High school basketball notebook: Freshmen girls making impact
Riverview coach Keith Stitt could see basketball talent in Sadie Buchser when she was playing in eighth grade.
Some say Buchser probably was varsity-ready then.
Like several freshmen girls around the Valley, Buchser has lived up to expectations and become a key contributor right out of the gate.
The 5-foot-7 guard has helped Riverview to a 11-6 record (5-4 in Section 3-AA).
“She's a special one, for sure,” Stitt said. “She has fit in nicely. We knew she had this type of potential.”
Buchser had a game-high 20 points in an overtime win over South Allegheny. Among several other double-digit games, she scored 15, including three clutch 3-pointers, in a 60-54 victory over then-Class-AA No. 3 Jeannette.
“We have a young team and some good, young players,” senior point guard Ashley Bruni said. “But they're led by Sadie.”
Burrell's Natalie Myers has looked seasoned for a rising Lady Bucs team. The 5-10 Myers has posted several double-doubles and has shown the ability to handle the ball and score from different spots.
Include Fox Chapel's ninth-grade backcourt in this conversation. Taylor Cohen and Kayla Slovenec have impressed in big games, particularly against Plum when they combined for 19 of Fox Chapel's 20 fourth-quarter points in a 50-38 win.
“Kayla and I have been working together since the summer, hoping we could get a chance to play varsity this year,” Cohen said.
Other freshmen making impacts include Zoe Soilis of Freeport, Megan Bonelli of Apollo-Ridge, Taylar Wolfe of Kittanning and Catlyn Cujas of Ford City.
Two local senior girls topped the 1,000-point mark for their careers this season, Maddie Antone of Kiski Area and Becca Babincak of Deer Lakes.
But two senior boys could also reach the milestone in the coming weeks. Kittanning senior Sterling Henry has exactly 900 points with seven regular-season games to play. St. Joseph's Johnny Arcuri, who leads the WPIAL in scoring, is at 878.
Two local teams made it easy on the scorekeepers during victories last week.
The Kiski Area boys and Valley girls both posted wins using only five players. There are fewer ingredients in Good Seasons salad dressing.
The 10 players logged all 32 minutes each game.
Kiski Area used Adam Robison, Nick Stone, Mike Simmons, Joe Brungo and Mitch Murdock to clip Norwin, 52-49, in overtime.
Valley, short-handed since the start of the season, eked past Freeport, 53-51, and Kittanning, 59-49, using five players each time. Kaylyn Iacopino, Lashay Madison, Jame Reese, Kristea Smith and Avery Bailey went the distance for the Lady Vikings.
The Section 3-AA girls basketball finale between rivals Springdale and Riverview has been moved up one day to Feb. 6.
Varsity tip will be 7:30 p.m. at Riverview.
The change is due to some Riverview players' involvement in The Model United Nations Conference.
The Serra Catholic-Springdale boys game, meantime, which was postponed due to a heating problem at Springdale's McGhee Fieldhouse, will be played 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Springdale.