Sunday, March 25, 2012 | 10:48 PM

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When it comes to picking the player of the year in WPIAL basketball season, you have to be on guard – twice.

The MSA Sports staff has selected two guards as the co-Players of the Year. They are Highlands’ Micah Mason and Shaler’s Geno Thorpe.

Those two players also lead the MSA Sports All-Netters team for 2012. Here is a look at the players of the year and also the first and second team All-Netters.


6-1 – Guard – Senior

You could call Mason the greatest shooter in WPIAL history. An expert marksman, Mason finished his career as the all-time WPIAL leader in 3-pointers with 346. He also finished his career as the 12th-leading scorer in WPIAL history with 2,272 points. One of the highlights of Mason’s career came last season when he scored 64 points.

This season, Mason led the WPIAL in scoring for the second year in a row with a 29.1 average. He shot 90 percent from the free-throw line and helped Highlands to a WPIAL Class AAA playoff berth.

Mason will play Division I basketball next season. In April of his junior year, he committed to Drake University, which plays in the Missouri Valley Conference.

6-3 – Guard – Junior

Thorpe helped Shaler make the WPIAL semifinals for only the third time in school history. The Titans made it to the PIAA quarterfinals for the first time.

Thorpe can play point or shooting guard and is excellent at slashing to the hoop. This season, he averaged 21.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists. He also had 68 steals, shot 55 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range. He has more than 1,000 points in two seasons at Shaler (he played at Shady Side Academy as a freshman).

Although he is only a junior, Thorpe already has decided on a college, making a verbal commitment to Penn State in November. His other two finalists were Wisconsin and Pitt. He also had offers from Seton Hall, Rutgers and Kansas State, among others.

6-4 – Guard – Senior

Cressler did a little bit of everything for Plum this season and turned into one of the top guards in the WPIAL. He was the second-leading scorer in the WPIAL behind Mason with 25.8 points a game. He is an excellent shooter, but also sometimes played point guard.

He finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Cressler will play next season at Cornell of the Ivy league.

6-7 – Forward – Senior

Jeter is considered the top college prospect in the WPIAL senior class. His final five colleges are Penn State, Seton Hall, Kansas State, Wisconsin and South Carolina. All have offered scholarships.

Jeter was the driving force in Beaver Falls’ run to the WPIAL Class AA championship and a spot in the state championship game. He can score in a variety of ways, using a 3-point shot, but also posting up on the inside. He finished the season averaging 22 points a game and had well over 1,000 points for his career.

6-2 – Guard – Senior

Davis had a high-flying act as he was one of the premiere leapers in the WPIAL. But Davis was more than just a great leaper. He was a standout player. He averaged 19.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals. He shot 48 percent from the field and also made 41 3-pointers in helping Central Catholic make the WPIAL title game.

Davis has a handful of Division I scholarship offers, but has not made a college decision yet.



6-0 – Guard – Senior

A four-year varsity member, Snodgrass turned into one of the WPIAL’s best guards this season. He averaged 20.6 points and had a great playoff run, scoring 33 and 34 points in victories against Chartiers Valley and North Allegheny. He also averaged 5 assists and 3 rebounds a game and shot 90 percent from the foul line, and over 40 percent from 3-point range. He had 42 points in one game.

Snodgrass, who helped Butler reach the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals, has committed to play at Navy.

6-11 – Center – Senior

As far as statistics for WPIAL big men, Watson had a one-of-a-kind career. He is believed to be only the second player in the history of U.S. high school basketball to have 1,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocked shots. Watson finished with 1,185 points, 1,368 rebounds and 1,018 blocks.

This season, he helped Lincoln Park to its first WPIAL championship and the Leopards played in the PIAA title game for the second year in a row. He averaged 14 points and double figures in rebounds. Watson will play next season at Temple, choosing the Owls over some other Division I offers.

6-6 – Guard – Senior

Gateway became only the second team in WPIAL history to win back-to-back Class AAAA titles and Scott was one of the main reasons.

He was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 16.2 points a game, and finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,312 points. Scott has not decided on a college.

6-3 – Forward – Junior

Anderson was the leading scorer on a New Castle team that won the WPIAL Class AAA championship with a perfect record before losing in the PIAA playoffs.

Anderson averaged 19.l points a game. He is one of the top juniors in the WPIAL.

6-3 – Guard – Junior

Montour had two of its best basketball seasons the past two years, and Wilson was one of the major reasons. He wasn’t a big scorer (13 ppg), but coaches will tell you he was one of the best point guards in the WPIAL.

He has a few Division I college offers for basketball, but also is being recruited by major colleges for football (he is a receiver-defensive back).

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