Baldwin notebook: Seven Highlanders make college choices

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Friday, December 27, 2019 | 6:04 PM


Seven Baldwin High School athletes participated in national signing day last month.

The following will be advancing their academic/athletic careers at the next level next year: Cassie Carlson (Youngstown State softball), Nick Dolan (Ohio baseball), Salena Jaquay (Cal, Pa. softball), Jenna Lutz (Allegheny basketball), Allison Murray (St. Francis, Pa. volleyball), Ally Schenk (Fairmont State volleyball), Bethany Yauch (Cleveland State tennis).

“These student-athletes represent Baldwin Higha School in the highest regard,” said John Saras, Baldwin athletic coordinator and assistant principal.

Murray, an outside hitter, was named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class AAAA all-state team.

Lutz, a 6-foot-1 center, is the lone senior in the girls basketball program.

“Different feel in the gym this year”

There are seven returning letterwinners on the boys basketball team at Baldwin. They are senior guard Andy Degenhardt, juniors Conner Lavelle (G/F), Dorien Ford (C), Joey Starzynski (G) and Riley Voelker (F), plus sophomores Obidiah Abdul (G) and Nick Petrilli (G/F).

Degenhardt, Starzynski, Abdul and sophomore forwards Connor Gitzen and Jordan Brophy make up the starting lineup.

Ford, Lavelle, Petrilli, sophomore forward Evan Lavelle and freshman guard Bezaleel Abdul are leading reserves.

“We had a great offseason,” coach Eugene Wilson said. “There is a different feel in the gym this year. Guys genuinely care and want to win. We were able to concentrate on our young guys, who are the future of Baldwin basketball, and we hope their success and growth can spill over to this season. We are truly excited.”

The Highlanders, who started out 3-2, dropped their Section 2-6A opener Dec. 20 against rival Mt. Lebanon.

“We want to grow and work to meet our team goals. This year is no different,” Wilson said. “We look forward to this season as we introduce a new crop of young guys that have been in the program for a year now. Although young, they are more comfortable with expectations and understanding their roles.

“We hope that allows us to gel quickly and turn some of those close games last year into wins. Our potential can be really high as long as we stay focused and not allow any moment to become too big for us.”

Marzina beats buzzer

Baldwin’s girls basketball team lost only once in the early part of the season, compiling a 5-1 record, 2-1 in Section 2-6A.

Six players attained double figures in the five victories, led by sophomore guard Morgan Altavilla, junior guard Anna Lucarelli and junior forward Alexis Bernotas, who netted 10 or more points three times. Lucarelli clicked for 17 points against South Park.

Junior forward Meghan Dryburgh and junior guard Abby Marzina registered 13 and 10 in a 61-59 victory against McKeesport. Sophomore guard Emily Hillgartner also hit for double digits once.

The team’s “shot of the month” was registered Dec. 19 by Marzina, who swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Highlanders to a thrilling 41-38 come-from-behind win at home against Connellsville.

Baldwin rallied from a 23-8 halftime deficit, outscoring the visitors 33-15 in the second half. Lucarelli and Bernotas finished with 13 and 12 points.

Wilson unveils assistants

The boys basketball program is operating with a few new coaches this season. Damien Cornish is assistant varsity head coach; Greg Anderson is ninth grade head coach.

Davon Moultrie also is in his second year as the junior varsity head coach.

“Davon is really establishing himself as a valuable and trusted right-hand man,” Wilson said. “Greg and I have coached together previously at Wilkinsburg and with a semi-pro team (Pittsburgh Bullets) as well. Damien comes over from Plum.”

Baldwin players chosen

Four members of the Baldwin football team landed Class 5A first-team all-star selections in the Allegheny 8 Conference: Ford (DT), and seniors Mason Stahl (QB), Jarren Kelly (WR) and Naseer Penn (DB).

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