|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: TIOGA'S HUTCHINSON TOPS 'SUPER 7' AS BOYS BASKETBALL "PLAYER OF THE YEAR" — WAVERLY'S WOODRING, TIOGA'S CARD, CHAMBERS ALSO EARN TOP HONORS (2018-03-20)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — A three-time Section IV champion on the gridiron, Tioga senior Connor Hutchinson averaged a double-double in points and rebounds this season to lead the Tigers to their first Section IV championship game appearance on the hardwoods in 30 years, earning him the 2017-18 Valley Sports Report boys basketball “Player of the Year.”
A ferocious rebounder, who takes the ball to the bucket with equal ferocity, Hutchinson averaged 14.4 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
Perhaps aided by his experience at quarterback, Hutchinson was an under-rated passer, who averaged 3.2 assists per game. He was also a trusted defender for coach Brian Card, and averaged 1.3 steals per game.
Speaking of Card, the second-year Tioga mentor, who coached the Tigers to their first postseason appearance in five years during his rookie season, led them to their first Section IV title game since 1988 to earn VSR’s “Coach of the Year” honors.
En route to a 17-5 record, Card’s Tigers knocked off the state’s top-ranked Class D Newfield, which later advanced to the state semifinals. Card is 25-17 in two season with a Tioga program that won just 23 games in the five seasons before he took the reigns.
One of Card’s biggest weapons during the season was first-year senior DeMario Chambers, who transferred to the district during his junior year. A lock-down defender, Chambers always drew the task of guarding the opposition’s best offensive player to earn “Defensive Player of the Year.”
Six-foot, six-inch Waverly sophomore Scott Woodring made an immediate impact for the Wolverines with double-doubles in his first two varsity games.
Woodring maintained a torrid pace all season, averaging 14 points, and 11.7 rebounds per game to earn the 2017 VSR “Newcomer of the Year” award.
Woodring, who also blocked 1.5 shots per game and altered countless more, has great feet, good hands, a nice touch on his jumper, and is a highly-talented big man with sky-high potential.
The 2017-18 Super 7 boys basketball team:
Connor Hutchinson, senior, Tioga: See above.
Gavin Stein, senior, Athens: A two-time Super 7 selection, Stein is a talented all-around player with the ability to score in bunches, and defend on the perimeter.
A dangerous 3-point shooter, Stein had an epic performance against Waverly this year, scoring 47 points with nine 3-pointers, including 38 points in the second half. Stein scored 26 points and drained seven 3-pointers in the third quarter alone.
On the season, he averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.8 steals per game, and connected on 59 3-pointers. He also joined the 1,000-point club at Athens.
Gavin Judson, junior, Waverly: Last year’s Newcomer of the Year, Judson became much more than a threat from the perimeter this season.
Judson, still dangerous from behind the 3-point arc as evidenced by 39 3-pointers, scored a majority of his points taking the ball to the bucket.
He also proved himself as an all-around player, averaging 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
Scott Woodring, sophomore, Waverly: See above.
Ethan Lane, senior, Athens: A three-time Super 7 selection, Lane capped off a brilliant varsity career that included his 1,000th point midway through the season.
Ultra-quick, Lane could knock down the 3-pointer (40 this season), or fake the 3, and pull up with a pretty mid-range jumper.
He averaged 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game, and shot a team-high 87 percent from the free-throw line.
Nick Klossner, senior, Tioga: A three-time Super 7 selection and former Newcomer of the Year, Klossner capped off a stellar four-year varsity career with an outstanding postseason during the Tigers’ run to the Class C Championship, averaging 10.7 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds in three games.
Lightning-quick, Klossner dominated games at times with his ability to get to the hoop, create opens shots for his teammates, and being a disruptive force defensively.
For the season, Klossner averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game.
Nathan Mack, junior, S-VE: A relentless rebounder, and tireless worker, Mack averaged a double-double on the season.
Mack scored 16.2 points, and hauled down 10.7 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2 steals.
Honorable Mention: Waverly senior Jason Jequinto, Tioga junior Pierce Hendershot, and S-VE sophomore Noah Mack.
Woodring, sophomore, Waverly: See above.
