Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Jeannette's Julian Batts, Latrobe's Madison Kollar
Claim to fame: Batts, who is averaging 17.3 points, 7.6 assists and 7 rebounds per game, scored 16 points to lead Jeannette (13-2, 6-1) to a 51-40 win over South Allegheny in Section 3-AA action on Friday. Batts scored 25 points in a 65-61 loss to Greensburg Central Catholic on Jan. 15 and scored 20 points in a 61-56 win over Latrobe in the Coaches vs. Cancer Backyard Brawlz Tournament at Seton Hill on Jan. 12.
“I think since last year my role has gotten bigger,” Batts said. “I look to pass first as a point guard. When I'm open I'm shooting the ball and I've been getting to the line.”
How do you like the pass-first mentality as a point guard?
I like seeing other people score. I like passing. I like seeing the crowd get excited after someone else scores. I like to pass more than score.
What has been the reason for the team's success?
We have been playing defense together as a team. No one cares who scores. Whoever gets hot is the one who scores. Defense has been first and we have been playing together.
What does the team need to make a deeper playoff run?
I think we need to focus more. That GCC game is one; we can see them in the playoffs and also Beaver Falls. We just need to calm down and not get too excited. As long as we keep playing defense, we will get there.
Who is your role model and why?
I'd probably say my dad (also the Jeannette coach) because no one understands what he does for me. He's always there for me with football, the gym and in school. He's always there for me.
Claim to fame: Kollar, who is averaging 10.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, scored 13 points to lead Latrobe (8-7, 5-4) to a nonsection win over Saltsburg on Friday. Kollar scored a team-high 12 points in a 72-29 loss to Penn-Trafford on Jan. 10 and 15 points in a 60-27 win over Albert Gallatin in Section 1-AAAA action on Dec. 20.
“I have gotten stronger and better at rebounding as the year has gone along,” Kollar said.
How is the team playing as the postseason approaches?
We have been playing better recently and have gotten some wins lately. Our team is playing like a team and playing together.
What's it like to play alongside Emma Kate Womack in your first year?
I feel like I'm strong enough to play with those type of players. But there is always room for improvement.
What is the best part of your game?
I would have to say my shooting and rebounding.
Where do you think you need to improve?
I can always improve in everything. But if I had to pick, I would have to say my rebounding and strength.
Who is your favorite NBA player and why?
Kevin Durant. I like just like how he plays on the court.
— Andrew John