Wilson, Walker-Kimbrough named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hoops Players of the Year
Male Player of the Year — Devin Wilson
Montour — 6-4, Sr., Guard
Wilson helped Montour win its second WPIAL Class AAA title in three seasons while leading the Spartans in most statistical categories, including a team-best 16.7-point scoring average. A point guard, Wilson had double figures in points (24), rebounds (10) and assists (10) in the championship game, while helping the Spartans erase an 11-point second-half deficit.
Wilson first eliminated Division I college football offers from his plans, and then narrowed his basketball options to George Mason, St. Joseph's and Virginia. He plans to make a decision before April 17.
Did you approach this season any differently?
I definitely came with a less joking approach. Usually, I'm a fun-loving guy. I like to joke around. You wouldn't know that on the court because I'm a very calm person there, but in practice I liked to mess around. In practice this year it wasn't like that. Everything was business-like. We did what we had to do. After not winning (the WPIAL title) last year, we had to win it this year. It was our job.
What was your favorite moment this season?
When that buzzer sounded and we won the WPIAL. It was such a happy moment for all of us. We were so excited because we'd talked about it from day one.
Did this championship feel different than 2011?
The biggest difference was winning it with all the senior class, kids I'd played with since freshman or sophomore year. It meant more. After (winning the WPIAL title) sophomore year you say, ‘We'll definitely do this again.' And then junior year it didn't happen. So, as seniors, we had to get one.
Have you watched that come-from-behind win?
Kevin Scuilli and I watched it a couple days afterward to hear the announcers. I remember thinking that day, even at halftime, we might really lose this game. We'd better step it up. Everyone got together in the (Palumbo Center) locker room and said we've got to start playing our basketball.
Did recruiting become easier once you eliminated football?
Football recruiting was different than basketball recruiting. Once I decided I wasn't playing football, that made life a lot easier. Playing basketball was what I wanted to do, ultimately. Just going to practice every day and seeing my basketball coaches and teammates, I saw that basketball is more of a close-knit unit. That's something I can see myself doing for the next four years of my life.
What do you look for in a college program?
I want to go to a school where I'll be able to play early. I usually look to see who's there and match them up against how I play.
Boys Terrific 10
6-3, Sr., Guard/Forward
The Navy recruit averaged 20.3 points and won a second consecutive WPIAL title, both with an undefeated record. He'll attend the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island this fall.
6-5, Sr., Guard
Bazzoli, who's headed to NCAA Division II Cedarville University in western Ohio, led Seneca Valley to the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals while averaging 15.3 points.
6-6, Sr., Center
Casson became a strong inside force, and he nearly averaged a triple-double with 11.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and 7.6 blocks for the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up.
6-2, Jr., Guard
Cottrill averaged 16.4 points for the two-time WPIAL Class AA champions. Part of a talented backcourt that led the Tigers to their fourth state title and first since 2005.
6-3, Jr., Guard
D'Amico, who ranked second among Class AAAA scorers with a 22.1-point average, led a talented backcourt that won Fox Chapel its first playoff victory in six seasons.
6-2, Jr., Forward
A basketball standout who recently added a Pitt offer for football, Hooker averaged 17.2 points and gave the WPIAL Class AAAA champion another gifted scorer.
6-7, Jr., Forward
Luther, a Division I recruit, can play on the perimeter or in the paint. He averaged 21.1 points and led Hampton to the WPIAL title game for the second consecutive season.
6-9, Jr., Forward
Once ruled eligible, Minnie averaged double figures in points (21.0) and rebounds during the final eight weeks, including a 42-point, 14-rebound effort in the PIAA Class A playoffs.
6-3, Sr., Guard
The Penn State recruit led the WPIAL in scoring with a 26.3 average despite drawing the full attention of every opponent during a difficult Section 3-AAAA schedule.
Female Player of the Year — Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
Hopewell — 6-0, Sr., Guard
Walker-Kimbrough, a Maryland recruit, averaged 28.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.8 steals and 4.5 blocks for Hopewell despite the full attention of every opponent, earning her the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Girls Basketball Player of the Year honor for the second consecutive season. The Vikings were 22-5 this season and reached the WPIAL semifinals, one year after winning the title. Walker-Kimbrough was chosen as Pennsylvania's Gatorade Player of the Year and also was named the top player in Class AAA in all-state voting.
Did you approach this season any differently?
I knew that we had to work harder, so my mentality changed and my work ethic changed. I wanted to finish my senior year good, individually and as a team. After winning a championship last year, we knew that teams were going to come after us.
Did opponents focus on you even more?
Yeah, a little bit (laughs). At times it was definitely frustrating, and that was their point, to take me out of the game. But I had to try to make the players around me better. I have confidence in my teammates. Instead of score, score, score, I had to work on other aspects of the game to help my team.
What did you look for in a college?
A home away from home, and a place not too far. Far enough that I could grow, but close enough that my family can get to me if I need anything. Maryland is a place that, offensively, I thought I will fit. And my major (finance) was important, too. Their business school is among the Top 20 in the country.
What got you interested in finance?
I love math; it's my favorite subject. I want to maybe be an investment banker, so I'll minor in accounting.
What's your best memory from this season?
I'll probably never forget my 2,000th point. The ball was going out of bounds and Raquel Farris went to dive for it. She kicked it inbounds to me, and I made the layup (against Ambridge). It was her hustle to get that ball. Our student section had made a scoreboard and were (counting to 2,000). They kept flipping the numbers and holding it up. They started screaming (after the layup), so I knew.
Girls Terrific 10
6-0, Jr., Forward
Gibson was the leading scorer for the WPIAL Class AA runner-up (13.0 ppg), while also finishing first in rebounds (195) and steals (81). The Rebels were 20-1 during a dominant regular season.
5-7, Sr., Guard
Gregory led the WPIAL in scoring for the second consecutive season, this time averaging 30.4 points. The Charlotte recruit, who had 41 points in a Class AA playoff victory, once scored 50.
5-11, Sr., Guard
Lindsay averaged 18.0 points and led the Eagles to WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles with a 28-2 record. Her playoff performance earned her Division I offers from Niagara and Fairleigh Dickinson.
5-11, Jr., Guard
Marecic averaged 14.9 points and led the Black Hawks to the program's first WPIAL title with a victory in the Class AAAA championship. She also led the team in assists and steals.
6-3, Jr., Forward
Mathias missed her entire sophomore season to knee surgery, but returned strong this season and averaged 17.1 points, 13.6 rebounds and 4.4 blocks. She committed to Duke as a freshman.
5-5, So., Guard
The point guard was second among Class AAA scorers with a 22.1 average and led Blackhawk to a 27-2 record. Omogrosso had verbally committed to Pitt in January, before the program's coaching change.
5-11, Sr., Guard
Waskowiak was the leading scorer for the WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champion, averaging 14.5 points. But the Duquesne recruit also was strong at point guard during Canevin's postseason run.
6-1, So., Forward
Wise averaged double figures in points (21.9) and rebounds (11.9) for the WPIAL Class A champion Royals, who were state runners-up. Wise already holds offers from Division I programs.
5-10, Sr., Guard
Wolosik led Class A scorers and was third among all WPIAL players with a 26.0-point average. The Central Connecticut State recruit had a 44-point performance in January that set a school record.