All-Star basketball teams often feature a collection of scorers, nothing but a group of shooting guards and small forwards that look to shoot the basketball with incredible frequency. It can often lead to boring basketball.
The group comprising the North girls' roster for Saturday's AmeriServ Senior Hoops Classic, which tips off at 1 p.m. at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center, is much more than a collection of offensive standouts. It resembles an actual basketball team.
Sure, the North features some of the area's premier scorers, but there are players who rebounded, ran the point and dug down defensively. Another positive for Portage coach Lance Hudak, who guided the Mustangs to one of its best seasons and will lead the North roster, is every player came from a playoff team. Several of those players came from teams that accomplished more than expected in the postseason.
Coach: Lance Hudak, Portage
The Mustangs finished 22-4 and won their first WestPAC championship with a hard-fought overtime victory against Berlin. Portage was the District 6 Class A runner-up and qualified for the PIAA playoffs.
Players (in alphabetical order)
Katie Bracken, Central Cambria
Red Devils' post presence averaged 8.8 points and a team-best 9.1 rebounds.
Jamie Cekada, Conemaugh Valley
Blue Jays point guard did a little bit of everything as she averaged 7.1 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals.
Casey Gallaher, Forest Hills
Gallaher aggravated an injury in the final game of the season and won't be able to play but plans to attend game. She scored 1,500 career points.
Lexi Hody, Conemaugh Valley
Ranked second on team with 10.1 scoring average.
Taylor King-Brothers, Central Cambria
King-Brothers recently signed with St. Francis track, but she's also a basketball standout who averaged 8.8 points and 3.2 steals.
Paige Lamberson, Westmont Hilltop
Three-point shooting specialist averaged 11.9 points and made 65 3-pointers.
Heather Marsh, Blacklick Valley
Stat-sheet filler averaged 11.0 rebounds and team-high 11.1 rebounds.
Emily McCabe, Portage
Key role player for Mustangs averaged 4.9 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Bri Mulhern, Penn Cambria
Another sharpshooter, Mulhern averaged 11.7 points and made 47 3-pointers.
Candice Ramus, Portage
One of the area's premier shooters in rifle, Ramus was a rare multi-sport winter sports athlete.
Erin Rodgers, Westmont Hilltop
One of area's most complete players averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 4.0 steals.
Marlee Zubek, Forest Hills
Key figure for District 6 Class AAA champs averaged 8.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists while leading team with 30 3-pointers.