“Graham is not only a student of the game, but obviously a strong student in the classroom. We’re very proud of him. He has a strong work ethic in whatever he does,” Gish said.
Evan Warden, Western
Warden put the finishing touches on a stellar career by averaging 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals as a senior. He also became the fifth member of the Western’s 1,000-point club.
After Balentine went down with a knee injury in the Panthers’ sectional opener, Warden rose to the occasion with a 20-point effort in a 77-63 victory over Northwestern in the sectional semifinals before scoring 19 of his 29 points in the second half of 65-57 loss to Twin Lakes, a game where the Panthers came from 21 down in the third quarter to pull within two with two minutes to play.
Warden, who shot a team-best 81.3 percent from the free throw line, is a two-time All-Area pick. He was a second-team pick last season as well.
“Evan has meant a ton to the Western program over the past four years,” Miller said. “He’s an outstanding, highly competitive young man. He’s a great competitor, and you see that on the basketball court and on the baseball diamond. He’s a good young man off the court, as well, working hard to help others.”
Warden is a Morehead State baseball recruit. He helped the Panther baseball team win the 2012 Class 3A state title.
Seth Adelsperger, Peru
Adelsperger had a breakout season for the Bengal Tigers. The 6-11 junior averaged 14.7 points and an area-best 11.2 rebounds per game (4.1 offensive). He had a 22-rebound game against Maconaquah.
The Bengal Tiger big man also topped the area in blocked shots (46) and ranked No. 2 in field-goal shooting percentage (60.3).
“Seth had a great year for us,” Peru coach Jim Metcalfe said. “This was really only his third year of organized basketball. He has made tremendous strides since his freshman year, and this year he just kept getting better and better for us. We didn’t have a ton of varsity experience coming back so he was one of the guys we really relied on. When we were successful getting the ball inside to him, we usually played pretty well and had a chance to win.