Casey Verhagen had one of the best basketball seasons in the state.
Among Wisconsin players, the Sheboygan Lutheran junior ranked third in steals (4.2 per game), seventh in points (27.1) and 15th in assists (6.3), earning him player of the year honors in the Big East Conference.
This is the second straight time he made all-league first team – he was second team as a sophomore – and helped the Crusaders to a 25-3 record after losing to Oshkosh Lourdes in a sectional final.
“I’m not sure that anybody in the conference worked anywhere near as hard as Casey does throughout the year on his game,” coach Nick Verhagen said. “For him to receive that is a credit to the work he puts in 12 months a year.”
Lutheran sophomore Andrew Verhelst also made the first team after finishing third in the conference with 9.1 rebounds per game.
He was second on his squad in scoring (13.8) and helped the Crusaders overcome the loss of Jacob Ognacevic, who is playing at Valparaiso.
“We needed to get more performance from Andrew this year and we did,” Verhagen said. “There were a number of games early in the season he was able to exhibit himself as that player that can get a double-double every night. He did that the majority of the season.”
Senior Jonah Jurss and junior Robby Michael each received honorable mention.
Jurss, who set a school record for most three-pointers in a game with 11, was third in scoring (11.7) and third in rebounding (4.4). He made all-BEC second team a year ago.
Michael was fourth in scoring (10.4) and second in assists (3.6), and also got honorable mention last season.
Senior Sam Hendrikse landed on the all-Big East second team after finishing fourth in the league in scoring with 17.0 points per game (9.6 last year) and leading his team in rebounding with 6.0 per game.
“With all the injuries we had on the team, Sam really took another step forward as a leader and as a basketball player,” coach Brett Flipse said. “His leadership role just was outstanding to see. He strived this year with the role he took on.”
Marcell Drone was named all-Fox River Classic Conference honorable mention as a senior thanks to averages of 18.2 points (fourth in the league) and 7.9 rebounds (second). He also finished as the school’s all-time leading rebounder with 489.
Last season, he made all-conference second team. However, coach Jesse Shaw says he was more of a complete player in 2021.
“He was asked to do a little more this year,” he said. “And so instead of just being a defensive stopper like he was last year, I thought he did a nice job adding some offense.”
Max Tutas was one of only two sophomores who made all-Fox River Classic. He earned a spot on the all-defensive team, too, and was a team captain as well.
“Max is everything for our team,” coach Eric Worth said. “He led our team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and he’s our best defender. He was our most valuable player in my opinion and his teammates would agree with that. He’s got a motor that goes non-stop. … I can’t say enough about him.”