There are many ways players can contribute to their basketball teams. Some are measurable, like statistics or wins and losses, while others can't be quantified.

Whichever characteristic one might look for, there's a good chance they'd find it when observing this year's boys basketball Sun-Commercial Player of the Year Garrett Holscher.

The South Knox senior was the third-leading scorer in the area this season, and he was the only senior on the area's best team.

“He's an unbelievable leader. The kid played with every bit of heart that is humanly possible,” South Knox coach David Burkett said. “He's only 5-10, not a tall kid or very strong, but you can't measure the amount of heart he plays with. His teammates loved him. It was easy for them to follow him, and they all wanted to play hard for him.

“We talked over (last) summer that it was his team, that we were only going as far as he took us, leadership-wise. He took that as motivation. Growing up, fifth through eighth grade, he didn't win a lot of games, and he ended up being the only kid left in his class to play basketball. He stuck it out through the hard times, and he deserves all he can get for the dedication he's put into this program.”

Holscher averaged 12.7 points and shot 43 percent (47-110), on 3-pointers and 79% (64-81) from the free-throw line. Both percentages and the number of 3s and free throws made led the area. He also averaged 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists and was an all-Blue Chip Conference selection.

Burkett noted that another thing that made Holscher so formidable is that he was basically a coach on the floor, with a similar thought process to Burkett.

“He's a true point guard, he understands the game, and he thinks the same way I do as far as seeing the game,” Burkett said. “The thing you want from your point guard as a head coach is to communicate and be on the same page. It got to the point where, at times, I didn't call any sets out. He would call them out. He'd recognize things. If I disagreed, we'd talk it about it.

“He's a tough kid, and his parents have done a good job with him. One reason he and I got along so much is because our personalities are a lot alike. I'm not the easiest to play for, so when I jumped all over him, he's not a kid that sat and pouted. He'd say 'Hey, I won't make that mistake again.' But as a senior, I hardly ever had to get on him, because he knew what I wanted.”

As with everyone who plays for South Knox, defense is an important aspect. While Burkett admitted Holscher may not be a “lock-down guy,” but he knows the senior was a good fit for the Spartans wanted to accomplish.

“One thing we demand (is defense), and we're usually ranked in the top 10 in defensive average, year in and year out,” he said. “(Holscher) was a part of our scheme. He knew the defensive principles and things like that, and you know he was going to do a good job. You knew he was going to compete every single possession.”

Holscher is the ninth South Knox player to earn boys basketball Player of the Year honors and the third in the last four seasons.

Holscher is joined on this year's S-C all-area first team by Lincoln's Ethan Bushey, Rivet's Peyton Catt, North Knox's Holtman Doades and Red Hill's Camren Ray. Second-team selections are South Knox's Dakota Candler and Brennon Robinson, North Knox's Reece Hammelman, Lincoln's Julius Hardiman and Lawrenceville's Ethan Kelly.

Bushey and Doades are repeat first-team selections, while Holscher and Ray were on the second-team last season.

South Knox finished 12-11, similar to last year's 13-12 mark, which is maybe the biggest example of Holscher's value this year after the Spartans graduated 2020 Player of the Year Justin Fickling, who led the area in scoring and nearly averaged a double-double.

The Warriors finished 11-13, the Patriots 5-12, and Alices 3-16. The Illinois schools played a short five-week season due to COVID-19, with the Salukis going 3-8 and Indians 3-9.

ETHAN BUSHEY

Sr. | F |Lincoln

Stats: 14.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 40% 3-pointers (17-43), 66% free throws

Season accolades: honorable mention all-Southern Indiana Athletic Conference

Coach Jordan Myers: “He was our best and most consistent offensive threat, and he took on everyone's best matchup. To do that in our league (SIAC), for him to do what he did against the competition is impressive, especially with all the starts and stops we had to our season. It was a good year for him. He had 30 points against Borden, our first win in the Forest Park tournament, and he averaged 15-16 points a game in the SIAC. He seemed like he scored better against some of those better teams. He was a consistent threat we could rely on when we'd struggle to score a bit.”

