High School Sports

State College’s Kyla Irwin earns all-state honors

State College's Kyla Irwin (25) was named first-team All-State on Saturday.
State College's Kyla Irwin (25) was named first-team All-State on Saturday. knetzer@centredaily.com

Kyla Irwin capped her outstanding high school basketball career with one more honor Saturday.

The State College senior captured first-team Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State honors for the second straight year in a ballot of state media outlets.

The 6-foot-2 forward, who has a scholarship waiting for her to join the four-time defending national champion Connecticut Huskies, led the state’s Class AAAA players in scoring with 26.3 points per game, and also averaged 12.3 rebounds per game. She finished with school records of 2,032 points and 1,188 rebounds for her career.

The point total is second highest in Centre County history for a boy or girl.

“It’s such a huge honor to be recognized for first team,” said Irwin, who was a second-team selection as a sophomore. “Last year I was really happy, and this year it’s the same feeling, to be recognized among the top players in the state in our division.”

She also averaged 2.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.3 blocks per game this past season, and averaged 20.8 points and 12.4 rebounds per game for her four-year varsity career.

Irwin helped the Lady Little Lions to a 20-4 season, the District 6 title and a first-round appearance in the PIAA Championship tournament.

“She’s worked extremely hard for where she’s gotten,” said her coach at State College, and mother, Bethany Irwin. “It’s not always just during the high school season. She’s put her time into the offseason with everything with what she’s accomplished.”

Irwin will play her final high school game Saturday night, an all-star game in Harrisburg pitting players from Pennsylvania against girls from Maryland.

It’s been a thrilling week for the senior, who watched her future college program win its 11th national title, and fourth straight, on Tuesday night.

“It’s such a different feeling watching now — that’s my team,” said Irwin, who will enroll at UConn in late May. “In years past it was just watching another basketball game, but now I’m playing for this team. ... It’s just so crazy that the next game (they play) I’ll be in their uniform, I’ll be warming up with the team and hopefully playing and contributing. It’s such an insane realization.”

Irwin was one of six girls on the Class AAAA first team, headed by two-time Player of the Year Kelly Jekot of Cumberland Valley. The three-time state champion Eagles, a member of the Mid Penn Conference Commonwealth Division along with the Lady Little Lions, had three girls named to the three-team list. Ty Brown, of Harrisburg, also from the Mid Penn, was another first-team choice.

“Everywhere you go, it doesn’t matter, there’s no one specific area, Pennsylvania’s just loaded with great talent,” Kyla Irwin said. “It’s just spread throughout the state. It makes it a lot more interesting, and difficult, to play against those girls and find a way to beat those teams because of their talent.”

Gordon Brunskill: 814-231-4608, @gordoncdt

The 2015-16 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls Basketball teams, including each player's school, height, class and scoring average


