Wednesday, December 21, 2011
All-State Stock Watch enters PA season with a bang
By Christopher Parish
Each week, we'll take an in-depth look at our preseason All-State basketball team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses. We'll feature a Prime-Time player (PTP), an Other Top Player (OTP) and an under the radar star who is making a bid to be one of the state's top players (UTR).
If you've got athletes you think we should mention in our All-State Stock Watch, hit me up on Twitter @CParishESPNHS.
It's the first stock watch of the season, and some players and teams are off to very good starts. Let's get to it.
PTP: Mike Zangari, Red Land, Senior
For a player like Mike Zangari, who plays a physical brand of basketball, fouls can be his biggest enemy. Sure enough, in a game against Palmyra on Tuesday, Zangari found himself watching his winless team from the bench for most of the second and third quarters after picking up early fouls. But when he finally returned to the game, it was his game for the taking. He finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, leading the team in both categories despite the missed time. And his fourth quarter heroics propelled Red Land to its first win of the year.
OTP: Nolan Cressler, Plum, Senior
Although it came in a loss, Nolan Cressler had reason to celebrate last week against Kiski Area. The senior scored his 1,000th career point in the contest and led all scorers in the game with 25 points, but Plum lost in a 52-47 game. Cressler is headed to Ivy League school Cornell after his senior campaign.
UTR: Jai Williams, Philadelphia Electrical, Senior
At 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, it's no surprise Jai Williams is a beast on the low block. But his near triple-double on Tuesday was impressive even for a player of his stature. Against Comm. Tech, Williams threw down 17 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks to help his team win a 68-63 contest. Williams has offers from La Salle and James Madison, but other schools might start taking notice if he starts dropping triple-doubles like this more often.