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Players of the Decade fill the nets

With the end of a decade of a hoops, it’s time to look back at the BCR hoop heroes from the 2010-11 season through 2019-20. Players who played more than one season carried a little more weight. The Players of the Decade both filled the nets for more than 2,000-career points.

BCR GIRLS FIRST TEAM

Lexi Loftus (L-O, 2018) – Girls Player of the Decade

The Ohio product is just the second Bureau County girl to surpass 2,000 career points with 2,029, the second most in Little Ten Conference history (Shabbona’s Dee Jeske is No. 1 at 2,062). The 2017-18 BCR Player of the Year was named as an AP Class 1A First Team All-State. Loftus scored 734 points as a senior, averaging 26.2 ppg. She also led the Lady Lions in rebounds (8.6), assists (1.7) and steals (6.2).

Loftus played for Northern Upper Iowa Community College for two years and now attends SIU-Edwardsville.

Lexi Loftus (L-O, 2018), BCR Decade Player of the Year

Lexi Loftus (L-O, 2018), BCR Decade Player of the Year

Saige Barnett (Bureau Valley, 2019)

The 2018-19 BCR Player of the Year finished as Bureau Valley’s all-time leading scorer with 1,426 career points, capping a four-year varsity career. The unanimous TRAC East All-Conference pick averaged 16.4 points and 4.5 rebounds and led the Storm in assists (118), steals (90) and blocked shots (24) her senior year.

She did not pursue a basketball career, and is attending ISU.

Hunter Galassi (Hall, 2017)

The Hall hoops star was the only player to be named as BCR Player of the Year twice in the decade. She was an AP Class 2A Second Team All-State Selection. The unanimous TRAC East All-Conference pick averaged 15.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.2 steals her senior year, leading Hall to a berth into the sectionals finals.

She did not pursue a basketball career and is attending ISU.

Anna Murray (Princeton, 2018)

The Class 2A First Team pick averaged 16.7. points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 steals her senior year. She finished third all-time in career scoring for PHS with 1,169 points, overcoming a knee injury that cost her all but one game of her freshman season on varsity.

She committed to play basketball for Elmhurst University, but opted to go to IVCC to play volleyball. She is now attending ISU.

Hanah Hart (Hall, 2020)

The 2019-20 BCR Player of the Year was the leading scorer (18.5) and rebounder (10.1) in the area as a senior. Hart was named Third Team IBCA All-State, Class 2A Honorable Mention AP All-State and unanimous TRAC East All-Conference. She is the No. 2 all-time leading scorer (1,434) in school history and is ranked No. 9 All-Time in the state for most free throws made in a single season (246). Hart took part in three regional championships and 90 victories in four years on varsity.

The 2019-20 BCR Athlete of the Year is playing softball at ISU.

SECOND TEAM

Jaclyn Kain (Hall, 2012)

The 2011-12 BCR co-Player of the Year was the area-leading scorer her senior year, averaging 15.3 ppg for her dad’s regional champion Lady Devils. She also averaged 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 2.2 assists. The two-time BCR First Team selection is ranked fourth all-time in scoring at Hall with 1,173 career points.

Mo Dean (St. Bede, 2013)

The 2012-13 BCR co-Player of the Year averaged 14.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as a senior. The Lady Bruins MVP was named as an IBCA Third team All-State selection.

She played two years at Sauk Valley.

Christen Hurley (BV, 2018)

The TRAC East Second Team selection was the top scorer (14.2) and rebounder (7.1) for an 18-11 Storm team as a senior. She stands No. 3 all-time in scoring with 1,199 career points. She played at Loras College.

Darcy Kepner (BV, 2015)

The 2014-15 BCR co-Player of the Year was a TRAC East First Team selection her senior year. She was the leading scorer in the area (12.4) for the Storm’s regional championship team as a junior and improved to 12.9 as a senior. The two-time BCR First Teamer is BV’s all-time leader in steals (211) and ranked fifth in scoring (940). She played at Monmouth College.

Jasmine Kunkel (PHS, 2012)

The 2011-12 BCR co-Player of the Year joined the 1,000-point club, scoring 18 points in her final game at regional. She ranks fifth all-time for PHS. She averaged 13.6 points a game, including a 32-point effort.

She was a two-time BCR Female Athlete of the Year.

SPECIAL MENTION: Heaven Bennett (BV, 2015), Shiela Browning (L-O, 2014), Megan Foes (Annawan, 2014), Kelle Nett (Hall, 2012), Julia Pohar (SBA, 2016).

HONORABLE MENTION: Hanna Bima (SBA, 2016), Hailee Brayton (SBA, 2011), Jaci Cinotte (Hall, 2021), Kenzie Coleman (PHS, 2020), Emily Considine (SBA, 2011), Becca Herrmann (Hall, 2014), Elle Herrmann (Hall, 2015), C.J. Rhodes (PHS, 2012), Laura Sickley (SBA, 2014), Madi Soldati (Hall, 2018).

