There are a lot of similarities between Shawn Pardee and Tommy Morneau. They are both point guards that open eyes with their feel for the game and intense level of play. They can both drain it from way down town and display a vast knowledge of the game.
And now, the duo share a trophy.
Voting for Thumb Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year by the Thumb Sportswriters Association ended in a tie between Pardee, a 5-11 point guard from Millington, and Bad Axe’s 6-foot point guard Morneau.
Pardee and Morneau were joined on the TSA All-Thumb First Team by Unionville-Sebewaing’s Aaron Saenz, Marlette’s Andrew Storm, Vassar’s Tyler Humpert and Harbor Beach center Jason Gaffke.
Pardee, the sole winner of last year’s award, earned first-team AP Class C all-state recognition after setting school records for points and assists in a season. He averaged over 28 points per game and made 229 free throws — the second-highest total in Michigan history.
Morneau led the Hatchets to a 20-0 regular season, and No. 4 Class C ranking in the final AP poll. He averaged 21.5 points while shooting 60 percent from two-point range and 41 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Morneau was an honorable mention all-state selection.
Bad Axe coach Mark Krug was a unanimous TSA selection for Coach of the Year, and the Hatchets were also a unanimous selection for Team of the Year.
Bad Axe center Andrew Sutton and Sandusky’s Joe Stone shared TSA Defensive Player of the Year honors and the 6th Player of the Year was awarded to Marlette’s Barret George.
Saenz averaged over 20 points per game for the Patriots, and finished his four-year varsity career with over 1,000 career points. The 6-foot-1 guard has always been a threat from outside, but added an effective dribble-drive to his game as a senior. He was an honorable mention AP Class C all-stater.
Humpert, the TSA Football Player of the Year as a quarterback in the fall, is a 6-foot-7 center that was often counted on to bring the ball up the court. He averaged nearly 14 points and 10 rebounds per game on his way to Class C AP honorable mention all-state. He has signed a letter-of-intent to play football in the fall for Saginaw Valley State University.
Storm, a 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 15.5 points per game for the Red Raiders, co-champions of the Greater Thumb East. He led Marlette in assists and was named Class C all-state honorable mention by the AP. The senior is also an all-state hurdler that plans to run track in college.
Gaffke, a 6-foot-5 senior center, led Harbor Beach with 15.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He also recorded 27 blocks and earned first-team all-Greater Thumb East recognition. Gaffke shot 56 percent from the field and recorded a season-high 30 points against Sandusky.
The TSA All-Thumb Second Team consists of: Jacob Wright, Owendale-Gagetown; Danny Hale, Sandusky; Andrew Sutton, Bad Axe; Kyle Gnatkowski, Reese; Jeffrey Wright, Ubly and Cody Siemen of Harbor Beach.
The Thumb Sportswriters Association includes: The Advertiser, Huron Daily Tribune, Huron Daily View, Sanilac County News, WLEW-FM 102.1 Sports, Thumb Tailgater Sports and Mix 92.1 FM.
The voting for Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Team of the Year was done on a 5-3-1 basis. Morneau and Pardee each garnered 32 points, followed by Saenz (6 points) and Storm (1 point) in the Player of the Year voting. Krug earned all eight first place votes for 40 points in the Coach of the Year vote, while Harbor Beach coach Ron Wruble captured 14 points and USA’s Mark Gainforth accumulated 10.
Thumb Sportswriters Association Boys’ Basketball Team
Player: Shawn Pardee
Highlights: Earned first-team Class C AP all-state for the second year in a row; 5-foot-10 point guard set school record for points in a season (681) and assists in a season (121); averaged 28.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game; 229 made free throws and 87.1 career free throw percentage are No. 2 totals in state history; led Cardinals to district championship; had games of 55 and 48 points.
Coach Dan Pardee: “For a five-year stretch, it was a daily thing for him to take five or six hundred shots a day, 100-plus free throws a day and practice ball handling, so he’s definitely put the time in in his career. To set a school scoring record and school assist record in the same season is pretty remarkable. He led us in two-point field goal percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage so he wanted to shoot the ball, and we needed him to shoot the ball — but he did a great job of finding his teammates this year.”
