Trib HSSN athletes of the week: Brownsville’s Shandon Marshall, KO’s Gillian Piccolino
By: Don Rebel
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 | 10:03 PM
Claim to fame: Shandon Marshall scored 36 points not once, but twice last week. The senior scored 90 total points in three games, two of which were key section victories over Southmoreland and Beth-Center. With a win Tuesday over Burgettstown, Marshall and the Falcons (8-11, 4-7 Section 4-3A) clinched a playoff berth after missing out on the postseason a year ago.
Did you ever hear the story about how you got the name Shandon?
My mom's name is Shannon so that had a part in it, but my uncle George gave me the name after the basketball player Shandon Anderson.
You scored 36 points in two of your three games last week. Do you feel your game is getting better as the season begins to wind down?
I feel like I've stepped up in a lot of big time games so I feel like I've been doing good all season.
You scored 18 points in a close win over Southmoreland, but dropped 36 in a loss to Charleroi. Are the Falcons better when everybody is chipping in?
Yes, I do feel that way when everyone is doing their part we play better as a team, but if the team isn't doing so great they rely on me to help us win.
What do you and your friends do for fun in the Brownsville/Redstone/Republic area?
We play basketball or have a pick-up game of football.
Do you have any pregame superstitions?
I stretch for half an hour, I pray before every game and I have to have chicken nuggets from McDonald's.
What's your favorite movie?
“Coach Carter,” and it's because he showed them there is more in life then just basketball. It's hard work and dedication.
School: Keystone Oaks
Claim to fame: Keystone Oaks is one win away from back-to-back undefeated Section 3-4A championships after having never won a girls basketball section title in program history. One of the stars for the Golden Eagles (17-3, 13-0) is junior Gillian Piccolino, who just eclipsed 1,000 points for her career. Piccolino pumped in a combined 52 points last week in victories over Yough and Elizabeth Forward as she continues to be one of the top scorers in the classification.
You just eclipsed 1,000 points for your career. What did that mean personally to you?
It's definitely very exciting being able to reach this milestone as junior in my basketball career. I wouldn't have been able to achieve it without the help from all of my teammates.
By beating Belle Vernon, Keystone Oaks clinched the Section 3-4A title. How impressive is it that your team has not lost a section game since your freshman year?
I think that it's very impressive that we haven't lost a section game in these past two seasons. Hard work really does pay off, and we have definitely worked for this. Each win in our section just motivates us to keep improving and work even harder, so we can keep the streak going.
The second straight section title is only the second in program history. What has coach Ron Muszynski meant to this team since coming in three years ago?
Coach Muszynski has been one of the key factors in not only just our section wins, but every win. He pushes us every day in practice, and just reminds us how great of a feeling it would be to be able to put another number up on our banner. It definitely worked because now we're section champs for two years in a row, and we wouldn't have been able to do it without him.
After a great regular season last year, injuries hurt the team's chances in the playoffs and KO was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Has that driven the team this year?
Our team is just more focused now, and we did realize how far we could've gone last year. We're just using that as fuel to make it even further this season.
Who are some of the schools interested in having you play for them at the next level?
I have just recently verbally committed to IUP, so that is where I will further my academic and athletic career.
One of the great things about Keystone Oaks is …?
One of the great things about Keystone Oaks is our school spirit. We had so many students at our game against Belle Vernon. The fans coming just made playing the game even more fun.
What was tougher, seeing Marc-Andre Fleury leave the Penguins or Andrew McCutchen leave the Pirates?
For me, I think it was tougher seeing Marc-Andre Fleury leave the Penguins. That is only because I watch hockey more than baseball. It's going to be sad to see him not wear a Penguins jersey for sure.
Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com.