Ozarks boys basketball postseason hold 2021-22

Springfield News-Leader's 2021-22 Dominant Dozen boys basketball team was announced on Monday, April 4, 2022.

Southwest Missouri once again proved to be a region rich in talented high school boys basketball players who are capable of playing big numbers on the biggest stages.

Multiple Division I prospects in addition to some of the best players coming through their respective schools shone through the Ozarks during the 2021-22 season.

News-Leader’s second annual Dominant Dozen postseason list highlights the 12 best boy players from last season. These players stood out from the rest as some led their teams to state championships while others lined up with big numbers throughout the season.

Observations and statistics along with feedback from coaches across the field helped us decide who we thought this season’s top 12 players were.

The group is listed alphabetically by last name:

Ahlante Askew, Republic

Republican Ahlante Askew drives around the Ozarks Colton Ballard during the semifinal round of the Gold Division at the Blue and Gold Tournament on December 29, 2021.

Askew stepped into the lead role and flourished during a junior season where he stood out as one of the best guards in southwest Missouri.

A 15-12 Republican team was led by Askews 15.4 points and four rebounds per game. He moved his game up from the season before, with the Tigers boasting one of the better shooters ever coming through school.

Askew was also named a first-team All-Central Ozark Conference artist in addition to a spot throughout the district in one of the more difficult districts of Missouri.

Kael Combs, Nixa

Kael Combs, from Nixa, during the Eagles' 53-43 victory over Staley in the Class 6 state semifinal match at JQH Arena on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

Perhaps the best athlete in the Ozarks, Combs stood out on the basketball court while leading Nixa to a Class 6 second place this season.

The Combs averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Eagles in an excellent junior season. He was an all-state committee in addition to all-district and first-team All-COC selections.

This is Combs’ second appearance on a Dominant Dozen list this school year after also being selected for the football list as wide receiver. The 6-foot-4 standout is going to have plenty of colleges that require him in both sports.

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