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BIG 60 COLLEGE EXPOSURE SHOWCASES
By Joe Gilloway
Executive Editor, Linglestown Gazette Sports
Spring sports have sprung, and high school basketball season is behind us. So it’s time that we at Linglestown Gazette Sports unveil our 2018-2019 FAB15 all-star lists.
Five-member panels, comprised of individuals with an extensive knowledge of the area’s players, were assembled for both the boys and girls sides, and met at the conclusion of the District-3 tournament. They used very few outside sources to help compile the lists. Sitting in gyms and watching basketball games is primarily what brought about the results. Players were assessed on both offensive and defensive prowess, along with the value they brought to their team.
No member of the Linglestown Gazette Sports staff had any greater influence on the process than did any other panel members. Majority ruled, and in the case of ties there were thorough discussions amongst all members to decide who we ultimately felt deserved the recognition.
Players of the Year are denoted in parentheses. Please note there are four on the girls’ side. Our committee attempted to narrow it down to less, but despite all their labors could not remove any player from the list. If you follow local high school basketball, you’ll understand.
Below are our the FAB15 (including Players-of-the-Year), NEXT12 (Honorable Mention), and FUTURES (Freshmen and Sophomores), listed alphabetically.
TY BANACH – 6’1″ Sr. G Cumberland Valley – Amongst the conference leaders in multiple offensive categories, Banach was instrumental in helping to put the Eagles’ program back on the Central PA boys basketball map. He has the size and strength to contribute in the paint, and the leadership skills to come up big in key moments. This multi-faceted player’s production and presence will be tough to replace.
WILL BOWEN – 6’6″ Sr. F Lower Dauphin – For years Bowen has been one of the most versatile players in the conference, and this season was no different. Averaging roughly 16pts and 12rb per game, he was a main focal point on every team’s scouting report. He was powerful down low, but also a threat from the perimeter. Basketball is not Bowen’s only sport, and he’s opted to play football at the University of Delaware. This is Will’s second year on the FAB15.
TYLER COLLIER – 6’8″ Sr. F/C Chambersburg – One of the most improved players in the area, Collier took on a leadership role this season, and was a major part of his Trojans team capturing the Mid-Penn Commonwealth division title. He can handle the ball, shoot the jumper, and take his man inside. Collier was a two-sport star at Chambersburg, and will be making a decision between playing basketball or football at the next level.
TARAJAE DAVIS – 5’10” Sr. G Bishop McDevitt – When watching Davis play, one word comes to mind….determination. He’s the backbone of a very successful ’18-’19 McDevitt team who captured this year’s District-3 4A title. Davis applies extreme pressure on defense, and attacks the basket with acrobatic finishes. He’ll have an opportunity to play at the next level, and could be a steal for college coaches looking for an “It” player.
BILL FOLK – 6’4″ Sr. F Susquehanna Township – Folk is a high-octane scorer who can heat up and hit from anywhere on the court. He was the leading scorer for an inexperienced Indians team who clawed their way into the PIAA state tournament. Bill has the tools to become a very enticing prospect, and we’ll watch closely to see where he ends up.
LUKE HEDRICK – 5’10” Sr. G Lower Dauphin – Hedrick plays at an incredible pace, and as hard as anyone we’ve seen, but always under control. He’s one of the best shooters in the Mid-Penn, and one of the toughest players to defend. His leadership presence and perimeter play helped his Falcons to the program’s first-ever District-3 championship gold.
AMIR JACKSON – 5’10” Jr. G Central Dauphin East – Jackson may have been the most versatile scorer in the entire conference. We like to call him “Backpack”, because he did all he could to keep his Panthers competitive in a season of challenges. The two-year starter is well on his way to back-to-back seasons as one of the Mid-Penn’s leading scorers. He’s crafty with the ball, and loves to use his mid-range game to his advantage.
JAKE KELLY – 6’4″ Jr. G/F Bishop McDevitt – Kelly is a tough matchup for defenses who can hurt you inside and out. He plays the offensive game based on what his opponents are giving him. Jake stepped into a leadership role this season, and took on the challenge of playing big on an undersized District-3 champion Crusaders team. His success this season elevated him from last years LG Sports “FUTURES” list straight to the FAB15.
DAVON LEE (PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR) – 6’1″ Jr. G Harrisburg – A relentless scorer who stays in attack mode, “Dink” has taken over as arguably the top player in the area. He has the ability to score 20+ on any given night, or play the facilitator on a team with multiple scoring threats. In his first season as a Cougar he and his team walked away with District-3 6A gold. The best is yet to come for this young man.
