Three players and a coach from the Back Mountain made key contributions when the Rock Solid AAU basketball team finished second among girls’ teams for incoming ninth-graders and younger at the State Games of America in Hershey last weekend.
Chad Lojewski, who has served as a Dallas Youth basketball coach along with his contributions with Rock Solid, coached the team.
Sara Lojewski, the coach’s daughter, and Courtney Devens were team members from Dallas. Sarah Sabaluski from Lake-Lehman was also on the seven-player team.
Rock Solid went 3-0 in pool play to reach the championship game where it fell to the Lancaster Wave, 43-28, to settle for the silver medal.
The ninth-grade division included four teams from Pennsylvania along with one each from Texas, Colorado and Los Angeles.
Rock Solid took advantage of the State Games of America, which is held every two years, being in the east for just the second time since its debut in 1999. The Olympic-style competition included 29 sports this year.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls,” coach Lojewski said. “We always try to compete at a high level to challenge the girls and this was no exception.”
Sarah Holweg, from Wyoming Area, was the team’s leading scorer with more than 14 points per game.
Sabaluski was the team’s leading rebounder with 21. Devens led the team in offensive rebounds with two per game. Lojewski led in steals with three per game and also contributed 2.5 assists.
Rock Solid opened the tournament by winning a defensive battle from the York Thunder, 23-21. Devens blocked three shots while Lojewski had a team-high five rebounds and Sabaluski contributed five points and two assists.
Devens had a team-high seven rebounds in a 33-19 win over the Mid-Penn Motion. Sabaluski had four rebounds and Lojewski hit a 3-pointer.
Lojewski led the team with five steals and Devens led with 10 rebounds in a 44-20 victory over Advanced Hoops from the Cumberland Valley. Sabaluski added five rebounds and four steals. Holweg had a dominant offensive effort with 27 points.
The championship game was tied at halftime before Lancaster broke away for the win. Sabaluski had eight rebounds and four steals. Lojewski had five steals and four assists.
The team’s roster also included two players from the Lehigh Valley and one from Nanticoke.