March 27, 2012
Donovan, Norman receive North Division MVP nods
On the strength of their respective Interscholastic Athletic Conference North Division regular season titles, Groton Central and Dryden High were both well rewarded when the boys’ basketball all-star squads were selected by coaches.
Small School Division first place finisher Groton had senior guard Keegan Donovan named the division’s most valuable player. He headed up the first-team selections that included Marathon senior Eric Barry, Southern Cayuga junior Vince Stebbins, Union Springs senior Mackenzie Brady and the young Moravia duo of junior Dylan Powers and sophomore Chandler Benson.
Large School Division champion Dryden had junior Bryan Norman named co-MVP of the division, sharing the top honor with Lansing junior Ellington Hopkins. Norman led the Purple Lions in scoring as he averaged 15.9 points per game, and was joined on the Large School first-team by teammate and fellow junior Gage Ellis.
Small School Division MVP Donovan scored 429 points for a 20.4 average for Groton, and also dished out 70 assists, came up with 53 steals and grabbed 49 rebounds. He also shot 82 percent (72-for-88) from the free throw line.
For as much as he handled the ball for the Indians, Donovan only turned the ball over 57 times — a 2.7 per-game average. He nailed 73 shots from 3-point range, four short of tying his single season school record of 77 set last year. He is the Groton career 3-point leader with 187, replacing Corey Stelick at the number one spot.
“Keegan is a highly skilled player,” Groton coach John Filzen said. “He works hard on his game and is also an excellent student with an average between 96 and 97. Keegan put up some big numbers in the big games for us and helped take us to two sectional finals in the last three years.
“Keegan is a great shooter and good ball handler,” he added. “He’s a great kid and we will certainly miss him next year.”
Marathon first-team selection Barry helped keep his squad in contention throughout the season, the Olympians finishing second behind Groton.
“Eric averaged a double-double this season leading us in points and rebounds,” Marathon coach Jim Holland said, as Barry scored 292 points (14 ppg.) and grabbed 245 reounds (11.5 per game). “He was a team captain and was a very unselfish player. There was great communication between Eric and myself, it was like having a coach on the floor at times.
“Playing summer ball really helped Eric improve his game,” Holland continued. “He is a great kid and very easy to work with. Eric is a true team leader in every sense.”
IAC North Small School second-team all-stars were the Groton senior duo of Michael Grieger and Bryan Chaffee, the Marathon junior duo of Kody Barry and Jeff Contri, plus Union Springs senior Mitch Hares.
DRYDEN’S ELLIS was second on the team in scoring with a 13.3 average. He led the Purple Lions in rebounding as he averaged nine per game and blocked an average of two shots per game.
Norman and Ellis provided a one-two punch that should have Dryden contending again next winter.
“Bryan was our team MVP this year,” Dryden coach Kim Brown said of the division co-MVP. “He played out of position for us as he had to be our primary ball handler, but he allowed us to limit our turnovers versus ball pressure. He is the kind of player who has a knack for getting to the rim versus man and zone defenses. I look forward to coaching Bryan next year during his senior campaign.
“Gage combines a unique package of size and shooting ability,” he added. “He can be a force on both ends of the floor. I look forward to coaching Gage next year during his senior year.”
Rounding out the North Large school first team were Trumansburg senior Alex Bartischevish, plus the Whitney Point duo of junior Adam Tillotson and junior Austin Standish-Warpus.
IAC North Large School Division second team all-stars were Trumansburg seniors Mark Burchell and Lefty McFall, freshman Zach Marsh and junior Chris Ellerson from Whitney Point, plus Lansing sophomore Ben Rourke.
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