Champions highlight Pa. boys’ all-state teams

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Finishing on the winning side in a championship game - or coming mighty, mighty close - scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.

Especially when it came time to choose those - whether players or coaches - who claimed the top individual awards.

Teams that closed out memorable seasons by capturing state championships produced three of the four players of the year and three of the four coaches of the year chosen by a group of Pennsylvania sports writers.

While New Castle (AAAA), Neumann-Goretti (AAA), Constitution (AA) and Lincoln Park Charter (A) collared PIAA championships last month at Hershey’s Giant Center, players from non-PIAA schools also were eligible for selection.

Neumann-Goretti senior Ja’Quan Newton, who one day after his mother died pocketed a career-high 33 points in a 64-57 overtime victory over Susquehanna Twp., was named the Class AAA player of the year.

The 6-foot-3 Newton, who will attend Miami (Fla.), averaged 21.6 points per game for a Neumann-Goretti club (27-4) that captured its fourth state title in five seasons.

Joining Newton on the first team are Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman of Allentown Central Catholic, Nana Foulland of Berks Catholic, Derrick Jones of Archbishop Carroll, Nehemiah Mack of Susquehanna Twp. and Abington Heights’ J.C. Show.

Newton, Abdur-Rahkman and Show are repeat first-team selections.

Susquehanna Twp.’s Vince Rogers, who piloted the Indians to a 23-8 record and their second-place finish, was named Class AAA coach of the year.

Constitution junior Ahmad Gilbert, who popped a double-double (19 points, 14 rebounds) in the Philadelphia-based Generals’ 61-59 victory over Seton-LaSalle, was named the Class AA player of the year.

The 6-6 Gilbert, who holds scholarship offers from Drexel, Hofstra and Rhode Island, averaged 15.7 points per game for a Constitution club (28-5) that claimed its second state title in three seasons. Constitution won the 2012 A championship.

Joining Gilbert as first-team selections are Constitution teammate Kimar Williams, Dominick Antonelli of Camp Hill Trinity, Dale Clancy of Seton-LaSalle, Jared Nickens of Westtown, Tyriek Steward of Wilkes-Barre Meyers.

Constitution skipper Robert Moore made it a clean sweep for the Generals, as he claimed Class AA coach of the year honors.

Lincoln Park Charter sophomore Maverick Rowan, who racked up 37 points in a come-from-behind 70-66 victory over Philadelphia’s Math, Civics & Sciences that handed the Leopards their first state title, was named Class A player of the year.

The 6-7 Rowan, who averaged 24.3 points per game, already has verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh.

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