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With voice, Comet delivers key assist notebook van rose

Farmer is pregame singing star when national-anthem recording isn’t available.

Crestwood’s Shauna Farmer came to the rescue during a recent Comet home game against Berwick.

It wasn’t a timely shot, big rebound or a key steal that Farmer used to save the day.

No, the Crestwood sophomore guard made her big play with her vocal cords. When she realized that school officials had brought the wrong recording to the game and didn’t have a copy of the national anthem to play, without being asked Farmer grabbed the microphone and performed a stunning version of the anthem.

“I was shocked because actually two days earlier I had dental surgery,” said Farmer, 15. “I didn’t think I was going to do well at first, and then it just kind of came natural.”

Actually, singing is old hat to Farmer. She quite often sings the national anthem at Crestwood boys games. Last summer, she performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” at a Somerset (N.J.) Patriots minor league baseball game.

“I’ve been singing in lots of talent shows since I was a little kid,” said Farmer. “I began taking voice lessons when I was in the sixth grade.”

Farmer credits instructor Laura Anderson for bringing her along.

“She’s a great teacher and she’s inspired me to do so much. Last week I appeared in ‘Into the Woods’ at Wilkes University. It was my first musical performance in a play.”

Farmer also is a big fan of Broadway musicals. She recently took in “Hairspray” and “Wicked,” and has seen “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” several times.

She hasn’t chosen a college yet, but is planning to major in music.

“It’s my first love.”

The real deal

Abington Heights superstar Becky Burke made a lasting impression on Wyoming Valley West coach Curt Lloyd while leading the unbeaten Comets to a 62-22 victory over the Spartans last week.

Burke, a 5-foot-11 senior guard who has signed with South Carolina, poured in 31 points.

According to Lloyd, there’s no margin for error when attempting to defend against Burke.

“If you play a foot off her, she can knock down a three. If you put any type of pressure on her, she’ll go around you with a dribble. She’s not one dimensional. She does a lot of things well.”

One of Burke’s greatest assets is her dedication to the game, Lloyd added.

“You could tell she takes the game seriously. She definitely works at it 12 months a year, and that’s what it takes to become a Division I player.”

Mohawks run the table

The move to Division III this season proved to be successful for the Meyers Mohawks, who posted a 5-0 record to capture the first-half title.

“We all thought we’d have a very competitive division going in,” said first-year coach Chris Gray. “Our players knew it was possible if they worked hard and just came in every day and busted their butts.”

Junior forward Christa Tutella played a key role in Meyers’ success. She leads the Mohawks in scoring with an 11.6 average and converted six three-point shots in league play.

“Christa’s a talented kid,” said Gray. “She’s a big part of what we’re trying to do. She rebounds, handles the ball and gets it up the floor. She can pretty much do it all.”

The Mohawks have received significant contributions from their two young post players – freshman Maddie Lavery and sophomore Ashlee Ward.

“They’re really a presence inside,” Gray said. “They can dominate the boards when they want to. When they figure it out for real on an every game basis, they’re going to be a tough pair to contend with.”

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