MERCER COUNTY AREA —
They come in different shapes and sizes, but Sharon High’s players share one common characteristic: Each of them, at any point in time, is the fastest player on the floor.
Sharon shed a slow start — trailing by 13 points at the opening quarter’s close — before its energy engulfed the Eagles of Grove City, resulting in a 75-63 District 10 Region 5-AAA win Friday night.
“I think our kids are too young to understand exactly what playing from behind means,” assessed Sharon skipper Jason Rankin. “We play fast, so we can score points quickly ...
“We’re a little bit immature,” Rankin related, noting, “We could’ve put ’em away a couple of times. But (the Eagles) kept playin’. And, we’ve gotta get better.”
With Spencer Marnich mustering 16 first-half markers, Grove City garnered a 36-35 margin at intermission on Kaiden Young’s pair of free throws with 10.3 ticks remaining.
From that point, however, the Tigers tallied 40 points in the closing 16 minutes. Jason Austin annexed 11 of his 15 points during the 3rd period and Carnell Hawkins had a half-dozen more, offsetting Derek Turner’s 10 tallies as the teams were tied at 54 through 3 quarters.
During the decisive 4th frame Sharon surged, led by ’Bray Jennings’ 8 points, Mark Henry’s handful, and Austin, who added 3 more. Conversely, the Eagles ended by missing 10 of their final 13 floor shots and 6 of 8 free-throw attempts.
Also, despite a 35-25 Eagles’ edge on the backboards, the Grovers gave up the ball 29 times to Sharon’s swarming traps. Austin’s long-range marksmanship aside — 4 second-half 3-point fielders — the Tigers’ transition buckets saw Sharon shoot 27 for 56 (48.2 percent).
“Listen, they’ll tell you, all I do is talk about runnin’,” Rankin related. “I make ’em run all the time. We said this year we wouldn’t have the size, so we’d need to be in condition. They bought into that, and we certainly use ninety-four feet when we play.”
Grove City (2-1, 5-1) was led by Marnich’s 18-point, 14-rebound double-double. But after converting 8 of 11 first-half floor shots including his first 6 in succession — many on put-backs or layins, courtesy of Danny Torok passes — Marnich made just 1 of only 3 second-half attempts. Also for the Eagles, Turner tallied 16 and Foster Reznor rifled in 14, while Torok distributed 7 assists.
However Turner was taken down on a drive with 3:42 remaining and appeared to injure his ribs. Though he ultimately returned, he missed his only 2 attempts. The Eagles enjoyed 21-for-38 (55.2) shooting during the first 3 quarters, but ended 24 for 51 (47.0) and an uncharacteristic 11-for-19 from the line.
Sharon (2-0, 4-1) showed balanced scoring, including Austin (15), Hawkins (11), Henry and Jennings (10 apiece), and Jamal Waller (9). The latter was DQ’d on personal fouls with 5:50 left. Henry and Hawkins handed out 9 and 5 assists, respectively. And no player from Sharon shot more than 11 times.
The Tigers have tallied 4 consecutive triumphs and have lost just once at home during Rankin’s year-plus Tigers’ tenure.
“(Grove City) is a veteran club, well coached, and they were comin’ in playing well. We just held serve. We didn’t win anything (Friday) night, and certainly they didn’t lose anything,” Rankin remarked, adding, “But I think we took a step toward the maturation of a team. We’ll watch the film — and I’ll blast ’em — and they’ll probably run a little bit for all the goofy plays they made.
“But I’m proud of them, ’cause we just play hard. Our kids aren’t always the smartest ’cause they’re young, but we play hard, and I like that,” Rankin admitted.
“I’m so proud of the fact is, one of our hallmarks we have right now is we’re thirteen-and-one at home ... and we use it to our advantage,” Rankin continued, cautioning, “but we also know, too, that we’ve gotta go to Grove City, Oil City, Slippery Rock (plus Shenango Valley rivals Hickory and Farrell), so we’ve gotta be ready to go through there, too.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Reynolds 63, Mercer 59 — At Transfer, even an ugly Christmas sweater display could not divert attention from the Raiders’ resurgence.
