuson, Denison-Schleswig, 5-8, Jr., G
6.8 p/pg, 5.5 r/pg, 19 three-pointers, 50 assists, 50 steals, 14 blocks
Leah Cooper, Boyer Valley, 5-5, Soph., G
10.8 p/pg, 7.4 r/pg, 56 steals, 42 assists, 9 three-pointers
Bianca Cadwell, IKM-Manning, 5-8, Soph., F
8.5 p/pg, 5.3 r/pg, 51 steals, 41 assists, 6 blocks, 3 three-pointers.