The Central A&M boys basketball team (30-4) was Raider strong once again this year, making the Elite 8 for the 3rd year in a row, after placing 3rd in the State in 2019.

Once again, the Raiders were led by a 3-headed, whack-a-mole offense that ran most opponents out of the gym. They were led in scoring by 3 Central Illinois Conference 1st Team athletes, 1st Team All-Stater senior Connor Heaton, senior Griffin Andricks and senior Jacob Paradee.

Connor Heaton led the team in scoring with 735 points (21.6 ppg). Andricks followed with 633 points (18.6 ppg). Paradee scored 405 points (11.9 ppg). They accounted for 73.8% of the Raider’s points (2405).

Add in fellow starters senior Brycen Burgener and senior Connor Hutchins scored 225 (6.6 ppg) and 172 points (5.1 ppg), respectively, and that accounted for 90% of the scoring.

After bowing out at the Super-sectional as sophomores, then taking 3rd in the State last year, the senior-heavy Raiders were ready for another deep postseason run.

They won their first 8 games through with the first game of the Effingham Teutopolis Christmas Classic. They beat 3A Charleston 64-56. Then they took their first loss against 3A Champaign Centennial (17-14), 46-40. They bounced back beating 3A Effingham, 75-51. Then they lost again, this time to 2A Pleasant Plains (28-5), 69-57.

Standing at 9-2, they won the next 15 games, before losing to St. Anthony by a single point at St. Anthony, 50-49. A&M won the next 5 games, including the Meridian Regional Championship and the sectional semifinal.

They were 29-3 when the had a rematch with St. Anthony in the Casey Sectional final. They got revenge with a 14-point win, 57-43. A&M was 30-3 as they met Goreville at Super-Sectional for the 2nd time in 3 years. They lost, again, 71-64.

A&M finished 30-4, the undefeated conference champs (8-0) and the CIC Tourney champs. The were regional and sectional champions, and super-sectional finalists for the 3rd year in a row.

As a team, the Raiders had a positive assist to turnover ratio. Of 13 players, 8 had positive assist to turnover ratios. Their team assist to turnover ratio was +1.32.

In addition to Heaton leading the team in scoring, he shot the most free throws, making 150 of 225 (66.7%). He also dished 136 assists and led the team with 116 steals.

Andricks not only scored 633 points he led the team in shooting percentage (56.8%). He was the 3-point threat, making 92 triples at 45.7%. He also had the best free throw percentage (77.2%). He averaged a double (18.6 ppg/10.3 rpg) by snaring 351 boards in 34 games. The big man also blocked 58 shots

Speedy Jacob Paradee scored over 400 points and also shot over 52% from the field, 35% from 3-point land. He led A&M in assists with 177. He had just 72 turnovers for the best assist to turnover ratio on the team (+2.42).

Guard Brycen Burgener (225 pts) was right behind Paradee in assist to turnover ratio (2.16). He had 82 assists and just 38 turnovers. Forward Connor Hutchins (172 pts) secured 157 boards.

Central A&M 2019-2020 Season

Connor Heaton: GP 34, Pts 735 (21.6 ppg), FG 51.2%, 3’s-27.7%, FT 150/225 (66.7%), Reb 8.7 rpg, Ast 136 (4.0 apg), Stl 116 (3.4 spg), TO 2.5 tpg, A/T 1.60, Blk .1 bpg

Griffin Andricks: GP 34, Pts 633 (18.6 ppg), FG 56.8%, 3’s- 92 (45.7%), FT 77.2%, Reb 351 (10.3 rpg), Ast 1.2 apg, Stl 0.7 stp, TO 1.8 tpg, A/T 0.67, Blk 58 (1.7 bpg)

Jacob Paradee: GP 34, Pts 405 (11.9 ppg), FG 52.8%, 3’s-35.2%, FT 62.7%, Reb 3.6 rpg, Ast 177 (5.2 apg), Stl 2.4 spg, TO 2.1 tpg, A/T 2.42, Blk 0.4 bpg

Brycen Burgener: GP 34, Pts 225 (6.6 ppg), FG 36.9%, 3’s-28.4%, FT 59.5%, Reb 1.9 rpg, Ast 82 (2.4 apg), Stl 0.6 spg, TO 38 (1.1 tpg), A/T 2.16, Blk .1 blg

Connor Hutchins: GP 34, Pts 172 (5.1 ppg), FG 42.4%, 3’s-28.6%, FT 45.8%, Reb 157 (4.6 rpg), Ast 1.6 apg, Stl .9 spg, TO .4 tpg, A/T 1.70, Blk 0.2 bpg

Ross Sloan: GP 28, Pts 57 (2.5 ppg), FG 38.5%, 3’s-33.3%, FT 70.0%, Reb 1.0 rpg, Ast .4 apg, Stl .6 spg, TO .4 tpg, A/T 1.30, Blk .1 bpg

Chris Enge: GP 30, Pts 70 (1.9 ppg), FG 41.5%, 3’s-27.6%, FT 71.4%, Reb 1.4 rpg, Ast .5 apg, Stl .4 spg, TO .4 tpg, A/T 1.15, Blk .2 bpg

Jakob McQuire: GP 23, Pts 37 (1.6 ppg), FG 54.5%, 3’s-50%, FT 66.7%, Reb .3 rpg, Ast .2 apg, Stl .1 spg, TO .2 tpg, A/T 1.00, Blk 0

James Paradee GP 22, Pts 20 (.9 ppg), FG 41.7%, 3’s-0, FT 0, Reb 1.3 rpg, Ast .4 apg, Stl .3 spg, TO .5 tpg, A/T .80, Blk .1 bpg

Caleb Woods GP 18, Pts 17 (.9 ppg), FG 43.8%, 3’s-50%, FT 50%, Reb .8 rpg, Ast .2 apg, Stl .1 spg, TO .2 tpg, A/T .75, Blk .1 bpg

Cody Sloan: GP 8, Pts 12 (1.4 ppg), FG 50%, 3’s-60%, FT 50%, Reb .3 rpg, Ast .3 apg

Keegan Waterman: GP 24, Pts 10 (.5 ppg), FG 20.8%, 3’s-14.3%, FT 0, Reb .9 rpg, Ast .2 apg, Stl .2 spg, TO .3 tpg, A/T .50, Blk .1 bpg

Dalton Nichols: GP 8, Pts 4 (.2 ppg), FG 6,7%, 3’s-7.1%, FT 50%, Reb .3 rpg, Ast .5 apg, Stl .1 spg, TO .3 tpg, A/T 1.80

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