Geibel Students Are Teammates on, off the Court
Harvath, Les, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
When Geibel Catholic High School senior basketball players Sarah Erdely and Mia White reminisce about their sophomore year, their thoughts of that section-championship season return to one game, against section rival Avella.
"It was the second time we played them that season," Erdely said. "We lost the first game and had some doubts going into the second game. Everyone expected us to lose, but we beat them by 30 points."
White added a slightly different perspective, noting that "Avella had not lost a section game in several years and we beat them, 95- 65."
When they were freshmen, the Catholic high school in Connellsville was the section runner-up, but the Lady Gators have won a pair of 2-A section titles since and Erdely and White are looking to make it a three-peat.
"That's our goal, win the section again," White, a 5-foot-2-inch guard, said, "but we have not won a playoff game since we have been at Geibel and that's my goal this season, win at least one playoff game."
In her career, White, in the Lady Gators' starting lineup the last two seasons, has scored slightly more than 700 points and reaching the 1,000-point plateau is in the back of her mind.
"If I get to 1,000 points, good, but I would rather the team win," she said.
White also topped Geibel last season with a 14 points per game average and is one of the team's better three-point shooters. She earned All-Fayette County and all-section honors in both her sophomore and junior years.
Erdely, a 5-foot-5-inch guard in her second season as a starter, averaged nine points and four assists a game last year, but Geibel Catholic girls coach Pat Klocek added that "she gets one of the tougher defensive assignments each game when we go man-to-man. Sarah is quick on defense."
Although Erdely, who resides in Perryopolis, and White, from Monessen, have been Geibel teammates for four seasons, their basketball paths first crossed in the fourth grade at St. Sebastian Catholic School in Belle Vernon, where Sarah's mother, Tammy, was the coach. They have been together since then.
Tammy Erdely coached the girls from fourth through eighth grades and is in her first year as an assistant coach at Geibel.
"In fifth grade we had a young team," Sarah Erdely said, "and we lost every game except the last game of the season. Everyone was so excited. But in the seventh grade our team was more experienced and we won the CYO championship."
Klocek, in his fourth season with the Lady Gators, coached in that CYO league against that St. Sebastian team and remembers watching both girls. He has seen their development from grade school to Geibel, but what also impresses Klocek was their off-the-court initiative when they worked the scorebook and clock for Diocese of Greensburg CYO games. …