Westmoreland Athletes of the Week: Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock, Southmoreland’s Gracie Spadaro

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | 8:49 PM

Devin Whitlock

School: Belle Vernon

Sport: Basketball

Year: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Whitlock, who’s averaging 19 points and four assists, scored a game-high 32 points to lead Belle Vernon (15-5, 7-2) to a 79-62 win over South Park in Section 3-4A action Jan. 28. Whitlock scored 10 points for Belle Vernon in an 80-71 win at Ringgold in section play Jan. 31.

“We came out real confident. Cam (Nusser) and I were warming up during the JV game, and we felt good. We did it the next time against Ringgold, and he finished with 39, so we might a little ritual going on,” Whitlock said.

What was it like to return to Monessen earlier this season?

It was really exciting. I got to see my old friends, and I liked being in the atmosphere at Monessen with Belle Vernon jersey on.

How has your game improved throughout the season?

It has improved a lot. It’s nice to see my shot transitioning into the game. I think I’ve gotten better with my defense. I’ve got a little faster and better with my driving ability. I got into the weight room.

What did the team learn from the losses to Uniontown this season?

I think if we ever see them again, it will turn out to be different. I don’t think we should’ve lost that last game. We did everything right, and it turned in their favor.

What’s the team’s mindset heading into the WPIAL playoffs?

Our mindset is going to attack it like we’ve attacked every game this year. We want to come in apply pressure and do what we’ve been taught all year.

What’s your favorite sport, football or basketball, and why?

I couldn’t pick between the two. I like them both the same.

Gracie Spadaro

School: Southmoreland

Sport: Basketball

Year: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Spadaro, who’s averaging 15.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals, had a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Southmoreland (20-0, 13-0) to a 71-38 win over Elizabeth Forward in Section 3-4A win Jan. 30. Earlier in the week, Spadaro scored 18 points to lead Southmoreland to a 64-24 win over Ringgold in section playJan. 27.

“I thought we prepared all week and really executed. I had a lot of cuts, and they hit me. I finished well,” Spadaro said.

What has been the key to your personal success on the floor?

My worth ethic.

Where does the team get the defensive mentality?

Our length helps with the tips on balls, and we are able to run the floor. It all starts at practice and our competitiveness. We don’t want anyone to go around us.

What’s the team’s mindset heading into the WPIAL playoffs?

We want to take it game-by-game here and work on the fine things so everything in the big picture works out.

How would you describe your personal game?

Quick and up-tempo. Hard defense and like to get out and run.

When did you realize this season was going to be a magical season?

We realized in the first few games that we were good, but we didn’t realize we were good enough to go undefeated.

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