Bell, Karlen, Johnson, Hill named top players

Curtis Bell (St. Paul Washington), Aliza Karlen (St. Paul Central), Isaac Johnson (Minneapolis North), and Morgan Hill (Minneapolis South) were named Players of the Year (POY) in their respective conferences in boys and girls basketball.

Bell, a 6’-3”senior guard who was named St. Paul City Conference boys basketball POY, is one of the best players you’ve never heard of. He averaged 25.5 points per game this past season, including an early season stretch in which he scored 34 points and 14 rebounds against St. Croix Lutheran and 41 and 20 against Hill Murray. He finished his career with 1684 points (including 711 this season).

Karlen, a 6’-2” freshman, earned POY girls basketball honors in the St. Paul City Conference after leading the Minutemen to a 10-2 conference record, while averaging 25.8 points, 13.7 rebounds per game, 1.4 blocks and 2.7 steals per game.

(l-r) Curtis Bell – Photo courtesy of Facebook; Aliza Karlen – Photo by Roosevelt Mansfield; Isaac Johnson – Photo by Mitchell Palmer McDonald; Morgan Hill – Photo by Mitchell Palmer McDonald

Johnson, a 6-foot 3 senior guard who will play for Western Illinois next year, earned Minneapolis City Conference POY honors after capping a brilliant four-year career leading North to its second consecutive Class 1A boys basketball championship, fourth consecutive City Conference crown, and second straight Twin Cities title while averaging a team-leading 24 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

Hill, a 5-foot 10 junior guard, led the Tigers to the Minneapolis City Conference title while averaging 24.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3.8 steals per game capturing POY honors in the process.

Minneapolis City and St. Paul City All-Conference teams (2017)  

    St. Paul City All Conference Team (Boys): Re’Twan Balenger (Central); Daveonte Davis (Central); Quincy Irmiter (Central) Jason Jett (Como Park) Kyrin Woodard (Como Park); Jovan Christian (Harding); Chris English (Harding); Amitri Collins-Westlund (Highland Park); Dreem Kelly (Highland Park); Victor Minefee (Highland Park); La’Vonta Bryant (Humboldt); Kyle Lee (Johnson); Justin Yang (Johnson); Curtis Bell (Washington); James Boua-Taylor (Washington); Maurice Carter (Washington).

     St. Paul City All Conference (Girls): Ellie Gubbrud (Central); Aliza Karlen (Central); Arlandus Montgomery (Central); Raiyne Adams (Como Park); Elaina Jones (Como Park); Autumn Tucker (Como Park); Makayla Van Nett (Como Park); Emma Ogitchida (Harding); Kaylynn Asberry (Highland Park); Tamia Ugass (Highland Park); Iyanna Rodgers Neely (Humboldt); Telayia Green (Washington).

     Minneapolis City All Conference Team (Girls): Sierra Morrow (Edison); Shanice Vaughn (Edison); Tanhehas Peterson (FAIR School); Serena Ballard (North), Monique Wooten (North); Alani Pettis (North); Juantanay Prado (Patrick Henry); Ladasha Brown (Roosevelt); Morgan Hill (South); Rose Lutz (South); Jade Hill (South); Olivia Youngdahl (Southwest); Samantha Mpaulo (Southwest); Jacquiline Boarman (Washburn).

     Minneapolis City All Conference Team (Boys): Isaac Johnson (North); O’Dell Wilson (North); JaQuan Sanders-Smith (North); Tayler Johnson (North); Jordan Lynn (Patrick Henry); Lamar Wood (Patrick Henry); Terrell Smith (Patrick Henry); Reggie Rogers (Roosevelt); Devon Hannah (Roosevelt); Brennan Hawkins (Southwest); Niki Polydorou (Southwest); Cortez Adams (Washburn); Terrell Adams (Washburn).

 

Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com