Abington star Eric Dixon, a recent Villanova commit, is the PIAA 6A Player of the Year for 2017-18. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Michael Bullock (@thebullp_n)
HARRISBURG — For those who may doubt whether or not Pennsylvania high school boys’ basketball has talent, just check out the names of the players being introduced as part of the Keystone State’s latest all-state contingents.
Oh, and the schools that have landed or are courting some of these young men are among the top programs in the United States. Some terrific Division II and Division III programs also will benefit once some of these guys crack their lineups.
Nonetheless, here are the latest all-state teams chosen by a panel of Pennsylvania sports writers — by classification. While each classification has three teams filled with players, several classes were reduced since the numbers of nominations were smaller in those particular cases. Players deemed to be in their fifth seasons — or post-grad years — also were not eligible for selection.
Players of the year and coaches of the year also were chosen in each classification.
Recent Villanova commit Eric Dixon of Abington, who averaged 24.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game for a Ghosts program that advanced to the state quarterfinals, is our Class 6A player of the year.
Joining the 6-7 Dixon on the first team is the duo of Seth Lundy and Lynn Greer III, who led Philadelphia Roman Catholic to its third state title in four seasons. Princeton-bound Drew Friberg of State College, giant Plymouth-Whitemarsh junior Naheem McLeod and superb Butler sophomore Ethan Morton round out the squad.
Matt Griffin, who piloted Roman Catholic to its latest state championship in just his second year at the Cahillites’ helm is the 6A coach of the year.
Notre Dame recruit Robby Carmody, who averaged just over 31 points per contest for a terrific Mars program coached by his father, Rob, that played for a state title for the second time in three seasons, is our Class 5A player of the year.
Other Class 5A first-team nods went to Bonner-Prendergast junior standout Isaiah Wong, Northeastern York senior and Albany recruit Antonio Rizzuto, Penn State Harrisburg commit Don’yae Baylor-Carroll of Milton Hershey and the Abington Heights tandem of Scranton-bound Jackson Danzig and George Tinsley.
Ken Bianchi, the winningest coach in northeastern Pennsylvania history (774 career victories), was tagged our Class 5A coach of the year after leading Abington Heights to a 67-55 victory over Mars that netted the Comets their first state title.
Imhotep Charter junior Donta Scott, a multi-talented 6-7 player who is capable of playing every position on the floor, is our Class 4A player of the year. Scott keyed the Panthers’ impressive run to a second straight state championship.
Joining Scott on the first team is Dahmir Bishop, his Imhotep teammate and classmate, high-scoring Drexel recruit Coletrane Washington of Quaker Valley, Northwestern-bound big man Ryan Young of Bethlehem Catholic, Conwell-Egan senior Patrick Robinson and New Castle senior athlete Marcus Hooker.
Zach Sarver, who piloted Sharon to its first appearance in a state championship in 61 seasons, was named our Class 4A coach of the year.
Westtown senior Cameron Reddish, a 6-7 lead guard headed for Duke, is our Class 3A player of the year after averaging nearly 27 points per game for Seth Berger’s Moose. Reddish also was a first-team Class 3A selection as a junior.
Neumann-Goretti senior guard Dymir Montague, who netted 23 points in the Saints’ victory over Richland in the 3A final, landed on the first team alongside Reddish. Other first-team choices were Pitt-Johnstown commit Joe Batt of Greenville, 6-11 Westinghouse senior James Ellis, 6-11 Lafayette recruit Sean Good of Camp Hill Trinity and high-scoring Binghamton signee Sam Sessoms of Shipley School.
Richland’s Greg Burke, who led his suburban Johnstown Rams to their first state championship game, is our Class 3A coach of the year.
Constitution’s Damon Wall, who pocketed 17 points in the Generals’ triumph over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, is our Class 2A player of the year. Wall, a 6-0 senior, averaged just over 17 points per contest for Rob Moore’s club.
Underclassmen round out the rest of 2A’s top unit, as high-scoring junior Owen Chambers of Coudersport, junior Jordan Holmqvist of Moravian Academy, Saint Francis commit and Bishop Guilfoyle junior Luke Ruggery, flashy sophomore Isiah Warfield of Sewickley Academy and Church Farm junior big man John Bol Ajak received the remaining first-team nods.
Veteran Holy Cross skipper Al Callejas, who guided the Crusaders to within one victory of the state title game, is our Class 2A coach of the year.
Smooth Kennedy Catholic junior guard Maceo Austin, who averaged a hair over 18 points per game while leading the Golden Eagles to their third straight state title, is our Class 1A player of the year. The 6-5 youngster has a host of programs after him.
Austin’s powerful teammate, 6-10 junior Oscar Tshiebwe, is another of the first-team selections. Rounding out the five-man squad are repeat first-team choice Mikeal Jones of Philadelphia’s Girard College, York Country Day junior Jalen Gorham and Vanderbilt baseball commit Thomas Schultz of Lourdes Regional.
