MERCER COUNTY AREA —
ä Hickory 3, Kennedy Catholic 2 — At Hermitage, the host Hornets (6-0) harvested the win via singles victories from Ross Rosati and John Smaltz and the No. 1 tandem of Nick Petrochko-Nelson Murphy.
Keying Kennedy (2-2) were Jesse Kirila, at 3rd singles, and the No. 2 doubles duo of Blase Hudson-John McGonigle.
Singles: Rosati (H) def. Nickola Lima, 2-6, 7-6(5); Smaltz def. Andie Antanescu, 6-2, 6-1; Kirila (KC) def. Michael Funera, 6-3, 6-4. Doubles: N.Petrochko-Murphy (H) def. Stephens Edge-Drew Gribage, 6-3, 6-4; Hudson-McGonigle (KC) def. Stephen Petrochko-Zack Walters, 7-6(8-6), 6-4.
˝ Hickory also blanked Oil City, 5-0, on Tuesday.
ä Grove City 4, Greenville 1— At Greenville, the visiting Eagles (3-1 region, 8-1 overall) soared on singles wins by Matt Welker and Chris Adams and the doubles duos of Frankie Bassani-Dylan Motta and Kyle Yeakle-Andrew McCracken.
Seth Jaussen, at 2nd singles, was the Trojans’ lone winner.
Singles: Welker (GC) def. Chad Ferguson, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Jaussen (G) def. Evan Lowers, 6-4, 6-3; Adams (GC) def. Joey Safner, 6-2, 7-6. Doubles: Bassani-Motta (GC) def. Jing Wu-Trent McErlane, 6-3, 6-3; Yeakle-McCracken (GC) def. David Jeffries-Jon Stapchuck, 6-4, 6-2.
ä Hickory 1, Commodore Perry 0 (8 inn.) — At Hermitage, Brooks Pletcher drew a bases-loaded walk in the Hornets’ half of the extra frame for the lone run.
In squaring its season slate at 5-5, Hickory won its 5th consecutive contest and improved to 4-2 in District 10 Region 2-AA.
Hickory right-hander Mark DiBattiste outdueled CP’s Matt Jones, as both went the distance.
DiBattiste scattered 7 hits, fanned 4 and walked 1 in gaining credit for the win, while Jones worked 7-plus innings, allowed just 3 hits, struck out 6 and walked 4.
Tommy Cannon led off the Hornets’ 8th with a double, DiBattiste drew a walk, then Steve Piston put down a bunt single down the 3rd-base line, loading the bases. Jones then walked Pletcher.
Andy Jones drilled a double and Lou Emmett ended with 2 of the visiting Panthers’ 7 hits.
ä Sharon 6, Reynolds 5 — At Johnny Pepe Field, the host Tigers triumphed on Nick Carlo’s 1-out, walk-off base hit.
With the count knotted at 5, Justin Stefanowicz drew a leadoff walk from Reynolds reliever Jack Mahlon, was sacrificed to 2nd by Josh Nichols’ bunt, then advanced to 3rd on a passed ball before Carlo connected.
Tigers’ twirler Michael Songer pitched 2ìinnings of hitless relief to earn the win. Songer struck out 1 while walking 4. Sharon starter Stefanowicz fanned 4 and did not issue a free pass in 4êinnings, but yielded 4 runs on 4 hits.
Also for Sharon (4-2 region, 4-3 overall), Daniel Vanderslice singled twice and doubled, and Andrew Tomko and Carlo cracked 2 hits each.
For Reynolds (2-5), starting pitcher Kellen Gursky and David Koewacich cracked two-baggers. Gursky gave up 3 runs on 4 hits and whiffed 1 in 1è innings, while Mahlon mustered 5 KOs, walked 2, scattered 7 hits and allowed 3 runs in 5ì innings of Raiders’ relief.
ä Sharpsville 7, West Middlesex 6 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Blue Devils escaped with the regional road win.
West Middlesex loaded the bases in the 7th against Sharpsville southpaw reliever George Keck, but he enticed a game-ending groundout to preserve the Devils’ decision.
