Westmoreland Athletes of the Week: Monessen’s Marquell Smith, Penn-Trafford’s Maura Suman

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | 10:07 PM

Marquell Smith

School: Monessen

Sport: Basketball

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Smith, who is averaging 17 points this season, scored a game-high 24 to lead Monessen (10-12, 9-3) to a 52-48 win over West Greene in Section 2-A action Feb. 4. Smith scored 21 points in a 77-56 win over Mapletown in section play Feb. 8.

“I thought I had a double-double in the West Greene game. They came a lot off of rebounds,” Smith said.

What are your college plans for next year?

I’m looking to play football in college. I might I want to go to Slippery Rock or Allegheny. I want to major in architecture or zoology.

What does it mean to be in the WPIAL playoffs for the third straight year?

It feels great being able to play in my last year in the playoffs. I can’t wait until Friday, and hopefully we can get the win.

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

We need to just play as a hard as we can no matter the score, keep pushing and never give up.

What did the team learn from the late-season loss to Geibel?

We started off really slow. As the game went on, we got into a rhythm. We couldn’t get back to where we needed to be, and we were fighting to get the lead the whole game.

Who’s your favorite athlete and why?

Cam Newton. He’s been my favorite since he got drafted. I like his style. He’s always motivated and working.

Maura Suman

School: Penn-Trafford

Sport: Basketball

Class: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Suman, who is averaging 11 points this season, scored a game-high 18 to lead Penn-Trafford (15-7, 8-6) to a 44-40 win over Latrobe to clinch the final playoff berth in Section 3-5A on Feb. 6. Suman scored 13 points in a 51-50 upset win over Norwin in Section play Feb. 3.

“It was a total team effort, and the teammates trusted me to take the shots. I lost my pap during the week, and I think that pushed me more, too,” Suman said.

What did it mean to you to suit up the night of your grandfather’s viewing?

It was a big decision on if I wanted to play. My teammates, coaches and parents were supportive. My pap would have wanted me to play in that game. That was an emotional day, and it pushed me through the game. I’m happy I played, and I’m happy I performed well that night.

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

We did struggle with some games this year, but we have been on a streak lately. I’m hoping to carry it through the playoffs, but we want to take it one day at a time and one game at a time.

How has your game developed throughout the year even though you have upperclassmen like Bella Long on your team?

I’m more confident with my ball handling and shooting skills.

What is your first memory of playing basketball?

Playing at Upward. I would run out the tunnel, and I would dream about the game I love, which is basketball.

What’s your favorite subject and why?

Math. I connect with numbers, and I have picked it up easily. They have challenging problems, but I like to work through those challenging problems and figure it out.

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