High School Basketball Notebook: Locals among WPIAL scoring leaders
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, 10:32 p.m.
A glance at the WPIAL boys basketball scoring leaders shows three local players in the top six.
Individual scoring has been up in the Valley in recent years, and this season is following suit.
St. Joseph senior John Arcuri is leading the league at 27.3 points per game, while Fox Chapel junior Matt D'Amico is third (25.4) and Deer Lakes senior Tim Jaczesko sixth (23.2).
Freeport senior Brendan Lynch also is in the top 20 at 21.3.
On Friday night, Arcuri, D'Amico and Lynch combined for 95 points and hit 45 of 54 free throws. Arcuri scored a career-high 41 points against Leechburg, three off of a school-record. He has 847 career points.
East Allegheny's boys basketball team, led by former Valley coach Vern Benson, scored 103 points against Ringgold.
The last local coach to lead a team to 100 points was Highlands' Shawn Bennis in 2011 when Highlands beat Valley, 101-83. That was the game in which star guard Micah Mason scored an A-K Valley-record 64 points.
Benson won 103 games while coaching at Valley for nine seasons. He was an assistant on Gateway's WPIAL championship team two years ago.
A couple of local basketball teams are aiming to break losing streaks.
The Leechburg girls have dropped 20 straight, while the Highlands boys are 0 for their last 17.
The longest current losing streaks in WPIAL basketball are held by the Western Beaver girls (48) and West Greene boys (22).
Mapletown's girls have lost 23 in a row.
Hopewell's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough recently became the 37th girls player in WPIAL basketball history to clear the 2,000-point mark for her career.
There still are only two local players on that list, and both are Ford City graduates, and cousins.
A-K all-time scoring leader Lizzie Suwala scored 2,266 points from 2002-05, while Kelly Morda tallied 2,020 from 1995-98.
Morda is an assistant coach at Riverview.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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