PEYTON CATT

Sr. | F-C | RIVET

Stats: 11.7 points, 10.0 rebounds (4.2 offensive), 45% field goals

Coach Mark Bezy: “His initial high school plans (as a freshman) were to be the basketball manager, and then he decided to play. He came in as nervous as any freshman I've seen, but he put his head down and kept working, making great strides along the way. He would have been a horrible manager compared to the player he became. He showed great senior leadership, and he kind of took a page out of everyone's book that came before him. He trusted what we were doing, and he exceeded our expectations by averaging a double-double as a senior. He was a workhorse all year long. He's a great leader and an even better kid and role model. He's making the most out of high school, playing every sport, knowing he probably won't get to do it after high school. It's pleasing to see his overall growth and the hard work he's put in pay off.”

HOLTMAN DOADES

Jr. | G | North Knox

Stats: 14.8 points (led area), 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals (all team-bests), 3.0 rebounds, 36% 3-pointers, 53% 2-pointers

Career stats: 951 points (9th in school history)

Season accolades: all-Blue Chip Conference, team offensive MVP

Coach Daniel Crabtree: “Holtman is the motor that makes us go. He is an offensive weapon we try to utilize early and often, and he was the focal point on the opponent's scouting report. He is almost unstoppable in the open floor, and is one of the fastest kids in southwest Indiana. Holtman doubled his assist numbers this season, and had a double-double with 10 assists against Pike Central. He improved a ton on the defensive end over the last 10 games of the season. There is no doubt that Holtman will continue to improve because of his strong work ethic. We're excited to have him for another year.”

CAMREN RAY

Sr. | G | RED HILL

Stats: 12.7 points, 3.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 27% 3-pointers, 68% free throws

Season accolades: honorable mention all-Little Illini Conference

Coach Bryan Havill: “He brought toughness that we needed. He was a tough kid. Defensively he was one of our best players, and we usually put him on the best guard. So not only did he have to handle the ball for us and bring it up the floor, he was normally guarding the best player on the other team. We didn't get clicking as a team until probably the last week and a half, and I could see us turning that corner, starting to play some good ball. But Cam was a heady player, and he can shoot the basketball. He was pretty good at the line. He's a fun kid to coach, and I never had a problem with him. He was a very coachable kid.”

Second team

DAKOTA CANDLER

So. | F | SOUTH KNOX

Stats: 7.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 64% field goals

Season accolades: all-Blue Chip Conference

Coach Burkett: “His potential is through the roof. He's super intelligent, has a feel for the game and rebounds well. He's a great passer for a post player and can shoot with both hands. He probably tries to go left a little too much for being a right-handed player, but he's a guy we trust to handle the ball on the perimeter. My biggest worry this year was his defense and how he'd hold up strength-wise. But we started him against Reitz, and we held their big kid scoreless. That's not just Dakota, it's how we defend as a team, but that was the assignment he had that night, and he handled it well.”

REECE HAMMELMAN

Sr. | G | North Knox

Stats: 7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 assists, 77% free throws

Career stats: 239 assists (4th in school history), 266 rebounds, 663 points

Season accolades: team Mr. Versatility, team defensive MVP

Coach Crabtree: “I wish I could bottle Reece's competitiveness and force feed it to our younger players. Reece played point guard for us but really isn't a true point. He's just a basketball player who does what is needed to help his team. Reece is a player who could score 20+ one night, and maybe only four the next, but would impact the game with his defense and playmaking abilities. He was our best defender this year, and tied for the team lead in rebounding while being undersized. Reece is the kind of kid you want to go to battle with, but not against. He was a captain for us the last two years, and would be a vocal leader when we needed that from him. We won't be able to replace Reece, but we hope his leadership, competitiveness, and defensive intensity will rub off on our returning players.”

JULIUS HARDIMAN

Sr. | F | Lincoln

Stats: 7.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 71% free throws, 51% field goals, 33% 3-pointers

Coach Myers: “The stats don't tell the story on Julius. He averaged around seven and seven, but when he played our team was different. The offense ran through him. He was our best passer. He created a lot of attention, and he made things easier for the other guys. He typically took on the best post player our opponents had as well, and his physical presence will be hard to replace next year. Those are things that don't show up in the stat sheet. He was much more valuable than the numbers say he was.”

