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 —
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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- Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships