The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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January 28, 2014

Roundup: Hopewell girls edge Sharon, 48-45, in 'Par for a Cure' game

- — Seldom is there consolation in losing — particularly when it snaps an extended win skein. But it may have been beneficial for Sharon High girls’ basketball team.

“It was definitely a great game for us. We hung with them. We had our chance to take the lead, but it didn’t fall,” summarized Sharon skipper Maria Joseph, whose Lady Tigers were toppled by Hopewell, 48-45, Monday night.

The Lady Tigers trailed 47-45 with 30.7 seconds to play following Lexi Dabney’s drive. After Joseph hailed a timeout, Hopewell had difficulty inbounding the ball — twice — and Mal Torr secured a steal in the backcourt.

But Dabney’s step-back attempted trey from the left corner with approximately 12 ticks to play was rebounded by Shaniya Rivers, who subsequently recorded an insurance freebie.

“Hopewell’s a great team. They play hard, they play the whole floor, and we’re gonna see that down the road, so it was definitely a great game for us,” Joseph observed.

Hopewell (14-3) is a WPIAL Class AAA program that has enjoyed significant success during the last 3 seasons. This year Hopewell has lost twice to Blackhawk (71-44, 64-46) — the state’s 2nd-ranked squad — and Pine-Richland (52-42).

In 2010 the Lady Vikings were vanquished by New Castle — coached then by current Sharon Tigers’ taskmaster Jason Rankin — short-circuiting a 25-0 season. Then in 2012 Blackhawk hurdled Hopewell in the PIAA quarterfinals, ending a 28-2 campaign.

“It’s a good win. ... it’s always good to play an inter-district game, see teams from other places ... on a big floor, which, potentially, if we qualify for the state playoffs, we’ll play on,” summarized 7th-season skipper Jeff Homziak. “Maria’s done a good job up here with this ballclub. They’ve gotten better since summertime when we saw them. To her credit, they’ve come a long way.”

In spite of a 37-31 edge on the boards, Sharon struggled with second-chance scoring by Hopewell.

“We didn’t box out well. It was like, tip, tip, tip, they got the rebound. It was just one of those nights on the boards when we just couldn’t pull it down, and it killed us,” Joseph summarized.

Sharon (11-6) had secured an 8-game win skein, though the Lady Tigers had been tormented by turnovers. Through 3 quarters against Hopewell Sharon had 16; but during the pivotal 4th frame the Lady Tigers turned it over just once. Hopwell had 9 second-half miscues and 16 overall (1 less than Sharon).

“I think we start turning the ball over when we try to play too fast,” Joseph said. “We’ve been working on it in practice, trying to eliminate those lazy passes.

“But (the Lady Tigers) did a great job the second half, taking care of the ball. We played our game in the second half,” Joseph continued. “I think all the excitement the first half, we were all over the place. But ... once we settled down, it’s hard to defend us. Even on our defensive end, we were switching better ... talking better.

“But, we played half a game, I guess you would say,” Joseph lamented.

Sharon was on the short end of 13-8, 23-14 and 37-30 scores at the conclusion of each quarter. Hopewell actually had a double-digit lead owing to some full-court and 2-2-1 three-quarter court pressure before Sharon surged back.

Keys were ’Tina Jacoway knocking down both ends of a 1-and-1 bonus free-throw opportunity with 2:09 remaining, drawing Sharon within 44-42. Then Mal Torr’s freebie with 48.8 seconds left had Hopewell clinging to a 46-43 lead before the closing flourish.

In Homziak’s scoring-by-committee approach, Kari Steuer sank all 5 of her floor shots and scored 11 points and snared 7 caroms for Hopewell, while Rivers recorded an 8-point, 6-rebound, 4-assist line. The Lady Vikings were victorious, in part, owing to 20-for-29 free-throw marksmanship (69 percent), led by Ali Marie Santia’s 7-for-8 accuracy.

For Sharon, Tanayja Sanders’ 13-point, 15-rebound double-double, Mal Torr’s 10 tallies, along with Jacoway’s 7-point, 8-rebound, 2-assist contribution were highlights. Dabney drained 2 big buckets in the 4th frame, also.

