EDITOR’S NOTE: On Wednesday, March 25, the Nebraska School Activities Association suspended all activity practices and competitions through May 1 due to COVID-19.
These suspensions may be extended should the conditions warrant. Until an official decision has been made in regards to spring sports, the York News-Times sports department will be running its spring sports previews for girls and boys track and soccer, as well as boys golf and girls tennis, in the daily sports section.
YORK – In a 2019-20 season full of lumps and learning for the York Dukes boys basketball team, its two top players still found their names on the all-conference lists that were recently released.
Dukes’ junior guard Matt Haggadone earned second-team All-Central Conference while another junior guard, Jake Erwin, was on the third team. The girls’ all-conference selections will be in Saturday’s edition of the York News-Times.
Haggadone, a 6-foot-3 sharpshooter, was York’s top scorer, averaging 15.3 points per game against defenses aiming to take him away as Dukes’ No. 1 option. Haggadone flashed a quick release on his jump shot and finished his season as a 36-percent 3-point shooter, making 56 of 155 from behind the arc.
Haggadone’s 36-point outburst against Crofton at the St. Francis Holiday Tournament in Humphrey helped York end its season-opening five-game losing streak. In the conference tournament against Holdrege, Haggadone was a terror for the Dusters in York’s zone defense, recording a team-high seven steals. He also netted 31 points against Holdrege and was efficient in doing so, making 8 of 9 shots inside the arc. In the Dukes’ subdistrict final on Feb. 24 in Aurora, Haggadone lit up Seward for a game-high 25 points and hit six 3s.
“He was huge. That shooting spreads the floor for us,” York head coach Scott Lamberty said of Haggadone that night. “That provides open areas for other people to drive and to post up and to cut, because they (Seward) won’t leave him (Haggadone) as much.”
Haggadone was an 80-percent free-throw shooter (43 of 54) and averaged 3.4 rebounds per contest.
Similar to the football season, Erwin had a lot put on his shoulders for the Dukes on the basketball court as one of the only players with returning varsity experience. He led the team in rebounding (5.5 per game, 132 total), assists (2.9 per game, 71 total) and steals (2.4 per game, 59 total).
At just 6-1, Erwin fought in the paint against bigger and stronger opponents and still hauled down a team-best 35 offensive boards on the year. He was the second-leading scorer for the Dukes, too, at 11.5 per game.
Here are the All-Central Conference first, second and third teams, as well as honorable mention picks:
First team: Gavin Lipovsky, senior, Adams Central; Cam Foster, junior, Adams Central; Nate Boerkircher, senior, Aurora; Josiah Gardiner, senior, Crete; Dylan Richman, senior, Lexington.
Second team: Jed Walford, junior, Grand Island Northwest; Colby Hayes, senior, Grand Island Northwest; Nick Saiz, senior, Lexington; Easton Hall, junior, Schuyler; Matt Haggadone, junior, York.
Third team: Tyler Slechta, junior, Adams Central; Jaxon Weyand, sophomore, Crete; Jackson Hilyard, senior, Holdrege; Carson Tvrdy, junior, Seward; Jake Erwin, junior, York.
Honorable mention: Dante Boelhower, junior Adams Central; Lucas Bohlen, junior, Adams Central; Tate Nachtigal, sophomore, Aurora; Andrew Bell, junior, Aurora; Jameson Herzberg, junior Aurora; Zach Fye, senior, Crete; Sam Rasgorshek, senior, Crete; Parker Janky, junior, Grand Island Northwest; Tyler Hageman, senior, Grand Island Northwest; Alex Brandt, junior, Grand Island Northwest; Dylan Bauman, senior, Holdrege; Dashton Edgren, junior, Holdrege; Jackson Hinrichs, freshman, Holdrege; Thunder Pilakowski, senior, Columbus Lakeview; Adam Van Cleave, sophomore, Columbus Lakeview; Evan Tessendorf, senior, Columbus Lakeview; Kaleb Carpenter, senior, Lexington; Aaron Langemeier, junior, Schuyler; Theo Hughes, Seward.