April 01, 2024

Boys Basketball Season Recap

The Bulldog’s season was one full of many exciting moments and highlights. The team kicked off their season as the number 4 ranked team for  Class 1A boys baketball in the state. They opened with a strong win over 3A Rantoul in the Turkey Tournament and went 2-2 for the week, also defeating cross-town rival Effingham. Brock Fearday earned All-Tournament team honors.

After the Turkey Tourney, the Bulldogs won 8 straight, including key wins over conference rivals and non-conference opponents like 2A Newton and 3A state-ranked Olney. At the Effingham/T Town Christmas Classic, they picked up another win against Mattoon before falling to Champaign Centennial and then bouncing back to beat 4A Oak Lawn. Brock Fearday and Collin Westendorf both earned All-Tournament honors.

Heading into the NTC tournament with a 19-4 record, the Bulldogs continued their winning streak with victories over strong opponents, including state-ranked St. Joseph-Ogden. The Bulldogs earned the top seed in the tournament and took home the NTC tournament trophy for the first time since 2020. The tournament also saw Brock Fearday eclipse the 1,000 point mark and Ryan Schmidt being named tournament MVP after setting the second most points in a championship contest in NTC tournament history with 36.

The Bulldogs ended the season with a 27-4 record, earning the number 1 state ranking. However, they were upset in the Regional Finals by Arcola. Ryan Schmidt was named MVP of the NTC conference and earned 1st team IBCA All-State honors, while Brock Fearday made 1st team All-Conference and 2nd team IBCA All-State. Collin Westendorf was named to the 2nd team All-Conference, and Coach Rincker earned his 250th win of his career.

The season was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team, especially the seniors Collin Westendorf, Max Koenig, Luke Anderson (manager), and Nick Ruholl.

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