The game was a joint venture by both schools — “Par for a Cure,” for breast cancer awareness.

“We have a friend (Joanne Esposito) who has gone through Stage-4 breast cancer for the third time,” Joseph explained. “Her son actually started ‘Par for a Cure’ when she was diagnosed for the first time.

“Myself, my sister (Kara) and Dom (Joseph, both of whom are Sharon assistant coaches) had an aunt who passed away about eight years ago from breast cancer,” Maria Joseph related. “And, I want to say, about three years after she passed away, my sister joined up with Joanne and we started this ‘Pink-Out.’

“It’s just a great event. It just touches the heart,” Joseph concluded. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.


ä Farrell 44, Commodore Perry 33 —
At Farrell’s E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, coach Ed Turosky’s Lady Steelers improved to 3-3 in Region 1-A and 5-11 overall with the 11-point win over the Lady Panthers (2-4, 9-8).

Whitney Murray fired in 16 points for Farrell and Bria Gambill bucketed 14 markers.

Stephanie Vaughn led the way for Commodore Perry with 14 points and Emily Kitchen scored 10 and had 7 rebounds.

“We didn’t have an answer for Murray and Gambill,” said CP coach Bob Messina. “We had two starters out (hurt Friday at Union City) but that doesn’t take away from the effort of those two. Gambill got hot in the fourth quarter and Murray was really the difference. She controlled the boards and had a really good game.”

ä Kennedy Catholic 72, Jamestown 11 — At Hermitage, coach Chris Mele’s Lady Golden Eagles (5-0, 13-2) led 16-5 after the opening 8 minutes and cruised past the Lady Muskies (0-5, 0-15) in a Region 1-A contest.

Rebekah Kish scored 14 points to lead KC while April Bocian added a dozen points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

Also for KC, Taylor Hood had 7 assists and 5 steals, Tatum Kress grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 3 assists, Hannah Burns had 3 assists and Mckayla Shannonhouse added 6 boards.

Kaitlin Liszka was the leading scorer for Jamestown with 4 points.

ä Sharpsville 33, Greenville 28 — At Sharpsville, coach Jeff Hanley’s Lady Blue Devils improved to 4-4 in Region 2-AA and 7-8 overall with a 5-point win over Greenville (4-3, 7-8).

Emily Anderson led the way for Sharpsville with 12 points while Alivia Shuttleworth dished out 3 assists, Eugena Davies had 4 steals and Izzy Schell grabbed 5 rebounds.

Casslyn Holder scored 12 for Greenville and Jillian Herrick tallied 10 markers.

ä Brookfield 49, Champion 39 — At Brookfield, the Lady Warriors (12-4) jumped out to an 11-4 lead after the opening quarter and held on for the win over the Lady Golden Flashes (4-12).

Danielle DiCristofaro poured in 17 points to lead the way for coach Shawn Hammond’s Brookfield squad and Destiny May scored 10.

Izzy D’Urso led the way for Champion with 11 points.


ä Reynolds-Rocky Grove girls game Monday, postponed to Saturday at 1 p.m. at Reynolds (varsity only).

ä Sharpsville vs. Girard girls game from last Saturday, postponed, TBA.

ä Oil City-Grove City girls game Monday, postponed to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Grove City (JV at 1).

ä Wilmington-Lakeview girls game at Wilmington Monday was postponed. No make-up date has been announced yet.

ä Mercer-at-West Middlesex girls game Monday postponed to Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

ä Sharon-at-Oil City boys basketball game Monday postponed to Wednesday.

ä Hickory-VisionQuest boys game at Franklin today is postponed to Wednesday, 7 p.m. (varsity only).

ä Reynolds at Lakeview boys’ game today, postponed to Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

ä Mercer at West Middlesex boys’ basketball game today postponed to Saturday, 5 p.m.

ä George Junior Republic-at-Farrell boys game today postponed to TBA.

ä Brookfield at Girard boys hoops game today postponed to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

ä Mercer-Redbank Valley wrestling today postponed TBA.

ä Hickory-at-Conneaut Area wrestling match today, postponed to Friday.

ä Hickory at Oil City swimming meet postponed to Friday, 4 p.m.

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