Quinerly, Ulrich repeat as Hudson Reporter Players of Year

Mirabel tabbed as top boys’ coach; Best named top girls’ coach
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Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Player of the Year Amanda Ulrich of Secaucus
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Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Player of the Year Jahvon Quinerly of Hudson Catholic
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Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Player of the Year Amanda Ulrich of Secaucus
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Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Player of the Year Jahvon Quinerly of Hudson Catholic

The 2017-2018 high school basketball season was once again a very competitive and successful campaign for the Hudson County boys’ and girls’ teams.
Although a state champion was not crowned this season, there were several local teams that fared well in the NJSIAA state playoffs with some even advancing to their respective sectional championship games like the North Bergen and St. Peter’s Prep boys as well as the Lincoln and Secaucus girls.
Now that the season is officially over, it’s time for the 2017-2018 Hudson Reporter All-Area squads. The 15 boys and 15 girls who were named to the First, Second and Third Teams are all extremely talented individuals with some of them going on to play college basketball, with some even moving on to play on the NCAA Division I level.
Let’s start with the Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Basketball All-Area team.
There are two repeat honorees on the First Team, namely Luther Muhammad and Jahvon Quinerly of Hudson Catholic.
In fact, both the Ohio State-bound Muhammad and the Villanova-bound Quinerly earned First Team honors for the third straight year. Quinerly was a Third Team selection as a freshman in 2015, so it means that he earned a spot among the All-Area elite for four straight years, quite a rarity.
Two of this year’s First Team honorees, namely Tyrek Battle-Holley of Dickinson and Brandon Thiele of St. Peter’s Prep, moved up from a Second Team selection last year to First Team this year. Thiele is headed to the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall. Battle-Holley was the county’s leading scorer this season, averaging 21.2 points per game to also go along with nearly eight rebounds and four assists.
All four of the aforementioned seniors were 1,000-point scorers at their respective schools. Quinerly finished his brilliant career with 1,808 points. Muhammad had 1,620, Battle-Holley tallied 1,608 and Thiele ended with 1,040. That’s an outstanding quartet.
The fifth and final First Team honoree is Abdallah El Saleh of North Bergen, the lone junior among the First Team honorees who averaged 15.3 points and nine rebounds per game.
The Second Team selections include Louis King of Hudson Catholic, the McDonald’s All-American (along with teammate Quinerly), who made Second Team for a second straight year and probably would have been a First Teamer if not for a late season injury. Shayne Simon, the St. Peter’s Prep football star headed to Notre Dame, was a Second Team honoree this season after earning Third Team last year.
Versatile Donte Darby of Lincoln, Snyder’s Corey Manning-Floyd and Union City’s Isaac Aguiar round out the Second Team.
The Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Basketball Player of the Year should be no surprise, because he was also the recipient last season. Quinerly averaged 18.5 points, dished off for nearly six assists and grabbed nearly four rebounds per contest for the Hawks, who won the Hudson County Tournament for a record-setting seventh straight time and finished the season 21-5.
Quinerly was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the entire state of New Jersey for a second straight campaign.
The Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Basketball Coach of the Year is Alex Mirabel of St. Peter’s Prep, who took his Marauders to a 22-5 record, including reaching the Hudson County Tournament championship game for a third straight year and coming within one point on a controversial official’s call of winning the NJSIAA Non-Public A North title.
The Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Basketball All-Area First Team this year almost totally resembles last year’s honorees.
Amanda Ulrich and Lindsey Mack of Secaucus, Daniya Darby of Lincoln and Breyanna Frazier of Marist all repeated as First Team selections this season. It marked the third straight year that Frazier was selected to the First Team. Mack and Ulrich were Second Team honorees in 2016.
The fifth and final First Team honoree is Haylee Ramirez of Hudson Catholic, who was a Second Team selection last year.
The Second Team features Dickinson’s Jada Camacho, who was a Third Team honoree in 2016; Damaris Rodriguez of Secaucus, who repeated as a Second Team honoree; Nyasia Mixson of Hoboken, who moved up from Third Team a year ago; and newcomers Briana Lee of METS Charter and Alaisha Mumford of county champion Lincoln.
Zyearah Taylor-Gaston of Marist was a Third Team honoree this season. Previously, she was a Third Team honoree as a freshman in 2015 and a First Team selection in 2016 as a sophomore at St. Anthony. Gaston’s former teammate Inyesiah Surrell repeated this year as a Third Team honoree, but played this season for Hudson Catholic.
Hoboken’s Zoe Mattessich made Third Team for a second straight campaign.
The Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Basketball Player of the Year for a second straight year is Amanda Ulrich of Secaucus, who averaged 21.5 points, nearly eight rebounds, four assists and three steals per game for the 27-3 Patriots. Ulrich will begin her senior year next season with 1,613 points, taking dead aim at Andrea Innis’ all-time school scoring record. Innis is currently an assistant coach at Secaucus.
The Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Basketball Coach of the Year is Tom Best of Lincoln, who guided the Lions to a 23-3 record and the school’s first Hudson County Tournament title since 2014.
All in all, it was a great season on the hardwood for Hudson County. Now, it’s time to head outdoors for the spring seasons. – Jim Hague.