By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
Erie senior Jacob Johnston was selected as the Three Rivers Athletic Conference boys basketball Player of the Year
Eight of the nine conference coaches voted for him to receive the top award. The only coach who didn’t was Erie coach Ryan Winckler because the rules prevent a coach from voting for his own player.
Johnston — who Winckler said could score any way he wanted to — averaged just under 23 points a game for the season, but 26.5 since Christmas.
“The biggest thing to me was the maturity he showed,” Winckler said. “Whether things were going well or poorly, he stayed even-keeled, and he always played hard. Without him, we would not have won 19 games and we wouldn’t have been regional champs.”
Johnston was one of two unanimous selections to the first team; the other was Kewanee senior Dayton Ince. But Winckler said Johnston was an easy choice for Player of the Year, not just because of his play on the court, but also because of his attitude.
“I don’t think another player in the conference did what he did consistently,” Winckler said. “He was the only player in the conference that offensively or defensively was able to completely take over a game.”
Prophetstown senior Carter Ames was named to the first team, as well. On the second team was Fulton senior Nick Fish, Morrison senior Alex Volckmann and Prophetstown senior Devin Johnson.
The Cardinals and Prophets each had one player earn honorable mention accolades in senior Connor Saad and senior Zach Inskeep, respectively.
ALL-THREE RIVERS CONFERENCE BOYS BASKETBALL
Jacob Johnson*, sr. (Erie); Dayton Ince*, sr. (Kewanee); Jared Richmond, sr. (Riverdale); AJ Sharp, jr. (Newman); Carter Ames, sr. (Prophetstown); Parker Neuhalfen, so. (Bureau Valley); Tyson Powers, sr. (Amboy).
Nick Fish, sr. (Fulton); Alex Volckmann, sr. (Morrison); Devin Johnson, sr. (Prophetstown); Tommy Johnston, so. (Bureau Valley); Donovan Oliver, fr. (Kewanee); Kyle Moore, sr. (Newman).
Erie — Connor Saad, sr.; Prophetstown — Zach Inskeep, sr.; Kewanee — Matt Gustafson, sr.; Dalton Nuding, jr.; Newman — Nic Miller, sr.; Riverdale — Mitchell Sand, jr.
* — unanimous
Player of the Year — Jacob Johnston.
Coach of the Year — Steve Salisbury (Kewanee).
Kewanee 14 0
Newman 13 1
Riverdale 9 5
Erie 8 6
Bureau Valley 7 7
Prophetstown 6 8
Fulton 3 11
Amboy 2 12
Morrison 1 13
Newman 14 0
Kewanee 12 2
Morrison 9 5
Riverdale 9 5
Fulton 7 7
Bureau Valley 5 9
Erie 4 10
Amboy 2 12
Prophetstown 1 13