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The Sports Reports
A state title, an all-American honor, and three state medals. It was quite the season for Horseheads senior Cullin Cole. He headlines the Baker’s Dozen as The Sports Reports’ 2022-23 “Boys Athlete of the Winter.”

Cole won the 50-yard freestyle state title in 20.51 seconds. Then, in the 200-yard freestyle relay, he swam even faster as the lead-off leg, going 20.44 seconds to earn All-American honors in the 50 as well.

It was the first state title and All-American honor for a Horseheads swimmer since 1986.

Cole also won a fourth-place medal in the 100 free, and, was also part of a state-medal winning 400-yard freestyle relay team. Both the 200 and 400 free relay teams that Cole was a part of broke school records.

The 2022-23 Baker’s Dozen “Boys Athletes of the Winter”
Cullen Cole, senior, swimming, Horseheads:
See above.

Jerrell Sackett, senior, swimming, Waverly: Sackett led the Waverly 200-yard freestyle relay to a gold medal at the NY State Championships, swimming al All-American time in his leg. He won fourth-place medals in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races — after swimming the fastest times during prelims the day prior. He won seven state medals in two years.

Sackett not only lowered his own school records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle sprints on several occasions this season, but broke Mike Atanasoff’s school record in the 100-yard butterfly by more than a second. He won the breaststroke at the Section IV Championships.

Ousmane Duncanson, junior, wrestling, Tioga: Duncanson ran the table with a 37-0 record on the season to become just the third two-time champ in the storied history of the Tioga program.

During the postseason, Duncanson was 10-0 with eight pins and one technical fall. His closest match was an 8-1 win over Windsor’s Mason McCombs in the state semifinals. He was also 4-0 at the State Duals, including three first-period falls.

Duncanson and his teammate Caden Bellis shared The Sports Reports’ “Wrestler of the Year” honors.

Caden Bellis, junior, wrestling, Tioga: Bellis suffered a broken bone in his hand during his only loss of the season, a 14-5 setback against nationally-ranked Eligh Rivera, who went on to win a Prep national title, in the semifinals of the Southern Tier Memorial on Jan. 13.

After sitting out for 15 days, Bellis went 4-0, including three falls and a major decision at the State Duals, then went 10-0 in the individual postseason, with seven pins and a major decision. He finished the season at 33-1.

Jon Bangel, senior, basketball, Owego: Bangel was dominant on both ends of the floor, and was The Sports Reports’ “Boys Basketball Player of the Year.”

Bangel averaged 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game, while leading Owego to a Section IV, Class B title. He was named the Section IV, Class B “Player of the Year.”

Joey Tomasso, junior, basketball, Waverly: Tomasso averaged a school-record 30.9 points per game in a season that also saw him break the single-game scoring record with 49 points against Lansing in the IAC Large School championship game. He also set a school record with 649 points this season, and tied the school record with 17 made free throws in a game.

Tomasso shot 51.8 percent from the field, and knocked down 50 3-pointers this season. He also averaged 4.6 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game.

Donavan Smith, senior, wrestling, Elmira: Smith put together a dominant regular season, and finishes on the state podium with his second runner-up finish in as many years.

Smith finished the season with a 34-2 record and won a Section IV, Division 1 title.

Mason Higley, sophomore, wrestling, Towanda: Higley improved on his 21-14 freshman season, putting together a 40-9 mark this season. He finished second at the North Section Championships, third at the District 4 Championships, and third at the Northeast Regionals.

Higley went 1-2 at States, losing in the second round to eventual state champ Adam Waters of Faith Christian, and eventual third-place finisher Waylon Wehler of St. Mary’s in the consolation bracket.

Karson Dominick, junior, basketball, North Penn-Mansfield: Dominick averaged 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. He also topped the 1,000-point mark, and led the Tigers to an NTL title, the District finals, and into the PIAA playoffs.

Blake Morningstar, senior, basketball, Wyalusing: Morningstar averaged 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds this year. He also grabbed his 500th rebound and scored his 1,000th point.

Derek Litzelman, senior, basketball: NP-Liberty: Litzelman averaged 20 points per game, and  had 10 double-doubles and a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over Wyalusing this season. He also averaged 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.2 steal per game. He knocked down 62 3-pointers on the season, and ended just 13 points shy of the 1,000-point plateau.

Mason Lister, senior, basketball, Athens: Nearly unstoppable taking the ball to the bucket, Lister averaged 18.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 3.1 steals per game. He shot 51 percent from the field, including a 58-percent clip inside the 3-point arc, and made 83 free throws. He scored his 1,000th point this season, and grabbed his 600th rebound.

Evan Sickler, junior, basketball, Tioga: A slick scorer and quietly strong rebounder, Sickler averaged 22.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. He shot 48.2 percent from the field, including a 38.4 percent clip from behind the 3-point arc, and knocked down 58 3-pointers on the season.

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