PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Adam Weir - Canisius, Senior
Since his sophomore season, you could see something special in Adam Weir. He returned for his junior season noticably taller and a whole lot more confident and aggressive, resulting in an outstanding season both for his team, and individually. As a result, he was selected to First Team All-Centercourt as a junior. This season, the talented 6-4 senior looked and played more focused than ever before, taking his game to yet another level.
Whether he came bursting out of the gates to score in double figures before the end of the first quarter, or he took over at a timely moment later in the game, Weir always played a stretch of the game like he was on such a mission, there was simply no stopping him. He could come flying off a screen and catch & shoot, beat you baseline and flush it with ease, or drive the lane and drop dimes without looking as the help came. He was equally effective running in transition or in a half court set.
Best of all, Weir played the game the right way. He went hard all the time, was a leader to his teammates, and maintained that same look of focus regardless of the game circumstances. There was no showmanship and no whining, just basketball. And this season in WNY, Weir played basketball at the kind of level that earns you Player of the Year honors.
Adam Weir - Canisius, Senior
21.0 PPG / 7.0 RPG / 2.0 APG / 1.5 SPG
Earned the distinction of being the best player on the best team. Led Canisius to an unbeaten season in the MMA, to a third straight Manhattan Cup in as many varsity seasons, and to the CHSAA Class A state championship game. Named All-Catholic Player of the Year. Last season's Manhattan Cup MVP and first team Manhattan Cup all-tournament team this year.
Jermaine Crumpton - Niagara Falls, Senior
20 PPG / 12 RPG / 3 BPG / 3 APG
Crumpton led a Wolverines team that was ranked at the top of WNY for much of the season. Improved over his three-year varsity career into one of the premier players in the area, combining athleticism with a soft touch from anywhere on the court. Dropped a season-high 32 points against Grand Island and led NFHS to season-opening win over NYSPHAA Class AA state champion, Bishop Kearney. He will attend Canisius College next year, where he will continue playing basketball.
Sterling Taplin - Williamsville North, Junior
21.84 PPG / 5.73 RPG / 4.21 APG / 2.94 SPG
A returning First Team All-Centercourt selection from 2012, Taplin was named ECIC Player of the Year. Has already been a four-year starter on varsity and will enter his senior season with 1,425 points - the school's all-time leader. Needs just 41 more assists to own the school record in that category. Named MVP of Five Guys Tournament and player of the game after a win over Batavia at the Cataract City Classic. Has excellent court vision and is tremendous at creating opportunities for his teammates. Plays such a smooth style that defenders are often left watching him blow by, having had no idea it was about to happen. Put on a clinic in a 61-47 win at Jamestown in January as he sliced through the defense at will, finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals. With one more season remaining, the sky is the limit as to where his talents could take him following his prep career.
Lovell Smith - McKinley, Senior
15.0 PPG / 10.0 RPG / 4.2 SPG / 2.6 APG / 2.1 BPG
Led McKinley to its first ever NYSPHAA Class A state championship and was named MVP of the tournament. Selected to First Team All-High for a second straight year after his Macks finished a second straight season unbeaten in the Yale Cup. Brings relentless energy on both ends of the court for the entire contest and is highly effective. Plays about five inches taller than he is. Gets to the basket with ease and soars high above the rim.
Marcus Morris - McKinley, Senior
16.0 PPG / 8.0 RPG / 5.7 APG / 3.0 SPG / 2.2 BPG
The Yale Cup I Player of the Year saw his stock skyrocket after his performance in the overall Class A championship win over Amherst. Morris scored a game-high 28 points, including the game-winner with 18 seconds left. Bombed in 57 3-pointers on the season. Was at his best from the perimeter, but mastered the art of driving and stopping on a dime to pull-up over an opponent. A good passer who seemed to have a highlight assist in every game. Once described to me by his coach, Zaire Dorsey, as "in range" as soon as he enters the gym.
Zed Williams - Silver Creek, Senior
17.7 PPG / 8.33 APG / 7.16 RPG
One of the most versatile and well-rounded players in WNY and the unquestioned leader of the Black Knights. Depending on the matchup, would run the point or play inside, and always drew the opposing team's top scorer to defend. Led his team to a state semifinal appearance in Class C and 23-1 record, that included a 23-game win streak. Scored a season-high 38 points in the sectional quarterfinals against Olmsted, and put on an inspiring performance to advance Silver Creek past Middle College in the overall Class C championship for Section VI. Williams willl attend Virginia to play lacrosse.
Tommy Campion - Jamestown, Senior
21.2 PPG / 2.9 APG / 2.7 RPG / 2.3 SPG
Named Co-Player of the Year in ECIC I after Jamestown won the league for a second straight season. A four-year varsity player, Campion led his Red Raiders to a third section VI Class AA title in four seasons this year. Joined the elite 1,000 point club at Jamestown this year during a season-high 40 point outburst against Lancaster, and was on fire against St. Joe's, scoring 31 points in the MMA/ECIC challenge. In Jamestown's regional loss to eventual state champion Bishop Kearney, he was aggressive in attacking the defense and showed his game could thrive against the best competition in the state. Campion will continue his hoops career at Hobart next year.
