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Michael Kresovich on basketball: Ranking the area’s top players heading into the season

TIM WEIGHT/For The Express Central Mountain’s Quinlynn McCann (22) competes during a game last year against Milton. McCann averaged nearly 15 points per game for the Wildcats last season.

Practice is underway and teams around the area are eager to begin play. Heading into the to the first week of games — as the season begins tonight throughout the state — here are the area’s top players to watch out for this season.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Maddie Tice, Bellefonte

The senior forward sits just 321 points away from the 1,000-point mark. As a junior a year ago, she averaged 10 points, six assists and two steals per game.

Tice reached double figures in scoring 12 times last season. She is looking to lead a Bellefonte team that is coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons.

Quinlynn McCann, Central Mountain

Central Mountain get its leading scorer back as the senior McCann is looking to post another solid season. McCann averaged nearly 15 points per game last season, while also averaging five assists. McCann’s best game last winter came in the team’s opener when she scored a season-high 34 points in Central Mountain’s 65-19 victory of Phillipsburg-Osceola.

Aubrey Schilling, Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore lost its top three scorers to graduation this past spring and Schilling is the team’s top scorer back for this season. As a junior, she posted just four points per game but with the departure of Aubrey Stetts, Sadie Griswold and Brielle Hess, Schilling should see an increase in her points per game. The senior is also a solid rebounder, as she reached double digits in rebounding four times last year.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Damian Williams, Jersey Shore

The senior forward returns as Jersey Shore’s lone starter from a year ago. Williams helped lead the Bulldogs to a 13-win season in 2019-20, and will see his role increase this winter. A solid rebounder and scorer, Williams is joined by Cayden Hess and Tristan Gallick as the only Bulldogs with varsity experience.

Aidan Major, Central Mountain

Senior Aidan Major averaged eight points per game last season and is set to be among Central Mountain’s leading scorers this season. Outside of scoring, Major averaged three rebounds to go with two assists per game in the 2019-20 season. He is a well-rounded player who has a natural feel for the game.

DJ McCaslin, Bellefonte

McCaslin returns as one of Bellefonte’s top players. The junior guard provided scoring last year for the Raiders and will see his role increase as Bellefonte lost its leading scorer Ben McCartney to graduation. Expect McCaslin to be among Bellefonte’s leaders in points each night.

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