No matter what age or competition level, it still boils down to putting the ball in the basket.
Brookfield High girls basketball team played well in virtually every facet Monday night against visiting Newton Falls, and the Lady Warriors could have won against the 1-loss Lady Tigers.
But Brookfield brokered just 8-for-38 shooting and suffered a 32-24 setback.
Kayla Boyer’s basket from the right wing with 4:45 remaining to intermission was Brookfield’s initial bucket. Remarkably, the Lady Warriors were trailing only 8-6 at that juncture.
“Defensively, we can play with anybody; offensively ... we don’t have anybody averaging in double figures, and that’s hurting us,” summarized Brookfield bench boss Shawn Hammondm, who wistfully added, “Finding ways to score ...”
Despite the Lady Warriors’s shooting woes, they were knotted at 17 with 1:39 remaining in the 3rd quarter on Brooke Hiner’s pair of free throws. But Brookfield, after commiting 7 first-half turnovers, made 9 second-half miscues, 6 during the 4th frame.
“We’ve played everybody tough. We’re just getting turnovers at the wrong times ... at the worst possible times we’re getting turnovers,” Hammond summarized regarding the 16 his club committed. “We missed some layups early. ... We’re just struggling to score.”
“The Brookfield team always plays extremely well defensively. They’re very well coached, and I have a lot of respect for Coach Hammond and his program,” 8th-year Lady Tigers’ taskmaster Mark Baker praised. “Any time these two teams get together you can eliminate the records ... and you can expect a close, defensive battle.
“They play an aggressive style of defense, we play an aggressive style of defense, and both teams, it seems every year, struggle to shoot the basketball against each other because of the defensive intensity,” Baker added.
During the final frame, while the Lady Warriors went 2 for 9 from the floor, Newton Falls finished 4 for 8, though the Lady Tigers turned overall the ball 5 times and missed 4 of 5 free-throw attempts.
For the Falls (15-1) — which has lost only to OHSAA Division I Austintown-Fitch — Brooke Barreca bucketed a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double to emerge as the lone double-figure scorer for either squad.
Owing to Baker’s point regarding Brookfield’s defense, the Falls finished 11 for 39 from the field (28.2 percent), 7 for 18 from the charity stripe, and committed 18 miscues. But the Lady Tigers’ outrebounded Brookfield, 38-23, as Hannah Zelle corralled 9 more caroms.
A member of the All-American Conference National Division and headed to the Mineral Ridge Sectional, Baker’s benchmark for a single season is 18 wins, so he’s hopeful his youthful Lady Tigers (2 seniors) can continue their success.
Ashley Kirila copped a game high-equalling 9 caroms and scored 6 points — all on freebies — for Brookfield (5-8). The Lady Warriors were 8 for 14 from the line, also.
“Team are playing us zone, and you’ve gotta make some shots, it’s that simple” Hammond said. “When we get the ball inside, we need to work it inside, and we’re not. No rhythm in that. A couple sessions we did, threw it inside and kicked it out and had some outside shots. ... But we just can’t consistently do it.
“We’ve just gotta hope within the next three weeks it starts clicking and we can start making some outside shots, ’cause that changes everything. We’re able to press and do some other things. we’d like to do. But when you’re not scoring, you can’t do it,” Hammond concluded. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Kennedy Catholic 72, Jamestown 13 — At “The Fish Tank” in Jamestown, KC (6-0, 16-2) led 37-3 after the opening quarter and rolled to the Region 1-A win over the winless Lady Muskies (0-6, 0-17).
Alex Ricketts rifled in 23 points to key KC while Taylor Hood scored a dozen and Tatum Kress added 11. Rachel Burns had 6 points and is now at 976 for her career.
Isabella Greenawalt paced Jamestown with 5 points.
ä Commodore Perry 42, Farrell 29 — At Sheakleyville, coach Bob Messina earned his 1st-ever win versus Farrell in his 6 years of coaching the Lady Panthers.
CP (3-3, 6-10) led 13-9 after 8 minutes of play and outscored the Lady Steelers 12-2 in the 2nd quarter to pull away in the Region 1-A clash.
“It was a much-needed win,” said Messina. “It gets us even in the region and back in the hunt. We still have a lot of work to do, but it was a nice win.”
Kate Powell scored 15 to lead CP while Emily Kitchen grabbed 10 rebounds and Lexi Grinnell dished out 8 assists.
Whitney Murray notched 7 points for Farrell (3-3, 9-8).
ä Sharpsville 32, Greenville 18 — At Greenville, the visiting Blue Darlings drove to their 9th victory in their last 10 outings with the Region 2-AA road rout.
McKenzie Popatak produced a 12-point, 17-rebound double-double to stoke Sharpsville (8-0, 11-6), while Megan Davis drilled 11 points, including a trio of treys, and Natalie Henwood handed out 7 assists for Sharpsville skipper Jeff Hanley.
For Greenville (3-5, 5-10), which has dropped 4 of its last 5 games, Jessica Burnett bucketed 10 tallies.
ä Mercer 50, West Middlesex 32 — At Mercer, Alexis Arkwright fired in a career-high 33 points in leading the Lady M’s (5-2, 12-5) past WM (1-7, 6-11) in the Region 2-AA encounter.
Mercer led 25-7 after 8 minutes of play, 37-13 at halftime and cruised to the win.
Molly Stitt and Alexis Summers both had 9 points each for the Ms. Reds.
ä Wilmington 56, Lakeview 34 — At Stoneboro, the Lady ’Hounds (4-4, 6-10) were up 32-17 at the break and cruised to the Region 2-AA victory against the Lady Sailors (1-7, 5-12).
