Name: Olivia McCabe
McCabe’s week: A 6-foot-1 junior forward/guard combination, McCabe scored 24 points to go with 12 rebounds last Thursday as Class A Portage defeated Class AAAA Greater Latrobe, 60-56, in the first round of the Ligonier Valley Tournament.
McCabe followed with 18 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks and six steals on Friday as the Mustangs won the tournament with a 49-46 victory over Ligonier Valley.
McCabe was the MVP of the tournament and undefeated Portage (8-0) was the only school there smaller than Class AAA.
“We were looking forward all year to playing there because, last year, we only lost by a couple points,” McCabe said.
“Winning was really awesome. I think people expected us to be underdogs but we thought we could win.”
Great expectations: Portage won 16 games last year and returned six letterwinners, including McCabe and Emily Chobany.
Combine the talent, experience and the fast start and these Mustangs are hoping for one of the better seasons at Portage in some time.
Portage’s goal is to win a District 6 championship.
“We’re hoping to go all the way and I think we can,” said McCabe, who is drawing interest from a long list of Division I programs including Colgate, Villanova, Harvard and Yale. “We have everything we need.”
More than tall: McCabe’s height gives her an advantage on the basketball court, as her 720 points and 623 rebounds through her freshman and sophomore seasons attests, but the softball and track standout is more than just a big presence in the post.
If needed, Portage coach Lance Hudak can play McCabe at point guard.
“In this area, when you get those six-foot girls in basketball, rarely are they able to move laterally and are athletic. Olivia McCabe is the complete opposite,” Hudak said. “She’s fast, athletic and she’s worked hard to become as skilled as she is.”
Dynamic duo: McCabe and Chobany, a 5-5 guard, have been teammates since they started playing the sport. Besides the high school team, the duo spent years playing AAU basketball together for the PA Pride.
Chobany leads the Mustangs in scoring with a 17.4 average. McCabe is averaging 17.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.5 blocks.
“We know each other and read each other on the court,” McCabe said. “We know where the other one is going to be before we get there.”