Bluejay boys make All-Valley squads
Two members of the Merrill boys basketball team caught the eye of conference coaches for their strong play this past season.
Junior forward Chaz Mootz earned Second Team designation, while senior point guard Brandon Bartz received Honorable Mention.
Mootz ranked 7th in scoring (12.1 ppg), rebounding (4.5 rpg) and free throw accuracy (.706).
“Chaz was our most-explosive player,” MHS coach Kurt Soderberg said. “He got Second Team because coaches saw him as someone to plan for. He was our leading scorer in almost every game, a guy that was valuable to us offensively. But he also made plays defensively with steals.
“He struggled from beyond the three-point line, which was a bit surprising, but he was able to attack the lane as well as anybody in the league. He is a slasher and finishes at full speed as well as anybody. We’ll work on his perimeter game. We’ll focus on his three-point shot and his shooting off the dribble – the pull-up jumpers – in the off-season.”
Bartz tied for 11th in assists (2.3 apg), and was 12th in free throw shooting (.653) and 15th in field goal percentage (.448).
“Coaches saw his ability,” Soderberg said. “He was a solid point guard. He did a lot for our team. He has very good instincts, a nose for the ball. He rebounds well. He plays very good defense.
“When you look at his body of work, he has come a long way from when he first became a starter as a sophomore. He’s a pretty quiet kid, but there’s no doubt he was the leader of the team. That says a lot about him.”
Junior forward Jake Anderson was 3rd in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and 14th in free throw shooting (.586). Sophomore Austin Reismann was 15th in three-point accuracy (.310).