TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Valley News Dispatch spotlight athletes: Leechburg's Ben Ritchie, Burrell's Natalie Myers

- Ben Ritchie, Leechburg
Ben Ritchie, Leechburg
- Burrell's Natalie Myers
Burrell's Natalie Myers

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By D.j. Vasil
Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 11:30 p.m.
 

Ben Ritchie

Class: Senior

School: Leechburg

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Ritchie is leading the Blue Devils (4-2) in scoring this season, averaging 20.6 points per game. He had a career-high 35 points, hitting five 3-pointers, in a 67-64 win over Penns Manor.

To what do you attribute to achieving your career high?

My teammates for getting me good looks and passes. Just running the plays the coaches designed for us.

Does Leechburg have anything to prove this season knowing you almost went to District 6?

I like our decision to stay in the WPIAL. We don't have to travel as far. I think we are competing well and showing everyone that we can compete and win games in the WPIAL.

What's the deal with spoofed, “Capital Game” magazine cover your coaches created for the team?

It was something Coach Davies made up. I don't know if there's anything behind it. It was seniors, the “Fab Four.” It was the name we came up with.

Do you have college plans?

Penn State New Kensington just got in touch with me. I might visit there. I got accepted to Clarion. I'm not 100 percent sure yet. I may play basketball in college I'm not sure.

What are the team goals?

Make the playoffs. That's our biggest. I'd like to see us win the Christmas Tournament coming up. I'd like to see us win some games and maybe come out first in our section.

What's it going to take to win a section title?

We all are going to have to work together and play defense. We will have to work hard at practice. We will have to play every game like it's our last one.

Natalie Myers

Class: Sophomore

School: Burrell

Sport: Basketball

Report card: A tenacious defender and active scorer and rebounder, the 5-foot-10 Myers is averaging a double-double — 15 points and 12 rebounds — for the WPIAL Class AA No. 2 Lady Bucs.

Your father, Joe, played at Burrell and Duquesne. How often does he help you with your game?

He helps with a lot. He always gives me pointers. He works me out when I have free time. He works me out all summer and when we go to the gym he's a shooting machine.

Your sister, Tess, plays for a sixth-grade boys team at Burrell. Who wins in at one-on-one when you play her?

Well I do, but she's going to be good when she gets older. I think she's already ahead of the skills I had in sixth grade.

How much has your comfort level improved from your freshman year?

It's improved. It's a lot different playing junior high basketball to high school; everything is different. I played a lot with the high school girls over the summer. I also play AAU and played against a lot of talented girls. I gained a lot of confidence.

What makes this Burrell team so special?

We all work hard. We all want to win. So you put those two things together I think that's what makes us special. We all work hard at practice, all of us.

Do you have any pregame ritual?

Before every game I need to listen to Beyonce and Whitney Houston. I don't know why, but those are the only two (singers) I listen to before games.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  2. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  3. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  4. Rising East Liberty out of reach for Pittsburgh’s poor
  5. ‘Real’ people, solutions at heart of GOP ad blitz in Pa.
  6. Juvenile shot in North Versailles neighborhood
  7. Leschak Automotive advances to second round in DNL playoffs
  8. Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
  9. Bill seeks to give Pittsburgh police license plate info
  10. Ambridge’s PittMoss takes off with help from TV show, Mt. Lebanon native Cuban
  11. Medical pot has advocate in Pennsylvania House