How valuable is Matthew Mors?
His coach will direct you to a specific game from this past season.
Mors, the junior standout from Yankton, was held to 1-of-6 shooting and five points in a Feb. 28 game against St. Thomas More out in Rapid City. It was a rare quiet offensive night for the Wisconsin commit, but Mors still recorded five assists, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals in a 46-42 victory for his team.
“You hear coaches say all the time, a true sign of a great player is, do they make those around them better?” Yankton head coach Chris Haynes said. “I don’t think there’s any question that it’s definitely the case with him.”
Mors, who surpassed 2,000 career points this season, headlines the Class AA boys’ basketball all-state team, which was chosen by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association. A 6-foot-7 forward who also handles guard duties for the Bucks, Mors was tabbed the Class AA Player of the Year by the coaches. He is joined on the first team by senior teammate Cooper Cornemann, as well as Huron’s senior duo of Kobe Busch and Teegan Evers, along with O’Gorman senior Akoi Akoi and Sioux Falls Roosevelt junior Tyler Feldkamp.
Mitchell’s sophomore Caden Hinker was a second-team selection. The 6-foot-6 forward posted 17.6 points, six rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He shot 45 percent from the field and was a 36 percent 3-point shooter. He is Mitchell’s first all-state honoree since Beau Brown in 2015.
It marks the fourth time that Mors has earned all-state honors, including three straight years on the first team — only four other boys basketball players in Class AA history have that many first team nods.
Busch earned his third all-state nod (two straight on first team), while Akoi and Evers were recognized on the all-state teams for the second time. Cornemann and Feldkamp each earned their first honors.
Mors, who helped Yankton to a 17-4 record and the No. 1 seed in the state tournament before it was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, averaged 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game this season.
In February, he became the Class AA all-time leading scorer and Mors concluded his junior season with 2,127 career points. Although he suffered a preseason ankle injury and later had to battle back from an illness, Mors had started to find his rhythm down the stretch, according to his coach.
“He was really playing well late in the season,” Haynes said. “He got back to the form he wanted to be at and expected himself to be at.”
Just as Mors gave people an early indication of his basketball potential, so too did Cornemann.
Haynes said he remembers seeing an 8-year-old Cornemann a decade ago at a youth camp and how the way he handled the ball seemed advanced for his age.
“He’s always been in the gym and has always had a ball in his hand,” Haynes said. “His skill set has always been at a very high level, and he’s always been able to handle the ball and shoot the ball.”
Cornemann’s progression reached new levels a year ago when he was named to the Class AA all-tournament team, and he continued that momentum into his senior season, according to his coach.
“That last month of the season carried over into this year, and he put a lot of time in the gym during the summer,” Haynes said. “He’s played like an all-state point guard.”
Cornemann averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.4 steals per game as a senior. He is undecided on his college future, but would like to play basketball.
The Huron senior tandem — all of whom averaged in double figures — helped the Tigers (16-4) capture the Eastern South Dakota Conference title with a 7-1 record.
Evers, a 6-foot-5 forward, led the Tigers in scoring (16.4) and rebounding (6.7), and made 53 percent of his shots. He will play basketball at Dakota Wesleyan.
“He has an incredible work ethic,” Huron head coach Jon Schouten said. “He loves to challenge himself to take his game to new levels. Teegan is one of those kids who is relentless in pursuing his goals.”
Busch, a 6-foot-4 forward who has signed with Northern State, averaged 15 points, 5.7 points and 2.8 assists per game. With the exception of a handful of games due to injury, Busch has started every game for Huron since he was a freshman, according to Schouten.
“He has played every position throughout his career and never complained once about his role,” Schouten said. “He has a very high basketball IQ, which allows him to think a play or two ahead.”
Akoi, a 6-foot-6 forward, averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game for O’Gorman (14-7), which was in search of its third trip to the finals in the last four seasons. He will continue his basketball career at Augustana.
“Akoi is certainly one of the state’s best and was arguably the hardest worker on this year’s squad,” O’Gorman head coach Derek Robey said. “He was a quiet leader who just led by example. He was a matchup problem for a lot of teams due to his ability to play around the perimeter and also with his back against the basket.”
Other than Mors, the other junior on the first team is Roosevelt’s Feldkamp, a 5-foot-11 guard who averaged 15 points and six rebounds per game.
“His quickness and ability to shoot the ball and get to the rim gave him a lot of advantages against teams,” Roosevelt head coach Mitch Begeman said. “On the flip side, he also was asked to guard most opposing team’s best defender, and he did quite well doing that.”
Brandon Valley, the 2019 state champion, put two players on the second team, with senior Gavin Terhark and junior Jackson Hilton. Also named to the second team were Sioux Falls Washington senior Ganin Thompson, Sioux Falls Lincoln senior Max Burchill and Rapid City Central junior Micah Swallow.
2020 Class AA Boys All-State Basketball Team
As selected by the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association
Matthew Mors, Yankton, 6-7, F, Jr. — 19.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.1 spg
Kobe Busch, Huron, 6-4, F, Sr. — 15 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.8 spg
Akoi Akoi, O’Gorman, 6-6, F, Sr. — 14 ppg, 7 rpg
Teegan Evers, Huron, 6-5, F, Sr. — 16.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2 apg, 1.5 spg
Cooper Cornemann, Yankton, 6-2, G, Sr. — 14.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2 apg, 1.4 spg
Tyler Feldkamp, S.F. Roosevelt, 5-11, G, Jr. — 15 ppg, 6 rpg
Jackson Hilton, Brandon Valley, 6-4, F, Jr. — 13 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.8 spg
Ganin Thompson, S.F. Washington, 6-6, F/C, Sr. — 13.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg
Caden Hinker, Mitchell, 6-6, F/C, So. — 17.6 ppg, 6 rpg, 2.6 apg
Gavin Terhark, Brandon Valley, 6-9, C, Sr. — 13.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 bpg
Max Burchill, S.F. Lincoln, 6-5, G, Sr. — 14.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Micah Swallow, R.C. Central, 6-2, G, Jr. — 15.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg