The 23rd annual Big Red Cross Country Invitational is set for Saturday in West Middlesex.
The 34-team event will begin at 9 a.m. with girls’ and boys’ middle-school races, followed incrementally by varsity girls’ and boys’ races in two distinct PIAA enrollment classifications. Junior varsity girls’ and boys’ races will conclude the 1,185-competitor event.
Varsity races (by enrollment) will include:
Red Division: New Castle, Knoch, Oil City, Conneaut Area, Hickory, Ellwood City, Slippery Rock, Franklin, Titusville, Girard, Riverside, Sharon, Greenville, North East, Wilmington, Laurel, Cranberry.
White Division: Cambridge Springs, Lakeview, Maplewood, Neshannock, Sharpsville, West Middlesex, Union City, Reynolds, Youngsville, Rocky Grove, Cochranton, Union Twp., Kennedy Catholic, Commodore Perry, Jamestown, Tidioute Community Charter.
Red Division: New Castle, Knoch, Oil City, Conneaut Area, Slippery Rock, Girard, Ellwood City, Franklin, Hickory, Sharon, Titusville, Wilmington, North East, Riverside, Greenville, Reynolds, Sharpsville.
White Division: Laurel, Neshannock, Maplewood, West Middlesex, Cambridge Springs, Lakeview, Union City, Cranberry, Youngsville, Rocky Grove, Kennedy Catholic, Cochranton, Union Twp., Jamestown, Commodore Perry, Tidioute Community Charter.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
ä Hickory 18, Sharon 45 — At Buhl Farm Park, Kyle Boyd (17:39) and Logan Griffen swept the top 2 spots in leading the Hornets past the Tigers in the season-opener for both squads. Matt Dilts finished 3rd for Sharon.
ä West Middlesex 25, Commodore Perry 32; West Middlesex 26, New Castle 29 — At West Middlesex, the Big Reds opened the season with a pair of wins over the Panthers and NC. Trevor Blackwell took 1st for NC in 17:26, CP’s Nate White was 2nd and Levi Canon placed 3rd for WM.
“That was the most competitive triangular meet I’ve seen in years at West Middlesex,” said coach Bob Morris.
ä Slippery Rock 23, Reynolds 36 — At Slippery Rock, the host Rockets rolled behind winner Andrew Maxwell, who copped a 68-second win over Reynolds runner-up Justin Pago.
ä Lakeview 15, Mercer 50 (forfeit) — At Brandy Springs Park in Mercer, the Mustangs did not field a full team. Alex Miller (19:11), Robbie Stringer and Chris Drozynski placed 1-2-3 for the Sailors.
ä Wilmington 25, Greenville 32 — At New Wilmington, Greenville’s Dylan Foley finished 1st in 18:12, but the Hounds captured 6 spots in the top 10. Calvin Gealy was 2nd for Wilmington in 18:23.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
ä Hickory 18, Sharon 41 — At Buhl Farm Park, Lexi Bible (19:43), Jackie Abraham, Hailey Boyd and Bailey Brown finished 1-2-3-4 for the Lady Hornets. Xsila Powell finished 5th for the Lady Tigers.
ä West Middlesex 17, Commodore Perry 43; West Middlesex 19, New Castle 38 — At West Middlesex, Kristen White (20:20), Chloe Tyillian and Alyson Pierce swept the top 3 spots for the Ms. Reds. Shae Grinnell finished 3rd for CP and K. Seth was 6th for New Castle.
ä Slippery Rock 15, Reynolds 50 (forfeit) — Slippery Rock was led by Tabitha Donaldson (23:51); Reynolds did not field a full squad.
ä Lakeview 23, Mercer 33 — At Mercer, Andrea McConnell clocked in at 22:59 to finish 1st overall for Lakeview. Jamie Burdette took 2nd for the Lady M’s.
ä Wilmington 18, Greenville 39 — At New Wilmington, Kate Robb (21:17) and Allison Baldwin (21:54) captured the top 2 spots for the Lady Hounds. Nanami Mano (22:12) placed 3rd for the Lady Trojans.
ä Mercyhurst Prep 197, Hickory 206 — At Hickory VFW Golf Course, Georgia Capotis fired a 44 in leading the Lady Lakers past Hickory. Alena Lancia shot a 48 to lead the locals.
Mercyhurst Prep: Capotis 44, Grace Brozocyski 45, Nevada First 53, Rachel Loringer 55. Hickory: Lancia 48, Ashley Addicott, Annie Cricks 52s, Kristina David 54.
˝ Hickory returns to action today in the 4th Region 1 mega-match of the season, hosted by West Middlesex at Deer Creek Golf Course.
ä Lakeview 190, Greenville 190 — At The Greens of Greenville, coach Ralph Sundelin’s Sailors (2-3) beat the Trojans on 1st medalist score. Chris Palutro shot a 41 for Lakeview;e Nick Dietrich 43 for Greenville.
