Thiero, Frank among veteran returning starters set to lead Quaker Valley

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Saturday, December 4, 2021 | 11:01 AM


The Quaker Valley boys basketball team has two important characteristics: The Quakers are talented and experienced.

That should lead to some difficult times for opponents this winter.

Adou Thiero, Markus Frank, Jack Gardinier and Wil Dunda are returning senior starters. All are 6-feet tall or taller.

“We return four seniors who have played in our program for four years and have significant game and program experience,” QV coach Mike Mastroianni said. “Any other season, this would be a nice advantage and great starting point. But this season, our section opponents all return three to five starters, as well as including Lincoln Park, Montour, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Hopewell, Beaver and Ambridge. Our section will be highly competitive.”

Thiero, listed as a 6-6 guard, and Frank, a 6-6 forward, provide the Quakers with one of the top 1-2 combinations in the WPIAL. Thiero averaged 21.8 points last season; Frank averaged 17.1. Both were lauded as Trib 10 Boys Basketball All-Stars.

Thiero was a second-team all-state selection last season. He is a fourth-year starter for the Quakers, who went 13-5 and reached the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinals. Thiero missed QV’s playoff loss with an injury.

“Adou is returning to form and has worked hard in the offseason after suffering a season-ending injury last year,” Mastroianni said. “We will ask Adou to help us in all areas, and he is excited to accept the challenge. We will look for his leadership, as well as our other seniors.

“Markus Frank, Jack Gardinier and Wil Dunda bring back a lot of experience and a combined leadership that is a great starting point.”

Thiero scored 25 or more points in seven games last year, including a sizzling career-high 41-point performance Feb. 8 in an 84-48 section win against Hopewell.

A few days later, he received his first Division I offer from Long Island. UC-Santa Barbara also has offered Thiero a scholarship.

Others looking to make an impact for the Quakers this season include 6-3 junior forwards Daniel Bartels and Jackson Kerley, 6-1 junior guard Troy Kozar, 6-1 sophomore guard Joey Coyle, 6-1 junior guard/forward Noah Jordan and 5-10 sophomore guard Izzy Emerson.

Last year, after Gov. Tom Wolf put a “pause” on high school sports in mid-December, the Quakers were forced to take another break because of covid-19 protocols after playing only four games.

This is Mastroianni’s 23rd season as QV’s coach and 30th overall as a head coach.

The Quakers have won two section titles in the past four years and have qualified for the playoffs for 17 consecutive seasons.

From 2009-10 to 2018-19 (10 seasons), Quaker Valley won 20 or more games nine times and was a WPIAL finalist from 2016-17 to 2018-19 (three seasons).

Lincoln Park (12-2), which won the WPIAL championship, Montour (11-2), QV (10-3) and Central Valley (8-4) were the top four teams in Section 2-4A last season, followed by Blackhawk (4-6), Ambridge (4-9), Hopewell (1-12) and Beaver (1-13).

There are nine former QV hoopsters continuing their careers at the next level.

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