Seniors enjoy a successful season
Just a year ago, THE TIMES NEWS Boys and Girls first team all-stars were made up of eight underclassmen.
This time around, it's no surprise that five of the six girls are seniors and three of the six boys will also be graduating in a month or two.
Three of the girls are also repeat first-team members, while one moves up from the second team. On the boys side, one first-team member returns, while two second-team members moved up to the first squad.
Among the Girls First Team are Jim Thorpe's Celeste Robinson (TN Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Northern Lehigh's Aimee Oertner, Palmerton's Kelsey Hay, Pleasant Valley's Kelecia Harris, Marian's Kelly Shober and Northwestern Lehigh's Sara Jones.
The Boys First Team is made up of Northern Lehigh's Lucas Pierce (TN Boys Basketball Player of the Year and Caleb Johnson, Pleasant Valley's Nick Stanovick and Selwyn Wright, Jim Thorpe's Darius Clark and Tamaqua's Brett Kosciolek.
Below are capsules of each player with quotes from their respective coaches.
Voting was done by THE TIMES NEWS Sports Department.
Celeste Robinson, Jim Thorpe
Resume: - The senior was the Olympians leading scorer as well as THE TIMES NEWS Area scorer for the second year in a row, averaging 24.12 points per game, finishing the season with 653 points. She was also the Schuylkill League's leading scorer.
- She became Jim Thorpe's all-time leading scorer finishing her career with 1,691 points and it was the second year in a row she scored in double figures in every game. She scored 25 or more points in 13 of the 27 games she played in.
- Celeste made 262 field goals and shot over 60 percent from the free throw line (120-of-194) earning her a spot on the Pennsylvania Sportswriter's Al-Star first team.
- Robinson will continue her education and basketball career at Millersville University.
Quotable: "Celeste has really become a great basketball player since her freshman season. She has put in the extra time and you can see that by all of the accolades she has received. She's a great leader on the floor and really orchestrated our full-court pressure defense that made us so tough to play against this season. To go from third team all-state in her junior year to first team all-state her senior year shows the amount of effort and hard hard work she put in during the off-season. In space this season she was really tough to stop and is probably one of the best around at going the full-length of the court and finishing." - JT head coach Rob Kovac
Aimee Oertner, Northern Lehigh
Resume: - The senior, who will continue her education at the United States Military Academy at West Point, concludes a brilliant career behind named to THE TIMES NEWS All-Star first team as well as the Northern Lehigh MVP four years in a row and was named to the Pennsylvania Sportswriter's All-Star second team. She was named Colonial League MVP this year.
- Aimee ended up with the Northern Lehigh career record in scoring (1,277 points), blocked shots (598) and defensive rebounds (830). She also led the nation in blocked shots (according to MaxPreps) this season with 230.
- Other single season records and single game records she owns included blocked shots and defensive rebounds.
- Aimee averaged 18.5 points per game this season, made 150 field goals and shot over 70 percent from the foul line (144-for-204) scoring 444 points this season.
Quotable: "She was a dream to coach, and I'm not saying that just because I'm her dad. She always did what was asked of her. I've been coaching cross country and basketball here for a long time and she's one of those special kids that comes around once in a great while. She's really well advanced in the defensive area and passing wise. The big thing that helps her the most is she has been a leader for our team." - No. Lehigh head coach Dave Oertner
Kelsey Hay, Palmerton
Resume - She finished up her high school career repeating as a TIMES NEWS and Colonial League first team all-star.
- This year she has led the Lady Bombers in every statistical category. She scored 363 points had 74 offensive rebounds, 207 defensive rebounds, 55 assists, 73 blocked shots and was second in steals with 28.
- Hay wound up with 1,350 points for her career, topping the 1,000-point mark in the first game of the year against Lehighton. She scored 363 points this season and shot over 60 percent from the free throw line (89-for-146).
- Kelsey was also a member of the Via All-Star team, the All-Lehigh Valley team and received a $2,000 scholarship from the VIA Foundation towards her education at the University of Pennsylvania
Quotable: "Kelsey has been a member of the Palmerton Lady Bomber Basketball program for six years (two years as a member of the "Frosh" team and a four-year varsity starter). She has been the team leader since her sophomore year and has earned the captain's role since that time (a first at PHS). She has proven to be a leader both on and off the court. Her academic excellence in the classroom has transferred onto the hardwoods as truly being a 'coach' on the court. Her work ethic and desire to compete at a high level has been a role model for all the athletes in our program." - Palmerton head coach Don Delich
Kelecia Harris, Palmerton
Resume - The Bears' senior moves up to the first team after being on the second team last year. She was also a member of the Mountain Valley Conference first team.
- She averaged a double-double and set a single season school record with 21, finished the season with 362 points for a 12.9 ppg. average, averaged 14 rebounds per game, setting a school record for single season (393) rebounds. She finished her career with 738 boards.
- Kelecia had 150 field goals and made 62-of-135 free throw attempts.
Quotable: "Kelecia is one of the hardest working athletes I have ever been around. She has shown tremendous growth over the past three seasons. This season she was able to lead her teammates to another MVC Championship and secure a spot in the state playoffs; the first time the lady bears have made the state playoffs since 2003." - PV's head coach Nadia Gauronsky
Kelly Shober, Marian
Resume - The senior forward was a force for the Fillies inside ending up the year with 182 rebounds, 35 blocks and 42 assists.
