Forty District 9 Seniors to Play in Kozel Basketball Games April 2 at Elk County Catholic

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The 12th annual Alice R. Kozel Foundation District 9 Basketball All-Star Games are booked for Saturday, April 2, at Elk County Catholic High School.

Tip-off times will be 4 p.m. for the girls game and 6 o’clock for the boys game.

Three-point shooting contests are slated during halftimes, with the boys competing during the girls’ intermission and the girls shooting during the boys’ break.

The Kozel Games were played in DuBois until last year, when Punxsutawney hosted the event.

This year is another opportunity to expose a school to the annual event featuring the top seniors in the district.

“Being involved with District 9 basketball for years, ever since 1976 as a player, the ECCHS gymnasium has been a basketball landmark for District 9 programs,” said Kozel Games founder and co-chairman Larry Salone, a St. Marys Area High School graduate.

“The program at Elk County has always been a model for high school basketball, so it’s a real pleasure to have coach Aaron Straub offer us the ability to play in this gymnasium that holds so much tradition, lore and some good (if we won there) and some bad (a lot of losses there) memories of District 9 basketball for decades,” Salone added.

This year, 40 of the top District 9 seniors and 12 coaches will represent 24 of the district’s 35 schools.

Among them are nine 1,000-point scorers, six boys and three girls.

Coudersport’s Jenna Matzinger and DuBois Central Catholic’s Miller Hopkins went over 1,000 career points. Matzinger’s Blue Squad teammate Kayla Hoohuli of St. Marys finished with over 2,000 points. Her recent injury in St. Marys’ state playoff game loss to New Castle puts her in questionable status for the game.

For the boys, DuBois Central Catholic’s Chris Marshall, Brockway’s Nick Anderson, Clarion-Limestone’s Brandon Bell and Moniteau’s Zach Sloan all finished with over 1,000 career points while hitting the mark this year. Two other seniors, Venango Catholic’s Maxx Rynd and North Clarion’s Jeremy Schmader, were over 1,000 points going into the season.

Complete rosters are:

GIRLS

Blue Team – Justis Myers, Johnsonburg; Kayla Hoohuli, St. Marys; Jenna Reitz, Punxsutawney; Jenna Matzinger, Coudersport; Jade Walker, Clarion-Limestone; Andrea Saquin, Kane; Karly Carnovale, Elk County Catholic; Jalina Sabatose, Brockway; Lindsey Neiswonger, Redbank Valley; Lindsay Obremski, DuBois.

Coaches: Ken Pistner, Elk County Catholic; Bob Swanson, St. Marys; Brian Green, Coudersport.   

White Team – Mariah Winchester, Union; Kaitlyn Hill, Brookville; Hannah Fink, Coudersport; Miller Hopkins, DuBois Central Catholic; Jillian Love, Keystone; Tori Brown, Coudersport; Ashley Wilson, Kane; Sarah Lutz, Cranberry; Shawna Crago, Punxsutawney; Kyley Mickle, Port Allegany.

Coaches: Chrissy Shumaker, Cranberry; Josh Meeker, Union; Ann Nuzzo, Bradford. 

BOYS

Blue Team – Eric Hesdon, Clarion-Limestone; Jeremy Schmader, North Clarion; Tyler Herzing, Elk County Catholic; Camden Nolan, Oswayo Valley; Dylan Reigel, St. Marys; Allan Eaton, Allegheny-Clarion Valley; Louis Imbrogno, Johnsonburg; Darren Simons, Elk County Catholic; Dan Fitzpatrick, DuBois Central Catholic; Zach Sloan, Moniteau.

Coaches: Mark Guido, St. Marys; Mike Nesbit, DuBois Central Catholic; Clark Cummings, Oswayo Valley.

White Team – Ricky Pearsall, Ell County Catholic; Brandon Bain, Redbank Valley; Brandon Bell, Clarion-Limestone; Chris Marshall, DuBois Central Catholic; Trent Corle, Union; Nick Anderson, Brockway; Maxx Rynd, Venango Catholic; Ryan Grimm, Cameron County; Logan Depto, Kane; Kyle Baughman, Brookville.

Coaches: Ed Baumcratz, North Clarion; Bud Baughman, Brookville; Karen Davis, Union.

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