Two repeat selections on first team
Last year's TIMES NEWS Boys and Girls first team all-stars featured eight seniors and just four underclassmen.
The 2012-13 TIMES NEWS Basketball All Star Team looks a little different with six underclassmen and six seniors represented.
All but two TN area players are new to the first team this year as well with Tamaqua's Brett Kosciolek (TIMES NEWS Boys POY) and Northwestern's Sara Jones (TIMES NEWS Girls POY) as the only repeat first teamers.
On the boys side, Marquis Brown (Pleasant Valley) and Ryan Karnish (Marian) made the jump from second team last season to first team this year.
Josh Eden (Northern Lehigh), Tyler Crum (Lehighton), and Devon Howard (Pleasant Valley) complete the boys first team.
For the girls, Maria Streisel (Tamaqua) and Jade Farquhar (Palmerton) took first team honors after being selected to last year's second team.
Christine Streisel (Tamaqua), Sara Segan (Northwestern), and Abby Whildin (Panther Valley) complete the girls first team selections.
Below are the statistical bios for each player selected to the boys and girls first team and quotes from opposing coaches that saw each player at least twice during the course of the season.
Voting was done by the TIMES NEWS Sports Department
Sara Jones, Sr., F
Northwestern Lady Tigers
Resume: The TIMES NEWS girl's basketball Player of the Year was a dominant force in the Colonial League this season. Jones led the Lady Tigers to a 15-1 record in Colonial League play and a trip to the championship game. Jones is arguably the best player in the history of the Northwestern program, becoming their all-time leading scorer this season, finishing with 1,246 points for her career. Jones wasn't just a one-dimensional type player either as she averaged 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists to go along with her 14.6 points per game. Jones had a craftiness about her as well, getting to the foul line 114 times, shooting 75 percent from the charity stripe. She scored in double figures 20 times on the year with her season-high of 30 points coming against Colonial League Champ Southern Lehigh. Jones will attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where she plans to walk-on the girl's basketball team.
Quotable: "Sara is an excellent basketball player with a ton of athletic ability. She's a smart player and has all the qualities you want in a team leader. She is obviously skilled in most if not all aspects of the game and it was easy to see how great of a leader and teammate she was. She really did a good job of controlling the floor for her team as well. She was just a great player and an even better kid." Northern Lehigh coach Tony Thomas
Sara Segan, So., G
Northwestern Lady Tigers
Resume: The future looks bright for Northwestern sophomore Sara Segan. Segan served as Jones' sidekick during the 2012-2013 season and showed that the bright lights didn't bother her one bit. The youngster served as the Lady Tigers defensive stopper, but could score it as well, averaging 10.32 points per game. Segan's sophomore campaign could have been even more impressive if she wasn't sidelined with a knee injury that forced her to miss six straight games in the middle of the season. She came back for the Lady Tigers last three games, playing strong as she averaged nine points in that stretch. Segan scored double figures in 10 games throughout the year, finishing with 63 made field goals.
Quotable: "Sara is just a wonderful player. She's one of the best defenders in the league and when we played them the first time she shut down our best player in Jade Farquhar. She is a very good athlete as well and her coach Chris Deutsch speaks very highly of her which is the ultimate testament of a good player. She definitely makes a difference when she's out there on the floor and Colonial League teams will not have fun dealing with her over the next two seasons." Former Palmerton coach Don Delich
Jade Farquhar, So., G
Palmerton Lady Bombers
Resume: Farquhar served as one of the most dynamic players in the TIMES NEWS area this past season. Her length along with her ability to handle the ball sets her apart from most players. She is also a pretty nice shooter from the outside with her strength being the mid-range jump shot. She also showed the ability to knock down the triple as well, hitting 26 three-pointers on the year. Farquhar averaged 12.45 points per game, scoring a season high 33 points against Pen Argyl. Farquhar got to the line 86 times in 2012-13, shooting 70 percent and scored in double figures in 14 games.
Quotable: "She is certainly one of the best players in our league. She is a great ball-handler and can score with the best of them. When you have a player like that who can hit the outside jump shot, has her kind-of height, and then can play point-guard, she presents quite a challenge for any coach. Palmerton is a different team when she's not on the floor and she's young too, so she'll be a handful for us in the next two years." Northwestern coach Chris Deutsch
Maria Streisel, Sr., G
Tamaqua Lady Raiders
Resume: Maria Streisel was the driving force behind the Lady Raiders the last two seasons. Tamaqua went as she went and her ability to handle the ball under pressure and create for her teammates made defeating the Raiders a tough task night in and night out. Streisel improved her offensive game as well in her senior campaign, perfecting the dribble drive to the bucket. She ranked fourth in the TN area in scoring at 13.50 ppg. She scored in double figures 18 times during the season, finishing the year averaging 19 ppg over her last three games. Streisel also led the TN area in free throw attempts, going to the line an impressive 150 times, shooting 63 percent. Streisel will attend Lehigh Carbon Community College in the fall.
