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Area basketball players gear up for Cager Classic

Submitted - Cager Classic, Natalie Merola, Cheswick Christian Academy
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Natalie Merola, Cheswick Christian Academy
Submitted - Cager Classic, Nichole Kearns, Deer Lakes
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Nichole Kearns, Deer Lakes
Submitted - Cager Classic, Jessica Aulicino, Freeport
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Jessica Aulicino, Freeport
Submitted - Sam Logan
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Sam Logan
Submitted - Cager Classic, Sara Pilarski, Hampton
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Sara Pilarski, Hampton
Submitted - Cager Classic, Nikki Misejka, Highlands
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Nikki Misejka, Highlands
Submitted - Cager Classic, Becca Babincak, Deer Lakes
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Becca Babincak, Deer Lakes
Submitted - Cager Classic, Brianna Intrieri, Hampton
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Brianna Intrieri, Hampton
Submitted - Cager Classic, Maddie Glamp, Springdale
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Maddie Glamp, Springdale
Submitted - Cager Classic, Heather Schrecengost, St. Joseph
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Heather Schrecengost, St. Joseph
Submitted - Cager Classic, Tersa Dallatore, Mars
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Tersa Dallatore, Mars
Submitted - Cager Classic, Danielle Kearns, Deer Lakes
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Danielle Kearns, Deer Lakes
Submitted - Cager Classic, Ange Borriello, Plum
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Ange Borriello, Plum
Submitted - Cager Classic, Beth Mort, Leechburg
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Beth Mort, Leechburg
Submitted - Cager Classic, Taylor Patterson, Kittanning
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Taylor Patterson, Kittanning
Submitted - Cager Classic, Rachel Ranii, Fox Chapel
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Rachel Ranii, Fox Chapel
Submitted - Cager Classic, Jill Glover, West Shamokin
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Jill Glover, West Shamokin
Submitted - Cager Classic, Tara Stolarski, Kiski Area
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Tara Stolarski, Kiski Area
Submitted - Cager Classic, Ashley Bruni, Riverview
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Ashley Bruni, Riverview
Submitted - Cager Classic, Alexa Yaksich, Fox Chapel
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Alexa Yaksich, Fox Chapel
Submitted - Cager Classic, Maddie Antone, Kiski Area
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Maddie Antone, Kiski Area
Submitted - Cager Classic, Kristea Smith, Valley
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Kristea Smith, Valley
Submitted - Cager Classic, Krista Klukan, Ford City
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Krista Klukan, Ford City
Submitted - Cager Classic, Tyler Knupp, Cheswick Christian Academy
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Tyler Knupp, Cheswick Christian Academy
Submitted - Cager Classic, Josh Goetz, Mars
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Josh Goetz, Mars
Submitted - Cager Classic, Matt Getsy, Mars
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Matt Getsy, Mars
Submitted - Cager Classic, Charlie Guy, Springdale
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Charlie Guy, Springdale
Submitted - Cager Classic, Anthonee Jones, Highlands
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Anthonee Jones, Highlands
Submitted - Cager Classic, Marc Vaughan, Knoch
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Marc Vaughan, Knoch
Submitted - Cager Classic, J.J. Kowalkowski, Deer Lakes
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, J.J. Kowalkowski, Deer Lakes
Submitted - Cager Classic, Tim Jaczesko, Deer Lakes
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Tim Jaczesko, Deer Lakes
Submitted - Cager Classic, Richard Ford, Hampton
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Richard Ford, Hampton
Submitted - Cager Classic, Brendan Lynch, Freeport
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Brendan Lynch, Freeport
Submitted - Cager Classic, Nate Huwar, Fox Chapel
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Nate Huwar, Fox Chapel
Submitted - Cager Classic, John Arcuri, St. Joseph
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, John Arcuri, St. Joseph
Submitted - Cager Classic, Dave Lattanzio, Ford City
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Dave Lattanzio, Ford City
Submitted - Cager Classic, Chris Swank, Leechburg
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Chris Swank, Leechburg
Submitted - Cager Classic, Nick Stone, Kiski Area
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Nick Stone, Kiski Area
Submitted - Cager Classic, Anthony Rocco, West Shamokin
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Anthony Rocco, West Shamokin
Submitted - Cager Classic, Griffin Myers, Plum
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Griffin Myers, Plum
Submitted - Cager Classic, Peter Spagnolo, Burrell
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Peter Spagnolo, Burrell
Submitted - Cager Classic, Adam Robison, Kiski Area
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Adam Robison, Kiski Area
Submitted - Cager Classic, Sam Gonsowski, Riverview
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Sam Gonsowski, Riverview
Submitted - Cager Classic, Josh Reynolds, Apollo-Ridge
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Josh Reynolds, Apollo-Ridge
Submitted - Cager Classic, Vince Mead, Kittanning
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Vince Mead, Kittanning
Submitted - Cager Classic, Sterling Henry, Kittanning
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Sterling Henry, Kittanning
Submitted - Cager Classic, Devin Whitman, Valley
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Cager Classic, Devin Whitman, Valley
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Beaver Falls' Danny Stratton pulls down a rebound between Lakeview's Casey Greggs (5) and Dalton Boggs during the fourth quarter of their PIAA Class AA quarterfinal Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Edinboro University.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Beaver Falls' Danny Stratton pulls down a rebound between Lakeview's Casey Greggs (5) and Dalton Boggs during the fourth quarter of their PIAA Class AA quarterfinal Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Edinboro University.

