High school notebook: Former Southmoreland star Brandon Stone adjusting at prep school
Sunday, November 26, 2017 | 11:00 PM
Approaching 7 feet, Brandon Stone is one of the tallest basketball players to come out of Westmoreland County.
But he's getting taller.
“I put on 10 pounds and I grew a half-inch,” said Stone, who now stands 6-foot-11 1⁄2 inches and weighs 205 pounds.
The former Southmoreland standout is four games into the season at The Christ School in Arden, N.C. and is “bulking up” his game, too.
Stone, who averaged 25.3 points and 11.4 rebounds last season at Southmoreland, which went 19-5 and made the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals, isn't the go-to guy anymore.
He's a star amongst many stars.
“We have so many guys on our team that can score, so I don't have to try and score every time,” Stone said. “It just makes me work harder at different aspects of my game like rebounding, blocking shots and defensively I have gotten a lot better. I can guard 1 through 5 and doing what I need to do.”
While AAU can give players a taste of better competition on a larger stage, Stone said the level of play he is seeing now is a notch above that.
“The competition is a big step up from the WPIAL,” Stone said. “Playing against a lot of bigs my size. Guys that can do everything. It's a lot more physical and athletic; everybody plays above the rim. It's a good experience to get me ready for college.”
Stone scored 12 points in the opener against Spartansburg Day, which features Zion Williamson, ESPN's No. 2 prospect in the country for the class of 2018.
Stone did not guard Williamson one-on-one, but he was close enough to see the forward drop 45 points and grab 15 rebounds. Christ School won 70-62.
“We played zone because he kept getting to the rim,” Stone said of Williamson, whose laundry list of offers includes Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and UCLA.
“He is a man. There's nothing you can really do. He is 6-6, 270. It's hard to stay in front of him, and he can move. He is a tough matchup.”
As for recruiting, Stone had planned to “reclassify” and basically give his junior year a do-over, but he is reconsidering those plans as scholarship offers continue to roll in.
He has 15 Division I offers. Pitt, Penn State, South Carolina, Houston and Kansas State are among them.
“I have been looking into committing for 2018,” Stone said. “I plan to take a couple more visits and see what schools reach out before I make my decision.”
Stone said he wants to wait until after the season to commit. He said college coaches watch games live and contact players afterwards.
“In our first game, three coaches from South Carolina came to see me and Zion Williamson.”
More interest in Gay
Penn-Trafford senior running back John Gay IV, who scored a pair of touchdowns in a 21-16 loss to Gateway in the WPIAL Class 5A championship game at Heinz Field, has his second Division I football opportunity.
Gay, who has an offer to play at Navy, was offered a scholarship to Howard.
The offensive coordinator at Howard is Brennan Marion, a Greensburg Salem graduate who is scouring the WPIAL for prospects.
Karcher named top coach
Norwin's Lauren Karcher was named the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association Girls Soccer Coach of the Year after guiding the Knights (21-2-1) to their first PIAA championship since 2006.
Norwin was the WPIAL runner-up after winning championships the previous two years.
Karcher is 81-7-3 in four seasons, including 40-1-3 in section games.
Yough softball player Karlie Clark signed to play at Mount Aloysius. Clark played right field and also pitched last season for the WPIAL runner-up Cougars.
• Ligonier Valley senior Rachel Horrell committed to run track at IUP.
Greensburg Central Catholic goalkeeper Andrew Gorr had a busy game last week against Thomas Jefferson. The senior made 53 saves but the Centurions (1-6) fell, 5-3.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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