(Courtesy photo) The Croswell-Lexington boys’ basketball team went 18-1 in the regular season, capturing a Blue Water Area Championship and earning a No. 4 Division 2 ranking in the final AP poll. The Pioneers are the Thumb Sportswriters Association Team of the Year.

Yorke leads senior-heavy all-Thumb team

Millington’s Zac Yorke joined elite company this season by scoring his 1,000-career point.

He has now joined an even more elite group of Millington basketball players, becoming the third Cardinals player to be named Thumb Sportswriters Association Player of the Year.

Shawn Pardee won the award in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and Dustin Griesing won in 2007-08.

Yorke, who signed to play basketball with Grace Christian University, is joined on the TSA first team by Kingston’s Evan Neff, Unionville-Sebewaing Area teammates Landin Zimmer and Nash Morton, Hunter Soper of Croswell-Lexington and Reese’s Damarquss Palmreuter.

TSA voting is based on regular season stats and accomplishments.

Yorke, a 6-foot-1 senior, became the fifth player in Millington history to score 1,000-career points, joining Vern Sergent, Matt Hoard, Austin LeVan and Pardee. But unlike the rest of the names on this list, Yorke added two more memorable career numbers, racking up over 500 rebounds and 200 assists.

An honorable mention all-Thumb selection last year, Yorke led the Thumb area in scoring with 22.8 points per game while also grabbing 10 rebounds a game and dishing out four assists per game.

There were a couple of firsts in two other TSA awards. Croswell-Lexington won its first outright Team of the Year award (it shared the honor with Kingston in 2006-07) and Kingston’s Dave Lester was named Coach of the Year for the first time.

Morton, who was last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, took the award home once again while Cros-Lex junior Saige Slanec was named Sixth Player of the Year.

Neff was a catalyst for 19-1 Kingston, which was ranked second in Division 4 and won its first outright conference title in 13 years. He achieved a personal milestone of joining the 1,000-point career club, while also averaging career highs of 21.5 points per game, six rebounds per game and 2.5 steals per game.

Teammates Zimmer and Morton have been major pieces for USA the past two seasons, helping lead the Patriots to a 40-5 record and two Greater Thumb Conference West titles (USA shared the crown this year with Reese). Morton averaged 14.2 points per game to go along with 5.3 rebounds and three steals per game. Zimmer was USA’s leading scorer, averaging 20.9 points per game while contributing 4.1 rebounds a game.

Croswell-Lexington enjoyed one its most successful seasons in recent memory, going 18-1 and capturing the Blue Water Area Conference championship for the first time in 10 years. Soper, a junior, was a big part of that success, averaging 15.6 points per game, pulling down 8.6 rebounds a game and adding 2.7 assists a game. He was named the BWAC Most Valuable Player.

Palmreuter, a 5-foot-10 guard did not make last year’s all-Thumb squad but made the jump to first team after a successful season in the GTW. The sophomore averaged 17.5 points per game and was a difference-maker for the Rockets, who won a piece of their first conference title since 2012, and the first of coach Brian Kern’s tenure.

The TSA consists of The Advertiser, Huron County View, Sanilac County News, Huron Daily Tribune, Let’s Talk Sports on Classic Rock I92, Sports Radio 102.1FM, Sanilac Broadcasting, Thumb Tailgater Sports and Varsity Monthly.

 TSA Boys’ Basketball First Team


Player: Zac Yorke

Grade: Senior

School: Millington

Position: Guard

Highlights: First-team Tri-Valley Conference West; first-team TVC East as a junior; first-team all-Thumb in football as a tight end and defensive end in 2019; led team in points (23), rebounds (10) and assists (four) per game; signed to play basketball at Grace Christian University; surpassed 1,000 points, 500 rebound and 200 assists (only player in Millington boys’ basketball history to achieve this feat).


Player: Evan Neff

Grade: Senior

School: Kingston

Position: Guard

Highlights: Three-time first team North Central Thumb League Stars Division; led team in points (20.3) rebounds (6.2) and steals (2.5) per game; helped Kingston secure first outright conference title in 13 years; drawing interest to play college basketball; 1,000-point scorer (eighth in Kingston boys’ basketball history); Division 4 all-state honorable mention as a junior and senior.


Player: Hunter Soper

Grade: Junior

School: Croswell-Lexington

Position: Forward

Highlights: Leader of Croswell-Lexington squad that finished 18-1; averaged a team-high 15.6 points per game; grabbed a team-best 8.6 rebounds a game; BWAC Most Valuable Player; first team BWAC as a sophomore; second-team all-Thumb as a sophomore. 