Christian Porterfield pounded a game-tying 3-run home run in the 5th off Sharpsville starter Jalen Mockabee. But Mockabee muscled a round-tripper of his own, a solo shot, along with 2 singles and plated a pair. On the mound Mockabee, in 5 frames, yielded 4 runs on 9 hits and fanned 4.
Also for Sharpsville (5-1, 6-2), Mitchell Fyffe (2 hits, 2 runs scored, RBI), Greg Popatak (2 hits, 3 RBI), Tyler Wansack (2 hits, 1 RBI) and Ross Llewellyn (2 hits) were the offensive leaders. Keck copped the save with 2 innings of 3-hit, 2-run relief. He walked 3.
For West Middlesex, Jerrod Palmer produced 3 hits, Porterfield, in addition to his homer, singled, Webb whacked 3 hits, and Dick doubled. Starting Middlsex moundsman Sage Pope permitted 6 hits and 3 walks in 3 innings and struck out 6, while Big Reds’ reliever Colella collected another half-dozen KOs, but allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks.
ä Hickory 6, Conneaut Area 1 — At Linesville, the visiting Lady Hornets handed the Lady Eagles the region setback.
Winning pitcher Chelsea Marriott mustered a complete-game 3-hitter as the righty struck out 6 and walked 2. She helped herself at the plate by going 3-for-4, with 2 runs batted in. Also for Hickory (2-1 region, 4-1 overall), Mikhaila Layshock doubled home a run, and Hannah Gallagher garnered a single, double and scored.
Baum banged 2 hits for Conneaut Area (2-4), while losing hurler Blair yielded all 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. She struck out 3.
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
Greenville falls to Girard in D-10 semifinals
ERIE — District 10 was destined for a Class AA championship game between reigning 2-time titlist Hickory and Greenville.
But no one informed the Girard High football team of the plans.
“ … This is pretty cool … I’m pretty fired up about it,” admitted 4th-year Yellow Jackets’ head coach Jim Funk after Girard jolted Greenville, 16-14.
SPORTVIEW: Season fate could be decided today for Browns, Steelers
IT MAKES NO sense to say that one game determines the rest of the season. That’s why I’ll simply say: Today’s one game determines the rest of the season.
Since when did my predictions make sense anyhow?
The Cleveland Browns’ visit to Cincinnati today will go a long way to deciding if the Browns have a shot at making the playoffs — and even winning the AFC North title — or if they should start planning for the NFL draft.
GCC tops Thiel in OT to win Mercer County Cup
The Grove City and Thiel College football teams closed out their seasons on Saturday with a thrilling game at Alumni Stadium in Green-ville as Grove City posted a 50-44 overtime win in the 30th annual Mercer County Cup Game.
Quarterback Brian Pell scored on a 13-yard run for the Wolverines (3-5, 5-5) to give GCC the win in OT.
Devils beat WM; will play for 3rd straight D-10 title
Two-time defending District 10 Class A champion Sharpsville is returning to the D-10 title game for a third straight year and Coach Paul Piccirilli has a simple explanation for the team’s success:
“We believe. Kids in Sharpsville believe.”
A lot of people are believing as well after watching the Blue Devils dismantle West Middlesex, 40-3, Friday night at Hickory High Hornets Stadium.
Spence, Sailors roll past Mercer, 52-21
NEW WILMINGTON — Pat McClearn lived Lakeview High football program’s previous gridiron glory days. Unfortunately for him on Friday night he was on the business end of the current Sailors’ resurgence.
McClearn and his Mercer High Mustangs were eliminated by Lakeview from the District 10 Class A semifinals, 52-21.
Long gone basketball league leaves a costly legacy
If you want to mark yourself as a graying old-timer, bring up the American Basketball Association – the professional league that featured large Afros, slam dunk contests, three-point baskets and a red, white and blue basketball.
Oh, yes, it also had a great collection of players - perhaps the best on the globe - who brought athleticism, skill and excitement to a game that had become somewhat stodgy in the more established National Basketball Association.
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- Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley