Basketball team

All-Heartland Super Squad Boys Basketball Team | local sports

Compiled by Marc Zavala

isaac traudt

The pressure was pretty low for Isaac Traudt this season.

The Grand Island Senior High senior verbally committed to playing basketball for Virginia before the start of his senior year.

In his senior year, he averaged 23.6 points per game while grabbing 8.5 rebounds in the 2021-22 season. Traudt finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in Islanders history with 1,526 points.

Traudt said that since he made his decision to play basketball at Virginia, there was no individual pressure on him.

“I didn’t feel that since I was already engaged. I didn’t have to worry about who was watching me or what I was doing in the past,” Traudt said.

But even before Traudt committed, he received 28 offers from different schools. GISH coach Jeremiah Slough said Traudt still handled it as well as any player could have.

People also read…

“He never let national attention or the recruiting process get in the way of his work ethic,” Slough said. “He continued to go about his business with the humidity.”

Slough said he sees Traudt having success playing for the Cavaliers.

“He has the work ethic, the character, the basketball IQ, the coach and the talent. He has all these tools,” Slough said. “He can score at three levels. He has a great mid-range jumper and can shoot all three and score at the rim. He is an excellent rebounder and he has become an excellent defender. I think Virginia is the perfect person for Isaac.

Marcus Lowry

Grand Island Central Catholic

Marcus Lowry was a player who could score almost anywhere on the pitch.

Grand Island Central Catholic could score from the perimeter or inside.

This was evident in the C-2 Class State Finals when hw tallied 26 points.

It was part of a senior campaign where he scored 412 points on an average of 14.7 points per game. He made 40 3-pointers on the season and shot about 57% from the field, helping the Crusaders to second place in the C-2 class.

GICC coach Tino Martinez said Lowry’s versatility made Lowry a difficult person to defend against.

“He could play offensively on the perimeter and was really a weapon for us as a post player,” Martinez said. “He was almost impossible to watch at times. If you throw a bigger guy on him, we’ll go to the perimeter and have him keep Marcus there.

“And if you put a smaller guy on him, we’ll move him inside. And he had a nice mid-range game with a pull-up. It was a tough defensive game.

Martinez never questioned Lowry’s work ethic, especially in a defensive game where he had to guard against other teams’ best players.

“He’s drawn tough assignments over the years and done a great job defensively. There were always times when he often sacrificed his body, but his level of competition was always high,” Martinez said. “That’s what made him a leader for us this year.”

Isaac Herbek

Grand Island Central Catholic

Grand Island Central Catholic needed Isaac Herbek to step in.

That’s exactly what the four-year-old Crusader starter did in the 2021-22 season and scored 442 on an average of 15.8 points per game. He made 55.5% of his shots, including 40 3-pointers, helping the Crusaders finish second in the C-2 class.

“He really came out of his shell this year and took on that scoring role for us this year,” said GICC coach Tino Martinez. “We were always able to do that last year, but we were so balanced in our scoring that we didn’t need him. This season, we really needed him to be a goalscorer for us.

“His ability to score the basketball off the 3-pointer, driving to the rim and his mid-range play, he was able to display them more prominently than he had in the past.”

And Martinez has always relied on Herbek to keep any player on the pitch, whether it’s a guard or a post player.

“He was a great defender because of his length. He was able to guard anybody, be it perimeter players or inside players,” Martinez said. “He was a good player versatile for us.”

And one thing teams hated to do was send Herbek to the free throw line, where he shot 83%, including about 86% during his career.

“You really couldn’t send to the foul line in the fourth quarter and hope he missed,” Martinez said. “Most of the time, he was almost always clutch for us.”

Ayden Zikmund

There’s always one thing Central City manager BJ Blase never has to worry about with second Ayden Zikmund.

And he knew it when Zikmund entered CM2.

“I think he went to four or five Coach Mike Trader camps in one summer,” Blase said. “Not a lot of kids do that. He just fell in love with the game at a young age and he wants to be good at it.

Blase said he thought the work ethic helped him have a successful second season. Zikmund averaged 17.8 points per game for the Bison. He made 43.4% of his shots during the season, including 37.4% of his 3 points.

He was also the Bison’s best free throw thrower as he was 76.5 percent from the line. This helped Central City finish with a school-best 21 wins and a second straight trip to the District Finals as well as finish at the Lou-Platte Conference Tournament Champions.

Blase said Zikmund did a good job as a vocal leader and his teammates responded to him.

“He’s taken a big step forward, although he’s already led by example with his game on the pitch,” Blase said. “He helps push the guys in the right direction to make our team better.”

With Blase having second for two more years, he said he knew Zikmund always wanted to improve.

