ShareThis Page

Surprise, surprise: Mason prevails

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Saturday, March 24, 2012

It may have been bigger news had Micah Mason not won the 3-point contest at the Cager Classic skills competition.

But Mason, the WPIAL's all-time leader in 3-pointers, didn't disappoint Friday night, cruising to the title while adding a victory in the individual hot shot contest during the prelude event to tonight's all-star games at Highlands.

Mason, Highlands' all-time leading scorer who will play at Drake next year, made 27 of 40 3s and hit five two-point "money balls" in the contest. How nervous was the smooth-shooting point guard to produce on his home court?

"Very," he said. "A lot of people were trying to get in my head and joking with me about winning. I wanted to win, but it wasn't the end of the world if I didn't."

Mason, representing the West team, scored 52 points in the first round of the hot shot, a contest where players shoot from eight circles with differing point values, and blazed to 55 in the final to edge Valley's Tom Weremeychik of the East.

Mason also reached the final of the co-ed hot shot with Mars teammate Randi Francis, but they lost to Burrell's Kyle Legters and Kiski Area's Makenzie Zidek, also a double winner.

"I wish I would have shot more 8-pointers," Mason said. "You don't really have a strategy going in."

Alternating shots and rebounding for each other, Legters and Zidek had 49 points in the final to clip Mason and Francis by three. Zidek won the girls individual hot shot, topping St. Joseph's Shayna Panchik in the final. Zidek made three straight 8-pointers to secure the win.

Legters and Zidek also posted second-place finishes in the 3-point contests. Deer Lakes' Emily Casello found a rhythm in the girls 3-point contest, scoring 13 points in the final after 10 in the first.

"A lot of the better shooters were here," said Casello, who is playing for the West. "I didn't expect to go out and win. "You have to just get set and try and shoot like you can."

Riverview's Corey Bickert, rehabbing a knee injury, participated in the 3-point and individual hot-shot contests. His scores didn't count, but he made several shots, essentially pushing off one leg. He remains on crutches after ACL surgery.

"I wanted to shoot," he said. "You weren't going to keep me down. If I was healthy, I'd have given (Mason) a run for his money."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.