Valley Sports Report for Penn York Valley





VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: WAVERLY'S WARD NAMED BOYS BASKETBALL 'PLAYER OF YEAR' - WAVERLY'S McCARTY, ATHENS' GAMBRELL, WOODWARD ALSO EARN TOP HONORS (2019-03-21)

Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY - Waverly senior Dylan Ward averaged a double-double, and led the Valley in rebounding to earn the moniker of 2018-19 Valley Sports Report Boys Basketball "Player of the Year."

Waverly junior Jalen McCarty is "Newcomer of the Year," while Athens sophomore Benny Gambrell has been tabbed the "Defensive Player of the Year," and Athens' Bob Woodward is the "Coach of the Year."

Long and athletic, Ward took on the leadership role for a very young Wolverine team early in the season when 6-8 junior Scott Woodring suffered a season-ending knee injury. Despite having a target on his back as Waverly's only proven player, Ward continued his strong play.

Ward, who could score from behind the 3-point arc or going to the rim - and anywhere in between, averaged 16.9 points and 12.5 rebounds, as well as 1.6 steals, 1.5 blocks, and 1.2 assists per game. He also knocked down 25 3 -pointers on the season.

A quick and hard-nosed defender, McCarty, who was a Section IV place-winner on the wrestling mats as an 8th-grader, displayed a solid all-around game in his first varsity campaign.

He averaged 7.4 points, 3 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.3 assists per game, and connected on 24 3-pointers.

Long and athletic, with extreme hops, Gambrell was tasked with guarding the opposition's best offensive players on a nightly basis. Many more times than not, Gambrell got the job done.

Woodward's Wildcats faced adversity throughout the season, but finished 14-8 in a loaded NTL Large School Division, and advanced to the District 4, Class AAAA playoffs.

The 2018-19 Boys Basketball Super 7:
Dylan Ward, senior, Waverly
: See above.

Pierce Hendershot, senior, Tioga: A solid 3-point shooter, Hendershot made his bones taking the ball to the bucket. He averaged 18.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, and shot 50 percent from the field. He made 26 3-pointers this season and 104 in his career.

Aaron Lane, junior, Athens: A deadly 3-point shooter, Lane is also extremely difficult to stop taking the ball to the rim. He averaged 19.8 points, 2.4 steals, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. He made 94 free throws and 50 3-pointers.

Lucas Klossner, senior, Tioga:
A record-breaking 3-point shooter, Klossner continued his progression this season taking the ball to the bucket, and pulling up in the mid-range. He averaged 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He shot 33 percent from 3-point range, made 49 3-pointers this season, and closed his career with a school-record 157 3-pointers.

Benny Gambrell, sophomore, Athens: A top-notch defender (see above), Gambrell is extremely dangerous in transition, and taking the ball to the rim in the half-court set. He averaged 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.

Aric Westbrook, senior, Athens: Long and athletic, Westbrook was a strong defender and a strong presence on the boards. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, and made 14 3-pointers.

Scott Woodring, junior, Waverly: Woodring was well on his way to a historic season before a season-ending injury in practice just a few days after the Valley Christmas Tournament. In just seven games, he scored 32.7 points and hauled down 16.9 rebounds per game, including 6.4 offensive boards per game, to go along with 2.6 blocks and 2 assists per game. He shot 78.1 percent from the line and 58.3 percent from the field.

All-Newcomer Team
Jalen McCarty, junior, Waverly:
See above.

Thomas Cook, junior, Tioga: Despite being under-sized in the low-post, Cook boxes out well and is a good rebounder. He also has a nice touch around the bucket, and has a knack for getting open in the low blocks.

Caden Hollywood, freshman, Waverly: Thrust into a starting role on a young Waverly team, Hollywood showed flashes of things to come. He can knock down the 3-pointer, and looks to take the ball to the bucket.

Peyton Bowen, sophomore, Waverly: After a mid-season promotion to the varsity, Bowen proved he belonged. He didn't score much, but he did hit the boards, play defense, and make his teammates better.

Zach Belles, sophomore, Sayre: In limited minutes, the 6-4 Belles flashed glimpses of becoming a force on the boards.

All-Valley Defensive team:
Benny Gambrell, sophomore, Athens: See above.
Jalen McCarty, junior, Waverly.
Sam Taylor, junior, Tioga.
Gage Carnrike, senior, Sayre.
Aric Westbrook, senior, Athens.

All-overlooked team
Keegan Rude, junior, Athens:
A strong rebounder and good defender, Rude also showed the ability to knock down the open jumper and take the ball to the bucket. He could be in line for a big senior season.

James Esposito, senior, Sayre: A good defender, Esposito could knock down the open jumper, and hit the boards, despite being a bit under-sized.

Derrick Barto, senior, Tioga: Barto improved as the season progressed for the Tigers. He found the open man, and was dangerous in transition.

Alex Bloss, senior, Tioga: His willingness to get physical in the low blocks helped Bloss overcome a size disadvantage on the boards. He played the game the right way.

Ryan Lambert, sophomore, Waverly: Lambert plays hard and that's what every coach wants. He also knocked down the occasional 3-pointer, and was a solid defender.

Players to Watch in 2019-20
The underclassmen listed above are most certainly players to watch next year, but there are also others:

Zach Moore, sophomore, Sayre: A deadly 3-point shooter, Moore could develop into one of the top scorers in the area.

Kobe Decker. sophomore, Waverly: Decker can rebound and defend, and is very good with the ball in his hands.

Davis Croft, freshman, Waverly: A strong rebounder, Croft has a knack for finding a way to score.

Ethan Perry, 7th-grader, Tioga: Perry saw some varsity time this season as a 7th-grader, and that time should only increase.

Troy Pritchard, freshman, Athens: A physical presence, Pritchard should help replace Aric Westbrook next season. He can score and rebound.

J.J. Babcock, freshman, Athens: A very good spot-up 3-point shooter, Babcock is long enough to get on the boards.

Tucker Brown, freshman, Athens: Very athletic, Brown should work his way into more minutes in the Wildcat backcourt next season.

Brayden Horton, freshman, Sayre: A good 3-point shooter, and physical defender and rebounder, Horton should see much more varsity time next year.

Connor Young, sophomore, Sayre:
The 6-5 Young has nice moves in the low post and nice touch on his shot, but needs to work on receiving the ball. He could become a key player in the blocks for the Redskins.

Matt Lane, sophomore, Sayre: A good ball-handler and solid 3-point shooter, Lane has an opportunity to earn a lot more playing time in 2019-20.

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IN PHOTO: Waverly's Dylan Ward.

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PAST "Player of the Year" winners:
2009-10 - Taylor Skerpon, Sayre
2010-11 - Nick Zwierlein, Waverly
2011-12 - Ryan Hewitt, Waverly
2012-13 - Nate Williams, Sayre
2013-14 - Nate Williams, Sayre
2014-15 - Brandon Fauver, Athens
2015-16 - Hunter Bodine, Waverly
2016-17 - Hunter Bodine, Waverly
2017-18 - Connor Hutchinson, Tioga
2018-19 - Dylan Ward, Waverly


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