High school notebook: St. Joe's Arcuri makes points the hard way
St. Joseph's Johnny Arcuri isn't averse to bumps and bruises the mornings after games. He expects them by now.
After all, the senior guard and top scorer in the A-K Valley spends much of his time getting fouled — sometimes roughly — while driving to the basket.
Arcuri is being defended the hard way.
While seeing his share of box-and-1 defenses, he's has been to the foul line an average of 10 times per game. But he's made the most of his opportunities.
Consider: 35 percent of his points have come on free throws. He's made 87 of 100 attempts (87 percent).
“John has made a tremendous transformation since we first saw him play in his sophomore season,” coach Kelly Robinson said. “If you lay off him defensively he can hit the 3 with accuracy, and if you play him tight defensively, he'll blow by you and go hard to the hoop. He also has a knack to side-step defenders attempting to take a charge.”
And on the subject of points, Arcuri could get to a milestone once thought unreachable.
Although the achievement still is a long way off, Arcuri could become the ninth player in Robinson's 14-year tenure to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
Arcuri has 668 career points. St. Joseph plays 12 more regular-season games, plus any playoff games. If Arcuri continues to average 25 points per game, he could at least get to the upper 900s.
Highlands junior Allan Cratsenberg has left the basketball team and is planning a return to wrestling.
Cratsenberg said he will seek certification through the weigh-in process today and could join the team as early as Saturday for a tournament in Indiana.
Highlands is not competing in dual matches this season because of a shortage of wrestlers. Individuals, however, are competing in select tournaments.
“I have missed wrestling a lot,” Cratsenberg said. “Basketball was fun, but it's not my sport. I need to wrestle.”
Cratsenberg was 25-10 as a sophomore, placed fourth in the WPIAL and qualified for the PIAA championships at 195 pounds. He may compete at 220 pounds this season.
Kittanning's boys basketball team has streaked to a 10-0 start to earn the No. 5 spot in the Trib Total Media Class AAA rankings.
But the Wildcats will face arguably their toughest test of the season Friday when the travel to face No. 2 Mars (7-2).
Mars has an old-fashioned gymnasium in which crowds get an intimate setting to watch games.
“A big crowd at these kind of games, the knees get weak and the arms get short,” Kittanning coach Bill Henry said. “You hope that it doesn't happen Friday night. It's something people have been talking about for a little bit and now, here it comes, we have to be ready to go.”
The 22nd annual Valley Duals wrestling tournament will be Saturday at Valley High School.
Defending champion Valley along with Riverview, Summit Academy, Avonworth, Pine-Richland and Avella will compete.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.