Varsity Xtra: Double deal -- Twosome at Central Valley fill it up
Law, Barrett compose
January 16, 2014 9:08 PM
Central Valley's Kiana Law, left, and Seairra Barrett are a formidable tandem threat to opponents this season.
By Mike White / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Kiana Law and Seairra Barrett are good friends who like to frequent restaurants. For this duo, they are, indeed, what they eat.
Law and Barrett often go to Applebee's. Their favorite thing to order? Something off the "2 for 20" menu.
The food order for Law and Barrett matches the way they play in basketball. They are that rare "2 for 20" deal on the court.
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Law and Barrett are seniors at Central Valley High School and one of the most lethal one-two scoring punches in WPIAL girls basketball history. They both average more than 20 points a game and are two of the top five scorers in the WPIAL this season. Barrett was averaging 25.1 and Law 23.8 heading into their game Thursday night against West Allegheny.
A look at the history books shows it is most unusual for two girls on the same team to have a "2 for 20" order. Over the past 30 years in the WPIAL, there have only been three duos who have averaged more than 20 points a game each for the regular season.
Aliquippa's Carrie Bordas and Mona Gaffney did it twice. The others were Monessen's Gina Naccarato and Angie Scirotto, and Ellwood City's Anne Malkowiak and Doneen Aloi.
"I don't know if I would use the adjective unusual to describe them," said Kim Tirik, Central Valley's first-year coach. "I would say any time at the high school level that you have two athletes like them, it's special."
Although Law and Barrett have formed a dynamic duo, they would have never been teammates if Law had not moved in with her father two years ago and transferred from Beaver Falls to Central Valley. Law's father is former Rochester football star Essex Law, one of the best running backs in Beaver County history. A 1992 Rochester graduate, Essex Law rushed for 4,368 yards and averaged 10.4 yards a carry for his career.
Now, Barrett and Kiana Law are dominant on the court and have become close friends. Barrett recently moved a stone's throw away from Law on Winwood Drive in Center Township.
Two seasons ago, they went against each other when Beaver Falls played Central Valley and Barrett hit the winning shot at the buzzer to give Central Valley a 50-48 victory.
"I knew she was good and I knew we maybe played the same position," Law said. "I thought it might be hard playing with her, but when I got [to Central Valley], it was fine. We bonded real well."
A year ago, Barrett averaged 17.3 points and Law 15.1.
"We connected very fast," Barrett said.
But Law and Barrett have taken their games to a different level this year.
In fact, when Barrett scored 37 points Saturday in Central Valley's 67-34 rout of Ellwood City, she became the first player in school history to score 1,000 career points all at Central Valley. Before the game Thursday, she had 1,025.
Barrett and Law are alike in many ways. They are both 6 feet. They both average a "double-double." Barrett pulls down 14 rebounds a game and Law 12. They say their personalities are also alike.
"I think we're both very outgoing and like to laugh a lot," said Barrett, a four-year starter. "We do a lot of things together."
But they play different styles.
"I feel like Kiana is more of a post player and I'm more of a guard," Barrett said. "But I still can post people up, too. I feel like our basketball IQs are the same."
Tirik said: "Seairra can play anywhere from the 1 to the 5 positions. She makes 'bigs' cover her, and it's worked perfectly. We play Kiana at the 5 [center position]. She's our biggest kid."
But no matter the size or styles of players, it's not easy to get two players from one team to average 20 or more. How do you get both players enough shots? What if teams throw junk defenses at the two?
Consider that in seven of the previous 10 seasons the entire WPIAL had fewer than 10 girls average more than 20. In 2006-07, there were three. In 2010-11 and 2011-12, there were four.
"I think the thing is, you're not going to shut down both of them on any given day," Tirik said.
Central Valley is 9-4 and had a big win last Thursday against previously undefeated Blackhawk when Law scored 31 and Barrett 25. But Monday, Central Valley lost to Hopewell, 46-32, when Barrett scored 19 and Law only 5.
"In all honesty, I'm surprised we haven't seen more triangle-and-two defenses or at least a box-and-one," Tirik said. "But Seairra is so quick and such a slasher, she will blow by her defender and everyone else."
Both Law and Barrett have a future in Division I college athletics, albeit in different sports. Law has accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, an NCAA Division I program.
Tirik believes Barrett could be a Division I basketball player, but she also is an all-state volleyball player and is leaning toward playing volleyball in college. Barrett said Duquesne and Ohio State have offered her scholarships.
But before college, there is the rest of this regular season in basketball and then most likely the WPIAL playoffs. Can Law and Barrett keep up their 20-point averages?
"I sure hope so. They make my job a lot easier," Tirik said, with a laugh. "When you expect to get anywhere from 40 to 45 from those two, you tell the others to get 10 to 15. You score that much in high school girls basketball, you shouldn't lose."
Twenty something tandems
Over the past 30 WPIAL regular seasons, two girls from the same WPIAL team averaged more than 20 points each only four times. Here is a look at them:
1993 -- Gina Naccarato (24.0) and Angie Scirotto (20.2), Monessen Naccarato is the all-time leading scorer in WPIAL history. This tandem helped Monessen reach the 1993 WPIAL Class A title game. Naccarato went on to play at Duquesne University and is now Monessen's girls basketball coach and athletic director.
1988-89 -- Carrie Bordas (26.7) and Mona Gaffney (20.3), Aliquippa Bordas, a 5-foot-7 guard, and Gaffney, a 6-foot center, were a terrific inside-outside force. They helped the Quips win the first PIAA title in school history.
1989-90 -- Carrie Bordas (26.2) and Mona Gaffney (21.0), Aliquippa Bordas and Gaffney averaged more than 20 points for the second consecutive season as the tandem won a fourth consecutive title and a second consecutive PIAA title. Bordas finished with 2,603 points and Gaffney 2,083. Bordas went on to play at St. Bonaventure and Gaffney at Marshall and Clarion.
1987-88 -- Anne Malkowiak (26.7) and Doneen Aloi (20.1), Ellwood City Malkowiak and Aloi were a lethal scoring punch. Malkowiak scored more than 2,000 points and went on to a highly successful career at California University of Pennsylvania. Aloi played at Youngstown State.
For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh
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