Photo by Caleb Motsinger
Megan Trost, of Civic Memorial High School, and Deion Lavender, of Marquette Catholic High School, were both named the 2014 Exchange Club Players of the Year for basketball Wednesday night in Alton.
ALTON – Deion Lavender of Marquette Catholic and Megan Trost of Civic Memorial snared the big basketball honors Wednesday night.
They were recipients of the Alton Exchange Club’s Players of the Year awards at the 69th annual banquet. Lavender was selected the Boys Player of the Year and Trost repeated as Girls Player of the Year in the festivities at the Alton Holiday Inn.
The 6-foot-4 Lavender, a senior guard bound for Southern Illinois University Carbondale, averaged 25.3 points per game for the 22-7 Explorers, conference and regional champions.
His point production was best for Southwestern Illinois players and he finished fourth among scorers in the St. Louis region. Lavender earned Associated Press Class 3A All-State honorable mention status the past season.
“It means a lot to me because a lot of great players have won this award,” Lavender said of the Player of Year honor. “It’s a nice way to end my season and I can’t wait to start playing college basketball.”
Trost, a 6-foot senior center, became the seventh CM player in the past nine years to snag the top award. She averaged 12.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.48 blocks for the 31-3 Eagles, conference, regional and sectional champions.
“It’s such an honor to win it again and I’m so shocked,” Trost said. She is going to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and eventually wants to become a mathematics teacher.
Trost added, “I think I was a lot stronger mentally and physically this year. Coach (Jonathan) Denny really helped me a lot and we had an incredible season.”
Michael Williams-Bey of Alton and Lindsey Fencel of CM secured the 110 percent award honors. Each school nominated a player for the 110 percent honor and Most Valuable Player award.
Junior guard Jordann Wilson of Alton won the girls free throw shooting award for the third consecutive season. She shot 75 percent from the foul line for the 15-13 Redbirds, who enjoyed their first winning season since 1984-85.
De’Antae McMurray, a senior guard from Alton High, was the boys’ free throw shooting winner. McMurray, headed to Southwestern Illinois Community College in Belleville, converted 73.8 percent of his foul shots for the 22-6 Redbirds, second to Edwardsville in the Southwestern Conference. The Tigers finished fourth in the IHSA Class 4A finals.
EA-WR received the girls team sportsmanship award and CM was the boys winner. Five River Bend schools were eligible for the basketball awards.
Edwardsville Superintendent of School Ed Hightower served as the keynote speaker and former Alton Superintendent Dave Elson performed the emcee duties. Hightower retired the past season as a referee, covering 36 years. That officiating career included 12 Final Fours and five NCAA championship games.
“Athletes have a responsibility to do things the proper way and make a difference in the lives of young people that want to emulate you,” Hightower said. “Your work ethic is what will separate you from your competition.”
ALTON EXCHANGE CLUB PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2014 – Deion Lavender of Marquette Catholic and Megan Trost of Civic Memorial
2013 — Hunter Reine of Roxana and Trost of CM
2012 — Hunter Reine of Roxana and Megkinize Carter of Civic Memorial
2011 — Tony Bradley of Alton and Cassie Endicott of Civic Memorial
2010 — Tony Bradley of Alton and Kelsey Harrison of EA-WR
2009 — Ryan Mathews of Alton and Michaela Herrod of Alton
2008 —Ruben Cotto of Alton and Katie Broadway of Civic Memorial
2007 — Kavon Lacey of Alton and Broadway of CM
2006 — Lacey of Alton and Broadway of CM
2005 — Lorenzo Taylor of Alton and Emily Best of East Alton-Wood River
2004 — Nick Certa of Marquette Catholic and Emily Best of EA-WR
2003 — Nick Certa of Marquette Catholic and Jordan Davis of Roxana
2002 — Travis Williams of East Alton-Wood River and Casey Law of CM
2001 — Michael Stockard of Alton and Ashley Russell of East Alton-Wood River
2000 — Demarko “Book” Snipes of Alton and Michelle Beiermann of Marquette Catholic
1999 — Snipes of Alton and Kendra Snyder of Marquette
1998 — Tony Certa of Marquette and DoBee Oros-Moore of Alton
1997 — Marlon Crawford of Alton and Jenni Combes of Civic Memorial
1996 — Nic Stotler of CM and Angela Payne of Roxana
1995 — Greg McDanel of Roxana and Erica Oge of Marquette
1994 — Eric Frankford of CM and Amie Gernigan of Marquette
1993 - Ty Laux of CM
1992 - Brad Bohannon of Marquette
1991 - Jonathan Denney of CM
1990 - Kevin Caldwell of Alton
1989 - Joe Vann of Alton
1988 - Steve Mason of Marquette
1987 - Jamie Humphries of CM
1986 - Larry Smith of Alton
1985 - Smith of Alton
1984 - Dale Liley of EA-WR
1983 - Rick Taylor of Alton
1982 - Steve Wooley of EA-WR
1981 - Dan Coddington of EA-WR
1980 - Troy Washpun of Alton
1979 - Jim “Buzz” Logan of EA-WR
1978 - David Goins of Alton
1977 - Brad Scheiter of Alton
1976 - Leroy Stampley of Alton
1975 - Chris Schroeder of Roxana
1974 - Doug Nalley of Alton
1973 - Lafayette Collins of Alton
1972 - Dennis Olston of EA-WR
1971 - Ron Caldwell of Alton
1970 - Dave Taynor of CM
1969 - Mike Jeffries of Alton
1968 - Leon Huff of Alton
1967 - Ricci Stotler of CM
1966 - Jim Bailey of EA-WR
1965 - Terry Brown of EA-WR
1964 - Larry Jeffries of Alton
1963 - Bob Hilgendorf of CM
1962 - Larry Shoemaker of Alton
1961 - Gary Lane of EA-WR
1960 - Karl Doucleff of Western Military Academy
1959 - Jerry Messick of EA-WR
1958 - Mike Hunter of Alton
1957 - Jim Lemon of EA-WR
1956 - Cliff Talley of EA-WR
1955 - Essic Robinson of Alton
1954 -Richard Brown of Roxana 1953 - Dick Harbke of Roxana
1952 - Ron Fisher of EA-WR
1951 - Bob Kuhn of Alton
1950 - Lowell Pettit of EA-WR
1949 - Ron Bedwell of Roxana
1948 - Sam Vinyard of EA-WR
1947 - Bob Caffery of EA-WR
1946 - Dick Erzen of EA-WR