West Liberty Men Dominate All-WVIAC Honor Roll - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

West Liberty Men Dominate All-WVIAC Honor Roll

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It was déjà vu all over again for the West Virginia Conference men's basketball coaches this winter as West Liberty rolled to its fourth consecutive league title so it came as no surprise on Monday when the No. 3-ranked Hilltoppers dominated the 2013 All-WVIAC balloting.

Alex Falk was the 2013 WVIAC Player of the Year while head coach Jim Crutchfield set a league record with an unprecedented fourth straight WVIAC Coach of the Year Award, his fifth overall. Cedric Harris joined Falk as first-team All-WVIAC honorees while C.J. Hester was a second-team All-WVIAC pick and Seger Bonifant was named to the WVIAC All-Freshman Team.
Falk, a 6-3 senior guard from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, is West Liberty's third WVIAC Player of the Year – joining Spencer Johnson (1984) and Corey Pelle (2011) – and a repeat first-team All-WVIAC selection after leading the Hilltoppers to a sparkling 27-1 regular-season mark. The veteran backcourter has played in a school-record 128 games over the past four seasons with West Liberty posting a dazzling 120-8 (.938) record during that span.
Although he was the leading scorer (20.7 ppg.) on the nation's highest-scoring team, it was Falk's other skills that pushed him over the top. He also averaged more than 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game while his 87 steals led the WVIAC and ranked in the top 10 nationally. Having passed the 1,800-point career mark in his final year in Black and Gold, Falk shot nearly 50 percent (192-of-388, .495) from the floor and 82 percent (153-of-186, .823) from the foul line.
Crutchfield's fourth consecutive Coach of the Year honor recognized his efforts during one of the most dominant runs of success in WVIAC history. The first coach to win four straight league titles since Fairmont State's Joe Retton during the mid-1970s, Crutchfield has averaged more than 30 wins a season over that stretch while leading the Hilltoppers to an 85-3 (.966) record in league play.
Averaging 105.5 ppg., West Liberty has already clinched its seventh national scoring championship in the past eight seasons and has been ranked No. 1 in the nation at some point during each of the past three years. With a 234-44 record during his nine seasons on the hilltop, Crutchfield's career winning percentage of .842 is the highest of any active NCAA men's basketball coach.
Harris, a 6-0 junior guard from Zanesville, Ohio, was sidelined by injury late in the season but still ranked among the WVIAC's top 10 scorers at 17.8 ppg. He ranked second only to Falk with 2.54 steals per game and was also No. 2 in the WVIAC with a 2.10 assist/turnover ratio. Harris also ranked fifth in assists (5.2 apg.) and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.455).
Joining Falk and Harris on the All-WVIAC first-team are Terrell Lipkins of Charleston, Kurklin Bohanon of Alderson-Broaddus, Chad Moore of Shepherd, Nick Novak of Pitt-Johnstown, Ben Siefert of Wheeling Jesuit, Isaac Thornton of Fairmont State and West Virginia Wesleyan's Kelsey Williams.
Hester, honored earlier this month as one of only 15 NCAA Division II Academic All-Americans, moved up to second-team status after earning WVIAC Freshman of the Year laurels a week ago. The 6-4 sophomore wing from West Mifflin, Pa. averaged 12.1 ppg. and was the second-leading rebounder in the WVIAC with an average of 9.2 rpg. Having already surpassed the 500-rebound mark for his career, Hester set an ASRC arena record with 21 rebounds in a Feb. 18 win against Pitt-Johnstown.
Joining Hester on the second-team unit were Brendan Cooper, Isaiah Hill and Malik Stith of Fairmont State, D'Quan Lynch of Concord, Jamel Morris of Glenville State, Brantley Osborne of Shepherd and Concord's Damien Tunstalle.
Bonifant, a 6-7 guard from Berlin, Ohio, emerged as a lethal 3-point threat while averaging just shy of 10 points a game coming off the bench for the Hilltoppers. The rangy sharpshooter led the WVIAC and shattered WLU's single-season record for 3-point field goal percentage by draining 53-of-93 (.570) shots from behind the arc.
Rounding out the 2013 WVIAC All-Freshman Team were DJ Blanks of Glenville State, Noah Cottrill of West Virginia Wesleyan, Justin Fritts of Wheeling Jesuit and Charleston's Aleksandr Kesic. Fritts was tabbed as WVIAC Freshman of the Year.
The Hilltoppers received a bye through Tuesday's first round of the WVIAC Tournament and will make their post-season debut Thursday when they take on the Concord/Pitt-Johnstown winner in an 8:30 p.m. quarterfinal at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum.
2013 All-West Virginia Conference Teams
Player of the Year: Alex Falk, West Liberty
Freshman of the Year: Justin Fritts, Wheeling Jesuit
Coach of the Year: Jim Crutchfield, West Liberty
First Team
Kurklin Bohanon (Alderson-Broaddus, Sr., G, 6-3, Cleveland, Ohio)
Alex Falk (West Liberty, Sr., G, 6-3, Upper Sandusky, Ohio)
Cedric Harris (West Liberty, Jr., G, 6-0, Zanesville, Ohio)
Terrell Lipkins (Charleston, Jr., G, 6-0, Canton, Ohio)
Chad Moore (Shepherd, Sr., F, 6-5, Winchester, Va.)
Nick Novak (Pitt-Johnstown, Sr., G, 6-0, Murrysville, Pa.)
Ben Siefert (Wheeling Jesuit, Sr., G, 6-3, Reynoldsburg, Ohio)
Isaac Thornton (Fairmont State, Sr., G, 6-3, Martinsburg, W.Va.)
Kelsey Williams (W.Va. Wesleyan, Sr., F, 6-7, Sandusky, Ohio)
Second Team
Brendan Cooper (Fairmont State, Jr., F, 6-7, Parma, Ohio)
C.J. Hester (West Liberty, So., G, 6-4, West Mifflin, Pa.)
Isaiah Hill (Fairmont State, Sr., F, 6-9, Aylett, Va.)
D'Quan Lynch (Davis & Elkins, Sr., G, 5-10, Virginia Beach, Va.)
Jamel Morris (Glenville State, So., G, Gahanna, Ohio)
Brantley Osborne (Shepherd, Jr., G, 6-2, Sunbury, Pa.)
Malik Stith (Fairmont State, Sr., G, 5-11, Hempstead, N.Y.)
Damien Tunstalle (Concord, Sr., F, 6-4, Beckley, W.Va.)
Honorable Mention
Ashton Brown (Ohio Valley, Sr., G, 5-8, Buffalo, N.Y.)
Evan Faulkner (Charleston, Sr., G, 6-1, Sandyhook, Ky.)
Anton Hutchins (W.Va. State, Jr., G, 6-4, Lima, Ohio)
Max Kenyi (Seton Hill, Jr., G, 6-4, Rockville, Md.)
Malachi Leonard (Seton Hill, Jr., F, 6-7, York, Pa.)
Lamar Mallory (Glenville State, Jr., F, 6-7, Dayton, Ohio)
Jordan Miller (Pitt-Johnstown, Sr., G, 6-0, Vinco, Pa.)
All-Freshman Team
DJ Blanks (Glenville State, G, 6-3, Akron, Ohio)
Seger Bonifant (West Liberty, F, 6-7, Berlin, Ohio)
Noah Cottrill (W.Va. Wesleyan, G, 6-4, Logan, W.Va.)
Justin Fritts (Wheeling Jesuit, G, 6-1, Mentor, Ohio)
Aleksander Kesic (Charleston, F, 6-8, Belgrade, Serbia)