West Shamokin's Orlosky leads East to win in girls Cager Classic
It's been quite a season for the West Shamokin girls basketball team and standout Andrea Orlosky.
The Wolves won the District 6 Class 3A title in their first season and made it to the PIAA semifinals before losing to Bishop Canevin on Tuesday.
To top it off, Orlosky was named East MVP on Saturday night in the 21st annual Cager Classic at Highlands after her team's 76-52 victory.
Orlosky, who will play at Pitt-Greensburg, scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists.
"It's awesome. It's a great feeling," Orlosky said. "To finish it here and get this (MVP) is just over the top for me."
Orlosky got her East team rolling with 10 points in the first half. After holding a 16-14 lead, the East rode a 21-13 surge to a 37-27 halftime lead.
"It's an amazing feeling because I know so many of these girls," Orlosky said. "It's interesting to see how far they've come and where they'll go."
Fox Chapel's Gabby Badway had 15 points, and Plum's Maria Lawhorne had 13 points and seven rebounds for the East, which won its fifth straight game in the event.
Even though second-year Highlands coach Drew Jonczak was on the losing end of Saturday's contest, he enjoyed the experience.
"This was very nice," Jonczak said. "This is the most relaxing coaching you do. Just to see the girls have fun. We didn't put many plays in or anything like that. I got to coach one more time with my daughter."
Golden Rams senior Ashlyn Jonczak had five points. Her teammates Nia Thomas and Nicole Boda had eight and seven points, respectively.
Hampton's Jenna Lafko took West MVP honors with eight points, six rebounds and three assists.
"It was a lot of fun," Lafko said. "A lot of girls I played against and played with over the years. It's fun to get together in a game like this."
The Talbots senior helped her team finish 23-4 and advance to the second round of the PIAA playoffs.
Her father, Joe, is the longtime Hampton boys coach and a WPIAL Hall of Famer, assisted Jonczak, giving him a chance to coach his daughter.
"It's weird trying to live up to my dad and brother (Joey) and what they've done," said Jenna, who remains undecided on her college choice. "I'm glad I've had my own success to share with them."
St. Joseph standout Lizzy Celko had 10 points for the West, and Freeport's Kim Mixon, the Valley News Dispatch Soccer Player of the Year in the fall, showed what she can do on the hardwood with seven rebounds.
But for Drew Jonczak, there's no rest in his effort to build a quality program at Highlands.
"I put in 60 hours with an in-house program," he said. "I'll put in another 100 hours in the summer. The girls all know me. We have fourth through sixth (grades) travelling team now."
George Guido is a freelance writer.