The all-Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' basketball first team.
Guard / Player of the Year
Ja'Quan Newton, Neumann-Goretti
Newton is a clutch scorer, strong rebounder, and fastbreak terror. In 31 appearances this season, he averaged 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2.2 steals. He also was terrific down the stretch for the Saints.
Sparked by the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior combination guard, who will continue his career at the University of Miami, Neumann-Goretti went 27-4, earned its fourth PIAA Class AAA state championship in five seasons, and claimed its sixth consecutive Catholic League title.
Few will forget Newton's performance in the state final against District 3's Susquehanna Township. A day after his mother, Lisa Brown, died following a lengthy battle with breast cancer, the Catholic League's most valuable player ignited a 64-57 triumph with a career-high 33 points, including five three-pointers.
Newton, who broke down on the bench as the final seconds ticked off, shot 11 for 19 from the field (5 for 9 from three-point range) and 6 for 8 from the line. He added a team-high eight rebounds, including three on offense, and two steals in 35 minutes.
"It's one of the most amazing things I've ever been a part of," Saints coach Carl Arrigale said afterward. "He handled it better than me. I don't know how I would have handled it if that happened to me when I was 18 years old."
In the Catholic League final against Roman Catholic, Newton delivered 14 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Saints (27-4) to a 53-48 victory at the Palestra.
Newton, who hit 42 three-pointers this season, became the Catholic League's all-time leading scorer. Closing with 1,972 career points, he surpassed the mark of 1,923 set in 2007 by Monsignor Bonner's Jeff Jones.
A resident of Southwest Philadelphia, Newton also totaled 587 rebounds and 313 assists in 121 career appearances.
Mikal Bridges, Great Valley
Leading the Patriots to a 22-3 record and their first overall Ches-Mont League championship, the 6-foot-7 senior swingman averaged 18.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals. Also a perimeter threat, he buried 32 three-pointers. Bridges, whose next stop is Villanova, closed his high school career with 1,340 points, 511 rebounds, 181 assists, 158 blocks, and 97 steals. In his 80 varsity appearances, Great Valley went 69-11 (.863 winning percentage).
Terry Larrier, Phelps School
The 6-foot-8, 200-pound senior averaged 21 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals. In the second round of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools tournament, he totaled 32 points and 12 rebounds in an 82-68 win over Academy of the New Church. Larrier, who is headed to Virginia Commonwealth, collected 30 points and 11 boards in a 79-76 nonleague victory over Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Mass.).
Rashann London, Roman Catholic
With London as the catalyst, the Cahillites went 23-6, won the Catholic League regular-season title, and defended their PIAA District 12 Class AAAA crown. The 6-foot-2 senior guard averaged 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2.5 assists. London, who netted 1,103 career points, produced in January a team-best 17 points in a 71-64 win over Neumann-Goretti at Philadelphia University. A first-team all-Catholic pick, he will play for Bruiser Flint at Drexel.
Jared Nickens, Westtown
The 6-foot-6 senior wing averaged 14.6 points, 4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1 steal in sparking the Moose to a 22-7 record and the Friends Schools League championship. In the league final against Academy of the New Church, Nickens registered 18 points, six boards, two assists, and two steals in a 65-39 romp. Nickens, a native of South Brunswick, N.J, spent two seasons at Westtown after transferring from national power St. Patrick and being reclassified. He is ticketed for Maryland.