Reynolds roared to a 30-26 halftime lead, then the Raiders rode Cory Woods’ pair of third-quarter triples and Jake Leipheimer’s 6-for-8 free-throw marksmanship. Also, Garhett Frable — before fouling out — fired in 4 of 5 freebies.
“It was an unbelievable atmosphere,” Reynolds Head Coach Dan Kilgore confided. “A good back-and-forth game the whole way.“
Frable’s 21-point, 13-rebound double-double led Reynolds (1-0, 5-0) to the Region 2-AA opening win, while Woods and Leipheimer lent 13 and 10 points, respectively, and Kyle McConnell collected another 10 caroms and 10 tallies for a twin-killing.
For Mercer (0-1, 2-3), Jon Scheidhauer hit for 15, Nate Guiler garnered 14 and Jake Schmid scored 12 though the Steads staged a 33-all 2nd-half stalemate.
This is Reynolds roundball program’s best start since the Russell Conley-Chris Laverty era, but Kilgore confided,
“I wouldn’t go that far. I’d like to go that far.
“But we’re well-rounded,” he added. “You look at our scoring, our starters scored 21, 13, 10, 10, and 8 (Jake Reimold). It revoles around Garhett, but all our guys can score.”
ä West Middlesex 69, Sharpsville 34 — At Sharpsville, the defending District 10 champion Big Reds showed they are again a force to be reckoned with.
Trey Staunch, 6-3 junior strongman, dominated with a 28-point performance in the Region 3-AA opener for the two clubs.Staunch is nearing the career century mark and unofficially has 976 points in three years at West Middlesex (1-0, 3-3).
No further details or boxscore was submitted by either team prior to deadline.
ä Grove City 50, Meadville 31 – At Grove City, the host Eagles (5-1, 1-0) opened up Region 5-AAA play by pulling away from Meadville in the second half.
Senior Corianne Hyduchak paced Grove City with a game-high 16 points while classmate Jenn Ferguson added 14 points and a team-leading six rebounds.
Grove City jumped out to a 7-0 lead but Meadville eventually closed to within 22-21 with two minutes left in the half. However, Hyduchak hit consecutive jumpers to help Grove City close the half on a 7-0 run.
The Eagles then opened the second half with an 8-2 run. Three-pointers from Brenna Deyarmin and Hailey Hall in the final 30 seconds gave Grove City a 44-26 lead after three quarters.
Grove City forced 32 Meadville turnovers and held the Bulldogs to 34 percent (12 for 35) shooting from the field. Grove City shot just 27 percent (16 for 60) but the Eagles turned over the ball only six times.
Hall added five assists for Grove City and Danyelle Lucido recorded four assists.
“Meadville is a very dangerous team. They have nice inside presence and good guards,” Grove City head coach T.L. Eller said. “We knew they would hang in there and make plays. I thought it was good that we could overcome a poor shooting night and come out with a 19-point win.”
Marcadi McCoy and Kiashiah Newsome led Meadville with 11 points each. Tomera Schweter had nine points and a game-high 19 rebounds. Meadville outrebounded Grove City, 39-32. — By Ryan Briggs, Herald sports correspondent.
ä Lakeview 42, Commodore Perry 26 — At Sheakleyville, the visiting Lady Sailors grabbed the victory in the interregion clash.
Lakeview jumped out 13-7 after one period and never looked back in moving to 3-3 on the season. Perry fell to 3-4.
For the Sailors, Sam Womer led the way with 16 points. For Perry, Sephanie Vaughn nailed 12 markers.
ä Karns City 68, Farrell 31 — At Karns City, it was a mismatch for the powerful home team as they jumped to a 22-6 first-quarter lead and rolled on.
Oriana Smith was high scorer for Farrell (2-4) with 8 points. For Karns City, L. Gibson had 22 points, Preston 19 and LoPresti 14.
ä Brookfield 57, Youngstown Christian 32 — At Youngstown Thursday, the Lady Warriors improved to 6-2 on the year. Lauren Hawley led the way for the winners with 14 points, while Danielle DiCristofaro and Delany Saxton each added 8.
ä Mercer 40, Lakeview 21 — At Mercer, the Mustangs of coach Rick Whenry bounced back from a tough loss to Franklin the night before to defeat the Sailors.
