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DaCanal, Bellis, Park Garner Top All American Awards & Engraving D9 Boys’ Hoops Awards; All-District Named

SHIPPENVILLE, Pa. – Elk County Catholic’s Nate DaCanal, Brookville’s Aaron Park and Karns City’s Chris Bellis are the major All American Awards & Engraving D9Sports.com District 9 boys’ basketball award winners for the 2017 season.

Nate DaCanal. Photo by Paul Burdick

DaCanal earns Player of the Year honors, Park is Rookie of the Year and Bellis is Coach of the Year.

In addition to the major awards, first-, second- and third-team All-District 9 teams were chosen.

Joinings DaCanal as first-team All-District are Clarion-Limestone’s Dan Callen, Clearfield’s Tommy Hazel, Coudersport’s Jared Green, DuBois’ Nick LaBrasca, Kane’s Andrew Bucheit and St. Marys’ Jeff Wehler. All but Green, who is a junior, are seniors.

The second-team All-District squad consists of Clearfield’s Will Myers and Evan Brown, Coudersport’s Owen Chambers, Elk County Catholic’s Gabe Kraus, Moniteau’s Lake Pry and Union’s Lucas Bowser.

Aaron Park

On third-team All-District are Karns City’s Ian McElroy, Keystone’s Austin Ion, Punxsutawney’s Devin Kelly and Ridgway’s Justin Kasmierski and Neil MacDonald.

All award winners and all-district performers receive either a plaque or a certificate courtesy of All American Awards & Engraving in Shippenville.

This is the 18th year of the postseason District 9 awards and the 17th they have been housed at D9Sports.com (the first year, 2000, the awards were awarded by the Tri-County Sunday out of DuBois). It marks the ninth year All American Awards & Engraving has been the title sponsor of the awards.

Chris Bellis. Photo by Mike Schnelle

The 2012 Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry Business of the Year in the Economic Development Division, All American Awards & Engraving is located on Route 322 in Shippenville.

The company, which specializes in all kinds of awards, trophies and engraving products as well as screen printing and embroidery, will put just about anything on just about anything. It can be found on the web at www.allamericanhq.com or by calling 1-877-402-9273.

D9Sports.com is in its 17th year of covering athletics within the PIAA’s District 9. The independent media site, which became part of the EYT Media family of sites (www.exploreClarion.com, www.exploreJeffersonPa.com, www.exploreVenango.com) in December 2015 is not affiliated with the PIAA or PIAA District 9 in any way.

NOTES – In order to be eligible for the award or the all-district team, a player must participate in at least 70 percent of his team’s games. In order to be eligible for Rookie of the Year, a Player must be either a freshman or a sophomore who saw limited or no time as a freshman.

DaCANAL EARNS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

DaCanal was the driving force behind Elk County Catholic’s second consecutive unbeaten regular season and District 9 Class 1A title. It marked the first time in the great history of the Crusaders’ basketball program that ECC had back-to-back unbeaten regular season. The Crusaders finished the season 28-1 and advanced to the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion, Kennedy Catholic.

The point guard DaCanal showed an all-around game averaging 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds. 1.9 steals and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 60.9 percent from the field and 78.3 percent from the line. His numbers are even more impressive considering the fact he only averaged playing 25 minutes per game because of the score. Still, he scored 20 or more points six times including twice against District 9 4A runner-up Punxsutawney. DaCanal concluded his three-year career with 1,207 points, the sixth-most in school history.

PARK HAS SUPERB FRESHMAN SEASON

Park was a big reason Brookville made it to the District 9 Class 3A title game, and if he hadn’t gotten hurt in the first quarter of that game the Raiders may very well have won the D9 title.

He finished the year second on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg) and steals (1.4 spg) while leading Brookville in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg). He shot 87 of 154, 56.5 percent, from the floor and made 11 3-pointers.

BELLIS PILOTS GREMLINS TO FIRST TITLE IN 12 YEARS

Bellis guided Karns City to its first boys’ basketball title in 12 years, as the Gremlins grabbed the Class 3A championship, their first since winning in 2A in 2005.

A late-season push helped, the Gremlins won 8 of 12 down the stretch, helped Karns City finish 17-8 overall, its best mark since going 19-8 in 2005. It was a seven-win improvement over 2016.

FIRST-TEAM ALL-DISTRICT 9

Player of the Year: Nate DaCanal, Sr., G, Elk County Catholic (15.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.9 spg, 1.8 apg; Shot 60.9 percent from the field)
Dan Callen, Sr., F, Clarion-Limestone (18.9 ppg, 12.0 rpg)
Tommy Hazel, Sr., F, Clearfield (18.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.0 spg, 1.5 bpg)
Jared Green, Jr., F, Coudersport (16.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 3.7 spg, 3.2 apg, 1.6 bpg)
Nick LaBrasca, Sr., F, DuBois (19.1 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 spg)
Andrew Bucheit – Sr., F, Kane (18.3 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 4.2 bpg, 3.6 apg)
Jeff Wehler – Sr., G, St. Marys (19.7 ppg)

SECOND-TEAM ALL-DISTRICT 9

Evan Brown, Sr. G, Clearfield (14.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
Will Myers, Sr., G, Clearfield (17.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
Owen Chambers, So, G, Coudersport (16.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 63 3-pointers)
Gabe Kraus, Sr., G, Elk County Catholic (14.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg; 77 3-pointers)
Lake Pry, Sr., F, Moniteau (22.6 ppg, 10.0 rpg)
Lucas Bowser – Jr., F, Union (19.1 ppg)

THIRD-TEAM ALL-DISTRICT 9

Ian McElroy, Sr., G, Karns City (14.2 ppg)
Austin Ion, Sr., G, Keystone (14.3 ppg)
Devin Kelly, Sr, G, Punxsutawney (13.2 ppg)
Justin Kasmierski, Sr., F, Ridgway (13.1 ppg)
Neil MacDonald, Jr., G, Ridgway (11.1 ppg)

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