Organizers cancel A-K Cager Classic all-star game over coronavirus concerns

Thursday, March 12, 2020 | 10:29 AM

One of the Alle-Kiski Valley’s most popular sports events has become a victim of coronavirus concerns.

The A-K Cager Classic, pitting senior high school basketball players from both sides of the Allegheny River, has been canceled, co-founder Glenn Mills said Thursday morning.

The 24th annual all-star boys and girls event had been set for March 21 at Highlands High School.

“Schools are closing. A lot of other things are closing, and we just can’t afford to have people come in there if someone gets sick. What are we going to do?” Mills said.

While the event was still nine days away, Mills said the steering committee felt the trend of canceling events would be more frequent in the coming days.

“We thought about it, but when it comes down to life or death with something like this, as much as we want to have it, the five of us decided that we gotta scratch it for this year,” Mills said.

“We really had no choice. We thought this decision was a no-brainer.”

The committee will meet Sunday night to see how to distribute medals, uniforms and jerseys to the players and cheerleaders, along with the scholarship winners for essays.

The skills competition, set for March 20, also has been shelved.

The annual event has drawn consistent, sellout crowds to the Highlands gym.

Here’s a look at the players who were selected to play in the games:

East boys team

Jake Blumer, Leechburg

Michael Carmody, Mars

Max Heinle, Kiski Area

Eyan Hunter, Plum

Jalil Johnson, Valley

Alex Kotecki, Burrell

Will Livingston, Fox Chapel

Connor McDermott, Leechburg

Gavin Szymanski, Armstrong

Arnold Vento, Fox Chapel

Head coach: Rob Carmody, Mars

Assistant coaches: Paul Rubish, Scott Pfeiffer, Kent Bloom

West boys team

Luke Cochran, Highlands

Johnny Crise, Highlands

Scott Fraser, Knoch

Korry Myers, Highlands

Jake Scheidt, Knoch

Jared Schrecengost, Knoch

Aiden Skradski, Freeport

Eli Swierczewski, St. Joseph

Jerry Vargo, Cheswick Christian

Nate Zik, West Shamokin

Head coach: Ron McNabb, Knoch

Assistant coaches: Nick Bouchat, Joe Discello, Tom Gallagher, Ron Zampogna

East girls team

Madison Ancosky, Leechburg

Jaylen Callipare, Armstrong

Rylee Eaton, Apollo-Ridge

Claire Fenton, Fox Chapel

Jenna Gasbarro, Armstrong

Gabby Guerrieri, Fox Chapel

DeAisha James, Valley

Kelsey Kiger, Cheswick Christian

MacKenzie Lake, Plum

Sydney McDonough, Riverview

Hailey Metzger, Butler

Hannah Potter, Kiski Area

Head coach: Keith Stitt, Riverview

Assistant coaches: Jill Catanzaro, Dan Slain

West girls team

Katie Baker, Hampton

Shayla Cessna, West Shamokin

Shelby Cessna, West Shamokin

Lauren Cihonski, Knoch

Madeline Clark, Freeport

Samantha Clark, Freeport

Harley Holloway, Freeport

Katlyn Nagy, Springdale

Bella Pelaia, Mars

Sarah Sawhook, Highlands

Abbey Shearer, Knoch

Sidney Shemanski, Freeport

Head coach: Chris Andreassi, Knoch

Assistant coaches: Shane McGraw, Wess Brahler

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