Necedah senior Jaron Murphy and Royall senior Keith Schnurr capped off their high school basketball careers in style: with well-earned places on the all-conference first team.
Both Murphy and Schnurr were among the six all-conference first-team honorees when the Scenic Bluffs Conference released its postseason honors at the conclusion of the season. Joining them on the first team were Bangor senior Grant Manke, Bangor junior Zane Langrehr, Cashton senior Kristt Hilden and Hillsboro senior Noah Feala.
Manke was named the 2019-20 Scenic Bluffs Player of the Year for boys’ basketball. This marked the second straight season that ended with Manke garnering the conference’s top honors.
Murphy was also a first-team pick last year and landed on the second team as a sophomore in 2018. Schnurr had been a second-team honoree last season as a junior before being elevated to the first team after his final year with the Panthers.
The list of this season’s second-team selections included Necedah sophomore Landen Murphy and Wonewoc-Center senior Dawson Miller. They were joined by Bangor junior Hank Reader, Brookwood senior Kaden Brandau, Cashton sophomore Bowdy Dempsey and Hillsboro senior Cade Jensen.
Both Murphy and Miller were all-conference honorable mentions in 2019.
This season’s all-conference honorable mentions included Necedah sophomore Josiah Hansen, Necedah junior Isaiah Herried, New Lisbon freshman Ashton Pfaff, New Lisbon senior Gunnar Pedersen, Royall sophomore Nate Vieth, Royall senior Brenden Ziems, Wonewoc-Center senior Tucker Needham and Wonewoc-Center sophomore Ashton Spencer.
Pedersen was also an all-conference honorable mention last year as a junior.
The Bangor Cardinals continued their dominating reign over the Scenic Bluffs Conference, posting another perfect 14-0 mark in league play to win their fourth consecutive conference championship. They have now won 57 consecutive games in league play — a streak that dates back to February 2016.
Cashton and Hillsboro were four games back of Bangor in this year’s final standings, with each going 10-4 in conference play to tie for second. Necedah was right behind in fourth at 9-5, Royall followed in fifth at 7-7, New Lisbon went 3-11 to take sixth, Brookwood was seventh at 2-12 and Wonewoc-Center finished 1-13 to wind up in eighth.
New Lisbon and Wonewoc-Center were eliminated in the Division 5 regional quarterfinals, while Necedah and Brookwood met a similar fate in the Division 4 regional quarterfinals. Royall and Hillsboro won their opening games of the playoffs before bowing out in the Division 5 regional semifinals. Cashton was bounced in the Division 5 regional finals.
Bangor entered the postseason ranked No. 2 in Division 5 in the final WisSports.net coaches’ poll of the regular season. The Cardinals looked poised for a third consecutive state tournament appearance with a real shot at their second state championship over that span.
However, in a highly anticipated sectional semifinal matchup, No. 2 seed Blair-Taylor, ranked No. 4 in the state, outlasted top-seeded Bangor 62-61 to advance to the sectional finals. But the Wildcats’ quest for their first state tournament appearance since 2014 and their first state title in school history were quashed when the WIAA canceled all remaining winter sports postseason events due to growing health concerns stemming from the global coronavirus pandemic.
Follow Zach Rastall on Twitter @zrastall17 or contact him at 608-697-7943.
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