The best sharpshooters find ways to get open for their stroke.
It can come off many scenarios: a screen, an extra pass, a size mismatch or an isolation move to find the perfect shot.
When their name is called for a score, they deliver.
They thrive on pressure. Consistently.
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During the 2014-15 boys basketball season, few shooters in Jackson County compared to Brownstown Central’s Jacoby Shade.
Shade, listed at six-foot and 190 pounds, shot an impressive 52 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range. He also shot a single-season school-record of 89 percent from the free throw line this season to tally 362 points.
“(Shade) has got a high, quick release that he can get his shot over smaller players,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “He’s so efficient, he doesn’t need a lot of shots to get his points. I’ve coached some really good shooters and he’s as good, or better than them, when he gets that space.”
On top of leading the Braves in scoring, Shade also led the Braves with 128 rebounds.
Shade made the 1st team All-Mid-Southern Conference and Graber Post All-Tournament team by the end of the season on top of team awards.
With his accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Shade the 2015 Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Stepping into a bigger role
Following a successful sophomore season, Shade exploded onto the Class 3A basketball scene during this recently completed season.
In his sophomore year, Shade scored 270 points, paired with 94 rebounds, 15 assists and 25 steals. He averaged 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Heading into this season, the Braves had to replace 18-point-per-game scorer Chaz Schneider, who graduated.
Once this year’s roles were established by the Braves’ coaching staff, Shade’s name was immediately put to the forefront for carrying the scoring load.
“That’s one of the first things we do (in the season), is establish roles,” Benter said. “I think everyone on the team knows (Shade’s) ability to shoot and score. He knows we need that, and I challenged him early on to step up that and rebounding. As the season went on he got better in that department.”
Following a 10-point performance in the Braves’ opener against Salem, Shade scored 19 on Dec. 5 against Seymour.
From then-on, he and fellow-junior Zach McCory nearly led the Braves in scoring every night, mixed in with a few top performances from big man Cam Shoemaker.
Shade scored in double-figures in all but one game during the season with his highest-point total coming Feb. 6 against Clarksville.
On the night, he netted 28 points behind three 3-pointers while making all three of his free throws from the line for a career-high performance.
The Braves finished 17-4 on the season.
From Dec. 12 to Jan. 9 the Braves won seven-straight games, including the team’s third Graber Post Buildings Classic Championship.
Two of the team’s losses came to conference-rival Silver Creek, who went on to beat the Braves before winning the sectional and gaining a regional appearance.
The other losses came to Class 4A schools Bedford North Lawrence in overtime and Columbus East.
Top-scorer, team player
At any level of basketball, the best shooters need a strong supporting cast for team success.
While Shade often looked for his shot, he also distributed the ball finishing with 43 assists.
Many of Shade’s points came off assists from guards McCory, who led the team with an impressive 108 dimes, and senior Collin DeHart.
If it didn’t come from the wings, the passes came out of the post from Shoemaker.
One of the area’s coach Benter wanted to see Shade improve upon was his defensive abilities.
Shade got better defensively as the season progressed, Benter said, and he was pleased with the growth.
The Braves rely on stout defense every year, as it’s one of Benter’s highest-priorities for on-court success.
A versatile guard-forward combo, Shade picked up 27 steals on the defensive end.
Now, in a new upperclassmen position, Shade found new leadership roles.
“He’s a very polite and unselfish guy,” Benter said. “He would never cause any waves on the team. He gets along well with everyone.”
Heading into senior year
With all but one starter returning to the Braves’ lineup for 2015-16, Shade is poised for another big year.
A handful of the Braves’ players, including Shade, will play travel basketball leading up to the season to stay sharp.
With the young group’s roles tentatively established, the Braves have a lot to get excited about in the coming year.
Zach McCory, Jr. – Brownstown Central
275 total points, 13.8 ppg
97-196, FG 49%
53-65, FT 82%
86 rebounds, 4.3 rpg
108 assists, 5.4 apg
36 steals, 1.75 spg
1st team All-Mid-Southern Conference, Graber Post Buildings All-Tournament team
Cam Shoemaker, Jr. – Brownstown Central
266 total points, 12.7 ppg
100-178, FG 56%
58-83, FT 70%
126 rebounds, 6.0 rpg
55 assists, 2.7 apg
26 steals, 1.3 spg
All-Mid-Southern Conference Honorable Mention,Graber Post Buildings Classic All-Tournament team
Eli Mollet, Jr. – Crothersville
233 total points, 10.6 ppg
82-168, FG 49%
68-99, FT 69%
179 rebounds, 8.1 rpg
22 assists, 1.0 apg
23 steals, 1.0 spg
Jordan Schoenfelder, Sr. – Crothersville
231 total points, 9.6 ppg
79-185, FG 43%
71-109, FT 65%
151 rebounds, 6.3 rpg
28 assists, 1.2 apg
24 steals, 1.0 spg
1st team All-Southern Athletic Conference
Kam Flynn, Jr. – Medora
276 total points, 12.0 ppg
100-258, FG 38.2%
28-46, FT 61%
66 rebounds, 2.9 rpg
72 assists, 3.1 apg
36 steals, 1.6 spg
Jalen Beesley, Jr. – Medora
225 total points, 9.4 ppg
74-199, FG 37.2%
48-65, FT 74%
68 rebounds, 2.8 rpg
37 assists, 1.5 apg
22 steals, 0.9 spg
Toriek Miller, Jr. – Seymour
382 total points, 18.2 ppg
105-252, FG 42%
125-154, FT 81%
58 rebounds, 2.2 rpg
assists 62, 3.0 apg
39 steals, 1.9 spg
1st team All-Hooiser Hills Conference
Isaiah Thomas, Sr. – Seymour
207 total points, 9.4 ppg
77-140, FG 53%
52-78, FT 67%
119 rebounds, 6.1 rpg
7 assists, 0.3 apg
10 steals, .5 spg
All-Hoosier Hills Conference Honorable Mention
Toby VanLiew, Sr. – Trinity Lutheran
285 total points, 11.9 ppg
101-188, FG 54%
72-105, FT 69%
164 rebounds, 6.8 rpg
52 assists, 2.2 apg
31 steals, 1.3 spg
Luke Stuckwisch, Sr. – Trinity Lutheran
260 total points, 10.8 ppg
88-200, FG 44%
48-61, FT 79%
66 rebounds, 2.8 rpg
126 assists, 5.3 apg
66 steals, 2.8 spg
Daniel Horton, Jr. – Trinity Lutheran
378 total points, 15.8 ppg
134-262, FG 51%
102-137, FT 74%
167 rebounds, 7.0 rpg
45 assists, 1.9 apg
37 steals, 1.5 spg
Collin DeHart, Sr. – Brownstown Central
Dakota Mount, Sr. – Crothersville
Ty Christensen, Sr. – Seymour
Kirk Stewart, Sr. – Medora
Jacob Christopher, Sr. – Trinity Lutheran
Jackson County Player of the Year
2014-15 boys basketball season
362 total points, 17.2 ppg
129/246, FG 52%
53/122, 3 pt FG 43%
51/57 FT 89% (BCHS school record)
128 rebounds, 6.1 rpg
43 assists, 2.0 apg
27 steals, 1.3 spg
1st team All-Mid-Southern Conference, Graber Post Buildings Classic All-Tournament team
“He’s so efficient. He doesn’t need a lot of shots to get his points. I’ve coached some really good shooters and he’s as good, or better, when he gets that space.”