ETHAN KELLY

Sr. | F | Lawrenceville

Stats: 10.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 43% field goals, 40% 3-pointers (27-67), 89% free throws (8-9)

Season accolades: 2nd-team all-Little Illini Conference

Coach Ian Laughlin: “He had a family vacation the first week of practice, so it took a bit for him to get caught up. But that's nobody's fault. Nobody knew if or when we were going to play, and it was kind of thrown on us. His shooting was important for us. He made people defend us differently because they couldn't help off him. He's a guy who's been through this before, starting over half of last year, and he did good things for us. He's an even better rebounder than he showed this year, and he's a versatile defender, as he can guard the perimeter or the post. As a team we were getting better at the end, and in an extended season, he would have been even better as the year went on.”

BRENNON ROBINSON

Jr. | G | SOUTH KNOX

Stats: 7.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 30% 3-pointers

Coach David Burkett: “He usually got the assignment of most teams' best perimeter player, and he did a good job there. He didn't shoot the ball as consistently as what I'm going to need next year, but he rebounded his rear end off, leading us in rebounds. He really competes every single possession. He's got a good understanding of what a good shot is and what a bad shot is for us. He was one point away from making all-conference. The biggest thing for Brennon is that we just need him to shoot it at a higher percentage next year.”

S-C ALL-AREA FIRST TEAMS

2020-21

Garrett Holscher, South Knox*

Ethan Bushey, Lincoln

Peyton Catt, Rivet

Holtman Doades, North Knox

Camren Ray, Red Hill

2019-20

Justin Fickling, South Knox*

Ethan Bushey, Lincoln

Holtman Doades, North Knox

Torrence Gillis, Lincoln

Tre'von Taylor, Rivet

2018-19

Colten Mouzin, Rivet*

Gage Bobe, South Knox

Justin Fickling, South Knox

Isaac Lane, Lincoln

Drew Moore, Red Hill

2017-18

Brandon Fickling, South Knox*

Gage Bobe, South Knox

Sam Corrona, Lincoln

Drew Moore, Red Hill

Colten Mouzin, Rivet

2016-17

Kameron Vinsel, Red Hill*

Sam Downen, South Knox

Caden Fields, North Knox

Colten Mouzin, Rivet

Grant Oexmann, Lincoln

2015-16

Ethan Claycomb, Lincoln*

Brandt Cochran, Lawrenceville

Harry Loeb, Lawrenceville

Anthony Smith, Lincoln

Isiah Stafford, South Knox

2014-15

Brandt Nowaskie, Lincoln*

Ethan Claycomb, Lincoln

Christopher Graman, North Knox

Jordan Meurer, North Knox

Andrew Scott, South Knox

2013-14

Avory Mickens, Lincoln*

Christopher Graman, North Knox

Jordan Meurer, North Knox

Andrew Scott, South Knox

Josh Sprinkle, Lincoln

2012-13

Jordan Meurer, North Knox*

Brandt Nowaskie, Lincoln

Josh Sprinkle, Lincoln

Zach Templin, Rivet

Matthew Young, Red Hill

2011-12

Jantzen Goodwin, Lincoln*

Cameron Lawson, Red Hill

Jordan Meurer, North Knox

Avory Mickens, Lincoln

Jordan Shots, Lincoln

2010-11

Kendall Vieke, Rivet*

Jantzen Goodwin, Lincoln

Trent Whitton, South Knox

Richard Gugliotta, North Knox

Cameron Lewis, Red Hill

2009-10

Mitchell Patton, South Knox*

Richard Gugliotta, North Knox

Kyle Tucker, Lincoln

Kendall Vieke, Rivet

Matt Wirth, Red Hill

2008-09

