ShareThis Page

Sterling moment for Kittanning senior at Cager Classic

| Monday, March 25, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
Steven Dietz | For the Valley News Dispatch
West Shamokin's Jill Glover of the East team drives against Freeport's Jessica Aulicino during the 2013 A-K Valley Cager Classic on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Highlands High School.
Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch
The East team's Sterling Henry, of Kittanning, lines up a 3-pointer during the Cager Classic skills competitionc at Highlands High School on Friday March 22, 2013.
Steven Dietz | For the Tribune-Review
Freeport's Brendan Lynch goes up for a shot during the Cager Classic on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Highlands High School.

Sterling wasn't settling for silver.

Kittanning senior basketball standout Sterling Henry made the most of his experience at the 17th annual Cager Classic all-star weekend, and he had the hardware to prove it at the end of the event.

Henry's arms were full of gold-colored trophies on Saturday night after he helped lead the East team to a 95-83 victory over the West at Highlands High School.

With a team-high 20 points, 13 in the second half, and 12 rebounds, Henry was an easy pick for East Most Valuable Player.

The East hit 11 3-pointers, including a pair by Henry, who averaged 18.9 points this season and scored 1,084 for his career.

“Coach (Mike Nagy of West Shamokin) wanted us to shoot the ball,” Henry said. “He said, if you get it, take it. We had a nice team with a lot of good shooters.”

On Friday night, Henry won the event's individual and co-ed team hot-shot contests at the Cager skills competition. He teamed with Valley's Kristea Smith, the MVP for the East in the girls' game, in the co-ed event.

“This whole weekend was a really fun time,” Henry said. “I got to play with some great players and the MVP is a true honor.”

Other Armstrong County players didn't go unnoticed. Anthony Rocco, the first boys player from West Shamokin to participate in the Cager, added 14 points and Ford City's Dave Lattanzio added 10 for the East.

Another 1,000-point scorer, Rocco hit four 3-pointers. He missed the skills contest because of a scholarship dinner at Mt. Aloysius, where he'll continue his baseball career.

“This was a great event; I didn't know what to expect because I had never played in (the Cager) before and I wasn't here Friday,” Rocco said. “I scored my 1,000th point on this court. It was an awesome time and we really played well together.”

Freeport's Brendan Lynch won the West MVP after scoring a game-high 22 points.

“This game was a blast,” said Lynch, a three-sport athlete who had a career season in basketball. “It was one of the most fun basketball weekends I have ever had. We figured it would be fast-paced and there'd be a lot of scoring.”

Henry said there was an Armstrong connection with himself, Rocco and Lattanzio. The trio had obvious chemistry, particularly in transition.

“We've all played together for years so we know each other so well,” Henry said.

Said Lattanzio: “This definitely wasn't the first time we played together.”

Kittanning has made its presence known at the Cager with scorers. Henry's former teammate, Nathan Stolitza, won MVP two years ago when the East won, 113-107.

Henry's effort helped the East take a 9-8 lead in the all-time series.

In the Cager girls' all-star game, West Shamokin forward Jill Glover survived a scare in helping the East to a 71-60 victory. A somewhat hectic day for the Edinboro volleyball recruit, she arrived a little late due to a volleyball match in Monroeville. Then, she tweaked her right knee with 3:36 left in the first half.

She returned in the second half after seeing an athletic trainer and applying an ice pack.

“I felt really nervous because I heard something pop,” said Glover, who fouled out with eight points. “My knee has done that before. I felt alright to come back.”

West Shamokin coach Judd McCullough, who led the East team, discussed whether to put Glover back into the game with Glover's family and the on-site trainer.

“And with Jill,” the coach said. “We talked about her resting. But she is such a competitor. She'd want to go back in if it was a 2-on-2 pick-up game.”

McCullough was pleased with how the Cager turned out — the coaches pulled an East sweep — in West Shamokin's all-star debut.

“I loved it,” McCullough said. “They do things here first-class. We were excited from the beginning. They have an army of people who put this on and they do a great job.”

Henry, Rocco and Glover all will play in the Roundball Classic April 20 at Geneva College.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.