We now know who were the best of the best on the basketball court in the Jefferson County Athletic Association’s Large-School Division.
The big man looms large over the boys’ JCAA Large-School All-Conference hoops team.
6-foot-6 senior center Jordan Mertens of the DeSoto Dragons was named the conference player of the year after leading his team to a share of the league championship.
Mertens averaged almost 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots per game for head coach Zeb Hammond, who was also named the conference coach of the year.
He’s joined on the all-conference first team by fellow Dragon senior Aidan Blair; high-scoring Windsor Owls senior Sonny Amabile; and two Festus Tigers, senior Collin Reando and sophomore Ahrmad Branch.
The Hillsboro Hawks had two players named second-team all-conference in senior Zach Whaley and sophomore Noah Holland.
They’re joined by junior Cole Rickermann, of the other co-conference champion Festus; DeSoto senior Nick Krodinger and Windsor junior Logan Chaney.
One junior and three seniors also received honorable mention honors in Festus’ Collin Weinhaus, DeSoto’s Levi Fischer, Hillsboro’s Eric Schneider and Dawson Camden of the Perryville Pirates.
Player of the year honors on the girls’ side went to the league’s breakout superstar.
Festus sophomore guard Josie Allen lead her team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals while averaging almost 17 points per game in her first full varsity season.
After winning another conference title, Perryville’s Angela Fulton was named coach of the year and had two of her players join Allen on the first team in senior Leah Buerck and sophomore Kyla Schnurbush.
DeSoto’s Kamryn Pehle and Windsor’s Piper Montgomery made it two other seniors on the first team, and seniors Symphony Schodroski of Windsor and Taylor Jones of DeSoto made the second team.
Windsor sophomore Reagan Daly was joined by 3 juniors on the second team – Festus’ Emily Holt, Perryville’s Ciara Ehlers and Hillsboro’s Kayla Van Horn.
The honorable mention slots went to Windsor senior Biz Spurgeon, DeSoto junior Trista Grobe, Festus sophomore Mya Courtois and Hillsboro’s Dyllan Day and Zoe Wood.