Season a Winter of fun for Quaker Valley point guard
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Winter Fondi has one word to describe his senior season with the Quaker Valley boys basketball team — fun.
And it is easy to see why — the Quakers are off to a 9-0 start while running one of the highest scoring offenses in the WPIAL.
“We are 9-0 and I am on a team with a bunch of friends I have been playing with my whole life,” the point guard said. “You can't beat that.”
Fondi is leading the team with 10.4 points per game. The Quakers — whose average of 73.6 points trails only behind Neshannock's 79.6 in Class AA — have shown an unselfishness with the ball this season as six players are averaging at least seven points a game.
“If one person has 20 points a game and they don't play well in a game, there's a hole to fill,” Fondi said. “The way we play, anyone can step up in any game.”
In addition to being the team's top scorer, Fondi leads the team in assists (5.7) and steals (4.4) per game. His 2.7 rebounds per game is also ranks near the top of the Quakers' roster.
“I am not sure we have had a point guard in awhile that rebounds like him,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni said. “We have had excellent point guards through the years at Quaker Valley, but we haven't had a point guard who can rebound like he does, especially defensively.
“When he defensive rebounds, it enables us to play fast because we're already on a fast break because the right person has the ball.”
Fondi showed his ability to give his team a spark during a 70-34 win over Springdale on Saturday. The Dynamos led 2-0 when Fondi hit a 3-pointer. On the ensuing Springdale inbound pass, he stole the ball before getting fouled on a layup. The ensuing free throw completed the six-point swing as the Quakers built a 19-8 first quarter lead.
“You see on the court how confident he is,” Mastroianni said. “He isn't worried about the last play. He is playing forward all the time.”
Fondi is making up for lost time this season. As a junior, he played in 19 games but missed out on the Quakers run to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA tournament after stomach surgery sidelined him for two months.
“That was extremely difficult,” Fondi said. “It was the first time in my life I was sidelined and it was difficult to watch the team and know I couldn't help in anyway.”
But now he is back and his skills are benefiting Quaker Valley as it finished the 2013 portion of its schedule undefeated. But while the team is 9-0, the Quakers know they have a lot at stake before they can feel satisfied.
“There is no sense of accomplishment with this team yet,” Mastroianni said. “They are always looking to move forward whether its the next practice or next game.”
The Quakers return to action Friday, as they host Avonworth in a Section 6-AA battle. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Quaker Valley will travel to Burgettstown to play in the Chuckie Mahoney Classic, where it will play Washington at 7 p.m.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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