Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Guest Post: Top Ten Shamokin Ballers

Know how I promised a new post? Well, naps, house shopping and Die Hard got in the way. Now I have a rough night of Philo review and Amazing Race ahead of me. But do I disappoint with a lack of new posts? Heck no, even if I'm just using other people's work.

I enlisted Dill to assemble the list of top ten players in West Shamokin Men's Basketball history, in preparation for our return to our alma mater for some Christmas Break breakdowns. He did this last year, inspired my exponentially better All-Time Lady Wolves Volleyball team, so I had him come up with a revised list for a pinch-hit. If you didn't attend WSHS, this will mean very little to you.

(By the way, I had to keep going back and inserting words I thought I had in there due to my brain being completely fried. Mmmm....yummy break. And if anyone gets a break and a burst of inspiration and wants to submit something, by all means, let me know, as I'd be more than happy to keep this fresh with minimal work put in by myself.)

Alright, I’m going to do these rankings based on the same criteria as last year which are the following…Scoring, Passing, Defense (1 on 1 defense, team defense, and rebounding), the enjoyment of that person being on the team, and leadership. Players who are not seniors at WSHS this year do not qualify for this list since I have no idea how good they are.

Also take into effect that I only saw one game last year and none this year. So if I am making some misjudgments on last year’s seniors or Frank, I’m sorry, but I’m going with what I saw during my time as a player. Furthermore, this list does not take the future into account as it did last year. But nonetheless, here are the final rankings of…


10. Bob Monroe (previous – not on list)

Bob almost made the list last year based on his tremendous rebounding, good inside defense which was overlooked, and his enjoyable personality. The improvement that he made between his junior and senior seasons was nothing short of a miracle. So since this list is a little thin on true big men, I’m going to give the nod to Bob.

9. Craig Kaplon (previous – 9)

Craig makes this list based solely on his passing ability. His defense wasn’t always the best, but he could do some little things very well. He was a poor man’s Brian Caldwell if you will.

8. Jon Nagy (previous – 7)

Jon used his natural athletic ability to be a good scorer and defender for us his senior year. He lacked ideal court vision for a point guard, but he was a pretty good leader and an overall solid ballplayer.

7. Brett Ashley (previous – 10)

Brett made the biggest jump on this list thanks to stellar senior year in which I believe he averaged over 15 points per game and made the Leader Times All-Area Team. His performance before last year was not deserving of being on the list since he didn’t get much playing time, but I put him on anyway for what I thought could be a good senior year. However in no way was I expecting over 300 points from Mr. Ashley last year.

6. Brian Caldwell (previous – 6)

The battle between Brian and Brett was close for this spot, but Brian wins out because he had four years of starting varsity ball compared to Brett’s one. Many fans probably only noticed Brian’s tremendous 3 point shooting, but he did so many little things well. Without question he was the best passer and digger in Wolves history.

5. Trevor Henderson (previous – 3)

This four year starter didn’t perform as well statistically in his senior season as I thought he would, but this is a spot that Trevor earned. Since I only saw one game last year, I’m not sure why Trevor’s stats were down, but his work in the past makes him deserving here. He was well above average in everything that he did, especially in leadership and shooting.

4. Frank Nagy (previous – 4)

Frank probably will deserve to be moved up after this year since I’ve seen that he’s already scored over 20 in two of the team’s four games so far this year. I didn’t get to see the articles for the other games, so Frank may actually have over 20 in all four games. This year’s rather young and inexperienced team led by Frank is also undefeated. I haven’t played with Frank in two years, but he is an excellent finisher and good passer who can really “scoot.”

3. Jerry Wilson (previous –5)

Undoubtedly the most gifted player on this list, Jerry put his skills to good use claiming All-Section honors last year with over 17 points per game. His ideal frame allowed him to defend, rebound, run, shoot, score and dunk with the best of them.

2. Justin Barnett (previous – 2)

Since Justin played his last game close to 5 years ago and the memory gets worse with time, I’m just going to copy my caption from last year’s post. I don’t want to say something that’s not true. “This 1000 point scorer was just that, a scorer. I didn’t play with him that much, but I’m pretty sure that he was a very good passer and an above average defender too. I can’t deny that playing gym class basketball against him was probably my favorite gym class memory in high school. But 1000 points speaks for itself.”

1. Andy Barnett (previous – 1)

The schools all time leader in points, rebounds, and probably top 5 in assists as a big man, deserves to be number one. This isn’t even mentioning that he neutralized the other teams big man on a nightly basis while possessing the passing skills of a point guard. Andy was a hybrid player who could do almost anything on the court.

Is this list worthy of being on ESPN’s “Who’s Number 1?” Probably not, but nonetheless, “let the debating begin.”


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