The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association named the best players in the state for the 2016-17 season.
Although only one team from the Boonslick area was lucky enough to make it to the Final Four in Columbia, the MBCA named four players (three from Prairie Home and one from Boonville) to the all-state team in Classes 1 and 3.
From Boonville, senior Riley Lang joined the elite players from the state in Class 3. Meanwhile, from Prairie Home, seniors Ross Kendrick, Shianne Rhorer and Rachel Distler were all selected in Class 1.
Lang, a four-year starter for the Pirates, closed out his career with 1,609 points to become the all-time leading scorer in Boonville history.
But that’s not all. In addition to becoming the all-time scorer, Lang also set two other records this season for most points in a single game with 46 and most points in a single season 657.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Scott Floyd, who coached Lang throughout his career at Boonville, said Lang also had 387 carrer rebounds for an average of 3.72 rpg while averaging 15.4 points per game in four years.
“What an outstanding accomplishment for such an outstanding kid,” Floyd said. “Riley works hard, is a leader in school, represents the school and the community in a positive manner and is an excellent student. Riley was driven to play the best he could game in and game out because he knew his best effort would give the team the best chance to win. And he delivered so many times. Riley was also a catalyst for the team that has experienced a lot of success over the last three years.”
A two-time all-conference selection and a three time all-district pick, Lang also had his best season as a senior while scoring in double figures in 26 out of 27 games. Floyd said Lang also collected one double where he had 38 points and 12 rebounds against Hannibal. He also scored 30 or more points on five different occasions including two, 38 point games and a 46 point game.
For the season, Lang had 657 points for an average of 24.3 ppg along with 145 rebounds for 5.4 rpg, 60 assists for 2.2 apg and 26 steals for 1.0 spg. He also led the team in free throw percentage, hitting 127 of 168 shots for 76 percent. His final season also saw Lang shooting 48 percent from the field and 30 percent from the three-point arc.
Lang said he was definitely excited when he heard the news of being selected to the All-State team. “It’s an honor, and it was a goal of mine that I worked for all year,” Lang said.
Lang also answered questions about his career at Boonville:
Q: What has been the highlight of your career as a team and individual?
A: Team highlights include winning back to back district championships for the first time in over 40 years. My individual highlight of my career was this past season when I scored 46 points in a good win on courtwarming. My teammates did everything they could to get me the ball at right times so I could reach the record of 45. If I did not have them, that night would not have been possible.
Q: If you can remember, what was your best game and explain to me why?
A: This past year against Marshall. I scored 46 on 16 of 24 shooting. It was a fun night all around because we also got a very good conference win on courtwarming.
Q: Who was the biggest influence on you playing basketball and why?
A: My grandparents and my mom and dad because they have supported me my entire life whether it was soccer, basell, or basketball. They are always giving me feedback on how I can succeed.
Q: What did you like the most about playing basketball?
A: Being on the court with my best friends and building family bonds over four years.
Q: Who was the biggest rival for you and why?
A: The biggest rivals to me were Mexico and Moberly. They necessarily rivals but they were really good teams, and they knew how to win on their home court. They were just two teams that I really wanted to beat because they are two programs that are usually at the top of the conference.
Q: What was the one thing you wanted to accomplish in high school basketball but didn’t:
A: One thing I wanted to accomplish in high school was to have a 20 win season, and I wanted to win a third district championship. Unfortunately, we ran into a talented California team at districts, and they knocked us out early.
Q: What are you going to miss the most about playing high school basketball?
A: I am going to miss coming to practice every day and competing with some of my best friends. We build a lot of bonds over the years, and they became my brothers.
Q: Did you have any pre-game rituals that you went through?
A: I didn’t really have any pre-game rituals. I just stretched on my own and tried to focus in on the game ahead of me.
Q: What are your future plans in basketball and explain to me?
A: I do not think I am furthering my basketball career in basketball. I think I am going to attend the University of Lindenwood and study in athletic training.