OTTUMWA-Regular season and postseason Region XI champion Indian Hills placed three players on the all-region basketball first team and had another player on the honorable mention list.
The Warriors, national tournament-bound after winning the postseason district title on Wednesday night, had three of the five all-region first team members – sophomores Chris McNeal and Kenny Wormley and freshman Ivan Aurrecoechea. IHCC redshirt freshman Brady Ernst was an honorable mention choice.
McNeal is the Warriors’ best scorer and team leader, averaging 13.2 points a game. His 81 3-pointers are currently the seventh-most in a single season in school history. The sophomore from Jackson, Tenn. is also the team leader in free throws (91) and assists (174, 5.3 a game) and is second in steals (42).
Aurrecoechea, a freshman from Spain, has had a huge impact on IHCC’s success the second half of the season, amassing nine double-doubles in the past 11 games, a span in which he has averaged 15.4 points and 16.0 rebounds a game. He has boosted his season averages to 9.8 points and 9.5 boards and has totaled 13 games with double figures in points and rebounds while making 57 percent of his field goal attempts.
Wormley is one of what coach Hank Plona refers to as his team’s “glue guys” with an ability to impact a contest on both ends of the floor. A sophomore transfer from Landover, Maryland, he averages 8.8 points and 2.2 assists and tops the Warriors in 3-point percentage at 40.7 percent. Wormley hit one of the big shots of the season for IHCC, a game-winning 3-pointer to knock off Iowa Western at home.
Ernst, who redshirted last season at Iowa State University, was off to a strong start this season before he was sidelined with a foot injury, causing him to miss six games and play limited minutes in five more the second half of the campaign. His season averages are 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds and he’s shooting a team-best 63.7 percent from the floor. Ernst is from Clinton, Iowa and has committed to play next year at Xavier University.
The trio of IHCC players on the all-region first team are joined by DeQuon Lake of Iowa Western, and Chris Myers of Southeastern. The second team is made up of Alex Peacock and Pat Dembley of Iowa Western, Marshalltown’s Brandon Simmons and Jamir Coleman, Vance Johnson from Northeast (Neb.), and Rayford Albright of Southeastern.
Indian Hills is currently 29-4 and sporting a 13-game winning streak. The Warriors have qualified for this month’s NJCAA National Tournament which begins Mar. 20 in Hutchinson, Kans.