Player: Tommy Morneau
School: Bad Axe
Highlights: 6-foot point guard was spark that drove Hatchets to 20-0 regular season. Earned honorable mention AP Class C all state and first-team all-Greater Thumb West recognition. Averaged 21.5 pints, six rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Shot over 60 percent on two-point field goal attempts, and 41 percent from three-point range. Fourth Bad Axe player to record 1,000 career points.
Coach Mark Krug: “Tommy has the extraordinary ability to take over a game at any given moment. He is one of the most humble and unselfish players I have ever had the privilege to coach. His work ethic, along with his respect for the game, his teammates and opponents exemplifies him as a true scholar athlete.”
Player: Aaron Saenz
School: Unionville-Sebewaing Area
Highlights: 6-foot-1 guard led Patriots in scoring (20.6 points per game) and rebounding (6.0 per game); first-team all-Greater Thumb West; honorable mention Class C AP all-state; helped USA to upset over previously undefeated Bad Axe in district championship game; four-year varsity player.
Coach Mark Gainforth: “He came up in his freshman year, got a little taste of the varsity level and from there just developed his game every year. He was really a shooter, then just developed his dribble-drive and got stronger defensively — especially in the second half of this year. I think he’s grown as a kid, just a great, great, great young man and works hard in the class room.”
Player: Tyler Humpert
Highlights: Was Thumb-area Football Player of the year: 6-foot-7 forward helped Vulcans to a 15-win season; averaged team-leading 13.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game; earned honorable mention AP Class C all-state; first-team all-Greater Thumb West; signed to play football at Saginaw Valley State University.
Coach Chuck Fabbro: “He’s very versatile for a 6-7 kid. There were times this year, because we didn’t have a prototypical point guard, we used him to bring the ball up and get our offense going. He’s extremely athletic, he finished his career with 733 rebounds which smashed our record of 608. Tyler had a great career here.”
Player: Andrew Storm
Highlights: Honorable mention AP Class C all-state; first-team all-Greater Thumb East; averaged team-leading 15.8 points and over five assists per game; helped Red Raiders to share of GTE title; all-state hurdler during track and field season; plans to run track in college.
Coach Chris Storm: “He meant a lot to Marlette basketball the last couple of years. He can score, primary ball handler, he can rebound, he can defend the other team’s best player. The biggest thing this year was his ability to pass and just take over that way and involve his teammates — he’ll definitely be hard to replace.”
Player: Jason Gaffke
School: Harbor Beach
Highlights: 6-foot-5 center averaged 15.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Pirates. Shot 56 percent from the field, and caused matchup issues due to ability to score from inside and outside the paint. First-team all-Greater Thumb East selection had season-high 30 points against Sandusky.
Coach Ron Wruble: “Jason did a tremendous job in the offseason developing into one of the area’s premier big men. He armed his 6-foot-5 frame with some nifty moves around the basket and a great intermediate jump shot, which made him hard to defend. Jason also anchored our defense in the middle.”
Jacob Wright Sr. Owendale-Gagetown 23.7 ppg
Kyle Gnatkowski Sr. Reese 14.4 ppg
Danny Hale Sr. Sandusky 12.7 ppg
Andrew Sutton Sr. Bad Axe 9.4 ppg
Jeffrey Wright Sr. Ubly 15 ppg
Cody Sieman Sr. Harbor Beach 9.6 ppg
Brandon Potter Sandusky
Isaac Dale Marlette
Jon Messing Bad Axe
Joe Hagner Brown City
Kyle Fetting Caro
Caleb Wascher Millington
Michael Kemp Unionville-Sebewaing Area
Dan Good Owendale-Gagetown
David Binder Owendale-Gagetown
Brandon Patullo Deckerville
Colton Fabbro Vassar
Kyle Stockmeyer Reese
Colin Smith Kingston
Andrew Morrison Mayville
Parker Haire Cass City
Player of the Year
Shawn Pardee and Tommy Morneau (32 points)
Aaron Saenz (6 points)
Andrew Storm (2 points)
Team of the Year
Bad Axe (40 points unanimous)
Marlette (24 points)
USA (7 points)
Deckerville (1 point)
Coach of the Year
Mark Krug Bad Axe (40 points unanimous)
Ron Wruble Harbor Beach (14 points)
Mark Gainforth USA (10 points)
Chris Storm Marlette (4 points)
Dave Lester Kinston (3 points)
Tristan Pennington (1 point)
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrew Sutton Bad Axe and Joe Stone Sandusky
6th Player of the Year
Barret George Marlette