Lakeview: Palutro 41, Keith Kepner 46, Sean Carlson 51, Austin Milliren 52. Greenville: Dietrich 43, Brandon Beilstein 46, Colton McCright 49, Luke Seiver 52.
ä Kennedy Catholic 5, Franklin 0 — At Buhl Farm Park, the host Lady Golden Eagles eased to a handful of straight-sets wins, as visiting Franklin won only 15 games in 5 matches.
Singles: Jensen Kirila (KC) def. Mimi Terman, 6-4, 6-2; Rebekah Kish (KC) def. Lexi Weaver, 6-1, 6-3; Abby Lenhart (KC) def. Beth Pfohl, 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Avi Danta-Jillian Dunn (KC) def. Emily Lemanski-Kristen Curtis, 6-3, 6-2; Jessie Micco-Kendra Kneisl (KC) def. Reagan Scott-Cierra Barefoot, 6-0, 6-0.
ä Hickory 5, Wilmington 0 — At Westminster College, Marissa Works beat Alanna Elliott in a 3-hour, 3-set marathon (4-6, 6-4, 6-4) at 1st singles and Rachel Mettee (7-0) remained unbeaten this year as the Lady Hornets (6-0, 6-1) won the battle of previously undefeated region teams. The Hounds dropped to 4-1.
Singles: Works (H) def. Elliott, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Mettee (H) def. Lexi Donati, 6-3, 6-0; Anna Derloni (H) def. Nikki McCown, 6-3, 6-4. Doubles: Nikki Marone-Lauren McGonigle (H) def. Lydea Kraynak-Holly Vernon, 6-0, 6-1; Bailey McLaughlin-Annalise Bianco (H) def. Taylor Cox-Allison Krupa, 7-5, 6-0.
ä Grove City 5, Sharon 0 — At Grove City, the Lady Eagles improved to 3-2 with 5 straight-sets sweeps.
Singles: Claire Casalnova (GC) def. Jackie Bradshaw, 6-0, 6-1; Molly Somora (GC) def. Hannah George, 7-5, 6-1; Katie Kosick (GC) def. Isabella Scarmack, 6-2, 6-1. Doubles: Maddie Jazwinski-Morgan McCommon (GC) def. Lauren Wood-Natalie Liscio, 6-2, 6-2; Lauren Steele-Emily Krofcheck (GC) def. Erin Hosick-Monica Campbell, 6-0, 6-1.
ä Hickory 5, Sharpsville 0 — At the McCullough Run Complex, South Py Twp., Nick Tantuo had 2 goals and an assist in leading the Hornets to the win in the season lidlifter for both.
Zack Walters had a goal and 2 assists for Hickory and David Liszewski and Richard Murphy scored the other goals. Donté Green made 5 saves in net for the shutout. Brady Leunis and Justin Peidle were credited for their “outstanding defense” by Hickory coaches.
JV: Hickory, 10-0.
ä Slippery Rock 2, Waynesburg 1 — At the recent Hempfield tournament, Nick Statz and Luc LaChance tallied 2nd-half goals to lead the Rockets, who erased a 1-0 halftime deficit. Josh Statz assisted Nick Statz’s goal; LaChance’s was unassisted.
˝ Slippery Rock also edged Steel Valley, 1-0, on Josh Statz’s goal, assisted by LaChance, but bowed to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 3-0.
Jason Bluedon played in goal in all 3 matches. He made 2 saves in the win over Waynesburg, and made 13 saves against Central Catholic.
ä Hickory 5, Wilmington 0 — At New Wilmington, Sara Suler and Jackie White both had 2 goals and Morgan McBride notched the shutout for Hickory.
Suler also had 2 assists, Isabella Spadafora notched 3 assists, Lauren Bell scored a goal and McBride made 2 saves between the pipes.
ä West Middlesex 3, Sharon 0 — At West Middlesex, the Ms. Reds rolled, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22.
West Middlesex: Tori Roberts 14 digs; Aly Andrusky 17 serving points (5 aces), 10 kills, 7 digs; Megan Hazlett 11 points (3 aces), 28 assists; Marissa Pursel 8 kills; Ariel Pratt 7 points, 7 kills. Sharon: Leah Smith 8 points; Iman Morgan 10 points, 7 blocks, 6 digs; Delisa Smith 7 points, 6 kills; Tanayja Sanders 6 kills; Jessica Talbert-Kirsch 9 assists.
JV: West Middlesex, 25-10, 25-16.
ä Mercer 3, Reynolds — At Transfer, the visiting Lady M’s mustered a 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 sweep.
Mercer: Maddie Hessman 11 points; Lindsey Miller 18 points; Nikki Redmond 13 points (6 aces), 5 digs, 5 kills; Taylor Moon 11 points; Melissa Shoemaker 13 points (5 aces), 15 assists; Kaitlyn Nemeth 9 points, 6 digs. Reynolds: No stats reported.
