The venue was E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, but Friday night it was all West Middlesex.
Both the Big Reds and Ms. Reds won semifinals at the annual Dresch-McCluskey Holiday tourney, thereby earning berths in today’s title tilts.
The Big Reds avenged a setback at Sharon earlier this season via a 60-46 victory, following the Ms. Reds’ 54-42 win over Farrell. West Middlesex girls will meet Chartiers-Houston, a 40-37 winner over Sharpsville, while Farrell faces the Big Reds in the nightcap.
ä West Middlesex 60, Sharon 46 — Unlike the first meeting, the Tigers turned over the ball 17 times, and their full-court traps did not phase the Reds’ press-breaker.
“That’s one thing we do, we spend twenty-five minutes to a half-hour on that every night, then we finish with it for five-ten minutes,” mused Middlesex mentor Chad Mild, who emphasized, “especially after the last time we played these guys (27 Middlesex miscues in a 72-56 loss).
“We knew we’d struggle a little bit early this year, but we figured we’d be a different team by the time (Region 2-AA) play rolls around, and I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Mild added.
Despite combining for only 15 field-goal attempts, Big Reds’ bigs Trey Staunch and Josh Porterfield pounded Sharon in the paint. Staunch secured a 12-point, 14-rebound double-double, while Porterfield produced 16 points.
“Trey and Josh pose a lot of problems, they’re very big (stout),” Mild noted. “I thought they hit the offensive glass real nice. The second half (when Sharon shot 8 for 27 from the floor), especially at the defensive end, they altered a lot of shots, so I’m pleased with where we’re at right now.”
Christian Porterfield pumped in a game-high 21 points, sinking 6 of 8 first-half shots, though Sharon shaved a 26-23 margin at intermission.
But the Big Reds rolled to a 32-31 lead with 4:01 remaining in the 3rd period as Ryan Dogan delivered to Josh Porterfield in the paint, and Middlesex never trailed thereafter.
Led by the sharpshooting Staunch’s 6-for-8 effort, Middlesex made 15 of 19 freebies (73.6 percent), including 10 of 14 during the 4th frame. Isaac Williams went 4-for-4, and also dished out a game-high 5 assists.
As the new year approaches Middlesex (4-3) is looking to defend its back-to-back District 10 titles (A, AA).
“From where we started out at the beginning of this year until now, there’s been drastic improvement,” Mild assessed, cautioning, “There’s still a long way to go — we need to improve on defense and we need to take care of the ball (20 miscues Friday night) and handling the pressure — but I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
For Sharon (4-2), which had a 4-game win skein snapped, ’Bray Jennings jolted Middlesex fora team-high 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting, including a trio of treys. However Sharon shot only 17 for 44 (38.6 percent) from the field. Also, Jamal Waller went for 13 points but fouled out.
Middlesex made half of its 40 floor shots and outrebounded Sharon, 30-20. Sharon shot just 9 for 13 from the line — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Farrell 81, New Brighton 53 — In the day’s nightcap, the host Steelers stormed to the rout
Farrell (7-0) finished with 30 field goals and converted 16 of 25 freebies.
Malik Miller mustered 12 markers, Dewayne Burns and Jamel Brown bucketed 10 each, and Ike Jones joined Chris James in splitting 18 additional points.
For Brighton, Zeph Rombold recorded 14 points.
Greenville Holiday Tourney
ä Mercer 63, Fort LeBoeuf 55 — They say that defense wins ballgames in football. Sometimes in basketball, it’s the same story.
The Mercer Mustangs of coach Doug Schmid trailed 51-44 after three quarters, but turned up the defense in the final frame and outscored the Bison, 19-4, for the victory. A big difference in the contest was that the Mustangs converted 23 of 35 foul shots, while LeBoeuf made only 6 of 11.
Jake Schmid led the charge for Mercer (3-3) in the final quarter with 8 points, while Jon Scheidhauer added 5. For the game, Scheidhauer pumped in 22 points, while Logan Clarke added 12 and Schmid 10.
For LeBoeuf, Miller was the big gun with 23 points, including 5 treys.
Grove City Tourney
ä Harbor Creek 69, George Junior Republic 55 — A close game turned against the Tigers in the third quarter when they were outscored 25-6 by the Huskies. GJR actually led 33-32 at halftime.
Adam Whitecome had 19 points and Issac Matson 18 to pace the winners. For GJR (2-4) which fell into today’s consolation game, Eric Fuller led the way with 23 points.
ä Grove City 74, Sharpsville 44 — The home team jumped out to a 21-10 lead in the opening period and never looked back in moving to the tourney title tilt.
The Eagles, who will take on Harbor Creek in the championship game at 7:30 tonight, led 40-10 at halftime. Grove City (6-1) was paced by Derek Turner with 19 points, while Foster Reznor added 17 and Danny Torok 13.
Sharpsville (3-4) was led by Kennedy with 13 points and Barringer with 10. The Blue Devils will take on George Junior in the consy game at 6 p.m.
Conneaut Boosters Holiday Tourney
ä Reynolds 77, Maplewood 34 — In Thursday’s semifinal, the Raiders rolled, running out to a 73-32 lead, effectively mercy-ruling Maplewood.
