Late week musings from the sports desk
Tucker puts finishing touches on GC history books, wraps up legendary career
By BRANDON HURLEY
His lethal assault on the Greene County record books has officially come to an end.
Trey Tucker, Greene County’s all-time leading scorer and do-it-all point guard checked out of his final game to a standing ovation in a district loss to Dallas Center-Grimes Monday, Feb. 20, closing the curtain on the most illustrious career in school history.
The senior shattered several Ram records over the course of his four-year career, ones that should stand for a long time.
Though he cruised past the all-time scoring record with ease, Tucker has been so much more than just a shooter. He could take his guy off the dribble at any given moment, pull up for a three, bang with the big bodies down low, find the open teammate or swipe a steal to kick start a break.
The two-way guard wrapped up his career with 1,811 career points, a school-record 196 made threes, 368 rebounds, 286 assists, and 204 steals. The records are nice, but he’ll treasure his role helping transition a once sputtering program.
“The last four years have been a blast here at Greene County. We did a lot of good things as a team to start to turn the program around,” Tucker said. “It was awesome seeing records fall, not only for myself but for Trey Hinote also”
During his final season in the red and black, Tucker led the state in scoring at 24.5 points per game and was eighth in the state in made threes (63) while draining 43.5 percent of his three attempts. He shot a blistering 52 percent from the field while leading the Rams to their highest win total in his four years (14) and a second place finish in the Heart of Iowa Conference (13-3), just behind champion South Hamilton, who they split with. The senior guard is more than likely poised to be a unanimous first-team all-conference selection and should be in great position to be honored with first-team all-state selection as well.
Though undecided as to where he will play college ball, Tucker set career-highs this winter in points (538), PPG average (24.5), rebounds (143), rebound average (6.5), steals (58), three-point percentage, field goal percentage and team wins (14).
“I couldn’t have done any of it without Jeramie Hinote, Chris Nelson, all of the assistant coaches, and all of my teammates over the years,” Tucker said. “I will definitely miss putting on that jersey that says Rams across the chest with the number 12 on the back, but I will never forgot the memories I made with all of these guys.”
The point guard also broke the Greene County single-game scoring record (43 points against Perry) and set the all-time career points record back in a monster game against Collins-Maxwell-Baxter. A thrilling contest where he poured in 39 and seven threes (seven-for-11) Jan. 13, moving past Adam Jones, who tallied 1,538 career points.
Tucker helped guide the Rams to their first winning season since Jefferson-Scranton consolidated with East Greene back in 2012 and led Greene County to their best finish in the Heart of Iowa Conference since 2009.
It’s a four year career that is likely to go unmatched for decades. Tucker’s impact on the Greene County basketball program will resonate for years to come.
“He’s been huge. Anytime you have a chance to coach a kid like that it’s huge. The 1,800 points, that’s going to be tough to ever top. I don’t think we’ll get anyone near that,” Greene County head coach Chris Nelson said.
Unfortunately, Tucker never reached his ultimate goal – the Iowa High School Athletic Association State Tournament, fouling out with six minutes left in the district semifinal Monday with 11 points. He was frustrated with the final result, realizing his career had come to a bittersweet end. The records are always something he can look to, but it’ll be tough to recreate the relationships and the moments he shared with his teammates.
“I was pretty emotional knowing that this was my last high school basketball game ever. It wasn’t how I wanted to end my career,” Tucker said following the game. “I was thinking to myself how much I was going to miss going to practice everyday and seeing all the guys laughing and joking together. I [will] miss the team bonding we did. But I had a great time this year and wouldn’t trade these guys for anything. We really were a family.”
Tucker will be joined by Tommy Jacobsen, Calvin Skalla and Chase Stoline in graduation. The point guard produced a majority of the points this winter, though two-guard Trey Hinote (15.9 points per game) and forward Wade Adcock (11 PPG/70 percent field goal) return next winter. Hinote is a sophomore as is guard Lance Hughes (6.4 ppg). Adcock will return as a senior.
Nelson was pleased with Tucker’s leadership as well, and acknowledges that not only will they have to replace his scoring output, but he’ll have to count on a few new players to take over ownership of the team as well.
“We’ve got guys that can step up,” the coach said. “Obviously, Trey Hinote will have to adjust into a bigger role, more of a scoring role but with the ball. We’ve got some young guards that can step up.
[Trey Tucker’s] been a great player for us this year, a great player for four years and I know we will definitely miss him. I’ve loved coaching him and I know he’ll be successful wherever he goes next year.”