AK Valley Athletes of the Week: Burrell’s Riley Sterlitz, Fox Chapel’s Eli Yofan


Saturday February 12, 2022 | 5:57 p.m.

Riley Sterlitz

To classify: Junior

The school: Burrel

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Sterlitz helped Burrell close the season strong with three section wins in one week. She had a team-high 23 points to help Burrell beat Derry 51-43 on Monday and 11 points in a 60-16 win over Valley on Wednesday. The Bucs outscored Valley, 59-30, in a rematch Thursday.

How did you feel helping the team to three section wins in four days?

It was really good. I feel like our team is starting to click, and these are big team wins for us. Unfortunately the season is coming to an end as we start to freeze over but I think that will impact us next year.

What can you learn from these last games with you for next season?

We focused on rebounding and really upped our game with boxing. We have reduced our turnover, which is an important factor in winning.

Do you have any pre-match routines or superstitions?

I always have to eat GoGo Squeez applesauce, and I just listen to music to get into game mode. I don’t like to eat much before games, so I decided to eat applesauce.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

I play on an AAU team called Team Hustle, so that keeps me busy. I like hanging out with friends, working out and going on vacation. My favorite place I have visited so far is Los Angeles.

Eli Yofan

To classify: Senior

The school: Fox Chapel

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Yofan broke the school record for career points and scored 17 in a 71-34 win over Norwin on Tuesday. He has 1,449 points, surpassing the previous mark set by Matt D’Amico in 2014. He also helped the Foxes clinch the 3-6A Division title with 21 points in a 75-65 win over Central Catholic.

Yofan played on the Fox Chapel golf team in the fall, finishing tied for second in the WPIALs and fourth in the PIAA Class 3A Championship.

How did it feel to become Fox Chapel’s all-time leading scorer?

It’s really cool. I didn’t know what the record was until about 10 games ago. Our stats keeper, Gabe Skrinjar, told me what it was. When I discovered it, I knew I could get close if not break it. I just took the approach that if it happens, it happens, but more importantly, we just want to win. For it to happen at home and for us to win our ninth section game was pretty cool. Matt D’Amico was at the game, so that was cool too.

What did you do to celebrate the accomplishment?

We had a party at my buddy’s house, who is part of the team. My whole family was there, and the five senior team members were there.

What part of your game has improved the most since first year?

Definitely shoot, for sure. It was just countless days and hours of filming, perfecting my form and all the muscle memory that goes with it. It was a lot of practice and repetition.

What makes Fox Chapel a constant competitor?

I’ve been playing basketball with Jake (DeMotte), Russell (Fenton) and JP (Dockey) since third grade. We’ve been doing it for so long that the chemistry is there. Since the first year, all our success has been based on our defense. We are very proud of it and we have discipline. These are the keys to success.

Do you have any pre-match routines or superstitions?

The only thing I do is take a nap before every game.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball and playing on the golf team?

I played on the volleyball team. It was a good time. I like to play Xbox and hang out with friends. I also like going to Pitt basketball games.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

Tags: Burrell, Fox Chapel

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