Brookfield boys trio make NOW All-Suburban hoops team
Clarey, LaChance, Goodman named to 12-man squad
There is a definite local flavor on this season's NOW Newspapers All-Suburban boys basketball teams, as three of the 12 selections come from Brookfield.
There is one conference Player of the Year.
There are three all-conference selections.
There are two Most Valuable Players.
There is one rebounding champion.
And that's just scratching the surface of what Brookfield Central's Riley LaChance and Elijah Goodman and Brookfield Academy's Sean Clarey bring to the table.
Here's a closer look at Brookfield's three NOW All-Suburban players and the fantastic 2012-13 season.
Sean Clarey, Brookfield Academy
Clarey is part of an explosive one-two scoring punch for the Midwest Classic Champion Blue Knights. He was the conference's Player of the Year, averaging 22.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
He teamed with senior Domonique Criss to give Brookfield Academy one of the top backcourts in the state and led their team to a 21-3 overall record. Sean is one of three Clareys on the team, as his brother Ryan is a freshman guard/forward and his dad, Patrick, is the coach.
"I was surprised that Domonique didn't make the team," Clarey said. "I thought he was going to get it. If I have an off-night, it's Domonique's show. He is an awesome player who is hard to guard."
Clarey was pleased to earn the honor, but he was quick to credit his teammates for the great season the Blue Knights had.
"Domonique was one of the first guys I met and played with for three years," he said. "He is very underrated. He can get to the rim on demand. Kick it to a teammate or if he is outside, he can pass it to our inside guys."
Clarey uses his 6-foot, 3-inch frame well on the boards and he also takes pride in his defense. The Blue Knights like to race up and down the court and they can't do that without the basketball, so rebounding and defense is a big part of their game.
"Domonique and (point guard) Forah (Bangura) usually double-team and trap the ballhandler and the rest of our jobs to be in the right spot to intercept it and then we get our fastbreak going.
"Our goal is to score 70 to 80 points, so we have to secure the ball. My goal is too get to the missed ball and that's our approach."
But Clarey's calling card is shooting, and he does it well - shooting 51 percent from the field, 81 percent from the free throw line and an outstanding 45 percent from 3-point range.
Clarey is one of the Blue Knights' four captains, a role he is proud of.
"You got to run the show, say what need to," he said. "I feel I say the right thing at the right time."
Riley LaChance, Brookfield Central
A first-team All-Greater Metro Conference choice, the Lancers' MVP and an All-State selection by the WBCA, LaChance is the type of player who can put a team on his back and carry them. He had more freedom this year when Brad Newman took over some of the point guard duties.
LaChance led the Lancers in scoring 20 of 24 games, including 10 in a row going into the finale, as he scored 30 points twice and between 20-29 points 11 times. The Lancers main ballhandler, he averaged only 1.2 turnovers per game, an impressive stat.
"He developed a comprehensive offensive game and was important to the Lancers' success," coach Mark Adams said. "He faced pressure from baseline to baseline, with several defenders taking turns guarding him."
The Lancers tied for the conference title with a 13-1 record and they finished 20-4 overall, something of a surprise since they didn't have many players with playing experience returning. But a good summer performance gave a hint of what was to come.
"Going in we knew it was going to be a transition year because we did not have a lot coming back who saw a lot of game action," LaChance said. "But from start to end, the improvement we had was tremendous. We beat some quality teams like Germantown and Riverside in the summer, so we got the confidence we could play together well since we were able to knock off some of the top teams."
LaChance was candid when talking about the teams he played on his first two seasons.
"We know what we did last year, the last two years. We underachieved," he said. "From the first day this year we had great focus, great energy and every guy bought into the program."
LaChance likes the ball in hands, but not for selfish reasons.
"I like pushing the ball up the court, more for making others better because a lot of my teammates can score the ball."
Although he was a junior captain, he praised the leadership brought to the table by Central's two seniors - Peter Mattiacci, who started, and Nate Hugo, who didn't play much.
"The leadership role starts and ends with the two seniors; two very unselfish guys. They were class acts. They couldn't have been better teammates. I've grown close to them. They are always there. Two good teammates, two good friends."
Elijah Goodman, Brookfield Central
Here was a guy who worked hard, ate right and lost 20 pounds to make himself better - for baseball.
"I wanted to be in better shape for pitching. Be healthier. Eat healthier, cut out the junk food," he said.
As for helping him in basketball?
"I was faster, I could jump higher; but not that higher," he laughed. "It also helped my endurance. Last year I was tired after 20 minutes. But this year I played 30 minutes in several games."
But the weight loss made the talented big man one of the best big inside players in the area, as he averaged an incredible 15 rebounds per game, including 6.7 offensive boards per contest. He was also a scoring threat (14.2), so he finished with double-doubles in 22 of 24 games, leading the team in all 24 games.
He hit 53 percent from the field (142-268) with an amazing variety of shots - jump shots, hook shots and reverse layups.
"It's the type of stuff he works on in his driveway," Adams said, "because we don't teach him that stuff here."
LaChance is happy for Goodman's improvement.
"He is plenty tough under the basket," he said. "He is undersized, but playing with bigger players, is a non-issue. When he uses both hands, rarely does anyone get the ball from him.
"He is unbelievable playing against guys 6 inches taller than him. He's completely dominant. Some of the rebounds he gets, I don't know how he does it."
Goodman is also an impressive passer, whether drawing two players underneath and then kicking it out to a teammate for an easy jumper or standing on the top of the key, watching his teammates work off screens, break open so he can hit them with a pass for a layup.
"I've always felt I was a good passer," Goodman said. "I'm really confident I can drill it into a tiny hole in the defense."
But rebounding is Goodman's game and he is fun to watch around the basket.
"I know before each season we set goals. Mine was to average a double-double. That was one of my goals.
"I take a lot of pride in it."
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