Jessica Slagus, Belle Vernon
Last week: In victories against West Mifflin and Thomas Jefferson, Slagus scored 15 and 19 points, respectively, the latter of which was a team-high. Those victories helped push Belle Vernon's winning streak to six games.
Check this out: Slagus, a senior, has made sure that her final season of high school basketball will be a memorable one. She recently eclipsed career totals of 1,000 points and 750 rebounds and she entered the week averaging nearly 20 points a game (19.9), putting her among the top 15 scorers in the WPIAL. TheLeopards were second in the Class AAA Section 4 standings before Thursday.
• Did the 1,000-point and 750-rebound accomplishments mean much to you or is that something people tend to over-hype? That was definitely a remarkable moment and it was a memory from my high school career that I'll always take with me because I had my teammates, family and friends there supporting me.
• What do you think the ceiling is for this team? Maybe a WPIAL championship? I think we've definitely improved so much from where we were last year and our team camaraderie is so much better. If we keep working hard every day in practice, where we can go is unlimited.
• Your sister, Kaitlyn, plays on the team with you. Is there healthy competition between you two or does it ever get heated? I think there's good competition. We push each other in a positive way and we're always there to talk to each other after a good or bad game.
• How's the college search going for you? I've been accepted to a few schools that I'm interested in. I'm just going to wait and see what happens financially before I make a decision.
• What's the nicest thing someone's ever done for you for Valentine's Day? Given me flowers.
Tim Jaczesko, Deer Lakes
Last week: Jaczesko scored 37 points in a 71-66 win at Summit Academy and added 26 in a 62-56 win at West Shamokin that clinched at least a tie for the section title.
Check this out: Jaczesko, a senior point guard, has led Deer Lakes to its first section title (Class AA Section 1) -- the Lancers must defeat Burrell at home tonight to win the title outright -- since 1992 and only the third in school history, this after the Lancers were 3-25 in section play the previous two seasons. Jaczesko averages 23 points per game for the Lancers (15-5, 8-1), who have won nine games in a row. Jaczesko set a school single-game scoring record when he poured in 45 against Aquinas Academy in December.
• What's the biggest difference between this year's team and the previous two? I'd say leadership. We have eight seniors. We all know our roles.
• Have teams defended you differently as the season has gone on? Yeah. Shots are harder to come by. I don't get as many open looks as I used to, but that's been fine with me. That's allowed me to pass off to my teammates.
• Do you think the team's lack of height will be a problem in the playoffs? No. I really don't think it will be. We're probably the smallest team in our section, so we're used to it. That's where speed comes into play.
• You're number is 23. Is that because of Michael Jordan? No. It's actually my dad. He wore it in high school. Everything I've learned is from him. He's been my inspiration and I wear it because of him.
• What would your favorite sandwich consist of? Ham and Doritos. I know it's strange, but I like crumbled up Doritos on there.
• Were you happy with the outcome of the Super Bowl? Either outcome I was not going to be happy with. I can't stand either coach. It is what it is.Athlete of the Week