Prior to this season only five players in South Knox's over-50 year history have eclipsed 1,000 career points.

Justin Fickling didn't get past any of those five this year, and he needed a late-season flurry to get to the 1,000-point plateau, but if Spartans fans start debating the best player in the school's history, many would argue that Fickling should be a part of the conversation.

“From what (junior varsity coach) Jim (Farris) tells me, he's as good as any South Knox player who's ever played, and Jim's been around South Knox basketball his entire life,” Spartans coach David Burkett said.

Fickling put his stamp on the South Knox program in the team's final regular-season game. The 6-4 senior was still 70 points shy of reaching 1,000 points at that time, and underdog Wood Memorial got within six early in the second half. But Fickling flipped the switch, scoring 24 second-half points to finish with a school-record 42 points as the Spartans rolled to a 59-37 victory.

The record had only stood for five seasons, but prior to that, the single-game scoring mark was last broken in 1980. Fickling was efficient in setting the new record, netting 16-of-19 attempts and 8-of-12 free throws. The big tally also put the senior within striking distance of 1,000 points.

“He probably could have got 50 if his coach left him in the game,” Burkett said. “He's an irreplaceable player. He's got a high motor and he rebounds extremely well. His jump shot has come a long ways.”

Fickling racked up 17 points and 15 rebounds in South Knox's sectional opening win, putting him 11 points shy of 1,000. In the sectional final, Fickling scored just before halftime to get to 1,000, and he blew up for 18 fourth-quarter points to give the Spartans a chance in a 48-45 loss to Linton. Fickling finished with 30 points, his second-best career total, and his 18 points in the final stanza tied a school record for points in a period.

“That sectional game stands out the most. All our kids laid it all on the line and gave everything they had,” Burkett said. “J is a fierce competitor. He wants to win every possession, no matter if we're playing Evansville Reitz or Washington Catholic. He's a very good player, and whoever gets him next year is going to be very fortunate.”

Fickling led the area with 19.1 points per game, and was second with 8.1 rebounds. Over the Spartans final five games, he averaged 26 points and nine rebounds. He was limited under double figures in scoring just once, tallying nine in a low-scoring 39-38 win over Northeast Dubois.

Today Fickling is named the Sun-Commercial Player of the Year.

Fickling's brother, Brandon, was the 2018 Player of the Year, and the Ficklings join an exclusive club, becoming just the third pair of brothers to take the honors in the 36 seasons of the Sun-Commercial all-area team. The other brothers are North Knox's Chris and Eric Sanders (1999, 2003) and Lincoln's David and Jeff Mattingly (2002, 2005). Justin Fickling is the eighth Spartan to be named the boys Player of the Year.

Joining Fickling as first-team all-area selections are Lincoln's Ethan Bushey and Torrence Gillis, Rivet's Tre'von Taylor and North Knox's Holtman Doades.

Second-team all-area picks are South Knox's Garrett Holscher, Lawrenceville's Noah Weger and Blayne Winningham, and Red Hill's Drake Allen and Camren Ray.

Fickling is the only player among the 10 who are repeat all-area selections. He was picked for the first team last season.

First team

JUSTIN FICKLING

Sr. | F | South Knox

Stats: 19.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 74% free throws, 36% 3-pointers

Season accolades: HBCA all-district, all-Blue Chip Conference, Old National Bank Classic all-tournament, IBCA Player of the Week

Career accolades: 1,019 points (sixth in school history), 3-time ONB Classic all-tournament

Burkett: “One thing you can't replace with Justin is his toughness. He's going to fight, and at times I had to try to tone down his competitiveness a little bit. He laid it on the line every night. There was no question whether I was going to get effort out of him. I'm not sure people realize how good a rebounder he is. He can just go up and get it. Sometimes (on offense) he'll ball fake and spin, and I'll think, 'what the heck are you doing?', but he'll get it to the rim, and it goes in. He just has a feel. He has good feet inside, and traffic doesn't bother him.”

ETHAN BUSHEY

Jr. | F | Lincoln

Stats: 13.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 75% free throws (88-118), 40% 3-pointers (17-43)

Season accolades: all-Big Eight Conference

Coach Jordan Myers: “Ethan was very good down the stretch for us. Averaging almost 20 points and 7 rebounds a game his last seven games, he came into his own and helped us flip the season around. Ethan has an ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways. He also rebounded the ball well for us and gave us good minutes on the defensive end. Going from being on the bottom of the scouting report last year to the top this year, it was a bit of an adjustment for him but he worked through it and had a very good season. I am proud of Ethan and look forward to big things from him next year as well.”

