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THE SPORTS REPORTS: CORNING HOOP STANDOUT BOYS 'NEWCOMER OF WINTER;' TIOGA COUNTY WELL-REPRESENTED IN BAKER'S DOZEN (2022-04-02)

The Sports Reports
One of the top scorers in Section IV in his first varsity season, Corning sophomore Isaiah Henderson headlines The Sports Reports’ 2021-22 “Boys Bakers Dozen Newcomers of the Winter” as the top newcomer.

Henderson is a 6-4 “walking mismatch,” who also happens to be one of the best shooters in Section IV.

Henderson scored 18.7 points a game this year, shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc, and 83 percent from the free throw line this year. He made almost three 3-pointers per game this year.

The sophomore was also The Sports Reports' All-Region boys’ basketball “Newcomer of the Year.”

2021-22 BOYS BAKER’S DOZEN NEWCOMERS OF THE WINTER:”
Isaiah Henderson, basketball, Corning: See above.

Kam Hills, wrestling, Waverly: Waverly freshman Kam Hills didn’t wrestle a match until after Christmas, but he made up for lost time, and ended up qualifying for States by winning a Section IV title in his first varsity season.

Hills missed the early season because he was busy dropping 60 pounds to make the 285-pound weight class. After a 3-3 start, Hills finished the season with a 22-8 record. In total, five of his losses came to state place-finishers, and two of the losses came to Marathon’s Logan Jamison, who lost in the blood round at Sates. (He also beat Jamison twice.)

Drew Macumber, wrestling, Tioga: Macumber was practicing with the basketball team, but decided to wrestle at the last minute. Three months later, Macumber qualified for States with a second-place finish at the Section IV Championships. On his way to a 20-9 record, Macumber won an IAC Championship, and the Section IV, Qualifier A title. Six of his nine loss came to state qualifiers.

Riley Vanderpool, wrestling, Towanda: Vanderpool was Towanda’s second best wrestler this season after Bryant Green. While he didn’t get as far as some freshmen, he had more wins than any other newcomer in the Region, posting a 36-8 record, while getting on the podium at both individual tournaments Towanda competed in during the season. He was a North Section champion at a tough 138-pound weight class, and finished seventh at districts.

Evan O’Hara, bowling, Owego: O’Hara, who had a 194 season average, recorded a season-high series of 678  and a high game of 258. He paced the Indians with a 664 series as they won the Section IV Class B tournament and his score was good for fourth place individually.

Michael Rennels, bowling, Horseheads: Rennells finished 33rd at the state qualifier with an average of 191. He had a high series of 612 and a 220 high game at the state qualifier. Rennells had a 195 average this season for the Blue Raiders.

Logan Bellis, wrestling, Tioga: In his first varsity season, Bellis racked up a 30-13 record, with second-places finishes at the IAC Championships, and Section IV, Qualifier A, and a fifth-place finish at the Section IV, Division 2 Championships. Nine of his 13 losses were to state qualifiers.

Gavin Fisher, basketball, Tioga: The 6-3 Fisher, who can score in the paint and from behind the 3-point arc, got better and better as the season progressed. He averaged 8.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

Ayaan Hunsinger, wrestling, Wyalusing: Hunsinger was able to get all the way to regionals in a tough 126-pound weight class, while during the regular season he went undefeated in NTL dual meet action for the Rams, including big wins against Canton, Troy and Athens. He was 22-12 on the season.

Rylee Sluyter, wrestling, Towanda: Sluyter was a North Section champion, and key component as a freshman in the lower weights. Against Wyalusing, he led the rallying charge to get to the win, and had a key victory over South Williamsport in the District IV Duals to send them to the top six. He was 21-13 on the season.

Brayden Pequignot, wrestling, NP-Liberty: Pequignot compiled a 20-14 record in his inaugural varsity season, including a third-place finish at the DKI Tournament. He qualified for the District IV Tournament with a third-place finish at the North Sectional.

Zeb Soper, basketball, Candor: Soper was an impact player for the Indians in his first season, averaging 7.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2 steals and 24 3-pointers. He was third on the team in rebounding, and second in 3-pointers.

NP-L foursome — Noah Shedden, Hunter Thompson, Kyle Davis & Devin Bradley, boys basketball: It’s not overly conventional to name a senior as an outstanding ‘newcomer,’ let alone four seniors, but North Penn-Liberty’s lineup was anything but ordinary this season. On paper, it appeared that Coach Brian Litzelman would be blessed to be starting a quartet of seniors. Look further down that paper though and one would see that those four seniors had accounted for exactly zero previous starts at the varsity level. The Mounties’ successes over the previous two seasons — two straight NTL titles and a District IV runner-up finish — forced these seniors to wait their turn. They exceeded most expectations by leading the Mounties to a 15-win season, a return trip to the District Finals and a State playoff game.

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