File- Van Wert’s Connor Holliday (24) works his way to the basket during a WBL game against Defiance. Holliday earned all-WBL honors as a second-team selection this season. (TB file photo)
File- Van Wert’s Connor Holliday (24) works his way to the basket during a WBL game against Defiance. Holliday earned all-WBL honors as a second-team selection this season. (TB file photo)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
sports@timesbulletin.com
VAN WERT — Elida’s Dakota Mathias was named Western Buckeye League Player of the Year this weekend, in a vote taken by the conference’s coaches. The 6-foot-5 Purdue commit was joined on the all-conference first team by Taren Sullivan, the all-time leading scorer at Bath, Cleina’s Ryan Hoyng, Noah Bamlage of Ottawa-Glandorf, and a pair of Defiance Bulldogs in Trey Gilliam and Katwaan Singleton.
Junior Connor Holliday, who averaged 11.3 points per game for Van Wert while also dishing out better than three assists per contest, earned second-team all-WBL honors. Joining Holliday was Bath’s Colin Gossard, Logan Delong of Celina, Elida’s Louis Gray and Iassac Fitzgerald of St. Marys.
Van Wert senior Matt Bidlack was a third-team selections, ending his year with 11.3 ppoints per game and an average of 8.5 rebounds per contest, despite frequently playing against opponents much taller than his 6-foot-2 frame. Bidlack was the model of consistency for the Cougars during the regular season, shooting 46 percent (69-for-150) from 2-point range and 46 percent (23-for-50) from 3-point range.
Shawnee’s Jaden O’Neal joined Bidlack as a third-team pick by the coaches, as did Andrew Renner of Bath, Mason Ross of Celina, Kenton’s Austin Phillips, Alex Schroeder of O-G, and St. Marys’ Nathna Wilker.


Van Wert’s Kyle Keber was giving an honorable mention after 6.3 points per game for the Cougars and shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. The senior guard missed time late in the year after suffering a concussion.
Others receiving an honorable mention were Hayden Atkins (Bath), Grant Laffin (Celina), Emilio Pearson (Defiance), Austin Allemeier (Elida), Colyn Blackford (Kenton), Tyler Zender (O-G), Marquis Wilson (St. Marys), Trey Brock (Shawnee) amd Adam Henderson (Wapak).