Cassidy leads small, quick all-county team

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Perry Central dominated Perry County (and much of southwestern Indiana) with a small but quick boys basketball team this year.

So it is no surprise that the Commodores also dominate this year’s All-Perry County team and it is also small but quick.
Perry Central senior Tanner Cassidy, the overwhelming choice for the team’s Most Valuable Player, is the tallest player on the team at 6-foot-2.
He played mostly forward and guard but did play some center and led the county in rebounding at 8.0 per game.
Perry Central’s Derek Thomas and Tell City’s Matthew Watts join him on the all-county frontline. Both are good ball-handlers and can play guard but both spent most of the season at forward.
So this is a legitimate team that one could put on the floor to try to win a game, the criteria I give voters for selecting the team. And I wouldn’t bet against them.
Guards Brandon Cook of Cannelton and Abe Schwartz of Perry Central complete the all-senior team.
As usual the team was selected in voting by the three county coaches, the two who coached against all three county teams this season, and me, who saw each county team play at least 10 times.
Cassidy was a unanimous selection to the team and nearly unanimous selection as MVP because voters liked his versatility.
He led the county in rebounding and free-throw shooting, was second in scoring at 15.3 points per game, and finished in the top four in the county in every statistical category.
“He’s just an all-around player,” said Tell City Coach Brent Owen. “He can shoot, he can pass. I don’t know that he does anything great, but he’s really good at everything.”
“I thought he did an awfully lot for a very good team,” said Tecumseh Coach Kevin Oxley.
Cassidy’s scoring, re-bounding and assist totals would have been even higher on a team that takes a lot of quick shots and thus has a lot more possessions.
Thomas joined him as a unanimous pick for the team.
He was the Commodores’ second leading scorer at 12.4 points per game. He hit 50.4 percent from the field overall and led the county in three-point shooting at 47.0 percent.
He was third in the county in steals at 2.2 per game and was possibly the best 5-foot-9 rebounder in the state, using his quickness, great leaping ability and nose for the ball to grab 3.9 per game.
Watts led Tell City in scoring at 12.6 points per game and was second in the county in three-point shooting at 44.1 percent, which would lead the county most years.
Cook led the county in scoring with 25.2 points per game and steals with 3.2 points per game. He was second in assists at 4.0.
He improved his overall field-goal shooting to 38.4 percent and three-point shooting to 30.2 percent this season, though there’s still room for improvement in both.
On nights when he was hot from the perimeter, though, he was virtually unstoppable.
Schwartz was Perry Central’s third leading scorer and was second on his team in assists.
But his greatest strength was his stick-like-glue defense that frustrated opponents and helped him lead the Commodores in steals at 2.8 per game, second in the county.
Despite the lack of height overall, I don’t think many people would look forward to playing against this team.

Perry County Boys Final Leaders
Name and School    G        Pts.     Ave.
Brandon Cook, Can.    21    529    25.2
Tanner Cassidy, PC    26    398      15.3
Tristan Simmons, Can.    21    270      12.9
Matthew Watts, TC    19    239      12.6
Derek Thomas, PC    25    310      12.4
Brian Arnold, TC    20    229    11.5
Abe Schwartz, PC    24      186    7.8
Hunter Herzog, Can.    21    161    7.7
Andrew Huber, PC    26      179    6.9
Austin LeClere, PC    26    178      6.8
Elijah Littles, Can.    20    132      6.6
Trent Zuelly, TC    16    86    5.4
Colten Hedinger, PC    26    139      5.3
Dacota Schaad, PC    26    135      5.2
Brennan Malone, PC    18      89    4.9
Quinn Duke, Can.    21    99      4.7
Rebounding Leaders
Name and School    G       Reb.     Ave.
Tanner Cassidy, PC    26    207      8.0
Hunter Herzog, Can.    21    147      7.0
Tristan Simmons, Can.    21    146      7.0
Brennan Malone, TC    18    122      6.8
Colten Hedinger, PC    26    106      4.1
Brandon Cook, Can.    21    85      4.0
Quinn Duke, Can.    21    85      4.0
Elijah Littles, Can.    20    79      4.0
Derek Thomas, PC    25    98      3.9
Field-Goal Percentage Leaders
(Minimum 70 Attempts)
Name and School     FG     FGA     Pct.
Colten Hedinger, PC      58     106    54.7
Austin LeClere, PC      71     138    51.4
Tanner Cassidy, PC       143     280    51.1
Derek Thomas, PC      113     224    50.4
Hunter Herzog, Can.     73     157    46.5
Andrew Huber, PC       61     133    45.9
Free-Throw Percentage Leaders
(Minimum 24 Attempts)
Name and School      FT     FTA     Pct.
Tanner Cassidy, PC       87     113    77.0
Austin LeClere, PC     33     43    76.7
Andrew Huber, PC       50     68    73.5
Derek Thomas, PC       53     79    67.1
Three-Point Shooting Leaders
(Minimum 20 Attempts)
Name and School      M      Att.      Pct.
Derek Thomas, PC       31     66    47.0
Matthew Watts       45     102    44.1
Dacota Schaad, PC       29     77    37.7
Tanner Cassidy, PC       25     79    31.6
Assist Leaders
Name and School    G        Ast.     Ave.
Trent Zuelly, TC    16    75    4.7
Brandon Cook, Can.    21    85    4.0
Tanner Cassidy, PC    26      96    3.7
Abe Schwartz, PC    24      69    2.9
Tristan Simmons, Can.    21    43    2.0
Derek Thomas, PC    25    44      1.8
Steals Leaders
Name and School    G        Stl.      Ave.
Brandon Cook, Can.    21    68    3.2
Abe Schwartz, PC    25      69    2.8
Derek Thomas, PC    25      56    2.2
Tanner Cassidy, PC    26    57    2.2
Tristan Simmons, Can.    21    40      1.9
Andrew Huber, PC    26    46    1.8
Hunter Herzog, Can.    21    32      1.5