Scoring falls for Mercer were Trevor Fowler (138), Eli Rutter (160), Troy Segula (182), Austin King (106). For Lakeview, heavyweight Sam Breese recorded a first period fall.
ä Reynolds 65, Lakeview 7 — At Reynolds Thursday, the Raiders (3-1) rolled to the victory. Notching falls for Reynolds were Levi Stoyer (145), Mike Millero (170), Tyrone Griswald (182), Gage Bayless (106), Seth Hogue (113) and., Mike Bartolo (126) while Keegan Miller (160) and Alex DiGregorio (138) recorded tech falls.
Defending state champion Sam Breese scored a major decision at heavyweight for Lakeview.
GROVE CITY 21 15 18 9 63
SHARON 8 27 19 21 75
GROVE CITY — Turner 5-4-5-16, Torok 1-1-14-3, Polkabla 2-1-2-5, Reznor 5-2-4-14, Marnich 9-0-0-18, Young 2-3-3-7, Record 0-0-0-0, Cline 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Turner 2, Reznor 2. Totals: 24-11-19-63.
SHARON — Henry 3-4-4-10, Hawkins 4-2-6-11, Waller 4-1-1-9, Austin 5-1-2-15, Jennings 4-0-0-10, Seay 3-2-2-8, Stovall 1-0-0-3, Magestro 1-2-2-5, Jordan 2-0-0-4. 3-pt. goals: Austin 4, Jennings 2, Hawkins 1, Stovall 1, Magestro 1. Totals: 27-12-17-75.
JV — Sharon, 58-51. Mar’Ryon Hopson 16 points, Jahmeer Jordan 12 for Sharon; Brendan Record 22, Jamie Hall 9 for Grove City.
MERCER 14 12 13 20 59
REYNOLDS 11 19 15 18 63
MERCER — Schmid 4-2-2-12, Clarke 4-1-2-9, Guiler 5-0-0-14, Fowler 1-0-0-3, Leonard 1-1-1-4, Scheidhauer 5-5-7-15, VanWoert 1-0-0-2. Totals: 21-9-12-59.
REYNOLDS — Frable 8-5-7-21, Leipheimer 2-6-8-10, Woods 5-0-0-13, Reimold 3-2-2-8, McConnell 4-0-1-10, Beck 0-1-2-1. 3-pt. goals: Woods 3, McConnell 2. Totals: 22-14-20-63.
JV — Reynolds, 43-37. Jake Hart 14 points Reynolds; Swanson 13 points for Mercer.
MEADVILLE 9 12 5 5 31
GROVE CITY 16 13 15 6 50
MEADVILLE — Schweter 4-1-2-9, Mosley 0-0-0-0, McCoy 4-3-4-6, Glatch 0-0-0-0, Newsome 4-0-2-11, Wickham 0-0-0-0, Smith 0-0-0-0, Moore 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Newsome 3. Totals: 12-4-8-31.
GROVE CITY —Wyllie 0-4-4-4, Sprando 0-2-4-2, Ferguson 5-4-7-14, Hall 1-0-0-3, Hyduchak 6-3-4-16, Lucido 0-0-2-0, Deyarmin 2-0-0-4, Jaskowak 0-0-0-0, Burtch 0-0-0-0, Hughes 0-1-2-1, Wolfe 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Hall 1, Hyduchak 1, Deyarmin 1. Totals: 16-15-25-50.
LAKEVIEW 13 7 18 4 42
COMM. PERRY 7 7 4 8 26
LAKEVIEW — Fisher 3-1-2-7; Kasbee 0-1-6-1; Riddle 1-0-2-2, Foster 3-0-0-7, Casciotti 0-1-4-1, Holland 1-3-7-5, McIntire 0-3-4-3, Womer 7-2-5-16. 3-pt. goals: Fisher 1.Totals: 15-11-30-42.
COMMODORE PERRY — Beachy 1-1-2-4, A. Nagy 0-2-2-2, Vaughn 4-1-2-12; S. Nagy 1-3-4-5, Grinnell 2-0-3-4. 3-pt. goals: Vaughn 3. Totals: 5-3-7-13-26
JV — Lakeview, 29-15.
