Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Greensburg Salem's Jonathan Finger, Jeannette's Sydney Pecoraro

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Jonathan Finger

School: Greensburg Salem

Year: Senior

Sport: Hockey

Claim to fame:Finger, who has 31 goals and 37 assists, scored two goals and had three assists to lead Greensburg Salem (16-4-1) to a 10-0 win over Frazier on Friday. Finger, a Ligonier Valley student who is part of the co-op program with Greensburg Salem, had a goal and an assist for the Lions in an 8-4 win over Hollidaysburg on Feb. 21. Finger also had a goal in a 5-1 win over Baldwin in the PIHL Open Class playoffs Saturday.

“I have achieved all the goals I had set at the beginning of the season,” Finger said. “A lot of it is due to the play from my teammates and the great job the Greensburg Salem team has done this year.”

What do you think the team needs to do to win a title?

We are going to have to play as a team. In our defensive zone, we will need to get back. We have to play gritty hockey.

What has been the key to the team's success this year?

We have a lot of good talent and we have scored the most goals in PIHL. We keep the puck in the zone. I'm not sure if it's a record, but it's worth noting.

Who is your favorite NHL player and why?

I'm a big fan of James Neal. He's a good player with a quick shot and is a good checker. I like to model myself after him.

What do you like to do when you have free time?

I like to go skiing. I usually go to Hidden Valley or Seven Springs.

What are your college plans?

I plan on attending the University of Pittsburgh for athletic training. I will also likely join their hockey team. I visited there a couple times, and I enjoyed my time there. I wanted to major in athletic training because it seems like those who are in this field enjoy their jobs, and I think it's a great career path for me.

Sydney Pecoraro

School: Jeannette

Year: Junior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame:Pecoraro, who averages 4.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, scored nine points and grabbed 25 rebounds, including 20 defensive boards, to help lead Jeannette (17-6) to 64-56 win over Deer Lakes in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals on Friday.

“I thought it was the best game I ever played,” Pecoraro said. “I worked hard because I wanted to beat them and move on to the next game.”

What was the key reason for the victory over Deer Lakes?

We worked hard as a team and we basically had to play really good defense. We have Ciara Gregory, the leading scorer in the WPIAL, so our offense is pretty much taken care of. But when we play strong defense it's a really big key.

What's it like to have someone like Ciara Gregory on your side?

It's great. You don't find that a lot and she's a big key in our offense. She knows what she's doing and she's clutch for us. She also trusts us to help her out with scoring.

How were you able to grab 20 defensive rebounds?

When we played Deer Lakes earlier in the year, we lost the rebound battle. Our coach told us we had to box out more and get the rebounds. I thought it was a good game to box out and get the rebounds because I didn't want to lose.

Who is your role model and why?

My parents because they always keep pushing me to do good and work hard. They also push me to go in the right direction and help me through everything.

If you had a chance to meet anyone, who would it be and why?

I would have to say Cristiano Ronaldo because soccer is my main sport and he's really good. He could teach me things, and I could learn things that I might not know about the sport.

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