It's time to focus on all-district boys and girls basketball teams along with Player of the Year selections before spring sports hits high gear.
The all-district teams are taking shape, where there remains some doubt is selecting the respective POYs. Why? Well, there are several worthy candidates.
In addition to my observations, I've spoken with several coaches (as I normally do) for their input. This year, I've asked more coaches than usual because the selections are that tough.
So, with that in mind, I'd like to hear from readers. From the following list of candidates, tell me whose the pick and why.
Nate Bellhy, Fort Cherry
Seton Hill recruit and, from what I watched, area's most athletic and explosive player. Bellhy averaged 25.7 points and double-digit rebounds.
Michael Lamberti, South Fayette
West Liberty State recruit and reigning Player of the Year. Lamberti helped SF reach WPIAL championship game and PIAA semifinals. Probably area's most complete player, averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds.
Josh Valentic, Trinity
Wheeling Jesuit recruit with unlimited shooting range. Valentic, an improved rebounder and accurate free throw shooter, averaged 30.3 points (second in WPIAL) and at times looked like he single-handedly carried the Hillers in critical games.
Pat Zedreck, South Fayette
Considered by many to be WPIAL's premier point guard this season. Zedreck is receiving Division II and III interest and often plays better than more heavily recruited players at the position. Zedreck averaged 18 points per game in the postseason, 15 in the regular season with 9 assists.
Beka Bellhy, Fort Cherry
A junior, Bellhy entered the area's elite this year and evolved into one of the WPIAL's better talents. A heady player, Bellhy averaged 16 points and led the Rangers in rebounding during the best season in team history.
Emily Hansen, Canon-McMillan
Playing in possibly the state's toughest section, Hansen continued to get it done and topped 1,000 career points near the end of her senior season. She averaged 16.9 points per game to third in the section behind Division I recruits Belma Nurkic (Baldwin) and Madison Cable (Mt. Lebanon).
Geena Shrader, Monessen
Monessen lost only two games. One was to eventual WPIAL champion North Catholic, the other to Bishop Guilfoyle, which may win a third consecutive PIAA title. Shrader led the way with a scoring average of 18.0.
Amanda Temple, Avella
Temple led the WPIAL in scoring with a 22.0 average, more than 1 point per game better than any other player.