2017-04-21 / Sports

Stevens' Zach O'Brien heads up All-Eagle Boys Basketball

Stevens' Zach O'Brien bet out some tough competition to earn the Eagle Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor. - TIM TAYLOR/EAGLE FILEStevens' Zach O'Brien bet out some tough competition to earn the Eagle Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor. - TIM TAYLOR/EAGLE FILETeamwork led the Stevens boys basketball team all the way to a 21-4 overall record and its first NHIAA Division III championship game in 78 years. In doing this the Cardinals had more than one player step up and show his talent and leadership along the way.

The play of starters Zach O'Brien, Parker Smith and Noah Spaulding, combined with Vermonters like Seth Balch, Shane Clark and Mack Walton, made the selection of the Eagle Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year an unenviable and stressful task.

In the end it was Nick O'Brien's play in the end that set him aside from the rest of the group. A fiercely intense competitor all season long, the senior forward somehow found a way to raise his game another notch during the playoffs, averaging 17.7 points and 10 rebounds. For the season, O'Brien averaged 11.3 points and 10. 7 rebounds. Offensively, he was difficult to defend around the basket. Defensively, he matched up well against opponents' top post players. He was also selected a New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization honorable mention.

Following is the rest of the All-Eagle team.

Shane Clark, Bellows Falls

Tabbed the best overall player on the team by his coach, the junior forward averaged 13 points per game. He could score from anywhere on the court, was strong on defense and was a selfless teammate. Clark was chosen to the Marble Valley League C Division first team.

Cam Joy, Bellows Falls

The senior guard pumped out 10 points per game and was named to the MVL C Division second team.

Anthony Mueller, Bellows Falls

A senior forward, he led the Terriers in rebounds, steals and minutes on the floor. The team's best defender played his role well and was named to the MVL C Division second team.

Jacob Bardis, Fall Mountain

The sophomore was the Wildcats' leading scorer this season.

Ranger Wilson, Fall Mountain

A junior, he was a solid all-around player.

Mack Walton, Green Mountain

The senior guard averaged 14 points per game, but was arguably the top defensive player in the area. The team captain, he was a “great leader” who never took a play off. Walton didn't even play basketball until his freshman year of high school and his coach said he “really helped to change the culture of Green Mountain basketball.” He was a MVL C Division first team selection.

James Anderson, Green Mountain

A very skilled offensive player who took on the tough task as a freshmen to be a point guard, he handled the pressure very well. He averaged 13 points per game and was named to the MVL C Division second team.

Ian Kehoe, Green Mountain

A senior forward he was picked as a MVL C Division honorable mention.

Ethan Houde, Newport

The junior guard played a key role in the offensive game, but was hampered part of the season by a foot injury.

Ty Richardson, Newport

Quickness and strong ball-handling skills were key aspects of the senior guard's game. He was hampered by a hand injury much of the season.

Noah Wood, Newport

Wood's 6-2 frame made him a valuable inside presence. He could hit the long-range shot as well.

Caleb Hunter, Springfield

A senior guard, he was named a MVL B Division honorable mention.

G.J. Scherington, Springfield

The junior guard was a MVL B Division honorable mention.

Noah Spaulding, Stevens

The junior ran the offense as well as any point guard around. He knocked down 23 three's, shot over 80 percent from the line, averaged 13.1 points per game and kept his turnovers to under two per game. He was named a NHBCO honorable mention.

Parker Smith, Stevens

An unselfish player I've coached, he made everyone around him better and enjoyed their success as much as his own, according to his coach. The senior guard averaged 11.2 points per game, and just under five rebounds and three assists per game. He shot 56.3 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from deep. He could defend multiple positions effectively and was named a NHBCO honorable mention.

Nick O'Brien, Stevens

The senior forward averaged just under 10 points per game and hauled in just under seven rebounds per contest. He was often tasked with defending the opponent's best scorer and had a lot of success doing so. He was a solid 3-point shooter, but also showed he could be dominate around the basket.

Richard Bell, Stevens

The senior guard was good at choosing the right moments to step up offensively and defensively, and was a strong catch-and-shoot scorer who could take an opponent off the dribble and offer a deadly pull-up jumper. When he catches fire there isn't a better shooter in the division, according to his coach.

Austin Leblanc, Sunapee

A senior center, he was a solid performer all season.

Cade Robinson, Sunapee

The junior guard was a key player for the Lakers.

Hank Vincent, Sunapee

The senior guard brought a nice outside touch to the offense.

Seth Balch, Windsor

The junior guard was a dangerous outside shooter and solid all-around player, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 14-9 record and a berth in the VPA Division 3 semifinals. He was a Marble Valley B Division first team selection.

Ben Meagher, Windsor

A junior forward, he was named a MVL B Division honorable mention.

Dakota Page, Windsor

A junior guard, he was another of the Jacks' top all-around players. Page was also chosen to the MVL B Division first team.

Robert Slocum, Windsor

The sophomore guard was chosen a MVL B Division honorable mention.

Honorable mention

Fall Mountain – Bailey Cote, Owen Marandino; Newport – Kyle Fish, Brandon Sondrini; Springfield – Dakota Bushey; Sunapee – Nick Ducharme

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