Daily News Fabulous 15: Local boys basketball blessed with versatile stars
You had big guys. You had guys who could shoot lights-out. You had guys who could take it from one end of the court to the other. You had big guys who could shoot lights- out and also take it from one end of the court to the other.
The 2013-14 Daily News Fabulous 15 boys basketball team filled with players who did it all.
From Jaquaun Davidson to Zach Talley to Ty Cook to Ajan Smith, the area featured some of the best all-around talent in a number of years. So it is no surprise that teams such as Elizabeth Forward, Thomas Jefferson, South Allegheny and Steel Valley enjoyed successful campaigns.
Jaquaun Davidson • Elizabeth Forward
6-foot-4, sr., g
The versatile Davidson — a Pitt football recruit — was the linchpin of an Elizabeth Forward team that spent a large portion of the season ranked No. 1 in Class AAA. Davidson averaged 14 points and helped the Warriors compile a 20-4 record and reach the WPIAL quarterfinals. Davidson is a two-time Fabulous 15 member.
George Prota Elizabeth Forward
6-foot-10, jr., c
Prota made the transfer from Serra Catholic to Elizabeth Forward flawlessly. Prota averaged 12.5 points and 12 rebounds, and he provided a tough matchup inside the paint for opponents. Prota averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds a season ago with Double-A Serra.
Jordon Payne, McKeesport
5-foot-8, jr., g
A long-range specialist, Payne averaged 15 points, including shooting 34 percent from 3-point range for the Tigers despite missing five games. Payne made 32 3-pointers and had at least one in 16 of the 17 games he played.
Khalil Perdue McKeesport
6-foot-3, sr., f
Perdue had a monster year for McKeesport, averaging 18.6 points and 9.7 rebounds for the Tigers (11-11)despite missing a week late in the season. Perdue scored 33 points against East Allegheny, part of a streak that he scored at least 21 points in six consecutive games.
Curtis Perz • Norwin
6-foot-1, jr., g
Perz made the Fab 15 for the second consecutive year. He helped the Knights post a 13-10 record and a berth in the Class AAAA playoffs by averaging 15.3 points. Perz, a shooting guard, is a two-year starter for Norwin after playing his freshman year at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Tyler Grebur • Serra Catholic
5-foot-9, sr., g
Serra missed the playoffs for the first time since 2004, but it wasn't because of Grebur. The dynamic guard, who does most of his damage driving to the hoop, averaged 15.5 points. Serra finished 9-13, including 5-7 in Section 3-AA.
Joe Satira • Serra Catholic
6-foot-2, jr. g
Satira was Serra coach Vince Gibbons' most consistent player. He averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Satira's ability to take a mid-range jumper or drive to the basket made him a tough matchup.
Ty Cook • South Allegheny
6-foot-2, sr., f
South Allegheny had its first winning season since 2003, and Cook was a major reason. Cook, who was a star football player for the Gladiators, was coaxed into play basketball his senior year and responded by averaging 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Gladiators (14-9).
Kordell Thompson South Allegheny
6-foot-1, sr., g
Thompson helped South Allegheny secure its first playoff appearance in more than a decade by averaging 14 points. Thompson led the Gladiators in scoring as a sophomore and junior. Thompson scored 13 points in SA's first-round playoff loss against Frazier.
Dom Keyes • Steel Valley
6-foot-6, jr., f
Keyes didn't play organized basketball until his sophomore season, but he has caught on pretty quickly. Keyes averaged a double-double (15 points, 14 rebounds) in helping Steel Valley go 15-5. Keyes scored in double figures in 17 of 20 games.
Ajan Smith Steel Valley
6-foot-4, sr., g
Smith's speed and athleticism helped Steel Valley become one of the top teams in Class AAA this year. Smith averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds as the Ironmen qualified for the WPIAL playoffs. A three-year starter and 1,000-point scorer, Smith scored 26 points in a first-round playoff loss to Mars.
Charlie Scharbo Thomas Jefferson
6-foot-3, sr., f
Scharbo grew a couple of inches between his junior and senior seasons, and he became one of the best players in Class AAA. Scharbo, who played sparingly as a junior, averaged 16.9 points and was the driving force behind TJ's deep run into the playoffs. TJ finished with a 23-4 record and one game shy of playing in the WPIAL championship.
Zach Talley Thomas Jefferson
5-foot-11, sr., g
The unquestioned leader of the Jaguars, Talley averaged 12.8 points. He was the floor leader during Thomas Jefferson's best season in school history. Talley did his best work in the biggest games. Talley, a point guard, scored 24 in a come-from-behind win over Steel Valley and averaged 16 points in games against section foes West Mifflin, Elizabeth Forward and Steel Valley.
Karlyn Garner • West Mifflin
6-foot, so., g
Garner was a pleasant surprise for West Mifflin coach Lance Maha and one of the Titans' most consistent scorers. Garner, the quarterback on the football team, averaged 14.4 points in his first year as a starter. He was able to drive to the basket and hit long-range shots for the up-tempo Titans.
Ryan Maha • West Mifflin
6-foot-1, sr., g
Maha endured a debilitating knee injury that cut his season short, but the sharp-shooting guard led the team with 20.1 points per game and scored more than 1,000 career points. Maha missed eight games, including the final five. He underwent knee surgery days before West Mifflin's first-round playoff win over Laurel Highlands.