Fox Chapel hoops stars shine in Cager Classic

Marty Stewart
| Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Cager Classic weekend began with the skills competition Friday at Highlands, and Fox Chapel's Brian Papich had to hurry to get there.

He ran in a track meet at Pine-Richland in the afternoon and then hustled to Natrona Heights.

“I didn't want to miss it,” he said. “I knew it would be a lot of fun and a nice way to close out my basketball career.”

His determination paid off as he teamed up with Ford City's Ally Kujas to win the Co-ed Team Hot Shot Contest and then finished second in the boys 3-point contest.

He also doubled up in the co-ed competition as he teamed up with Burrell's Jessica Cercone in order to fill a vacancy. They posted the second-highest score.

Teammate Matt D'Amico made it to the finals of the individual hot-shot finals and finished second as Hampton's Hayden Seserko won 36-28.

The games were played Saturday night, and Papich saved his best for last. He scored 27 points as his East team fell to the West, 112-109. Papich was named the East MVP, and his point total was the third-highest in the history of the event.

“That was a great weekend,” Papich said. “There was a lot of talent there and also an opportunity to get to know some of your rivals a lot better. It was fun.”

D'Amico finished with 13 points. He had a chance to send the game into overtime, but his last-second 3-pointer missed.

In the girls game, FC's Erin Mathias narrowly missed a double-double as she finished with 12 points and eight rebounds and her West team fell to the East, 81-64.

“It was a good time,” she said. “Everybody had fun, and it was a laid-back atmosphere. It was nice to play one more time for the local fans.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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