The Blair Wins Project: County teams post first sweep since 2009

Queen reigns supreme with 20-20 effort

Mirror photos by Patrick Waksmunski Blair County’s Joey Smith of Central goes up for a shot against Central PA’s Mykell Smith.

Altoona’s Jayvion Queen will be playing football in college, but he spent his last afternoon on the basketball court dominating some of the best talent in the state.

Queen scored 24 points and pulled down 20 rebounds in Blair County’s 109-104 victory over Central PA in the 13th annual Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic Saturday at Penn State Altoona’s Adler Arena.

“It was really fun getting to play with some guys I never played with before,” Queen said. “It was a relaxed game, and we were doing whatever we wanted in a sense.”

Queen certainly seemed to be doing anything he wanted. The 6-foot-5 senior broke Penn Cambria graduate A.J. Leahey’s Mirror Classic rebounding record of 17 and was named Blair County’s outstanding player in a unanimous vote.

The Blair County win was the team’s second in a row by the exact same score. Central PA still leads the series, 9-4.

“I especially liked winning, because Blair County hasn’t fared so well in past years,” Queen said. “I didn’t even realize I had that many rebounds. It feels good to break the record but also get a win while doing it.”

Blair County coach Brock Anders leaned heavily on Queen in the fourth quarter.

“We knew just in our short practice Wednesday that we had somebody special,” Anders said. “We wanted to make sure at the start of the game we got him some rest, so we could have him down the stretch. He’s an amazing athlete.”

Hollidaysburg’s Ethan Haupt scored 19 points for Blair County and made four clutch free throws in the final two minutes.

“Feels great for Blair County to win two years in a row,” Haupt said. “I had some teammates on last year’s team, and it feels great to follow that up.”

Haupt said he didn’t mind firing up shot after shot, knowing Queen was under the basket.

“It was amazing,” Haupt said. “It seemed like every shot I missed, Jayvion just put it right back in.”

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic’s A.J. Labriola added 16 points, Central’s Joey Smith scored 12, and Tyrone’s Dylan Thomas chipped in with 11 points.

“It was a lot of fun,” Thomas said. “I have a lot of friends on this team I have played with for a long time. It was a great experience, and I’m glad we won.”

The Central PA boys got a team-high 21 points from Mount Union’s Mykell Smith. Johnstown’s Imil Britt and Richland’s Tyler Zimmerman each finished with 20 points. Central Cambria’s Luke Bennett added 10 points.

Zimmerman was picked as the Central PA outstanding player, but Britt led his team in fancy finishes at the basket, which earned him plenty of cheers from the large crowd.

“This was my first time ever playing in an all-star game,” Britt said. “I have been working out the past couple weeks, staying into basketball. I wanted to thank all my coaches, parents, family members and teammates. I just had a lot of fun.

“I loved putting on a show. That’s what an all-star game is all about.”

Purchase Line’s Melvin Sanchez hit a 3-pointer with 24.1 seconds left that trimmed Blair County’s once 11-point lead to one, but Haupt made a pair of free throws just seconds later.

Zimmerman’s 3-point attempt for Central PA bounced off the rim, and Bellwood-Antis’ Trent Walker made two free throws with 14.7 seconds left to set the final score.

“We had a group of motivated guys,” Anders said. “They wanted to win. We talked about Blair County being on the losing side of the record right now. Our staff and I put it in our heads that we were going to go out and win.”

CENTRAL PA (104): Britt 10-15 0-0 20, Price 2-7 1-2 5, Holsinger 1-5 0-0 2, Zimmerman 7-11 6-7 20, Sanchez 3-8 2-2 9, Lytle 1-3 0-0 2, Smith 10-13 1-1 21, Campbell 1-3 0-0 2, Bennett 4-7 0-0 10, Richardson 3-4 0-0 6, Dillow 3-8 1-2 7, Gooden 0-1 0-0 0. Totals — 45-85 11-14 104.

BLAIR COUNTY (109): Haupt 6-19 4-4 19, Knorr 3-4 1-2 8, Thomas 4-7 0-0 11, Walker 3-14 2-2 9, Queen 9-14 6-13 24, Labriola 6-10 0-0 16, Scaramozzino 1-4 1-2 3, Smith 5-11 2-2 12, Mitchell 1-4 2-2 4, Michelone 1-5 0-0 3, Crownover 0-8 0-0 0, Petucci 0-1 0-0 0. Totals — 39-101 17-27 109.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Central PA 23 23 28 30 — 104

Blair County 18 27 34 30 — 109

3-point goals: Central PA 3-27 (Bennett 2-4, Sanchez 1-3, Campbell 0-1, Holsinger 0-1, Smith 0-2, Lytle 0-2, Zimmerman 0-3, Britt 0-3, Price 0-4, Dillow 0-4); Blair County 13-45 (Labriola 4-9, Thomas 3-4, Haupt 3-12, Knorr 1-2, Michelone 1-2, Walker 1-7, Petucci 0-1, Mitchell 0-2, Scaramozzino 0-2, Crownover 0-4). Rebounds: Central PA 46 (Britt 8); Blair County 52 (Queen 20). Assists: Central PA 17 (Britt 4); Blair County 4 (Mitchell 3).

Officials: Clark Adelman, Jack McDougal, Curtis Miller.

COMMENTS