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Deer Lakes' Jaczesko, Burrell's Bordonaro named Valley News Dispatch players of the year

| Sunday, April 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Erica Hilliard | Tribune-Review
Ford City's Noah Wulph attempts to block Deer Lakes' Tim Jaczesko during their game Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, at Deer Lakes High School.
Erica Hilliard | Tribune-Review
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro attempts to score past Bellwood-Antis' Ana Hollen during their playoff game Friday, March 8, 2013, at Plum High School.
Matt D'Amico, Fox Chapel basketball
Mallory Heinle, St. Joseph
Plum's Krista Pietropola
Steven Dietz-contributing photographer
VND Basketball Allstars-DSt Joseph's John Arcuri. Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch
Steven Dietz-contributing photographer
VND Basketball Allstars-Freeport's Brendan Lynch. Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch
Steven Dietz-contributing photographer
VND Basketball Allstars-Kittanning's Sterling Henry. Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch
Steven Dietz-contributing photographer
VND Basketball Allstars-Kiski Area'a Nick Stone. Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch
Steven Dietz-contributing photographer
VND Basketball Allstars-Deer Lakes Becca Babincak. Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch
Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch
Kiski Area's Maddie Antone.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias is a member of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2013 Terrific 10.


Tim Jaczesko

Deer Lakes

5-11, Sr., Guard

“Timmy J” wasn't about to let a little cut above his eye interfere with his section title.

Deer Lakes senior guard Tim Jaczesko hit his head on the court while diving for a loose ball against West Shamokin and a trainer bandaged the gash.

The wild night included a fierce comeback and a post-game visit to the hospital. Twenty-six points and six stitches later, Jaczesko had led Deer Lakes (16-7) to a win that clinched its first section title since 1992.

“I had to keep wiping the blood off so I didn't get taken out,” Jaczesko said. “It didn't hurt as bad since we won that game. But now, every time I see the scar above my eye I think of that game and how awesome it was.”

Jaczesko, who missed all of his junior season with a leg injury, rebounded to average 23 points, four assists, four steals and four rebounds per game and earn Valley News Dispatch player of the year honors.

Kittanning's Sterling Henry, St. Joseph's John Arcuri and Fox Chapel's Matt D'Amico also were considered.

Jaczesko, who hit 79 3-pointers and shot 54 percent from the field, finished with 962 career points — all in roughly two-plus seasons.

After you scored 45 points in a game to break a 21-year-old school record, you got a congratulatory letter from State Sen. Jim Brewster?

Yes, I have it in a scrapbook with all of my newspaper clippings.

Did you ever sit back and reflect on how far you came after your leg injury?

I was grateful to have another opportunity to play basketball again, especially to have a season like the one we did with the teammates and coaches we had.

Your girlfriend is Deer Lakes girls basketball standout Becca Babincak. Have you two ever played one-on-one basketball, and if so, who won?

We play all the time. The first time we ever played, I had to be nice and let her win. But when it comes down to it, I usually beat her with my eyes closed.

Best basketball movie?

“Coach Carter.”

Who would play you in a movie?

Mark Wahlberg.

TV show you can't miss?


Coach Jon McKay likes to jump around on the sidelines. How high can he get up?

Coach McKay can jump out of the gym.

Who's in your final four?

Louisville, Ohio State, Florida and Miami.

You have a sauna in your house? Explain.

A couple of weeks ago, my parents came home with a sauna and it took me by surprise. It's great because its relaxing after a workout.

You work at Pittsburgh National Golf Club. Do you play much golf? Are you any good?

I just started playing a lot last fall. I'm probably the worst golfer in America.

Best Gatorade flavor is?

Frost Glacier Freeze.

You've officiated youth basketball games. How much respect did that give you for the refs?

It gave me a lot of respect for officials. It's a tough job and they see the game from a completely different view than the players and spectators.

Pro athlete you'd most like to meet?

Rajon Rondo. I'm a big Celtics fan.

Why do you wear No. 23?

Because it was my dad's number in high school. He taught me everything I know about the game and has always been my biggest inspiration.

First team

John Arcuri

St. Joseph

6-0, Sr., Guard

Westminster recruit was second in WPIAL in scoring at 25.3 points per game. Also averaged 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals and finished career with exactly 1,000 points.

Matt D'Amico

Fox Chapel

6-3, Jr., Guard

Helped lead the Foxes (17-7) to WPIAL quarterfinals, averaging 21.2 points, the second-best average in Class AAAA. Added 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Has 922 career points.

Sterling Henry


6-4, Sr., Guard

Led Kittanning (20-5) to first playoff win since 1984. Averaged 18.9 points, seven rebounds, 4 steals, 3.5 assists and 3 blocks. Finished second on school's scoring list with 1,084 career points. Cager Classic East MVP.

