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TN Basketball All-Stars

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.”

That famous quote by Michael Jordan perfectly illustrates both the ability and the hard work the athletes below possess, and why they have been chosen for the 2023-24 Times News Basketball All Star Team.

It was once again a banner year for some of the Times News area basketball squads. Both Marian teams put together impressive postseason campaigns. The Fillies finished with a 22-6 record and advanced all the way to the PIAA state quarterfinals as the No. 3 seed out of District 11. The Colts also went on a run in the District 11 2A playoffs, advancing to the district championship game and qualifying for the state tournament.

On the girls’ side, Northern Lehigh enjoyed one of its best seasons in the history of its program. The Lady Bulldogs got to the District 11 2A championship game and advanced to the second round of the 2A state tournament. Palmerton finished the season with an impressive 23-2 record and took home a Colonial League title. Northwestern, Tamaqua and Lehighton put together solid campaigns as well, all qualifying for the District 11 4A playoffs.

For the boys, Palmerton advanced to the Colonial League championship game and the Bombers and Panther Valley once again met in the District 11 3A playoffs, with the Panthers coming out on top in an instant classic that helped them advance to the 3A semifinals. Northwestern, Lehighton and Tamaqua also had exceptional seasons, with the three of them qualifying for the District 11 4A postseason.

The 2023-24 Times News Basketball All Star Team features six players on both the boys and girls first and second teams, as well as an honorable mention team for both the boys and girls.


Matt Machalik, Palmerton


… Machalik holds pretty much every all-time record there is at Palmerton on the football field after an outstanding career, and he worked his way into that conversation as well on the hardwood after an extraordinary career. Machalik finished his Bombers’ basketball career with 1,601 points, which is second all-time in the boys’ basketball ranks for Palmerton.


… Machalik averaged an impressive 22 points per game, and scored 551 points this season. He scored in double figures in all but two of his 25 contests. He also scored a career-high 45 points against Palisades this season.


… Machalik followed up his Times News/Lehigh Valley Health Network Football Player of the Year honor by being named this year’s TN/LVHN Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. Machalik is the first athlete in Times News area history to win both Football POY and Basketball POY. This is Machalik’s second Basketball POY honor, having also won the award his sophomore season.


… “Palmerton had not been known as one of the best basketball programs in our area until Matt and the rest of our seniors turned the fortunes around. Matt is just an amazing player and a great athlete. He had some must-see performances throughout the season, and he was so fun to watch.” – Palmerton head coach Joe Egan.

Brayden Hosier, Palmerton


… In his career, Hosier has possessed the rare combination of both scoring prowess and the ability to distribute the basketball from the point guard position. He ranked second in the Times News area in scoring at 18.6 points per game, and led the Bombers in assists at 3.2 per game. Hosier was also strong from behind the arc, hitting 61 three-pointers.


… Hosier scored over 460 points, and was also able to climb the all-time scoring ranks for the Palmerton boys’ basketball program, finishing with over 1,300-career points.


… Hosier, at 5-11, wasn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint with the big boys. The senior averaged five rebounds per game and got to the foul line often


… “Brayden has been a fantastic player for our program, and he put together an impressive career. He could really light it up fast and score in bunches. There were a few games where I remember him having 20 in a quarter or 20 in a half, and he also played the point for us. He was a hard worker as well and always put the time in.” – Palmerton head coach Joe Egan.

Gavin Nelson, Northwestern


… Nelson, who led the Tigers in scoring, helped Northwestern to 16 wins. It was the most wins for the Tigers boys’ basketball program since the 2006-07 season.


… Nelson ranked fifth in the Times News area in scoring. averaging 16.32 points per game. Nelson also led the TN area in free throw shooting, going 98-for-121 (81%) from the foul line. The junior scored a total of 408 points this season, and has 818 for his career.


… Nelson wasn’t just a scorer. The shooting guard also went to work on the glass for the Tigers, as he averaged five rebounds per game.


… “You saw a big difference in the way Gavin approached the game this season. He really bought in on both sides of the floor. Obviously, on the offensive end he was huge for us, but he also did a nice job on the defensive side of the floor this season. He was a constant threat, and we’re excited for his future.” Northwestern head coach Pat Wanamaker.

