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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Chartiers Valley's Jerrad Tuite, South Park's Allison McGrath

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By Brian Graham
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Jerrad Tuite

School: Chartiers Valley

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Tuite scored 24 second-half points and finished with 29, helping the Colts beat Mars, 74-61, Friday to reach their seventh semifinals berth in eight years. Tuite made six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points for Chartiers Valley in a 95-62 win over Laurel Highlands in the first round Feb. 18. Tuite's senior year has been his best yet, averaging 16.3 points per game and shooting at a 42 percent clip.

Talk about how much your offense has meant to the team in this playoff run.

I'm a senior so this is my last show. I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to win a championship. If I have to score 25 or get assists, that's what I'll do.

How special would it be to win a WPIAL title?

That's what every kid in the area dreams of. We want to get to Palumbo and get the whole city to come watch. I want to hold that trophy when the clocks hit zero.

Is there friendly competition between you and Matty McConnell to see who can take over a game?

No, not really. If it's Matty's night, I'll get him the ball, or if it's my night, he'll get me the ball. You always want to be the best on the court and that just elevates our game.

What are your plans after high school?

I haven't decided yet. After the season I'll take a few visits. I'm looking at Point Park, Penn State-Behrend and Allegheny. Those are my top three right now.

Allison McGrath

School: South Park

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: McGrath scored a game-high 30 points, with 21 coming in the first half, to lead the Eagles to a 67-41 win over Trinity in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals Saturday. McGrath had six 3-pointers and scored 28 for South Park in its 59-25 first round win over Thomas Jefferson on Feb. 19. McGrath averaged 17.3 points per game this season and has stepped it up in the postseason, scoring 29 ppg.

What have you done to step your game up in the postseason?

I've taken more shots than I did in the regular season. Not just any shot, though, I'm looking for my shot and taking it.

Do the playoffs force you to play with a different mentality?

Yeah of course. In the regular season, we still play to beat everyone. In the playoffs you know you have to win to survive. You play each game like it's your last.

What will it take to defeat Elizabeth Forward in the semifinals?

We just have to keep playing the way we have all season. Our defense wins games. We have to keep playing tough and never stop trying to create chances on offense.

How are you hoping to improve in the coming years?

I just work on my shot in the offseason in my driveway. I never stop working. We'll see what comes along and see where it goes.

— Brian Graham



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