- She scored 305 points for a 10.89 ppg. average and shot over 60 percent from the free throw line, making 59-of-95 attempts. She also made 108 field goals and 10 three-points.
- Kelly scored double figures in 15 games this season, with her single game being 18 points in three games.
Quotable: "Kelly made tremendous progress as the season progressed. She performed at a very high level especially during our playoff run. She did a great job on the boards as well as being our primary inside scoring threat." - Marian head coach Paul Brutto
Sara Jones, Northwestern
Resume - The Tigers' junior was a unanimous pick as a Colonial League All-Star.
- She finished the season with 255 rebounds averaging over 10 boards a game.
- Sara scored 343 points as the team's leading scorer averaging 14.29 points per game. She was the only NW girl to average in double figures. Sara hit double figures in 19 games with her single game high being 28 in the district tournament against North Schuylkill.
- Jones was almost a 70 percent free throw shooter making 101-of-145 attempts from the charity stripe.
Quotable: "Sara is a complete player for us. She is our leading scorer and rebounder. Very athletic player who is very unselfish and plays within the team concept." - Northwestern Lehigh head coach Chris Deutsch
Lucas Pierce, Northern Lehigh
Resume - The Bulldog junior moves up to the first team after making the TN second team last year as a sophomore.
- THE TIMES NEWS Boys Basketball Player of the year as also a Colonial All-League first team member.
- Lucas averaged 12.19 points per game to lead the team in scoring finishing with 316 points. He also 156 rebounds for a six boards per game average. He also led the team in blocked shots with 36. He also had 25 assists.
- Pierce made 130 field goals and made over 70 percent of his foul shots hitting on 50-of-70 attempts.
Quotable: "He played pretty much every minute of every game as long as he wasn't in foul trouble or anything like that. He was an inspiration to everyone on the team." - NL head coach Jeff Miller
Caleb Johnson, Northern Lehigh
Resume - Johnson, another Bulldog junior, who made the TN second team last year as a sophomore, was the team's leading rebounder with 316 (127 offensive and 198 defensive) and was named to the Colonial League All-Star second team.
- Johnson scored 263 points this year, averaging 9.96 points per game. He shot over 63 percent from the free throw line making 45-of-71 attempts.
- Caleb was second on the team with 17 blocked shots and third on the team in steals with 23.
Quotable: "He is a tremendous athlete and a tremendous young man who doesn't realize how good of an athlete he really is. Basketball-wise, he can really be tremendous. He's just a good kid that practices hard and plays hard and he'll do whatever we ask him to do." - NL head coach Jeff Miller
Nick Stanovick, Pleasant Valley
Resume - The Bears senior suffered a season ending injury with a broken foot, but still was a repeat selection to THE TIMES NEWS All-Star first team. He was also a Mountain Valley Conference first team honoree.
- In 18 games, Nick scored 236 points for a 13 points per game average and was 41for105 from three-point land.
- He was 45 for 54 (83%) from the free throw line.
Quotable: "Nick has been the heart and soul of the program for the past four years. He started as a freshman and as he developed, the team improved with him. He is the all-time three point shooter at PV with 146 made. When he went down with a broken foot, it severely damaged our hopes of winning the league or advancing in district play." - PV head coach Ken Piontkowski
Selwyn Wright, Pleasant Valley
Resume - Another senior on this year's Bears team, Selwyn was honorable mention in the Mountain Valley Conference.
- He led the team in dunks and averaged four rebounds a game.
- Wright scored 254 points and averaged 11.04 points per game and shot 48.8 percent from inside the three-point line with 79 two-pointers.
Quotable: "Selwyn was one of the most exciting players in the MVC. He worked hard to make himself into an all-around player. He was always able to drive the ball to the hoop, but he became a better defender and outside shooter over the past two years. He did his best to step into the role of team leader when Stanovick went down." - PV head coach Ken Piontkowski
Darius Clarke, Jim Thorpe
Resume - The Olympian senior averaged 13.77 points per game and not only was a force inside, but converted 23 field goals from behind the arc.
- Clarke also shot 65 percent from the free throw line making 50 of 77 attempts.
Quotable: "Darius was a very coachable student/athlete who excelled on the court and in the classroom. He was a triple threat on the court who caused problems for opposing defenses. Darius had the ability to shoot from the outside, drive to the basket and score down low in the paint. Darius played a big role in giving our team a chance to be successful on a nightly basis." - JT head coach Brian Carroll
Brett Kosciolek, Tamaqua
Resume: The Blue Raider freshman was the leading scorer with 322 points for a 14.64 average making 85 field goals (38 three pointers) shooting 42 percent from the floor.
- He was also the team's leading rebounder with 152 boards for almost a seven-rebound per game average.
- Brett shot over 83 percent from the free throw line making 38-of-45.
Quotable: "He has the ability to score, to create points and is such a threat so it gets the other people involved. It's good to have a freshman play that well at the varsity level. With the other underclassmen also on the floor, it will be real beneficial to the program." - Tamaqua head coach Caszy Kosciolek