He averaged 22.8 points per game, became the all-time leading scorer at Cloverdale High School with 1,684 points and for the third straight year, Chase Haltom will top the BannerGraphic All-County boys' basketball team as the Player of the Year.
For four years Haltom has improved by leaps and bounds, hitting mildstones nearly every season. As a junior he joined the Cloverdale 1,000-point club when most players don't achieve that dream until their senior year, and this year he shattered Ann Hutcheson's school point record by 150 points. He was also named to the Indiana junior All-Star team last year and was named to the All-State honorable mention team this year.
Haltom was arguably the best boys basketball player in the county this past season, but he wasn't the only one. Thirteen players stood out from the rest this year seven of which, including Haltom, made the all-county team while the other six were named to the honorable mention team. Each player was picked solely on their individual performance for the season and their final statistics with no influence by any of the coaches.
The first one that joined Haltom on the team this year was his teammate, Kyle McCammon. McCammon was the second highest scorer on the Cloverdale team this year, averaging 17.4 points per game and shot 39.9 percent from the three-point line. Once he crossed the half court line, McCammon could hit the trey from anywhere and he proved it many times.
North Putnam has two players on the team this year, Jake Mullis and Riley McGaughey.
Mullis led the Cougars offense this year, averaging 15.9 points last season and averaged 3.5 steals as well. When Mullis wasn't scoring the points for the Cougars, he was dishing out assists to his teammates so they could get some of the action. Mullis dished out 93 assists for the season, averaging 4.4 per contest.
Throughout the season, McGaughey became a player the Cougars came to depend on in tight spots. Numerous times this year, McGaughey nailed clutch shots to give the Cougars a win or to give them a little more hope in overtime. When he wasn't hitting clutch shots, he was pounding the ball in the post. McGaughey averaged 15.5 points and six rebounds per game this season. He also had the highest three-point shooting percentage one the team with 39.2.
Matt Hicks and Drew Christy represent the South Putnam Eagles on the 2006 team. Hicks led the Eagles this year, averaging 20.3 points per game. He also joined the South Putnam 1,000-point club this season, when he nailed a three-pointer in one of the Eagles' home games in the second half of the season. Along with averaging 20 points a game, Hicks also led the team in rebounding, ripping down 9.8 boards per game.
Hicks may have been the highest scorer on the team, but he couldn't have done it without Christy. Christy averaged 5.3 assists per game this season and also scored 8.7 points per contest. He did more than dish out assists or score a basket here and there, he had the second-highest rebounding average on the team with 3.6 per game.
The final player selected for the 2006 team was Brennan Burks from Greencastle. Burks made the transition from a hustle point player from last season to an offensive anchor this season, averaging 14.5 points per game this year. Burks proved that he was one of the most dominant post players in the county this year, throwing up 20-point games consistently. He also averaged 7.5 rebounds per game and had the highest shooting percentage from the floor, hitting 54.8 percent of his shots.
The six making the Honorable Mention team this year are Michael Neese and Christian Cheatham from Cloverdale, Lee Fordice from North Putnam, Michael Richardson and Cal Gard from Greencastle and Greg Chestnut from South Putnam.
Neese averaged 9.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists this season while Cheatham averaged 4.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Cheatham also shot 51.1 percent from the floor this year.
Fordice averaged 13 points per game this season for the Cougars and pulled down 6.8 rebounds as well.
Richardson averaged 5.6 points, 1.6 steals and 4.5 assists per game this year for Greencastle. Gard averaged 13.6 points per game this season, the second highest on the team, and shot 31 percent from the three-point line on 45-of-145 shooting.
Chestnut averaged 12.1 points this year for South Putnam and 2.9 rebounds. He also had the highest three-point percentage on the team this season with 41.