High school basketball in Bureau County has provided much excitement over the years as the players and teams come and go.
With the recent turn to a new decade of hoopla, here’s my look back at the All-BCR Decade Team for 2010-19:
The boys (first team)
Kale Barnett (BV/2016-19): Like his cousin, Parker Neuhalfen, before him, Barnett was dangerous with the basketball in his hands. The 2018-19 BCR Player of the Year led the Storm in scoring (17.4), rebounding (5.5), assists (4.0) and steals (3.0) as a senior. He is school’s all-time leader in assists (336) and fourth in scoring (1,399). He was named Third Team IBCA All-State and Honorable Mention AP All-State.
Brett Fanning (Hall/2010-13): The 2012-13 BCR Player of the Year (two-time First Team All-BCR) filled the nets for a 21.3 ppg average his senior year, finishing No. 2 on the Hall all-time scoring list behind neighbor Shawn Jeppson with 1,238 career points.
Michael Murray (Princeton/2009-11): The BCR Player of the Year for 2010-11 shined in two seasons on the Tiger varsity. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals as a senior. He received NCIC First Team and AP Honorable Mention All-State honors.
Parker Neuhalfen (BV/2012-15): No one has played better basketball at Bureau Valley than Neuhalfen. The two-time BCR Player of the Year was the Three Rivers East Conference Player of the Year. He became BV’s all-time leading scorer with 2,208 career points, ranked third best in Bureau County history. He averaged 21.9 ppg as a senior.
Owen Landwehr (Annawan-Mineral/ 2015-18): The man from Mineral inside the county lines took his talents to Annawan, leading the Braves to a state runner-up finish in 2018. He led the Braves in scoring (19.3), rebounds (3.4), steals (2.4) and blocks (0.8) as a senior. He was named First Team AP and IBCA All-State and Lincoln Trail All-Conference.
The boys (second team)
Garrett Duffin (Princeton/2013-15): The Blonde Bomber was the Tigers’ top gun for two years. Named TRAC East First Team and AP All-State Honorable Mention. Played two years at Sauk Valley and two years at Lakeland University.
Jacob Fisher (Princeton/2010-12): Fisher was a two-time First Time All-BCR pick, named as Player of the Year for 2011-12. An ambidextrous talent, “Fish” led the Tigers in scoring (17.3) and rebounding (8.0) and was the area leader in steals (2.3).
Tommy Johnston (BV/2012-15): Playing alongside teammate Parker Neuhalfen, Johnston was a two-time First Team selection, averaging better than 14 ppg his junior and senior years. He poured in 37 points in a regional semifinal win.
Jarrett Olson (St. Bede/2012-15): The two-time All-BCR First Teamer scored 1,119 points for the Bruins and was on pace to becoming the academy’s all-time leading scorer before transferring to Galesburg for his senior season. Averaged 22.9 ppg his junior year.
Drew Pullam (Hall/2014-16): The 2016 BCR Player of the Year turned in a double-double his senior year, averaging 17 points and 11.3 rebounds. Was named First Team Three Rivers All-Conference.
Special mention: Colby Robbins (Princeton/2015-17) - 2016-17 BCR Player of the Year.
The girls (first team)
Saige Barnett (Bureau Valley/2015-19): The 2018-19 BCR Player of the Year broke the 21-year all-time scoring record at BV, finishing with 1,426 points. The two-time All-BCR First Teamer was unanimous TRAC East All-Conference. Barnett was the team leader in scoring (16.4), assists (118), steals (90) and blocked shots (24) her senior year.
Megan Foes (Annawan-Mineral/ 2010-13): Foes became the first state champion from her hometown Mineral as a member of Annawan’s 1A state champions in 2014. The Lincoln Trail All-Conference and AP Honorable Mention All-Stater led all Bureau County players in assists (101) while averaging 10.7 ppg.
Hunter Galassi (Hall/2013-17): Hours in the gym with her dad, Marc, turned the Cherry Comet into one of the best ever Lady Devils to play. The two-time BCR Player of the Year averaged 15.8 ppg as a senior, finishing as Hall’s No. 2 all-time scorer with 1,330 points. She was named unanimous TRAC East All-Conference and AP Second Team All-State.
Lexi Loftus (LaMoille-Ohio/2014-18): The 2017-18 BCR Player of the Year was groomed to be a scorer and put up some real lofty numbers — 2,029 career points (second all-time BCR), 734 points for senior season (26.2 ppg) and single games of 45, 44 and 39. She was named to the AP First Team All-State. She was a three-time All-BCR First Teamer.
Anna Murray (Princeton/2015-18): The slick point guard overcame a knee injury that knocked her out of her freshmen season to become one of the best players to wear the Princeton blue and white (1,169 career points). The unanimous TRAC East and First Team 2A All-Stater averaged 16.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.3 steals her senior season. She was named three times to the All-BCR First Team.
The girls (second team)
Heaven Bennett (Bureau Valley/2012-15): Was named as the 2014-15 All-BCR co-Player of the Year, leading the Storm to their first winning season and regional championship in five years. She led the Storm in rebounding (7.9) while averaging 9.5 ppg.
Mo Dean (St. Bede/2010-13): The 2012-13 BCR Player of the Year averaged 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior for the Lady Bruins. She was a First Team NCIC All-Conference and Third Team IBCA All-State selections.
Jaclyn Kain (Hall/2010-12): Shared 2011-12 BCR Player of the Year honors, named to the First Team twice. She became the third all-time leading scorer at Hall (now fourth) with 1,173 career points, averaging 15.3 ppg for her dad’s Lady Devils.
Darcy Kepner (Bureau Valley/2012-15): Shared All-BCR Player of the Year honors with teammate Heaven Bennett in 2015. The Storm point guard led the Storm in scoring (12.4 ppg) and assists (1.4). She was a two-time All-BCR First Teamer.
Jasmine Kunkel (Princeton/2010-12): The two-time BCR First Team selection became the fourth 1,000-point scorer with 1,002 points. She was a 2011-12 co-BCR Player of The Year.
Players of the decade
Boys: Parker Neuhalfen (Bureau Valley).
Girls: Lexi Loftus (LaMoille-Ohio).