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Monessen's Ward, other girls to cap 'grand' basketball careers at Roundball Classic

| Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Monessen's Mariah Ward (center) puts up a shot through the defense of Frazier's Kaley Barota (left) and Cassidy Guiser (right) during the third quarter of Monessen's match up against Frazier held at Frazier High School on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
Rich Downer
BVA's Jessica Slagus scores her 1,000th point in the second quarter against Waynesburg.
Elizabeth Forward's Dana Buck attempts a jump shot in second period action against West Mifflin on January 30, 2013 at Elizabeth Forward High School.
Wichita State's Cleanthony Early (11) shoots over Pittsburgh's Durand Johnson (5) during the first half during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City Thursday, March 21, 2013. (AP/Rick Bowmer)

Getting picked to play in a prestigious all-star game could certainly be called a grand experience.

And for four of the six area girls who were selected for the 2013 Roundball Classic April 20 at Geneva College, their selection is the icing on a “grand” career.

Grand as in 1,000.

Of the five area girls who will be showcasing their skills in the girls' doubleheader, four topped 1,000 points in their careers.

Headlining that list is Monessen's Mariah Ward.

A 5-9 guard, Ward averaged 18.4 points per game for the Lady Greyhounds and finished her career with 1,476 points, which ranks her sixth on the school's all-time scoring list.

Belle Vernon Area' Jessica Slagus, a 6-1 forward, averaged 19.6 ppg for the Lady Leps and closed her career with 1,133 points.

Also hitting the 1,000-point plateau and getting selected to play in the Roundball is Elizabeth Forward's Dana Buck.

Buck, a 6-0 forward averaged 11.3 ppg and six rebounds for the Lady Warriors, who reached the WPIAL Class AAA title game. She scored 1,130 points.

The other “grand” scorer is California's Courtnee McMasters, a 5-7 guard who averaged 22.3 ppg and finished with 1,002 points, including a 56-point effort against Mapletown.

Also selected to the Roundball Classic are Ringgold's Josie Schmidt and Bentworth's Taylor Pompei.

Schmidt, a 6-2 forward, averaged 10.6 ppg and 7 rebounds for the Lady Rams. Pompei, a 5-6 guard, averaged 15.9 ppg for the Lady Bearcats.

Ward, McMasters and Pompei will play for the West All-Stars, who will take on the East in the 2 p.m. game.

Vincentian's Ron Moncrief will coach the West, and Bishop Canevin's Tim Joyce will pilot the East.

Slagus, Schmidt and Buck will play for the Class AAA All-Stars, who will meet the Class AAAA All-Stars in the 4 p.m. game.

The AAA team will be coached by South Park's Reggie Wells, while Bethel Park's Jonna Burke will guide the AAAA squad.

The girls' doubleheader is part of a four-game all-star extravaganza at Geneva as there will be two boys' all-star games played afterward. The Class A/City/District 6 All-Stars will meet the Class AA All-Stars at 6 p.m., with the Class AAA All-Stars and Class AAAA All-Stars capping the night in the 8 p.m. game.

The four games will culminate three days of activities for the athletes.

The Roundball Recognition Dinner is April 18 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North — Cranberry Crossings at 7 p.m., and The Roundball Classic scrimmages are held April 17 at 6 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend all events. For more information about the Roundball Classic, contact Allen Deep at 724-462-8558.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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