Who’s your favorite Farrell High guard? Kind’ve like choosing your favorite child.
Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse simply smiled at the suggestion.
“Who-o-o! They’re all tough right now, I’m telling you, and they all bring something special to the table,” Shannonhouse assessed. “They’re all playing with confidence, and they’re all defending.
“I really can’t pick one out. I would like to, but I can’t,” admitted Shannonhouse. “Tough choice, tough choice, no doubt about it. ... They’re all playing well.”
Led by its bountiful backcourt the Steelers steam-rolled Grove City, 71-50, Friday night at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium in a Region 5-AAA affair.
Farrell forged its first 10-0 season start since 1994-95, when Nick Cannone’s club commenced the campaign with a 15-0 ledger, according to Farrell High AD Matt Vannoy’s research.
Friday night, facing Farrell, it was kind’ve like picking your poison for Grove City.
There was facilitator/distributor Dewayne Burns (5 assists) ... long-range marksman Malik Miller (game-high 19 points, including four 3-point field goals) ... press-breaker Jamel Brown ... instant-offense Chris James (12 points off the bench) ... Swiss Army knife Clifton McNair (10 points, 5 rebounds) ... and on-ball defender Terrance Holloway, who added 7 points.
The best part?
“The guys are showing that they can win as a team,” Shannonhouse said. “They’re becoming confident that, as individuals, we’ll struggle; but as a team, we can come together and do something special.
“If we keep them convinced that that will continue to happen, we might be able to do something this year,” Shannonhouse added.
Farrell (5-0, 10-0) forged a 23-7 first-quarter lead, coercing the Eagles into 9 turnovers. From that point the Steelers extended their edge to 42-19 by the break and 58-35 through 3 quarters.
Grove City (4-2, 9-2) suffered its second setback in the Shenango Valley (prior to the holidays, at Sharon), and the Eagles ended with 22 miscues and connected on only 17 of 42 floor shots (40.4 percent). Derek Turner tallied a team-high 16 points, but was the lone double-digit scorer. Danny Torok dished out 5 assists, also.
“Our team defense was unbelievable (Friday) night,” Shannonhouse said. “I thought that they really made up their minds before the game that they wanted to defend, and they know that’s their bread ’n butter.
“They got in the locker room, by themselves on their own, and decided, ‘Hey, we’re gonna go out and defend our court and make a statement that we can play defense.’” Shannonhouse related. “They got back on that defensive track. After the last game (70 points permitted to Meadville) I was a little concerned. But they said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna make a statement: We’re a defensive team,’ and that’s exactly what they did. They came out and made a great defensive statement.”
Also for Farrell, Ike Jones joined in with 12 points and 5 rebounds, while Tyrone Archie annexed a game-high 9 rebounds, leading the Steelers to a 35-23 edge.
“They controlled the inside, and they got on the glass,” Shannonhouse praised.
Though only at the regular season’s midway point, unblemished won-loss records get peoples’ attention.
“It’s hard to tell, especially a youngster nowadays, ‘Hey, you’re ten-and-oh, but you still need a lot of work,’ it’s hard to convince them of that,” Shannonhouse explained, “as opposed to being oh-and-ten and saying, ‘Hey, man, you need some work,’ and them saying, ‘Yeah, I know that.’
“But we’re got some good senior leadership here. They want to win, and they want to win big,” Shannonhouse continued. “So we’re gonna ride that, we’re gonna ride those guys. I like their attitude. They come to work every day, and they’re playing hard.
“And the biggest thing,” Shannonhouse concluded, “is that they’re sold on the defensive end, and I can’t say enough about that. They’re sold on the defensive end, and if we defend, we win.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Hickory 68, Franklin 42 — In Hermitage, the Hornets of coach Geoff Evans burst out of the locker room to build an 18-6 lead after one quarter and rolled to the Region 5-AAA triumph.
“We came out in a box-and-one that gave them problems early,” said Evans. “And then (Ross) Passalinqua came off the bench in the second quarter and hit three threes to really open it up.
“It was a good win. It’s nice to piggyback that win with the one from Saturday (over Oil City).”
Hickory (3-3 in Region 5-AAA, 7-2 overall) was led by Passalinqua with 18 points, including 4 treys. In a well-balanced attack, Aaron Conley added 9 points and Nick Tantuo, Anthony Cannone and Donte Green 8 apiece.
Franklin (1-4, 3-6) was paced by Drain with 15 markers.
ä West Middlesex 76, Greenville 65 — At Greenville, the 2-time defending District 10 titlist Big Reds rolled to an 18-point lead entering the 4th frame, then withstood the Trojans’ ill-fated rally.
