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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Seton-La Salle's Levi Masua, Bishop Canevin's Johnie Olkosky

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Seton-La Salle's Levi Masua
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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 Brian Graham
Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

Levi Masua

School: Seton-La Salle

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Masua scored a game-high 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and have five blocks and steals to lead the Rebels to an 82-51 rout of Penns Valley in the first round of the PIAA playoffs Saturday at Penn Hills. Masua had six points, seven blocks and 12 rebounds in the Rebels' 52-51 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL title game at A.J. Palumbo Center on March 1.

Talk about how this team is playing at this point in the playoffs.

We're focused. You can tell when you go in practice that there's a level of urgency that everybody wants to show up and work. That's going to take us far.

What do you feel is the role you need to fulfill?

I guess it's just whatever coach wants me to do on that night. Against Greensburg, I just played hard defense. The Penns Valley game, I went out and played my game and scored a little more.

What are you guys going to have to do to compete for a state title?

We have to stay focused and play our game. That's buckling down and playing defense, rebounding and holding each other accountable.

What are you going to work on to be better at the college level?

I am going to hit the gym and do a lot of lifting. I'll also work on my ball-handling.

Did playing soccer this year help you in your conditioning and staying healthy for this stretch of playoff games?

No doubt. All the extra running and sprints in soccer definitely helped me.

Johnie Olkosky

School: Bishop Canevin

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Olkosky scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out eight assists to help the Crusaders win 61-30 over Juniata in the opening round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs Saturday at Moon. Her breakout playoff performance was welcomed after being held to just eight points in a 62-40 loss to Seton-La Salle in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals on Feb. 25. A West Liberty State recruit, Olkosky led the Crusaders in scoring this season, averaging just over 12 points per game.

How satisfying was it to come out and win in the state tournament after losing to Seton-La Salle?

It meant a lot. We had some time off, so we were nervous. We knew they were strong and aggressive, so we came out and gave our all and it showed.

What's your mentality like at this point in the season?

I just keep thinking that I'm playing each game like it's my last high school game. It's true, if I lose, I'm done. I won't play high school basketball again.

Why did you decide on West Liberty State?

Actually, Coach Cooper is an assistant. He was at Wheeling Jesuit. That was my top school. When he switched, I went on a visit and saw that I really liked their style of play and it was a perfect fit.

What's the one thing you want to improve before you get to campus?

My speed and ball-handling.

— Brian Graham

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