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VND Spotlight Athletes

- Jessica Cercone, Burrell
Jessica Cercone, Burrell
- Ben Ritchie, Leechburg
Ben Ritchie, Leechburg

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Top high school sports
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 12:06 a.m.

Ben Ritchie

Class: Junior

Sport: Basketball School: Leechburg

Report card: Ritchie is averaging a team-high 13.2 points per game. The guard/forward's highlight of the season came on Dec. 28 when he came off the bench and hit eight 3-pointers and scored 33 points in a 73-65 win over Harvest Baptist in the Apollo Trust Christmas Tournament.

What did you to do improve this offseason?

I worked hard at the YMCA. I go up there a lot to work on my game.

What has your confidence been like since your 33-point night against Harvest Baptist?

It definitely went up. I just felt way better after having a good night like that.

Are you typically a 3-point shooter or was that just a hot night for you?

I always try to work on my 3-point game. I always like to shoot the 3. But it was just a hot night, too.

What is the team feeling now that Section 4-A play has started?

We've got a lot of momentum going into Wilkinsburg (Tuesday night). We were all looking good at practice.

What do you do for fun in Leechburg?

I'm part of the Spanish club, basketball and youth group.

—Dave Yohe

Jessica Cercone

Class: Junior

Sport: Basketball

School: Burrell

Report card: The 6-foot-1 forward is averaging 10 points per game and will play an important role as Burrell continues its run toward the WPIAL playoffs.

You shoot foul shots one-handed. Why is that?

My coach, “Coach Z” (Mark Ziemianski) has been working with me a lot and he says my other hand throws it off and every time I shoot one-handed I make them more.

If you're down two in the final seconds at the foul line, how nervous are you?

I'm pretty nervous. I would be thinking I hope I make this so I can make my team happy.

There are three coach Ziemianskis at Burrell. Who is the best at basketball?

Probably coach (Zach). He played in college.

Can you beat any of them one-on-one?

I'm not the best one-on-one player, but I might be able to beat coach Mark.

What food attraction does Burrell need the most?

I'd say maybe Chick-fil-A. They have some good food. I had it when we were down south.

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