CLINTON — The first team of the River Valley Conference North division was dominated with North Cedar and Cascade players, but there was one Northeast and Bellevue player apiece who made that squad.
Northeast’s Matt Haferbier and Bellevue’s Tyler Banowetz are two of three juniors who made the North first team joining Jayden Johnson of North Cedar.
“Matt was a player who definitely improved this season,” said Rebels coach Travis Eversmeyer. “He was our No. 2 scorer with the ability to stretch any defense.”
Haferbier scored nine points a game on 215 points on 41 percent shooting, while leading the Rebels in 55 made free throws. Eversmeyer was impressed with those stats, but in the offseason, the challenge for Haferbier was on defense.
“He bought into what we needed him to do on defense in the offseason,” Eversmeyer said. “He knew he had to get better after we talked about it during an offseason individual meeting this summer.”
Haferbier was the Rebels’ second-leading rebounder with 117 rebounds.
“Matt did things we needed him to on defense, and he had a really good season,” Eversmeyer said.
Meanwhile, a little farther north, Banowetz became the only Comet to be recognized on the first or second teams in the All-RVC North team.
Banowetz was the team’s clear go-to scorer by averaging just under 14 points a game. He scored 320 points on 35 percent shooting while hitting 75 percent of his free throws by making 105 of 140 at the line.
Banowetz’s scoring average was the fourth-best in the division behind Haris Takes from Cascade, Johnson (North Cedar) and Monticello’s Sawyer Herman. It should be noted that those three made the River Valley Elite team. The Bellevue guard’s 105-for-140 mark at the free throw line was also third-best in the North of those who had more than 50 free throw attempts.