Franklin Regional’s Cam Rowell headlines TribLive Westmoreland boys basketball all-stars

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Saturday, March 30, 2024 | 5:07 PM


Player of the Year

Cam Rowell, Sr., G, Franklin Regional

The state championship game looked like it was getting away from Franklin Regional. But just then, Cam Rowell growled.

The senior guard took a pass from Colin Masten, who came up with a steal, and broke into the open court for a one-handed slam that had the Giant Center rocking.

While Franklin Regional didn’t win the PIAA Class 5A championship, Rowell made his presence known.

One of the top finishers in the game also made his mark in the WPIAL, turning heads with his athleticism and calm command for the WPIAL and state runner-up Panthers.

For his efforts, Rowell is the TribLive Westmoreland Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Greensburg Central Catholic’s Tyree Turner was a close second. Terek Crosby of Yough also was considered.

“The season Cam just put together for himself, and for Franklin Regional’s history, was really remarkable,” Panthers coach Jesse Reed said. “We went as Cam went all year.”

Rowell eclipsed 1,000 career points during the Panthers’ memorable season that took fans on a ride they had not anticipated. He averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for the Panthers (27-4), who made the PIAA final for the first time in 27 years.

“We were underdogs,” Rowell said. “We knew we could play with (Imhotep in the state final). We have to play a full game. It takes a team to win it all.”

Rowell’s dunks may have set him apart most from others.

What started as his teammates daring him to dunk in a game early in the year became a regular occurrence.

“If I get a chance, I am going to try to slam it,” Rowell said. “It gets everyone pumped up.”

It’s hard to mention Rowell without mentioning senior Cooper Rankin, his right-hand man.

Reed called them a true dynamic duo — “R&R” as they became known together.

Rankin appreciated the opportunity to run the point for one of the program’s most memorable teams in perhaps its brightest season.

“The thing that hurts most is that I won’t get to play with my brothers anymore,” Rankin said. “That’s going to suck, but it’s part of life.”

First team

Franco Alvarez

Sr., F, Greensburg Central Catholic

A talented forward who ran the floor well, he averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds, while shooting 61.8% from the field. … Helped GCC to WPIAL 2A runner-up finish.

Terek Crosby

Sr., G, Yough

Among Yough’s most prolific scorers, averaged 25 points and 4 assists, while making 44 3-pointers for a 3A quarterfinalist. … Ended his career with 2,036 points.

Tyler Freas

Sr., G, Penn-Trafford

Led Warriors to 5A playoffs, averaging 16.1 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. … Made 52 3-pointers and scored over 800 career points.

Lorenzo Gardner

Sr., G, Monessen

Climbed program scoring list, finishing career with 1,689 points, second among Greyhounds scorers. … Averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for Class A playoff team and had a 62-point game.

Ty Keffer

Sr., G, Southmoreland

One of the program’s elite scorers averaged 19.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.2 steals. … Ended career with 1,575 points and 223 3-pointers.

Zion Moore

Jr., G, Belle Vernon

One of the WPIAL’s top volume scorers, he averaged 26.3 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game for 4A playoff team. … Has 1,585 career points.

Nate Papuga

Sr., G, Derry

Helped Derry to first, first-round playoff win in WPIAL playoffs, and first PIAA berth, while reaching 1,000 career points. … Averaged 23.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and made 68 3s-pointers.

Cooper Rankin

Sr., G, Franklin Regional

Point guard guided a high-powered team that finished as the WPIAL and PIAA runner-up in 5A. … Averaged 14.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.7 steals.

Tyree Turner

Sr., G, Greensburg Central Catholic

Led GCC to runner-up finish in WPIAL 2A and a 24-4 record. … Averaged 21.0 points a game, along with 7.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.6 steals.

Second team

Kymone Brown

So., G, Jeannette

Ryan Burkhart

Sr., G, Greensburg Salem

Max Butler

Jr., G, Latrobe

Noah Felentzer

So., G, Southmoreland

Drew Gordon

Jr., G, Hempfield

Colin Masten

Sr., G, Franklin Regional

Austin Matthews

Sr., F, Yough

Ian Temple

Sr., G, Penn-Trafford

Alonzo Wade

Jr., G/F, Belle Vernon

John Wetzel

Jr., G, Latrobe

Third team

Tommy Davis

Jr., F, Belle Vernon

Dante Giallonardo

Sr., G/F, Mt. Pleasant

Parker Hollick

Jr., G, Ligonier Valley

Fin Hutchison

Sr., G, Franklin Regional

Trevor Kovatch

Jr., G, Belle Vernon

Isaiah Mallich

Sr., G, Jeannette

Dylan McCullough

Sr., G, Norwin

Kyle McNeil

Jr., F, Latrobe

Stanley Rajkovich

Fr., F, Derry

Maximus Williams

Jr., F, Hempfield

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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