HOLTMAN DOADES

So. | G | North Knox

Stats: 17.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 40% 3-pointers (55-138)

Season accolades: all-Blue Chip Conference

Coach Daniel Crabtree: “Holtman is a gifted athlete who has a knack for putting the ball in the basket. It’s amazing that his field goal percentage is that high (56%) while being the focal point of opposing defenses. There were spurts or quarters this season when we caught a glimpse of how quickly he can put up points. He made at least one 3-pointer in every game this season. He finished with 55 makes, just one shy of tying for second all-time. As he gets older and more experienced, we hope to add a post game to his scoring arsenal. While Holtman is a very good defender, he will need to move into elite status to complete the package. Holtman is a fiery competitor, who has a bright future in our program.”

TORRENCE GILLIS

Sr. | G | Lincoln

Stats: 12.4 points, 2.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds

Season accolades: all-Big Eight Conference

Myers: “Torrence was one of the better athletes in the area. He gave us a dimension of getting into the paint and collapsing the defense that a lot of other teams had trouble with. He got to the free-throw line a lot and was always putting pressure on people with his ability to get downhill. Especially as we started to flip the year around, he really got better at getting into the paint, finishing and creating for his teammates. Torrence was in an interesting spot being the only senior, but he handled it well. He always played hard and competed. Torrence had a very good senior year and I'm proud of him.”

TRE'VON TAYLOR

Sr. | F | Rivet

Stats: 17.8 points, 9.7 rebounds

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

Coach Mark Bezy: “Tre'von is a perfect example of offseason work. Tre dedicated himself in the offseason to working on his body and his game. He bolstered the load on the offensive and defensive ends for us, playing the most minutes while leading us in offensive and defensive rebounds. Tre'von wanted to step up this year knowing the strong graduating class we had last year, and he more than fulfilled that spot. He's a pleasure on and off the court for me, always willing to listen, be coached up, and he's the hardest worker on the court. He was a huge part of our success the last four years, and it was a pleasure to watch him go out playing his best basketball. His presence will be missed.”

Second team

DRAKE ALLEN

Jr. | G | Red Hill

Stats: 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals

Season accolades: all-Little Illini Conference second-team, Dieterich Holiday all-tournament team

Coach Bryan Havill: “Drake handled the ball quite a bit for us, and he saw our opponent's best defender every night. They tried to shut him down, and that was a drastic change for him that he had to adjust to. He also guarded the other teams' best player. We needed Drake to do a lot for us. If he and Camren weren't scoring, we didn't have much of a chance to stay in games. Last year his goal (offensively) was to get to the basket, and he's still good at doing that, but he had to learn to expand his game. His perimeter game got better, and we hope he continues to improve next year.”

GARRETT HOLSCHER

Jr. | G | South Knox

Stats: 9.4 points, 2.6 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 75% free throws, 35% 3-pointers

Season accolades: all-Blue Chip Conference

Burkett: “He's one of the smartest players I've been around, and he plays extremely hard as well. He takes a lot of my punishment, because he has to be on the same page as me. If he's not, he hears it, so he has a mental toughness there. The biggest part with him is he needs to stay aggressive going to the basket, but he shot it well for us at times. He can be his own worst enemy because he puts a lot of pressure on himself. He'll have a lot more responsibility next year, having the ball in his hands at all times. He's a good defender, but we want him to become a lockdown type of guy. He's a tough guard, and he started to rebound for us a bit at the end of the year.”

CAMREN RAY

Jr. | G | Red Hill

Stats: 13.1 points, 1.8 steals, 1.7 assists

Season accolades: all-Little Illini Conference honorable mention, Conrad Allen Holiday all-tournament team

Havill: “Cam is coachable, he and Drake both are, and he improved from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Cam is kind of crafty stealing the ball, doing it late in games when we needed a steal. I probably didn't see half his steals because I'd be saying something to another coach or player, and I'd turn around and Cam had the ball in his hands. I'd wonder, 'how did he get that?' That's kind of how he operated. He came up with some big plays for us, and he had to score for us. We needed to score in the 50s, and we had to get it from Cam and Drake. He was playing good basketball at the end of the season.”

NOAH WEGER

Sr. | F | Lawrenceville

Stats: 11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists 1.4 steals

Season accolades: all-Little Illini Conference second team

Coach Randy Bishop: “Noah missed some games with a broken finger to start the season, but he played very well the second half of the season. Noah hit some big shots in key conference games at the end of the season. He was one of our most improved defensive players, and at the end of the season he was guarding our opponent's best player. He's a very coachable player.”

BLAYNE WINNINGHAM

Sr. | F | Lawrenceville

Stats: 10.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.5 steals

Season accolades: all-Little Illini first team

Bishop: “He was my hardest worker and the MVP of the team. I had several coaches tell me that if they had one player they could pick in our conference, it would be Blayne. Blayne became a tough guard around the basket. Most teams had to double him, which helped other players get open. He was good at the top of the 1-3-1 defense, and a good rebounder. Our seniors never had a winning season, and because of Blayne and the other seniors, they can say they won. Blayne was coachable and respectable, key character traits that coaches crave.”

S-C All-Area boys first teams

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

 

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.