Westmoreland HS notebook: Latrobe duo looks for offers during live period
By: Bill Beckner Jr.
Saturday, July 14, 2018 | 11:03 PM
One of three mid-summer NCAA Division I basketball “live periods” began Wednesday, which means top college coaches from across the country will fill gymnasiums for a week to watch high-school prospects play on the AAU circuit.
During these periods, coaches can evaluate players from 5 p.m. Wednesday until 5 p.m. the following Sunday. The other live periods are July 18-22 and July 25-29.
A pair of those potential recruits play for the same travel and high school teams and could see an increase in interest in the coming weeks.
Reed Fenton and Bryce Butler, Latrobe’s high-scoring duo, are playing for the PK Flash in a series of tournaments along the East Coast.
The Elevate Hoops Icebreaker I event wraps up Friday in Manalapan, N.J., before a Hoop Group tournament in Atlantic City, the Big Apple Showcase in New York, the Summer Jamfest at Spooky Nook, and the Louisville Jamfest.
“A lot of schools that talked to me in June were all saying they’d come and take a hard look at these guys in July,” Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said. “Both guys are having good summers. I think we’ll see some (schools) opening up some books and making some offers in the next three weeks, and I think there will be multiple ones for each of the boys.”
Fenton and Butler, who both averaged over 20 points last season and will be seniors in the fall, led the PK Flash 17-under team to the Platinum championship at the Icebreaker tournament.
Fenton already has offers from Navy, Drake and Dartmouth, along with interest from a number of Ivy League schools. Butler also has Ivy and Patriot League schools taking a closer look.
Fenton and Butler have played in the last two USA Basketball 3-on-3 competitions in Colorado.
“We’re both hoping that it takes a big jump,” Fenton said of recruiting. “And with the work we’ve put in, I’m confident it will.”
Area pair to Seton Hill
Add two more local products to the Seton Hill baseball program.
Incoming seniors and Tribune-Review All-Stars Jack Oberdorf of Greensburg Salem and Luke Hudson of Hempfield made verbal commitments to play for the Griffins next year.
Oberdorf, a shortstop, batted .364 with 17 runs, 10 doubles and 18 RBIs for the Golden Lions, who reached the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals.
An outfielder, Hudson had a strong junior season for the Spartans. He hit .431 with 20 runs and 23 RBIs and had 13 extra-base hits including six triples and three home runs.
Belle Vernon will host its 7-on-7 Gold Bowl Tournament on July 21 at James Weir Stadium. Seven teams are set to compete: Belle Vernon, Frazier, Yough, Southmoreland, Connellsville, Burrell and California.
Kickers and punters don’t get a lot of preseason attention but Belle Vernon has a good one worth mentioning.
Junior Cameron Guess is on the fast track to becoming one of the WPIAL’s top kicker/punter combos. Kohl’s Kicking Camps ranks him as the No. 5 best punter, and the No. 12 best kicker, nationally, in the Class of 2020.
Guess said he already has heard from Pitt, Syracuse, Ohio State and Fresno State.
Guess has boomed a 62-yard field goal in practice and hit from 44 yards in a game. He said he booted a punt 61 yards in a game and 70 yards during practice. Last season, Guess averaged 42 yards per punt, and made two field goals and 31 extra points. He added 26 touchbacks.
Football season must be approaching. The annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association 7-on-7 passing championship will be Thursday at Rossi Field at Latrobe.
Games begin at 9 a.m. and also will be played on the baseball and softball fields at nearby Graham-Sobota Field, also on campus.
The championship is set for about 2:15 p.m.
Bracket A has Derry, Franklin Regional, Southmoreland, Jeannette, Norwin and Greensburg Salem. Bracket B includes Mt. Pleasant, Hempfield, Yough, Burrell, Penn-Trafford and Latrobe.
Hempfield beat Norwin in the finals last year to win the event for the second straight year.
Norwin has to be considered the favorite with junior Jack Salopek back at quarterback, and seniors Gianni Rizzo and Jayvon Thrift as pass-catching threats and ball hawks on defense.
Salopek and Thrift have offers from Pitt. Thrift also has offers from West Virginia, Indiana and Syracuse among others.
Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at email@example.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.