Hartsell

Southwestern senior guard Aiden Hartsell has been named The Shelbyville News’ Preseason Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Fifteen players have been selected to The Shelbyville News’ Preseason All-County Boys Basketball Team. Southwestern senior guard Aiden Hartsell has been named TSN Preseason Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

See the entire team below:

Aiden Hartsell, Southwestern Sr. G

Hartsell (5-11) and the Spartans overcame a slow start last season en route to winning the team’s first sectional title since 2016. A quick lefty who plays with fire and passion, Hartsell was Southwestern’s top scorer through the regular season and sectional at 13.9 points per game. He scored 38 points in two regional games at Martinsville, including 16 points against Bethesda Christian and 22 points against Indianapolis Tindley. The senior, who was named First Team All-County last season, is also a standout soccer and baseball player.

Ollie Sandman, Shelbyville Jr. G

Sandman (6-2) averaged 8.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists as a sophomore. He finished the season with 35 made threes (33 percent), which was second on the team. Sandman played with Indiana Elite (AAU) over the offseason and added muscle to his frame, which should help him become one of the top players in the Hoosier Heritage Conference as a junior.

Josh Kemper, Triton Central Sr. F

Kemper (6-2) hit the game-winning shot in the sectional championship last season, which lifted Triton Central past South Decatur (66-65). He averaged 5.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals as a junior while shooting 57 percent from the field. Kemper is a quiet and humble player who leads by example with his work ethic.

Quinton Batton, Morristown Sr. G

Although Batton (5-10) will not play his senior season, he definitely earned a spot on the team. He would have been Morristown’s primary ball handler and scorer this season after averaging 6.0 points and 3.0 assists as a junior. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with leukemia in September. Several teams in Shelby County, plus more in the surrounding counties, have been wearing orange shirts, bracelets, etc. to show their support.

Bryce Yarling, Waldron Jr. G

Yarling (5-8) averaged a team-high 16.3 points as a sophomore. He also averaged 1.8 steals and less than 2.0 turnovers, which is impressive considering how much he had the ball in his hands. Yarling shot 47 percent from the field and 37 percent from behind the 3-point line. His 55 made threes led Waldron by a wide margin.

Aidan Asher, Shelbyville Jr. G

Asher (6-0) will step into a much larger role this season for the Golden Bears after playing in just two varsity games a sophomore. Also a standout tennis player, Asher has the quickness and athletic ability to compete at a high level. He is a capable outside shooter and could be a pesky defender for SHS head coach John Hartnett.

Alex Crouse, Triton Central Sr. G

Crouse (5-11), another standout tennis player, averaged 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists as a junior. He is a crafty lead guard who sees the floor well and creates open looks for his teammates. Crouse can also shoot the ball from the outside as he was 8-for-20 (40 percent) from 3-point range last season.

Nick Stidham, Morristown Sr. F

Stidham (6-4) will see his role increase even more after the loss of senior guard Quinton Batton. Stidham started for the Yellow Jackets last season, averaging 3.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He shot 49 percent from the field, which was one of the best shooting percentages on the team. Stidham should be able to cause problems defensively this season with his high motor and long arms.

Jordan Jones, Southwestern Sr. G

Jones (5-11), another multisport athlete who also plays soccer and baseball, was Southwestern’s sixth man last season. He averaged approximately 5.0 points, helping the Spartans win a sectional title. Jones was fourth on the team with 25 made threes (30 percent).

Lucas Mitchell, Waldron Jr. F

Mitchell (6-4) is gearing up for what could be a breakout junior season after averaging 6.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore. He will be one of the focal points of Waldron’s offense with junior guard Bryce Yarling. Mitchell, who can score the basketball inside and out, has a chance to be a special defender with his length and athleticism.

Josiah Blair, Triton Central Sr. W

Blair (6-4) is a long wing player who has a well-rounded offensive skillset. He can score inside with his size and length and can also step outside and knock down a 3-pointer. Blair averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds as a junior. He will be another weapon at both ends of the floor for TC head coach Kyle Ballard as the Tigers look to repeat as county and sectional champions.

Nolan Laster, Morristown Jr. G

Laster (5-10) saw valuable minutes in sectional play last season, which should give the junior confidence as he moves into a larger role with the team. He will be one of the best athletes on the floor each game, according to Morristown head coach Collin McCartt. Nolan is the younger brother of Logan Laster, who was the point guard on the Yellow Jackets’ 2018 state team. Gracie Laster, a senior basketball player at MHS, is his older sister.

Jakob Heaton, Shelbyville Sr. G

Heaton (6-0) has an explosive first step and is not afraid to attack the basket. He averaged 5.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior. Shooting the ball with consistency from beyond the arc will be key for the senior as he will have the ball in his hands more this upcoming season. With his lateral quickness, Heaton could be one of the best on-ball defenders in the Hoosier Heritage Conference.

Aiden Lindsey, Triton Central Sr. F

Lindsey (6-4) is one of the most versatile players in Shelby County. He finished his junior season averaging 11.0 points, which was second on the team behind 2021 guard David Steele. Lindsey also averaged 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He shot 50 percent from the field, 71 percent at the foul line and 32 percent from distance (15-for-47).

Luke Brinkman, Shelbyville Soph. G

Brinkman (5-10) looks like a different player after spending the offseason in the weight room. He did not log varsity minutes as a freshman but shot the ball with confidence from deep when I saw Shelbyville play over the summer. Brinkman also looked comfortable handling the ball against pressure.

Kris Mills is the sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.