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High school basketball notebook: Deer Lakes' Jaczesko cherishes record night

| Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, 11:36 p.m.
Deer Lakes guard Tim Jaczesko (right) broke Deer Lakes' single-game scoring record with 45 points on Thursday night. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

When he got home from school Thursday, Deer Lakes' Tim Jaczesko talked with his father about his school's basketball records.

That night, Jaczesko changed a key detail in future conversations about who holds the Lancers' single-game scoring mark.

The senior guard erupted for 45 points in Deer Lakes' 80-43 win over Aquinas Academy to break Doug Mannka's 21-year-old record of 44 set in 1991. The points were the centerpiece of a stat line that included 7 of 9 on 3-pointers, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals.

And Jaczesko played only three quarters.

“You think about doing something like that, but you're never sure if it's possible,” said Jaczesko, who missed most of last season after surgery on twice-fractured left tibia. “I have to thank my teammates for helping me get the record. It was special; it was one of those nights.”

And to think Jaczesko was uneasy just before tipoff.

“Warm-up wasn't good,” he said. “I wasn't feeling well and not shooting well.”

So much for that. He scored 14 in the first quarter, 16 in the second and added 15 in the third before taking a seat for the fourth.

Fear the Foxes?

The Fox Chapel boys and girls teams play numerous doubleheaders together, shunning the traditional schedule for basketball teams — boys Tuesdays and Fridays, girls Mondays and Thursdays.

But the teams have more in common than that. Both are 5-0 and primed to make noise in Class AAAA.

The girls were hit hard by injuries last season and finished 3-19. But with star 6-foot-3 forward and Duke recruit Erin Mathias finally healthy after minor knee surgery, the Foxes are rolling.

And the team is young. Mathias is a junior, and she is joined in the starting lineup by a pair of freshmen: Kayla Slovenec and Taylor Cohen. Another freshman, Anna Kelly, is the first reserve.

“We've learned the definition of perseverance,” Foxes coach Meghan Meabon said. “Things are paying off day by day. We have a lot of young talent. Erin is the nucleus, but she's not the only one.”

Junior Michaela Patsko also has returned after an ACL tear last season, and senior Rachel Ranii and Casey Viccari are back after concussions.

Still 0-0

Valley's girls basketball team still has not played a game this season.

The team started with 10 girls, but injuries and players leaving dwindled it to “four to seven” healthy players, according to Valley athletic director Mark Kaczanowicz.

Valley had to cancel Friday night's non-section game against Ford City because of low roster numbers, and Monday's home game against Freeport is touch-and-go.

The Vikings' opener at Mars was moved to Jan. 11 at Mars' request.

In recent years, Valley has played with just six girls.

Like Valley, several local girls programs, including Burrell, have had to eliminate junior varsity teams this season because of low numbers.

Top scorer in town

The leading scorer in WPIAL girls basketball will be at Springdale on Thursday night for a Section 1-AA game.

Jeannette senior Ciara Gregory has scored 40, 39 and 34 points in three games.

Last year, she had a 50-point game and has 1,483 career points, second all-time at Jeannette.

A 5-7 combo guard, Gregory has committed to Division I UNC-Charlotte.

Layups

Three local girls teams are ranked by Trib Total Media: Deer Lakes is No. 3 in Class AA, and Burrell is No. 4. St. Joseph is No. 5 in Class A. ... Leechburg senior Jake Iellimo was impressive in his first varsity start. The 6-3 forward scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 72-47 win over Aquinas Academy. ... Kittanning's boys are the fourth-highest-scoring team in the WPIAL at 76.3 points per game behind New Castle (79.6), Vincentian (78.3) and Chartiers Valley (76.8).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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