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Westmoreland notebook: Latrobe welcomes back 2,000-point scorer Sabota

Bill Beckner Jr.
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Metrocreative

Latrobe welcomed home one of its own for a holiday girls basketball tournament.

Jen Sobota, the Wildcats’ all-time leading scorer with 2,093 points, is the coach of the McLean High School girls team in Virginia. Sobota brought her team to Latrobe for the three-day tournament on the refurbished floor.

Sobota, a 1999 Latrobe graduate, is an aunt of current Wildcats player Bethany Havrilla. Jody (Sobota) Havrilla is Bethany’s mother and Jen’s sister.

Family connections and Latrobe, go figure.

Latrobe defeated McLean, 68-53, on Thursday. The tournament was spread over three days because it had only three varsity teams. On Friday, McLean downed Connellsville, 58-35.

Latrobe resumed tournament play Saturday against Connellsville. Sobota and Co. headed home.

Organizers used the event to recognize its six 1,000-point scorers. In addition to Jen Sobota and Jody Sobota (1,316 points), the others honored included Laura Graytok (1,591), Emily Fenton (1,236), Madison Kollar (1,192) and Lauren Mueseler (1,172).

“We had our fifth through eighth grade teams playing too,” Latrobe coach Mark Burkhardt said. “We wanted it to be a weekend celebration of Latrobe girls basketball, past and present.”

Burkhardt said a banner will be raised in the gym that lists the top scorers.

On the clock

The PIAA might never adopt a shot clock in basketball, but Latrobe’s boys team got a taste of what it would be like while playing in the Josh Palmer Holiday Inn Classic in Elmira, N.Y.

New York high school teams use a 35-second shot clock.

Latrobe won its opener, 50-41, over Seton Catholic Central (N.Y.) — a lot less points than the Wildcats are used to. They came in averaging 76.4 a game.

“It wasn’t a huge difference,” Latrobe senior guard Reed Fenton said of the shot clock. “But it played a part at the end of quarters, and it helped us out defensively because we like to apply pressure.”

Other states that use shot clocks in high school games include California, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.

Century mark

Greensburg Salem’s boys basketball team had a memorable opener in its holiday tournament Thursday night by reaching 100 points.

The Golden Lions made 13 3-pointers and had three players — Jack Oberdorf, Dante Parsons and Christian McGowan — score 20 points each in a 100-71 win over Frazier.

It is the most points Greensburg Salem has scored since a 93-90 win over Highlands in 2011.

“We had shots falling on the offensive end and pushed as soon as we got the ball,” Oberdorf said. “It was a lot of fun to play in. It was an action packed night.”

Hyde to SFU

Southmoreland transfer Nick Hyde, a senior at Somerset, committed to the track and field team at St. Francis (Pa.). Hyde has become one of the top shot put throwers in the state. He won the District 6 title last year and finished second at the PIAA Class AAA meet.

Hyde (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) also is a standout football lineman. His cousin is Southmoreland quarterback Zach Cernuto.

USA Today all-state

A pair of Westmoreland area players were selected to the USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Pennsylvania Football Team. Latrobe senior lineman Trent Holler was named second-team offense, and Norwin senior safety Jayvon Thrift made it on the second-team defense.

Holler, an East Carolina recruit, had 32 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks last season for Latrobe. He also was a fierce blocker on offense.

Thrift, who is headed to West Virginia as a preferred walk-on, had a team-best 87 tackles this year for the Knights.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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