It was the most opportune time for the Lady Tigers to tighten up.
Sharon High girls basketball team played its best and highest scoring 1st half of the season en route to a 70-38 District 10 Region 2-AA rout of Mercer Thursday night.
The visiting Lady M’s had mustered 7 straight successes, while the Lady Tigers had tumbled to 3 setbacks in their last 4 outings. However Sharon shot 19 for 38 from the floor in building a 45-27 bulge by the break. Equally as significant, the Lady Tigers turned over the ball just 4 times by intermission.
“I told the girls it’s a comeback. We worked hard in practice those last two days, broke a lot of things down, pinpointed what we needed to work on, and we executed well (Thursday) night,” assessed 1st-year Lady Tigers’ taskmaster Maria Joseph.
“We’ve been talking about teamwork, that we need to start playing together as a team, working as a team, pushing each other at practice,” Joseph continued, “and, you know, it showed (Thursday) night.
“It was a good win for us and I’m proud of them. It was definitely well deserved and definitely needed in the region.”
Sharon surged to a 28-16 first-quarter lead as Lexi Dabney distributed 4 assists. She and Mallory Torr tallied 2 treys apiece, while post presence Tanayja Sanders scored 8. Mercer, meanwhile, committed a handful of miscues, offsetting 7-for-10 shooting and Megan McKinney’s 7 markers.
Dabney deposited 9 second-period points and Kristina Jacoway joined in with 4 points and 6 of her game-high 11 rebounds as the Lady Tigers took an 18-point margin at intermission.
Sanders’ 6-point, 5-rebound 3rd period, augmented by Jacoway’s 7 points and 3 caroms, staked Sharon to a 65-28 lead entering the 4th frame. Mercer misfired on all 14 of its field-goal attempts during the period. When Sharon’s Kayla Reardon recorded a left-wing triple 20 ticks into the 4th quarter, the Lady Tigers took a 40-point lead.
For Sharon (3-2 Region 2-AA, 7-5 overall), Dabney dented the scoreboard for a game-high 18 points and dished out a half-dozen assists, Sanders secured 9 rebounds and evenly split 32 points with Jacoway, while Mal Torr tallied an 8-point, 6-assist, 5-rebound line. Sharon shot 30 for 65 from the field (46.1 percent), collected 44 caroms, and the Lady Tigers turned over the ball only 9 times.
“We worked on our offense against every (defensive scheme) ... we broke the press, we literally worked on everything, and it panned out for us,” Joseph said. “It boosted our confidence, hitting some of those shots early, and once we started making a few shots, everything clicked.”
Mercer (4-1, 10-4) was led by Lexie Arkwright, who annexed 14 points, McKinney’s 8 markers, and Alexis Mills’ 3 assists. But the Lady M’s made 13 miscues.
“We’re gonna keep working, keep pushing. The girls see what they’re capable of,” Joseph, eyeing the season’s 2nd half, said. “I think it’s a good confidence-boost for them.”—By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Slippery Rock 32, Grove City 29 — At Slippery Rock, Haley Angerett scored all four of the Lady Rockets’ points in the extra session to give Slippery Rock (3-2, 8-4) a half-game lead over rival Grove City (3-2, 9-5) in the battle for third place behind Region 5-AAA frontrunners Franklin and Hickory.
In a game that featured 7 ties and 10 lead changes neither team, the biggest lead either team enjoyed was Slippery Rock’s 28-23 lead late in the fourth quarter, but a triple from Danyelle Lucido and a bucket from Jenn Ferguson with 11 seconds left in regulation knotted the score at 28-all.
Both teams committed turnovers in the waning 9.3 ticks of the fourth quarter, forcing overtime and Angerett’s heroics.
The final statistics bear out the overall equality between the two squads with both teams pulling down 30 rebounds. Grove City had 17 turnovers to SR’s 16.
Both struggled mightily from the field with the Lady Eagles making just 11-of-34 shots, while Slippery Rock knocked down 13-of-40.
Angerett led all scorers with 11 points, while collecting 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
Jordyn Wyllie led Grove City with 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists, while Ferguson tacked on 7 markers and 4 boards — Information submitted by sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
ä Kennedy Catholic 66, Commodore Perry 35 — At Sheakleyville, freshman April Bocian fired in 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in leading KC (3-0, 12-1) past the Lady Panthers (1-2, 4-8) in a Region 1-A contest.
Also for Kennedy, Rachel Burns scored a game-high 21 points and Alex Ricketts bucketed 15.
Kate Powell and Emily Kitchen scored 7 points each for CP.
ä Farrell, 41, Reynolds 26 — At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the host Lady Steelers stormed to 20 second-period points en route to the Region 1-A rout.
