The 2018-19 Denison Bulletin and Review’s All-Area Basketball Teams are being released today with a total of 30 athletes being recognized for their achievements on the hardwood floor this past winter.
Team-wise, six of the eight clubs that this newspaper covers finished with winning records and all six won at least 14 games during the season.
The Denison-Schleswig girls and boys recorded outstanding winter campaigns.
The Monarch girls won the Hawkeye 10 Conference championship with a perfect 10-0 record and finished 20-3 overall with a Class 4A state tournament appearance to their credit, as Adam Mich’s club lost to eventual state champion North Scott (56-37) in a state quarterfinal contest.
The Monarch boys, on the other hand, were co-champions of H-10 with Lewis Central (9-1) and got to within one game the state tournament in Class 3A after falling by three points to Winterset (51-48) in a substate title matchup to finish 18-5 overall.
The Ar-We-Va boys claimed the Rolling Valley Conference title with a perfect 16-0 record and wound up 22-2 overall. The Ar-We-Va girls also went 15-8 overall and lost to eventual Class 1A state champion Newell-Fonda in a regional semifinal.
The IKM-Manning girls won 17 of 22 games and finished 12-3 in the Western Iowa Conference, as the Wolves lost to league-foe and eventual Class 2A state champion Treynor twice during the regular season.
The IKM-Manning boys went 14-8, advancing to the district quarterfinal round before bowing out to Newell-Fonda. And, the Boyer Valley girls (8-15) and boys (10-12) pulled through successful seasons being hit hard by graduation losses.
As always, individual success stems from team success and because of that, there was no shortage of remarkable individual performances witnessed this past season by our area athletes.
The 16th edition of the DBR’s all-area teams features 10 athletes honored on the top two units with five first-team and five second-team selections. A total of 10 other athletes, five girls and five boys, will be recognized as honorable mention selections.
Denison-Schleswig junior post player Goanar Biliew, who averaged a double-double of 18.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, is being honored as the DBR Player of the Year for the boys. For the girls, that honor will be shared by Denison-Schleswig 5-3 senior point guard Alex Mohr and Ar-We-Va 5-10 senior guard Emilee Danner, as both turned in tremendous final seasons for their respective squads.
Biliew, who stands six-feet, eight inches tall, is joined on the first team by teammate and fellow-junior Charlie Wiebers, seniors Keegan Simons and Drew Schurke of Ar-We-Va and senior Alex Lingle of IKM-Manning.
Biliew moved up to the top team after being an honorable mention selection as a sophomore. Wiebers, a 5-11 point guard, earned a spot on the first team for the second year in a row.
Simons, a 6-2 forward, also landed on the first team for the second consecutive year. The 5-7 point guard Schurke is a three-time all-area honoree, as he found his way on the first team for the second straight year after being a second-team selection as a sophomore.
"Biliew continues to be rewarded for an outstanding season not only for himself, but for our team. I believe coach Torres (Ricky) said it best to our guys, that individual accolades are because of great team success. And obviously this honor is part of the great year that Biliew and his teammates had this year," commented Denison-Schleswig coach Derek Fink.
"Biliew led us in scoring, rebounding, blocks, free throw percentage, free throw attempts and free throw makes. Some of our biggest wins this year were his biggest nights in regards to output," he added.
In the Monarchs’ 74-69 win over Carroll early in the season, Biliew poured in 31 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked three shots. In the team’s 64-51 win over Glenwood on February 8 that clinched the co-conference title, Biliew recorded 31 points, 17 boards and three blocks.
Then in the team’s 66-51 win over Atlantic in a Class 3A first-round game, Biliew netted 32 points with 20 boards and five blocks.
"When we had our biggest games and biggest moments this year, our big man Biliew was the biggest of them all," Fink said.
According to Fink, Biliew’s impact went beyond statistics, though.
"Biliew is a great teammate and great leader for our basketball team. His outstanding year was a great reflection of all the work that he has put in over his high school career with a great summer last year," Fink remarked.
"Biliew’s improvement from his sophomore to junior year is by far the biggest improvement I have ever seen from a player I have coached or even coached against."
"Like I said, we don’t have the year we had without Biliew, but he would be the first to say that he has some really good teammates that have helped him get to where he is today. And, they will push him to be an even better player going into next year," Fink stated.
"We are proud of Biliew. He has been a great Monarch, but as we go into the offseason and prepare for his senior year, we know the work isn’t done yet, and there still are some bigger goals to reach and accomplish for his senior year," Fink said.
