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High school notebook: Burrell’s Bordonaro set to sign with Pepperdine |

High school notebook: Burrell’s Bordonaro set to sign with Pepperdine

Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro (left) drives the ball past General McLane's Laura Schaefer during a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal girls basketball game Friday, March 14, 2014, at Sharon.

All-state guard Sydney Bordonaro is eager to get her senior basketball season underway at Burrell. But first, she has to tend to some business.

On Wednesday morning, the two-time Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year is expected to sign a letter of intent to continue her playing career at Pepperdine, a school she gave a verbal commitment to almost one year ago.

She took her official visit to the Malibu Beach, Calif., school last month and reaffirmed her desire to play for the Waves in the West Coast Conference.

Wednesday is the first day of the NCAA’s early-signing period. Bordonaro didn’t want to wait.

“I’m so happy just to finally make it official,” she said.

Bordonaro is glad the grind of the recruiting process will screech to a halt on signing day. While life on the beaches of California lies ahead, she is focused on returning to top form after a nagging shoulder injury plagued her in the offseason.

Burrell’s all-time leading scorer had surgery in July to repair a torn labrum in her left shoulder. She missed AAU season but has been cleared to resume full-contact practice. WPIAL teams can begin official practices Nov. 17. The season opens Dec. 5.

Bordonaro averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 steals last season for Burrell, which put together its best season. The team finished 28-2 and reached the WPIAL finals and the PIAA semifinals.

Myers getting attention

Speaking of recruiting, another Burrell standout, Natalie Myers, is delving into the process just like Bordonaro did, as an up-and-coming junior.

Myers, a 5-foot-11 forward, has Division I scholarship offers from St. Francis (Pa.), Niagara, Youngstown State and Robert Morris.

Last season, Myers averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds, and she had a double-double in seven of eight playoff games.

Uncle Mel?

Apollo-Ridge senior football star Tre Tipton was greeted with positive support from someone he refers to as “Uncle Mel” on Friday night after the Vikings lost to Washington, 58-30, in a quarterfinal playoff game at Latrobe.

“Uncle Mel” is former Steelers great Mel Blount. The Hall of Fame cornerback was in attendance to watch his son, Khalid, a junior lineman, play. Tipton and the younger Blount are cousins. That makes Mel Blount Tipton’s uncle through marriage.

Latrobe officials in the press box heard about Blount’s son and scoured the bleachers from the press box for his father, looking for Blount’s trademark cowboy hat. But the Steelers great blended in well.

Tipton said Blount met with him after the game.

“Uncle Mel told me I played a great game and helped me smile after the game,” Tipton said.

Tipton, who had six catches for 133 yards and a touchdown Friday, topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season and ran for nine touchdowns. He also passed for 515 yards and seven TDs.

Jenny from the block

Post players on the Plum girls basketball team will get advice this season from one of the better forwards to come out of the A-K Valley. Plum hired former Fox Chapel and Gannon star Jenny Papich as an assistant. She joins first-year coach Eric Gillis’ coaching staff.

Papich, a two-time All-America honorable mention in college and a three-time All-PSAC first-teamer, finished sixth on Gannon’s all-time scoring list with 1,534 points and also is on top-10 lists for free throws made, blocks, steals and rebounds.

A key returning player for Plum is 6-4 center Courtney Zezza, a St. Francis (Pa.) recruit.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at [email protected].

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