FARRELL 6 10 8 7 31
KARNS CITY 22 21 21 4 68
FARRELL — Smith 3-2-4-8, Avery 1-1-2-3, Gambill 0-2-4-2, Wade 1-0-0-2, Page 2-2-4-6, Murray 5-0-0-10. Totals: 12-7-14-31.
KARNS CITY — Schumacher 1-0-2-2, Preston 7-4-5-19, Hegebus 2-0-0-4, LoPresti 5-3-4-14, L.Gibson 6-10-14-22, Jones 0-3-4-3, A.Gibson 1-0-0-2, Wited 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Preston 1, LoPresti 1.Totals: 23-20-29-68.
JV — Karns City, 59-34. A.Gibson 18 points for Karns City.
BROOKFIELD 17 14 12 14 57
YGSTN CHRIST. 12 2 4 14 32
BROOKFIELD — Hawley 5-2-2-14, Aut. Kirila 3-0-0-6, Quinlan 0-1-2-1, DiCristofaro 3-1-2-8, Ash. Kirila 2-2-2-6, May 3-0-0-6, Saxton 4-0-2-8, Gauding 2-2-2-6, Hiner 0-2-2-2. 3-pt. goals: Hawley 2, DiCristofaro 1. Totals: 22-10-14-57.
YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN —Shavers 3-2-4-8, Yanno 1-0-0-2, Snyder 2-0-0-4, Rios 3-2-4-8, Suarez 0-0-0-0, McDowell 0-0-0-0, Patmon 0-0-0-0, Mahdee 0-1-2-1, Cheirs 1-1-6-3, Jordan 0-0-0-0, Parks 3-0-0-6, Calias 0-0-0-0, Finkley 0-0-0-0. Totals: 13-6-16-32.
JV — Brookfield, 41-17.
MERCER 40, LAKEVIEW 21
132 — Eric Gawne (M) forfeit; 138 — Trevor Fowler (M) pinned Cody Persch. 0:49; 145 - Sam Varner (M) dec. Skyler Curry, 11-5; 152 — double forfeit; 160 — Eli Rutter (M) pinned Marty Baughman, 5:03; 170 — Kyle Canon (L) forfeit; 182 —Troy Segula (M) pinned Solomon Daugherty, 1:42; 195 — Marquis Spence (L) dec. Jon Hennegan, 2-1; 220 — Andrew Clayton (L) dec. Colton Smith, 3-2; 285 — Sam Breese (L) pinned Brian Phillips, 1:06; 106 — Austin King (M) pinned Kage Ibbs, 1:30; 113 —Owen Clayton (L) dec. Chris Micsky, 2-0; 120 — Preston Hoover (M) dec. Jake Heim, 5-2; 126 — Ben Shaffer (M) maj. dec. Dylan McConnell, 10-2;
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
They come in different shapes and sizes, but Sharon High’s players share one common characteristic: Each of them, at any point in time, is the fastest player on the floor.
Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships
HERSHEY, Pa. — Move over Rod Wright!
Lakeview senior heavyweight star Sam Breese had a goal coming into the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center — besides winning a second state crown, that is.
WM knocks off Neshannock in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — The notion of Trey Staunch sneaking up on opposing teams is laughable. At 6-foot-3 and approximately 225 pounds, the stout Staunch is not sneaking up on anyone.
However after posting a game-high 31-point, 18-rebound performance in West Middlesex High basketball team’s 76-66 PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Neshannock Saturday night, Staunch said opponents may have been overlooking the Big Reds.
Hickory girls 26-0, oust Johnstown
SLIPPERY ROCK — At Morrow Field House Saturday evening, the Hickory Lady Hornets kept the perfect season alive with a 63-37 state playoff first round win over the Greater Johnstown Trojans from District 6.
“It feels great to get the win (Saturday),” said veterans Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “We’ve been at this place over the last few years and we’ve been sent home in the first round so it was a huge win for us. I’m very proud of our team effort."
KC girls roll past California in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball team was in the ’hood Saturday afternoon.
