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Gateway grads to meet on college court

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Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Wheeling Jesuit and Clarion women's basketball teams will meet Saturday for a nonconference game on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University.

It is the host Cardinals' seventh game of the season, while the Golden Eagles will take to the court for the sixth time.

But for recent Gateway graduates and former Gators teammates Maria Taylor and Chelsea Richardson, the game has an even bigger meaning.

It will mark the first time Taylor (Clarion) will go up against Richardson (Wheeling Jesuit) after years of wearing the same uniform and helping Gateway capture three straight section championships.

The Gators made it to the WPIAL semifinals and qualified for states last year in their final high school season together.

“They are excited and looking forward to Saturday's game,” Gateway head coach Cornelius Nesbit said.

“It's great to see the journey from where they started to where they are now. It's a great thing for Lady Gators basketball.”

Wheeling Jesuit is 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the Mountain East Athletic Conference.

Richardson has been waiting her turn to get into games this season. She has seen action in one game so far.

Taylor has seen action in all five games and has 14 points and nine rebounds for a Clarion team that is 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

“Both Chelsea and Maria came back during Thanksgiving break and talked to the girls about college life and how they are balancing classes, studying and responsibilities with basketball,” Nesbit said.

“It is great when they can come back like that. We have some girls on this year's team that want to and can play at the college level.”

This is the second time this season two former Gateway basketball players meet in action on the hardwood.

Gators grads Devon Cottrell and Mike Kromka represented IUP and Clarion, respectively, in a PSAC game on Nov. 23.

Cottrell and the Crimson Hawks defeated Kromka and the Golden Eagles, 68-47.

Cottrell had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to go with three blocks.

Kromka had a team-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds and two blocks in a losing effort for Clarion.

Cottrell and Kromka meet again Feb. 1.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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