First team

Tysha Brown, Harrisburg, 5-6, Sr., 20.6

Alayna Gribble, Norwin, 6-0, Sr. 20.0

Kyla Irwin, State College, 6-2, Sr., 26.3

Kelly Jekot, Cumberland Valley, 6-0, Sr., 21.3

Amanda Kalin, Pine-Richland, 5-7, Jr., 20.1

Mary Sheehan, Cardinal O'Hara, 5-11, Jr., 13.0

Second team

Sam Carangi, North Penn, 5-9., Jr., 10.1

Abby Gonzales, North Allegheny, 5-9, Sr., 12.2

Hannah Nihill, Cardinal O'Hara, 5-6, Jr., 11.5

Desiree Oliver, Penns Hills, 5-7., Jr., 18.5

Jaynelle Robinson, Williamsport, 6-3, Sr., 21.0

Jordan Vitelli, Central Bucks South, 5-7, Sr., 15.5

Paige Warfel, Downingtown East, 6-0, Sr., 20.8

Third team

K.T. Armstrong, Perkiomen Valley, 6-2., Sr., 15.9

Morgan Baughman, Cumberland Valley, 5-10, Sr., 9.9

Tessa Brugler, Nazareth, 6-1, Jr., 15.4

Courtney Dimoff, Red Lion, 5-10, Sr., 14.7

Jade Ely, Penn Hills, 5-10, Sr., 16.1

Katie Jekot, Cumberland Valley, 5-9, Jr., 10.5

Ellie Mack, Conestoga, 6-2, Sr., 17.5

Player of the year -- Kelly Jekot, Cumberland Valley

Coach of the year -- Spencer Stefko, North Allegheny


First team

Sarah Agnello, Erie Villa Maria, 5-10, Sr., 10.6

Jenay Faulkner, Greencastle-Antrim, 5-11, Jr., 19.0

Bailey Greenberg, Archbishop Wood, 5-11, Sr., 14.1

Kaley Kovac, Jim Thorpe, 5-11, So., 24.3

Devon Merritt, Berks Catholic, 6-2, Sr., 17.6

Anna Sweny, Erie Villa Maria, 5-6, Sr., 10.2

Second team

Emily Anderson, South Fayette, 6-4, Sr., 13.7

Erica DeCandido, Gwynedd Mercy, 5-10, Sr., 16.3

Kiki Jefferson, Lancaster Catholic, 5-11, Fr., 20.1

Jordy Kloster, Northeastern, 5-9., Sr., 17.3

Allison McGrath, South Park, 5-10., Sr., 18.1

Amber Renz, Danville, 6-1, Sr., 19.3

Maddie Ritsick, Crestwood, 5-11, Sr., 19.8

Third team

Courtney Cecere, Forest Hills, 5-9, Jr., 13.5

Mary Dunn, Washington Trinity, 6-2, Sr., 17.6

Sierra Kotchman, Washington Trinity, 5-7, Jr., 17.9

Jennifer Oduho, Erie Villa Maria, 5-11, Sr., 7.5

Maris Seto, Brownsville, 5-10, Sr., 24.0

Emily Shopene, Mercyhurst Prep, 5-6, Jr., 10.4

Zoe Zerman, Northern Lebanon, 5-9, Jr., 13.8

Player of the year -- Bailey Greenberg, Archbishop Wood

Coach of the year -- Mike McDonald, Archbishop Wood


First team

Bionca Dunham, Imhotep Charter, 6-2, Sr., 16.8

Alisha Kebbe, Neumann-Goretti, 5-10, Sr., 14.4

Karlee Krchnavi, Palisades, 6-0, Sr., 18.4

Rebecca Prociak, Holy Redeemer, 5-11, Sr., 24.5

Kamiah Smalls, Neumann-Goretti, 5-10, Sr., 12.6

Karson Swogger, Bellwood-Antis, 5-8, Jr., 27.9

Second team

Kayla Agentowicz, Lakeland, 5-8, Sr., 20.9

Kate Balhauf, York Catholic, 5-6, So., 21.6

Brooke Hinderliter, Redbank Valley, 5-8, Sr., 22.0

Maddie Martin, Dunmore, 5-7, Jr., 15.9

Natalie Myers, Burrell, 5-11, Sr., 22.5

Chyna Nixon, Neumann-Goretti, 5-11, Jr., 11.0

Haley Thomas, Bishop McCort, 5-10, Jr., 21.3

Third team

Sierra DaCosta, Imhotep Charter, 5-8, Sr., 12.0

LeeAnn Gibson, Karns City, 5-9, Sr., 16.8

Tiffany Lapotsky, North Schuylkill, 5-7, Sr., 18.2

Erin Lindhal, Germantown Academy, 5-9, Sr., 13.0

Abby Schoffstall, Minersville, 5-7, Jr., 14.8

Courtney Schrock, North Star, 5-4, Sr., 13.0

Leah Springer, Camp Hill, 6-0, Sr., 21.2

Player of the year -- Alisha Kebbe, Neumann-Goretti

Coach of the year -- Randy Schrock, North Star


First team

Sam Breen, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 6-1, Jr., 26.6

Lili Benzel, Bishop Guilfoyle, 5-8, Jr., 17.4

Keyen Green, Phil-Mont Christian, 6-1, Sr., 20.3

Cali Konek, Imani Christian, 5-4, Fr., 45.9

Gabbie Smith, Quigley Catholic, 6-1, Sr., 30.1

Mikayla Vaughn, Friends Central, 6-3, Jr., 15.0

Second team

Carmella Bickel, Lourdes Regional, 5-6, Jr., 16.7

Ali Hillson, North Penn-Mansfield, 5-7, Sr., 14.8

Iyanna McCurdy, Friends Central, 5-9, Sr., 14.7

Bronwyne Mellott, McConnellsburg, 5-11, Jr., 26.2

Tori Obenrader, North Clarion, 5-11, So., 16.4

Dayna Rouse, Ellis School, 6-0, Sr., 25.3

Emma Spinelli, Shade, 5-4, Sr., 19.2

Third team

Rena Enterline, Blairsville, 5-7, So., 22.0

Tracey Goodman, Phil-Mont Christian, 6-2, Sr., 15.5

Lexi Griggs, Vincentian, 5-11, Sr., 13.6

Alyssa Martinazzi, Bishop Carroll, 5-9, So., 13.9

Siana McNeil, Delco Christian, 5-11, Sr., 17.0

Courtney Redcross, Shipley, 5-11, Sr., 10.3

Chelsea Repard, North Penn-Liberty, 5-8, Sr., 17.8

Player of the year -- Sam Breen, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic

Coach of the year -- Molly Rottmann, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic