There’s one certain method of jump-starting a basketball team’s lethargic offense — ratchet up the defensive intensity.
‘”I thought we started off a little sluggish, so we put them in a press ... and our guys responded. They picked the pace up, picked the tempo up, and it worked to our advantage,” assessed Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse.
Farrell forced visiting Slippery Rock into 17 first-half turnovers — 26 overall — and the Steelers streaked to a 67-44 District 10 Region 5-AAA rout of the Rockets Tuesday night.
ä Farrell 67, Slippery Rock 44 — At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the host Steelers swarmed Slippery Rock with relentless defensive pressure.
Farrell (2-0, 4-0) forced the Rockets into 17 first-half turnovers and a 5-for-19 shooting performance, flipping a 10-9 deficit into a 28-12 margin at intermission.
The Steelers shot only 4 for 14 during the 1st frame, but Farrell finshed 13 for 30 by the break.
“I think once we sped the game up and got the easy conversions — instead of standing around shooting jump shots — we started to get our confidence and knocked some shots down,” Shannonhouse said.
Ike Jones jolted Slippery Rock for a game-high 19-point performance, while Malik Miller mustered 10 markers and dished ou 4 assists. Also for Farrell, Tyrone Archie added 9 points and a team-high 7 rebounds — 1 more than Jones — Jamel Brown bucketed 8 points, and Chris James joined in with 6 points and a team-high 4 dimes.
Farrell finished 28 for 58 from the floor (48.2 percent) and the Steelers were guilty of only 9 turnovers.
Slippery Rock (1-1, 3-2) was led by Jake Witmer, who went for 14 points, though he was the lone Rocket to record double digits. Camren Neal notched a game-high dozen caroms, while Matt Badger distributed 4 assists. However, Slippery Rock shot just 18 for 41 from the field (43.9).
“That’s all we’re asking for, and we tell ‘’em day in and day out — defense wins championships, and it’ll keep you in every game,” Shannonhouse concluded, admitting, “They’re gettin’ the message.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Reynolds 59, Saegertown 44 — At Saegertown, the visiting Raiders rolled to their 4th consecutive conquest of the young season.
Garhett Frable fashioned a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double and Kyle McConnell collected 10 more caroms for Reynolds (4-0), which roared to a 33-19 margin at intermission.
Also for Reynolds, Jake Leipheimer lent 10 tallies and McConnell 9.
Reynolds’ lone shortcoming was its 12-for-26 free-throw shooting.
However Head Coach Dan Kilgore said. “(Tuesday night’s win) was nice, but we start the real season Friday (Region 2-AA).
For Saegertown (0-4), Wood went for 11 points, but was the host Panthers’ lone double-figure point-producer.
ä Hickory 62, Meadville 61 — Meadville’s “House of Thrills” lived up to its nickname on Tuesday night as Geoff Evans’ Hickory Hornets (1-1, 3-1) edged the Bulldogs (0-2, 1-4) in a Region 5-AAA clash.
Ross Passalinqua grabbed a big rebound at the end of the game and was fouled. He missed the shot from the charity stripe and the Bulldogs fired a desperation full-court shot at the buzzer, which was no good.
Anthony Cannone buried 3 treys and scored 15 of his 17 points in the 4th quarter. Also, Aaron Conley scored 11 for Hickory and Andrew Pryts had 9 rebounds.
Jason Clune buried 4 treys en route to 23 points for Meadville and Faizon McClure scored 16 points.
ä Grove City 56, Oil Cit 46 — At Grove City, the host Eagles erupted for 37 second-half points — 22 during the 3rd period — and erased a stagnant 15-all halftime stalemate.
Derek Turner tallied a game-high 16 points for Grove City (2-0, 5-0) in the Region 5-AAA contest, while Spencer Marnich mustered 14 markers and Foster Reznor recorded 12 for veteran mentor Don Fee.
For Oil City (0-1, 3-1), Geir garnered 16 and Way went for 12.
ä West Middlesex 48, Kennedy Catholic 44 — At Hermitage, coach Chad Mild’s Big Reds (2-3) pulled out the non-region win by outscoring KC 20-13 in the 4th quarter.
The game was tied 10-all after the opening 8 minutes and KC led 25-21 at halftime and 31-28 after 3 before WM rallied for the win.
Christian Porterfield, Isaac Williams and Trey Staunch all had 10 points each for the Big Reds.
Andre Campbell fired in a game-high 15 for the Golden Eagles (3-2), Sam Crow registered a dozen points and Matt Hurton added 11 markers.
ä Mercer 74, Rocky Grove 57 — At The ’Grove, Mercer’s Jon Scheidhauer hammered home a career-high 30 points to pace the visiting Mustangs to the inter-region road rout.
Mercer (2-2) rallied from the Orioles’ opening-quarter 24-point outburst to forge a 39-37 margin at intermission as Logan Clarke canned 8 of his 13 points and Trenton Fowler fired in a pair of triples.
Scheidhauer hit for 20 of his game-high 30 points after intermission on 9 field goals and a pair of free throws, though he did not connect from beyond the arc.
Fowler finished with 10 for Mercer, and the Mustangs made 14 of 23 freebies.
Rocky Grove (1-4) was led by Davis’s 22 poins, but he was the lone double-figure scorer for the Orioles. Davis drilled 5 from beyond the 3-point line.
ä George Junior Republic 72, Franklin 70 — At The Castle, the visiting Tigers triumphed at the horn on Eric Fuller’s basket.
GJR trailed 70-69 with 5.1 ticks to play before Fuller provided the heroics.
Fuller finished with a 25-point, 7-rebound, 3-assist line for GJR (1-1, 2-2), while Tamair Holloway had 13 points and 6 rebounds and Hadari Baker bucketed 10.
For Franklin (0-2, 1-3), Ritchey rifled in 19, Rutherford 14, and Maxon 15 markers. The Knights knocked down 12 shots from beyond the arc, more than twice as many as GJR (5).
ä Franklin 52, West Middlesex 21 — At West Middlesex, the Big Reds fell to 1-1 with the loss.
Walter Drda (113), Mitchell Murray (120) and Jeffrey Spencer (285) posted falls for WM.
There’s one certain method of jump-starting a basketball team’s lethargic offense — ratchet up the defensive intensity.
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