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Clayton, Smith earn all-region honors

Three Tritons also honored

Malcolm Clayton

—Photo by Paul DeCoursey Malcolm Clayton has Iowa Lakes competing for the ICCAC title and ranked 12th in the nation with 24 wins. Clayton is a former Fort Dodge Senior High all-stater.

Three Iowa Central players and a pair of former Fort Dodge Senior High standouts earned all-region honors, the ICCAC announced recently.

Mardaeja Cross was selected to the second team and Triton teammate Jordan Engbrecht the third on the women’s side, with Javonte Keck earning third team for the men.

Former Fort Dodge Senior High standouts and current Iowa Lakes sophomores Malcolm Clayton and Shareece Smith each made the second-team.

The North Iowa Area women claimed the regular season and region titles to advance to nationals, while the Des Moines Area men shared the conference crown with Kirkwood and won the regional tourney to qualify.

Cross, a redshirt sophomore from Illinois, averaged 9.6 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting. She also averaged six rebounds a game and had 90 assists with 45 steals.

—Photo by Paul DeCoursey Fort Dodge graduate Shareece Smith drives to the basket for Iowa Lakes against Iowa Central’s K’Breonna Collins Saturday inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

“It means a lot to get some recognition after the season,” Cross said. “I’m proud of myself and my fellow teammate, Jordan. She deserves it.”

For her two-year Iowa Central career, Cross scored 538 points with 343 rebounds, 153 assists, 76 steals and 13 blocks.

Engbrecht, a freshman from South Dakota, averaged 8.6 points per game and shot 31 percent from the 3-point line. She had 112 rebounds, 6 assists, 37 steals and made 29 triples.

Keck, a Sioux City native, scored 9.7 points per game and grabbed five rebounds a night as a freshman. He shot 74 percent from the free throw line, 42 percent from the field and 37 percent from behind the arc, adding 152 rebounds, 24 blocks, 23 assists and 19 steals.

“This means a lot and I want to push to be on the first or second team next year,” Keck said. “I played post in high school and I knew I needed to expand my game to get to the next level. The coaching staff here saw that in mean and they knew how to get me there.

—Photo by Paul DeCoursey Iowa Central sophomore Mardaeja Cross puts up a shot against Ellsworth on Wednesday night.

“I still have a long ways to go, but I have the coaches that can get me to be the best I can be.”

Clayton, who earned all-state honors as a Dodger, was third on the Lakers in scoring at 11.8 per game. He also added almost five rebounds and three assists per night, shooting 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.

During his two years with Iowa Lakes, Clayton scored 613 points in 64 games, adding 261 rebounds, 155 assists, 46 steals and 20 blocks.

“The award was nice, thought it wasn’t waht I wanted,” Clayton said. “I do appreciate the recognition from the conference to earn second-team.”

Smith, also in her second year with the Lakers, posted almost 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists a game. She shot 41 percent from the field, 36 percent from the 3-point line and 83 percent at the charity stripe.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Jordan Engbrecht of Iowa Central shoots over Kirkwood on Wednesday

“It feels good to know that the hard work my team put in was noticed by the conference,” Smith said.

Over her two seasons, Smith recorded 801 points in 59 games, adding 446 rebounds, 206 assists, 143 steals and 20 blocks.

Justin Brookens of Iowa Lakes and Luke Appel from Kirkwood shared men’s player of the year, with DMACC’s Josh Sash the coach of the year.

Autam Mendez from NIACC was the player of the year, with Todd Ciochetto earning coach honors and Sierra Morrow defensive player of the year. Southeastern’s Emma Knipe was top newcomer.

Photo by Paul DeCoursey Iowa Central’s Javonte Keck puts up a shot on Wednesday against Southwestern inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

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