NEPA Elite Coyle 17U alum Jason Shields and Christian Fermin, who played for the AAU club out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton earlier in his career, were among those honored when Pennsylvania Sports Writers completed their all-state basketball process Sunday with the announcement of the Class 6A team.
In all, a dozen players from the program – two current, nine who played at least last season and Fermin from the first teams in 2020 – were named all-state for their performances in the 2021-22 high school season.
Shields, a senior from Scranton High School, was named to the second team. He committed Friday to a full National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II basketball scholarship from Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Fermin, a senior from Pocono Mountain West, made the first team. He has signed a Letter of Intent with Division I Virginia Commonwealth University.
With Shields leading the way, Scranton repeated its Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional titles and advanced to the PIAA state quarterfinals before ending its season with a 23-3 record.
Shields averaged 21.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 3-pointers. He set school records with 10 made 3-pointers and 43 points in a subregional semifinal rout of Wilkes-Barre Area.
The 6-foot-10 Fermin averaged 21.7 points, 14.5 rebounds, 4.8 blocked shots and 1.5 assists in his final high school season. He shot 60 percent inside the arc and 32 percent while making 23 of his 3-point attempts.
Fermin, the unanimous Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Most Valuable Player, scored 1,021 points in two full seasons and a junior season shortened to 10 games because of the pandemic.
Among Fermin’s highlights was a 21-for-25 shooting night for a school-record 43 points against rival Pocono Mountain East and two triple-doubles, one of them 25 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks against Emmaus.
A second-team, all-state selection in 2020-21, Fermin led Pocono Mountain West to a 21-7 season, the District 11 Class 6A championship game and the state tournament.
Another Pocono Mountain West athlete is among the current NEPA Elite players to make all-state. Vatijah Davis, a junior who plays on the Clark 17U girls team, is a second-teamer choice to the Class 6A team.
Joe Macciocco, an Old Forge junior who plays on the Cooper 16U team, made the third team in Class 3A.
Shields, Austin Finarelli and Justice Shoats, teammates on the 2021 NEPA Elite Coyle 17U squad, all closed out their high school careers by earning all-state honors for the first time. Each made the second team, with Finarelli from Dallas making it in Class 4A and Shoats from Holy Redeemer making it in Class 3A.
“It shows how hard they worked to put themselves a great position,” NEPA Elite coach Brian Coyle said, “not only playing AAU against some of the best players in the country, but the behind-the-scenes stuff with the weightlifting, the drills and the extra time in the gym.”
Six girls from last season’s Clark 17U team that won the Hoop Group Showcase League championship were named all-state last week along with Davis.
Four of them repeated on the first team.
Dunmore’s Moriah Murray made the first team for the fourth time while Ciera Toomey, a junior with the Lady Bucks, received all-state recognition for the third time. They made it in Class 4A.
Riverside’s Kylie Lavelle made the Class 3A first team for the third time.
Kaci Kranson from Holy Cross made the Class 2A first time for the second time.
The newcomers to all-state honors were Western Wayne’s Kaeli Romanowski, who made the second team in Class 3A, and Jim Thorpe’s Olivia Smelas, who made the third team in Class 4A.
More detailed all-state coverage, including the most recent story with quotes from Shields, are available at www.NEPABasketball.com.
MORE ALL-STATE COVERAGE
Shields story: https://nepabasketball.com/2021-22/All-Stars/AllStateBoys6A.
Class 6A boys: https://nepabasketball.com/2021-22/All-Stars/AllState6ABoysSide.
Class 5A boys: https://nepabasketball.com/2021-22/All-Stars/AllStateClass5ABoys.
Finarelli story: https://nepabasketball.com/2021-22/All-Stars/AllStateBoysClass4A.
Macciocco story: https://nepabasketball.com/2021-22/All-Stars/AllStateBoysClass2A.
Non-PIAA boys: https://nepabasketball.com/2021-22/All-Stars/AllStateBoysNonPIAA.