2018 Boys Basketball Finalists
A repeat finalist, the Hornets standout wrapped up his high school career with another impressive season, even with defenses focusing more attention on him. Vermillion averaged 25.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 60 percent from the field. The Class 1 All-State selection led his team back to another state quarterfinal, where it lost to eventual champion Eminence.
Cape Girardeau Central, Junior
After gaining varsity experience a year ago, Hughes picked up a starring role for a Tigers squad that spread the wealth and won 23 games. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game, while shooting 51 percent from the floor. Hughes was an all-district and all-conference selection.
The veteran guard was often the driving force for the Blue Jays, helping them to a Class 3 final four berth. On any given night he could push a triple-double, averaging 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, while snagging nearly three steals per contest. The 6-foot-2 senior was an all-state and all-conference pick.
No stranger to the Semoball Awards, this repeat finalist was a dangerous weapon for the Blue Jays in their run to state. Often a mismatch as a long forward, the 6-foot-4 senior posted 22.4 points per night and pulled down 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the floor.
A critical contributor in the post for years for Dexter, the senior averaged a double-double — 13 points and 10 rebounds — for the 18-10 Bearcats. Jackson was selected to the All-SCAA team and the Bloomfield Christmas All-Tournament team, and was chosen as his team’s MVP this season.
Even on a team that preached team before individual, Jones was impossible to ignore. He averaged 19 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while providing an athletic presence who could get to the rim. Jones was critical in the Indians’ run to state, and was named the Class 2 Player of the Year and Bootheel Conference Co-Player of the Year.
Butler wrapped up his Green Wave career by making his mark on basketball in the region. He set the tone for Malden by scoring 18 points per game and six rebounds a night. His effort earned him the title of Bootheel Conference Co-Player of the Year as well as a nod on the Class 3 All-State team.
Notre Dame, Senior
A nightmare for opposing defenses in the Bulldogs’ pick-and-roll scheme, the longtime Notre Dame fixture carried heavy responsibilities as a senior. He responded by posting 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and shooting 55 percent from the field, including 39 percent from outside the arc. He was an All-SEMO Conference first-team selection.
As decorated as any high school basketball player from the area in recent memory, this is Thatch’s fourth Semoball Awards finalist nod as he looks to win Boys Basketball Player of the Year for a third straight year. His final season as a Bulldog was as good as any he’s had, averaging 21.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.4 steals per night but, most importantly, also leading Sikeston to the Class 4 final four. Thatch was the Class 4 Player of the Year and Conference Player of the year while rewriting the Bulldogs’ record book, even while battling a foot injury during the season.
Poplar Bluff, Junior
The Mules starting five looked a little different this year, but Hardimon remained a steady presence and easily stepped into the role of go-to guy. The 6-foot-4 wing put up 19.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while converting shots at a 62.6-percent clip. He also helped the Mules to the district title that had eluded them in recent years and earned nods at the all-district, all-conference and all-state levels.