Three Newton seniors ended their careers on high notes, while one young career was elevated with the release of the Little Hawkeye Conference all-conference boys basketball teams.
Senior Collin Reynolds was named to the second team and fellow seniors Jesse Bates and Andrew Clements each received honorable mention, but it was sophomore Tyler Wood that took home the biggest prize — a spot on the first team.
Wood led the team in scoring with 11.9 points per game for the season, and almost always found himself as the leading scorer in the Cardinals’ games. Much of his scoring can be attributed to his 3-point shooting prowess. Wood went 59-for-150 (39.3 percent) from beyond the arch, leading the Cards and the conference in the category. He also finished second on the team with a 77.1 (37-for-48) free throw percentage.
Scoring wasn’t the only dimension to Wood’s game, however. He also finished second on the team in steals with 20 total, as well as third in rebounds with 74 (average of 3.4 per game) despite playing one of the guard positions.
Dubbed “the crafty one” by coach Nick Wilkins at the team’s recent season-ending banquet, Reynolds played out his final season in fine fashion. Reynolds finished second on the team in scoring with 6.9 points per game, largely thanks to making an impressive 50 percent of his shots from the field. He also led the team with 42 made free throws and a 71.2 success rate from the charity stripe.
Reynolds finished second on the team with an even 4.0 rebounds per game, although many of those came on the offensive end. His 51 offensive boards were far and away tops among the Cardinals and good enough to place him fifth in the conference. His 24 turnovers were also the lowest among the Cardinal starters.
Another fixture in Newton’s starting lineup throughout the season, Bates did most of his damage for the Cardinals on the glass. Bates led the team and finished 15th in the conference with 88 total rebounds, which averaged out to 4.2 a game.
Bates finished third on the team in scoring with 6.4 points per game, as well as third in steals with 19. His six blocks were also tops on the team and tied for 15th in the conference.
The honorable mention spot for Clements goes far beyond what he did on the court, as dedication to his team was arguably his greatest contribution throughout the year. Clements began the season as a starter, but continued to contribute to the team off the bench once he was placed there.
Known for his energy and defensive presence throughout his career, Clements led the team and was 11th in the conference with 24 steals in his senio campaign. He also finished second on the team in assists with 42 despite coming off the bench for the majority of the season. Scoring-wise, Clements averaged 3.5 points per game and finished third on the team in made 3-pointers.
The conference policy is usually to release the list once all teams have finished their seasons. However, Pella Christian remains in action and will play its first state game today.