By Joe Geren
Burlington High School senior Merquiche Lewis Jr. was named the Southeast Conference boys basketball player of the year, it was announced earlier this week.
Lewis led the conference in scoring with 533 points in 22 games for a 24.2-point average. He also averaged 9.5 rebounds, 3.27 steals and 2.86 assists. He led the Grayhounds to a 16-7 overall record and a 7-3 mark in the Southeast Conference, tying with Washington for second place.
Four other Burlington athletes were named to the all-conference first team – Mylee Stiefel in girls basketball and wrestlers Braxton Hutchinson, Salomon Cordero and Julian Perez-Hall.
Five of the six players named first team all-conference in boys basketball were unanimous selections — Lewis, Mount Pleasant’s Payton Hagans, Fairfield’s Max Weaton and J.J. Lane and Washington’s Ethan Patterson. Aidan Ashton of Mount Pleasant rounded out the first team.
Hagans averaged 20.7 points and 8.23 rebounds. Weaton averaged a double double – 19.5 points and 13.57 rebounds.
Burlington’s J.J. Martin, who averaged 13 points and 3.1 assists, was named to the second all-conference team, joining Keokuk’s Diego Garcia, Mount Pleasant’s Owen Vansickle, Fort Madison’s Hunter Cresswell and Washington’s A.J. Six and Aden Six.
Burlington sophomore Nehemiah Lewis was selected honorable mention. Eleven Grayhounds were named to the boys basketball all-academic team — Mateo Rascon, Merquiche Lewis, Christos Kantzavelos, Joey Jolin, Carson Ziegler, Thomas Fell, Adam Johnson, Minka Buheyer, Kyanne Dowell, Jaymee McGill and Penelope Taylor.
Stiefel was one of two freshmen to be named first team all-conference, joining Keokuk’s Kendra Boatman. Also named first team were: Camille Kruse of Fort Madison, Kayde Martin of Keokuk and Mount Pleasant’s Andrea Lopreato and Tristian Shull.
Kruse and Lopreato share player of the year honors.
Stiefel led Burlington with a scoring average of 16.7 points.
Second team selections were: Savanna Hollander and Ashlyn Lisk of Fairfield, Fort Madison’s Molly Knipe, Keokuk’s Makenna Altgilbers and Camryn Atterberg and Washington’s Adalyn Long and Alex Murphy.
Burlington’s Lilly Bartles and Ella Schroeder earned honorable mention.
Six Grayhounds were named to the all-academic team – Myah Rehman, Bartles, Schroeder, Emma Rohrer, Saydee Plummer and Zyana Bradford.
Hutchinson, a sophomore, went 37-8 for the season and made the all-conference first team at 106 pounds. Cordero, a junior, was 27-13 at 182 pounds and Perez-Hall, a senior, was 36-8 at 220 pounds.
Also named to the first team were: Cael McCabe (113 pounds) of Fairfield; Aaron Boone (120) of Washington; Caden Greiner (126) of Washington; Zach Westercamp (132) of Fairfield; Tate O’Shea (138) of Keokuk; Nolan Riddle (145) of Fort Madison; Aidan Pennock (152) of Fort Madison; Chase Greiner (160) of Washington; Teague Smith (170) of Fort Madison; Isaac Thacher (195) of Fort Madison; and Cory Arnett (285) of Fort Madison.
Three Burlington wrestlers were named to the second team – 113-pound freshman Lathan Hand (24-16), 160-pound junior Tanner Burchett (26-6) and 195-pound senior Moise Cordero (25-18).
Ten Grayhounds made the all-academic team – Burchett, Moise Cordero, Perez-Hall, Marissa Huff, Melanie Ried, Hannah Wegmann, Daniele Ebert, Analicia Lopez, Brenna Remele and Dilynn Taeger.