Allen first No. 2 at Notre Dame
Three days away from her official collegiate basketball debut at Notre Dame, Monessen's Charel Allen has already come up with a distinction.
A 5-11 freshman, Allen is the first player in the school's history to wear No. 2.
After leading the Lady Greyhounds to a WPIAL and first PIAA Class A championship the past season and scoring 3,110 career points to rank second in the WPIAL to only Gina Naccarato, also of Monessen, Allen is expected to see plenty of action for the Irish.
Allen has already played 22 and 23 minutes in Notre Dame's two exhibition contests.
She had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds in the Fighting Irish's 84-52 romp over Premier Sports and eight points and four steals in an 80-61 triumph over the Hoosier Lady Stars.
Notre Dame, ranked 10th in the country and second in the Big East Conference behind three-time defending national champion Connecticut, opens the campaign at 9 p.m. Friday at the Joyce Center against Illinois State in the Preseason WNIT.
The late start is due to a 4 p.m. Irish volleyball game against Pittsburgh followed by a football pep rally. It marks the first time in Notre Dame basketball history that the Irish will play a regular-season game at Joyce Center immediately after a football pep rally.
Other teams in the tourney include Arizona, Duke, Middle Tennessee, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rice, Saint Joseph and South Florida.
Notre Dame basketball coach Muffet McGraw, who signed a two-year extension Monday which runs her through the 2010-11 season, is looking for big things from Allen.
"Charel does so many things well, but one of her most impressive qualities is the way she makes others around her better," said McGraw. "She has a true scorer's mentality, which is something we certainly need this year. We are looking for someone who wants to shoot the ball, and she will be able to do that for us.
"She can also run the floor well and should fit into the college game very well."
Allen will be getting some national exposure since two Notre Dame games will be on ESPN2 - Jan. 16 against Purdue and Jan. 30 at Connecticut. She will also play one game in Pittsburgh with the Irish visiting the Petersen Events Center Saturday, Feb. 2 for a 2 p.m. contest against Pitt.
nMonessen's Dave Lauteri, who finished his career as Monessen's all-time leading boys scorer in soccer with 107 goals, was one of 18 state finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award.
Lauteri was one of only four WPIAL seniors honored for their academic and athletic accomplishments and high level of community involvement.
The others were Shady Side Academy's Reid Van Lehn, Bethel Park's Brenna Brucker and Connellsville's Ashley Benzio.
Schuylkill's Addison Nuding and Brucker ended up being the state's male and female state winners.
And thanks to Barry Galiffa of Donora who says if yesterday's deeds look big, you haven't done much today!