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Ligonier Valley basketball team completes season

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Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo
Ligonier senior Jake Nemeth looks for an open teammate to pass to at a recent game. Taken on 2/11/2014 at the Ligonier High School
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By Peter Turcik
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Ligonier Valley High School boys basketball team recognized the seniors at the final game of the 2013-14 season. The seniors are Scott Fennell, Alex Tutino, Jake Nemeth and Alec Bloom. The Rams went on to defeat Purchase Line 78-60 to finish the season at 9-13.

Head coach Todd Hepner said each senior showed poise and maturity in their leadership this season, making his inaugural year as head coach a smooth and easy transition.

“They didn't know me and I didn't know them coming into this season, which can be difficult,” Hepner said. “But they were just a pleasure to coach. It's been a great group of kids. I can't say enough about them. They all have a lot of heart.”

According to Hepner, these four players have led the way this season, not only putting their skills to work for the Rams, but also providing the experience at the varsity level to help guide the younger players and prepare them to take the reins next season.

“I can say from the things I have seen in practices and on the court, I do believe they have prepared the younger kids for what they are going to see and do next year at the varsity level. They talk to the younger kids; they don't yell. When we have a slow night, they say ‘hey, we've got to pick it up; we've got to hustle.' It's always difficult to say goodbye to your seniors,” Hepner said.

Tutino and Nemeth both earned two varsity letters playing for Ligonier Valley. Tutino scored 54 points, grabbed 35 rebounds and made 13 steals for the Rams this season. Nemeth ended the season with 107 points, hitting 16 shots from outside the three-point arc. Fennell earned his third letter playing for Ligonier Valley, finishing with the third-most points on the team at 151. He also grabbed 133 rebounds, made 41 steals and blocked 20 shots.

Unable to play because of knee surgery, Bloom at 6 feet 7 inches, was a noticeable absence on the court this year. However, Hepner said Bloom has been with the team the entire season, offering moral support to his teammates from the sidelines.

“Alec tried to show his leadership skills, even though he couldn't be on the court playing,” Hepner commented. “Alec would have been a great leader for our team and a great addition, but unfortunately we were unable to have him on the team this year.”

In the final game of the season, the three seniors on the court combined for 34 points. Fennell put up the bulk of the total with 22; Nemeth sank a three-pointer and two baskets for seven points.

Tutino hit a basket and a three for five. Collin Smith led the Rams in scoring with 24 points and Jordan Jones put up 20.

Peter Turcik is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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