Abington Friends, Jenkintown rewarded on All-State Class A team

Abington Friends School had a postseason run to remember.

Jenkintown won’t get the chance to see how it’s playoff push would have gone but the Drakes do finish with a zero in their loss column.

The PAISAA champion Kangaroos had a pair of players in senior Paige Mott and junior Zaniyyah Ross-Barnes honored on the PA Sportswriters’ Class A all-state team released Wednesday, while Jenkintown junior Carly Mulvaney made all-state and veteran coach Jim Romano was named Coach of the Year.

Released in conjunction with the Class 2A team to finish a week of all-state picks, Class A added three more to a pretty impressive local representation between the six PA classes.

Mott, a first team all-state selection, has been a starter for AFS since her freshman year and played 108 career games for the Kangaroos. An elite defensive post player, Mott also improved as an offensive player with each passing year and surpassed 1,000 career points this past season.

This past season, Mott posted a nightly double-double with a 12.5 points per game and 10.5 rebound per game average. A 6-foot forward, she added 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game on her way to first team Friends School League honors.

An ability to switch out to the perimeter and stay in front of guards as well as locking down the paint made Mott an appealing prospect at the next level and she has signed to continue her career at Northwestern.

Abington Friends School’s Zaniyyah Ross-Barnes drives to the hoop as William Penn Charter’s Hayley Hunt defends during the PAISAA championship at Montgomery County Community College. (Gene Walsh/For MediaNews Group)

Ross-Barnes, who earned third team all-state honors, didn’t take long to show she was ready for a breakout season, dropping 30 in the Kangaroos’ season-opening win. A 5-foot-11 forward, the junior has an extremely versatile game with a consistent outside shot but also the ability to sink the midrange jumper while getting to the basket and finishing or taking a trip to the foul line.

AFS had a small roster this past season, but Ross-Barnes more than did her share and led the ‘Roos with 14.2 ppg while helping out on the glass with 7.2 rebounds per game. A Friends School League first team all-star, Ross-Barnes scored a game-high 24 points in the PAISAA title game, capping a run where the No. 12 seed Kangaroos beat No. 5 Westtown, No. 1 Germantown Academy and No. 2 Penn Charter.

Jenkintown’s Carly Muluangy makes her way to the hoop to score during the second quarter. (Debby High/For MediaNews Group)

Jenkintown was chasing its second state title in the past three seasons before the COVID-19 virus put an end to its season. Prior to that, Mulvaney and her teammates had posted a 29-0 record and the junior guard/forward led the way with a 16.8 ppg average. A smooth outside shooter, the 5-foot-10 wing is also strong around the basket and shot 84.5 percent at the foul line.

All of that added up to a second team all-state pick for the junior, who also chipped in across the board with 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Mulvaney, who is closing in on 1,000 points, and the rest of Jenkintown’s roster should be back next season as the Drakes had no seniors on their roster.

The only coach in Jenkintown history, Romano earned his second state Coach of the Year honors in the past three seasons. Romano, who ended his 38th season at the helm for the Drakes, previously picked up the laurel after leading Jenkintown to its first state title in 2017-18.

He’s also the only coach in the history of the girls’ basketball program and has 685 career wins.

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