The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 13, 2012

Township meets talent-laden Beaver Falls

JOHNSTOWN — Once a team reaches the PIAA basketball playoffs, the road continues to be an uphill climb.

Conemaugh Township’s boys overcame District 6-2 Bellwood-Antis

68-58 in the first round of the Class AA playoffs on Saturday.

The Indians reward is an opportunity to face the team that has one of the most recruited players in Western Pennsylvania when the District 5 champions square off against WPIAL titlist Beaver Falls and 6-foot-7 senior guard Sheldon Jeter in a 7:30 p.m. contest at Hempfield Area High School.

A starter for Beaver Falls since he was a sophomore, Jeter, who is reportedly being recruited by Wisconsin, Kansas State, South Carolina, Seton Hall and Penn State, is averaging 21 points per game, but finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Tigers 69-37 first-round victory over District 10-3 Lakeview.

“Everybody that I had talked to said that (Jeter) has it all,  that he’s the real deal and everything you want in basketball player,” Conemaugh Township Lesko said.  

But lest you think the team is all about one person, the Tigers used 11 different players against the Sailors and 10 of them scored. The other player in double figures for Beaver Falls was junior Drew Cook, who added 13 points against Lakeview.

Coach Doug Biega’s squad is 26-2 and last lost at the end of January to league rival Northgate, 63-54. Just days later, the Tigers made up for the loss by crushing Northgate 85-44. The team’s only other defeat was in early December, a 60-58 setback to District 10 Class A champ West Middlesex.

The task of taking on one of the state’s top teams in the round of 16 is on that has the Indians quite excited.

“How could they not be excited?” Lesko asked. “They’re one of the last 16 teams and they know they have a tough chore at hand, but they’re playing when a lot of teams are not.” 

The Indians (23-3), who have won 11 district titles, won their first District 5 crown since 2005 and first in Class AA since 1975 when they defeated Chestnut Ridge on March 2.

Lesko’s squad is led by senior Grant Speigle, a 6-1 senior guard who averages 14.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.9 steals and

3.7 assists per game.

Dillon Boyer, a 6-0 junior guard adds 14.1 points, 5.2 re-bounds and 3 assists per game for the Indians, who average 64.3 points a game.

The other starters for Conemaugh Township include

6-3 senior forward Dan Zambanini (6.5 ppg), 5-10 senior forward Eric Ewing (4.8) and

5-9 junior guard Josh Burns (7.2).

Off the bench are 6-1 junior forward Jeff Fisher (6.2) and

6-2 junior guard Jeremy Sotosky (4.1).

“This group of kids worked very hard to get to this point,” Lesko said. “All the success is well-deserved.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dodgers Pirates Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
    Polanco, hitting just .133 in his previous 11 games, smacked a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • ACC Kickoff Football ACC schools get optimism from stability

    Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference.
    It’s where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too – sort of – and nobody else is leaving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers Patriots Front.JPG Gronkowski cleared to play at Patriots training camp

    Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play at the New England Patriots training camp.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014