JV: Reynolds, 25-10, 29-27.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
SLIPPERY ROCK 23, REYNOLDS 36
1. Andrew Maxwell (SR) 18:24; 2. Justin Pago (R); 3. Wil Henry (SR); 4. Mack Taylor (SR); 5. Dominic Rimer (R); 6. Jacob Geiger (R); 7. Jonathon Sosa (SR); 8. Dan Masterson (SR); 9. Bradley Yarington (SR); 10. Nick Shea (R).
HICKORY 18, SHARON 45
1. Kyle Boyd (H), 17:39; 2. Logan Griffen (H); 3. Matt Dilts (S); 4. Jonathan Walter (H); 5. Adam Krider (H); 6. Ken Hartenstein (H); 7. Colton Moretti (H); 8. Brett McBride (H); 9. Maxx Palisin (S); 10. Vince Desmond (S).
W.MIDDLESEX 25, C.PERRY 32
W.MIDDLESEX 26, N.CASTLE 29
1. Trevor Blackwell (NC), 17:26; 2. Nate White (CP); 3. Levi Canon (WM); 4. David Johnson (WM); 5. Mike Mazzanti (NC); 6. Chad Peterson (CP); 7. Brett Kirk (WM); 8. Eric Johnston (CP); 9. C. Mazzanti (NC); 10. Dylan Long (WM); 11. J. McFall (NC); 12. Jared Germani (WM); 13. E. Green (NC); 14. Jacob Unverdorven (WM); 15. E. McCanlis (NC).
WILMINGTON 25, GREENVILLE 32
1. Dylan Foley (G) 18:12; 2. Calvin Gealy (W); 3. Bretty Whitty (W); 4. Ryuji Mano (G); 5. Jared Masters (W); 6. Mercer Martin (G); 7. Stefan Pontius (W) 19:57; 8. Derek Craig (W); 9. Ryan Davis (W); 10. Kyle Tumpak (G).
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
HICKORY 18, SHARON 41
1. Lexi Bible (H), 19:43; 2. Jackie Abraham (H); 3. Hailey Boyd (H); 4. Bailey Brown (H); 5. Xsila Powell (S); 6. Brianna Roys (S); 7. Zhena Davis (S); 8. Kyra Henderson (H); 9. Krista Marie (H); 10. Jessica Garcia (H).
W.MIDDLESEX 17, C.PERRY 43
W.MIDDLESEX 19, N.CASTLE 38
1. Kristen White (WM), 20:20; 2. Chloé Tyillian (WM); 3. Alyson Pierce (WM); 4. Shae Grinnell (CP); 5. Anna Zrile (WM); 6. K.Seth (NC); 7. Sophia Kachulis (WM); 8. C.Adamo (NC); 9. Helena Zrile (WM); 10. R.Paul (NC); 11. Samantha Oakes (CP); 12. Katelyn Adams (CP); 13. N.DeVincetes (NC); 14. R. McNickel (NC); 15. K.Rechionne (NC).
LAKEVIEW 23, MERCER 33
1. Andrea McConnell (L), 22:59; 2. Jamie Burdette (M); 3. Kaitlin Conner (M); 4. Marla Holland (L); 5. Marissa Schell (L); 6. Alyssa Dosch (L); 7. Hannah Jacob (L); 8. Kaitlin Perrine (M); 9. Emily McGhee (M); 10. Chelsea Combs (L).
WILMINGTON 18, GREENVILLE 39
1. Kate Robb (W) 21:17; 2. Allison Baldwin (W); 3. Nanami Mano (G); 4. Rikki Brumbaugh (W); 5. Hannah Winters (W); 6. Lexi Brumbaugh (W); 7. Emily Marshall (G); 8. Maddie Thrasher (G); 9. Hannah Drake (W); 10. Julianne Eppley (G).
The 23rd annual Big Red Cross Country Invitational is set for Saturday in West Middlesex.
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.
Raiders win 17th region title; 11 locals to Hershey
When Reynolds senior Levi Stoyer came off the mat after his 145-pound championship at the Northwest AA Regional Championships, he wasn’t celebrating his second straight crown. Instead, he turned to head coach Casey Taylor and said, “I did it for the team.”
And the team needed it!
Stoyer defeated Brookville’s Zach Vroman, 3-0, and sent Reynolds on its way to the school’s 17th region team title Saturday night at Sharon High School. Reynolds finished with 147 points, to Brookville’s 138.
Hickory girls capture 1st district title since 1983
MEADVILLE — Depending upon peoples’ perceptions, 31 years can seem like a lifetime ... but so can 16 minutes.
Hickory High girls’ basketball program’s District 10 drought ended Saturday afternoon as perennial power Villa Maria virtually vanished from the 2nd-half scoreboard.
The Lady Hornets erased a 7-point halftime deficit by yielding just 4 second-half points en route to a 39-24 victory over Villa Maria in the District 10 Class AAA championship game.
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