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Valley News Dispatch spotlight athletes: Scott Ventura and Brooke Zukowski

| Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Deer Lakes' Scott Ventura
Knoch's Brooke Zukowski

Scott Ventura

Class: Junior

School: Deer Lakes

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Ventura quietly has been one of the most productive scorers in the Valley this season, averaging 15.1 points for the Lancers. He scored a career-high 29 points and hit a 3-pointer as time expired to beat Burrell on Jan. 30. He also starts at third base for the baseball team.

What went through your head when you hit the game-winner against Burrell on the same night you scored your career high?

It was crazy that we got a clean shot. Our coach drew up such a good play, and everyone executed it well. I got a good enough look, and it was good enough to go in.

You apparently know a lot about sports. Not just about present, but the past as well?

I just find all historical sports interesting. I've always loved watching sports. If I see an old Celtics and Lakers game on TV, I'll watch it. I love that stuff.

Since you're only a junior, you have one more year of basketball left. What area of your game are you going to work on the most during the offseason?

I honestly want to be a little more consistent in scoring the basketball. I want to become a better defender. There's so much to work on, and that's the beauty of the game that I have one more year left to work on things.

Brooke Zukowski

Class: Freshman

School: Knoch

Sport: Swimming

Report card: Zukowski has qualified for 10 WPIAL events in her first year of varsity swimming. She also competes on the Fox Chapel Killer Whales club team and runs on the cross country team.

You've had a lot of success this season in multiple events. How will you translate that success into the postseason?

It was good to have that success. It helped get my confidence up. Whatever happens, happens.

Have you decided what events you will swim at the WPIAL Championships?

I will be swimming the 200-yard IM and the 100 breaststroke.

Why did you decide to join the Fox Chapel club team?

It just seemed like it was the closest team to my house that has the best coaching. It's also for training purposes.

How do you make time for your school work with such a busy schedule swimming wise?

I do a lot of homework in the car, and I stay up a lot late at night.

You also run cross country. How do you think that helps you for swimming?

It definitely helps me. It helps keep my legs in shape and my core.

—D.J. Vasil

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