Several players from boys basketball teams in the area are making an impact on varsity for the first time. From returning players seeing an increased role to varsity newcomers showing their skills, these seven boys basketball players are having breakout seasons for area teams.
School: Timothy Christian
Impact: Ditchfield isn't a big-time scorer for the Trojans, but is a solid all-around player. He leads in assists per game (2.2) despite playing as a forward and is second on the team in rebounds per game (4.5) and total blocks (five).
School: Addison Trail
Impact: Duling was the leading scorer on the Blazers' JV team a year ago and has made a smooth transition to a starting guard on varsity this year. He is averaging about 10 points, three rebounds and two assists per game. Duling has joined fellow senior James Pupillo to give AT one of the better guard pairings in the West Suburban Gold.
School: IC Catholic
Impact: Epting was an all-conference player last year, but the Knights were led by standout senior Demetrius Carr. This season Epting has taken over as the go-to player on the team and is averaging 20.1 points per game, more than double last season's average. Epting also leads the team with 8.4 rebounds per contest.
Impact: Matt Brachmann gets most of the attention and the stats for Montini, but fellow forward Mike Mooney has earned more and more playing time as the season has progressed and is becoming one of the more reliable players on the team.
School: Glenbard East
Impact: Jaron Hall is the Rams' big-time scorer, but Peterkin has shown excellent potential thanks to his size (6-foot-5) and his ability to shoot 3-pointers. Peterkin's scoring ability has been on display with some big games, including a 23-point outburst against Glenbard North on Dec. 20.
Impact: Poole wasn't much of a factor on the varsity team a year ago, but has stepped up to be second in the team in scoring this season at around 10 points per game. Poole is a quality outside shooter and shares ballhandling responsibilities for Willowbrook.
Impact: Roberts was a bench player a year ago and has really stepped up as a senior. He is one of four players on the team to average more than eight points per game and is third on the team in assists, rebounds and steals.