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Deck named all-state as Jackson basketball teams have five postseason nods

Jackson boys basketball junior guard Kole Deck was named to the Class 6 All-State team after averaging a team-high 20 points per game in his first season as a starter. Photo by Jay Forness

Even though neither Jackson basketball programs won a SEMO Conference or district championship this winter, a few deserving Indians were still honored following the season.

Having a Class 6 All-State selection for the second year in a row was Jackson’s boys team as first-year starting junior guard Kole Deck picked up the honor. He did so while averaging a team-high 20 points per game, which was six more points than any other Indian averaged.

Along with that, Deck knocked down a team-high 63 3-pointers while also averaging 4.6 rebounds and shooting nearly 50 percent (49.5%) from the field. Kole led Jackson to its second-straight, 19-win season with victories over Ladue (26-2), Cape Central (19-9) and Linbergh (22-6).

“Kole deserves this honor — he’s a kid that’s in the gym consistently working before practice and always staying after practice to work on his game,” Indians head coach Kory Thoma said. “I saw a significant change in his maturity as the season went on. He really accepted and adapted to his role. He started to become a leader on the court, and I expect many more attributes to excel next season as a senior.”

Also earning postseason honors were seniors Blayne Harris and Judd Thoma as all three were named All-SEMO Conference, while only Deck and Harris earned Class 6 District 1 All-District nods. However, Kole was the only one to earn first team all-conference as Harris and Thoma were selected as honorable mention honorees.

Harris, who was named all-state last season, paced Deck with 14.1 points per game and also dished out 2.1 assists per contest. Blayne was the only other Indian besides Kole to make double-digit 3-pointers with 27.

As for Thoma, he was the third and final player for Jackson to average double-digit points per game at 11.4. On top of that, Judd registered 5.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

The Indians (19-10) season came to an end in the Class 6 District 1 Championship game as they fell to eventual state champions Cardinal Ritter (21-11) 55-44. The Lions beat their next three opponents in the state playoffs by double figures as well.

Moving on to Jackson’s girls team, the Indians had two players named both all-district and all-conference in senior guard Holland Guilliams and junior guard Camryn Alsdorf. These two both averaged more than 14 points per game as Jackson finished with an overall record of 16-9.

The Indians took second place in the SEMO Conference Tournament after falling to Notre Dame, while they finished third in the conference regular-season standings. Jackson only reached the Class 6 District 1 semifinals as it fell to eventual district champion Cor Jesu (20-10) 39-36, which reached the state final four.

For her junior campaign, Alsdorf averaged a team-high 15 points per game, while she also recorded 4.8 rebounds, four steals and 3.2 assists each contest. Comparatively, Guilliams produced averages of 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.1 assists per games.

Between the two, Holland finished with better shooting percentages at 39.4% from the field, 33% from 3-point range and 73.5% at the free-throw line. Alsdorf was right behind Guilliams with marks a 38.5 field-goal percentage, 32.1 3-point percentage and 72.6 free-throw percentage.

“They are both great kids who always gave it all they had in games,” Jackson head coach Andrea Fulton said. “And they always put the team before themselves.”

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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