A-K Valley athletes of the week: Burrell’s Brandon Coury, Kiski Area’s Abbie Johns

Saturday, January 8, 2022 | 8:08 PM

Brandon Coury

Class: Senior

School: Burrell

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Coury scored 30 points, including 18 in the second quarter, to help Burrell earn a 53-45 win at Section 1-4A rival Deer Lakes. He is 120 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

How’d it feel to help the team achieve a big section road win?

It’s great. I had never won (at Deer Lakes) in my life. To come out of here 3-1 in section and in sole possession of second place feels really good.

What can a win like that do for the team going forward?

It gives us more energy. It makes practice more fun and future games more fun. It makes us believe that we can beat anyone.

What is your role on the team as one of the more experienced players?

I want to be a leader for our team. I want to teach them that defense is the most important thing, and the offense will come. I want to give them confidence.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

It depends, but I would probably say Mackey Bennis, because he’s probably the best set-shooter on the team.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

We’re 4-0 this year when I take a cold shower in the morning. I’m not going to stop doing that.

What was your favorite Christmas gift you received?

I got a TV that I will be taking with me to college.

What is your favorite school subject?

Our yearbook class is amazing. We play a lot of games in that class.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

I love watching sports when I can. I play video games sometimes. I like “Madden” and “MLB the Show.”

Abbie Johns

Class: Sophomore

School: Kiski Area

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Johns scored 23 points to lead the Cavaliers to their first Section 2-5A win of the year, 38-31 against Fox Chapel. She also had a 30-point game in a 62-28 win over Ligonier Valley last week at the Kiski Area tournament and was named to the all-tournament team.

How’d it feel to help the team earn its first section win of the season?

It felt pretty amazing. We were all pretty excited. We went into the game having confidence that we would win. After we won, it was a great feeling.

You’ve had a few games where you’ve posted big scoring totals. What has been the key to having success in those games?

I just go out there with a good mentality, and we have to play together as a team.

You have a young team made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores, so what’s it been like growing together this season?

It’s been cool. My class has been playing together since the summer before going into fourth grade, so that’s helped a lot. We’ve been able to build up games to play together well and have that connection.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

I’m going to have to say me. We all have a pretty high percentage for foul shooting and that’s good, but they always make me go first.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

I just go in and warm up early to get mentally focused.

What was your favorite Christmas gift you received?

I got an Apple watch. I was pretty excited about that.

What is your favorite school subject?

Right now, I take AP statistics and I really like learning in that class. We’re currently learning about normal distributions.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

I play (outside hitter) for the volleyball team. I go to church. I read a lot, and I help my younger sisters with their homework.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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