By Rob todor
Four players who led their teams to a berth in the district championship game or an unbeaten season highlight the area selections to the Associated Press’ Northeast Inland District basketball team.
Seniors Jake Jacubec of Struthers and Emily Carlson of Lowellville, junior Sabrina Mangapora of Canfield and sophomore Peyton Aldridge of LaBrae were named player of the year by a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
Also, Gary Nagy of Jackson-Milton and LaBrae’s Chad Kiser were named coach of the year.
Jacubec was the area’s leading scorer, averaging 26.2 points per game. He was also among the area’s leaders in assists, averaging 4.5 per game.
Jacubec shot 61 percent from the field (119 of 196), including 41 percent on 3-pointers (61 of 140), and was 116 of 145 at the free-throw line (80 percent).
He led Struthers to a 16-4 record, the All-American Conference American Division championship and a berth in the Division II district championship game on Saturday against Poland.
Aldridge led LaBrae to a 20-0 record and the AAC National Division title. He averaged 14.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He made 56 percent of his shots (89 of 159) and was 59 of 79 at the foul line (74.7 percent).
Mangapora and Carlson led their teams to district championships.
Mangapora averaged 20.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for the Cardinals, who won the Div. II district championship. She shot 50.5 percent from the field (158 of 313) and 71.4 percent at the foul line (90 of 176).
Carlson averaged 14.5 points and 6.5 assists per game for Lowellville, which finished 18-2 and won the Div. IV district championship. She was one of three 1,000-point career scorers for the Rockets.
Nagy led Jackson-Milton to a 12-8 record and a share of the ITCL Tier Two championship, the program’s first league title in 44 years.
Kiser was named coach of the year for the second straight time, leading LaBrae to its unbeaten season.