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High school notebook: St. Joseph girls dealing with rash of injuries

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
St. Joseph's players Mallory Heinle (left) and Heather Schrecengost battle Deer Lakes' Kristen Stanko (13) and Jessica Philistine for a rebound during the 17th Annual Spartan Holiday Tournament.
Top high school sports
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 9:18 p.m.

St. Joseph's girls basketball team has lost two starters to sprained ankles.

Junior team captains Mallory Heinle and Nikki Mielecki were injured Monday at Eden Christian.

The A-K girls basketball scoring leader, Heinle, a 6-foot-1 forward, could miss up to nine games, according to coach Dan Slain.

Heinle is averaging 20 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Mielecki, a 5-10 forward, meanwhile, could be out longer. Mielecki, who averages 6 points and 6 rebounds per game, appears to be done for the regular season (six to eight weeks).

“If this is what adversity looks like, then we're in it up to our necks right now,” Slain said. “As the saying goes: ‘You have to get through the storm clouds to appreciate the sunshine.' I'm confident that the players who are healthy at this time will play hard, and they will give us all that they have as we battle for a playoff spot.”

Hoop showdowns

Fox Chapel and Plum are among the few teams that play girls-boys doubleheaders in basketball, which makes their head-to-head meetings more meaningful, especially to the schools' raucous student sections.

The teams' first Section 2-AAAA meetings of the season are Friday at Plum, and both could be thrillers.

Plum's girls (9-3, 3-1) have won four of their last five games, while Fox Chapel (9-3, 4-1), which climbed to No. 5 in the Trib's Class AAAA rankings, has lost three of four.

The Fox Chapel boys (9-2, 4-1) started 8-0 but have dropped two of their last three. Plum, despite a 6-6 record (2-3 section), has played just about every favored opponent close. Its losses are by an average of 4.3 points.

Gateway could be a somewhat of a gauge for the boys game. Plum lost, 38-36, to the two-time defending Class AAAA champion Gators, while Fox Chapel lost, 40-38.

Fox Chapel's Matt D'Amico, a junior guard, has surged to the top spot in the A-K Valley scoring leaders (26.2 points per game). He has scored at least 20 in nine of the Foxes' 11 games.

County wrestling

The Allegheny County wrestling tournament will be Friday and Saturday at Fox Chapel.

Fox Chapel, Plum, Riverview and Highlands are in the 39-team field.

Hampton is the returning team champ. Both Alle-Kiski champions from last season graduated — Plum's John Marotto and Central Catholic's Perry Hills, a Plum resident.

Matches begin at 10 a.m. Friday. Finals will be about 6 p.m. Saturday.

Freshman making noise

Riverview freshman Sadie Buchser is beginning to show why girls basketball coach Keith Stitt believes she could be one of the program's best four-year players.

Buchser scored 20 points to lead a 54-44, come-from-behind win in overtime over South Allegheny then had 21 points in a 47-27 win over Apollo-Ridge.

Buchser is averaging 10.9 points per game for the Raiders (8-5).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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