Braden Bohannon has been a multi-sport star since the beginning of his freshman year at Elco High School.
What was different this year, according to Elco basketball coach Brad Conners, was his voice.
“He’s always been advanced,’’ Connors said Thursday, after learning Bohannon has been made to the 4A second team of the Pennsylvania Sportswriters all-state team.
“This year I started hearing his voice a lot more, leading some of the younger guys, and even some of the older guys.’’
Bohannon, a 5-11 guard, averaged 17.9 points, five rebounds and two steals for the Raiders. The scoring average is actually a bit off Bohannon’s junior year, when he narrowly missed all-state selection.
“I thought the numbers might hurt a little,’’ Conners said, “but the guy’s just been tremendous for us. He’s a coach’s dream.’’
For multiple coaches. Bohannon was also all-state in football, and has been a four-year varsity contributor in football, basketball, baseball and track. He plans to play football and basketball at Lebanon Valley College.
The state 4A Player of the Year, Neumann-Goretti guard Hysier Miller, managed to overcome a rare off year by one of the state’s most powerful programs.
The Saints, who have won nine state championships since 2009, went 4-6 with no postseason in 2020-21, thanks to a combination of pandemic-related issues and the use, acknowledged by the school, of an ineligible player.
Miller, a 6-2 senior bound for Temple University, averaged 18.4 points per game on 63 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent from the three-point arc. He averaged 6.4 assists per game with a 3.22 assist-to-turnover ratio. He also led the powerful Philadelphia Catholic League in rebounding - as a point guard - with 10 boards per game.
The state 4A champion is Allentown Central Catholic, which won a tight, tense final over Hickory, and placed two juniors, 6-6 Liam Joyce and point guard Tyson Thomas, on the all-state first team.
Joyce overcame foul trouble to finish the state final with 19 points and nine rebounds, big numbers in a 41-40 game, and in line with his season averages of 16.3 and 11.
Thomas averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 assists, and was at his best in the biggest moments. He scored the game-winning basket in the state final, assisted on a game-winning three-pointer in a semifinal defeat of Middletown, and scored 26 as the Vikings took out Archbishop Carroll in the quarterfinals.
The Vikings’ coach, Dennis Csencsits, was named 4A coach of the year.
Archbishop Carroll won the District 12 championship behind first-team Anquan Hill, a 6-8 senior who averaged 17.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots. Hill has scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Mount St. Mary’s and Bryant.
Hill’s teammate, freshman guard Moses Hipps, made the third team.
State finalist Hickory placed senior Peyton Mele on the first team and senior Connor Evans on the second.
Mele, a 6-3 swingman, made the third team a year ago, and sparked a surprise postseason run this winter. He averaged 18.3 points per game, and scored 38 of his team’s 68 in a defeat of Lincoln Park in the state semifinals.
Evans is something of a Renaissance man. He averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for the state finalists, and starred on the golf and baseball team, and has a 4.0 grade-point average.
The final first-teamer, 6-4 junior Trey Martin of Boiling Springs, has emerged as a Division One recruit from a relatively unheralded program.
He averaged 22.6 points and 6.6 rebounds.