James Sandri, who directed Schultz & Co. to Lourdes’ first appearance in a state championship game since 1990, is our Class 1A coach of the year.
The 2017-18 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Boys Basketball teams, including each player’s school, height, class and scoring average (if available):
Eric Dixon, Abington, 6-7 jr, 24.0 ppg
Drew Friberg, State College, 6-7 sr, 20.0 ppg
Lynn Greer III, Roman Catholic, 6-3 so, 15.3 ppg
Seth Lundy, Roman Catholic, 6-6 jr, 16.6 ppg
Naheem McLeod, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 7-2 jr, 19.5 ppg
Ethan Morton, Butler, 6-6 so, 24.6 ppg
Chris Arcidiacono, Neshaminy, 6-3 sr, 26.4 ppg
Allen Betrand, Roman Catholic, 6-3 sr, 14.2 ppg
Amante Britt, Woodland Hills, 5-10 sr, 20.2 ppg
William Jeffress, McDowell, 6-6 fr, 21.2 ppg
Phil Jurkovec, Pine-Richland, 6-5 sr, 16.1 ppg
Khalif Meares, Abraham Lincoln, 6-3 sr, 14.0 ppg
Josh Samec, Hazleton, 6-8 sr, 15.2 ppg
Jhamir Brickus, Coatesville, 5-11 so, 19.2 ppg
Wesley Butler, Reading, 6-1, jr, 16.7 ppg
Ed Croswell, Saint Joseph’s Prep, 6-7 sr, 13.5 ppg
Hakim Hart, Roman Catholic, 6-5 jr, 15.1 ppg
Robbie Heath, Abington, 6-2 sr, 18.8 ppg
Darius Kinnel, Saint Joseph’s Prep, 6-0 sr, 16.2 ppg
Jeff Planutis, Hazleton, 6-5 sr, 15.7 ppg
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Eric Dixon, Abington
COACH OF THE YEAR: Matt Griffin, Roman Catholic
Don’yae Baylor-Carroll, Milton Hershey, 5-9 sr, 23.5 ppg
Robby Carmody, Mars, 6-4 sr, 31.3 ppg
Jackson Danzig, Abington Heights, 6-6 sr, 17.3 ppg
Antonio Rizzuto, Northeastern, 6-3 sr, 23.4 ppg
George Tinsley, Abington Heights, 6-5 jr, 18.2 ppg
Isaiah Wong, Bonner-Prendergast, 6-3 jr, 22.2 ppg
Andrew Funk, Archbishop Wood, 6-5 sr, 18.5 ppg
A.J. Hoggard, Archbishop Carroll, 6-3 so, 15.7 ppg
Ajiri Johnson, Bonner-Prendergast, 6-8 sr, 11.1 ppg
Bryce Laskey, Laurel Highlands, 6-4 sr, 33.3 ppg
Tyler Norwood, Penncrest, 5-11 sr, 21.6 ppg
Christian Ray, Haverford School, 6-6 jr, 18.9 ppg
Ryan Smith, Lampeter-Strasburg, 6-10 sr, 20.8 ppg
Antwuan Butler, Cardinal O’Hara, 6-1 sr, 18.5 ppg
Kyree Generett, York, 6-1 sr, 21.0 ppg
Tariq Ingraham, Bonner-Prendergast, 6-9 jr, 12.6 ppg
Lashon Lindsey, Meadville, 6-7 jr, 23.1 ppg
Fred Mulbah, Northeastern, 5-9 sr, 14.3 ppg
Tyree Pickron, Archbishop Wood, 6-3 sr, 15.9 ppg
Deuce Turner, Malvern Prep, 6-1 so, 20.5 ppg
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Robby Carmody, Mars
COACH OF THE YEAR: Ken Bianchi, Abington Heights
Dahmir Bishop, Imhotep Charter, 6-3 jr, 9.0 ppg
Marcus Hooker, New Castle, 5-11 sr, 16.1 ppg
Patrick Robinson, Conwell-Egan, 6-2 sr, 24.3 ppg
Donta Scott, Imhotep Charter, 6-7 jr, 11.5 ppg
Coletrane Washington, Quaker Valley, 6-5 sr, 21.5 ppg
Ryan Young, Bethlehem Catholic, 6-10 sr, 16.0 ppg
Carlos Carter, Indiana, 6-4 sr, 23.3 ppg
Ryan Hughes, Middletown, 6-4 sr, 21.6 ppg
Casey Jack, Berks Catholic, 6-2 jr, 11.3 ppg
Leo O’Boyle, Scranton Prep, 6-8 jr, 20.3 ppg
Justin Paz, Bethlehem Catholic, 5-10 jr, 16.5 ppg
Ethan Porterfield, Sharon, 6-8 jr, 17.4 ppg
Imil Britt, Johnstown, 5-7 sr, 19.8 ppg
Eric Esposito, Conwell-Egan, 6-6 sr, 16.1 ppg
Adam Freese, Kennard-Dale, 6-5 sr, 18.5 ppg
Chereef Knox, Imhotep Charter, 6-6 jr, 8.9 ppg
