WPIAL lands 3 players on Class 5A all-state boys basketball team

Saturday, May 7, 2022 | 12:01 AM

New Castle and Laurel Highlands combined for one of the most competitive WPIAL finals in recent memory, a matchup decided in double overtime by two last-second free throws.

Laurel Highlands (27-1) celebrated the WPIAL title that day, but New Castle (27-3) went on to finish as the state runner-up. The teams’ success was recognized Saturday when three WPIAL players earned all-state honors in a statewide vote of sportswriters.

New Castle’s Mike Wells and Laurel Highlands’ Rodney Gallagher were both named to the first team, and Gallagher’s teammate Keondre Deshields earned second-team honors.

Wells scored 22.4 points per game, Gallagher averaged 18.6 and Deshield 19.4.

State champion Imhotep Charter was rewarded with both the player of the year and coach of the year honors. Justin Edwards, a 6-foot-7 junior with Kentucky and Villanova among his college offers, also led Imhotep to the Philadelphia Public League and District 12 titles. He averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.

Imhotep went 28-4.

2021-22 Class 5A All-State Boys Basketball

First team

Justin Edwards, 6-7, jr., Imhotep Charter

Rodney Gallagher, 6-0, jr., Laurel Highlands

Thomas Sorber, 6-9, so., Archbishop Ryan

Mike Wells, 6-4, sr., New Castle

Ty Burton, 5-10, so., Lampeter-Strasburg

Rahmir Barno, 6-0, jr., Imhotep Charter

Second team

Jalen Franklin, 6-1, sr., Susquehannock

Ahmad Nowell, 6-0, so., Imhotep Charter

Keondre Deshields, 6-3, jr., Laurel Highlands

Jackson Hicke, 6-4, jr., Radnor

Anthony Smith, 6-7, sr., Shippensburg

Elijah Hamilton, 6-4, jr., Octorara

Third team

Trey Grube, 6-0, jr., Manheim Central

Larenzo Jerkins, 6-4, so., Chester

Jeremy Thomas, 6-4, sr., Shippensburg Area

Colin Payne, 6-3, sr., Exeter Township

Luke Boyd, 6-1, sr. Archbishop Ryan

Darren Williams, 6-4, so., Archbishop Ryan

Player of the Year

Justin Edwards, Imhotep Charter

Coach of the Year

Andre Noble, Imhotep Charter

• • • • •

All-State Boys Basketball Schedule

Monday: Non-PIAA schools

Tuesday: PIAA Class A

Wednesday: PIAA Class 2A

Thursday: PIAA Class 3A

Friday: PIAA Class 4A

Saturday: PIAA Class 5A

Sunday: PIAA Class 6A

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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