The Central PA boys and girls all-star teams scored a sweep in the ninth annual Altoona Mirror Classic at Mount Aloysius College on Friday night.
The Central PA boys shot 57.5 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from 3-point range in a wild 121-107 victory over the Blair County all-stars in the second half of the doubleheader.
The Central PA girls broke open the contest early against Blair and won 96-74.
In the boys game, MVP Todd Fetsko of Marion Center came off the bench to score 19 points and grab five rebounds. Fetsko made 9-of-15 shots from the floor.
“It felt weird. I wasn’t used to coming off the bench,” said Fetsko, a four-year starter for the Stingers who averaged 23.7 points this year and double digits for his career. “I was nice and warm, and I came out and I was kind of scared. It felt really weird coming out. That first shot went in. The second shot went in. Then, you’re kind of in a groove after that.
“Playing with these guys, they’ll get you the ball. This is a great group of guys out here.”
Central PA built 10-point leads of 78-68 and 85-75 and appeared to be in control. But Blair closed the gap to three points.
Then, Central PA’s shots started falling again, including a pair of 3-pointers from Central Cambria’s Tanner Ambrisco, who scored eight of his 13 points in the final quarter.
“Whoever was feeling it, that’s who we were passing to,” said Ambrisco, who also had five assists. “If you were making shots. … Todd (Fetsko) was making shots the whole game, and we passed it to him and he scored. When I started making shots, they started setting screens for me and I was scoring. We kept feeding the guy who was scoring.”
Bishop Carroll’s Marcus Lee scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. State College’s Michael Beattie and Homer-Center’s Joe Capitosti also each scored 15, and Conemaugh Valley’s Blake Furman had 11 points and two assists.
“It’s just a great experience,” Ambrisco said. “You’re playing against the best players in the area. It’s always a challenge to go out there. It’s a high-scoring game. It’s fun when you’re scoring a lot of points.”
Tyrone’s Brandon Gripp scored 24 points and had eight rebounds to earn Blair MVP honors. Altoona’s Manny Span had 21 points and nine boards.
United’s Eden Bloom felt the postseason ended much too early for her Lions. So, the St. Vincent College-bound point guard made up for the down time during the girls portion of the Classic.
Bloom scored the first six points of the game and added nine third-quarter points to spark the Central PA squad in a 96-74 victory over the Blair County all-stars.
“Coming off a regular season that didn’t end as well as we wanted it to, and then coming out for another chance to play a game, it kind of just drove me to do my thing,” said Bloom, who netted 15 points and earned the Central PA MVP honors.
“As soon as I stepped on the court I felt like I was in it.”
Bloom, who was part of a Lions team that lost to Bishop Carroll in the District 6-A quarterfinals, hit three consecutive baskets to give Central PA a 6-0 advantage. Bloom finished with more points (15) than minutes played (14) in the game.
“I just do whatever I can. There were 11 other girls that really could play very well,” said Bloom, who averaged 15.7 points as a senior and finished third all-time on United’s scoring list.
“They ask you for a few minutes of your time. That’s what I wanted to do. As long as I was out there, I was scoring points and playing defense, whatever I had to do.”
Portage’s 6-foot-1 Olivia McCabe had another solid showing while playing for her Mustangs coach Lance Hudak, the Central PA coach and in front of former Portage/St. Francis University star Stacy Alexander, the team’s honorary captain.
“I had a lot of players helping me and we all helped each other,” said Pitt-Johnstown recruit McCabe, who scored 14 points and had five rebounds and two blocks. “We were just playing. We really weren’t looking at the scoreboard until the end. We were playing for fun. We’re glad we got the win.”
Penn Cambria’s Kaitlyn Krug had a strong showing in her first game back since a leg injury suffered in her team’s regular-season home finale.
Krug scored 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and had five rebounds.
“Coming back off the injury I have been working on shooting constantly,” said Krug, who played 15 minutes. “I’ve been working with Dave Roman (shooting instructor). Coming from there, I went two days this weekend. I’ve been practicing my shots.”
Krug was happy to have the opportunity.
“I went out in our last home game of the season,” Krug said. “This game was my first game back. It felt tight but once my adrenaline started, I can usually work through anything.”
Lauren Donley of Altoona had 14 points, including four 3-pointers to earn Blair County MVP honors.
The Altoona duo of Darby Lee had 12 points, and Mackenzie Hatch, 11.
Notes: In the girls game, Central PA leads the all-time series against the Blair squad, 5-4. … The Central PA boys have a 7-2 edge over Blair. … Joining Alexander as honorary captains were former Altoona girls standout Jennifer (Shingler) Hansberry with the Blair girls; former North Star sharpshooter Drew Shubik of the Central PA boys; and Altoona High graduate Brian Rehm of the Blair boys. … Former NBA player Doug West of Altoona attended the Classic on Friday. West was an honorary captain during the first year of the event. … The Classic coaches were: Portage’s Lance Hudak; Tyrone’s Luke Rhoades in the girls game; and Homer-Center’s Bob Rado and Altoona Area’s Paul Hasson in the boys contest.
Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.