Boys B-ball gathers

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Tuesday, March 7, 2017
The West Liberty boys' basketball team gathered at the high school Feb. 27 for a shared meal and to recognized the accomplishments of their team. Awards were also given.

The team's only senior starter, Noah Feldman, received several recognitions. "Noah will be part of the Boys Academic All State basketball team for 2017," West Liberty Head Coach James Laughlin said.

N. Feldman is the second player to receive the recognition while he has been coach. "There were 170 seniors nominated for this award. Only 20 in the state in all classes got this award."

For those receiving the award, the average ACT composite score was 29.8, the average GPA was 3.98, and they averaged 15.7 points per game.

"Outstanding," James Laughlin said. "Not only is (N. Feldman) excelling on the basketball floor, the football field, the track, and everywhere, most importantly, he's excelling in the classroom. I'm very proud of him for that."

He will be recognized at the Class 2A finals game at the State Basketball Tournament in Des Moines March 10 at halftime.

All-Conference Academic awards will be announced after the current grades are in.

The players voted on team awards. They are Most Improved, Spencer Daufeldt; Hustle Award, Elias Rocha; Best Defensive Player, N. Feldman, Best Offensive Player, N. Feldman; and MVP, N. Feldman

Three Comets were named to All-Conference teams. Daufeldt received Honorable Mention, and N. Feldman and Seth Feldman received South Division recognition.

"In my book (N. Feldman's) an elite player," James Laughlin said. "He missed it (in the vote) by a very narrow margin."

The varsity team had a record of 7-15 this season, averaged 47.4 points per game (one of the lowest ppg in the last 10 years), had a shooting percentage of 44 percent (in the top five in the last 10 years), gave up 58.7 points per game, and had a three-point shot percentage of 32.6 percent (second-best in the last 10 years).

Turnovers were a concern all season. "This was a very young team in terms of experience," James Laughlin said. "I think that gives us some good things to build on for next year. Our seniors are going to be missed. They led really well."

In addition to N. Feldman, the other two seniors on the team were Michael Aragon Kurtis Minor, and Leo Lopez.

James Laughlin thanked people for bringing food, the booster club for all they do, the person who organized game day shirts, the junior high coaches, scorebook keepers, those who work the clock, the managers, the parents, the coaching staff, his family, and the family of the other coaches.

Participation awards were given to Austin McMichael, Gabby Melendez, Colton Kaalberg, Scott Pace, and Brent Meyers. Some players were not present to receive their awards.

Letters were given to S. Feldman, Daufeldt, Nathan Schemmel, Elias Rocha, Tanner Iske, Aragon, Minor, and N. Feldman.

Jeff Laughlin, the fresh/soph coach, spoke about his team and how much they improved as the year progressed.

They went from a 1-4 record at the Christmas break to a 7-7 record by the end of the season. "I've had a lot of fun this year," Jeff Laughlin said. He also announced that he is stepping down as coach to spend time with his family.

Junior varsity coach Jason Iske said the JV team members "were good role models" for the younger kids and that N. Feldman "couldn't have been a better role model for the program."

West Liberty season stats: Noah Feldman 155 59-112 372, 3 3-pointers, 215 rebounds, 71 assists, 35 steals, 33 blocks; Seth Feldman 77 29-45 225, 42 3-pointers, 112 rebounds, 62 assists, 32 steals, 13 blocks; Spencer Daufeldt 62 60-114 184, 110 rebounds, 34 assists, 15 steals, 1 block; Tanner Iske 44 18-34 116, 10 3-pointers, 37 rebounds, 20 assists, 23 steals; Nathan Schemmel 21 7-14 53, 4 3-pointers, 70 rebounds, 31 assists, 15 steals, 4 blocks; Leo Lopez 12 0-0 33, 9 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals; Elias Rocha 7 6-8 25, 5 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals; Brent Meyers 5 3-4 16, 3 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals; Scott Pace 5 2-2 12, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks; Michael Aragon 2 0-0 6, 2 3-pointers, 2 rebounds; Austin McMichael 0 1-2 1, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Colton Kaalberg 6 rebounds, 2 assists; Gavin Chown 1 rebound, 1 block; Kurtis Minor 6 rebounds
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