Jeramy Lucas, South Knox*

Mitchell Bahr, Rivet

Mitchell Patton, South Knox

Bryce Small, Lincoln

Tyler Vieke, Rivet

2007-08

Levi Holscher, South Knox*

Jared Blue, Lincoln

Will Irvin, Rivet

Jeramy Lucas, South Knox

Chris Wampler, Red Hill

2006-07

Jared Wagoner, South Knox*

Heath Bilskie, Rivet

Craig Heinz, Lincoln

Levi Holscher, South Knox

Robert Petty, Red Hill

2005-06

Craig Heinz, Lincoln*

Heath Bilskie, Rivet

Wade Collins, Lawrenceville

Robert Petty, Red Hill

Jared Wagoner, South Knox

2004-05

Jeff Mattingly, Lincoln*

Andrew Catt, North Knox

Aaron Harris, Lawrenceville

Craig Heinz, Lincoln

Alex Sievers, Rivet

2003-04

Brandon Christy, Red Hill*

Curtis Painter, Lincoln

Jeff Mattingly, Lincoln

Ryan Kull, Lawrenceville

Tyler Schultz, North Knox

2002-03

Eric Sanders, North Knox*

Nevin Ashley, North Knox

Brandon Christy, Red Hill

Zach Halter, Lincoln

Reese Ivers, Lawrenceville

2001-02

David Mattingly, Lincoln*

Zach Halter, Lincoln

Eric Sanders, North Knox

J.D. Saucerman, North Knox

Matt Scherer, Red Hill

2000-01

Daniel Trabant, North Knox*

Steve Sievers, Lincoln

Craig Hunckler, Rivet

B.J. Worland, South Knox

Tyler Wolfe, Lawrenceville

1999-2000

Daniel Trabant, North Knox*

Cody Gosnell, Lawrenceville

Tim Leser, South Knox

Steve Sievers, Lincoln

Jason Stewart, North Knox

1998-99

Chris Sanders, North Knox*

Jason Brian, Red Hill

Kraig Kerzan, Lincoln

Adam Thacker, Red Hill

Justin Wolfe, Lawrenceville

1997-98

Jared McIntire, South Knox*

Charles Hedde, Lincoln

Ryan Kerns, North Knox

Steve Wilson, Red Hill

Justin Wolfe, Lawrenceville

1996-97

Charles Hedde, Lincoln*

Ryan Kerns, North Knox

Jared McIntire, South Knox

Clint Barmes, Lincoln

Jarrod Brian, Red Hill

1995-96

Matt Moorehead, Lawrenceville*

Jono Connor, Lincoln

Jason Goff, Lawrenceville

Charles Hedde, Lincoln

Ryan Kerns, North Knox

1994-95

Ryan Hammer, Lawrenceville*

Ryan Kerns, North Knox

Charles Kitchell, Rivet

Matt Moorehead, Lawrenceville

Jason Teising, Lincoln

1993-94

Sean Daugherty, Lincoln*

Greg Duke, Lincoln

Ryan Hammer, Lawrenceville

Mike Mills, Rivet

Nick Moorehead, Lawrenceville

1992-93

Sean Daugherty, Lincoln*

Greg Duke, Lincoln

Dee Holloway, Red Hill

Eric Renshaw, South Knox

Bobby Stephens, Red Hill

1991-92

Brandt Schuckman, Lincoln*

Sean Daugherty, Lincoln

Greg Kroeger, Rivet

Matt McCullough, Red Hill

Damon Yenne, North Knox

1990-91

Brandon Smith, Red Hill*

Brad Chapman, South Knox

Lee McGregor, Lincoln

Derek Tislow, Lincoln

Damon Yenne, North Knox

1989-90

Lee McGregor, Lincoln*

Matt Foster, Lawrenceville

Dave Gordon, Lincoln

Ken McRae, North Knox

Brandon Smith, Red Hill

1988-89

Scott Beach, Lincoln*

Ken McRae, North Knox

Stacy Moore, Red Hill

Lance Smith, Red Hill

Troy Snider, Rivet

1987-88

Rusty Johnson, Lincoln*

Gus Gillespie, Lawrenceville

Lance Madison, Rivet

Tad Shick, Lawrenceville

Jeff Tilly, North Knox

1986-87

Rusty Johnson, Lincoln*

Gus Gillespie, Lawrenceville

Trace Madison, Rivet

Ralph Smith, Lincoln

Jeff Tilly, North Knox

1985-86

Dean Scott, South Knox*

Jon Baker, Lawrenceville

Paul Hendrixson, Lincoln

Lance Madison, Rivet

Terry Petty, South Knox

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