Player: Landin Zimmer

Grade: Senior

School: Unionville-Sebewaing Area

Position: Guard

Highlights: Averaged five 3-pointers per game; shot over 43 percent from beyond the arc and nearly 60 percent from inside the arc; finished second on team in steals and assists; led team in scoring with 20.9 points per game; Greater Thumb Conference West first-team; All-Advertiser second team as a junior; three-year varsity player finishing career with a record of 65-6.


Player: Nash Morton

Grade: Senior

School: Unionville-Sebewaing Area

Position: Guard

Highlights: Led USA in steals with 3.9 per game and rebounds with 5.3 a game; averaged 14.2 points per game; back-to-back all-Thumb Defensive Player of the Year; all-Thumb honorable mention as a junior; Greater Thumb Conference West first-team; GTW second-team as a junior; two-year varsity player finishing career with a record of 40-5.


Player: Damarquss Palmreuter

Grade: Sophomore

School: Reese

Position: Guard

Highlights: Led team in scoring with 17.5 points per game; helped lead Reese to a share of the Greater Thumb Conference West title; GTW first team; All-Advertiser honorable mention as a freshman.

TSA All-Thumb second team

Tyler Johnson, Jr., Cros-Lex, 13.6 ppg

Tyler Nelson, Sr., Sandusky, 13.6 ppg

Marco Saenz de Lacuesta, Jr., Kingston, 10.5 ppg

Levi Foco, Soph., Reese, 13.0 ppg

Aaron Sowles, Jr., Bad Axe, 13.6 ppg

Trevin Phillips, Sr., Caro, 10.7 ppg

TSA honorable mention

Gaden Muxlow, Brown City

Brandon Winiarski, Peck

Sandyn Cuthrell, Cass City

Anthony Sheridon, Lakers

Dylan Kadar, Harbor Beach

Peyton Mooney, Carsonville-Port Sanilac

Darnell Davis, Reese

Conner Gettel, USA

Isaac Keinath, Deckerville

Deandre Morris, North Huron

Kaden Geilhart, Caseville

Quinn Boucard, Kingston

Matthew Daws, Brown City

Jeffrey Frost, Mayville

Austin Peruski, Ubly

TSA voting results (5-3-1 format)

Player of the Year

Zac Yorke, Millington, 41 points

Evan Neff, Kingston, 21 points

Hunter Soper, Cros-Lex, 10 points

Landin Zimmer, USA, 9 points

Team of the Year

Cros-Lex, 43 points

Kingston, 29 points

USA, 9 points

Coach of the Year

Dave Lester, Kingston, 30 points

Mark Gainforth, USA, 27 points

Lance Campbell, Cros-Lex, 21 points

Tristin Pennington, Sandusky, 3 points


Team of the Year

2005-06: USA

2006-07: Kingston, Cros-Lex

2007-08: Reese

2008-09: North Huron

2009-10: Harbor Beach

2010-11: Marlette

2011-12: CPS

2012-13: Harbor Beach

2013-14: Millington

2014-15: Millington

2015-16: Bad Axe

2016-17: Marlette

2017-18: USA

2018-19: USA

Player of the Year

2005-06: Jordan Bitzer, USA

2006-07: Kevin Ginther, Harbor Beach

2007-08: Dustin Griesing, Millington

2008-09: A.J. Burton, Brown City

2009-10: Sean Clancy, North Huron

2010-11: Marshall Leipprandt, Ubly

2011-12: Marshall Leipprandt, Ubly

2012-13: Brad Schaub, Marlette

2013-14: Brad Schaub, Marlette

2014-15: Shawn Pardee, Millington

2015-16: Tommy Morneau, Bad Axe; Shawn Pardee, Millington

2016-17: Kyle Stockmeyer, Reese

2017-18: Isaiah Williamson, USA

2018-19: Gabe Robinson, Reese

Coach of the Year

2005-06: Mark Gainforth, USA

2006-07: Don Roberts, Cros-Lex; Mike Rea, Kingston

2007-08: Tony Burton, Brown City

2008-09: Mark Gainforth, USA

2009-10: Chuck Fabbro, Vassar

2010-11: Chris Storm, Marlette

2011-12: Cliff Amey, CPS

2012-13: Aaron Fernald, Cass City

2013-14: Jeremy Abrego, Peck

2014-15: Mark Krug, Bad Axe

2015-16: Mark Krug, Bad Axe

2016-17: Mark Gainforth, USA

2017-18: Mark Gainforth, USA

2018-19: Mark Gainforth, USA

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