The Hillsboro boys basketball season ended two games earlier than Tigers fans had hoped with a 63–60 Division 5 sectional final loss to Bangor last Thursday, but it was still another banner season for coach Curt Hildreth’s squad.
Six Tigers received all-conference honors, headlined by senior Max Stockwell winning the Scenic Bluffs Conference Player of the Year award.
Stockwell was joined on the 12-player All-SBC first team by senior teammates Joe Helgerson and Hunter Stanek.
Fellow seniors Ethan Thorson and Tommy Crandall received honorable mention and senior Sawyer Hynek was named to the eight-player All-Sportsmanship team.
Stockwell upped his game during his senior year, leading the Tigers in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks.
He averaged 20.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.6 blocks per game, while shooting 57.8 percent (177-for-274) from the field, 66.5 percent (117-for-176) from the free throw line and 28.6 percent (18-for-63) from behind the arc.
Stockwell is a four-year varsity player earning first-team All-SBC honors each year. He earned first-team WBCA Division 5 all-state honors as a junior after avergaing 17.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals and leading the Tigers to the 2015 D5 state championship game.
Stockwell became Hillsboro’s all-time leading scorer with a career-high 30 points in a 66–48 win over Royall on Jan. 29. He finished his career with 1,627 points.
Helgerson was also a four-year varsity player and a three-year starter at point guard. he averaged 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game to earn his second-straight first-team All-SBC award.
Helgerson shot 46.8 percent from the field (132-for-282), 76.5 percent (52-for-68) from the free throw line and 42.6 percent from the 3-point line with a team-high 66 made 3-pointers.
Helgerson surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career with a 20-point effort in Hillsboro’s 67–55 regional champion win over Alma/Pepin on March 5. He finished his career with 1,022 points. Helgerson was an honorable mention all-conference selection as a sophomore.
Stanek, a two-year starter, averaged 10.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game to earn first-team all-conference honors. He was an honorable mention choice a year ago. He shot a team-high 65.5 percent (110-for-168) from the field and 60.6 percent (63-for-104) from the free throw line.
Thorson averaged 7.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 47.7 percent (74-for-155) from the field, a team-best 78.9 percent (15-for-19) from the free throw line and 36.1 percent (30-for-83) from the 3-point arc.
Crandall averaged 3.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
Hynek played in all 26 games and averaged 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game off the bench.
Hillsboro finished the year 24–2 overall and won the SBC title with a perfect 14–0 record. The Tigers opened the season on a 12-game winning streak, then put together a second 12-game winning streak after a 69–67 non-conference loss to Westby on Feb. 1. Hillsboro was also the top-ranked team in Division 5 early in the year, then again heading into the playoffs.