Quaker Valley duo taking WPIAL by storm

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Sunday, January 30, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Quaker Valley basketball players Adou Thiero and Markus Frank have established themselves as one of the top tandems in Western Pennsylvania.

They are two of the premier players in the WPIAL. Both are 6-foot-5 and both are 1,000-point career scorers.

As of Jan. 25, Thiero and Frank led QV to a perfect 12-0 record and a two-and-a-half game lead atop Section 2-4A with a 9-0 mark. QV was ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by Trib HSSN.

“Adou and Markus have played together for so many years and although Markus may have not received the early attention Adou did, I think it has come to a point where you talk about them as a package,” QV coach Mike Mastroianni told Trib HSSN. “They are such good friends and know each other well on and off the court.”

A senior guard, Thiero is a fourth-year starter who was an all-state selection as a junior. His scoring average was 23.1 pointer per game after a dozen games.

Thiero said the Quakers had a “chip on their shoulders” prior to the start of the season.

“I expect us to open a lot of eyes and prove people wrong,” he said. “People are doubting us and thinking that we won’t compete for a championship, but we’re coming in with a chip on our shoulders to prove them wrong.”

Quaker Valley has done it in impressive style, scorching opponents to the tune of 72.6 ppg while allowing just 45.7 ppg defensively.

Thiero registered 44 points Jan. 4 to break the school’s single-game scoring record of 43 established by Grant Derner in 1980, sparking QV to a decisive 88-34 section win against Hopewell.

Thiero racked up 29 points in the first half. His previous career-high for one game was 41 points last year again versus Hopewell.

“I felt good after I broke the record,” Thiero said. “I was happy that my teammates were giving me the ball and helping me score and creating shots for me. After the game, I thanked my teammates and gave my parents a hug.

“Since we’re undefeated, I want to keep it like that and come into each game with the same mindset and try to win every time.”

Frank (31) and Thiero (29) combined for 60 points Jan. 21 in a key 75-67 section victory over No. 4 Lincoln Park, giving the Quakers a regular-season sweep against their bitter rivals.

The QV tandem scored 22 points between them in the fourth quarter; Thiero went 9 for 10 from the foul line in the final three minutes.

Frank made his first nine shots to start the second half and finished with 20 points after halftime.

“Every game, we’ve been playing the right way and it shows,” Frank said, “and I hope it continues to be that way.”

Frank hit the 1,000-point mark in career scoring Jan. 25 in a 71-33 section win against Central Valley, becoming the 14th boys basketball player in school history to reach the coveted milestone.

“Scoring 1,000 points was one of my personal goals,” he said.

Frank finished with 24 points for the Quakers, who were led by Thiero’s game-high 31 points against CV. Thiero eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in career scoring in December.

Quaker Valley has reached the WPIAL final four in each of the past five seasons but has not been able to win the championship trophy in 25 years.

From 2017-19, the Quakers advanced to the finals only to lose to New Castle.

Frank and company want to change that dynamic.

“We want to win the section then, at least, win the WPIAL,” he said. “Keep an eye out for us.”

QV also beat Lincoln Park, 77-74, earlier this season as Frank turned in a career-high 39-point performance against the Leopards.

“Markus had 39 points in our home game against Lincoln Park, but his 31 at Lincoln Park might have been more impressive,” Mastroianni said. “Playing on the road in such a tough environment, in a big game, was really impressive. Every time we needed a big basket, Markus made a play for us.”

Frank also netted a game-high 24 points, including the tying basket and winning free throw with 15 seconds to go, in a thrilling 47-46 section win over a then-undefeated Montour squad.

Frank and Thiero are joined in QV’s starting lineup by senior guards Jack Gardiner and Wil Dunda and junior forward Daniel Bartels, the team’s leading rebounder. Joey Coyle, a sophomore, and Troy Kozar, a junior, are top backcourt reserves.

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