Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Shaler's Geno Thorpe, Steel Valley's CeCe Dixon
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Claim to fame: A Penn State recruit, Thorpe scored 21 points to lead the Titans past Seneca Valley, 54-40, in Section 3-AAAA on Friday. Thorpe scored 30 points in a 66-60 win over Pine-Richland on Jan. 15. He enters the week second in the WPIAL in scoring, averaging 26.3.
“It's quite obvious that when he's playing well, he gives us a chance to be successful,” coach Paul Holzshu said. “He's extremely important to the outcome of the game for us.”
Can you talk about your role as the only returner with varsity experience?
When I first came back, coach Holzshu told me I'd have to lead by example. I knew when I came back to Shaler what my role was going to be. And that's something I was OK with.
Are you happy with your decision to return to Shaler from Orlando West Oaks (Fla.)?
Yes, I don't regret my decision to come back at all. I think everything happened for a reason. Obviously, Shaler's where I grew up. I knew I could come back and fit right in. It's like I never left.
What are you working on to prepare for college?
Just my body weight, my defense. Working with the ball and off the ball.
School: Steel Valley
Claim to fame: Dixon scored a game-high 15 points in a 55-29 win over Wilkinsburg in a Section 4-AA game on Jan. 14. Dixon, averaging 17.3 points per game, scored 17 points in a 48-34 win over Peters Township on Jan. 17.
How big were those wins last week for your team's confidence?
They were big. We basically just wanted to go out there and win. The goal is just getting into the playoffs.
Do you feel like you're playing the best basketball of your career?
Yes. There's still more to improve on, but, yeah, I'm playing my best.
What would you like to improve?
Just everything. You can be good at something, but there's always room to get better.
Did you decide on where you'd like to go to college?
Yes, I'm going to Cal U (Pa.) on a basketball scholarship. I don't know what I'll study yet.
— Brian Graham
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