“He’s still not happy with where he is. He’s going to keep working on his game,” Blase said. “He’s a gym rat and he wants to play all the time. He works very hard and his attitude has always been very good.”

Bradyen Schropp

Hastings St. Cecilia coach Ryan Ohnoutka says Bradyen Schropp can score at all three levels.

“He scored posting against a big guy, stopping and shooting for a jumper, and his 3-point play,” Ohnoutka said. “It always looked like he would find ways to score for us.”

This helped the senior Bluehawk have a successful season where he scored 418 points averaging 16.1 ppg and had a 53.5 field goal percentage.

He even scored his 1,000th career points during the season. He is only the third athlete from St. Cecilia to do so. He is behind Brooks Asher (’16) and Jerry Sherman (’58).

Ohnoutka said it was a nice honor but Schrapp didn’t really care.

“We have such a rich basketball tradition full of great players and this milestone for Brayden puts him in elite company for our school,” he said. “He deserves these recognitions but his main objective was to always make his teammates better.

Ohnoutka said Schropp is a player everyone loves to have, especially on the Bluehawks’ roster.

“He had such an impact on the whole program, even on us coaches,” Ohnoutka said. “He led with such high energy that it affected everyone and just dragged them down. He just set the tone every day in training.

“And he made sure everyone not only worked hard, but made sure everyone had a good time. He didn’t care about individual awards, he just wanted to improve and wanted the team to improves.”

Schropp will play college basketball for Doane College.

SECOND TEAM ALL-HEARTLAND

Name Year Ht. pos. School RPG PPG

Gil Jengmer Sr. 6-8 F 7.4 4.1 GICC

Dillon Critel Sr. 6-0 G 25.0 3.5* Burwell

Tony Berger Sr. 6-0 G 21.2 4.7 Riverside

Tate Nachtigal Jr. 6-6 F 12.6 6.5 Aurora

Ethan Smith Sr. 6-1 G 12.1 4.8 Doniphan-Trumbull

THIRD TEAM ALL-HEARTLAND

Name Year Ht. pos. School RPG PPG

Easton Graves Sr. 6-0 G 14.0 5.7 Wood River

Carter Mann Sr. 6-4 C 14.9 8.9 Burwell

Andy Poss Sr.G Grand Island

Myles Sadd Sr. 5-10 G 9.0 3.1* Doniphan-Trumbull

Kenai Kearney Jr. 6-2 C 11.6 7.8 Central City

FOURTH TEAM ALL-HEARTLAND

Name Year Ht. pos. School RPG PPG

Paul Fago Sr. 6-5 F 18.3 5.2 Adams Central

Trent Carraher Sr 5-9 B 15.5 3.6 Riverside

Blake Detamore Sr. 5-10 G 10.9 2.7 Doniphan-Trumbull

Caleb Paulk Jr. 6-3 C 11.5 6.7 Wood River

Troy Rasmussen Sr. 6-4 F 12.5 4.4 Centura

Honorable Mention

Adams Central: Jayden Teichmeier, So. ; Jacob Eckhardt, Sr.; Decker Chestak, So. Arcadia/Wolf City: Vince Eurek, Sr; Hayden Griffith, Jr.; Peyton Garrelts, Jr.; Bradyn Scott, Aurora: Preston Remaekers, Sr. Broken Bow: Keegan Baxter, Sr.; Austin Harvey, Sr. Burwell: Hans Gideon, Sr.; Titus Gideon, Jr. Central Valley: Carson Carman, Central City: Ashton Gragg, Jr.; Dylan Pfeifer, Jr. Elba: Brendon Keene, Centura: Kolby Gorecki, Sr.; Tanner Simdorn, Sr. Doniphan-Trumbull: Andrew Stock, Sr. Grand Island: Kytan Fyfe, Sr.; Dylan Sextro, Sr. Grand Island Central Catholic: Brayden Johnson, Sr.; Ishmael Nadir, Sr. Hastings: Brayden Power, So. Brayden Schram, Sr. Hastings St. Cecilia: Carson Kudlacek, Jr.; Garrett Parr, Sr. Northwest: Sam Hartman, Sr.; Wyatt Jensen, Sr.; Trevyn Keene, Jr. Ord: Will Grint, Sr.; Blake Henrichs, So.; Jonny DeRiso, Sr. Ravenna: Chase Lockhorn, Sr.; Trey Mieth, Sr. Riverside: Carson Bloom, Jr.; Conner Carraher, Sr. Spalding Academy: Dawson Murphy, Klayton Kleffner, Caidyn Carraher. St. Paul: Jaxson Klinginsmith, Sr.; Rylan Birkby, Sr. Wood River: Josh Luehr, So.; Cayleb Stewart, Sr.; Aiden Graves, Sr.