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December 9, 2013

CORY ISENBERG| Tourney maintains tradition

There are plenty of traditions that folks observe each holiday season from trimming trees with certain ornaments to preparing for special Christmas cantatas not to mention holiday parties and family get-togethers.

One of the Isenberg mainstays is the baking of Christmas cookies and candymaking. My mother, sisters and I begin cranking out the sugary confections the day after Thanksgiving. We usually turn out at least 15 different kinds which makes for nearly 100 dozen. We hand them out to friends and acquaintances.

An annual area event is the 36th UPJ Mountain Cat Tournament, which is set for this weekend at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.

Defending champion Shade, which beat Northern Bedford 71-54 in last year’s title tilt, will face Forbes Road in the second game on Friday. The opener is scheduled to be Blairsville against Central Cambria.

Consolation and championship games will be played on Saturday.

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Milestone makers: Portage honored its seven girls basketball 1,000-point scorers on Saturday night at the Art Burkett Tournament.

The first Mustang to score 1,000 points was Trina Vargo, who played from 1978-80 and hit the mark prior to the 3-point shot.

Stacy Alexander played from 1988-92 and is Portage’s all-time leading scorer with 1,762 points.

Angie (Kostan) Solarczyk was with the Mustangs from 1992-96 while Breanna (Shope) Layo played from 1993-97.

Prior to this year’s two senior class 1,000-club members, Natalie Kittell was the last Portage girl to hit the milestone playing from 1996-99.

Olivia McCabe and Emily Chobany are the most recent members of the exclusive Mustangs club and will finish their careers this season (20-10-14).

Unfortunately for Chobany, she was held out of the championship game of the tournament due to an injury and Penn Cambria went on to win the crown 46-41.

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Hoops heaven: Over the first weekend of the high school basketball season, many teams chose to open at tip-off tournaments while others faced single opponents.

The Bishop Carroll boys, ranked third in the Class A pre-season poll, visited Conemaugh Valley and came away with a big win.

The United girls were probably the biggest upset winners, holding off Windber in the championship of the Ramblers tournament for their first title of any kind for a number of years.

The Laurel Highlands produced five girls champs in Bishop McCort, Westmont Hilltop, Somerset, Forest Hills and Penn Cambria.

Conemaugh Township’s girls were the winner at Penns Manor while the Shade boys claimed the Chestnut Ridge tourney.

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at


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