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Last updated: April 04. 2014 11:03PM - 979 Views
By Michael Bullock For The Associated Press



Meyers senior Tyriek Steward shoots the ball against Constitution in the PIAA Class 2A boys basketball semifinals at Parkland High School in Orefield last month.
Meyers senior Tyriek Steward shoots the ball against Constitution in the PIAA Class 2A boys basketball semifinals at Parkland High School in Orefield last month.
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HARRISBURG — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.


Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.


Teams that closed out memorable seasons by capturing state championships produced three of the four players of the year and three of the four coaches of the year chosen by a group of Pennsylvania sports writers.


Meanwhile, local stars Sal Biasi of Hazleton Area and Tyriek Steward of Meyers rode strong state playoff runs to seasons capped with first team All-State honors. Biasi averaged 26.7 ppg as the Cougars reached the state quarterfinals. Steward posted 17.0 ppg, leading the Mohawks to the state semifinals.


While New Castle (4A), Neumann-Goretti (3A), Constitution (2A) and Lincoln Park Charter (A) collared PIAA championships last month at Hershey’s Giant Center, players from non-PIAA schools also were eligible for selection.


Neumann-Goretti senior Ja’Quan Newton, who one day after his mother died, pocketed a career-high 33 points in a 64-57 overtime victory over Susquehanna Twp., was named the Class 3A player of the year.


The 6-foot-3 Newton, who will attend Miami (Fla.), averaged 21.6 points per game for a Neumann-Goretti club (27-4) that captured its fourth state title in five seasons.


Joining Newton on the first team are Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman of Allentown Central Catholic, Nana Foulland of Berks Catholic, Derrick Jones of Archbishop Carroll, Nehemiah Mack of Susquehanna Twp. and Abington Heights’ J.C. Show.


Newton, Abdur-Rahkman and Show are repeat first-team selections.


Susquehanna Twp.’s Vince Rogers, who piloted the Indians to a 23-8 record and their second-place finish, was named Class 3A coach of the year.


Constitution junior Ahmad Gilbert, who popped a double-double (19 points, 14 rebounds) in the Philadelphia-based Generals’ 61-59 victory over Seton-LaSalle, was named the Class 2A player of the year.


The 6-6 Gilbert, who holds scholarship offers from Drexel, Hofstra and Rhode Island, averaged 15.7 points per game for a Constitution club (28-5) that claimed its second state title in three seasons. Constitution won the 2012 A championship.


Joining Gilbert as first-team selections are Constitution teammate Kimar Williams, Dominick Antonelli of Camp Hill Trinity, Dale Clancy of Seton-LaSalle, Jared Nickens of Westtown and Steward.


Constitution skipper Robert Moore made it a clean sweep for the Generals, as he claimed Class 2A coach of the year honors.


Lincoln Park Charter sophomore Maverick Rowan, who racked up 37 points in a come-from-behind 70-66 victory over Philadelphia’s Math, Civics & Sciences that handed the Leopards their first state title, was named Class A player of the year.


The 6-7 Rowan, who averaged 24.3 points per game, already has verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh.


Rowan was joined on the first team by Lincoln Park teammate Elijah Minnie, Samir Doughty and Mike Watkins of Math, Civics & Sciences, Alize Johnson of Williamsport St. John Neumann and Terry Larrier of Phelps School.


Minnie also landed a first-team all-state nod following his junior season.


Mark Javens, who piloted Lincoln Park to a 30-1 mark, was named Class A coach of the year.


Hampton senior Ryan Luther, who sparked the Talbots to the state quarterfinals, was named the Class 4A player of the year. Luther, who averaged 22.1 points per game for a 24-5 Hampton team, will attend the University of Pittsburgh.


Joining Luther on the first team are Biasi, Mikal Bridges of Great Valley, Malik Hooker of New Castle, Rashann London of Philadelphia Roman Catholic and Isaiah Washington of Williamsport.


Ralph Blundo, who guided New Castle to a perfect 31-0 record and its first state championship, was named Class 4A coach of the year.


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