JOSH PARRA – 6’4″ Jr. F Milton Hershey – On a team depleted of top-level talent from 2018 graduation, Parra’s presence helped to keep his Spartans in the mix as one of the area’s top teams. He’s one of Central PA’s premier two-sport athletes, and still has a year remaining to represent his school on both the hardwood and gridiron.
JAKE PERRY – 5’10” Jr. G Camp Hill – Perry is a tough, athletic guard who knows how to help his team win in pressure situations. One of the area’s leading scorers, the three-year letterman has been a Lions team leader since his freshman season. Jake doesn’t take nights off, and it will be exciting to see what he adds to his game next year.
HOWIE RANKINE – 5’11” Sr. G Carlisle – On a team short on premier scorers, Rankine provided the spark needed to win some big games in a very competitive Mid-Penn Commonwealth division. We loved his energy and competitiveness, along with his ability to take over games offensively. Howie is a player that any coach would want in their lineup.
PATRICK WALKER – 6’4″ Sr. F Trinity – Walker is a guy who just finds ways to get the job done. He attacks the glass, plays great D, and connects from the free throw line. His leadership was invaluable for a Shamrocks team who enjoyed more success than the program has experienced in years. Patrick was the Mid-Penn tournament MVP for a team who won the Capital Division, Mid-Penn tourney, and District-3 trifecta.
CHANCE WESTRY – 6’4″ Fr. G Trinity – Westry is a player who everyone needs to see. He’s crafty with the ball in his hands, and sees the court as well as any player we’ve watched this season. A selfless distributor on offense, but can also score when his team needs it. Chance may have the highest ceiling of any player in the state. He currently holds offers from both Dayton and Penn State, with plenty more to come.
JOEY ZVORSKY – 6’1″ Jr. G Cedar Cliff – It wasn’t easy to replace the production lost from the departure of key players from last year’s Colts team, but Joey delivered a season which kept his young squad competitive. A great shooter and attacker of the basket, he will look to become one of the top players in the entire district next year.
SETH BROUSE – Chambersburg
DYLAN BUZALKA – Cumberland Valley
STEFFON CHAMBERS – Harrisburg
ERIC DICKEY – Steel-High
MEHKI FLOWERS – Steel-High
RYNELL GANTT – Harrisburg
MAKHI JONES – Susquehanna Township
RANCE RUSSO – Central Dauphin
ETHAN SHREFFLER – Chambersburg
JARAUD SMITH – Central Dauphin
BRIAN SWIST – Lower Dauphin
OMAR TANDIR – Cumberland Valley
KEVIN COLEMAN – Susquehanna Township
KENYON ELLIOT – Bishop McDevitt
DA’VON HAGGINS – Central Dauphin
AARON JONES – CD East
DERRICK LOVE – Cedar Cliff
JACKSON MASCARI – Hershey
JOHN McNEIL – Harrisburg
RYAN SMITH – Central Dauphin
VASHON SPENCER – Steel-High
CHRIS WALLS – Steel-High
UPCOMING PA HOOPS SPOTLIGHTS
June 30 at Lancaster Bible College
August 11 at Spooky Nook
November 3 at Spooky Nook
AMELIA BALDO – 5’6″ Sr. G Palmyra – All energy all the time at both ends of the court, this selfless point guard battled through regular season injury to help turn her team around and lead them on a magical district gold medal run. Baldo will go down as one of the top players in the history of the Palmyra program.
DAJAHNAE BRANNON (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 5’10” Sr. F Harrisburg – Runs the court as well as any forward you’ll see, Brannon has been playing at a high level since she broke into the varsity game as a freshman. She helped her team to three 20+ win seasons, which included a 2018 district title. Oh, and for an encore, this legendary Cougar broke her school’s all-time scoring record back in February.
RYLEE EVERETT – 5’5″ Sr. G Mechanicsburg – Everett helped turn around a Wildcats program who just a season ago finished six games under .500 and close to the bottom of their division. She earned first team Keystone division all-star honors, and guided her team to a huge victory over a Bishop McDevitt team who were 18-0 at the time.
OLIVIA FASICK (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 5’8″ Sr. G Bishop McDevitt – When you talk about players who can do it all, Fasick comes straight to mind. She helped lead her Lady Crusaders to a Mid-Penn Keystone division title, and finished amongst the conference leaders in every offensive and defensive category along the way. She’s a legend in a school known for girls basketball legends.
KATE FITZPATRICK – 5’5″ Jr. G Middletown – Fitzpatrick led the entire conference in scoring, and was called on to do a whole lot more for her inexperienced Blue Raiders squad. One of only three players on our FAB15 list not graduating this spring, she hit the 1,000 point mark for her career just over a month into the ’18-’19 season. She works as hard as any player we know, and the rewards keep coming.
