Kason Harrell, Hempfield
Last week: Harrell scored 20 points, including the 1,000th of his career, to lead the boys basketball team to a 63-50 win Friday at Norwin.
Check this out: Harrell, a 6-foot-3 guard, averages 22.5 points per game and is one of the top juniors in the WPIAL. Not often does a player reach the 1,000-point plateau this early in his career, but Harrell has been Hempfield’s leading scorer since his freshman season. He averaged 15.5 points per game as a freshman and 16.4 as a sophomore. Division I schools have shown interest. Hempfield is 13-1 overall and 7-0 in Class AAAA Section 1, and in position to win the section title outright after sharing it each of the previous two seasons.
•Biggest team goal this season? We want to try to make it to the WPIAL championship. The last two years we lost in the first round. Our first goal is to get out of that hole.
•What did it mean to score your 1,000th point? It meant a lot. Just all the hard work I’ve put in since my freshman year and just keeping God first even when times were rough.
•Team not on your schedule you wish you could play? I really wish we could play New Castle. They’re the best team in the WPIAL, and it looks like they’re the best in the state. To play them and to get that exposure would be great. I feel like if we could play with them, we could play with anyone, not just in the WPIAL, but anyone in the state.
•Best player in the WPIAL? I’d have to say [New Castle’s] Malik Hooker. He’s an outstanding player, not only on offense, but he plays really good defense, too.
•Favorite NBA player? I’d have to say Kevin Durant. He’s just a great scorer. I try to score like he does.
•We hear you rap. Have you performed often? No. I just record stuff and send it out to people.
•Most people might be surprised to know that … I’m a big fan of the WWE.
•The Royal Rumble is in Pittsburgh Sunday. Are you going? [Laughs] No, but I wish I was.
Mia Woytovich, Charleroi
Last week: Woytovich has averaged 23.5 points per game over her team’s past four games. Most recently, she scored a game-high 27 in a 44-33 victory Jan. 20 against Washington.
Check this out: A 5-foot-9 guard, Woytovich had 86 points, 58 rebounds, 48 assists and 24 steals in a four-game span from Jan. 11-16. In the win against Washington, she scored her 1,000th career point. While Woytovich has excelled, so has her team. Charleroi is 15-3 and has won its past seven games. Woytovich has attracted the attention of numerous colleges, but noted that Washington & Jefferson and Penn State Behrend are currently her favorites.
•Reaching the 1,000-point milestone had to be pretty special, right? Absolutely. That was definitely one of the biggest accomplishments of my basketball career so far.
•Did you know how many points you needed beforehand? I actually did. I wish I wouldn’t have because then I wouldn’t have been so nervous before the game. It was a big game against Wash High, and there was a lot of pressure being put on me to get that 1,000th point. I tried not to think about it the whole game and tried to just go out there and get the win for my team.
•You already have matched your win total from a season ago. What has been the difference? We’ve played together since fourth grade. Although we were on separate teams, it did really help us in the end to come together in our last four years of high school.
•Do you have any goals for the rest of the season? The first goal is to be the first team in the history of Charleroi High School girls basketball to win a playoff game.
•Do you have a pregame routine? My dad gives me a pep talk before the game usually. That’s my warm-up. He calms me down before big games.
•If you were stuck on a desert island and could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, which one would it be? I’m going to have to go with a song from my favorite movie, ‘Love & Basketball.’ It’s called ‘I Want to Be Your Man’ by Zapp & Roger.