For Reynolds (6-0), Cory Woods went for 15, Garhett Frable fired in 12, as did both Anthony Beck and Kyle McConnell, and Jake Leipheimer lent 10. The Raiders rifled in 10 triples for head coach Dan Kilgore.
Ronnie Klingensmith and Dane Barker both bucketed 10 tallies for Maplewood.
Reynolds will play in today’s title tilt at 5 p.m. They play the winner of Friday’s Conneaut Area vs. North East game.
Franklin Dick Russell Tourney
ä Franklin 41, Lakeview 21 — The Salors fell behind 14-8 after one period and never got back in the game against the host Knights.
Franklin was led by Rutherford and Green with 8 points apiece. Lakeview (3-4) was paced by Brandon Rice with 12 points.
Lakeview will play the consolation game today against John Moore of Toronto, Canada. Moore lost to John Hays of Cleveland in a close contest.
Dresch-McCluskey Holiday Tourney
ä West Middlesex 54, Farrell 42 — The Ms. Reds recorded a substantial sin-stripe surplus, converting 22 of 41, compared with 6 for 16 for Farrell.
Middlesex (6-3) manufactured balanced scoring, as Kristen White went for 14, Allie Staunch scored 11, Noelle Murray mustered 10 markers and Alyson Pierce produced 8 for 1st-year Head Coach Mike Williams.
For Farrell (2-5), Whitney Murray’s 12 markers were tops, but no other Lady Steeler scored in double figures.
Middlesex meets Char-Houston today at 5 p.m., preceded by the Sharpsville-Farrell consy contest at 3:30.
ä Chartiers-Houston 40, Sharpsville 37 — Char-Houston’s Abby Knetzer connected for a game-high 17 points, and the Bucs (5-2) braved Sharpsville’s second-half comeback bid (24-22).
For the Blue Devils (2-5), Madison Sloan scored 11 points, but ended as the only Sharpsville shooter in double digits. The Blue Devils also were without standout Madison Przicina (ankle), after starting the season without senior standout Megan Davis.
Sharpsville shot 12 for 13 from the line, but connected on only 13 fielders in 32 minutes.
Hickory Sally Ward Classic
ä Hickory 59, Gen. McLane 38 — The host Lady Hornets rolled to the championship of the tournament named after former Hickory High coaching great Sally Ward.
Hickory (7-0) will face Mercer in the title game at 5 p.m.
“It was good showing,” said Hickory coach Jeannette Whitehead. “The team showed a lot of balance.”
Hickory led 27-20 at intermission, then turned up the defense in holding the Lady Lancers to only 6 points in the third frame.
Holly Grober pumped in 19 points and Nikki Arbanas 15 to power the winners. Nicole LaCava pulled down 7 rebounds while Shawna Moore had 4 steals and Arbanas 5 assists.
For McLane, Katie Rodrigues led the way with 10.
ä Mercer 61, Central Tech 55 — The Lady M’s of coach Aaron Cook led 29-22 at halfltime, then held off a late rally by the Erie squad for the victory that jumped them into today’s championship game.
Mercer (4-2) was led by Lexie Arkwright with 24 points, while Megan McKinney added 14 and Alexis Mills 11. For Central, DePalma hit for 13.
8th annual PSU-Beaver Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 55, Rochester 32 — In Beaver County, the Lady Golden Eagles (5-1) eased to the rout of Rochester.
Tatum Kress and April Bocian boarded 11 times apiece. Bocian bucketed 13 points and Rebekah Kish conncted for 10. Also, Kress contributed 4 steals and 3 assists, Alivia O’Brien added 4 assists, and McKayla Fusco finished with 3 assists and 3 steals, according to 1st-year Head Coach Chris Mele.
McFraser fired in a game-high 17 points for Rochester.
Kennedy will contend with Beaver Area in today’s 6:30 p.m. title tilt Baver beat Shenango (no score reported).
Greenville Holiday Tourney
ä Greenville 47, Jamestown 21 — At Greenville, the Lady Trojans (4-2) led 9-4 after the opening quarter, 24-10 at the break and rolled past Jamestown (0-7).
Jillian Herrick scored 10 points to lead Greenville while MiKayla Keyser and Emily Robinson had 6 points each for the Lady Muskies.
Greenville plays Ft. LeBoeuf in the title game at 6 p.m. tonight while Reynolds battles Jamestown in the consolation game. Stats on the Reynolds-LeBoeuf game were not reported to The Herald.
Conneaut Boosters Holiday Tourney
ä Grove City 53, Franklin 50 — Coach T.L. Eller’s Grove City girls held off a 4th-quarter rally by Franklin for a victory in the opening round of the Conneaut Tournament Thursday.
The Lady Eagles (6-1) moved to the tourney finals against Conneaut Area (6-1) at 7 p.m. tonight.
Brenna Deyarmin led the Lady Eagles with 19 points, including 4 treys. Jordyn Wyllie also hit double digits with 11 points. For Franklin, Starr led the way with 19.
The venue was E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, but Friday night it was all West Middlesex.
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.
Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins
ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.
Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win
ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.
Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles
The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.
SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move
ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?
WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals
The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).
Buddy Guerino Tourney winding down
Hoops action continued on Friday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary Schools.
KC, Hickory girls win Guerino semifinal games
Hoops action continued on Wednesday at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary schools.
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