North Star’s Andy Zuchelli has experienced a little bit of everything in his high school basketball career.
From being a part of a 5-17 team his freshman season, to leading the Cougars to a 24-3 record in his senior year, he has accomplished numerous, personal accolades, including breaking his school’s alltime scoring record.
Now, the Cougars’ point guard can add an All-County MVP honor to his growing list of achievements.
“It’s very special,” said Zuchelli about winning the award that is voted on by the Somerset County coaches. “I am blessed with my coaches and teammates. They pushed me to work hard every day, and it is awesome to see my hard work really pay off. This season was so much fun.”
Zuchelli, who helped the Cougars win back-to-back District 5 Class AA titles, said his mentality always centered around putting team success first.
“No, I wasn’t really thinking about it (winning MVP) at all,” Zuchelli said. “I was just focused on winning a district championship and going deep in the state playoffs.”
If not for the coronavirus pandemic that put a stop to the winter sports championships, North Star would have matched up against District 12 runner-up Constitution in the state quarterfinals.
Zuchelli averaged 26.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game in his final season, cementing a legacy and bringing North Star basketball back to relevance.
“Being a part of turning around the whole basketball program,” said Zuchelli on what he will remember most about his career. “Coach (Randy) Schrock knew when he got Hunter (Stevens), Drew (Lane), Luke (Schrock), Jon (Biery) and Noah (Pyles) and I that we were going to turn the program back to being a powerhouse and winning championships. Everyone bought into what coach said and he made us successful.”
Berlin’s Tanner Prosser was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Mountaineers to a 28-1 record, their first West-PAC title in school history and a District 5 championship.
“It’s nice to be recognized by fellow Somerset County coaches, who I have a lot of respect for,” said Prosser. “Whenever you win this award, it’s a credit to the program. A lot goes into making that happen, especially the commitment and effort put in by our players and assistant coaches.”
Berlin juniors Elijah Sechler and Will Spochart were both chosen as first-team selections.
“Will and Elijah were outstanding and got better as the season went on,” said Prosser about his backcourt tandem that combined to average over 36 points per game. “They complimented each other and were so unselfish all year.”
Berlin, after knocking off WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy, was slated to play District 7 No. 4 seed Bishop Canevin in the state quarterfinals before all scholastic sports were brought to a halt.
Turkeyfoot’s Tanner Colflesh and Shade’s Vince Fyock rounded out the first-team selections.
Colflesh, who reached 1,000 points for his career this season, averaged 38 points per game, which was good for first in Pennsylvania, according to MaxPreps.
The 6-foot-1 junior guard, who also averaged 7.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, posted 61 points in a playoff win over Northern Bedford, which broke a school record for most points scored in a game. Turkeyfoot was eliminated in the Class A semifinals by Berlin, before falling in the thirdplace consolation game.
Fyock, who went over the 1,000-point plateau for his career early in the season, averaged 20.6 points in 29 games for the Panthers, who advanced to at least the second round of the state playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The junior was the main protagonist in lifting Shade to a 25-4 record and a second place finish in both the conference and district.
NOTE: The all-county banquet was scheduled for March 25 at Hoss’s Steak & Seahouse but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. WQZS 93.3 Sports is the annual sponsor for the event.
2019-20 Somerset All-County Boys High
School Basketball Team
Andy Zuchelli, North Star; Elijah Sechler, Berlin; Will Spochart, Berlin; Vince Fyock, Shade; Tanner Colflesh, Turkeyfoot.
Hunter Stevens, North Star; Tyler Poznanski, Conemaugh Township; Keith Charney, Windber; Kaden Koleszarik, Shade; CJ Salsgiver, Shanksville.
MVP: Andy Zuchelli, North Star.
Coach of the Year: Tanner Prosser, Berlin.