Second-team honorees for the boys are 6-0 senior guard-forward Dawson Dorhout of Denison-Schleswig, 6-1 senior forward Derek Oeser of Ar-We-Va, 6-5 senior post player Ethan Carter of IKM-Manning and 6-5 junior post Lucas Berens and 6-4 junior post Dylan Berens of Boyer Valley.
Oeser and Lucas Berens both moved up to the second team after being honorable mention selections a year ago.
Named as honorable mention picks were 6-4 senior post Wyatt Neumann of Ar-We-Va, 5-9 senior guard Henry Segebart of Ar-We-Va, 6-1 junior guard-forward Damien Magnuson of Denison-Schleswig, 6-0 junior guard-forward Colby Keller of IKM-Manning and 6-2 sophomore guard Gavin Reineke of Boyer Valley.
All five honorable mention selections are all-area picks for the first time in their careers.
In leading the D-S boys to a share of the H-10 title and to within one game of the state tournament in 3A, Fink is being recognized as the DBR coach of the year after leading the Monarchs to an 18-5 overall record in his sixth season at the helm.
Fink took over the program at the start of the 2013-14 season and the Monarchs went 11-10 in his first year. After going 19-5 in year two, D-S suffered three consecutive losing seasons before this season’s 18 wins in 23 games that helped Fink move one game over .500 for his career with a 67-66 overall record.
Ar-We-Va’s Matt Wilken also was in the running for coach of the year honors after leading the Rockets to a 22-2 overall record and the Rolling Valley Conference championship.
Headlining the all-area girls’ selections this year are Mohr of D-S and Danner of Ar-We-Va.
The two all-state picks are joined on the first team by 5-10 senior forward Gabby Cadwell of IKM-Manning, 5-10 sophomore forward Paige Andersen of D-S and 5-8 sophomore Alexa Ahrenholtz of IKM-Manning.
Mohr is an all-area selection for the fourth straight year, including the last three on the first team. She was a second-team honoree as a freshman.
Danner earned a spot on the first team for the second straight season and third time in her career. She was a first-team pick as a freshman, but then missed all but three games her sophomore year with a torn ACL, before bouncing back with consecutive appearances on the all-area first unit.
Cadwell, Andersen and Ahrenholtz are all first-time, all-area selections.
Mohr averaged 10 points, 5.1 assists and 2.7 steals per game in directing the D-S girls to the H-10 championship and a spot in the Class 4A state tournament with a setback to eventual state champion North Scott in the opening round.
Her 115 assists were among the state leaders in Class 4A.
Mohr also led the Monarchs with 24 three-point baskets and free throw percentage (71.3) after hitting 57-of-80 foul shots on the year.
"It’s another fitting honor for Mohr to cap off her Monarch basketball career. What she has done for the program over the last four years is unbelievable," commented Mich.
"She goes down as one of the best to ever wear the Monarch uniform. What makes it so special is through all the individual and team success, she never settled and always continued to work to get better. She is such a shining example for our future Monarch athletes," Mich added.
Danner averaged a double-double by scoring 21.4 points and 10.6 boards per game in leading Ar-We-Va to a 15-8 overall record and to within two games of the state tournament after the Rockets lost to eventual state champion Newell-Fonda in a regional semifinal affair.
Danner also led Ar-We-Va 58 three-point field goals, 118 steals, 109 assists and 34 shot blocks.
"Danner has had great success on the court. That wasn’t by accident. It came from hard work, dedication and countless hours of basketball," commented Ar-We-Va coach Dan Kock.
"It was a regular occurrence to see her in the gym year-round. The recognition she is getting now is well deserved. We will miss her and wish her luck next year playing at the college level," the Rocket boss added.
Mohr and Danner are both honored as all-area players of the year for the second time. Danner earned that distinction as a freshman in 2016 and Mohr was named the area’s top player as a sophomore in 2017.
Girls named to the second team were 5-11 senior post player Sarah Heilesen of D-S, 5-9 senior forward Chelsey Fundermann of Boyer Valley, 6-0 sophomore forward Hannah Neemann of D-S, 5-10 sophomore guard Jadeyn Smith of Ar-We-Va and 5-2 sophomore point guard Katelyn Neilsen of Boyer Valley.
Heilesen is a three-time, all-area selection. She was an honorable mention pick as a sophomore before earning a spot on the first team as a junior and senior.
Smith is being recognized on the second team for the second straight year.
Fundermann, Neemann and Neilsen are all first-time, all-area selections.
