MERCER COUNTY —
Khalil Hopson hit a game-high 36 points Tuesday night, but it wasn’t about points; he was playing for a higher purpose.
Hopson humbled visiting Grove City, leading the Sharon High boys basketball team to a 66-43 Region 5-AAA rout, but related,
“It’s just all for my little ’cuz. It’s hard to be playing in his number, but I just feel like I’m playing for him now,” Hopson related.
A Sharon High senior, Hopson had worn uniform number 10, but switched to number 3 as a tribute to his cousin, Le’Angelo “Lee Lee” Ford, who tragically was killed less than 2 weeks ago.
Ford was a sophomore point guard for the Tigers.
“(Hopson) wore it last game, after the incident, and dedicated the rest of the season to ‘Lee-Lee’ and the family,” related 1st-year Tigers’ taskmaster Jason Rankin. “He definitely wanted to play for a higher purpose.
“I think something like that hits home, in the fact that, no matter how important the game is, something like that is certainly a lot more important and a lot more emotionally heart-felt,” Rankin related.
Tuesday was a tussel for the Tigers, at least at the outset.
The 2012-13 season has been challenging for Grove City (2-9, 4-12), so veteran mentor Don Fee opted for strategy that seemed disingenous: He had his ’Grovers go right at Sharon. And at the outset, it worked as the Eagles eased to a 15-13 first-quarter edge.
However during the 2nd stanza Sharon surged for 25 points en route to a 38-28 margin at intermission, by which time Hopson had 24 points.
With Hopson hitting 8 more markers during the 3rd period and Grove City going 5 for 16 from the floor, the Tigers took a 55-38 lead entering the final frame.
Hopson had plenty of help. Darrell Stovall secured a 12-point, 16-rebound double-double and Mark Henry had a 7-point, 6-rebound, 5-assist line to stoke Sharon (6-4, 8-7), which remains viable for a postseason berth.
Led by Hopson’s hot hand, 14-for-21 from the floor including 2 treys, Sharon shot 26 for 53 (49 percent).
“When we played at their place, they tried to break our press a little bit more aggressively. I think he’s basically preparing for next year,” Rankin, regarding Fee, surmised. “He’s got a lot of guards and figured he’d exploit our weakness, which would be a match-up issue. And he when after it, and had nothing to lose.”
Speaking of quicksilver guards, Sharon is stocked with Hopson (who snared 7 caroms), Henry, Carnell Hawkins (who handed out 3 assists), Jaronté Robinson and youngsters Jason Austin and ’Bray Jennings.
“When you’ve got five guys on the bench who can play ... I mean, Jason Austin had seven ‘3’s in the jayvee game, and he’s dying to get in the (varsity) game, but I’m like, ‘When?’ We’ve got a lot of guards, and we had some big guys that played well, too, so I was happy with that second half,” Rankin said in summation.
Grove City was led by Derek Turner’s 18 tallies, Danny Torok’s game-high half-dozen assists, and another hanful of helpers from Jorden Dolan. But the Grovers were guilty of 24 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-27. The Eagles ended 20 for 55 from the field (36.3 percent). — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Lakeview 30, Reynolds 25 — At Transfer, the Raiders (3-5, 11-7) led 12-10 at halftime and 21-19 after 3, but the Sailors (7-1, 15-2) outscored Reynolds 11-4 in the 4th frame to earn the Region 2-AA victory.
Dalton Boggs fired in a game-high 15 points for the Sailors while Garrett Frable bucketed 11 for the Raiders.
ä Kennedy Catholic 70, Jamestown 27 — At “The Fish Tank” in Jamestown, KC improved to 5-0 in Region 1-A and 11-4 overall with the win against the Muskies (1-4, 1-14).
Chris James and Jimmy D’Onofrio both drained 3 treys en route to 15 points for the Golden Eagles while Jake Leipheimer added 12.
Ryan Livingston had 9 points for Jamestown and Alex Boylan bucketed 8.
ä West Middlesex 90, Mercer 49 — At the County Seat, the visiting Big Reds (8-0, 14-3) had a 24-11 lead after the opening quarter, extended it to 47-24 by halftime and rolled to the Region 2-AA win over the Mustangs (2-6, 5-11).
Matt Dogan fired in 29 points to lead the state’s 8th-ranked team in Class AA (Harrisburg Patriot-News) while Trey Staunch had 21. Also, Jeremy Jancso bucketed 18 and Christian Porterfield registered 10 markers.
Danny Miller led Mercer with 11 points, while Logan Clarke and Vik Rymniak had 10 each.
ä Wilmington 56, Sharpsville 54 — At New Wilmington, the Hounds (2-5, 5-10) upset the Blue Devils (4-4, 9-7) in a Region 2-AA encounter.
Jordan Smith fired in 13 points to lead Wilmington while Rocco Fagan, Jesse Hilliard and Dimitri Martini all had 10 points.
Tyler Luchey had a game-high 15 for Sharpsville while Jake Bulick bucketed 14 and Kyle Kennedy tallied 13 markers.
ä Hickory 72, VisionQuest 51 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, coach Nick Cannone’s Hornets (13-3) led 19-8 after the opening 8 minutes of play and rolled to the non-region win over VQ (5-11).