Connor Dillon, Tamaqua


… Dillon has been a staple of the Tamaqua program for the last three years as a starter. The senior helped get the Raiders’ program back on track, aiding them in collecting 11 wins and qualifying for the postseason for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign.


… Dillon was a dynamic scorer for the Raiders, ranking fourth in the Times News area in scoring, tallying close to 400 points, and averaging 17.33 points per game.


… Dillon was one of the best shooters in the TN area. He ranked eighth in the TN area with 41 three-pointers, and sixth in free-throw shooting, going 89–for-123 (72%).


… “Connor put together a great season for us. He was always a good shooter, but he really improved at getting to the rim and he became a better all-around player. He loves the sport, and has been very dedicated to our team and program. He never missed an open gym or workout. He’s a great kid, and a big reason why we were able to get back to districts.”

Julius Currie, Marian


… Currie has put together impressive back-to-back years for the Colts, scoring 360 points during his junior season and 387 points this season. Currie finishes his career with Marian with 950 career points. He averaged 15.73 points per game this season.


… Currie has been one of the best three-point shooters in the Times News area over the past few seasons. He ranked third in the TN area this season with 65, and third all-time in Marian boys’ basketball program history with 189 three-pointers for his career.


… Currie saved his best basketball for the district playoffs, helping the Colts get to the District 11 2A final. Currie scored 21 points in a win over Lincoln Leadership, 22 in a win over Schuylkill Haven and 24 in the final against Mahanoy Area. Curry is headed to Misiericordia to continue his basketball career.


… “We don’t make the run we make in districts without Julius. His basketball IQ is second to none. He has a natural ability to score the ball, and you saw that during the postseason against some very good teams. When the game was on the line, we wanted the ball in his hands. He worked hard to transform himself into the player he is today.” – Marian head coach Scott Murphy.

Zach Prator, Pleasant Valley


… The 6-4 junior Prator wasn’t just recognized by the Times News as an All Star this season. The always tough and competitive Eastern Pennsylvania Conference North Division selected Prator as an All Star as well.


… In the EPC North, it’s a battle in the paint and in the post each and every night. Prator was one of the best rebounders in the division, bringing down 7.2 rebounds per game.


… Prator was solid around the basket. He ranked ninth in the TN area in scoring, averaging 15.41 points per game.


… “Zach is a great player, and an even better person. He is a pleasure to coach, and continues to improve every season. He always gives us his best, and is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. We look forward to him continuing to improve his game, and will surely be a player to watch again next season.” - Pleasant Valley head coach Bob Hahn.


Aubrey Pollard, Northern Lehigh


… Pollard lived in the paint and dominated in the rebounding department throughout her career. Pollard averaged 12 rebounds per night on the season.


… Pollard’s high octane motor helped her to score in bunches in the paint. Pollard averaged 18 points per game. The senior, who is headed to Desales to continue her basketball career, surpassed the 1,000-point plateau this season and finished with 1,426 career points.


… Pollard was named the 2023-24 Times News/Lehigh Valley Health Network Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year. Pollard was a double-double machine, and also excelled in other facets of the game. Pollard also averaged three assist per game, and over four steals per contest.


… “She always led by example, and worked hard to achieve success and greatness in everything. She continued to improve every year. Aubrey took charge and led us in scoring and rebounding. She was a big part of us getting to the second round of states.” – Northern Lehigh head coach Chris Heery.

Carly Minchhoff, Marian


… Minchhoff was able to surpass the 1,000-point mark this season. She scored 388 points in her senior season, averaging 14.9 points per game. Minchhoff finishes her career with the Fillies with 1,132 career points.


… Minchhoff had some big games in her career for Marian, but no performance was bigger than what she was able to do in the second round of the 2A PIAA state tournament. Minchhoff torched the nets for 29 points, including five three-pointers to help the Fillies advance to the state quarterfinals.


… Minchhoff was not just a scorer for the Fillies. She averaged seven rebounds per game, three assists, and 2.8 steals. Minchhoff was also good from the perimeter, knocking down 48 three-pointers.


… “I’m very proud of Carly and what she has accomplished. She works so hard in the offseason on her game, and she’s been a great leader for us on and off the floor. She’s also just a very unselfish player, and a true team player. She knows when one of her teammates needs to get going offensively and she will get them the ball. That’s the true mark of a leader.” – Marian head coach Damian Fritz.

