Basketball

Labriola twins share bond, Mirror Classic roster spot

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic senior A.J. Labriola will be walking on to the Saint Francis men’s basketball team next year. Walking on to any Division I program is extremely hard, but it’s something A.J. has been preparing for his whole life. After all, he’s been in a competition with his ...

Fierce foes working together on same team

One of the most interesting dynamics of the Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic is always seeing how players who were bitter rivals during the season mesh as teammates. The last time Johnstown’s Imil Britt and Huntingdon’s Jonathan Price were at Penn State Altoona’s Adler Arena, the ...

Blair boys relish underdog role

Central PA holds a 17-7 advantage between the boys and girls competition heading into the 13th year of the Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic. The Central PA girls are 8-4 and the boys are 9-3, but for some Blair County All-Stars like Central’s Joey Smith, that’s just the way he likes ...

Heights retaining embattled coach

PATTON — After a petition was submitted by parents of current Cambria Heights High School varsity basketball players pleading for the district’s current basketball coach to be replaced, the school board ultimately voted to retain Eric Nagel for the 2018-19 season. In the petition, parents ...

Oh, so close

HERSHEY — When Sydney Reed drilled her second straight 3-pointer to give Juniata Valley a nine-point lead with 3:48 to play in the PIAA Class 1A girls basketball championship game Tuesday afternoon, the Giant Center and the entire Lady Hornet bench rose to their feet. A Jenkintown timeout ...

Lady Hornet seniors go out as winners in defeat

HERSHEY — The heartbreak in Hershey’s Giant Center on Tuesday was real. There wasn’t one person wearing green in the building who did not believe Juniata Valley was on its way to winning the PIAA Class 1A girls basketball state championship after it took a nine-point lead with less than ...

Lady Drakes thrive beyond 3-point arc

HERSHEY — Jenkintown coach Jim Romano has been coaching for 36 years. He’s always been a fan of post play, but, with this year’s team, he’s acknowledged the 3-point fever that’s hit basketball courts all over America has helped his squad. Tuesday one 3-pointer in particular gave ...

Lady Blue Devils capture first state crown

HERSHEY — Bellwood-Antis’ starting five displayed no signs of fatigue as they hugged family members, took turns hoisting the PIAA Class 2A championship trophy and screamed at the top of their lungs. Perhaps it was the adrenaline from the school’s first girls basketball state title, but ...

Talk of the tournament: Campbell lives up to billing for Bellwood-Antis

HERSHEY — Hershey’s Giant Center was buzzing with a common theme around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. Bellwood-Antis sophomore Alli Campbell is extremely talented. From media row to West Catholic fans that traveled from Philadelphia and even an on-looking security guard, everyone was talking ...

Valley has ‘unfinished business’

When Juniata Valley coach Rachelle Hopsicker got the opportunity to see Jenkintown play in person, the sentiment that stuck with her the most was how similar the Lady Drakes are to her own Lady Hornets. “They are very disciplined, similar to us and play good basketball,” Hopsicker said. ...

PIAA basketball preview capsule

PIAA Class 1A girls final Jenkintown (1-1) vs. Juniata Valley (6-1) Teams: Juniata Valley Lady Hornets (26-3); Jenkintown Lady Drakes (30-1) Site, time: Giant Center, Hershey, noon today. TV: PCN. The coaches: Juniata Valley — Rachelle Hopsicker (122-53, seven years). Jenkintown — ...

Leidig delivers clutch free throw to help seal win

HERSHEY — Bellwood-Antis sophomore Emilie Leidig scored just one point during the second half of Monday’s PIAA Class 2A championship game, but it certainly was a huge one. After missing three consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter, Leidig’s fourth attempt hit nothing but the net ...

West girls win D5 All-Star game

NEW PARIS — The annual Nationwide District 5 Athletic Directors Association All-Star basketball games were played at Chestnut Ridge High School on Monday night, and the two games could not have been any more different. On the girls side, the West took a late lead to capture the ...

B-A girls one win away from first-ever title

By Michael Boytim mboytim@altoonamirror.com Bellwood-Antis will be attempting to win its first PIAA basketball championship today when its girls team takes on Philadelphia’s West Catholic in the Class 2A title game at Hershey’s Giant Center at noon. “This means everything to my ...

PIAA Girls Basketball Capsule

TODAY Class 2A championship West Catholic (12-1) vs. Bellwood-Antis (6-3) Teams: Bellwood-Antis Lady Blue Devils (27-3); West Catholic Lady Burrs (16-12). Site, time: Giant Center, Hershey, noon. TV: PCN. The coaches: Bellwood-Antis — Jim Swaney (184-32 in eight years at ...

Richland moves to PIAA final

CHAMBERSBURG — Tyler Zimmerman buried a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Richland over Lancaster Mennonite, 54-52, in the PIAA Class 3A boys basketball semifinals on Saturday at Chambersburg Area High School. Richland plays Neumann-Goretti in the title game in Hershey at 2 p.m. ...

B-A, JV girls will wait to play for state championship

By Michael Boytim mboytim@altoonamirror.com Juniata Valley girls basketball coach Rachelle Hopsicker had just finished her team’s hotel reservations for the Lady Hornets’ trip to the PIAA state championships in Hershey when she got word Wednesday morning that everything had ...

Back to back

There was a winter storm going on outside the Altoona Fieldhouse Tuesday night, while inside, at the PIAA Girls 1A semifinal matchup between Juniata Valley and Bishop Carroll, there was the perfect storm taking place for the Lady Hornets. “I didn’t think we would win by this much, but we ...

Boytim: Lady Hornets have gained seasoning

Juniata Valley took on Bishop Carroll Catholic for the fourth time in two years Tuesday at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, but this final matchup certainly did not resemble the first more than a year ago. In that game, a young Lady Hornet squad without much playoff experience jumped ...

Lady Blue Devils earn trip to Hershey

LORETTO — Alli Campbell cringed and shook her head. The Bellwood-Antis star sophomore had just shot an air ball seconds into a possession with her team down by seven and Blairsville in complete control of the teams’ PIAA Class 2A semifinal game at Saint Francis University’s DeGol ...