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High school notebook: A-K Valley players tabbed for Roundball Classic

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Brian Papich scores past Bethel Park's Quentin Keibler in the second half Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at North Hills HIgh School.
Top high school sports
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 9:36 p.m.

Three Alle-Kiski boys and three local girls were selected to play in the Roundball Classic all-star basketball games April 12 at Geneva College.

All six also played in the Cager Classic last weekend.

Fox Chapel's Matt D'Amico and Brian Papich will join Plum's Austin Dedert on the Class AAAA boys team, while Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias and Plum's Krista Pietropola will play for the Class AAAA girls.

St. Joseph's Mallory Heinle made the Class A girls team.

There will be four games in all. A team of Class A and District 10 girls will play Class AA at 2 p.m., followed by girls Class AAA vs. Class AAAA at 4, boys Class AA vs. Class AAA at 6, and boys Class A vs. Class AAAA at 8.

D'Amico and Pietropola are their respective school's all-time leading scorers. They along with Papich, Mathias and Heinle topped the 1,000-point career scoring mark earlier in the season.

Mathias has signed with Duke, Pietropola with Youngstown State and Heinle with Slippery Rock. The three boys remain undecided on their colleges.

Old college try

A pair of the area's top senior basketball players are trying relatively new sports this spring. Plum's Austin Dedert is playing volleyball for the first time, while St. Joseph's Mallory Heinle is giving softball another try.

The new sports will keep both busy before they head to college.

The 6-foot-6 Dedert, who has not committed to a college yet, still is learning how to play volleyball but thinks it will help his main sport.

“I think I can get a few inches added to my vertical (jump) from volleyball to help me in my future with basketball,” he said. “I'm learning pretty quickly. It's a lot different from basketball but I'm starting to get used to it.”

Heinle last played softball when she was about 9 years old.

“Back in fourth grade I made the all-star team, but I haven't been on a field since,” Heinle said. “I used to play first and third base. I'm playing just to have fun with my friends.”

Lights out

A spring tradition at Burrell — night softball games — is being put on hold this season.

Because of repairs scheduled to be made to the lights at Bon Air Elementary field this summer, the plan is to have only after-school home games at the Lower Burrell field.

Burrell athletic director Brian Ferra said the untreated lights are considered a safety hazard. He said it would be considerably dim in left field.

In addition, a crane would have to be brought onto the soggy field, and the risk exists that the heavy machine could sink.

Panos to RMU

Fox Chapel senior Tricia Panos has signed to continue her track career at Robert Morris. The Foxes' record-holder in the 100-meter dash, she was recruited for long- and high-jumps and the 400-meter run.

Panos Take II

Panos' father, John “J.P.” Panos, will be honored nationally for his work as Fox Chapel's athletic trainer. He will be recognized in the April issue of Training and Conditioning Magazine.

Panos has been the Foxes' trainer for 25 years and assistant athletic director for the past eight years.

Panos also serves as a clinical instructor at Pitt and Duquesne's School of Rehabilitation Sciences. He also is a volunteer member of the Steelers auxiliary training staff. He has worked the last three Super Bowls that the Steelers have made.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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