Honorary captains selected

The honorary captains for the 14th annual Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic will be the one-time Blair County girls basketball career scoring leader and the driving force behind the success of the Central Blair Recreation Commission’s Mansion Park Summer Basketball League.

Lacey Claar, who graduated Claysburg-Kimmel High School in 2007 after setting the Blair County scoring record with 2,187 points, and Skip Dry, who has directed the Mansion Park league for more than 40 years, will be recognized between games Friday when the top seniors from Blair County take on the best from Central PA.

The girls game tips off at 6:30 p.m. with the boys to follow at 8:30.

Claar was the three-time Juniata Valley League player of the year and the Class A state player of the year in 2007 when she led the Lady Bulldogs to the PIAA semifinals.

She was a first-team Mirror all-star from 2005-07 and the player of the year in ’07.

Her all-time county scoring record surpassed Williamsburg’s Abby Hoy and marked the first Blair County girl to score 2,000 points.

The record has since been broken and is held by Karson Swogger, the former Bellwood-Antis standout now playing at Saint Francis.

Claar went from Claysburg to IUP and helped lead the Crimson Hawks to a pair of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships. She earned first-team PSAC honors in 2011.

When she graduated IUP, Claar owned the single-season record for 3-pointers made (74) and 3-point percentage (42.8) as well as the career record for 3-pointers (215), 3-point percentage (39.5) and free-throw percentage (81.5).

She scored 1,166 points at IUP and her 390 career assists rank third all-time.

Claar currently served as the varsity assistant and jayvee coach at Baldwin-Whitehall High School, near Pittsburgh, and she is employed by CS Trucking in business development.

She’s engaged to be married (fiance Dave) and resides in Bethel Park.

Mansion Park’s courts were torn down last summer, and the league is moving operations to a newly-constructed facility at Lakemont Park.

And while the venue, location and scenery will change, one thing that won’t change is the league’s leadership.

That will still be handled by Dry, who enters his 41st year as director of the league, which will now be known as The Lakemont Park Summer Basketball League

Dry, 70, is a Vietnam veteran who played in the league when it started in 1968 with eight teams.

He continues to officiate, and he and his staff juggle scheduling for the more than 50 teams that comprise the league.

Dry’s family — wife Diane, son Matt and daughter Courtney Lonsinger — assists his efforts.

“You can’t do it without the support of your family,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of referees who have been with me for a long time, and Clark Adelman has been a big help with the schedule and the referees.”

Neil Rudel, director of the Mirror Classic, said the honorary captains have added a sense of nostalgia to the Classic as well as providing deserving recognition.

“When we started, we were honoring four honorary captains and four honorary coaches per year,” he said. “That became a little difficult to sustain, but we like still having a vehicle to recognize players and contributors who have left their mark on the game — as both Lacey and Skip definitely have.”