Nate Kreitzer, Nanticoke, 5-9 jr, 19.4 ppg
Nathan Schneider, Saint Marys, 6-1 sr, 25.7 ppg
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Donta Scott, Imhotep Charter
COACH OF THE YEAR: Zach Sarver, Sharon
Joe Batt, Greenville, 6-2 sr, 20.5 ppg
James Ellis, Westinghouse, 6-11 sr, 21.1 ppg
Sean Good, Trinity, 6-11 sr, 13.6 ppg
Dymir Montague, Neumann-Goretti, 6-3 sr, 14.8 ppg
Cameron Reddish, Westtown, 6-7 sr, 26.6 ppg
Sam Sessoms, Shipley School, 5-9 sr, 28.6 ppg
Jalen Gaffney, Westtown, 6-3 jr, 16.5 ppg
Isaiah Graves, Catasauqua, 6-1 sr, 26.1 ppg
Keeno Holmes, Lincoln Park, 6-2 jr, 23.0 ppg
Matt Holsinger, Central Cambria, 6-6 sr, 21.8 ppg
Christian Ings, Neumann-Goretti, 5-10 jr, 11.2 ppg
Marrek Paola, Ligonier Valley, 6-6 jr, 24.3 ppg
Tyler Zimmerman, Richland, 6-2 sr, 14.3 ppg
Noah Dillow, Chestnut Ridge, 6-2 sr, 25.3 ppg
Dimitri Gnall, Wyoming Seminary, 6-3 jr, 17.1 ppg
Nick Guadarrama, Perkiomen School, 6-6 sr, 16.9 ppg
Collin Instone, Richland, 6-3 jr, 14.2 ppg
Arion Lewis, Valley Forge Military Academy, 6-2 sr, 21.8 ppg
Sam Parini, Fairview, 6-10 sr, 15.6 ppg
Gerald Ross, Loyalsock, 6-2 jr, 18.1 ppg
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cameron Reddish, Westtown
COACH OF THE YEAR: Greg Burke, Richland
John Bol Ajak, Church Farm, 6-10 jr, 15.0 ppg
Owen Chambers, Coudersport, 6-2 jr, 24.9 ppg
Jordan Holmqvist, Moravian Academy, 6-0 jr, 19.8 ppg
Luke Ruggery, Bishop Guilfoyle, 5-10 jr, 21.1 ppg
Damon Wall, Constitution, 6-0 sr, 17.4 ppg
Isiah Warfield, Sewickley Academy, 6-4 so, 16.0 ppg
Tyler Fritz, Marian Catholic, 6-1 so, 22.3 ppg
Patrick Galvin, Holy Cross, 5-10 sr, 13.7 ppg
Keshaun Hammonds, Constitution, 6-1 so, 14.1 ppg
Donovan Johnson, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 6-6 so, 19.0 ppg
Nate Ridgeway, Sewickley Academy, 6-6 jr, 13.0 ppg
Austin Wigley, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 6-2 jr, 14.7 ppg
Tre Cunningham, Jeannette, 6-4 sr, 19.5 ppg
Rene Figueroa, Panther Valley, 5-7 jr, 18.6 ppg
Turner Kurt, Cambridge Springs, 6-7 sr, 18.7 ppg
Jahmir Marable-Williams, Constitution, 6-0 sr, 13.9 ppg
Isaiah Smith, Sewickley Academy, 6-2 so, 16.0 ppg
Dante Spadafora, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 5-11 fr, 15.0 ppg
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Damon Wall, Constitution
COACH OF THE YEAR: Al Callejas, Holy Cross
Maceo Austin, Kennedy Catholic, 6-5 jr, 18.2 ppg
Jalen Gorham, York Country Day, 6-7 jr, 20.0 ppg
Mikeal Jones, Girard College, 6-8 so, 21.5 ppg
Thomas Schultz, Lourdes Regional, 6-5 jr, 20.4 ppg
Oscar Tshiebwe, Kennedy Catholic, 6-10 jr, 21.2 ppg
Cameron Collins, Juniata Valley, 5-8 jr, 25.5 ppg
Brady Fyfe, Shade, 6-3 jr, 18.5 ppg
Tristan McDannell, Bishop Carroll, 5-9 so, 15.7 ppg
Zach McDonough, Vincentian, 6-2 sr, 24.1 ppg
Dawson Snyder, Shanksville-Stonycreek, 6-2 jr, 23.3 ppg
Tre Charles, Union Area, 5-10 sr, 23.0 ppg
Carson Curry, Plumstead Christian, 6-0 jr, 19.9 ppg
Lyndon Henderson, Monessen, 6-2 jr, 22.0 ppg
John Saxe, Sullivan County, 6-1 sr, 16.0 ppg
Khalil Turner, Sankofa Freedom, 6-6 jr, 9.4 ppg
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maceo Austin, Kennedy Catholic
COACH OF THE YEAR: James Sandri, Lourdes Regional