Devon Prep’s Fisher named state’s top coach

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a daily series of seven all-state boys basketball teams.

By Mike Gross, LNP News Group

There was no better barometer of the depth and quality of the Philadelphia Catholic League this winter than the season of Devon Prep, which won the state Class 3A championship and placed one player each on the first, second and third teams of the Pennsylvania Sports Writers 3A All-State team.

The Tide, which joined the PCL four seasons ago, was beaten seven times in league games. It was undefeated against everyone else, including 2021 Class 6A state champion Reading in the regular season. 

In the state playoffs, Devon Prep beat powerful PCL rival West Catholic, and had dramatic come-from-behind defeats of Columbia, the otherwise twice-beaten District 3 champ, and, in overtime in the state semifinals, District 2 champion Holy Redeemer.

Devon Prep coach Jason Fisher is also the school’s athletic director, and made the decision to join the PCL four years ago. Fisher, a University of Scranton Wall of Famer for a basketball career that ended in 1999, was selected Coach of the Year.

“We’ve come a long way from where we were in the Bicentennial League,” Fisher told Rich Flanagan of Philadelphia Sports Digest.  “Jumping into the Catholic League was a contributing factor to this.’’

So was IV Pettit, a 6-2 senior who made the first team after averaging 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds and making 89 percent of his free throws.

Pettit made the third team a year ago.

Teammate Lucas Orchard made the second team. A 6-4 junior, Orchard averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

Prep’s third-teamer is Jacen Holloway, a 6-3 junior who averaged 13.7 points and 5.8 rebounds and went for 16 and 10 in his team’s defeat of Aliquippa in the state final.

The 3A state Player of the Year is Saraj Ali of Loyalsock, one of the state’s most successful programs. 

Loyalsock’s Ron Insinger is the winningest coach in Pennsylvania boys’ high school basketball history, with a career record of 1090-207 (including 77-8 over the past three years), 24 district championships and a staggering 39 20-win seasons.

Ali, a 6-5 senior, averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4 steals per game for a team that lost to West Catholic in the second round of the state playoffs.

Loyalsock won the state 3A title in 2021, when Ali was first-team all-state and his brother, Idris, was the state player of the year.

Also repeating on the first team is Kutztown recruit Brendan Boyle of Notre Dame-Green Pond. Boyle averaged 23.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.8 steals per game. He scored over 1,900 career points and led his team to the state playoffs.

Troy Area, Loyalsock’s District 4 rival, placed 6-0 senior guard Troy Barrett on the first team. One of the state’s best shooters, Barrett averaged 26.6 points and 6 assists, making 40 percent of his three-point attempts, 55 percent of two-point tries and 85 percent of free throws.

Barrett finished just under the 2,000 career-point mark and led his team to the District 4 final and state playoffs.

Two more big scorers round out the first team, Makhai Valentine of Steel Valley and Patrick Haigh of Bishop Guilfoyle.

Valentine, a 6-3 junior, averaged 29.9 points. Haigh averaged 25.8 per game as Guilfoyle made the District 6 final and state quarterfinals.

 

2021-22 Class 3A All-State Teams

 

1st Team

Saraj Ali, 6' 5", senior, Loyalsock Township (Player of the Year)

Brendan Boyle, 5' 11", senior, Notre Dame-Green Pond

IV Pettit, 6' 2", senior, Devon Prep

Ty Barrett, 6' senior, Troy Area

Patrick Haigh, 6' 2", junior, Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic

Makhai Valentine, 6' 3", junior, Steel Valley

 

2nd Team

Zion Stanford, 6' 5", junior, West Catholic

Easton Fulmer, 6' 1", senior, Franklin

Justice Shoats, 6', senior, Holy Redeemer

Lucas Orchard, 6' 4", junior, Devon Prep

Kobe Magee, 6' 5", senior, Executive Education Academy Charter

Khalif Crawley Jr., 6' 8", senior, Math Civics and Sciences Charter

 

3rd Team

Bryce Epps, 5' 11", junior, South Allegheny

Adam "Budd" Clark, 5' 9", junior, West Catholic

Joseph Roth, 6' 5", senior, Ellwood City

Donovan Walker, 6' 1", junior, Aliquippa

Jacen Holloway, 6' 3", junior, Devon Prep

Shemar Wilbanks-Acqui, 6' 3", junior, West Catholic

 

Coach

Jason Fisher, Devon Prep

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