Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Upper St. Clair's Jordan Grabowski, West Mifflin's Taylor Thomas
TribLIVE Sports Videos
School: Upper St. Clair
Claim to fame: Grabowski hit a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to lift the Panthers past Norwin, 57-56, in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs at Gateway on Saturday. The 6-foot guard scored a game-high 29 points in a 77-68 win over Chartiers Valley on Feb. 11. Grabowski finished the regular season averaging 17.1 points per game, seventh in Class AAAA.
“He's been a tremendous leader not just scoring points, but also he leads our team in assists,” coach Danny Holzer said. “He's been finding the open man, letting our guys make big shots.”
Can you describe the game-winner against Norwin?
First, when I got the rebound, I knew I was going to shoot it. Once I shot it, nothing was really going through my head. I was speechless after the game. I really don't remember the shot. … I just draw a blank.
How do you prevent falling behind against Seneca Valley on Saturday?
Norwin outmuscled us. We expected them to try to go down in the post on us because they were a lot bigger than us. Saturday, we're going to go the way we've gone the whole season. We'll play intense on defense and just play smart on offense.
Can you make a legitimate run at a WPIAL title?
Our team this year is different than any other team I've been on. Everyone gets along with each other. … We just play very well together on the court, and it's obviously shown. We'll see what happens come Saturday.
Have you decided where you'll attend college?
No. I have a couple options with a few Division II and Division III schools. I still have a lot of time.
School: West Mifflin
Claim to fame: Thomas scored 23 points to lead the Titans to a 61-41 victory over Kittanning in a Class AAA preliminary-round game at Highlands on Saturday.
She showed signs of dominance earlier this season when she scored 35 in a 63-19 win over Brownsville on Dec. 13 and had 27 in a 65-19 win over Monessen on Dec. 7.
“When she plays poised like that, she's pretty hard to stop,” coach Rob Yeschenko said. “She played an excellent game Saturday. When she goes, we go.”
How important was it to come out and play strong to open the playoffs?
I just wanted to have a big game, especially after we ended the season on a losing streak.
What were the team's goals heading into the playoffs?
We talked at practice and coach said we may only win one time, but it's that one time we win that it matters. We just have to work as a team, get back on defense and pick each other up.
What are you going to work on this offseason to come back better next year?
Mostly, in the beginning of the year we need to get everyone to build a good foundation. We lost a few players and had some freshmen come up this year. We have to trust each other and have each other's backs.
What is the best part of your game?
I would say my inside game and sometimes my jumper. I got the ball dished to me late in the first half of the Kittanning game, and I shot and made a 3-(pointer).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- Steelers WR Wheaton wants to produce after injury-plagued rookie year
- Steelers hope group of low-budget cornerbacks can deliver
- Steelers notebook: Ben believes rookie WR Bryant can contribute
- Inside the ropes: Roethlisberger may have his big receiver
- Former Gateway coach Smith is ‘perfect fit’ for Penn State football staff
- LaBar: Cesaro is WWE’s next Cinderella story
- Home sellers are able to remain mum about violent crimes committed there
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle, Huntington on same page
- Observers mixed on grid backup amid carbon rules, natural gas uncertainty
- Squirrel Hill Tunnel workers cope with speeders, exhaust fumes