Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 24, 2022

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Monday, January 24, 2022 | 11:48 PM


Adou Thiero is in his fourth season playing a key role for a Quaker Valley boys basketball team that is undefeated this season and has come so close to WPIAL gold in his first few high school years.

But to be Frank, Thiero isn’t alone in being driven this season by close misses of the past as he winds down his Quakers career.

Senior Markus Frank has always played a key role in each season at Quaker Valley and is helping to steer the black and gold to a golden season in 2022.

“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,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni said. “They are such good friends and know each other well on and off the court.”

On Tuesday, Quaker Valley took care of business against a struggling Ambridge team, winning 89-47. Frank led the Quakers with 21 points.

“We had a big first quarter and Markus set the tone early, which is always important in section games,” Mastroianni said. “He had a big first quarter, not only scoring but on the defensive end.”

One time through the daunting Section 2-4A schedule, the Quakers were alone in first place with a 7-0 record.

However, QV started the second half of section play Friday with its toughest road test, a trip to Midland to take on defending champion Lincoln Park.

As he did in the first meeting with the Leopards, Frank lid up the scoreboard and helped Quaker Valley to an impressive 75-67 victory.

“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’s 31 and Thiero’s 29 helped the Quakers to a win that gave them a two-game lead in the section with three weeks left.

Mastroianni believes Frank’s success on both sides of the floor is making him a much better player.

“He has always been able to score with his speed and quickness, but as an older player, he has converted his defensive play into scoring opportunities, ” Mastroianni said. “He is able to guard 1 through 5 if needed and is much improved on the defensive end.”

Experience is paying off for the team with victories in close games. Mastroianni credits his three starting seniors in Frank, Thiero and Jack Gardinier for leading the team on and off the court.

“It starts with our seniors who have worked very hard for this year and invested many hours,” he said. “They have set the tone for our gym, and they are very accountable on not taking any shortcuts. Markus is quiet by nature but is highly respected by his teammates and very well liked. He has become more vocal for him, which is a big part of our success.”

With three weeks left in the regular season and with a two-game lead, albeit in one of the district’s toughest sections, what is the mindset of Quaker Valley heading down the stretch?

“There is so much of the season left,” Mastroianni said. “Usually this time of the year, you are playing additional games a week, so you must stay present in your preparation for section games and stay on the next game in front of you.”

2022 Trib HSSN Players of the Week:

Week 4 – Notorious Grooms, Uniontown

Week 3 – Tanner O’Grady, Upper St. Clair

Week 2 – Ben Mayhew, Propel Braddock Hills

Week 1 – Makhai Valentine, Steel Valley

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