A-K Valley athletes of the week: Kiski Area’s Lexi Colaianni, St. Joseph’s Jimmy Giannetta

Saturday, February 19, 2022 | 6:14 PM

Lexi Colaianni

Class: Junior

School: Kiski Area

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Colaianni made nine 3-pointers for a game-high 27 points in a 61-37 win over Freeport in Kiski Area’s season finale Monday. It was a school record for 3s in a game. She returned to the lineup after missing last season recovering from a hip injury.

How’d it feel to help the team close the season on a high note?

It felt really good to win that last one. Our team was confident going into it, which helped a lot. We had won our previous two games. We came out a lot stronger this year than last year. We won our first section game in a long time, and then we won a couple more. The last game we left it all out on the court, and it worked out in our favor.

What was it like to make nine 3-pointers in a game and set a school record?

I shared the record with my teammate, Abbie Johns, with seven. I got seven my freshman year, and she got seven in a game this year. Going into halftime (of Monday’s game) I had seven, so I had already tied the record. I knew after halftime they were going to be face-guarding me. My first shot I didn’t make it, but I came back down the court and made the next one. It felt really good. Everyone was cheering. My parents and my teammates knew I broke the record.

How’d it feel to be back after having to sit out last season?

It was cool. If anything, last year showed me that you can’t take anything for granted. Just like that, my entire season was lost. I came into this year without any setbacks and just went all in hoping for the best. I ended up going pretty well.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

I honestly don’t have an answer for that because we’ve played multiple times the last couple years, and every game it’s different. Any person can win at any time, in my opinion.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

I get to the gym early and do a shooting pattern to get my shot going. Before I leave the court before a game I have to make two free throws, whether it’s at the beginning of warmups or the end.

What is your favorite school subject?

I like English and the sciences the most, probably. Right now I’m taking AP English, which I really enjoy, and I’m in physics.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

I like hanging out with friends and spending time with my family. I play tennis a little bit, and I like to deer hunt. I play on an AAU team, WPA Hustle. Now that the (high school) season is over, that will keep me busy.

Jimmy Giannetta

Class: Junior

School: St. Joseph

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Giannetta scored career-high 40 points to help St. Joseph close the season with a 90-66 win over Plum. It was his first season with the Spartans after transferring from Central Catholic. He received his first college offer from Penn State DuBois on Thursday.

What was it like to score 40 in a game and help the team end the season with a win?

It felt really good. One thing a few people asked me was why I didn’t try to score more, because I actually subbed myself out in the fourth quarter because it was the seniors’ last game. I didn’t want to be taking every shot at the end of the game just to keep scoring points. It was truly a night I won’t forget. Some of the freshman got in, and the seniors go out with a win.

At what moment in the game did you realize what you were accomplishing?

Early in the fourth quarter I hit a pair of 3s, and I was feeling it. The confidence was through the roof. The gym was really loud, and I think everyone started to know what was going on. It was a good feeling.

How was your first season at St. Joseph, and what will be a key to breaking into the playoffs next year?

I thought it went really well. I think everyone was expecting us to be well below .500, due to Andrew Sullivan graduating, because he’s a really great player. We had great team chemistry. Covid hit us early and we had some injuries, but we performed well under pressure. We beat a 5A school and played a 6A school tough at the end of the year. We’re looking forward to next year. We have a couple starters returning, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we went on a run.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

I don’t want to say myself, so I’ll say Rylan Zale. He always seems to get lucky with that stuff. We went to a Robert Morris game, and we were able to go on the court and play knockout at halftime and he lasted a long time.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

During the JV game I go into the locker room and do yoga. I started this season to try and get my body right and to make sure I feel my best. Yoga just struck me. It feels so great after you’re done, and it helped my game, to be honest.

What is your favorite school subject?

I like personal finance class. It’s an accounting class.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

I just like hanging out with friends. I also work at Chic-Fil-A. If I’m not playing basketball, I’m usually working.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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