Share This Page

Daily News spotlight athletes: West Mifflin's Aaron Adams, Thomas Jefferson's Haley Kutscher

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 12:41 a.m.
Submitted
West Mifflin's Aaron Adams
Submitted
Thomas Jefferson's Haley Kutscher

Aaron Adams

School: West Mifflin

Class: Junior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Adams scored 20 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 63-51 victory over Laurel Highlands in a WPIAL Class AAA preliminary-round playoff game Friday night.

Did you feel that you needed to step up after losing one of your better players?

No question. Ryan (Maha) was our leading scorer, and I felt that Karlyn (Garner) and I needed to step up like we did against Steel Valley. We took a tough loss in that game, but we played well. Going into this game I felt I had to step up, and I feel like I did that.

Do you guys prepare any differentlyfor playoff games?

We pretty much stuck with what we had been doing in the regular season because it has worked for us. Early on we were scoring in the 30s, and as the season went on we bumped it up into the 80s. We've just adjusted to different teams but nothing really that different.

Are you always looking to shoot 3-pointers or was that just how this game played out?

At the beginning of the season when Ryan was playing, I didn't have a big role. I was just coming off the bench to take charges and get rebounds. I felt like I had to step up and do more. I don't think I shot any different on Friday. They were just falling on Friday.

What do you guys have to do to make this playoff run a success?

Like coach says, we have to win and survive. We have to focus in practice and prepare for each team. We have to go into each game like it's do or die. No one is expecting a 15 seed to beat a 2 seed so we have to go in with confidence thinking we're going to win the game. We have to slow their tempo down. They're a very skilled team. We have to play smart like we know how. If we do that we are going to win.

Who would you like to play one on one?

That's a tough question. I think I would like to play one on one with a guy named Doug Kecman. He was a really good shooter and a really good player that went to West Mifflin North before they merged, and then to Cincinnati. My dad knew him when he played.

Haley Kutscher

School: Thomas Jefferson

Class: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Kutscher scored a game-high 13 points and nailed an important 3-pointer just before halftime to give Thomas Jefferson a 26-18 lead, as the Jaguars (13-9) defeated Ambridge in a WPIAL Class AAA preliminary-round game Saturday.

On paper, the game against Ambridge was pretty even. What was the game plan?

Coach (Phil) Shar had us try different defenses throughout the game to keep the other team on their toes. He was confident in our ability on offense; we just tried to switch things up on defense.

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

I would say all of the practices that we have had since May. We have also done a lot of team bonding as well. We have sleepovers and talk about how our games went.

What do you consider your biggest strength on the court?

I would say my defense. I feel like it comes more naturally than playing on offense. I feel a little more pressure on offense, whereas on defense I feel like I can read what the other person is going to do.

Do you consider yourself a leader?

I think so, because I kind of give everyone else positive energy. If someone else is down I try to make sure that they smile.

What are your plans for next year?

I am going to IUP for criminology. I'm not sure about playing basketball. A part of me wants to play, but another part of me isn't sure.

— Robert Stinner

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.