HS Hoops: Three Wildcats named to PHAC All-Star team

(EXPRESS FILE PHOTO) Central Mountain’s Conner Soo attempts a layup in a high school basketball game.

By Shareik Flowers


MILL HALL- Three members of the Central Mountain boys and girls basketball team were named to the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference (PHAC) All-Star team.

On the boys’ side, Collin Jones was named PHAC MVP and received first-team honors, while Conner Soo was recognized as a third-team selection. On the girls’ side, Avery Baker was named a third-team all star. Quinlynn McCann and Mia Kopysciansky were selected as honorable mentions.

Jones, a two-time conference MVP, led CM with 18.4 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game. He tallied 11 double-doubles over the season and ignited the team on both sides of the ball,

“Collin is a two-time MVP because he discovered the difference between being in the gym and being in the gym with purpose,” CM boys coach Tyler Bardo said. “He sought out every opportunity to improve and displayed his versatility, often playing and defending all five positions throughout the course of a single game.

“He accepted great challenges from our staff, and opposing teams, and met them head on. For the coaches to vote him as the MVP when we didn’t have the season we were hoping for speaks volumes of their respect for his ability to affect games each night.”

Soo, who was second on the team with 9.9 points per game, was one of CM’s most consistent performers.

“Conner really worked this year to identify his abilities to impact each game,” Bardo said. “He continued to get stronger as the season progressed and developed consistency in his game. He allowed us to coach him incredibly hard, as well, and he turned in some big performances in critical conference matchups.

“He plays with great confidence and the program is excited to see this honor motivate him to get right back to work for his final season. I’m happy that the coaches recognized what he brought to the table for our program.”

Sophomore Avery Baker was Central Mountain’s perimeter shooter. In her first varsity season, and first season of basketball since 8th grade, she converted a team-high 37-three pointers and recorded 8.2 points per game.

“Avery Baker started varsity for the first time this year as a sophomore after having not played last season,” CM girls coach Scott Baker said. “She had a good year from behind the 3-point line, and her development as a player became more evident as the season progressed through the aggressiveness that she displayed on both ends of the floor.”

Sophomore Quinlynn McCann was selected as an honorable mention. She led CM with 9.5 points per game in her first season as a varsity starter.

“Quinlynn was a solid-offensive scorer throughout the season and improved on her perimeter shooting as the season went along,” Baker said. ” Additionally, despite the fact that she played from the guard spot, Quinlynn was a very solid rebounder for our team as well as our top scorer.”

Freshman Mia Kopysciansky joined McCann as a PHAC honorable-mention selection. She averaged 6. 2 points per game and led the Wildcats in free throw shooting percentage (67 percent).

“Mia Kopysciansky, a freshman, was obviously in her first season of high school basketball as well,” Baker said. “Mia assumed the role of point guard and led a young group of players overall toward an exceptional amount of growth over the course of the season.

“Despite her extreme youthfulness and lack of size, Mia was fearless and played with a lot of heart and determination. Her growth throughout the season was evident.”

Baker expects the trio of girls, as well as sophomore Alyssa Fisher, to replenish the program next season and secure its first win since a 43-38 victory over Shikellamy back on Feb. 3, 2017.

“As a coaching staff we are very excited for the future of the program in which these three young ladies will play a large role,” he said. “They, along with sophomore Alyssa Fisher, who was a stater as well this season, form a solid core around which to build the program. Knowing that each of them is around for at least two more seasons is exciting.”