County Players Earn SCC All-Conference


With the 2021 basketball season in the record books, coaches across Illinois have gathered either in person or virtually to bestow honors among the best of the best with this year’s all-conference teams. Seven players from Montgomery County are among that group after being selected as all-conference picks for the South Central Conference.

Hillsboro and Litchfield would combine for four players on the 15-person South Central Conference girls team, including one first teamer.

Senior Nikya Harston earned that first team designation by leading the Hillsboro girls in scoring and rebounding (12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game) as the Toppers finished tied for second in the SCC with a 7-2 mark.

Harston, who was also a first team pick last year, was joined on the first team by Southwestern seniors Korrie Hopkins and Rylee Smith, Greenville senior Natalie Iberg and Pana junior Jillian Hamilton. Smith and Hamilton were also repeat first team selections, while Hopkins and Iberg were second teamers last year.

Hillsboro’s Layne Rupert was a second team pick, one of two sophomores on the team, along with Pana’s Anna Beyers.  Rupert averaged 11.6 points per game and led Hillsboro in threes (27) and steals (47). Other members of the second team were Carlinville senior Gracie Reels, Greenville senior Gwyn Mitchell and Gillespie senior Keaton Link.

Hillsboro senior Claire Tester would make the all-conference third team, after being a second team selection last year. Tester was third in scoring (9.9 per game) and second in rebounds, just three behind Harston with 127. 

Litchfield senior Cara Pence joined Tester on the third team. Pence averaged a double-double this year with 10.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per game and was first in steals and second in assists for the Lady Panthers, who finished 2-7 in conference play to tie for eighth after starting the season in quarantine.

In addition to the county seniors, Carlinville junior Jill Stayton, Roxana senior Olivia Mouser and Vandalia sophomore Anna Forbes also made the third team.

SCC Boys

On the boys’ side of the South Central Conference, three players from the undefeated conference champion Hillsboro Hiltoppers earned all-conference honors, one on the first team and two on the second team.

Topper sniper Drake Vogel was the lone junior on a first team loaded with senior talent in the form of Pana’s Andrew Ambrose, Roxana’s Gavin Huffman, Vandalia’s Mitchell Casey and Greenville’s Fletcher Manhart.

Vogel led Hillsboro in scoring with 16.1 points per game, shooting 54 percent from inside the arc, 39 percent behind it and 71 percent from the free-throw line. Vogel also led the team in steals (40) and blocks (23), while also finishing third on the team in rebounds with 72.

Vogel was joined by teammates Jace Tuetken and Gavin Matoush, who were second team selections along with Southwestern senior Addis Moore, Pana junior Colin Schmitz and Gillespie senior Brock Fredericks.

Tuetken, Hillsboro’s lone senior, averaged 12.5 points per game, shooting 48.5 percent from two, 52.8 percent from three and 59.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Topper point guard also led the team in assists with 68 and was second in steals with 26.

 Matoush was lights out from inside the arc for the Toppers, shooting 61 percent from the field. The junior forward also averaged 14.2 points per game and led the team in rebounds with 8.8 per contest.

This year’s third team was made up of three seniors, Roxana’s Parris White, Carlinville’s Ethan Trimm and Staunton’s Frank Goss, along with two juniors, Vandalia’s Carson Ruot and Pana’s Brenden Schoonover.

South Central Conference 2020-21 All-Conference

Girls Basketball

First Team: Jillian Hamilton, Jr. - Pana; Korrie Hopkins, Sr. - Southwestern; Rylee Smith, Sr. - Southwestern; Natalie Iberg, Sr. - Greenville; Nikya Harston, Sr. - Hillsboro.

Second Team: Gracie Reels, Sr. - Carlinville; Anna Beyers, So. - Pana; Gwyn Mitchell, Sr. - Greenville; Layne Rupert, So. - Hillsboro; Keaton Link, Sr. - Gillespie.

Third Team: Jill Stayton, Jr. - Carlinville; Cara Pence, Sr. - Litchfield; Anna Forbes, So. - Vandalia; Olivia Mouser, Sr. - Roxana; Claire Tester, Sr. - Hillsboro.

South Central Conference 2020-21 All-Conference

Boys Basketball

First Team: Drake Vogel, Jr - Hillsboro; Andrew Ambrose, Sr. - Pana; Gavin Huffman, Sr. - Roxana; Fletcher Manhart, Sr. - Greenville; Mitchell Casey, Sr. - Vandalia.

Second Team: Jace Tuetken, Sr. - Hillsboro; Gavin Matoush, Jr. - Hillsboro; Addis Moore, Sr. - Southwestern; Colin Schmitz, Jr. - Pana; Brock Fredericks, Sr. - Gillespie.

Third Team: Parris White, Sr. - Roxana; Ethan Trimm, Sr. - Carlinville; Carson Ruot, Jr. - Vandalia; Brenden Schoonover, Jr. - Pana; Frank Goss, Sr. - Staunton.


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