PA. SPORTS WRITERS ALL-STATE BOYS' BASKETBALL
Tribe's fitting tribute Donegal's sterling season recognized with all-state honors for Butt, Dietrich brothers Tribe's fitting tribute BY ED GRUVER, Sports Writer
The greatest season to date in Donegal's boys' basketball history?
It got even better on Wednesday.
Head coach Ryan Butt, architect of a 29-3 season that saw the Indians win L-L Section Three and advance to the semifinals in leagues, districts and states, was named by Pennsylvania sports writers the state's Class AAA Boys' Basketball Coach of the Year.
"It's not something you go into the season expecting," Butt said Wednesday. "With that type of award, it's a team effort. I didn't do it on my own. I have a great coaching staff (Matt Pogue, Matt Johns, Shawn Ness and Marty Moore)."
Joining their coach on the AAA all-state team are brothers Martin and Jason Dietrich. Both seniors were named to the Second Team.
"They're two great kids, and after this magical season, it's exciting to see them recognized and it's well deserved," said Butt.
Section One and league champion McCaskey saw one of its star players, Delaware-bound senior swingman Devonne Pinkard, selected for the Class AAAA Third Team.
"They recognize his accomplishments, which is good," Red Tornado coach Steve Powell said. "To be named to any All-Star team is an honor."
District champion Lebanon Catholic placed its leader, senior guard Tim Orr, on the Class A Third Team.
"It's a pretty big deal," Beavers coach Scott Clentimack said. "Timmy's worked really hard and he deserves it. It's the icing on the cake, a great ending to a great career."
Icing on the cake for all those honored, and for Donegal, the final sprinkle of star dust to a magical playoff ride that saw them beat the No. 1 team in the state in three-time defending champion Neumann-Goretti and the No. 3 team in the state in Allentown Central Catholic.
Butt points to the former, a 55-50 win over Neumann-Goretti in the Elite Eight, as the defining moment of the season.
"When Michael Banwell went to the foul line in the final seconds and we realized we were going to win," he said, "I remember looking at our crowd and what a special moment it was, the biggest win in school history.
"We've had an opportunity to get together and reflect on the season. It was such a great group of guys to be around. Playing against nationally-ranked teams and some really great players. ... We had a great run."
The Dietrich brothers were a big part of said run. Martin, a 6-foot-3 forward, averaged a team-high 15.7 points per game; Jason, a 6-2 guard, followed at 15.3.
Together with Banwell, Dylan Houseal, Matt Foltz, Chris Robinson and Thomas Hatt, the Dietrichs helped forge a memorable winter in Mount Joy.
"They're such a big part of our success, on and off the court," Butt said of the Dietrichs. "I believe they're both in the top 20 (academically) in their class. They're great leaders, in what they say and do. They're humble and honest kids, great to be around."
Butt said the Dietrichs have drawn interest from several Division III schools but remain undecided.
Pinkard recently announced his decision to accept a scholarship from Delaware, and Powell likes the chances his 6-6 wing guard/small forward will succeed on the next level.
"He gave us a different dimension," said Powell, who compared Pinkard's diverse skills to that of former Warwick star and La Salle recruit Jack Hurd.
"He can play on the perimeter and he can post up. He had some things to work on, the physicality part (of playing in Section One and in Quad-A), and he's become more of a complete player."
Pinkard transferred to McCaskey from Lancaster Catholic prior to his junior year and helped the Tornado win back-to-back league championships. He averaged 18.1 ppg. this season and hit a team-high 50 3-pointers as McCaskey went 26-4.
"You're not going to outwork him, his work ethic is second to none," Powell said. "He worked out before the season, worked out during the season after practices. He's probably working out right now."
Pinkard's work ethic is shared by Orr. Lebanon Catholic's leading scorer at 17.4 ppg., the 6-2 guard was also the leading rebounder for the Beavers (19-9).
"He's a big guard, and the key to his development is physical (growth)," Clentimack said. "He was 5-9, probably 155 pounds (as a freshman). Now, he's 6-2, around 185. That doesn't happen by accident. I've seen the weights he lifts."
Orr's work ethic is just one of the intangibles that doesn't show up in the boxscore.
"To me, his leadership abilities are more important than his statistics," Clentimack said. "He would pick up two, three players and drive them home from practice. He'd take new players home to dinner, make them feel more comfortable.
"In my 15 years (as head coach), he's the only junior to be named team captain. For the last two years, this was his team.
"I enjoyed being around this group every day, and it all started and ended with Timmy Orr."
Editor's Note: The complete Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Team appears on the Scoreboard, Page C5.