Middlesex mustered a 57-39 lead through 3 quarters in the Region 2-AA affair that saw 19 field goals from 3-point range.
Ryan Dogan drilled 6 triples en route to a career-high 24 points for Middlesex (3-0, 6-4), while Trey Staunch and Isaac Williams evenly divided an additional 34 markers.
Tyler Fattman fired in 5 from beyond the arc for a team-high 18 points for Greenville (0-4, 6-5), which dropped its 2nd straight outing in a 24-hour span. Also, Aaron Emmett ended with 16 and Luke Houpt hit a trio of treys for 14.
No boxscore was reported to The Herald.
ä Oil City 60, George Junior Republic 57 — At Grove City, Logan Way made 1-of-2 foul shots in the closing seconds and GJR’s long-range bomb fell short as the Oilers (3-2, 8-2) defeated the Tigers (1-4, 3-6) in a Region 5-AAA clash.
Way rifled in 29 points to pace Oil City and Devon Geib bucketed 10.
Ron Pearson drained 5 treys en route to 24 points for GJR while Malik Gibson had 14 points and 7 rebounds and Qayshawn Oliver grabbed 13 boards.
Eric Fuller did not play for GJR (disciplinary reasons).
ä Kennedy Catholic 79, VisionQuest 59 — In Hermitage, the host Golden Eagles moved to 2-0 in Region 1-A with the victory. Kennedy is 5-3 overall.
The game was locked at 19 after one period, but KC outscored the visitors 17-8 in the 2nd period to pull away.
Gerald Zachar scored 17 to pace the Golden Eagles, while Nickolo Lima added 13 points and Andre Campbell and Sam Crow chipped in with a dozen apiece.
Darnell Foster and Khyzeem Brown each had 18 for VisionQuest (0-1, 1-7).
ä Wilmington 66, Mercer 53 — At Mercer, the Greyhounds broke away from a 43-all tie in the fourth quarter to notch the Region 2-AA victory.
Wilmington was leading 20-12 after the first period and 31-27 at half, but the Mustangs rallied to deadlock the count after three frames. However, the Hounds outgunned the hosts 23-10 in the final quarter.
Wilmington (3-0 in Region 2-AA, 7-3 overall) was paced by Jordan Smith with 18 points and Rocco Fagan with 15. For Mercer (1-4, 5-6), Alex VanWoert hit for 14, Logan Clarke 13 and Trent Fowler 11.
ä Sharpsville 43, Reynolds 42 — At Sharpsville, the Blue Devils of coach Jim Smiley held serve at home in a much-needed Region 2-AA victory.
The win lifted Sharpsville to 2-2 in the region (5-6 overall) while the loss was the first in the league for Reynolds (3-1, 8-2).
Reynolds led 11-7 after the first period and 21-19 at halftime. However, Sharpsville outscored the visitors, 17-10 in the third period to go on top. In a furious final frame, the Devils were able to grab the victory.
Kyle Kennedy and Greg Popatak led the Devils with 13 and 12 points respectively. Garhett Frable and Jake Leipheimer each had 11 points for Reynolds.
ä Brookfield 61, Conneaut 38 — At Brookfield, the Warriors (7-3) led 20-16 after the opening quarter and 39-26 at the break and cruised past the visitors from Ashtabula County.
Caleb Hunkus fired in a game-high 15 points for Brookfield, Davon Sims scored a dozen and Nate Johnson added 11 markers.
Richie Burr led the way for Conneaut with 12 points.
ä Commodore Perry 41, Calvary Baptist Christian Academy 32 — At Sheakleyville, the host Panthers prevailed in the non-region affair.
CBCA pounced on the Panthers for a 14-7 first-quarter lead, but from that point CP posted 34 points in the game’s final 24 minutes.
Jeremiah Small scored 10 tallies for CP (4-5) and Tanner Hildebran hit another 9.
Calvary Baptist Christian Academy was led by McCrillis’ game-high dozen points.
ä Rocky Grove 75, Jamestown 41 — At Jamestown, the visiting Orioles soared to the Region 1-A opening road rout.
Garrett Gannoe garnered a game-high 21 points, Tyler Davis divided an additional 26 points with Casey Young, and Adam Kirwin connected for 11 for The Grove (1-0, 2-6).
Jamestown (0-2, 0-7) was led by Kyle Melton’s 10 markers and 12 rebounds, while Todd Depree divided 16 points with Austin Kilgore. Depree and Willie Graham grabbed 6 and 7 rebounds, respectively.