Matt Votino and Anthony Cannone both fired in 4 treys en route to 18 points for the Hornets while Vinnie Mastrian scored a dozen. Mastrian also grabbed 10 rebounds and Votino dished out 6 assists.
Demetrius McCleman had 17 points for the Eagles of VisionQuest and Izeem Hunter bucketed 16.
ä Farrell 100, George Junior Republic 86 — At Grove City, Coach Roland Shannonhouse’s visiting Steelers soared to the century mark in the Region 5-AAA track meet.
The trio of Jason Page, Jarel Brown and Ike Jones jointly accounted for 65 points, while Malik Miller mustered 14 markers and Tyrone Archie added 13 for Farrell (7-4, 10-7).
GJR (3-8, 5-10) was led by Dom Barnes’ career-high 29-point performance and Malik Gibson, who garnered a game-high 10 caroms. But Barnes was GJR’s lone double-figure scorer.
ä Brookfield 77, Girard 64 — At Brookfield, coach Bill Kovach’s Warriors improved to 11-2 with the win over Girard (9-5).
Jeremy Quinlan buried 6 field goals from downtown en route to 27 points for Brookfield while Collin Harkulich scored 15, Jimmy Quinlan tallied 12 and Ryan Mosora added 11 markers.
Also for Brookfield, Harkulich had 12 rebounds, Mosora dished out 6 assists and Jimmy Quinlan registered 4 assists.
Kory Maynard scored 18 for Girard, Craig Randall sank 5 treys and finished with 17 points and Evan Standohar tallied 11 points.
ä Rocky Grove 54, Commodore Perry 51 — At The ’Grove, the host Orioles outlasted Perry in the Region 1-A affair.
Rocky Grove garnered a 19-14 first-quarter lead, and never trailed.
Kirwin connected for a game-high 22 points for Rocky Grove (3-2, 5-12), while B.Schneider scored 11.
Pacing the visiting Panthers (0-5, 2-15) was Phil Stringert, who scored 16.
ä Reynolds 65, Grove City 6 — At Grove City, coach Casey Taylor’s visiting Raiders (9-0, 15-2) wrapped up the Region 3 title with the rout over the Eagles.
“I’m happy for the kids,” said Taylor. “Their hard work is paying off and this is one of the many goals they set for themselves. I’m happy they achieved it, now they are looking to reach bigger goals.”
Seth Hogue (106), Mike Millero (160), Denton Zeronas (195) and Logan Rickert (220) notched falls for Reynolds Tuesday night.
Ryan Grace (126) and Jared Sample (138) had the lone wins for Grove City. Both were decisions.
ä Cochranton 47, Lakeview 27 — At Cochranton, the host Cardinals won 9 of the 14 matches to beat the Sailors.
Evan Clayton (106) and Jake Heim (120) posted falls for the Sailors while Dustin Schleifer (138) won via decision.
Jarred Norrison (126), R.J. Boozer (145), Caleb Peterson (160) and Austin Andrews (182) posted pins for Cochranton.
Sharon at Farrell
(no team score reported)
ä 200-yard Medley Relay—Sharon (Leah Gaston, Brienna Roys, Lily Trambley, Vicki Doty), 2:39.75.
ä 200-yard Freestyle—Monique Lopez (S), 3:12.
ä 200-yard Individual Medley—Roys (S), 2:58.73.
ä 50-yard Freestyle—1, Trambley (S) 29.28; 2. Jay Kayla Samuels (F) 29.59; 3. Bria Bradie (F) 38.9; 4. Gaston (S) 39.12; 5. Delaney Ser (S) 42.61; 7. Kya Kirk (F) 43.17.
ä 100-yard Freestyle—1. Trambley (S) 1:07.85; 2. Samuels (F) 1:08.87; 3. Abby Stull (F) 1:12.84; 4. Savannah Barber (S) 1:25.91; 5. Kirk (F) 1:45.32.
ä 200-yard Freestyle Relay—1. Sharon (Trambley, Barber, Gaston, Roys), 2:1741; 2. Farrell (no names submitted), 2:19.72.
ä 100-yard Backstroke—1. Elisabetta Lovera (S) 1:44.71; 2. Lopez (S) 1:48.66; 3. Doty (S) 1:50.90; 4. Marissa Friday (F) 2:32.34.
ä 100-yard Breaststroke—1. Roys (S) 1:33.72; 2. Bradie (F) 1:42.93; 3. Ser (S) 1:55.06.
ä 400-yard Freestyle Relay—Sharon (Barber, Gaston, Lovera, Lopez), 6:21.22.
ä 200-yard Individual Medley—Dylan Cerroni (S) 2:14.19.
ä 50-yard Freestyle—1. John-Michael Guerino (F) 22.97*; 2. Anthony Pegues (F) 35.28; 3. Matt Dilts (S) 40.85.
ä 100-yard Butterfly—Cerroni (S), 1:05.88.
ä 100-yard Freestyle—1. Guerino (F) 42.86*; 2. Robert VanHorn (S) 1:14.88; 3. Pegues (F) 1:25.03.
*District 10 Qualifying time
Hopson scores 36, plays for a higher purpose
MERCER COUNTY —
Khalil Hopson hit a game-high 36 points Tuesday night, but it wasn’t about points; he was playing for a higher purpose.
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