[Editorial Note: The team does include four more players from Linn County R-1, who will be featured in Friday’s LCL due to a scheduling conflict. We apologize for this delay.]
LINN COUNTY - For the sixth consecutive year, I am honored to announce the Linn County Leader Basketball Dream Team. I created this award in the middle of my first year at the LCL, and have taken great pride in seeing the athletes faces when I give them their certificate.
This year was a very tough year for me to decide the 20 local athletes who I would place on the Dream Team in 2013. We are fortunate to have so many talented and dedicated basketball players in Linn County.
A change this year is that I am doing away with first and second team designations. I am doing this because I feel that since there are so few Dream Teamers, just being named to the team is enough.
Girls Dream Team
I start the 2013 LCL Girls Dream Team by following the graphic above, row-by-row, left-to-right. The players are featured above in “R” order.
For Bucklin/Macon County, we begin with Bailey Ratliff. Bailey is an all-everything player for the Lady Raiders, and the picture I took above is the first one I have of her without her trademark headband. Bailey deserves a spot on this team due to her all-around scoring and defense.
Next for BMC is Kailey Grinder. Kailey is a point guard, and is equally adept at shooting the long ball as she is zinging a pass to her teammates. Kailey is an All-Conference and All-District player for the Lady Raiders.
Miranda White of Brookfield is next, and was an absolute no-brainer for the Dream Team. Miranda was the focal point of the mich-improved Lady Dogs team, and worked just as hard for her teammates as she did for herself.
Alesa Frey was the leading scorer for the Lady Dogs, and is not stranger to the Dream Team. Alesa has qualified in each of her three yeard of high school. Alesa is a talented three-sport athlete, and I know she will be heavily recruited in all three.
Meadville’s Erin Shiflett is next, and is a spark-plug kind of player for the Lady Eagles from the point. Erin energized her teammates, and could not be left alone or she would put the ball either into the hoop or into the hands of a teammate to score.
Haley Fitzpatrick joins the Dream Team for Meadville as well, providing the presence in the middle for the Lady Eagles. Haley cleaned the glass, got banged around under the boards, and did everything that someone could want out a post player.
Kendra Gladbach is another familiar face on the Dream Team, earning a spor for the third year. Kendra may not have had as high of a scoring average this season, but was still a focal point for the Lady Tigers offense and defense.
Morgan McCormick joins the Dream Team for the first time this season. Morgan really came into her own this season, transitioning from guard to post. Morgan was a frequent double-double player for Marceline, and earned this spot, hands-down,
Boys Dream Team
The first Bucklin/Macon County Raider to earn a spot on the Dream Team is Alex Porter. Alex is a self-admitted defensive player, but was still a force in the middle for BMC.
Dillan Nolte joins the Dream Team for the Raiders as well. Dillan was all over the court for the BMC boys this season, until an injury hampered him. Dillan was often the leading scorer, and would snag a number of boards as well.
Brookfield’s Matt Neeley is once again an LCL Dream Teamer. Matt was the team, for the most part, for the Dogs this season. Matt is a leader, and just an overall good kid and athlete.
Also from Brookfield is first-time Dream Team member Cale McCurley. Cale showed a dedication to the Dogs basketball program this year, and it showed. Cale was an outside shooing threat, along with a frequent slasher to the bucket.
Derek Smith is a multiple-time LCL Dream Teamer, and has led the Meadville Eagles for the past four seasons. Derek is an all-around player, and is sure to enjoy the Final Four coming this week in Columbia.
Cade Shiflett joins the Dream Team, marking the first time that a brother and sister are on the Team in the same season. Cade is a young player, but was often amongst the leading scorers for the powerhouse Meadville Eagles.
Brett McGlothlin is another multi-time member of the LCL Dream Team. Mac is a forward who can also be a guard of center at the High School level. I was very proud to witness Brett score his 1000th point this past season.
Chase Hilsabeck is the final player we will talk about today. Chase is a sharp-shooting, slashing guard for the Marceline Tigers. Chase stepped into a leadership role this season, and provided a good secondary scorer for the Tigers attack this season.
Check back Friday for the Linn County R-1 members of the 2013 Linn County Leader Dream Team.