JC Butler becoming Prairie’s first All-Racine County Player of the Year in boys basketball in 38 years is only one storyline on this year’s team.
The other four first-team players, as selected by the coaches, have all been starting since their freshman seasons. And each had the credentials to be Player of the Year had Butler not produced the season he just completed.
Jack Pettit, who played for his father, Dave, at Union Grove, became the Broncos’ all-time leading scorer. Larry Canady of Park and Marquise Milton of Horlick each surpassed 1,000 career points this season.
And then there’s Nobal Days of Park, who is one of the most heavily recruited basketball players from Racine County in the last several years. While Days wasn’t a prolific scorer, he was a game-changer in a number of different ways and compiled a quadruple-double this season.
Here are capsules on the first-team All-County players:
NOTABLE: Averaged 26.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Went 251 for 471 (53 percent) from the floor, including 55 for 153 (46 percent) from 3-point range. Was first-team Associated Press All-State, first-team on the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 4 All-State team and was the unanimous Metro Classic Conference Player of the Year. Butler became the first boy in Racine County history to reach 2,000 career points.
QUOTABLE: “He is a quiet leader, he craves discipline and to be coached hard and held accountable, he is a loving and caring son and grandson and an amazing brother to his five sisters,” Prairie coach Jason Atanasoff said. “My first few years at Prairie I taught third- and fourth-grade physical education along with high school classes, so I have had the pleasure of teaching and being around JC since he was 8 years old. While he has matured a ton physically, I’m not sure so much he has changed over the last 10 years as far as the person he is. JC has always looked out for those who may not be the most popular or get picked on. He is intelligent, compassionate and truly enjoys going out of his way to help others.”
SCHOOL: Union Grove
COLLEGE: St. Norbert’s.
NOTABLE: Averaged averaged 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Earned first-team All-Southern Lakes Conference honors as both a junior and senior and was named Player of the Year in the SLC as a senior. Was honorable mention Associated Press All-State and Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 All-State. Passed Jason Morgan to become Union Grove’s all-time leading scorer with 1,188 points. He also is the school’s career leader in assists (302) and steals (123). Was Union Grove’s team captain and MVP the past three years. Led the Broncos to a 19-5 record and their first conference championship since 2014.
QUOTABLE: “Jack will graduate as one of the better players that I have coached in my 23 years,” Union Grove coach Dave Pettit, Jack’s father, said. “Jack’s composure on the court is one of his greatest strengths. He brings a confident, yet calm demeanor to the game. While Jack could do a bit of everything, his two biggest attributes to our team were his extremely high basketball IQ, and his ability to provide leadership. Jack is a role model for what a good teammate should be.“
NOTABLE: Averaged 6.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.3 blocked shots and 1.8 steals per game. Was honorable mention Associated Press All-State and first-team All-Southeast Conference. Days has 10 points, 20 rebounds, 12 blocks and 11 assists in a 68-67 nonconference victory over Milwaukee Hamilton Dec. 19. Has received numerous scholarship offers from Division I programs, including Wisconsin and Marquette.
QUOTABLE: “Nobal is the definition of a true student-athlete,” Park coach Jim Betker said. “Not only does he perform on the court, but also in the classroom. His 4.3 GPA ranks him in the top 10 of his class. He is an unselfish, great teammate who makes everyone around him better. Nobal is a stat stuffer, which included a quadruple-double this season. He is an exceptional passer, rebounder and shot blocker with a high basketball IQ.”
NOTABLE: Averaged a team-high 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Earned first-team All-Southeast Conference honors. A three-year starter, Canady has already surpassed 1,000 career points. Scored at least 20 points in eight games, with a high of 31 in an 84-56 victory over Horlick Dec. 12.
QUOTABLE: “Larry has been an outstanding student-athlete the past three years,” Park coach Jim Betker said. “Larry is a high honor roll student who loves to compete on the court and in the classroom. Larry works extremely hard on both ends of the court. Not only did he lead us in scoring, but he also was assigned to defend opponent’s top players. We are looking forward to his senior season.
POSITION: Point Guard
NOTABLE: Averaged 23.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Shot 37 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. Was second-team All-Southeast Conference this past season after earning first-team honors as a sophomore. Milton went over the 1,000-point scoring mark this season and has 1,355 points for his career.
QUOTABLE: “Marquise was our leader on the basketball floor,” Horlick coach Jason Treutelaar said. “He was willing to do more this season to incorporate his teammates on the offensive end. Defensively, Marquise improved his game, making him a more all-around basketball player. Marquise understands the game very well and shows great composure. He is the most gifted point guard I have had the opportunity to coach in 19 years. With all of Marquise’s strong attributes, next season should be fun to watch as he has to welcome many new faces on the roster.”