Led by senior Taylor Hood, the Lady Golden Eagles eased past California, 53-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title
HERSHEY, Pa. — If you are Major League Baseball player, a .333 batting average is great. But in wrestling at the state tournament — not so much!
Out of the dozen wrestlers that Mercer County sent to Hershey for the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships, only four (.333) will reach the medal stand today — led by Lakeview senior Sam Breese who shoots for a second straight gold medal.
Farrell edges Montour, 60-57, in PIAA opener
Montour High boys’ basketball coach Adam Kaufman lamented another season-ending setback. However there are several hundred coaches across the Commonwealth who envy his program’s recent success and would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
But during Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA playoff opener, Kaufman & Co. could not overcome those streaky Steelers ... those survivin’ Steelers.
“ ... Hey, survive and move on,” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse following Farrell’s 60-57 win at Sharon High.
GCC ousts Mercer in 1st round of PIAAs
The Mercer Lady Mustangs were outscored 16-4 in the final quarter of the first round of the state playoffs by the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions, ending their season Friday night 56-31 at Sharon High School.
Senior Lexie Arkwright had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double performance for the Lady M’s. She also snagged three steals. Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass each added 4 points for Mercer.
5 area matmen to quarterfinals in Hershey
HERSHEY — Mercer County matmen had mixed results on the opening day of action in the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Only 5 of the county’s dozen entries — led by defending state champ Sam Breese of Lakeview (285) — won their preliminary matches to move into the tournament quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. today. However the other 7 lost their first matches, although 3 are still alive in the consolations heading into this morning’s action.
Coach Chad Mild's Big Reds are road warriors
West Middlesex High boys basketball team did not play its first home game until after the first of the year, but competing at New Castle, Farrell and Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has served it well.
Witness West Middlesex’s 55-54 win over Fairview in last weekend’s District 10 Class AA championship game — at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.
Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes
Who: Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).
What: Opening round.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.
Hickory, Mercer, KC girls PIAA playoff boxes
Who: Hickory (25-0) vs. Greater Johnstown (11-14).
What: PIAA Playoffs, 1st round.
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University.
Shannonhouse's Steelers set for statewide stage
With the approaching spring, a young man’s fancy turns to ... what else? The PIAA playoffs. And when Shenango Valley scholastic basketball aficionados think of the postseason they think of Farrell.
Recently at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the banners above were blowing in the breeze — ’52 ... ’54 ... ’56 ... ’59 ... ’60 ... ’69 ... ’72 — swaying as sprinting players created a vacuum of air rising from the floor. Melodramatic maybe, but there’s a feeling at Farrell that harkens back to the heyday when playoff success was a rite of passage.
Breese eyes repeat at state mat tourney
There is no doubt that winning a state championship in wrestling is a difficult thing to do. Winning two is even tougher.
“There’s a target on your chest,” pointed out Lakeview High coach Tom Tingley in preseason this year, referring to his star wrestler Sam Breese who won a state heavyweight crown as a junior last year.
Obviously that target hasn’t bothered the Sailors big man who is a perfect 32-0 this season as he attempts to become only the 12th Mercer County matman to win multiple titles.
WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: It's a young group of county matmen headed to state
THERE’S definitely a youth movement in Mercer County wrestling as demonstrated by the group of 11 matmen who are advancing to the PIAA State Class AA Championships on Thursday.
Eight of the locals are underclassmen. The only seniors are Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285), Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai (182).
Breese and Stoyer are the only returning state place-winners. Breese, who has verbally committed to Kent State University to wrestle next season, won the heavyweight class and is seeking a second gold medal. Stoyer placed 7th at 145 and wants to climb much higher on the medals stand.
Kennedy boys forfeit win, are out of playoffs
The PIAA basketball playoffs do not begin until Friday, but Mercer County already lost a team.
Kennedy Catholic High disclosed Monday the discovery of an academically-ineligible player, who competed in last Friday’s District 10 Class A consolation contest.
Kennedy Catholic edged Eisenhower in double-OT, 66-62, earning a berth in the statewide tournament. The Golden Eagles were to meet District 9 champion Ridgway Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium in the opening round; instead, Eisenhower will represent D-10 as its 3rd-place team.
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