Wil Bathurst - Olean, Junior
18.4 PPG / 8.0 RPG / 3.3 APG / 1.9 BPG / 1.8 SPG
The do-it-all junior stands out to anyone watching a Huskies game for his smooth and effective style that controls the pace of games. Was named Co-Player of the Year in CCAA I and Olean's Tip-off Tournament MVP. In the Huskies' sectional championship win, Bathurst scored 19 points, grabbed 10 boards, dished nine assists, blocked seven shots, and had two steals. Scored the go-ahead basket following a steal in the Far West Regionals, before Olean fell in a heart-breaker at the buzzer.
Sam Eckstrom - Olean, Junior
18.2 PPG / 8.0 RPG / 1.9 BPG
The most fundamentally sound big man in WNY has already surpassed 1,000 points in his career, before his senior campaign even begins. Routinely draws the attention of opposing defenses and double teams, yet still thrives in the paint. Was named Co-Player of the Year in CCAA I. Scored a season-high 30 points against Fredonia, and did it in just under two and a half quarters. Will continue to field several offers until he makes a decision on where he will continue to play after next season.
Jonathan Belton - Amherst, Senior
17 PPG / 7.64 RPG / 6.95 APG / 4.7 SPG / 1.3 BPG
Named first team All-ECIC, ECIC III Player of the Year, Jolly Boys Tournament MVP, and team MVP. Led Amherst to a Class A2 title and a 20-game winning streak. Scored in double figures in 20 of 22 games, and in one of the games he did not score double figures, he logged double-digits in assists and rebounds. The Tigers looked to get the ball in his hands, not only because he was a playmaker, but also because he took care of the ball - Belton recorded a 3.6 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
Keir Anderson - Middle College, Senior
22 PPG / 4.6 RPG / 3.5 APG / 2.6 SPGLed the Kats to a second straight Class C1 title and a second place finish in Yale Cup I. Scored a season-high 32 points in the C1 final against Oracle Charter, with 22 of those points coming during an explosive first half. Went off for a triple-double in winning the rematch at East, including 31 points. Over the final month of the season, Anderson averaged better than 25 points per game. His leadership qualities could be seen on the court and heard in any of his postgame comments. Named to First team All-High.
Aaron White - Canisius, Senior
11.5 PPG / 5.0 APG / 3.0 SPG
The floor general for the three-time Maanhattan Cup champs. Manhattan Cup MVP. Named First Team All-Catholic. Selected as MVP at the RAP Classic. Regarded by many as not only the best defender, but also the quickest guard in WNY. Shifty with an outstanding handle, White would constantly shake down defenders and then blow past them. Added a reliable three-point shot to his arsenal this year, making him even more dangerous.
Matt MacDonald - Canisius, Senior
15.5 PPG / 5.5 RPG / 2.0 APG
Named to First Team All-Catholic. Manhattan Cup all-tournament team. Has a very high basketball IQ. Possibly the best pure shooter in the area this season. Deadly from beyond the arc and knocked down free throws like they were layups. Was an obvious leader for the Crusaders and facilitated the offense at a high level. Described by his coach, Kyle Husband, as one of the hardest workers he's ever had.
Darnell Carson - CSAT, Senior
23.6 PPG / 4.4 APG / 3.8 SPG / 2.9 RPG
Combines a ridiculous handle with exceptional quickness, and at times, makes it look like he's just toying with defenders. He can drive, dish, and shoot, and was an exceptional defender, as evidenced by his eye-popping steals per game average. Led the Eagles to the first unbeaten season the N-O league has seen in over a decade. Led a wild 17-point second half comeback victory at Newfane, pouring in a career-high 35 points, while completely taking over the game.
Reyjzon Jordan - McKinley, Senior
10.4 PPG / 6.0 RPG / 6.0 SPG / 5.4 APG
Was the point guard for the state champion Macks and one of the top defenders in WNY. The Yale Cup Player of the Year in 2012, Jordan was named to First Team All-High this season. Selected to the Federation Class A all-tournament team, following his 15-point performance there.
JJ Wilkes - Niagara Falls, Senior
13 PPG / 7 APG / 4 SPG / 2 RPG
The three-year varsity starter dealt with a knee injury that limited him to just 16 games including the postseason, but still turned in an outstanding campaign. Widely regarded as a top defender in WNY, he scored a season-high 26 points in the Class AA semifinals against Kenmore West. Hopes to attend Monroe CC (where Davon Marshall started) or Polk CC in Florida.
Paul Rath - St. Mary's, Senior
14.1 PPG / 5.3 RPG / 5.2 APG / 4.2 SPG
Was at his best in big games, particularly in three games against Nichols and in a double overtime battle with St. Joe's. The reining Centercourt Sixth-man of the year winner, Rath was selected to First Team All-Catholic. Took MVP honors at the Jack silvernail and Depew Tournaments, along with the Pastor-Cooper Showcase and Cataract City Classic. Is between Hilbert, Medaille, and Daemen for his colllege choice.