Quotable: "Maria has just been consistently good. She's good in all facets of the game and really developed a strong drive to the basket this season. You can tell when a player is a good leader on the floor and her demeanor out there screamed leadership. She really is just a complete player and she had a great career for Tamaqua." Jim Thorpe coach Rob Kovac
Christine Streisel, Sr., G
Tamaqua Lady Raiders
Resume: There's two words that come to mind when thinking about Christine Streisel and those words are 'pure shooter.' Streisel was an assassin for the Lady Raiders this season, hitting 58 triples from behind the arc. Eight times during the season she hit four or more three-pointers and tied a school-record, draining eight trifectas, scoring 28 points against Nativity. Streisel led the TN area in scoring at 15.55 ppg and scored double figures in 18 games. At one point during the season Streisel scored in double figures in 11 straight contests. She also finished her career at Tamaqua playing strong, averaging 17 ppg over last five games. Streisel will attend Duke University in the fall and will compete on the Blue Devils track and field team.
Quotable: "I don't know the exact winning percentage over Christine's four-year career, but I know it's good. She has been a winner throughout her time at Tamaqua and when the game is on the line she's a player you want to have the ball. She's a tremendous shooter and also developed a little bit of a drive to the basket in her senior year. What people have to understand about the Streisel girls is that in most programs they would've be 1,000 point scorers, but because of the talent they've played with their numbers are skewed. I'm glad they're graduating and moving on, so we don't have to play them anymore and that's the highest compliment a coach can give a player." Jim Thorpe coach Rob Kovac
Abby Whildin, So., G
Panther Valley Lady Panthers
Resume: Abby Whildin certainly knows how to do one thing in the game of basketball and that is score. Whildin led the TN area in scoring most of the year before Christine Streisel took the top spot late in the season. Whildin averaged 14.96 ppg which was good enough for second in the TN area and helped lead the Lady Panthers back to the postseason since 2003. Whildin also ranked second in the TN area in free throw attempts, getting there 133 times. She also showed the ability to step outside on occasion, hitting 31 three-pointers on the year. Whildin scored double figures for the Panthers 16 times and scored a season-high 27 points, including four three-pointers against Weatherly. She scored 20 points or more seven times.
Quotable: "Abby has gotten better and better each time we played her. She's a great shooter who has developed a very quick first step in her time at Panther Valley. She really makes a difference out there and she plays very strong as well. She was a big key to PV's resurgence this season and they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with over the next two seasons with her leading the charge." Tamaqua coach Joe Berezwick
Brett Kosciolek, So., F
Tamaqua Blue Raiders
Resume: Kosciolek was second in the area in scoring at 16.25 points-per-game and averaged a double-double thanks to grabbing 10 rebounds-per-game. Although he made 21 less field goals than leading scorer Josh Eden of Northern Lehigh, Kosciolek made 17 more free throws and added 44 three-pointers (third in the area). Kosciolek's 71.6 free throw percentage placed him in the top-ten in the area. The super-sophomore scored in double figures in 21 of the Raiders' 24 games and went for 20-or-more points seven times. His season-high was 26 points against Pine Grove. Kosciolek led Tamaqua in scoring 18 times throughout the season and accounted for 30.9 percent of his team's scoring - tops in the area. He closed the year in scoring fashion, as he ended the season with eight consecutive 15-plus games. He helped lead the Raiders to a 14-10 record and their first District 11 appearance since 2004.
Quotable: "Brett's length and shooting touch made him very good. His range made him very tough to guard. You almost had to guard him all the way out to 22-feet. He possessed a nice touch around the basket as well. He seemed very smart and let Tamaqua have a coach on the court in a sense. Lastly, he did a lot of things to make his teammates better." Northern Lehigh coach Jeff Miller
Josh Eden, Sr., F/C
Northern Lehigh Bulldogs
Resume: Eden led all players in the TIMES NEWS area in scoring average at 16.61 points-per-game. Kosciolek finished with more total points (390 to 382), but did so in one more game. Eden also boasted a very good free throw percentage (73.8 - eighth in the area). Much like Kosciolek, Eden accounted for over 30 percent (30.1) of his team's total scoring. Northern Lehigh led all teams in scoring at 55.26 points-per-game. The senior began the season on a scoring tear, as he poured in 11-or-more points in each of his team's first 14 games. He went on to have 21 double-figure games and led the Bulldogs in scoring in 17 of their 23 games. Eden went for 20-plus points six times, including a season-high 27 against Jim Thorpe. The big man helped Northern Lehigh qualify for the District 11 playoffs in each of his varsity seasons. The 'Dawgs finished the year with a 14-9 record.
