GameTimePA.com YAIAA boys' basketball all-stars for 2014-15
Player of the Year
Jahaire Wilson, 6-4, sr., William Penn: Some of Wilson's stat lines jumped off the page, mimicking the senior's on-court leaping ability.
In the YAIAA tournament championship, a 58-45 win against defending champion Central York, Wilson produced 16 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. He had another 16 rebounds and five blocks in the Bearcats' District 3 semifinal win against second-seeded Cedar Cliff. Wilson led the Bearcats (26-5) in scoring, averaging 18.0 points, but he brought a flare for the dramatic.
Take his 20 rebounds against Chester.
Few William Penn games ended without a dunk or handful of vicious blocks from Wilson. He averaged 11.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks this season, and finished with 1,233 career points. The scoring mark is good for fourth on William Penn's all-time list for boys' basketball players.
Ryan Beck, 5-9, sr., Dover: Few guards warranted the attention of a defense like Beck, whose 22.3-point scoring average was second in the YAIAA. Beck finished third on Dover's all-time boys' scoring list with 1,417 points. He knocked down 205 3-pointers in his career, including 66 this season while he helped the Eagles (12-12) make league and district tournament appearances. Beck plans to play at Delaware Valley College.
Eli Brooks, 6-0, so., Spring Grove: Just two years into his high school career, Brooks has been a driving force behind the Rockets' emergence as a player in Division I. This season, he averaged 20.1 points and shot 80.8 percent from the free-throw line (135-of-167). Spring Grove (15-10) played its first district game in more than a decade, and Brooks supplied 30 points in a win at Red Lion.
Dylan Krieger, 6-4 sr., Hanover: The all-time leading scorer in Hanover basketball history (1,408 points), Kreiger took the boys' mark this season by passing Kevin O'Brien's 47-year-old record in late January. O'Brien said that night, "I know he's the mold that I would've hoped would break my record." Krieger later passed Betsy Witman for Hanover's overall scoring record. He averaged 24.7 points as a senior, leading the Nighthawks to a YAIAA Division III title and 21-4 record.
Montrel Morgan, 6-2, jr., William Penn: Perhaps no player made it look so easy to transition from Class A competition to AAAA. Morgan wasn't the first to transfer from New Hope Academy to William Penn, joining former 1,000-point scorers Dejian Williams and Collin Smith. However, Morgan (1,171 career points) reached the mark with another year to go before graduation. He has drawn interest from Division I schools, such as Holy Cross, and went from starting point guard on the small-school district champions to the big-school champs.
Kobi Nwandu, 6-5, jr., Northeastern: One of the YAIAA's more athletic prospects, Nwandu and the Bobcats still could be even better next season. That's a scary proposition considering they started 17-0 this season and nearly knocked off second-seeded Cedar Cliff in the district quarterfinals. Nwandu averaged a team-best 14.0 points while helping the Bobcats (23-6) to a state tournament appearance during their first year in Class AAAA.
Sam Saxton, 6-3, sr., Central York: Saxton finished No. 2 on Central's all-time scoring list for boys with 1,107 points. The Panthers had gone 40 years without a league championship before last year, when Saxton helped the Panthers break the drought and win the YAIAA crown. This year, Central finished with another 20 wins and a state tournament appearance. Saxton averaged 15.4 points in his final season before heading to Le Moyne College in New York.
Coach of the Year
James Brooks, Spring Grove: The boys' basketball program at Spring Grove hadn't enjoyed a winning season since 1995. When that changed late this season, Brooks didn't put much stock into it.
"I have to rely on people to tell me when we haven't done stuff," he said.
Spring Grove finished 15-10, a turnaround that began two years ago when Brooks inherited a two-win squad. The Rockets also qualified for the YAIAA and District 3 tournaments. The program appears to be ascending. In addition to Brooks' son, sophomore Eli, the Rockets boast 6-3 junior Darin Gordon (13.8 points) for a one-two punch.
Josh Bailey, 5-8, jr., West York
Broguen Nicholas, 5-11, jr., Eastern York
Jared Wagner, 6-0, jr., Central York
Brandon Smallwood, 6-5, jr., William Penn
Derrick Hoffman, 6-6, sr., Northeastern
Darin Gordon, 6-3, jr., Spring Grove.
Bermudian Springs: Josh Stroup. Biglerville: Noah Ayers. Delone Catholic: Jimmy O'Boyle. Dover: Najah Fink. Gettysburg: Marquise Camel. Hanover: Kyle Krout. Northeastern: Michael Coleman. Red Lion: Stone McCreary. West York: Darian McCauley. William Penn: Kristopher Johnson, Trey Shifflett.