The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 2, 2012

CORY ISENBERG| Experience is payoff in tournaments

Cory Isenberg

JOHNSTOWN — The reasons for high school basketball teams to play in holiday tournaments are as varied as the teams themselves.

But sometimes, more important lessons can be learned in a loss than by winning.

Despite not picking up victories in their particular tournaments, several coaches have expressed appreciation for those lessons learned by their squads against tough opponents.

Shanksville-Stonycreek was the little team among the larger schools at the 52nd annual Windber Rotary Tournament and advanced to the championship, losing 58-47 to Westmont Hilltop in the final.

“I told our kids before this game that a team like Westmont is someone like we’re going to see in the district playoffs and, hopefully, if we’re lucky enough in interdistricts,” Vikings coach Robert Snyder said.

“This is a good atmosphere and, obviously, they are all Class AA schools. I was proud of my guys. I know we didn’t get the big prize, but I’m proud of their effort.”

Chestnut Ridge claimed consolation honors at the Windber Rotary Tournament, and coach Randy Meck saw his team overcome an early deficit against the Hilltoppers in the first round.

“We know we have some really big games coming up here and we feel that this tournament was a great extra practice for us to get ready for the regular season,” Meck said.

Now that the tournaments are behind us for the most part and if the winter weather cooperates, the conference battles for both the boys and the girls should start heating up this week.

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