No boxscore was reported to The Herald.
ä Kennedy Catholic 51, Grove City 40 — At Grove City, the visiting Lady Golden Eagles battled from behind in the 4th quarter to pull out the inter-region victory.
“We went into a three-quarter-court trap and forced a lot of turnovers,” said KC coach Chris Mele about the final-frame rally. “We shot really well from the foul line. We build up a lead then went 12 of 16 from the foul line which was good.
“I’m really proud of the girls. We were down three at the end of the third quarter and were a little big of foul trouble. It was a great effort. Grove City is a really good team.”
Kennedy led 8-7 after the opening period, but Grove City went on top 23-18 at intermission. The host Eagles were up 33-30 at the 4th-quarter turn.
Kennedy (7-1) was paced by April Bocian and Rebekah Kish with 14 points each, while Taylor Hood added 13.
For Grove City (7-3), Jenn Ferguson hit for a dozen markers, while Corianne Hyduchak added 11.
ä Commodore Perry 35, Farrell 34 — At Sheakleyville, coach Bob Messina’s Lady Panthers (1-0, 7-4) edged the Lady Steelers (0-1, 2-8) in a thrilling Region 1-A opener for both teams.
Farrell led 10-7 after the opening 8 minutes, but were outscored 10-1 in the 2nd quarter as CP took a 17-11 lead at halftime. The Lady Panthers led 22-17 after 3 quarters and Farrell held a 17-13 advantage in scoring in the 4th.
The Lady Steelers went up 34-31 with 38 seconds to go, but CP’s Stephanie Vaughn drained a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to tie it at 34-all. Farrell got the ball back, but missed a shot and the ball went out of bounds. CP’s Sarah Nagy then drove for a lay-up and was fouled. She sank the winning foul shot with 1.4 seconds left.
Vaughn finished with 11 points for CP while Emily Kitchen recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Farrell’s Bria Gambill, who turned her ankle and missed the majority of Thursday night’s loss to Brookfield, scored 11 for the Lady Steelers.
“It was a gut-it-out, grind-it-out kind of game,” said Messina. “The girls played their hearts out. It was just a great effort and I’m proud of them.”
ä Reynolds 34, Fort LeBoeuf 19 — At Waterford, the only two teams ever to win District 10 Team Duals titles collided in what could be a precursor of post-season action.
The Raiders of coach Casey Taylor rolled to victory this time to move to 10-1 on the season, while the Bison dropped to 5-1.
Levi Stoyer (145), Cole Rickert (220) and Mike Bartolo (126) notched falls to spark the Raiders, while Austin Moffett (170) copped a major decision.
ä Slippery Rock 56, Sharon 45 — At Sharon on Thursday, the Rockets beat the Tigers. Winners were:
200 free: Luch Tomasello (Sn), 2:10.78.
200 IM: Dylan Cerroni (Sn), 2:12.06.
50 free: Austin France (SR), 24.38.
100 free: Clayton Cupec (SR), 1:01.85.
500 free: Cerroni (Sn), 5:20.28.
200 relay: France, Cupec, Dan Masterson, Johnston (SR), 1:50.75.
100 back: Matt Johnston (SR), 1:14.81.
100 breast: France (SR), 1:16.21.
400 relay: Johnston, Masterson, Cupec, France (SR), 4:07.12
ä Slippery Rock 113, Sharon 29 — At Sharon Thursday, the Lady Rockets rolled past the Lady Tigers.
200 MR: Fair Reott, Broad Shumway (SR), 2:14.47.
200 free: Abigail Parsons (SR), 2:10.63.
200 IM: Lindsey Lueken (SR), 2:31.93.
50 free: Mari Reott (SR), 28.32.
100 free: Anna Beckert (Sn), 1:02.34.
500 free: Parsons (SR), 5:37.43.
200 relay: Tabitha Donaldson, Reott, Lueken, Parsons (SR), 1:44.47.
100 back: Donaldson (SR), 1:14.06.
100 breast: Lueken (SR), 1:14.37.
400 relay: Donaldson, Shumway, Lueken, Parsons (SR), 4:16.54.
Who’s your favorite Farrell High guard? Kind’ve like choosing your favorite child.
Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM
ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP
Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.
Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach
Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
Hickory track coaches near finish line
While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.
SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team
WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
How’s that working out, Dan?
Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.
Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational
Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).
Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4
ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.
Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win
Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.
Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites
Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work computer before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.
Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season
Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.
Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon
An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.
Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps
ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year
LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.
Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.
WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.
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- Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM