“Heroes of the Hardwood” makes its debut in this edition of The Tribune-Democrat.
“Heroes” is the extension of our statistical spotlight on area student-athletes. Our “Legends of the Fall” football stats package has run on Thursdays for the past decade or so.
While some label me a statistics nut and local sports history buff, I must admit that compiling a dual statistical package for 29 area PIAA teams that play boys and girls hoops is a bit more complex project than the football package.
But with the help of area coaches and resources such as team/league websites and the comprehensive MaxPreps.com, the numbers eventually added up.
The goal is to run the compilation weekly, accompanied by a column highlighting some of the players’ accomplishments.
A quick glance across the boys stats reveals the all-around success of Blacklick Valley senior Dalton Cesarz, whose 319 points and 29.0 scoring average led the area entering the week. Cesarz also averaged an area-best 13.6 rebounds a game with 150 boards. His 39 steals were good for 3.5 a game.
Shade senior guard Ryan Fyock averaged 27.9 points a game, but sat out Tuesday’s WestPAC South showdown 48-46 loss to Shanksville due to an injury. Shade 6-foot-5 senior forward Wade Walker averaged 12.9 rebounds a game.
Johnstown senior guard Daniel Barfield paced the area with 5.5 assists a game while McCort junior Billy Hipp averaged 5.4 assists a game. Johns-town senior Phillip Madison’s 38 steals translated into 3.8 a game.
In girls basketball, Shanksville senior Kayla Stockenus scored 387 points for a 29.8 average through Monday’s games. Forest Hills senior Casey Gallaher averaged 19.5 points, and United junior Eden Bloom averaged 18.9.
Johnstown sophomore Tashayla Smith led the area with 15.2 rebounds a game. Richland senior Katie Gehlmann had an area-high 5.1 assists a game (61), while Westmont Hilltop senior Erin Rodgers had 4.7 assists a game.
Ligonier Valley senior Kyra Ludwig’s 49 steals/6.1 average topped the area. Ferndale senior Elizabeth Chobany and Westmont’s Rodgers also had 49 steals for an average of 4.9 a game.
A thank you to all the area coaches and statisticians who update statistics on a weekly basis. A special shout out to Blacklick Valley’s Garry Wurm, who repeatedly pitched this idea and even sent his own ranking of the boys top scorers a couple weeks ago.
Since then, some tweaks were made, a number of categories were added, and the girls also were included in the final product.