Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Central Catholic's David Urso, Aliquippa's Ciara Clark
School: Central Catholic
Claim to fame: Urso scored a career-high 32 points in the Vikings' 89-83, triple-overtime win over McKeesport on Saturday. Urso also scored 15 points to help Central Catholic top Penn Hills, 84-40, in Section 2-AAAA on Jan. 22. Entering the week, Urso is averaging 19.3 points.
“There's a lot of guys that are shooters, guys who are slashers, guys who make all their free throws. Offensively, he can do all those things,” coach Chuck Crummie said. “He can score in a lot of different ways. He can score off offensive rebounds, drive to the basket and hit the threes. He's a tough threat for any team.”
Which schools have recruited you?
Arcadia University, Rochester University and Penn State Behrend. Bethany just talked to me (Saturday). It's still pretty open.
When do you expect to make your decision?
I'm actually waiting until after the basketball season, and I'm considering going to prep school. I'm not sure which one yet.
What did you do differently Saturday night that allowed you to come out and score a career high?
I think really it was just me and my teammates came out focused with the goal to go out and win. We went out and communicated well. I got the opportunities to score, and I took them.
What would you say is the best aspect of your game?
I'd have to say my versatility. I can shoot the three if it's open, get to the basket if I need to, and I can also pass and get my teammates the ball if they're open.
Was it difficult to transition right from football and jump right into basketball?
Not really. You kind of get used to it after a while. It's a little hurtful on the body, but you get over it after a while.
Claim to fame: Clark scored 28 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, dished out five assists and had three steals in Aliquippa's 55-39 victory over Western Beaver in Section 1-A on Jan. 24. Clark also scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Quips in their 45-40 win over Sewickley Academy on Jan. 23.
“We have a very young team with a couple of freshmen and sophomores, and she's coming to the forefront as a leader,” coach Mark D'Allesandris said. “She doesn't say much, but she comes out, does what she does and goes about her day.”
How happy were you with your performance last week?
It feels really good to go out and do that because I put a lot of hard work into it. It's not just about me, though, it's my team helping me to play that way and get the win.
Do you consider yourself a leader on the team, despite being a sophomore?
Yes, I guess. We're all good friends too, so it's kind of like we go out and just try to help each other out as much as we can.
Do you take more pride in your ability to score points or dominate on the boards?
Honestly, I love getting rebounds a lot. I like to score, too, but I like going up to get possession of the ball.
As you progress in your high school career, what aspect of your game would you like to improve?
I can dribble, but I'd like to get better at dribbling and ball-handling. I want to get a chance to play a bunch of different positions, so that'll help.
— Brian Graham