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Hoop all-star games held

March 31, 2013
By Paul Buriak (sports@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

JOHNSTOWN - The North and South all-star squads split a doubleheader Saturday afternoon in the sixth annual AmeriServ Senior Hoops Showcase at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.

In the opener, the South girls pulled away down the stretch to capture a 77-61 win, while in the nightcap, a huge fourth-quarter comeback helped the North boys rally from a double-digit deficit and come away with an exciting 115-109 win.

The South girls were in control of their contest for much of the first three quarters, as a 37-25 halftime advantage held up until consecutive three-pointers by Marlee Zubek of Forest Hills and Katie Bracken of Central Cambria in the final minute pulled the North within 58-52 heading into the fourth.

After a layup by Westmont's Erin Rodgers cut the North deficit to four early in the final period, the South subsequently put together a run of 10 unanswered points that changed the momentum for good. Ferndale's Elizabeth Chobany hit a 3-pointer, and Shanksville's Kayla Stockenus capped off the surge with consecutive layups that made it 72-56 in the South's favor with less than five minutes to play.

"This was a fun experience," said South coach Rachel Prosser of Berlin. "These girls have great attitudes, and they were able to play together and play very well."

Ligonier Valley's Maddy Grimm scored a game-high 18 points for the South and also pulled down eight rebounds to earn MVP honors. Chobany hit three 3-pointers and finished with 16, while Stockenus added 10 for the South.

"We didn't come out on top, but today was all about showcasing these great kids and their talent," said North coach Lance Hudak of Portage.

The North squad was also shorthanded, as Forest Hills standout Casey Gallaher was unable to suit up due to an injury. "Not having a 1,500-point scorer hurt us a little bit," Hudak said.

Rodgers led the North with 17 points, while Bracken finished with 13.

The boys' squads put on a show for the crowd with a fast-paced, free-wheeling contest that was in doubt until the final minute. Bishop Carroll's Scott Ranck put the North up 27-23 late in the first quarter before a 3-pointer from Conemaugh Township's Josh Burns and a layup by Shade's Wade Walker gave the South a 1-point edge heading into the second.

After the South scored the first eight points of the quarter to take its biggest lead of the half, 36-27, Isaac Vescovi of Cambria Heights and Adam Polites of Northern Cambria combined for the next 15 North points, including an 8-2 run that tied the game 42-42 at the 5:35 mark. Dalton Cesarz of Blacklick Valley later put the North up 48-44, but the South answered with 11 straight points, capped off by a Walker dunk, and that late surge helped the South go up by five at the break.

A tight third quarter ended when Conemaugh Township's Dillon Boyer buried a buzzer-beater from beyond NBA 3-point range to put the South ahead, 86-80. The South went up 97-86 on a 3-pointer by Shanksville's Carter Slade, but the North came roaring back with nine in a row, as Penn Cambria's A.J. Leahey hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two.

Brock Medva of Shade nailed a 3-pointer to make it 100-95, but the North responded with the run of the game. The North proceeded to reel off 15 consecutive points, as Polites and Cesarz combined for 10 during the spurt. The South rallied to within 112-109 in the final second,s but Cesarz's buzzer-beating 3-pointer eventually put an exclamation point on the comeback win.

Cesarz finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds to garner the MVP award.

"We just started to jell at the right time, and played together as a team," Cesarz said. Polites led all scorers with 25 points. "There was so much talent on both teams, it was ridiculous," Polites said. "I was glad to do what I could to help us come out on top."

Vescovi finished with 19 points and several crowd-pleasing dunks, while Johnstown's Phillip Madison added 11 and Ranck 10 for the North. "It was an honor to coach in this game," said North coach Dan Weber of Northern Cambria. "Regardless of the outcome, it was great to work with 12 of the best athletes in the area."

Boyer paced the South with 16 points, while Slade finished with 15. Burns added 14, while Somerset's Jake Close and Conemaugh Township's Jeremy Sotosky each scored 11.

GIRLS

South: Chobany 6 1-2 16, Gehlmann 3 0-0 6, Pfeil 1 0-0 2, Dona 1 2-2 5, L. Baer 1 0-0 3, C. Baer 0 0-0 0, Smith 2 4-4 9, Riley 1 0-0 2, Grimm 5 8-14 18, Hrbal 2 1-2 6, Stockenus 4 1-2 10. Totals: 26 17-26 77.

North: McCabe 1 0-0 2, Ramus 0 0-0 0, Cekada 3 0-0 6, Hody 2 0-0 5, Mulhern 1 0-0 3, Marsh 1 0-0 2, King-Brothers 0 2-4 2, Bracken 6 0-0 13, Zubek 3 0-0 7, Rodgers 7 2-3 17, Lamberson 1 1-2 4. Totals: 25 5-9 61.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

South16 21 21 19 - 77

North10 15 27 9 - 61

3-point field goals: South 8 (Chobany 3, Dona, L. Baer, Smith, Hrbal, Stockenus) North 6 (Hody, Mulhern, Bracken, Zubek, Rodgers, Lamberson)

Boys

South: Shertzer 3 0-0 6, Eisenhuth 1 0-0 2, Close 4 0-0 11, Barron 2 2-2 6, Walker 4 0-0 9, Slade 4 4-4 15, Medva 2 0-0 5, Boyer 6 2-2 16, Burns 5 2-4 14, Fyock 2 2-2 7, Sotosky 5 1-2 11, Fisher 3 1-1 7. Totals: 41 14-17 109.

North: Roberts 2 0-0 4, Madison 4 2-2 11, Fields 1 0-0 3, Cesarz 8 2-2 19, Sheesley 2 2-2 6, Ranck 5 0-0 10, Leahey 4 0-0 9, Behe 2 1-2 5, Vescovi 8 2-2 19, Bonatesta 1 0-0 2, Polites 11 2-3 25, Vliet 1 0-0 2. Totals: 49 11-13 115.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

South28 29 29 23 - 109

North27 25 28 35 - 115

3-point field goals: South 13 (Close 3, Walker, Slade 3, Medva, Boyer 2, Burns 2, Fyock) North 6 (Madison, Fields, Cesarz, Leahey, Vescovi, Polites)

 
 

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