All-Area boys basketball team
SHAMOKIN - Anthony Pennypacker wasn't the area leader in any one category this season.
That might have been, however, because he was too busy doing so much of everything.
Pennypacker, Lourdes Regional's 6-foot, 1-inch senior was a jack of all trades - he scored, he dished out, he defended and he rebounded - for a Red Raider team that was arguably the area's best.
For his contributions to a team that posted an area-best 18-7 record, won championships in both its own season-opening tournament and the Shamokin Knights of Columbus Tournament and came within one victory of advancing to the PIAA Class A state tournament, Pennypacker is the 2012-13 News-Item All-Area Player of the Year.
A first-team all-area selection as a junior, he is one of five repeat selections on the 2012-13 squad.
Joining him on the the first team are Lourdes senior teammate Zack Oquendo, Mount Carmel Area junior Ben Scicchitano, Line Mountain senior Cole Rickert, Southern Columbia senior Matt Klock and Shamokin Area junior Austin Stine.
Oquendo and Rickert were both second-team selections as juniors last season.
Comprising the second team are Lourdes junior Matt Savitski, Mount Carmel senior Elijah Duran, Line Mountain senior Bill Breinich, Southern Columbia sophomore Mike Klebon and North Schuylkill junior Jake Damiter.
Duran and Breinich are repeat selections.
Pennypacker's value to the team was apparent from the earliest games of the season. In the team's second game, a difficult 62-58 victory over New Hope Acadamy in the championship game of the Lourdes Tipoff Tournament, he scored a team-high 17 points. He scored in double figures in both games of the K of C Tournament when the Raiders topped nearby rivals Line Mountain in the opener and Shamokin Area in the championship game.
For the season, Pennypacker scored 12.8 points per game - first on the Lourdes team. He was third on the team in assists with 60, first in steals with 59, second in rebounding with 140 and second in shot blocks with 14. He also knocked down 19 3-pointers.
Oquendo played much bigger than his 6-foot height, leading the Red Raiders with 154 rebounds and 26 blocked shots. He was an effective scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game, and was equally effective in other areas, contributing 31 assists and 57 steals. He scored a season-high 33 points in a
victory over Meadowbrook Christian.
Jr., Mount Carmel
The 6-foot, 2-inch guard/forward was the Red Tornadoes leading scorer at 9.1 points per game. He pulled down 94 rebounds, dished out 40 assists and recorded 29 steals. He scored a season-high 18 points in a Heartland II victory over Hughesville.
Sr., Line Mountain
Averaging 14.4 points per game, Rickert played a huge role as the Eagles made an infrequent appearance in the District 4 playoffs. The 6-foot, 3-inch senior, who was also a talented quarterback on the football team, pulled down a team-high 212 rebounds, dished out 64 assists and recorded 84 steals.
Sr., Southern Columbia
Klock was an impact player for the Tigers, even though the team missed the District 4 postseason. He averaged an area-high 15.5 points per game pulled down a team-high 194 rebounds, dished out 24 assists, had 17 steals and 13 blocks.
Stine emerged as a potential game changer on a very young Shamokin Area team. He was the Indians' leading scorer at 10.3 points per game, leading rebounder with 177 (8.9 per game), handed out 37 assists and made 21 steals.
Second Team Matt Savitski
Savitski was the Red Raiders third-leading scorer at 11.4 points per game. He had 39 assists, 32 steals 75 rebounds and knocked down 38 3-pointers.
Sr., Mount Carmel
At 6-foot, 3-inches, Duran was the Red Tornadoes' presence in the middle. An outstanding defender, he often forced shooters to alter their shots. Duran scored 7.6 points per game, pulled down 127 rebounds and had 15 steals.
Sr., Line Mountain
Breinich was the Eagles' second-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. He pulled down 132 rebounds, had 25 assists and recorded 48 steals.
So., Southern Columbia
Klebon was the Tigers' second-leading scorer at 12.4 points per game. He dished out 61 assists, had 56 rebounds and made 70 steals.
Jr., North Schuylkill
Damiter tied for the Spartans' scoring lead at 10.7 points per game and was one of the area's top free throw shooters, hitting 88 of 123 at 72 percent.