2023-24 Times Herald Basketball All-Area

Mar. 23—The 2023-24 season was one of surprises and most were pretty positive. Washington, North Daviess and Loogootee all lost some pretty important parts from the previous year, including all-time leading scorers at ND and LHS. Barr-Reeve was coming off a .500 season and WC was in a rebuilding mode.

However, this season ND essentially put an entirely different team on the floor and won 15 games. WHS and Loogootee were certainly sectional contenders and Barr-Reeve went on a run that ended with a No. 1 ranking in the semi-state finals.

As there was so much parity this season, it was hard to come up with distinct differences in the All-Area selections, let alone one player who stood head and shoulders over everyone else.

On the first team, Washington's Colton Stowers was the county's leading scorer with 16.0 points a game. Stowers was able to score both on the perimeter and driving to the basket. He is just a junior and should help guide an experienced team next year as WHS returns a team with a lot of experience in close games. Also on the first team was Cordell Turner from WHS. Turner blossomed during his sophomore season and may well have been the most athletic player in the area. Whether he was coming off the bench or starting, he always had an immediate impact on the game. Just being a sophomore, he will also be part of a resurgent WHS team.

Barr-Reeve had three players that provided a huge impact in moving them from a 12-12 team to the No. 1 team in the state.

Donnie Miller, Seth Wagler and Braydon Knepp each had different roles on this year's team. Although none of them reached 12 points a game, the Vikes used a team mentality that featured five players each with the opportunity to lead the team in scoring in any given game.

Wagler was able to score from anywhere and was particularly effective getting to the rim. Miller and Knepp were both outstanding shooters, and both hit shots during the tourney that helped secure Viking wins.

AJ Foster, Isaac Waggner and Drew Walker were cornerstones on a Loogootee team that was a sectional favorite. Foster had an injury that slowed him during the middle of the season, however, he was often the best player on the floor during a lot of game. Waggner was and excellent scorer for LHS and Walker was perhaps the area's most complete player and helped his team in every aspect of the game.

The second team featured some very talent players, who each who could be easily be on the first team. Sophomore Cooper Wright led the attack for WHS from the point, but was also a solid scorer and a good 3-point shooter. Brant Neidigh is a junior who should step up to be even more of a scorer next season and was a nice complement with his athleticism and length. North Daviess' sophomore Collin Lengacher was a one of the Cougars who showed himself to be a complete player this year and should be a rising star next season, after getting more than 10 ppg. Travis Raber was one of the motors on this year's ND team. He was a spark for the Cougs and one of the players who was considered a 'glue guy' as he led the area in steals

Evan Wehmeier was the Viking big man and he just got better and better every game. He was crucial during the tournament and provided a size aspect against a lot of other teams. Loogootee's Leighton Jeffers continued to be a steady leader for the Lions during his senior season as a playmaker and still scoring around 10 ppg. Kendall Graber of Barr-Reeve was in integral part of the Vikings success, and along with defensive skill was involved in several big plays that help change the outcome of tournament games.

The rest of the second team included Washington Catholic's two top scorers, seniors Isaac Halter and Justin Sipes, who had over 75% of the team's scoring this season.

Cougars Aaron Marner should be one of ND's top guns next season and proved to be a legitimate 3-point threat at any time. Max Toy and Landon Swartzentruber were senior leaders who held the transition from ND's record-setting season's over the last two years to a solid 15-win team that showed hard work and fundamental are still the games most important factors.

Washington's seniors Ole Kroeger and Chris Meredith both had big impacts in driving WHS into the success they found during the second half of the season. Kroeger was a hard-nosed kid who filled any role asked of him on the floor, while Meredith improved greatly as the season moved on and became a serious interior presence for WHS.