Daily News spotlight athltes: McKeesport's Carlitto Acie, West Mifflin's Taylor Thomas
By Robert Stinner
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 2:06 a.m.
Claim to fame: Acie scored a career-high 28 points to lead McKeesport (15-7) past Bethel Park in a WPIAL Class AAAA playoff game Saturday. The senior hit six 3-pointers in the upset and will lead the Tigers into their quarterfinal matchup against No. 3 Hampton on Saturday.
“He's very creative, and he's the leader of our team,” coach Corey Gadson said. “He's our captain and has been significant for us over the last couple of years. He's a slasher and is very athletic. He's a tough kid who wants the ball in crunch time. He willed us to the win (Saturday). He does a lot for us. That was probably his finest moment this year.”
Why were able to play so well against Bethel Park?
I think the bigger the stage and the more pressure there is for me to perform well, the better I play. I don't want to let my team down.
Did you have any special preparation for that game?
No. I made sure I did everything the same exact way. I'm really superstitious. I didn't want to do anything different that might cause me to have a bad game. I have to stick to the same routine.
What spurred the team's 15-point run early in the second half?
It was basically do or die. There were no second chances. We had to play really well really soon or we would be going home. Then it felt like every shot I put up was going to go in. I was taking whatever the defense gave me. I wasn't trying to force any shots up. I didn't want to over-do anything.
Did the team feel any sense of panic trailing in the second half?
No, none at all because we knew we could pull through.
How much did playing Bethel Park last week help?
It gave us a chance to see what kind of talent they had and see tendencies certain players would have.
What does your team have to do to beat Hampton?
I think we need to play well as a team and shoot well from the outside. We also have to have our inside game going on. We need to start inside and move out. But really, it all starts on the defensive end. I know they have two really good twins (Ryan and Collin Luther) that aren't bad at all. I think if we key in on them, we can slow them down. We just need to keep our intensity up and make sure we are prepared.
— Robert Stinner
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).
— Brian Graham
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.
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- York teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- RiverQuest short of money, looks for a partner
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Cyrus’ rescheduled U.S. tour now includes Pittsburgh stop in August
- Alvarez struggles as Pirates fall short against Brewers