Sports in KS: 2017 Boys Basketball Players of the Year

Mitchell Ballock of Eudora (left) & Darien Jackson of BV Northwest (right) earned 4A-I & 6A POYs.
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Mar 19, 2017

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2017 Sports in Kansas Player of the Year Honors

All-Classes: Mitchell Ballock, Eudora Sr.

6A: Darien Jackson, BV Northwest Sr.

5A: Matt Pile, Eisenhower Sr.

4A-I: Mitchell Ballock, Eudora Sr.

4A-II: Conner VanCleave, Holcomb Sr.

3A: Gabe Pieschl, Marysville Jr.

2A: Mikey Wycoff, Bishop Seabury Sr.

1A-I: Will Bruna, Hanover Sr.

1A-II: Danen Kistner, Hartford Sr.

Junior of the Year: Ben Pyle, McPherson Jr.

Sophomore of the Year: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Miege Soph. 

Freshman of the Year: Ty Berry, Newton Fr. 

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All-Classes Player of the Year

Mitchell Ballock, Eudora, 6-5 Sr.

Ballock averaged 25 points a game and eight rebounds per contest as a senior for Eudora. Although he didn’t get to the state tourney this year losing to Miege, and losing to the Stags in each of the last three seasons in the postseason, who also went on to win the last two state 4A-I titles. Ballock has signed with Creighton to play next season and is one was one of the Top 50 recruits in the nation for the class of 2017. He helped lead Eudora to a 4A-II state title in 2014 as a freshman, when he averaged 20 points per game.

6A Player of the Year

Darien Jackson, BV Northwest, 6-3 Sr.

A senior guard, Jackson led the Huskies to the 2017 6A state title over Lawrence. The Tulsa signee averaged 18 points per game as a senior and was also an all-state selection last season. Jackson scored 62 points over three games in the 6A state tournament this season.

5A Player of the Year

Matt Pile, Goddard Eisenhower, 6-8 Sr.

Pile had over 1,300 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career for the Tigers as he led them to a 3rd place finish in 5A this season. The Nebraska-Omaha signee has averaged a double-double since his sophomore year. Eisenhower was 23-2 over his senior campaign.

4A-I Player of the Year

Mitchell Ballock, Eudora, 6-5 Sr.

Ballock averaged 25 points a game and eight rebounds per contest as a senior for Eudora. Although he didn’t get to the state tourney this year losing to Miege, and losing to the Stags in each of the last three seasons in the postseason, who also went on to win the last two state 4A-I titles. Ballock has signed with Creighton to play next season and is one was one of the Top 50 recruits in the nation for the class of 2017. He helped lead Eudora to a 4A-II state title in 2014 as a freshman, when he averaged 20 points per game.

4A-II Player of the Year

Conner VanCleave, Holcomb, 6-7 Sr.

VanCleave may be the best three sport all-state athlete in the entire state of Kansas. He has earned player of the year honors from Sports in Kansas in baseball and basketball over his career. He has three state titles, two coming in basketball and one in football. He was a machine for the Longhorns over his basketball career with over 1,400 points and 1,000 rebounds. He scored 76 points over three games in the 2017 state tournament to lead the Longhorns to the state title. He has signed to play baseball at Kansas and features a 90+ MPH fastball.

3A Player of the Year

Gabe Pieschl, Marysville, 6-2 Jr.

Pieschl led Marysville to the 3A state title this March as he scored 71 points over three state tournament games. It was the first state title for Marysville since 2003 and the third in school history. Pieschl was also a first team All 3A selection this season and third team all-classes selection as he averaged over 21 points per game as a junior.

2A Player of the Year

Mikey Wycoff, Bishop Seabury, 6-1 Sr.

Wycoff led Seabury to a third place finish, the highest finish in school history, in 2A this season and nearly to the title game as they lost in six overtimes to St. John in the 2A semifinals. He averaged 25 points per game as a senior and has been a four time all 2A pick, first or second team, from Sports in Kansas. Wycoff was the leading scorer over the 2017 2A state tournament with 60 points over three games.

1A-I Player of the Year

Will Bruna, Hanover, 6-1 Sr.

Bruna, who has been a two-time football player of the year in the 8-man ranks from Sports in Kansas, adds to his total with earning 1A-I basketball player of the year. His 64 points at the 2A state tournament were tied for the most in 1A-I 2017. He led Hanover to the 1A-I state title by averaging 16 points per game as a senior in 2016-2017.

1A-II Player of the Year

Danen Kistner, Hartford, 6-1 Sr.

Kistner has been one of the top small school players over the last four seasons at Hartford and previously Waverly. Kistner scored 55 points to lead all scorers in three 1A-II tournament games to lead Hartford to a second place finish in 2017. The three-time all-state selection averaged 24 points as a senior. He is the only player in Kansas (boys or girls) this season to have over 2,000 career points.