Nate Wilkinson - Iroquois, Senior
23.48 PPG / 3.5 APG / 2.43 SPG / 2.0 RPG
Winner of Player of the Year honors in ECIC II and also selected to First Team All-ECIC. Led the Chiels to the Class A2 championship game. Scored a season-high 36 points and also registered a pair of 34-point outings. Holds the school record for steals in a game (11) and tied a school record for points in a quarter (19).
Tyrell Mitchell - South Park, Senior
Led the Sparks to their best season in years, as they reached the semifinals in Class A2. A pure scorer who could hurt you anyplace on the court. Owner of the single-game scoring mark in WNY for the 2013 season fir his career-high 41 point game.
Daequan Warren - McKinley, Senior
11.0 PPG / 8.0 RPG / 4.0 SPG / 3.0 APG
A key starter for the Class A state champs and back-to-back Class A1 champs. Selected to Second-Team All-High. At 6-4, Warren moved and handled the ball beautifully and his style of play complemented what the Macks did perfectly. Perhaps the most well-rounded of the Macks this season, Warren got better as the season wore on and by the end of the year, his contributions were invaluable.
Zach Blask - Portville, Senior
18.8 PPG / 7.5 APG / 4.3 SPG
Voted the CCAA II Player of the Year. Was content to score, defend, distribute, and handle the ball for the Panthers and was always the focal point of opposing defenses. Led Portville to the Class C2 championship game, after a masterful performance against Maple Grove in the semifinals, in which he repeatedly broke the Red Dragons trademark pressure. A career 1,000 point scorer, his season-high of 32 points came against Cattaraugus/Little Valley.
Gerald Bibbs - Oracle Charter, Senior
12.8 PPG / 11.5 RPG / 3.0 SPG / 1.9 APG / 1.7 BPG
Voted the Charter School Player of the Year and also selected as team MVP. Controlled activity in the paint and played even bigger than what he was listed at. Led the Phoenix through a 19-game winning streak, that included wins against McKinley and North Tonawanda, all the way to the Class C1 final.
Ryan Funk - Clarence, Junior
18 PPG / 6 RPG / 2 APG / 1 SPG
A First Team All-ECIC selection and the only underclassmen to earn that honor. Also named team MVP and choosen as the MVP of the Clarence Tournament. Led a Red Devils team that was ranked all season, to the Class AA semifinals. Scored a career-high 37 points against Lancaster and dropped 33 points on Lockport in the quarterfinals, including 19 second half points.
Jake Haight - Barker, Junior
20.2 PPG / 13.2 RPG / 3.1 SPG / 2.3 APG
A First Team selection in the N-O after both his sophomore and junior campaigns. Will enter his senior season with 978 career points. Can hurt you from the perimeter, drive the lane for a dunk, or pull up someplace in between for a jumper. Led Barker to the Class C1 semifinals after a tough road win at Holland.
Clark Brueckl - Lake Shore, Senior
18.3 PPG / 5 RPG
Named to First Team ECIC III. A scorer with incredible range from outside. Set the school record for 3-pointers in game with nine, and finished the season 67 total treys to his credit. Lit up Pioneer for a season-high 39 points on 9/12 shooting from downtown. Will attend Alfred next year.
Stephen Marcey - Silver Creek, Senior
Ramir Burton - Niagara Falls, Senior
Quinton Campbell - Kenmore West, Senior
Louie Oliveri - St. Joe's, Senior
Jordan Glover - St. Joe's, Senior
Jaylen Morris - St. Joe's, Senior
Demone Harris - Timon/St. Jude, Senior
Chaq Nettles - Williamsville South, Senior
Jamarr Cuningham - Oracle Charter, Senior
Eric Waters - Oracle Charter, Senior
Clayton Hess - Tonawanda, Senior
Alex Turecki - Amherst, Senior
Jordan Parker - Cleveland Hill, Senior
Ahmad Abdo - Lackawanna, Senior
Jovohn Owens - Hutch-Tech, Senior
Jack Mulcahey - Niagara Wheatfield, Senior
Dan Lictus - Clymer, Senior
Donte Williams - Timon/St. Jude, Junior
Dylan Meyer - Fredonia, Junior
Nick Schmidt - Olean, Junior
Luke Hennessey - Olean, Junior
Kevin Briggs - Middle College, Junior
Tyree Tyson - East, Junior
Johnathan Lewis - East, Junior
Brendan Cox - East Aurora, Junior
Kaine Kettle - Silver Creek, Junior
Bryan Jost - Clarence, Junior
Derrick Sekuterski - Depew, Junior
Zack Panebianco - Jamestown, Sophomore
Branden Kellam - Jamestown, Sophomore
Chris Miner - Nichols, Sophomore
Cam Lewis - Nichols, Sophomore
Bill Brooks - Silver Creek, Sophomore
Bryce Morrison - Randolph, Sophomore
Zak Ciezlik - Cheektowaga, Sophomore