Bria Gambill garnered a game-high 15 points for Farrell (2-1, 8-5), which bounced back from a non-league road loss 24 hours previously. Also, Johnta Scott scored a dozen, tossing in 2 treys.
Rose Stoyer scored 10 for Reynolds (0-3, 2-11).
˝ Gambill was inadvertently referred to as Brian Gambill in Thursday morning’s daily Winter Sports Roundup.
ä Sharpsville 65, Lakeview 16 — At the Devils’ Den the host Blue Darlings dominated the Region 2-AA affair, led by Megan Davis’ game-high 21-point performance that included a handful from beyond the arc.
Also for Sharpsville (5-0, 7-5) and skipper Jeff Hanley, McKenzie Popatak produced a 10-point, 17-rebound double-double, Natalie Henwood had an 8-point, 10-steal, 6-assist line, and Paige Scurpa scored 10.
Lakeview dropped to 0-6, 2-11, respectively.
ä Wilmington 50, West Middlesex 48 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Greyhounds garnered the Region 2-AA win at the buzzer.
Tessa Sikora scored after taking an inbounds pass from midcourt with 2.7 ticks to play and the count knotted at 48, West Middlesex mentor Jodi Anthony reported.
For Wilmington (2-3, 4-9), Alanna Elliott ended with a game-high 18 points, Carly Christofferson collected 14, and Sikora scord 11.
Kelsey Murray mustered a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double for West Middlesex (1-4, 6-8), while Alexis Summers scored 12 points and Molly Stitt 11.
ä Hickory 73, Oil City 31 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, the Hornettes improved to 4-1 in Region 5-AAA and 11-1 overall with the rout over the Lady Oilers (1-4, 6-7).
Nikki Arbanas buried 5 treys en route to a career-high 31 points for Hickory. She also had 5 steals and dished out 3 assists. Holly Grober tallied 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists.
Also for Hickory, Nicole Lacava had 8 boards, Brandi Beader collected 4 rebounds, Jenna Placzek had 7 boards and Megan Chess had 3 steals and 3 assists.
Oil City did not have a player reach double digits in scoring.
ä Rocky Grove 53, Jamestown 13 — At Franklin, the Lady Orioles (3-0, 8-6) led 15-4 after the 1st quarter and rolled past the Lady Muskies (0-3, 0-12) in the Region 1-A affair.
Christina Schiffer rifled in 22 points for RG while Haley Nerlich added 14 markers.
Kaitlin Liszka, Savannah Miller, Amanda Robinson, Allison Kell, Mikayla Keyser and Loghan Sankey all had 2 points for Jamestown.
ä Greenville 37, Commodore Perry 34 — At Sheakleyville Wednesday, the Lady Trojans (5-6) edged the Lady Panthers in a non-region contest.
Jessica Burnett scored 20 to lead Greenville while Stephanie Vaughn buried 4 treys for 12 points and Lexi Grinnell added 11 for CP.
A complete boxscore was not reported to The Herald.
ä Lakeview 42, Hickory 27 — At Hickory Wednesday, the Sailors of coach Tom Tingley recorded the victory.
Notching falls for the winners were: Dustin Schleifer (132), Marquis Spence (170) and Jake Heim (120). For the Hornets, copping pins were Noah Bianco (145), Shane Beatty (160) and Robbie Thomas (182).
ä Mercer 31, Greenville 30 (Crit. H) — At the County Seat, the host Mustangs (7-2) won via criteria in the competitive contest.
Austin King (113) and Colton Smith (220) posted pins for Mercer mentor Rick Whenry.
For Greenville, Blake Horne (152) notched the Trojans’ lone fall.
ä Brookfield 1,904, Mineral Ridge 1,854 — At McKinley Lanes in Niles, Adam Brooks (354), Bradley Bridge (322) and Nick Kerr (299) led the Warriors to victory.
Josh Durig (349), Brandon Bukofchan (308) and Todd McCormick (267) were the top rollers for MR.
ä Sharon 6, Hickory-B 0 — At Ten-pin Alley, Brent Elliott (244), Nick Carlo (213), Dan Spanos (199) and Shane Young (194) led Sharon. Brad Hunyadi (172) and Austin Ghiates (170) led Hickory-B.
ä Brookfield 1,671, Mineral Ridge 1,535 — At Niles, Heather Stanish bowled a 366, Kourtney Husnick rolled a 281 and Nicole Johnston had a 262 for the Lady Warriors.
Rachael Chenoweth (249), Jen Celli (235) and Amanda Prusha (217) led the way for Mineral Ridge.
It was the most opportune time for the Lady Tigers to tighten up.
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.
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.
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