Valley News Dispatch H.S. athletes of the week: St. Joseph’s Anna Kreinbrook, Plum’s Nicholas Daniels

Saturday, February 26, 2022 | 3:52 PM

Anna Kreinbrook

Class: Sophomore

School: St. Joseph

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Kreinbrook scored the go-ahead basket with 50 seconds remaining and sank two free throws in the final moments to help St. Joseph complete a 19-point comeback in a 57-54 victory over three-time defending Class A champ and top-seed Rochester in the WPIAL quarterfinals Thursday night. Kreinbrook finished with 11 points for the Spartans, who face No. 4 Aquinas Academy in the semifinals Monday at North Hills.

How’d it feel to hit the winning shot and knock out a three-time defending champion?

It felt really good. Taking down a team with that much skill and that much experience was big, because we don’t have that much experience on our side. We’re a young team, so it was really good for our confidence.

At what point did the momentum start to shift in St. Joseph’s favor during the comeback?

Right around the middle of the third quarter we started getting momentum and playing calm and keeping our composure as a team. We started working well together.

How has the team embraced being in the underdog role?

It’s best to keep a good mentality. Beating the three-time defending WPIAL champion is a good boost for us.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

I think anyone on our team could win, but if I had to pick one I’d say Julie Spinelli, because she’s probably our best free-throw shooter.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

Not personally, but I think playing fun music and having a good time together as a team really loosens you up and helps you work together better as a team on the court.

What is your favorite school subject?

I’d probably say chemistry, because we do a lot a lot of hands-on work, and I enjoy doing fun experiments with my classmates.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

Hang out with friends and family. I also enjoy playing volleyball and softball for the school.

Nicholas Daniels

Class: Junior

School: Plum

Sport: Bowling

Report card: Daniels defeated North Allegheny’s Jeb Jorden, 234-191, in the finals to win the WPIBL boys singles title Wednesday at the North Versailles Bowling Center. He bowled a 290 in the qualifying round and defeated Freeport’s Colin Cummings, 219-147, in the semifinals. Daniels will look to qualify for the state championship Friday at the Western Regional at North Versailles Bowling Center.

How’s it feel to be a WPIBL champion?

It feels pretty good. Going into to it, I already knew I had made it to regionals after they announced who the top six were going onto the finals. I was already satisfied then, but to actually win felt a little bit like a pipe dream, but now it’s a reality, so it feels a bit strange, but at the same time really good.

I want to thank my coaches, Bob Smalls and Darryl Pilyih, and Rich Nesbit from Nesbit’s Lanes for helping me.

What was the intensity like in the championship match?

I was shaking quite a bit. I may as well been in 20-below weather. My heart felt like it was racing 200 miles a minute, but I just did my thing. The only thing I could do is go up there and bowl, and I went out and did it.

What did you do to celebrate?

I went to dinner with my teammates at Shelly Pie in Turtle Creek.

What are your goals for the Western Regional, and does it help that it is at the same venue?

If I’m being honest, the venue never mattered to me. What I hope to accomplish is to move on to states for the first time. It’d be nice if I could win again obviously, but that’s pretty far out there.

When did you get started in bowling?

When I was 4, my parents signed me up for a bumper bowling league where they put metal guards up and the ball just bounces around the lane. Eventually I moved up, and they took away the bumpers. I developed my own style where I curve the ball from left to right as a right hander instead of right to left, which is very unnatural. That doesn’t work normally, but I’m double jointed in my right arm. It works for me and my arm is fine, so I’m going to keep doing it.

What is your favorite school subject?

Currently physics is my favorite subject, and I plan to attend to major in that subject in college.

What are your hobbies outside of bowling?

Just the typical teenager stuff like hanging out with friends and playing video games.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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