Westmoreland athletes of the week: Hempfield’s Isaiah Vance, Derry’s Tiana Moracco
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 | 7:36 PM
Claim to fame: Vance (21-1) won his second Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship after defeating Greensburg Salem’s Billy McChesney by a 3-1 decision in the heavyweight final at Kiski Area on Jan. 4.
“It was good. I felt pretty proud of myself. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates, coaches and family,” Vance said.
What does it mean to you to win your second county title?
It means a lot to me. It shows that I have the ability to do some special things with my career.
What did you learn during the time when you were ruled ineligible last season?
I need to stay focused and pay attention to detail. I need to stay on my goals no matter what I do.
What did you learn from your experience at Hershey last year?
It was a good experience to get that mat time. To place fourth wasn’t what I wanted, but I wrestled against some great opponents. I know I can go toe-to-toe with those guys.
What have you been working on to perfect your craft on the mat?
I have been working on everything. I have been fine-tuning my technique, trying to stay in shape and eating healthy. I need to stay focused and have the right mindset.
What’s your favorite tournament and why?
States. I liked the experience. It’s a fun time and you always have good matches there.
Claim to fame: Moracco, who averages 13 points and 3.6 steals this season, scored 20 points to lead Derry (6-4, 3-1) to a 68-41 win over Shady Side Academy in Section 3-3A action on Jan. 3.
“I thought it was a great team effort. Our defense created a lot of fast-break opportunities, and that’s how I got my points,” Moracco said.
What has been the key to the team’s success this season?
We’ve been working hard in the gym and putting in a lot of our effort with our new coach helping us.
What does the team need to do to make sure you secure a playoff berth?
We need to keep working hard and doing what we are doing because what we are doing is working for us.
How has your game grown this season?
I started off slow, but once I got into the groove, the game has just come to me.
How has things been with coach Gene Brisbane?
The coach is really good, and we like him a lot. He shows us what we need to do, and we follow him. He has told us working hard gets us wins.
Who’s your favorite athlete and why?
LeBron James. I’ve followed him since I’ve played basketball. I think he’s a great athlete and great person.
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