Parker’s Knutson honored
Nimrod Hilliard IV was the best of the best in Big Eight Conference boys basketball this season.
The Madison East High School senior and South Dakota State University recruit has been named Player of the Year. Hilliard IV, who led the conference in scoring with 460 points, is joined on the first team by Janesville Parker senior Creed Knutson, Madison Memorial junior Junior Lomomba, Sun Prairie sophomore Nick Fuller and Beloit Memorial senior Mike Weston.
Beloit Memorial’s Jay Bryant, who led the Purple Knights to a share of the Big Eight title, is the Coach of the Year.
Janesville Craig senior Cody Dare has been named to the third team, while Parker junior Andrew Somerville has received honorable mention.
The 6-foot-5 Knutson scored 337 points and led Parker to a 9-15 season and a berth in the Division 1 regional final game.
Parker coach Ryan Masterson said Knutson deserved first-team recognition, making him the Vikings’ first player to receive that honor since Riley Grafft in 2008.
“Creed really carried us down the stretch,” Masterson said. “He was playing as well as anybody in our conference, considering the competition he was up against.
“Teams double- and triple-teamed Creed, at times. He continued to work hard to get shots, and yet, still was second on our team in assists.”
Knutson is leaning toward Beloit College or UW-Whitewater to continue his basketball career. Masterson believes the Parker standout will be a good fit at either place.
“Creed can play the post, or he has the ability step out and hit shots from the perimeter,” Masterson said. “He is definitely an inside/outside threat, and his upside is tremendous. Creed has really only been playing organized basketball for four years.”
Hilliard IV was a four-year starter for East and led the Purgolders to a tie for fourth-place this season in the Big Eight with a 10-8 record. He also stood out on a Big Eight co-championship team as a junior.
“There were times where you just couldn’t guard him. He was that quick,” Masterson said of Hilliard IV. “Nimrod wanted the ball in his hands and had the ability to make big shots. And against us, he made all 14 of his free-throw attempts, so that’s another strong point of his game.
“He’ll do well in college because of his knack for getting into the lane and making things happen. He’s a competitor.”
The 6-3 Dare, who led Craig to the WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinals, finished with a team-high 236 points. He scored in double figures in 13 of his 17 conference games.
All- Big Eight boys basketball
Hgt. Yr. Pts.
Nimrod Hilliard IV, East 5-11 Sr. 460
Junior Lomomba, Memorial 6-5 Jr. 323
Nick Fuller, Sun Prairie 6-5 So. 343
Mike Weston, Beloit 6-3 Sr. 241
Creed Knutson, Parker 6-5 Sr. 337
Chris Hawkins, Sun Prairie 6-4 Sr. 237
Tre Burnette, Memorial 6-5 Sr. 253
Seth Coyne, Middleton 6-2 Sr. 249
Jordan Noskowiak, Sun Prairie 6-3 Sr. 224
Danny Burns, Verona 5-11 Sr. 219
Cody Dare, Craig 6-3 Sr. 236
Jon Winston, Beloit 6-3 Jr. 235
Kwame Latimer, West 5-10 Jr. 226
Ian Joyce, Middleton 6-6 Sr. 225
Rudy Bentley Jr., East 5-9 Jr. 210
-- Player of the Year—Nimrod Hilliard IV, East.
-- Coach of the Year—Jay Bryant, Beloit.
Beloit—Dennis Crosby, 5-11, sr.; Janesville Parker—Andrew Somerville, 5-11, jr.; La Follette—Matt Hunter, 5-11, jr.; Taylor Carlson,
6-2, sr.; Memorial—Miles Chamberlain, 6-5, sr.; Brendan Ortiz, 6-1, soph.; Verona—Nate Ray,
6-0, sr.; Bryan Dalton, 6-4, jr.
Beloit Memorial, 15-3; Madison Memorial, 15-3; Sun Prairie, 14-4; Madison East, 10-8; Middleton, 10-8; Verona, 10-8; Janesville Parker,
6-10; Janesville Craig, 4-14; Madison La Follette, 3-15; Madison West, 3-15.