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Basketball notebook: Babincak surprised by 1,000th point

| Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 10:34 p.m.
Deer Lakes' Becca Babincak

Deer Lakes' Becca Babincak didn't know she was nearing 1,000 career points until she reached 998.

That's when her coach called timeout and told the senior guard. It happened Monday in the Deer Lakes girls basketball team's 44-27 win over Ford City.

Early in the fourth quarter, Babincak was told in the huddle that she needed two points for 1,000 — a rare feat at Deer Lakes.

She thought she needed around 50.

“My teammates were like, ‘What?' ” Babincak said. “And I said the same thing. The funny thing was, when got back on the court, we had a steal, and I scored on a two-on-one break. I think everyone in the gym knew except me.”

The milestone buzz around the gym that night apparently didn't make it to Babincak, who has 1,004 career points.

“We wanted to surprise her,” athletic director Chuck Bellisario said.

“I have to thank Danielle and Nichole Kearns for so many assists over the years,” Babincak said. “And players like Candace Scanga last year. They also see me and get me the ball.”

First-place showdown

Apollo-Ridge's boys (12-4, 4-2) will look to regain a share of first place in Section 1-AA when they visit section-leading Deer Lakes (11-5, 5-1) on Tuesday night.

Apollo-Ridge won the first meeting, 87-69, but Deer Lakes has won six of seven since, including four straight against section competition.

Kittanning (13-2, 6-2) will get another shot at Mars (13-3, 7-0) when the teams play Tuesday night at Kittanning in a Section 1-AAA clash. Mars pulled away to win the first matchup, 65-45, and hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season.

Remembering Smith

Leechburg continues to remember one of its own.

The school will have a “Blackout” event Thursday during its boys basketball game to honor the late Samantha Smith, who was killed in a car accident in 2011.

A former basketball player, she was 19.

Another former Leechburg player, Anne Brady, is raising money for a scholarship in Smith's name. Donations will be taken, and black T-shirts are being sold with the words “Sammi Smith Scholarship: Always in Our Hearts,” printed on them.

The shirts were worn at last Thursday's girls game at Leechburg.

Half-court shots and raffles also are part of the event.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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