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Butler County spotlight athletes: Feb. 2, 2014

| Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Zach Snyder

School: Seneca Valley

Year: Junior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Snyder leads Seneca Valley in scoring at almost 20 points per game. He had 27 points in a 60-54 win over North Hills and 26 more in a 95-82 triumph over Beaver.

Your team had a nice three-game section winning streak before a loss to North Allegheny. How much did those three wins get you guys going?

It certainly put us in a good spot in the section, but we have to keep winning out. We have to go work hard. We have to win as many games as we can still, but those wins were huge for us. It set us apart a little. I wish we could have gotten NA.

What's it like playing in a section with New Castle, Hampton and North Allegheny, three of the top teams in Class AAAA?

Basically, we're playing against the best of the best every week. Even the other teams in our section are good. Every team is very good and you have to bring it every game. They all have lots of young talent coming up, too.

Seneca Valley almost hit 100 points in the win over Beaver. So, it seems you can be pretty explosive on offense?

We can definitely score a lot. The problem with that game is we gave up 82. That was certainly talked about afterward. A team like New Castle would turn that 82 into 140. We have to work on that for sure.

You've been having a great year. You didn't play much varsity basketball last year, are you surprised you've been able to make such an impact?

I really wasn't expecting this much this year. I worked hard over the summer, but to be at the point where I am is still surprising. Certainly, I still have a lot to work on and a lot of room to improve.

Abbie Trzeciak

School: Seneca Valley

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: She helped Seneca Valley pick up key WPIAL Section 3-AAAA wins over Pine-Richland and Shaler and got the Raiders back into the playoffs with a triumph over North Hills.

What did getting those two big wins over Shaler and Pine-Richland do for the team's confidence?

Going into the two games, we knew they were critical. After losing to North Allegheny, we were looking for something to give us a little hope and keep the fire going. We knew we still had a chance to make the playoffs. Everyone really came together and pulled through, and the outcome was what we wanted. It was awesome.

How tough is your section?

It's definitely a battle every game. We played Oakland Catholic and they were 0-5, and they pulled out a big win against us. Any given night, any team can win. It's definitely a very tough section to play against.

Seneca Valley's girls had not been to the WPIAL basketball playoffs since 2008. How cool is it to break that streak?

It's amazing. I was pretty little the last time the team made it. Not having been to the playoffs my whole high school career, it was a huge goal to get there this year. To be part of that group that breaks the streak is awesome.

— Joe Sager

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