Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Player of the Week for March 25, 2024

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Monday, March 25, 2024 | 11:20 PM


Trib HSSN girls basketball player of the week: Alena Fusetti

School: Blackhawk

Class: Senior

Height: 5-foot-10

Position: Guard

#Earned: Fusetti was tired of playing the role of bridesmaid with two straight WPIAL and a 2023 PIAA runner-up silver medal and wanted desperately to be the golden bride before her scholastic career ended. In the PIAA semifinals against undefeated District 3 champion Wyomissing, Fusetti scored 11 points while sophomore teammate Aubree Hupp led the way with 22 points as the Cougars handed the Spartans their first loss, 47-31. Then in the return trip to the Giant Center in Hershey, Blackhawk jumped on District 2 champion Scranton Prep early, leading by seven points after the first quarter and slowly building to a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter of what would be the Cougars’ fifth PIAA title, 56-44. Fusetti had a state championship game double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

What coach says: “Alena didn’t have her best game against Wyomissing, especially in the first half, but in the critical moments of the fourth quarter when the lead had shrunk to four, I believe, she hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get it back to 10,” Blackhawk coach Greg Huston said. “It’s big-time shots in big time moments that separate her from other kids. Against Scranton Prep, she just had a nice game from start to finish. She scored at the rim, hit some big 3-pointers and also came up with 10 rebounds for the double-double. Again, another huge performance when we needed it the most.

“I think the biggest thing about Alena this year was her leadership. She shot and passed the ball really well all year long, and that’s what we expected from her, but I think her leadership both on and off the court was what propelled us to the state championship. As the season progressed, she became more and more vocal and led by example as well. Every team that has big goals needs a kid like that and Alena came through at every turn.

“Steve (Lodovico) had tremendous success at Blackhawk and his record speaks for itself. Even though Steve and I both learned the game from Coach (John) Miller, we are two very different people. So it was inevitable that there was going to have to be a transition period. I cannot overstate how important Alena was to that process. We joke with each other all the time, and she likes to remind me how much she disliked me when I got to Blackhawk, mainly because I always wanted the refs to call a travel on her when I was coaching at Beaver playing against her. Slowly but surely, she and I built trust and a strong relationship, and once that happened, it kind of felt like things fell into place with the rest of the team. I just thanked her after the game on Saturday for everything she did to help that transition, and it’s likely we wouldn’t have won states if not for her willingness to welcome me into the program.”

Background: While Fusetti and her Blackhawk teammates did settle for silver in the 2023 and 2024 WPIAL Class 4A playoffs after title-game losses to North Catholic, the Cougars did win district gold in her sophomore season when they defeated Knoch, 55-35. Winning a state title is all in the family for the Fusettis. Both Alayna’s mom and dad led Blackhawk to state championships in the 1990s. Fusetti will continue her academic and basketball career at Mercyhurst in the fall.

2024 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Players of the Week

Week 11 – Aubree Hupp, Blackhawk

Week 10 – Rachael Manfredo, McKeesport

Week 9 – Maggie Spell, Shady Side Academy

Week 8 – Emma Paul, Armstrong

Week 7 – Bailey Strnisa, South Side

Week 6 Bella Antonacci, Indiana

Week 5 – Emma Larkin, Geibel Catholic

Week 4 – Shaye Bailey, Freedom

Week 3 – London Creach, Oakland Catholic

Week 2 – Mallory Daly, Seton LaSalle

Week 1 – Iyanna Wade, Clairton

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