BCR BOYS FIRST TEAM

Parker Neuhalfen (BV 2015) – Boys Player of the Decade

The two-time BCR Player of the Year (2014, 2015) finished as the all-time leading scorer in school history and third all-time in Bureau County history with 2,208 career points. He averaged 21.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 3.0 assists as a senior, leading the Storm to their first regional title in 10 years. The TRAC East Player of the Year was named AP and IBCA Second Team All-State.

He attended SIU-Edwardsville and did not play collegiately.

Kale Barnett (BV 2019)

The 2018-19 BCR Player led the Storm to the Elite 8 as a senior, their first sectional title in 17 years. The unanimous TRAC East All-Conference, IBCA Third Team and IBCA Honorable Mention All-State point guard led BV in scoring (17.4), rebounds (5.5), assists (4.0) and steals (3.0). He is fourth in career scoring (1,399) for BV, the top honors going to his cousin Parker Neuhalfen,

He is attending ISU and is not playing at the collegiate level.

Brett Fanning (Hall, 2013)

The 2012-13 BCR Player of the Year torched the nets for a 21.3 scoring clip, following the footsteps of fellow Iowa Street neighbor Shawn Jeppson. He also led the Red Devils in rebounding (5.4), and steals (1.7). Fanning’s 1,238 career points stands second only behind Jeppson in school history. The two-time All-BCR First Teamer was a Tri-County All-Conference and IBCA Special Mention All-State selection.

He went on to pitch for the Upper Iowa Peacocks.

Paul Hart (St. Bede, 2022)

The reigning BCR Player of the Year (2020) was a sophomore sensation for St. Bede, averaging 24.1 points and 9.8 rebounds. He had 18 double-doubles and six games with 30 points and two games with 40 points. Hart, whose sister, Hanah, was named as the BCR Girls Player of the Year, earned unanimous TRAC East All-Conference and was named AP All-State Honorable Mention.

He is playing this season in Flippin, Arkansas.

Owen Landwehr (Annawan/Mineral 2018)

The 2017-18 BCR Player led the Annawan Braves to a Class 1A State Runner-up finish in 2018. The Man from Mineral was high man for the Braves in scoring (19.3), assists (3.4), steals (2.4) and blocks (0.8). The Braves point guard earned First Team 1A All-State honors from the AP (second top vote-getter) and IBCA as well as Lincoln Trail All-Conference.

He played at Black Hawk College.

SECOND TEAM

Jacob Fisher (Princeton, 2012)

The 2011-12 BCR Player of the Year led the Tigers in scoring (17.3), rebounding (8.0) and was the area leader in steals (2.3) his senior season. He was a two-time All-BCR First Team Selection.

“Fish” played for Sauk Valley.

Michael Murray (Princeton, 2011)

The 2010-11 BCR Player of the Year played just one year in the decade, but it was a good one, leading the Tigers to their third-straight regional championship with his legendary, full-court layup at the buzzer against Fieldcrest at Hall. The soft-spoken star led the Tigers with 15.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals.

The NCIC First Team All-Conference and IBCA Third Team All-State pick played for IVCC and Rockford University.

Jarrett Olson (St. Bede, 2016)

The TRAC East First Team All-Conference, IBCA Second Team All-State and AP Honorable Mention selection was on pace to overtake J.A. Happ’s school scoring record after three years at the Academy, but transferred to Galesburg for his senior season. He averaged 22.1 points as a junior, finishing with 1,119 career points, seventh best at the time all-time.

Olson pitched for Parkland College and Michigan State University.

Drew Pullam (Hall, 2016)

The 2015-16 BCR Player of the Year doubled down for the Red Devils, averaging double figures in scoring (17) and rebounds (11.3) as a senior, the area leader in both. He had four games with 20-plus rebounds. The 6-3 forward was a TRAC First Team All-Conference selection.

Alec Schwab (St. Bede, 2011)

The Bruins’ hot shot was the area’s top gun, averaging 21.5 ppg his senior season, including a season-high 39 points vs. sectional champ IVCC. The BCR 2011 co-Male Athlete of the Year was a NCIC First Team and IBCA All-State Special Mention selection.

He played at IVCC and William Penn University.

SPECIAL MENTION: Garrett Duffin (Princeton, 2015), Jackson Funfsinn (SBA, 2018), Eddie Moreno (DePue, 2018), Colby Robbins (PHS, 2017), Trez Rybarczyk (Hall, 2021).

HONORABLE MENTION: Jimmy DeAngelo (Hall, 2019), Jon Dose (SBA, 2017), Corbin Endress (BV, 2018), A.J. Gaeta (Hall, 2015), Brad Groleau (SBA, 2013), Josh Gross (L-O, 2016), Tyler Gustafson (BV, 2019), Tommy Johnson (BV, 2015), Rahim McKee-Strong (DePue, 2018), Andrew Petros (BV, 2018), Andrew Pyszka (SBA, 2016), Joe Pyszka (SBA, 2013), Rafa Puga (DePue, 2018), Jake Reinhardt (Princeton, 2016), Jamie Reinhardt (Princeton, 2021), Manny Winfert (DePue, 2018), Brant Vanaman (Hall, 2018).

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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