Brendan Lynch


5-8, Sr., Guard

Fifth-leading scorer in WPIAL Class AAA averaged 18.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals for the Yellowjackets. Finished with 857 career points. Cager Classic West MVP.

Nick Stone

Kiski Area

5-11, Sr., Guard

Helped lead Cavaliers to first section title since 2002, averaging 13.9 points, 4.7 assists, 3.4 steals and 3.3 rebounds per game. Washington & Jefferson recruit had 681 career points and led the Cavaliers in scoring the past two years.

Second team

Charlie Guy


6-5, Sr., Forward

Adam Robison

Kiski Area

6-4, Sr., Guard

Brian Papich

Fox Chapel

6-2, Jr., Guard

Pete Spagnolo


5-9, Sr., Guard

Tre Tipton


6-1, So., Guard

Third team

Cole Bush


6-2, Sr., Forward

Jake Iellimo


6-3, Jr., Forward

Dave Lattanzio

Ford City

5-10, Sr., Guard

Austin Miller


6-1, Jr., Guard

Nick Stotler


6-1, Jr., Guard


Sydney Bordonaro


5-7, So., Guard

“Syd the Kid” doesn't have a summer job lined up, unless you count basketball practice.

“I'm fortunate enough that my parents give me the opportunity to focus on basketball 24-7,” said Sydney Bordonaro, Burrell's rising sophomore point guard who spends more time in the gym than the janitor and fires up shots faster than a shooting machine.

Her year-round commitment to the game led to success this season as she helped lead a young Burrell team farther than any in school history.

For her efforts, she is the Valley News Dispatch player of the year.

Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias, a first-team all-state selection, and Deer Lakes' Becca Babincak also were considered.

Bordonaro averaged 14.4 points and five assists per game as Burrell went 24-4, won two PIAA playoff games for the first time and reached the WPIAL Class AA semifinals for the first time since 1994.

What was the highlight of your season and what did the team learn?

Playing in the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs. We had so much fun. Our team learned that when everyone plays together and is having fun, that is when we are at our best.

You'll have five starters back next season. How far can you go?

Our goal for next season is to win a WPIAL and state title. We're all going to work hard this summer to put ourselves in the position to do that.

Who was your local basketball hero growing up?

Loved Pitt's Carl Krausert when I was little. Had his jersey and everything.

Have you gotten your driver's permit yet? If so, where's the first place you drove?

Yes I have. I drove to my Nana's.

You gave up track and field to focus on AAU. Do you miss it yet?

Not at all. It's freezing out and I hate the cold.

Best basketball movie is?

“Coach Carter” or “Love and Basketball.”

Who would play you in a movie?

My mom said either Cameron Diaz or Julianne Hough.

TV show you can't miss?

“Awkward,” on MTV.

Who's in your Final Four?

Louisville, Miami, Ohio State and Michigan.

Best flavor of Gatorade is?

Light Blue.

Who is the pro athlete you'd most like to meet?

Derrick Rose.

Do you still get an Easter basket? If so, what's your favorite thing in it?

Yeah I still get one. Definitely the chocolate.

Do you play better with or without the pony tail?

I don't know. When I get sick of it I put it in the messy bun.

Why do you wear No. 21?

My stepsister wore 21 all through high school and college, and she was my biggest hero when I was little. When it was my turn to play I wanted to be like her so I picked it.

First team

Maddie Antone

Kiski Area

5-10, Sr., Forward

Division I prospect led Kiski Area with 17.5 points and 13.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. Averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds across 91 career games. Had 1,360 career points.

Becca Babincak

Deer Lakes

5-6, Sr., Guard

As a starter, led Deer Lakes to 58-13 record and three WPIAL playoff appearances. Point Park recruit averaged 18.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 assists. Finished with 1,188 career points.

Mallory Heinle

St. Joseph

6-1, Jr., Forward

Led Spartans to second round of WPIAL Class A playoffs, averaging 19.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Takes 906 career points into her senior season.

Erin Mathias

Fox Chapel

6-3, Jr., Forward

Duke recruit helped Foxes reach WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals, averaging 17.3 points, 13.6 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game. Has scored 662 career points and missed her sophomore year with injuries.

Krista Pietropola


5-11, Jr., Guard

Led Mustangs to WPIAL playoffs, averaging 16.8 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and three steals per game. Closing in on 1,000 career points. Has 988 heading into senior year and school record is 1,201.

Second team

Jessica Aulicino


6-0, Sr., Forward

Sadie Buchser


5-7, Fr., Guard

Lashay Madison


5-11, Jr., Guard

Nicole Misejka


5-7, Sr., Guard

Natalie Myers


5-11, Fr., Forward

Third team

Ashley Bruni


5-4, Sr., Guard

Ashley Emminger


5-9, Jr., Forward

Nichole Kearns

Deer Lakes

5-4, Sr., Guard

Emily Knepshield


5-5, Jr., Guard

Sam Logan


5-9, Sr., Guard

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