Cara Thomas, Northwestern


… Few players can knife their way through the defense like Thomas. Coming off a spectacular sophomore season, Thomas continued the upward trend this season, averaging 16.8 points per game.


… Thomas utilizes her athleticism not only to score, but to make an impact in almost every phase of the game. The junior averaged 4.3 rebounds per game, three assists per game and three steals per contest.


… Just a junior, Thomas has already surpassed the 1,000-point mark. She scored 438 points this season, and currently sits at 1,013 career points.


… “She was our leading scorer this season. And we put a lot of pressure on her to deliver for us this season with some of the players we lost from last season. She really stepped up. She was great on defense, she got her teammates involved and she plays with a lot of toughness. We certainly asked a lot of her, and she came through for the team.” - Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch.

Maddison Maynard, Panther Valley


… Not many players could match Maynard’s strength and power on the hardwood. Her ability to explode to the bucket and finish in traffic certainly set her apart. The senior, who is headed to Bloomsburg to continue her basketball career, averaged 17 points per game this season.


… There have not been many players in recent history in the Times News area who have been as multifaceted as Maynard. She averaged 7.6 rebounds per game, 3.8 assists and 2.9 steals. Maynard also improved as a shooter this season, hitting 26 three-pointers and shooting 78 % from the foul line on 129 attempts.


… Maynard took a run at the Panther Valley girls’ basketball all-time scoring mark this season. She finished her career with 1,509 career points, which ranks her fourth all-time at PV.


… “There are not many players that will score over 1,500 points in their career. That’s a testament to Maddison and how hard she works. She’s so good at creating her own shot and finishing at the rim. She’s also a tremendous foul shooter. She just really has a physical presence to her. I’m excited to see how she continues to develop her game at the next level.”

Hannah Barry, Palmerton


… Barry has been a force from behind the arc for the past two seasons. As a junior, she hit 47 three-pointers. Once again this season, Barry was able to knock down 40-plus triples.


… Barry upped her offensive game this season. After averaging close to 11 points per game a season ago, she averaged almost 15 points per game for the Bombers in her senior campaign.


… Barry is an exceptional athlete, and she used that quickness to cause chaos on the defensive end of the floor. She led the team in steals, averaging 2.3 steals per game.


… “Hannah was a great leader and a great player for us. She was solid on defense, and then offensively it was evident was she could do out there. With her ability to make shots on the perimeter, that really opened the floor for us on the offensive end. She’s also a super-competitive player, and she definitely be missed.” - Palmerton head coach Jeremy Coleman.

Katelynn Barthold, Northern Lehigh


… After a breakout junior season that saw Barthold average almost 12 points per game, she carried that momentum into this season, putting together a strong senior campaign. Barthold averaged 14.4 points per game this year.


… Barthold was an important scorer, as she ranked second on her team in scoring, but it was her ability to create for others that was just as important to the Lady Dawgs’ success. Barthold led the team in assists at four per game from her point- guard position.


… Barthold was a menace at the top of Northern Lehigh’s zone defense. She was constantly getting deflections and getting the Lady Dawgs out in transition. Barthold averaged 3.7 steals per game.


… “Katelynn is one of the quickest players I have ever coached. She has an incredible work ethic, and always pushed her team. Defensively, she made a lot plays for us. She used her quickness to get her hands out in the passing lanes to get steals, which got us a lot of points in transition.” - Northern Lehigh head coach Chris Heery.

Hannah Barry, Palmerton
Julius Currie, Marian
Connor Dillon, Tamaqua
Brayden Hosier, Palmerton
Maddison Maynard, Panther Valley
Carly Minchhoff, Marian
Gavin Nelson, Northwestern
Zach Prator, Pleasant Valley
Cara Thomas, Northwestern
Cole Dietz, Lehighton
Sydney Frantz, Palmerton
Addison Fritz, Marian
Noah Mateyak, Tamaqua
Katelynn Barthold, Northern Lehigh
Morgan Orsulak, Panther Valley
Connor Simms, Northern Lehigh
Katelynn Barthold, Northern Lehigh