Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Hampton’s Joey Lafko, Bethel Park’s Rachel Mazzie
Claim to fame: Lafko scored a game-high 30 points and led Class AAA No. 2 Hampton to an 80-67 win over Valley in Section 1 on Feb. 3. The son of Talbots coach Joe Lafko, the younger Lafko is averaging 17.5 points this season. He had 20 points in a 78-59 win over Burrell on Jan. 27.
Can you explain the teams’s success?
It plays a large part in the work everyone does in the offseason. The coaches have told us from Day 1 it’s going to be a battle since a lot of guys graduated last year.
What’s it like playing for your father?
It’s been the same since third grade. He’s been my coach ever since I started playing. It’s an experience I wish most people would get. Sometimes it’s fun, but sometimes it’s frustrating.
How dangerous can the Talbots be in the playoffs?
Once we get healthy, we’ll be very dangerous. We are down two of our top six guys. Pretty much every one of our top eight players can shoot and score.
What are your plans after high school?
I want to go to college. If basketball is an option, then I’m going to go for it. If the right school doesn’t come up, then it’s not going to make or break me.
School: Upper St. Clair
Claim to fame: Mazzie scored a game-high 20 points in a 58-52 win over Peters Township on Feb. 2. Mazzie scored a game-high 19 points and went over the 1,000-point mark in her career, as the Panthers beat West Allegheny, 61-33, in Section 4-AAAA on Jan. 26. Mazzie went 3 for 3 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 17 points in a 45-41 loss to Baldwin on Jan. 29.
How special was it to go over 1,000 points in your career?
It was awesome. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates though. It was a milestone I was glad to accomplish, but we have a lot to do in my last year in high school.
When you look back at what you’ve accomplished, what stands out?
How close we are as a team and how we have all the same goals will stand out. We’ve worked well as a team and depended on each other to get done what we wanted to do.
Do you have plans after high school set?
I definitely want to continue playing, I’m not sure at what level though. I want to play basketball and study business management and eventually own a restaurant.
What can be expected from Upper St. Clair in the playoffs?
You can definitely expect to see a team that’s ready to play. Sometimes we play down, but I think we’re going to come together and play to our full potential.
— Brian Graham