Teammates Steinmetz, Kennedy also named to All-NSC honor roll
Last year, Port Washington’s sharpshooting Josh Gasser had to be satisfied as one of three Co-Players of the Year in the North Shore Conference.
In addition to Gasser, conference nods were given to Ben Averkamp of Germantown and Jimmy Sherburne of Whitefish Bay.
When accolades rolled around after this year’s basketball season, the 6-foot-4 senior Gasser stood above the crowd and had the Player of the Year honor to himself.
Gasser finished his high-school career as Port’s all-time leading scorer and was among the leaders in virtually every meaningful category in school history.
His all-around play was a critical component for the Pirate squad that won its first share of a conference title in 36 years. The team’s 19-5 mark set a record for wins in Port.
It took teamwork to pile up all those wins. Pirate teammates Cory Steinmetz and Shane Kennedy offered the balance needed to compete in the always tough North Shore Conference.
Steinmetz, a 6-foot-4 senior, provided muscle in the front court as the Pirates’ starting center, and was named to the NSC Second Team. As a junior, he received honorable mention.
Kennedy, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, received honorable mention this year.
“It was a great honor for all three of the kids because they only name 17 players from all of the schools to all-conference honors,” said coach John Bunyan.
Although the Pirates fell to Whitefish Bay in overtime to block a trip to the WIAA tournament in Madison, Bunyan said the tight outcomes of even their losses showed how much team chemistry there was.
“Two of our five losses came in overtimes, and the other losses were only by a few points,” the coach said.
“What more can be said about Josh? He had a tremendous year. Josh was our offensive leader who not only led the conference in scoring and rebounds, but also ran our offense perfectly,” Bunyan said.
“In addition, he always did a great job of defending. He always knew what had to be done to win.”
Gasser’s conference award came as little surprise for those who followed his illustrious career at Port, considering last week he was named Gatorade Wisconsin Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year for 2009-10.
He was also named to the Associated Press All-State First Team, the Division 2 All-State First Team and has been nominated for the 2010 McDonald’s High School All-American Game.
Gasser has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for Bo Ryan at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Gasser was the conference scoring champion with an average of 23.9 points a game.
He pulled down an average of 9.6 rebounds a game, averaged 2.7 steals and 4.6 assists a game, while shooting 50.3% from the field and 84.4% from the free-throw lime.
Bunyan said Steinmetz averaged nine points and six rebounds a game, but his forte was defense. He was a three-year starter with the Pirates.
“Cory was a hard worker who made himself into a solid player. He was a technician when it came to defending inside, even though he was often going up against taller players,” the coach said.
Bunyan described Kennedy as “big and powerful.” He averaged nine points a game and five rebounds, providing a perfect complement to Steinmetz.
“Shane showed his strength in the way he would attack the rim. He will probably be one of our leaders next year,” Bunyan said.
“All three of our guys named to all-conference were tremendous kids. They were never selfish in their approach to the game and really bought into their roles with the team. It is going to be hard to replace guys like Josh and Cory, because there
were such great leaders.”
Rounding out the First Team NSC selections were seniors Chip Rank of Cedarburg, Chim Kadima of Milwaukee Lutheran, John Johnston of Whitefish Bay and Myles Henry of Nicolet, and sophomore Zak Schowalter of Germantown.
Joining Steinmetz on the Second Team squad were seniors John Laihinen and Coy Smith, both of Homestead, junior Christian Griggs-Williams of Nicolet and sophomore Josh Mongan of Germantown.
In addition to Kennedy, honorable mention recognitions went to senior Clem Robinson of Nicolet, and juniors Malcom Bowers of Germantown, Garrett Wenzelburger of Milwaukee Lutheran, and Jamie Schneck and Ron Patten, both of Whitefish Bay.