Westmoreland high school notebook: Latrobe’s Fenton lands Division I offer

Thursday, May 10, 2018 | 7:00 PM

Latrobe junior basketball standout Reed Fenton hopes his first offer to play Division I college basketball triggers a bunch more of them.

For now, he is cherishing his first, which came in this week from the Naval Academy.

The opportunity to play for Navy resonates with Fenton because his father, Neal, began his college hoops career at Navy before transferring to Bucknell.

“It’s nice because my dad can give me a lot of insight and advice on the academy,” Reed said.

Fenton already made an unofficial visit to LSU and is planning another to Iowa. He is having a strong AAU season with the PK Flash.

Fenton averaged 22 points, 4.5 assists and three steals last season for Latrobe.

Vertacnik to Monessen

Monessen on Tuesday night hired former Jeannette coach Janine Vertacnik as its girls basketball coach.

Vertacnik coached Jeannette from 2006-10 and led the program to its first WPIAL championship.

She was 90-103 at with the Jayhawks.

Monessen went 3-18 last season. The Greyhounds averaged just 29 points. They have not had a winning season since 2011-12, also the last time they won a playoff game.

“I hope to be able to build the program back up to the great tradition it once had, through hard work and dedication,” Vertacnik said. “I’m going to try and establish a youth feeder program that was once their greatest asset. That is where it all begins. I have met with the girls and had one open gym. The turnout was great, and their athletic ability and desire to win, I believe, will propel us to be successful in a shorter period of time than I had anticipated.”

The move will offer a much shorter trip for Vertacnik, who lives in Yukon.

She also coached at Greensburg Salem, Pitt-Greensburg and Yough.

Vertacnik is 20 wins shy of 300 for her career.

Another offer for Johnson

Jeannette defensive end Anthony Johnston picked up two more Division I scholarship offers, from Buffalo and Morgan State.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior also has offers from Syracuse, Ball State, Holy Cross and Central Michigan.

Munchinski runs half-marathon

Latrobe junior softball catcher Makayla Munchinski is in the process of trying to lead her team back to the WPIAL finals. Somehow, though, she found time to train and run in last week’s Pittsburgh half-marathon.

She said her mother, Dana, a Latrobe softball assistant coach, inspired her to run. Dana ran with her daughter for the first time but finished her fourth half-marathon overall.

“The actual race was tough but an amazing experience,” Makayla said. “I think I ran most of it on adrenaline with all the people cheering with signs and bands on the streets playing and seeing the thousands of other runners of all shapes and sizes kept me going.”

Her aunt also ran the half-marathon and has competed in the full race as well.

“If you would have told me a year ago that I would run a half-marathon, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Makayla said. “I used to hate running, but now I love it.”

Showcase returns

The Westmoreland County Coaches Association will host its sixth annual football underclassmen showcase 9 a.m. Saturday at Hempfield’s Spartan Stadium.

The event, which has seen an increase in interest each year, features the county’s top incoming sophomores and juniors. The players work out in front of college coaches and get a crash course on the recruiting process along the way.

Dozens of college coaches annually attend, from the Division I-FCS level to Division III. Players are evaluated in numerous drills, including the 40-yard dash, shuttle run and vertical jumps.

The showcase costs $50 per player. Interested players can call 412-491-1212 to register. Walk-ups are welcome.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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