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17th Cager Classic All-Star games

• Saturday, Highlands High School

Schedule: Friday: Skills competition, 7 p.m.; Saturday: Girls game 6 p.m.; Boys 8. Doors will close at 5:45 for girls' player introductions.

Tickets: $6 adults; $4 students. Advance tickets available at B&J Sports, Natrona Heights, 724-226-2762.

Cager Classic rosters

West boys: Anthonee Jones (Highlands), Richard Ford (Hampton), Brendan Lynch (Freeport), Marc Vaughan (Knoch), John Arcuri (St. Joseph), Josh Goetz (Mars), Matt Getsy (Mars), Tim Jaczesko (Deer Lakes), J.J. Kowalkowski (Deer Lakes), Nate Huwar (Fox Chapel), Charlie Guy (Springdale) and Tyler Knupp (Cheswick Christian Academy).

West girls: Nikki Misejka (Highlands), Heather Screcengost (St. Joseph), Jessica Aulicino (Freeport), Sam Logan (Knoch), Brianna Intrieri (Hampton), Sara Pilarski (Hampton), Teresa Dallatore (Mars), Becca Babincak (Deer Lakes), Danielle Kearns (Deer Lakes), Nichole Kearns (Deer Lakes), Maddy Glamp (Springdale), Natalie Merola (Cheswick Christian Academy).

East boys: Nick Stone (Kiski Area), Adam Robison (Kiski Area), Devin Whitman (Valley), Pete Spagnolo (Burrell), Griffin Myers (Plum), Sam Gonsowski (Riverview), Sterling Henry (Kittanning), Vince Mead (Kittanning), Chris Swank (Leechburg), Dave Lattanzio (Ford City), Josh Reynolds (Apollo-Ridge), Anthony Rocco (West Shamokin).

East girls: Maddie Antone (Kiski Area), Tara Stolarski (Kiski Area), Kristea Smith (Valley), Ange Borriello (Plum), Ashley Bruni (Riverview), Taylor Patterson (Kittanning), Beth Mort (Leechburg), Alexa Yaksich (Fox Chapel), Rachel Ranii (Fox Chapel), Krista Klukan (Ford City), Sarah Bonelli (Apollo-Ridge), Jill Glover (West Shamokin).

Top high school sports
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 10:48 p.m.
 

