MCW’s Anderson tabbed All-Area boys hoopster of year
SHERBURN — Zach Anderson hit the books numerous times throughout the 2022-23 Minnesota prep basketball season.
Anderson earned a place on Martin County West’s academic honor roll by hitting the high school’s scholarly tomes with high marks and hit the Mavericks’ hoops record books by filling up the scorebook with incredible all-around high marks game in and game out on the hardwood court.
During the course of the recently-completed 29-game campaign, the 6-foot-6 senior forward established four new No. 1 marks in the program’s rich history for points in a single game (45), single-season points (677) and all-time career totals in both scoring (1,993 points) and rebounding (922).
In the classroom, Anderson merited his fourth consecutive selection as a member of the academic all-Valley Conference team. He then crowned his scholastic resume by earning a spot on the academic all-state roster, which is reserved for seniors only.
The four-time Sentinel All-Area and four-time all-Valley Conference choice topped the entire coverage area with a 23.3-point scoring clip, a 9.3-rebound average, 51 total blocks and an 84 percent accuracy rate at the free throw line (149 of 176) this season.
The 2022 All-Area hoopster of the year, who also topped the Mavericks in 2-point accuracy at 57 percent (159 of 278), netted Martin County West’s No. 2 marks in 3-pointers made (70), assists (64) and steals (54).
The sharpshooting Anderson finished just seven shy of becoming only the second prep basketball player in Martin County’s history of scoring 2,000 points in a career. (See Joel Rippel’s story below for full details).
The Wayne State College basketball commit powered Martin County West to a 17-12 overall record and an appearance in the Section 2A, South Sub-Section championship game. Unfortunately for Anderson and the Mavericks, Mankato Loyola rallied in the second half for a one-point victory. The Crusaders went on to qualify for this week’s Class AA state tournament.
Anderson’s outstanding performances throughout the winter campaign earned him everything from KEYC-TV athlete of the week accolades to a final 32 spot on the list of nominees for the Bob McDonald Award, given to the top senior basketball player in the state.
Anderson also punched his ticket as one of only 40 seniors to merit playing in the Minnesota Boys Basketball All-Star Series at Anoka-Ramsey Community College on April 1.
For all of his contributions in the classroom and on the basketball court, Anderson has been selected as the 2023 Fairmont Sentinel All-Area boys basketball player of the year.
Here’s an inside glance at Anderson’s teammates on the newspaper’s annual elite hoops lineup.
Jakob Fischer (Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther) — An explosive vertical leap.
The perennial all-Valley Conference selection topped the Jaguars in one offensive and one defensive category, while netting the No. 2 spot on the roster in rebounds.
The 6-3 senior forward produced 416 points for a team-best clip of 16.0 per outing to complement garnering the No. 1 mark of 83 steals for a 3.2 average.
Fischer, who pulled down a second-best team total of 168 rebounds (6.5 rpg), distributed 46 assists and recorded 15 blocked shots during his final prep basketball campaign.
The hard-working Fischer generated solid all-around career numbers of 797 points, 381 rebounds, 194 steals and 135 assists.
Carter Fox (GHEC/ Truman/Martin Luther) — Lean and lethal.
The 6-4 junior forward eclipsed the 300-point plateau this season to generate an 11.2-point scoring clip every night.
Fox used his length to grab 130 rebounds en route to a 4.8-rebound average to complement distributing 53 assists during the winter season.
Fox displayed his defensive skills by pocketing 32 steals and blocking 25 opponents’ shots during 2022-23 campaign.
Fox will be a solid returning all-around player to rebuild next season’s team.
Ashton Lloyd (Blue Earth Area) — The difference maker.
The two-time All-Area choice topped the Bucs in four major statistical categories to cap an outstanding high school basketball career.
The all-Big South Conference Blue Division first-teamer poured in 16.0 points per game, pulled down the Bucs’ No. 1 average on the boards (8.7 rebounds per game), distributed 2.5 assists each time on the hardwood court and rejected opponents’ shots at a pace of 1.1 per outing.
The 6-5 senior forward finished second on Blue Earth Area with 49 made 3-pointers, connected on 2-pointers at a 47.6 percent pace and proved accurate on 42 of 59 free throws for 71.2 percent.
Lloyd, who’s a Minnesota State University-Mankato football commit, closed out his prep basketball playing days with 1,141 points to rank No. 4 on Blue Earth Area’s all-time scoring list.
Logan Odegaard (North Union) — Mr. Inside/Outside.
The Top of Iowa Conference West Division honorable mention choice topped the Warriors in rebounding and netted the No. 2 spot in scoring this winter.
The 6-4 senior forward pulled down 137 rebounds for a clip of 5.7 per outing and topped a balanced green-and-black attack with 219 points en route to a 9.1 ppg average.
Odegaard connected on 90 of 209 field goals for 43.1 percent, hit 16 3-pointers on the season, blocked 18 shots, pocketed 14 steals, doled out 15 assists and made 23 of 37 free throws for 62.2 percent cap a solid prep hoops career.
Levi Pooley (Fairmont) — The hardest worker.
The all-Big South Conference Blue Division honorable mention player topped the Cardinals in three statistical categories during the 2022-23 season.
The 5-10 junior guard/forward tossed in 358 points for a team-best 14.3-point scoring pace, connected for Fairmont’s No. 1 total of 47 attempts made from behind the 3-point arc and garnered 36 steals this winter.
Pooley displayed his vertical leap and strength inside the paint by pulling down a second-best 137 rebounds (5.5 rpg) to complement doling out 31 assists.
Pooley, who made 35 percent of his field goals (123 of 351) and 70.6 percent of his free throws (65 of 92), will be a cornerstone to rebuild the Faimont program around next season.
Sawyer Tordsen (Fairmont) — Power in the post.
The 6-7, 280-pound senior center utilized his length and strength to generate the Cardinals’ top rebounding mark and second-best scoring clip in 2022-23.
The two-time All-Area choice grabbed 186 rebounds for a 7.4 average per outing, while tossing in 311 points for a 12.4-point clip.
The all-Big South Conference Blue Division first-teamer sank 121 of 203 field goals for 59.6 percent, hit 69 of 130 free throws for 53 percent, blocked 11 shots, dished a dozen assists and pocketed 12 steals.
Tordsen will play football for Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the fall.
Mitchell Weber (Martin Co. West) — The shootist.
The academic all-stater proved a vital cog in the Mavericks’ run to the Section 2A, South Sub-Section championship game.
The 6-1 senior guard/forward topped Martin County West’s attack by distributing 112 assists (3.9 apg) and knocking down 71 3-pointers on the 2022-23 season.
The Mavericks’ second-leading scorer delivered 465 points to fuel a 16.0-point offensive clip to complement garnering 130 rebounds for a 4.5 rpg.
The perennial all-Valley pick, who finished his stellar hoops career with 1,147 points, pocketed 39 steals and blocked 20 opponents’ shots.
Weber closed out his prep basketball playing days by connecting for 107 of 228 shots from 2-point distance and 38 of 55 at the free throw line (69 percent).