SHIPPENVILLE, Pa. — Seven players — four girls and three boys — who were first team-team All American Awards and Engraving D9sports.com All-District selections last year are back to headline this year’s 2014-15 D9Sports.com Preseason All-District boys and girls basketball teams.
Four of the five picks for the preseason squad were all-state selections last season, led by 2013-14 District 9 Player of the Year Madison Johnson of Keystone.
Johnson, a second-team all-state pick last season by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers and St. Francis (Pa.) commit, led the Lady Panthers to a D-9 runner-up finish in Class A, averaging 16.9 ppg., including 24.2 ppg. in the District 9 playoffs last season.
Joining Johnson are Class AA third-team all-state selections and first-team all-district picks LeeAnn Gibson of Karns City and Brooke Hinderliter of Redbank Valley, as well as Maci Thornton of Clarion, a first-team all-district and third-team all-stater in Class A and Shanel Preston of Karns City, a second-team all-district performer in 2013-14.
Gibson and Preston helped lead Karns City to the District 9 Class AA title and second-round appearance in the PIAA playoffs last season, averaging 16.5 ppg. and 11.4 ppg. respectively.
Hinderliter, a two-time first-team all-district selection, averaged 19.8 ppg., 6.4 rpg. and 4.3 spg. last season, while Thornton helped lead Clarion to the D-9 Class A title, averaging 15.6 ppg.
Cameron County’s Nate Sestina, Ridgway’s Jeremy Breier and Clarion-Limestone’s R.J. Laugand are preseason picks after all earning first-team postseason honors in 2013-14.
The 6-9 Sestina, a Bucknell commit, averaged a District 9-leading 22.6 ppg. to go along with 12.4 rpg. and 2.4 bpg. last season.
Breier, meanwhile, was a big reason why Ridgway captured the District 9 Class A championship last season, averaging 17.4 ppg.
Laugand, who was the 2011-12 All-American Awards and Engraving Rookie of the Year, averaged 19.0 ppg., 7.0 apg. and 5.7 rpg.
Joining those three are Dane Aucker of DuBois Central Catholic and Jake Dougherty of Redbank Valley.
Both players were second-team all-district picks in 2013-14, with Aucker averaging 16.3 ppg. and Dougherty 19.2 ppg. and 10.6 rpg.