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VND high school notebook: Cager Classic basketball rosters revealed

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, 11:30 p.m.
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro (left) drives against Greensburg Central Catholic's Carolyn Appleby during a game Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, at Burrell.
Erica Dietz | For Trib Total Media
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro (left) drives against Greensburg Central Catholic's Carolyn Appleby during a game Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, at Burrell.

Teams and coaches have been selected for the 19th annual Cager Classic all-star basketball games March 28 at Highlands.

The coaches from Ford City, Al Davis (girls) and Greg Hutcherson (boys) will lead the East teams, and Hampton's Joe Lafko (boys) and Mary Bukovac (girls) will head up the West teams.

Game times are 5:45 p.m. for the girls and 7:45 p.m. for the boys.

Rosters are as follows:

Boys East: Blake Bower (Ford City), Joey Cox (Burrell), Caleb Davis (Valley), Wil Fuhrer (Plum), Zac Horner (West Shamokin), Noah Kunst (Kittanning), Jake Massack (Riverview), Ryan McDermott (Leechburg), Mike McGuire (Plum), Mike Simmons (Kiski Area), Alex Smith (Apollo-Ridge), Tre Tipton (Apollo-Ridge).

Boys West: Kaison Branch (Highlands), Cody Digiacobbe (Freeport), John Ferguson (St. Joseph), Rob Friel (Cheswick Christian), Jack Kramer (Hampton), Jack Lundy (Fox Chapel), Jack Morrison (Hampton), Roy Newcamp (Springdale), Noah Tresky (Mars), Billy Urso (Fox Chapel), Scott Ventura (Deer Lakes), Matt Zanella (Knoch).

Girls East: Sydney Bordonaro (Burrell), Clare Broman (Apollo-Ridge), Lizzy Cornish (Ford City), Christina Davis (Ford City), Tyree Freeman (Ford City), Missy Jones (Leechburg), Tiffany Montgomery (Kittanning), Kyjiah Peterson (Kiski Area), Jame Reese (Valley), Leah Sero (Riverview), Alyssa Zezza (Plum), Courtney Zezza (Plum).

Girls West: Shannon Bernardi (Highlands), Vanessa Blazer (Fox Chapel), Natalie Donegan (Hampton), Sara Getsy (Mars), Ali Goetz (Mars), Julie Hetu (St. Joseph), Erica Hunter (Knoch), Rachael McKaveny (Springdale), Maddy Neligan (Hampton), Mary Smolic (Freeport), Kristen Stanko (Deer Lakes), Jacque Willis (Cheswick Christian).

The annual Cager skills competition will be at 7 p.m. March 27.

Big 33 process

Only one local player was picked for the Big 33 Football Classic scheduled for June 20 at HersheyPark Stadium. Central Catholic's Johnny Petrishen, a Penn State recruit and all-state defensive back who lives in Lower Burrell, was selected to play for the West.

Some wondered why Apollo-Ridge's Tre Tipton, a Pitt recruit, and Kittanning's Nick Bowers, a Penn State recruit, were not picked. Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba and Kittanning coach Frank Fabian both said they nominated their players and were baffled when the players were not selected for the game.

The selection process starts with nominations but then is placed in the hands of a committee.

“Then films are reviewed by the (PSFCA) selection committee made up of 46 coaches from across the state,” Big 33 Scholarship Foundation Executive Director Dave Trimbur said.

“Once coaches review online film, they submit ratings on players. Then those same coaches meet to review the rankings and review tapes again to further evaluate the players then select the team.”

Kline to Waynesburg

Springdale senior Austin Kline will continue his football career at Waynesburg. A first-team All-Eastern Conference running back, he rushed for a team-high 751 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. A three-year starter, he was second on the Dynamos with 78 tackles.

Gestner to UNOH

Valley senior Roger Gestner has committed to play golf at the University of Northwestern Ohio, an NAIA school. Gestner was born in Bradenton, Fla., but his family, which is from the area, moved back in 2012.

Gestner attended Plum in 2012 where he played on the golf team, then went to Burrell in 2013 but did not play golf there. Gestner averaged 42 for nine holes last season at Valley.

Nearing 1,000

Riverview junior basketball player Sadie Buchser is 18 points away from 1,000 for her career. Riverview begins the PIAA playoffs Saturday.

Spring ahead

Monday is the first official practice date for spring sports. March 20 is the first day baseball and softball, track and field, boys volleyball and lacrosse can play games and matches. Boys tennis starts March 9.

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

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