Drew Cook, Beaver Falls
Last week: Cook and the Tigers did their best to turn the final rounds of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs into a coronation, beating Apollo-Ridge, 71-39, in the semifinals before routing Burrell, 61-33, in the championship Saturday for their second consecutive WPIAL title. Against Burrell, Cook, a senior, made 8 of 13 shots for a game-high 20 points.
Check this out: Cook was the second-leading scorer at 16 points per game and was an outside shooting threat for the top-ranked team in Class AA. The Tigers, who lost in the PIAA championship last year to Imhotep Charter of Philadelphia, begin the PIAA playoffs with a first-round game against Bald Eagle Area Saturday at North Allegheny.
• What was the feeling like to be able to lift the championship trophy? It was amazing. There's nothing like it, especially during your senior year. It felt great.
• Was it very heavy? They've got a little weight to them.
• What makes you and Elijah Cottrill such a potent backcourt tandem? Elijah can score whenever. He's such a terrific athlete all around. We complement each other very well.
• Your coach, Doug Biega, was in line for his 300th career win in the WPIAL title. Was that in the back of your minds? Yeah, it was. We've been through a lot and we just wanted to give him his 300th win in the worst way.
• The way your team plays is a very fast, up-tempo style. Does that ever get tiring? We're about seven or eight [players] deep. It kind of takes its toll, but we run like that every day in practice so we're used to it by now.
• What are some of the team's biggest advantages heading into the state playoffs? Probably that we've been there. Me and Elijah have that experience of playing in the state championship.
• Who's your favorite NBA player? Kobe Bryant.
Johnie Olkosky, Bishop Canevin
Last week: Olkosky tied a WPIAL girls championship game record with seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 26 points in leading Bishop Canevin to its first WPIAL title with a 56-47 win in the Class AA final last Friday at Palumbo Center.
Check this out: Olkosky, a junior guard, has been a starter since late in her freshman season. She has played in two WPIAL championship games, the other being last year's loss to Seton-LaSalle. The two-time defending champion Rebels had beaten Bishop Canevin eight consecutive times. Bishop Canevin plays Westmont Hilltop in a PIAA first-round playoff game tonight at North Hills.
• Could you have imagined you would have that big of a game? I actually did. I'm that confident. I knew I could have a good game and I'm glad it happened then.
• Since it was your second year in the championship, were you less nervous this year? Honestly, I don't get nervous. I have been playing for 11 years and I've been playing 80 games a year between school and AAU. I've been playing with and against the girls from Seton since I was 10. I love playing in front of big crowds. I just like the atmosphere.
• What did it mean to finally beat Seton-LaSalle? It meant so much for the whole school. I can't even remember the last time we beat them.
? Best player in the WPIAL, not including anyone on your team? I'd have to go with (Hopewell's) Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
• Someone visits Pittsburgh for the first time. Name three places you would take them. West End Overlook, Kennywood Park and a Steelers game.
• Favorite type of cookie? Sugar cookies.
• Favorite App? Twitter.
• How often do you use Twitter? All the time. Whenever I'm bored, I go on Twitter.