DeMario Chambers, senior, Tioga: A lock-down defender (see above), Chambers was also a force on the boards, especially on the offensive glass. He averaged 9.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal per game.
James Sutherlin, freshman, S-VE: Very quick, Sutherlin is smooth, and has a polished game for a freshman. He averaged 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals per game, and will likely be a much bigger factor for the Panthers over the next three years.
Dylan Ward, sophomore, Waverly: A threat from behind the 3-point arc, Ward also provided a low-post presence for the Wolverines. He averaged 7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and had 12 blocked shots, and 11 3-pointers on the season.
Corbin Brown, sophomore, Sayre: Long and athletic, Brown showed he can do everything this season, whether its shooting the 3, taking the ball to the bucket, hitting the glass, or getting after it defensively. He averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game, and made 17 3-pointers on the season.
DeMario Chambers, senior, Tioga: See above.
Matt VanHouten, senior, Waverly: Always tasked with defending the opposition’s best offensive player, VanHouten more often than not got the job done.
Zach Sherwood, senior, S-VE: A tireless defender, Sherwood also had the unenviable job of guarding the opposition’s best perimeter player.
Gavin Stein, senior, Athens: Super quick, Stein was a disruptive force defensively, and often helped the Wildcats get into transition with his defense.
Aric Westbrook, junior, Athens: Long and lanky, Westbrook can guard on the perimeter, and alter shots in the paint.
Jason Jequinto, senior, Waverly: The most improved player in the area, Jequinto’s hard work paid off as he became a dangerous shooter from everywhere on the floor. His defense and ball-handling were also a big part of the Wolverines’ success.
Scott Siberski, senior, Tioga: A tough rebounder and defensive presence in the low post, Siberski knocked down some big shots for the Tigers this season.
Aric Westbrook, junior, Athens: A good defender (see above), Westbrook can also put the ball in the bucket — from behind the 3-point arc, and around the bucket. He’ll be a force for the Wildcats next year.
Ben VanGalder, junior, S-VE: VanGalder can knock down the open shot, and hit the boards. He should be a bigger factor for the Panthers next season.
Aaron Lane, sophomore, Athens: Lane is quick, and fearless. He can hit the 3-pointer, and likes to take the ball to the bucket. He should replace some of the scoring punch the Wildcats lose to graduation.
Players to Watch in 2018-19
Aside from Newcomers, and returning “overlooked” team members, there are others to keep an eye on next year
Damian Hudson, sophomore, Athens: Ultra quick, Hudson can get to the bucket, and can find the open man. Like Aaron Lane, he’ll help cushion the blow from graduation losses for the Wildcats.
Sam Taylor, sophomore, Tioga: Taylor made the most of his opportunity to play this season, and he’ll have plenty more opportunity next year with Tioga graduating four starters. He can knock down the 3, and will likely move into the point guard spot.
Tanner Hollenbeck, junior, Tioga: A ball of energy, Hollenbeck’s playing time was limited this season, but he’ll have plenty of opportunity to knock down 3-pointers next season.
Matthew Byrne, freshman, S-VE: A dangerous 3-point shooter, Byrne may struggle to find playing time early on a Panther team that should be much improved next year, but if he shoots the ball the way he did this year, he’ll force his way into the lineup.
Thomas Price, sophomore, Waverly: A tremendous athlete, Price will get plenty of opportunity on a Waverly team that loses four key seniors to graduation. He can defend, and finds ways to score. He should find his way into he lineup.
Zach Watkins, sophomore, Sayre: Incredibly quick, Watkins is a pest defensively, and can get to the bucket. He should move smoothly into the point guard spot for the Redskins.
Zach Moore, freshman, Sayre: A dangerous 3-point shooter, Moore’s ability to put the ball int he bucket could provide him an opportunity to play next year for the Redskins.
Isaiah Firestine, sophomore, Sayre: A good all-around athlete, Firestine may never score a lot consistently, but he gives you a little bit of everything else. Just the type of player every coach wants.
Ethan Miller, sophomore, Sayre: Long and athletic, Miller can hit the boards, and score. He will be a Redskin mainstay for a couple of years.
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