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Notebook: Barkowski reaches bittersweet milestone

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Friday, Dec. 14, 2007

Mike Barkowski is glad he reached 1,000 points for his career. But the St. Joseph senior guard-forward would trade the milestone to get his team healthy again.

St. Joseph lost two key starters to knee injuries Dec. 3 at Riverview. One night later, Barkowski reached the milestone but he and the depleted Spartans dropped a 69-51 decision to Springdale.

Senior guard Greg Conroy likely is done for the season, and senior forward Pat Tutka is out at least two weeks.

"It's a wonderful thing to get the milestone because a lot of people don't get to do it," Barkowski said. "But when you understand the concepts involved with achieving 1,000 points, you have to take into account you don't do it alone."

Barkowski has developed into one of the top scorers in Class A. He may not play in college, although he is considering walking on at St. Vincent, where he wants to go for biology.

Apollo rocket

The Apollo-Ridge boys are off to a surprising start, at 5-2.

Even more surprising, though, is the fact that Apollo-Ridge has no returning starters from a team that finished 6-17 last season. The team went 7-16 the previous year and has not been to the WPIAL playoffs since 2003.

Last season, Apollo-Ridge didn't get its fifth win until Jan. 19.

Burrell game ppd.

Burrell's boys game against Jeannette on Dec. 18 has been postponed because Jeannette still is getting players back from the football team.

The game does not have a make-up date yet.

Jeannette is 0-0 in basketball but still is getting a ton of respect.

The Jayhawks, led by two-sport standout Terrelle Pryor, have not played a game yet due to the football team's run to the state finals, yet they are still ranked No. 1 in most WPIAL polls.

Scoring woes

Leechburg's girls basketball team is looking for a scoring spark.

Heading into last night's game against North Catholic, the Lady Blue Devils were averaging a WPIAL-low 16.4 points per game. They have scored eight points in a game twice and their season high is 26 against St. Joseph.

Apollo-Ridge beat Leechburg, 81-15.

Lady Blue Devils first-year coach Sarah Brady, 24, isn't used to a lack of scoring.

The two-time Valley News Dispatch first-team all-star scored more than 1,000 points in her career at Leechburg. She averaged 18.9 per game her senior season.

Buzzer-beaters

Two local Class AAAA players beat the buzzer to propel their teams to victories this week.

Kiski Area's Brady Pacific scored with eight seconds left to lift the Cavaliers to a 62-60 win over Norwin in Section 1-AAAA action, while Plum's Jon Sharp tossed one in with three seconds remaining helped the Mustangs to a 58-57 win over Penn Hills in a Section 2-AAAA game.

Layups

Valley's Kaila Benson hit eight 3-pointers and scored 37 points last weekend against Plum. The 3-point total is a Valley school record and is among the top shooting marks in A-K Valley girls history. ... Leechburg's boys team, the defending WPIAL Class A champions who were hit hard by graduation, won their first game of the season Monday, 68-49 over Winchester-Thurston. The win snapped a four-game losing streak. ... Highlands' boys have made 60 3-pointers in five games and are leading the WPIAL in scoring at 87.4 points per game. ... Fox Chapel's win over Valley on Dec. 2 was the 100th of Foxes coach Ben O'Connor's career.

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