Quotable: "Josh is a scorer. He really improved throughout his career and really became Northern Lehigh's go-to-scorer this year. He is a smart player and seemed to energize his team. He has a good mid-range game for a big man and made the people around him better." Tamaqua coach Caszy Kosciolek
Tyler Crum, So., G
Resume: Crum, one of two sophomores on this year's All TIMES NEWS First Team, was third in the area in scoring at 13.79 points-per-game and lead Lehighton's second-best scoring offense. Crum showed the ability to slash to the basket (114 FGs made - 4th), connect from long distance (24 three-pointers - T10th), and knock down his free throws (68.7 percent) when given the opportunity. He scored in double figures in 18 of the Indians' 24 games and went for 20-or-more points four times. Furthermore, Crum led his team in scoring 14 times throughout the year. His season-high came against Pocono Mountain East when he scored 24 points. Through all of this, Crum led the Indians to an 12-12 record and back to the District 11 playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Quotable: "Tyler was a very important component of Lehighton's offense. We definitely focused our defensive efforts on him whenever we played them. He had the ability to both shoot and slash to the hoop. Our staff felt that his leadership ability and offensive production were an integral part to Lehighton's success." Pleasant Valley coach Ken Piontkowski
Ryan Karnish, Sr., G
Resume: Karnish was fourth in the area in scoring at 13.48 points-per-game mainly due to his ability to knock down the three-ball. Exactly half of Karnish's field goals, 55 of 110, were three-pointers. The 55 triples were second-best in the area and just one behind Panther Valley's Jake Szczecina. They were the only two local players to have more than 50 three-pointers. Karnish went off for 31 points against Minersville this year, which tied Panther Valley's Steven Romanchick for the TIMES NEWS' single-game high. He finished with ten double-digit games along with five 20-plus games. He also led the Colts in scoring 13 times, as well as an area-best 18-6 record. Karnish was multi-demensional, as he racked up 59 rebounds, 37 assists and 35 steals throughout the year. The senior also helped keep Marian's streak of eight straight district appearances going.
Quotable: "Ryan was just an excellent three-point shooter. He was a very smart player, and when you couple that with his ability to come off screens, he was very dangerous. He made some threes against us that just opened the game up for them. He just tore us apart one game. We tried a triangle-and-two at times and tried to take him away, but you can't teach smartness and that's exactly was Karnish was." Weatherly coach Ron Cann
Marquis Brown, Jr., C
Pleasant Valley Bears
Resume: 'Big Boy Brown' led the Bears in scoring at 12.67 points-per-game and was seventh in the area. He posted his second-straight season of averaging a double-double, as he also grabbed ten rebounds-per-game this year. Though he was seventh in the area in scoring on a per-game basis, Brown was third in the area in field goals made (123) and fifth in total points (304). With the help of fellow first-teamer Devon Howard, the duo combined to be the second-highest scoring tandem in the area with 606 points. Only Tamaqua's Brett Kosciolek and Bo Rottett scored more (636), although Kosciolek scored 390 of those points. Brown scored in double figures 17 times on the year, including a season-high 29 points versus rival Pocono Mountain West. Brown was called up to the varsity squad toward the end of his freshman year and the Bears have qualified for the District 11 playoffs every year since.
Quotable: "Marquis was very difficult to game-plan against because he was so strong. Physically, he was a man amongst boys. He was aggressive on every play and made his defender work at all times. We watched the tape and noticed that every time his team attempted a free throw he would try to get the rebound. He had a very good touch around the rim as well and was a pain to keep off the boards." Lehighton head coach Rich Oertner
Devon Howard, Sr., G/F
Pleasant Valley Bears
Resume: Howard was eighth in the TIMES NEWS in scorinf at 12.08 points-per-game. He scored only two fewer points (302) than teammate Marquis Brown thanks to his team-leading 19 three-pointers. Howard and Brown combined to score 50.5 percent of Pleasant Valley's points this year. The long, quick guard also got after it defensively, as he averaged four rebounds and two steals a game. Some of those steals led to breakaway dunks that quickly got the Bears' crowd into the game. Howard had 15 ten-plus games and totaled a season-high 21 points against Dieruff early in the year. He led the team in scoring 15 times, while Brown led the team 11 times. Only twice did neither of these guys lead Pleasant Valley in scoring. Howard helped lead the Bears to a 13-12 record and their third consecutive district playoff apperance.
Quotable: "First off he was a very dangerous athlete. He had the exceptional ability to slash to the basket and also beat people down the floor. A lot of guys can get to the rim, but his speed and quickness, along with his ability to elevate when he got there, made his a very dangerous. He was definitely one of the guys we focused on whenever we played them." Stroudsburg head coach Shawn Thornton