Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Monessen's Clintell Gillaspie, Franklin Regional's Sarah Stephens
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Claim to fame: Gillaspie, who is averaging 16 points per game, scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Monessen (10-13) to a 60-52 victory over Sewickley Academy in a WPIAL Class A first-round game last week. Monessen advances to play Vincentian (22-1) in the quarterfinals Friday.
“I really don't want to take all the credit for how I did, but as a team, we did well,” Gillaspie said.
What does the team need to do to beat Vincentian?
We need to hustle and make our foul shots. We also need to get to the hole and play strong defense. If we do that, we have a good chance to win.
You also play football, which sport do you like the most?
Football. I just like the contact. I like to get hit and the running and the scoring. If I had the choice, I'd pick football over basketball.
This is your first year of organized basketball. How has the transition been?
It was really hard at the beginning. I'm used to playing street ball and playing with older players, and I was used to how they played. It took time for me to gel with the team. But after a while I started to like it.
Who convinced you to play basketball this season?
My dad and coach (Joe) Salvino. I wasn't going to play at first. I was going to relax after football season. But coach told me if I came out I would be a big help to the team.
Who is your role model and why?
My dad (Darren Gillaspie). He played football at Pitt. After reading all the Yahoo! articles about him I just wanted to go farther than he did.
School: Franklin Regional
Claim to fame: Stephens, who has been a key contributor off the bench for the Panthers, scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded two blocked shots to lead Franklin Regional (11-12) to a 60-32 win against Albert Gallatin in a Class AAAA preliminary-round game Friday.
“She has been coming off the bench for us in every game,” coach Rick Klimchock said. “In that particular game, she came off the bench and excelled to the point I couldn't take her out of the game. She has recently been strong during our practices.”
How do you stay mentally prepared to come off the bench?
I just know I need to be focused, no matter what. I just want to do what is best for the team, and I'll come out of the game whenever coach wants to take me out.
What was the key to the victory over Albert Gallatin?
We just were focused and we all wanted to win and we all played as a team.
Who is your role model and why?
(Teammate) Erin DiFalco because she is really always focused on playing well the way she can.
Who is your favorite NBA player?
It was Michael Jordan because I thought he was a really good player, and I really thought he was doing his best all the time.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I just like to hang out with my friends.
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