Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

April 13, 2014

All-Area boys basketball team

Wildkats' Persons is MVP of 51st annual honor squad

(Continued)

“It was neat to see his confidence just keep building as the season progressed. I’m excited for his offseason with AAU and excited for his senior year.”

Metcalfe noted Adelsperger also excels in the classroom.

“He is a great student, great kid to coach — one of the more polite and respectful kids I’ve ever been around. As the season progressed, he got better at being a leader and more vocal.”

Adelsperger holds scholarship offers from Indiana State and Valparaiso.

Blake Hadley, Cass

Hadley teamed with fellow All-Area players Keisling and Bixler to form a terrific three-guard attack for the regional champion Kings.

Hadley was the Kings’ second-leading scorer (14.7). The 5-7 senior shot 47 percent from the field overall and 38 percent from 3-land.

“Blake is a guy who has unequaled work habits,” Kitchel said. “I remember my first year, he was a sophomore. He wasn’t happy with his shooting percentage. It was during the season so I told him we’d change his mechanics [in the offseason] and he was all right with that. I’ve never seen a guy change mechanics and improve his shooting in such a short period of time. It was a short period of time, but it was thousands of shots that he took.

“He is almost mechanical in what he does as far as working to improve his game and it paid huge dividends this year for him and for our team.”

Hadley, like his backcourt mates, complemented his outside shooting with an ability to beat defenders off the dribble, attack the lane and draw fouls. He averaged five free-throw attempts per game.

K.J. Walton, Maconaquah

Walton gave the Braves a little bit of everything. He topped the team in scoring (11.6 points per game), rebounding (9.5 average) and blocked shots (22) and was No. 2 on the team in assists (2.6 average) and steals (1.7 average). He ranked No. 2 in the area in both rebounding and blocked shots.

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