Trib HSSN June Madness quarterfinals: Jess Strom, Steel Valley vs. Maura Huwalt, South Park

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Thursday, June 11, 2020 | 9:00 AM


Over the course of the next few weeks, June Madness will determine who fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls, of WPIAL alumni. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, June Madness will have one matchup each day with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Thursday and running through 9 a.m. Friday, vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this quarterfinals matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Friday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the girls. Round 3, Day 6:

Jess Strom vs. Maura Huwalt is a battle of an “old school” 2001 millennial grad against a “new school” 2019 Gen Z grad with both having common ground on the hardwood.

Jess Strom — Steel Valley Class of 2001

(Basketball, soccer)

• 2000 and 2001 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific Ten all-star.

• Scored 2,840 points in her career, putting her fifth on the all-time WPIAL girls basketball scoring list.

• Led the WPIAL in scoring in both her junior and senior seasons, averaging more than 28 points per game in 2001.

• In scoring 783 points in 2001, she shot 54% from the field, 56% from 3-point range and 83% from the free throw line.

• Helped Steel Valley reach the WPIAL Class AA championship game as a freshman, where the Ironmen lost to Geibel Catholic.

• All-section player in both soccer and basketball as a junior and senior.

• Broke the WPIAL girls soccer record for most goals in a career with 205.

• Inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2012.

• Went on to play college basketball at Penn State.

Maura Huwalt — South Park Class of 2019

(Track and field, basketball)

• 2019 Gatorade Track and Field athlete of the year finalist nationally.

• The top American finisher at the Penn Relays in high school discus and a New Balance All-American in the javelin.

• A seven-time WPIAL champion in field events and medaled as a top-three finisher 15 times in her career.

• A top-three finisher eight times in the PIAA track and field championships, highlighted by winning state gold in the 2018 discus as a junior.

• The only female thrower in WPIAL history to sweep gold in the shot put, discus and javelin in back-to-back years as a junior in 2018 and a senior in 2019.

• The only female thrower in WPIAL history to be ranked in the top 25 throws all-time in the shot put, discus and javelin.

• Holds the South Park school record in both the shot put and the discus and helped the Eagles win the 2019 WPIAL Class AA track and field team championship.

• Scored more than 1,000 points in her South Park basketball career as she helped the Eagles reach the playoffs all four years and play in two WPIAL semifinals games and one PIAA semifinals contest.

• A member of the track and field team in college at Auburn.

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