A bow that ties just about every Alle-Kiski basketball season together, the Cager Classic is furnished with finality — in a good way.

For senior basketball players who get invited to take part in all-star weekend, the Cager represents one last game, performance and impression.

“It is a time when 20 area schools, their communities and families get together for what will probably be the last organized event of the student-athlete's high school basketball career,” Event organizer Tracy Edwards said. “And it's one last opportunity to see the local seniors play one more time with players they played against during their basketball careers.”

The 17th annual Cager games will be Saturday night at Highlands High School. The girls game begins at 6 p.m., with the boys immediately following.

“It's nice to be able to play again,” said Springdale forward Charlie Guy, who will play for the West team. “It's nice to get another game, whether it's with your teammates or not. I am not playing in college, so this will be my last organized game.”

Like Springdale's boys, the Kiski Area girls didn't make the WPIAL playoffs, so players from those teams are itching to play again.

They have been out of action since early February.

Kiski Area and East forward Maddie Antone is a three-sport standout who likely will play softball in college.

“I'm pretty excited; it's finally my turn to play in the Cager,” Antone said. “It's kind of weird because it's my last game. I'll be happy to get on the court again.”

Guy's West team includes three of the Alle-Kiski's top four scorers in St. Joseph Johnny Arcuri (25 ppg), Deer Lakes' Tim Jaczesko (23 ppg) and Freeport's Brendan Lynch (19 ppg), as well as SWCAC East MVP Tyler Knupp of Cheswick Christian Academy.

“I know John pretty well,” Guy said. “We've talked about the competition and having a good time.”

The East boys feature West Shamokin's Anthony Rocco (20 ppg), Kittanning's Sterling Henry (17 ppg) and Kiski Area's talented backcourt tandem of Nick Stone and Adam Robison. Arcuri, Rocco and Henry are 1,000-point scorers. Arcuri, Jaczesko and Rocco also have been picked for the Roundball Classic on April 20 at Geneva College.

West Shamokin is a new addition to the Cager.

“I was aware of the Cager Classic and have followed the highlights in the paper and on their website, but I have never gone to a game before,” said West Shamokin girls coach Judd McCullough, who will coach the East girls. “Everybody I talk to speaks very highly of the whole experience.”

West Shamokin's Mike Nagy will coach the East boys. Deer Lakes' first-year coach Jon McKay will coach the West boys.

Antone is looking forward to playing with Kiski Area and East teammate Tara Stolarski.

“She's one of my good friends, and it's great that one of my teammate will be there with me,” Antone said. “We didn't make playoffs and didn't have it all together this year. We didn't have enough time to develop with our new coach.”

If Antone has her way, she'll score a basket via Stolarski's help.

“She'll hit me in the post like old times,” Antone said.

West Shamokin standout forward Jill Glover (18 ppg) will join Antone on the East, providing a hard-to-beat post presence, while the West girls have Highlands' Nikki Misejka (18 ppg), Deer Lakes' Big 3 of Becca Babincak (18 ppg), Danielle Kearns and Nichole Kearns and Freeport's Jess Aulicino (15 ppg).

Antone, Glover and Babincak have more than 1,000 points for their careers.

Participants often refer to the Cager as “an experience.”

“The kids usually do not get the full effect of what the Cager Classic is about until they participate in the event,” Edwards said. “The response afterwards is the ‘big wow' factor; the kids and parents are so appreciative. The Cager Classic has sold out every year since its existence. With the positive reaction from the players, family members and the support of the various communities — that says it all.”

Last year's boys game saw records fall for most points by a team and player. The West put up 118, and Plum's Nolan Cressler, now a starting guard at Cornell, scored 38 points.

The boys teams broke the record for combined 3-pointers with 31. Fox Chapel's girls have produced a record 11 Cager MVPs (7 girls, 4 boys).

The annual skills competition will be 7 p.m. Friday.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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