IHCC Warriors Region XI Champs 5th Year in a Row

OTTUMWA-Indian Hills, the regular season and postseason Region XI champs for the fifth year in a row, dominated the 2017-18 all-region awards handed out this week.  IHCC had three of the six first team all-region players, including Player of the Year Shane Gatling, and the Coach of the Year in Hank Plona.

The IHCC representatives on the all-region first team are Gatling, Ivan Aurrecoechea and Antonio “Booman” Williams, all sophomores.

Gatling, a transfer from Niagara University and a native of Baldwin, N.Y., is the leading scorer for the national tournament-bound Warriors, averaging 16.2 ppg.  His 99 3-pointers are three shy of the school season record and he’s shooting 39 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from the foul line.

Aurrecoechea is a first-team choice for the second year in a row.  From Madrid, Spain, he has averages of 13.5 points and 11.8 rebounds with 15 double-doubles for the year.  The two-year starter has over 700 points and more than 650 rebounds in his IHCC career.  He shoots nearly 60 percent from the field.

Williams, from Chicago, Ill., is another two-year starter with more than 800 points as a Warrior.  He has averaged 14.7 points and 4.8 rebounds this season from his guard spot and leads the team in assists with 158 and is tied for tops in steals with 39.

Indian Hills also has two players on the all-region Honorable Mention list.  They are sophomore Jamel Allen and freshman Devontae Lane.

Allen has averaged 9.9 points and 3.3 rebounds a game and the Brentwood, N.Y. native is third in 3-pointers with 44.  Lane, from Iowa City, Ia., has provided solid floor play, scoring 6.0 points and handing out 4.3 assists.

Plona has piloted the Warriors to a 33-0 record this season and a No. 1 national ranking.  IHCC rolled to a perfect 8-0 region mark and added two more region victories to capture the postseason crown.  The third-year head coach has compiled a 91-10 record and has his team ready to make its third consecutive national tourney appearance under his guidance and its fifth straight overall.

The rest of the all-region first team picks are Mohamad Thiam of Marshalltown and Patrick Dembley and Isaiah Wade from Iowa Western.

Second-team selections are DeAndre Barton, Patrick Jackson and Kourtney Ware, all from Southeastern, Steven Wooten of Northeast (Neb.) and Marshalltown’s Oscar Kao.

Melkisedek Moreaux of Northeast and Iowa Western’s Emmanuel Ugboh, Shadeed Shabazz and Jevon Smith join IHCC’s Allen and Lane in the honorable mention group.