TREASURE GEORGE-MORROW – 5’7″ Sr. G Bishop McDevitt – Along with teammate Fasick, George-Morrow was co-court general for a Crusaders team who captured their division, went to the 4A district championship game, and won two games in the state tourney. She capped off her career by scoring her 1,000th point in Reading High’s hallowed Geigle Complex gym.
SAM GRESS (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 5’9″ Sr. G Central Dauphin – Tasked this season with leading a Rams team very short on varsity-level experience, the area’s top multi-sport athlete improved her own game and everyone’s around her. She passed the career 1,000 point mark in January, after being nominated for the McDonald’s All-American team just days earlier. Gress opted for the diamond at the next level, and will pitch and play shortstop at North Carolina State after her stellar 3-sport high school career comes to an end.
ASHLEY HOAGLAND – 5’4″ Sr. G Cedar Cliff – Hoagland sees as many minutes on the floor as any player around, and never stops moving. She took over this season as the Colts’ team leader after an en masse loss of key players to graduation, and guided them to a top-4 finish in a very difficult District-3 6A tourney field. Along with Baldo (above), she’s our “Energizer Bunny Player of the Year”. Just all hustle.
KASSIDY INGRAM – 5’9″ Sr. F Trinity – “Forward” is just a label for this player, as she runs the court with the best of them. Ingram possessed the tools to help her talented Shamrocks team in the paint AND in the open court. When we think valuable offensive rebounds, Ingram comes straight to mind.
JULIE JEKOT – 5’10” Soph. G Cumberland Valley – Some players just want the ball in the most crucial situations, and Jekot is a first-teamer in this category. She made clutch play after clutch play with games on the line, and was a guiding force for her young team’s march to Mid-Penn Commonwealth and District-3 titles. The sky’s the limit for this multi-faceted pure baller.
KENNEDY KUFFA – 5’9″ Sr. G/F Cumberland Valley – One of the area’s more well-rounded players, Kuffa’s leadership was immeasurable on a team whose top eight players were predominantly underclassmen. She had the ability to contribute in whichever way her team needed her on a given night, and was usually assigned to cover the opposing team’s best offensive weapon.
SUNSHINE McCRAE (CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR) – 6’0″ Sr. F Trinity – On a team loaded with talent, McCrae was the player who stood on top. She had the size to battle down low, and a shot from the perimeter as good as many teams’ best shooters. She got better as the season progressed, and was a main cog in her Shamrocks trifecta of titles on the season…Mid-Penn Capital, Mid-Penn tournament, and District-3 3A.
ABBIE MILLER – 5’10” Soph. G Cumberland Valley – One of only two sophomores to make our list (along with teammate Jekot), Miller followed up a brilliant freshman campaign with an even better season this year. One of the area’s better mid-range shooters, she also has the strength to play well in the paint. And if you like a player who adds a bit of physicality, Miller is it.
OLIVIA RICHARDSON – 6’0″ Sr. F Palmyra – Richardson plays the game the way it was designed. Constantly moving on offense, she can contribute from both the perimeter and the paint. She’s as smart and hard-working as they come, and knows when her team needs her to step up. Richardson had a great ending to a great Palmyra career, as she hit the 1,000 point milestone in February, before helping her team to a district title the following month.
SERENITY VIDOT – 5’4″ Sr. G Steel-High – One of only three girls players in the Mid-Penn conference to average over 20 points per game, Vidot didn’t stop there. She was the leader of a Rollers team who finished the season at 17-3, and behind only Trinity in the Capital division. This is a player who will be tough to replace.
JASMINE CHISHOLM – Bishop McDevitt
MAHOGANY COLLINS – Steel-High
ALAYAH COWAN – Harrisburg
GRACE DAY – Lower Dauphin
MADDIE LaFRANCE – Central Dauphin
JAYLIN MOORE – Trinity
ARIEL PETERSON – CD East
SHERIDAN REID – Camp Hill
AZIYAH RORIE – Steel-High
NATALIE SASSANO – Cedar Cliff
HANNAH SAUVE – Cumberland Valley
AVA STEVENSON – Trinity
TAJA COLBERT – CD East
MARY COTTER – Hershey
TALIA GILLIARD – Mechanicsburg
LAUREN KIRSCH – Lower Dauphin
KENDAL McCALL – Camp Hill
MIRANDA KELLER – Bishop McDevitt
KAYLA LEMELLE – Harrisburg
CAROLINE SHIERY – Central Dauphin
ZOE SMITH – Hershey
LAUREN TRUMPY – Trinity
Photo Credits: Photo of Sam Gress by Neil Renaldi. PennLive.com was the source of all other photos.