Here are this week's high school boys’ basketball Players of the Week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. No player will be chosen more than once during a season.
(After games of Sunday, March 12)
Quenton DeCosey, St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.)
The 6-foot-5 senior guard scored 30 points and collected eight rebounds as St. Joseph won its first state championship with a 77-68 victory over Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) in the Non-Public A Tournament finals. It was the 28th straight victory for St. Joseph, which will play in the Tournament of Champions this week. DeCosey, who is headed to Temple, boosted his career totals to 1,592 points and 702 rebounds in 85 games. St. Joseph had advanced to the state group finals three previous times but lost all three to Seton Hall Prep.
Tony Parker, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
The 6-foot-9 senior center stamped himself as one of the greatest prep players in Georgia history after leading the Wolverines past Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.) 63-57 in the Class AAAA state championship. Parker scored 22 points to go with 12 rebounds and four blocks. What puts Parker among the state’s best ever is being a key starter for four straight state title-winning teams. He is the No. 21 player in the ESPNU 100 and is undeclared for college. He has made visits to UCLA, Duke, Ohio State and Kansas. Miller Grove finished 24-9 with almost all of the losses coming early in the season to nationally ranked teams.
Dan Monteroso, St. Clairsville (Ohio)
The 6-foot-2 left-handed junior guard led the Red Devils to their first-ever Ohio regional tournament title with a 70-53 victory over state-ranked East Liverpool (Ohio) in the Division II district finals. Monteroso, a three-year regular in basketball and football as a wide receiver, scored a game-high 29 points, including 15 in the first quarter, as his 21-2 team advanced to play Chillicothe (Ohio). Monteroso, who was coming off a 40-point outburst in a 67-54 district tournament win over Carrollton (Ohio), also surpassed the 1,600-point career mark and is nearing the school record of 1,661 points set in 1958 with a year left to play. Monteroso is averaging 26 points, nine rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season.
Akoy Agau, Omaha Central (Omaha, Neb.)
Notching a triple-double in a state final isn’t easy, but the 6-foot-9 junior center got one and it was the main reason why his team finished 30-0. In leading the Eagles past Omaha South 55-38 for the Class A state crown, Agau dominated the paint with 16 points, 14 blocks and 13 rebounds. It was the third straight state final in which Agau has made his presence known and he now has 30 blocks in those games. For the season, he only averaged 11.6 points per game but didn’t have to score that much for a team that will go down as one of the best in Nebraska history. Agau is the son of refugees from Sudan and will be one of the most inspirational players ESPNHS will follow through the 2013 season.
Cullen Neal, Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
The 6-foot-4 junior guard poured in 34 points to lead his team over La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the Class 5A state final before 11,000 fans at University of New Mexico’s The Pit. Neal, who averaged 27.3 points per game during the season, was more than matched individually during the shootout by junior guard Bryce Alford’s 38 points. The two players are close friends because Alford’s father, Steve, is the head coach at the University of New Mexico while Cullen’s father, Craig, is an assistant coach for the Lobos. Neal has committed to St. Mary’s (Calif.), choosing the mid-major powerhouse Gaels over several BCS conference schools, including Oregon State and Arizona State.