Area Quartet Named All-state
When Nate Kreitzer walked off the basketball court for the final time as a Nanticoke Area Trojan, he did so with an incredible list of accomplishments.
Same goes for forwards Dimitri Gnall of Wyoming Seminary, Da’mir Faison of Hazleton Area and Matt Marchetti of MMI Prep.
All four seniors received one final nod of validation Tuesday with the release of the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Boys Basketball team.
“That’s just great,” said Nanticoke Area head coach John Beggs. “The teams that we have are all competitive. For our conference and District 2, we’ve had some great runs. We always say, ‘With team success, individual honors will come.’ These honors are all well-deserved for the players.”
Dozens of sports writers from across the state filled out ballots, helping to select a first, second and third team for Classes A through 6A. Each classification had 20 or 21 all-state players.
Kreitzer and Gnall became two-time all-state selections, although they upgraded — being selected second team after being third team selections last year — in Classes 4A and 3A, respectively.
“We were fired up at Nanticoke for Nate ... and for him to bump up to second team was great,” Beggs said. “When we looked at some of the first-team guys, there was a lot of familiar names of guys that we played in the state tournament.”
The Class 4A all-state team was arguably the best of the bunch, led by Player of the Year Donta Scott of Imhotep Charter. He’ll play at Maryland.
Scott’s Imhotep teammate Dahmir Bishop (Xavier recruit), as well as Bonner-Prendergast duo Isaiah Wong (Miami, Fla.) and Tariq Ingraham (Wake Forest) plus Bethlehem Catholic’s Justin Paz (East Stroudsburg) all made first team in Class 4A.
In directing the Trojans to the state tournament three years in a row, Kreitzer played against them all — and others like Scranton Prep’s 6-foot-8 Lafayette recruit Leo O’Boyle, who made second team — and held his own.
“To be recognized on the state level with some big-time players who are going to be playing some big-time basketball, it’s just an honor for him and our school and our program,” Beggs said.
Kreitzer, a point guard, made a program-record 97 3-pointers this past season. He averaged 18.8 points per game for the WVC Division 2 champion Trojans, who were the District 2 runners-up and won a state playoff game before being eliminated in the second round by Bonner-Prendergast.
Kreitzer will play college basketball at Misericordia, while Gnall will also play at the Division III level for Kenyon College in Ohio.
“Dimitri made that decision on May 1 and I know he has spoken highly about that school academically, and he has a very good relationship with their coach, who had an opportunity to see us play on several occasions,” said Sem head coach Pete Moses. “I think it’ll be a great fit for Dimitri. I know wherever he goes, he will work hard and excel.”
Gnall was selected Citizens’ Voice Player of the Year after averaging 17.5 ppg for Sem, which won championships at the division, conference and district levels.
Like Nanticoke Area, Sem also suffered a season-ending loss in the second round of the state playoffs, losing 61-59 against heavily favored Neumann-Goretti. Gnall scored 21 points.
“There was a lot of talent in the 3A classification,” Moses said. “I know that it was a very, very competitive classification. For Dimitri to excel at that level, I think, showed not only his talent but his ability.”
Hazleton Area’s Faison was a third-team pick in Class 6A. He averaged a team-high 19.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Cougars, who won District 2 Class 6A and WVC Division 1 titles.
Hazleton Area bowed out of the state playoffs with a first-round loss against Methacton. Faison will play college basketball at DI New Jersey Institute of Technology.
MMI Prep’s Marchetti made third team in Class A after leading the Preppers with 18.3 ppg in a season that included a District 2 championship.
Marchetti ended his high school career last month with a dunk at the buzzer in the Dr. George P. Moses Senior All-Star Classic, later saying he took pride in representing MMI Prep, which, by far, has the lowest enrollment of any school in District 2.
In addition to Scranton Prep’s O’Boyle, the Lackawanna League had one other all-state selection. Binghamton recruit George Tinsley, of Abington Heights, earned first team distinction in Class 5A.
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