Senior emerges as unlikely top scorer for Franklin Regional

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Friday, February 26, 2021 | 6:32 PM


In a flash of a couple of seconds, Kadyn Hannah saw a microcosm of his basketball career manifest before his eyes, in the form of a turnover. A painful turnover.

But he owned the moment.

“It was a travel, yes,” the 6-foot-4 senior forward from Franklin Regional said. “But here’s the thing. If I want to be the guy, I gotta make that play.”

Hannah was called for a travel with about 8 seconds remaining in a recent Section 3-5A loss at Latrobe. The host Wildcats stunned the Panthers, 56-53, as senior Ryan Sickenberger, directly after Hannah’s turnover, dribbled upcourt and connected on a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer.

“It was tough, but I have to accept what happened and move on,” Hannah said.

He was saying the same thing five years ago when he got cut from the junior high team as a wiry and raw seventh grader.

“I was too small and didn’t have the skills,” Hannah said.

He put the game aside and didn’t pick it up again until his sophomore year. The Panthers are glad he did.

Hannah has become a real-deal scorer in Class 5A.

“The improvements he has made are incredible,” Franklin Regional coach Steve Scorpion said.

Hannah will lead the Panthers (7-7) into the WPIAL playoffs Saturday afternoon as they host Armstrong (8-6) in a preliminary round game at noon.

Not only did Hannah work his way into a starting role this season, but he also was leading the Panthers in scoring through 11 games with a an 18.3-point average. He also was averaging 8.6 rebounds and shooting nearly 60% from the field.

“I don’t usually say this about (opposing players), but that No. 14, I really like his game,” Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said of Hannah. “He’s 6-4. Big. Strong. I like the way he plays the game.”

Said Hannah: “People had never heard of me before this year.”

Hannah was a key reserve last season, coming off the bench to defend and grab rebounds. He knew he would have to play behind players like athletic scoring swing guard Logan Summerhill and 6-9 center Johnny O’Toole, players whom he said made him better. But he knew his time would come.

He also had guidance from coaches.

“I needed to get tougher,” Hannah said. “I didn’t have thick skin when I first played varsity. Coach Scorp and (North Allegheny coach) Dan DeRose worked with me in AAU. They trained me and made me better. They told it to me straight. I’m glad they did. I didn’t want them to lie.”

Scorpion remembers Hannah’s energetic introduction to the program.

“When I first started working with him, I remember he showed up four straight days and he was playing so hard, just flying around,” Scorpion said. “I’m like, ‘Who’s this kid?’ I’m thinking, if he does this every play, every day, he can really help us in practice.”

Hannah has an offer to play at La Roche, and Penn State Behrend also is recruiting him.

“He can be a good Division III kid,” Scorpion said. “But I also could see him making a D-II team, and I’d be shocked if he’s not in the rotation his sophomore year.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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