It was anyone’s guess how the Southeast Conference race was going to play out in the 2019-20 boys basketball season. With defending champion Fairfield gutted by graduation, the SEC title was up for grabs, and this season delivered all the nail-biting it promised when the most balanced SEC field in years squared off.
The year saw Washington rise to the top of the conference for the first time in 13 years, earning them the majority of spots on the 2019-20 All-Union big school basketball squad, which is made up of the top players from Washington, Mt. Pleasant and Fairfield.
Listed below is the full list of honorees for the 2019-20 big school basketball squad.
Collin Stark, Washington
Stark led the Demons to a Southeast Conference championship, quite a feat in a season when the conference added a Class 4A team in Burlington. The Demons lost just once in the league and that was by two points on the road. The Demons avenged that loss with an exciting overtime win against Keokuk to win the title by two games over the second-place Chiefs.
Washington finished 14-7 overall and 9-1 in the conference. The record was an improvement over last season’s 9-10 mark and the previous season’s record of 6-14. It was the first Demon team to finish above .500 since the 2011-12 season when the Demons were 13-9.
Clayton Lowery, senior, Mt. Pleasant
The Union coverage area’s top big school player was one of the biggest rising stars in the conference. Lowery was a bench player in his junior year, scoring just 30 points all season, but when Mt. Pleasant needed a player to step up this year, he rose to the top.
Lowery was the fourth-leading scorer in the Southeast Conference, putting up 12.9 points per game. The Panther guard also finished third in the conference with 57 steals and eighth in the conference with 96 total rebounds. For good measure, Lowery dished out 23 assists and led Mt. Pleasant with 14 blocked shots.
Lowery’s senior guidanced helped a balanced Panther squad finish in a tie for third in the SEC and advance to the substate semifinals.
Kasen Bailey, sophomore, Washington
The 6-foot sophomore is the only underclassmen on this year’s team. Bailey’s season was cut short with a wrist injury in a home game against Fairfield. He was the third leading scorer in the Southeast Conference with 13.4 points per game. He led the league in free-throw percentage at 86.7. He trailed only teammate Trashaun Willis in 3-point percentage (44 to 42.3) in those with a minimum of six made treys. Willis was 22-of-50 to lead the league while Bailey was 30-of-71. Bailey shot 45.7 percent overall.
Drew Martin, senior, Fairfield
Nobody lost more from the 2018-19 season than the Fairfield boys basketball team. The Trojans needed someone to step up and be a leader this year, and Martin did so in spades, serving as a tough post scorer that could also burn teams in the open floor.
Along with a team-leading 11.7 points per game, Martin pulled down a conference-high 163 rebounds. He finished second in the league with 59 steals, dished out 45 assists and blocked six shots for the Trojans.
While a young crop of Trojan players had a year to grow into the team they’ll be in the future, Martin helped the squad remain competitive throughout the year, all while putting up some impressive stats for the Trojan boys.
Luke Turner, senior, Washington
A quarterback in football and on the basketball floor, nobody was better in the Southeast Conference than the 6-foot Demon point guard at finding open teammates for a score.
Turner led the league in assists with 106, 19 more than second place, an average of five a game. Turner also supplied an average of 3.6 rebounds a game and scored eight points a game. He was successful on 52.8 of his field goal attempts (66-of-125), fifth in the league of those with a minimum of 60 made field goals.
Keegan Kohorst, senior, Mt. Pleasant
Nobody had a more distinct role for Mt. Pleasant in 2019-20 than Kohorst. The senior point guard served as floor general for the Panthers, and also the player who brought the most experience to a team full of new faces.
Kohorst scored 9.2 points per game for Mt. Pleasant this year, one of four players over nine. He finished second in the SEC with 87 assists.
Kohorst also placed second on the team with 39 steals over the course of the year, and added 61 rebounds to help Mt. Pleasant in every facet of the game.
Brock Sobaski, senior, Washington
At 6 feet, 5 inches, Sobaski had an edge in rebounding, but hustle and determination helped him finish first in blocks and second in the Southeast Conference in rebounding. He collected 153 caroms for a 7.7 per game average, just a tenth behind fellow All-Union player Drew Martin of Fairfield. He was second in offensive rebounds with 52 and third in defensive boards with 101. His total of 153 was second. His block total of 27 was nine more than second place. Sobaski was 58-for-100 on field goals and averaged 7.3 points a game.
The 2019-20 All-Union big school boys basketball team was selected by sports editors Andy Krutsinger and Doug Brenneman