Those players earning all-area honorable mention praise were 5-5 senior guard Katy Puck of Boyer Valley, 5-10 senior Sydney Wegner of IKM-Manning, 5-10 senior post player Caitlin Muhlbauer of IKM-Manning, 5-3 junior point guard Leslie Luft of Ar-We-Va and 5-9 junior forward Lexi Branning of IKM-Manning.
Like the boys, all five honorable mention pick for the girls are all first-time, all-area selections.
The all-area coach of the year for the girls is Mich, who in his 11th season on the job, guided D-S to a conference title and a state tournament berth after falling just short in regional final losses the previous two years.
The D-S girls won 20 or more games in a season for the second time under Mich, whose first-year club in 2008-09 went 21-3.
Mich owns a 147-104 overall record as head coach of the Monarchs.
Season statistics for the all-area boys’ and girls’ first and second teams are below.
Boys First Team
Goanar Biliew, Denison-Schleswig, 6-8, Jr., P
18.2 p/pg, 10.8 r/pg, 74 blocks, 21 assists, 68 percent field goal shooting
Keegan Simons, Ar-We-Va, 6-2, Sr., F
19.2 p/pg, 13.0 r/pg, 13 three-pointers, 68 assists, 45 steals, 31 blocks
Alex Lingle, IKM-Manning, 6-2, Sr., G-F
13.5 p/pg, 5.6 r/pg; 25 assists, 20 blocks, 15 steals
Charlie Wiebers, Denison-Schleswig, 5-11, Jr., PG
16.1 p/pg, 3.4 r/pg, 108 assists, 72 steals, 39 three-pointers, six blocks
Drew Schurke, Ar-We-Va, 5-7, Sr., PG
16.8 p/pg, 3.3 r/pg, 70 three-pointers, 105 assists, 47 steals
Boys Second Team
Dawson Dorhout, Denison-Schleswig, 6-0, Sr., G-F
6.5 p/pg, 3.3 r/pg, 36 three-pointers, 23 assists, 15 steals
Derek Oeser, Ar-We-Va, 6-1, Sr., F
9.5 p/pg, 4.2 r/pg, 71 assists, 37 three-pointers, 25 steals, 11 blocks
Lucas Berens, Boyer Valley, 6-5, Jr., P
13.5 p/g, 7.1 r/pg, 41 blocks, 22 steals, 19 assists
Ethan Carter, IKM-Manning, 6-5, Sr., P
7.3 p/pg, 5.5 r/pg, 21 steals, 17 blocks, 13 assists
Dylan Berens, Boyer Valley, 6-4, Jr., P
11.0 p/pg, 7.3 r/pg, 11 three-pointers, 28 assists, 27 steals, eight blocks
Girls First Team
Alex Mohr, Denison-Schleswig, 5-3, Sr., PG
10.0 p/pg, 4.5 r/pg, 24 three-pointers, 118 assists, 63 steals
Emilee Danner, Ar-We-Va, 5-10, Sr., G
21.4 p/g, 10.6 r/pg, 58 three-pointers, 118 steals, 109 assists, 34 blocks
Gabby Cadwell, IKM-Manning, 5-10, Sr., F
13.3 p/pg, 6.8 r/pg, 79 steals, 71 assists, 40 blocks
Paige Andersen, Denison-Schleswig, 5-10, Soph., F
13.4 p/pg, 7.2 r/pg, 14 three-pointers, 35 assists, 31 blocks, 19 steals
Alexa Ahrenholtz, IKM-Manning, 5-8, Soph., PG
15.0 p/pg, 3.8 r/pg, 40 three-pointers, 90 assists, 86 steals, 12 blocks
Girls Second Team
Sarah Heilesen, Denison-Schleswig, 5-11, Sr., P
13.0 p/pg, 5.9 r/pg, 35 assists, 28 steals, 17 blocks
Chelsey Fundermann, Boyer Valley, 5-9, Sr., P
11.4 p/pg, 8.8 r/pg, 40 steals, 24 blocks, 23 assists
Jadeyn Smith, Ar-We-Va, 5-10, Soph., G
10.8 p/pg, 8.4 r/pg, 17 three-pointers, 28 assists, 27 blocks, 22 steals
Katelyn Neilsen, Boyer Valley, 5-2, Soph., PG
11.2 p/pg, 3.9 r/pg, 49 three-pointers, 60 assists, 56 steals, 5 blocks
Hannah Neemann, Denison-Schleswig, 6-0, Soph., F
12.0 p/g, 7.2 r/pg, 12 three-pointers, 31 assists, 27 blocks, 15 steals