Arabian boys earn conference honors

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PENDLETON — The Pendleton Heights boys basketball team accomplished a great deal in the 2016-17 season.

It included a Madison County championship and an outright Hoosier Heritage Conference title with a perfect 7-0 campaign against conference foes.

On Monday, March 6, members of the team were honored for achievements at the HHC postseason meeting at New Palestine High School.

Kevin Bates was honored as the conference’s coach of the year, and three starters — senior Mark Albers and sophomores Eli Pancol and Karsten Windlan — were named to the HHC all-conference first team.

In his second year as head coach for the Arabians, Bates led his squad to a 17-7 record, a four-win improvement from the 13-11 season during his rookie campaign.

PH swept to the county title with convincing wins against Frankton, Lapel and Anderson in January and clinched the outright conference championship for the second time in three years with a 3-point win at New Castle in February.

Albers, already a prolific 3-point shooter during his career as an Arabian, became more of a complete player during his senior campaign. He led Pendleton Heights in scoring at 19.8 points per game and in minutes played at 30 per game. He continued his torrid shooting from outside, converting 37 percent of his 202 3-point attempts, while expanding his repertoire to include attacking the basket, shooting 56 percent on 2-point shots.

Albers was second on the team in rebounding at 4.8 per game and joined the 1,000-point club in January against Frankton, finishing as the fourth-leading scorer in Arabian history at 1,286 career points.

Pancol solidified his position as a key inside performer for the Arabians this season. In addition to scoring 11.1 points per game, he led PHHS at 8.5 rebounds a game. He averaged 2.2 assists and led the Arabians defensively with 1.7 steals per game. While his high-flying dunks have become a crowd favorite, Pancol also showed off some range of his own, connecting on 38 percent of his 3-point shots.

While Albers scored from the perimeter and Pancol was a force on the interior, Windlan was comfortable shooting from 26 feet or driving the lane against players much taller than his 5-foot-10 frame. The sophomore point guard converted 36 percent of his 3-point shots while scoring 12 points per game and led the Arabians with an average of 2.9 assists. Not afraid of contact near the basket, Windlan was a 73 percent free-throw shooter this season and averaged 1.6 steals per game.