Tray Croft admits he wasn’t really sure what to expect when he moved from Anniston, Alabama to Fort Dodge.
But after two seasons competing for Iowa Central, there’s only one thing Croft wants.
“From the first day, I didn’t really know if I would like it here or if this was the right fit,” said Croft, who was named the ICCAC Div. II Player of the Year. “Then I became close with the coaches and we built a bond and I started having fun.
“I just wish I could stay for another two years because this was truly an amazing journey.”
Croft, who is currently the leading scorer in Div. II, was one of three Tritons named all-conference. The sophomore was on the first team, with freshman Dallas Bailey on the second and classmate Royshawn Webb third.
After breaking the single-season school scoring record last year, Croft posted 854 points to reset the mark. He finished with 1,626 points in all.
“Getting player of the year means a lot,” Croft said. “I wasn’t expecting to get it, but I feel like I worked hard enough to get it. It was something I wanted to accomplish and now I did.”
During the conference season, Croft averaged 32 points per game, including a career-high 54 vs. Iowa Lakes. He shot over 50 percent from the field, almost 45 percent from the 3-point line and 84 percent at the free throw stripe.
Croft also made the honor squad last year and is likely to secure All-American status when that is announced. He was the co-Region XI Tournament most valuable player and a member of that team.
Bailey averaged 16 points per game in the league with almost eight rebounds, 36 triples and 28 assists. Webb averaged 11 points, six rebounds and shot 55 percent from the floor.
“This season was a lot of fun,” Croft said. “The team and I clicked tight from the first day of practice until the end of the season. We all bought in to what Coach (Dennis Pilcher) wanted us to do, which was work hard every day.
“I feel like the team made me better as a person and a player, and I feel like I did the same for them.”
Croft still has yet to decide where he’ll head to next season, but his long-term goal remains the same as it was when he was on the courts in Alabama.
“Hopefully, my basketball career continues to grow and one day my dream of making it to the NBA comes true,” he said.
Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Kyle Beisch, a sophomore at Iowa Lakes, also made the first-team. He averaged just under 18 points per game and shot 40 percent from the three-point line.
Beisch’s teammate and fellow ex-Dodger Solomon Clayton nabbed third team honors. The freshman averaged almost 11 points and seven rebounds per game.
Kirkwood’s Bryan Petersen was named coach of the year. Defending national champion Southwestern won the regional crown.
ICCAC DIV. II ALL-REGION
Tray Croft, Iowa Central, soph.; Kyle Beisch, Iowa Lakes, soph.; Wali Parks, DMACC, soph.; Darius Lasley, Ellsworth, soph.; Dennis Joiner, Iowa Lakes, soph.; Doug Wilson, Kirkwood, fr.; Chris King, Kirkwood, soph.; Terence Shelby Jr., Southwestern, soph.; Gatdoar Kueth, Southwestern, fr.
Dallas Bailey, Iowa Central, fr.; Lee Higgins, DMACC, fr.; Tristan Forsyth, Ellsworth, fr.; Streeter McIlravy, Iowa Lakes, soph.; Bailey Kale, Kirkwood, fr.; Ethan Meeker, Kirkwood, soph.; Ethan Steinbronn, Little Priest, soph.; Alijah Thomas, Southwestern, soph.
Royshawn Webb, Iowa Central, fr.; Solomon Clayton, Iowa Lakes, fr.; LJ Harris, Ellsworth, fr.; Christian Kyles, Iowa Lakes, fr.; Nick Wagner, Iowa Lakes, fr.; Jaycob Payne, NIACC, soph.; Nick Wurm, NIACC, soph.; Chad Moran, Southwestern, fr.