Alanna Elliott fired in 18 points for Wilmington while Tess Sikora and Cassidy Marett had 9 points each.
Casey Stringer led Lakeview with 9 points.
ä Hickory 62, Cochranton 35 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, the Region 5 Lady Hornets (14-2) led 23-7 after 8 minutes of play and rolled to the non-region win against the Region 3 Lady Cardinals (10-7).
Nikki Arbanas fired in 22 points had 9 steals and 5 assists for Hickory while Holly Grober registered 21 points, 5 boards, 4 steals and 4 blocks. Also for Hickory, Brandi Beader had 6 rebounds, Megan Chess posted 3 boards and 2 assists, Julie White dished out 3 assists, Jasmine Shephard collected 3 steals and 5 assists and Katie Gustas grabbed 3 rebounds.
Madison Bernarding led the way for Cochranton with 14 points.
ä Monday’s Oil City-at-Grove City game has been postponed to Wednesday while the Reynolds-at-Rocky Grove game was moved to Feb. 6.
NEWTON FALLS 6 6 11 9 32
BROOKFIELD 2 8 9 5 24
NEWTON FALLS — Abraham 0-0-0-0, Barreca 7-0-5-14, Zelle 0-4-6-4, King 3-0-1-7, Workman 1-0-0-2, Kline 1-2-4-4, Hobson 0-1-2-1. 3-pt. goal: King 1. Totals: 12-7-18-32.
BROOKFIELD — Boyer 1-0-0-2, DiCristofaro 1-2-2-4, Kirila 1-4-8-6, Thompson 2-0-0-4, Foster 0-0-0-0, Harpster 0-0-0-0, Hawley 2-0-0-4, Corns 0-0-00, Gauding 0-0-0-0, Hiner 0-2-4-2, Saxton 1-0-0-2. Totals: 8-8-14-24.
JV — Newton Falls, 28-27. Destiny May 11 points for Brookfield; Devan Houshour 6 for Newton Falls.
KENNEDY 37 19 8 8 72
JAMESTOWN 3 4 2 4 13
KENNEDY CATHOLIC — O’Brien 3-0-0-6, Kress 4-3-4-11, Hood 4-3-5-12, Kish 3-0-0-6, Burns 2-2-2-6, Ricketts 8-4-5-23, Bocian 4-0-0-8. 3-pt. goals: Ricketts 4, Hood 1. Totals: 28-12-16-72.
JAMESTOWN — Harnett 1-0-0-2, Liszka 0-0-0-0, McLaughlin 0-0-0-0, Miller 1-0-0-2, Mitchell 0-0-0-0, Robinson 0-0-0-0, Greenawalt 2-1-2-5, Kell 0-0-0-0, Keyser 1-0-0-2, Sankey 1-0-0-2. Totals: 6-1-2-13.
JV — KC, 57-15. Tatum Kress 12, April Bocian 12, Olivia O’Brien 10, Taylor Hood 10 for KC.
FARRELL 9 2 12 6 29
COMM. PERRY 13 12 4 13 42
FARRELL — Scott 2-1-3-6, Oatis 2-1-6-5, Polk 2-0-0-4, Page 2-1-2-5, Sharper 1-0-0-2, Murray 3-1-5-7. 3-pt. goal: Scott 1. Totals: 12-4-16-29.
COMMODORE PERRY — Powell 5-5-9-15, Campbell 4-0-0-8, L. Grinnell 3-0-0-6, Kitchen 3-1-2-7, A. Nagy 0-0-0-0, S. Grinnell 0-0-0-0, Vaughn 3-0-0-6. Totals: 18-6-11-42.
JV — Farrell, 40-24. Jacque Chambers 10 for Farrell.
SHARPSVILLE 7 4 9 12 32
GREENVILLE 4 2 8 4 18
SHARPSVILLE — Davis 4-0-0-11, Przicina 1-5-6-7, Popatak 4-4-4-12, Scurpa 0-2-6-2, Henwood 0-0-4-0, Kurelko 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Davis 3. Totals: 9-12-20-32.
GREENVILLE — Fagley 1-2-5-4, Williams 1-0-0-2, Burnett 4-0-0-10, Healy 1-0-0-2, Fenton 0-0-0-0, Marini 0-0-0-0, Montalvo 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Burnett 2. Totals: 7-2-5-18.
JV — Sharpsville, 33-31. Maddie Przicina 11 for Sharpsville. Jessica Fenton 10 for Greenville.
COCHRANTON 7 6 8 14 35
HICKORY 23 15 12 12 62
COCHRANTON — Offi 0-1-2-1, Ke. Dickson 2-1-2-6, Quickel 1-0-0-2, Bernarding 7-0-0-14, Ecli 1-0-0-2, Clulow 1-0-0-2, Ka. Dickson 3-2-2-8, Knauf 0-0-0-0, Vincent 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goal: Ke. Dickson 1. Totals: 15-3-6-35.
HICKORY — Bible 0-0-0-0, Arbanas 7-6-6-22, Chess 2-1-2-5, Moore 1-0-0-2, Gustas 0-0-0-0, Marchand 0-0-0-0, Shephard 0-0-2-0, Zreliak 1-0-0-2, Beader 3-0-0-8, White 1-0-0-2, Grober 8-5-7-21. 3-pt. goals: Arbanas 2, Beader 2. Totals: 23-12-17-62.
JV — Hickory, 41-26. Lexi Bible 12 for Hickory.
WILMINGTON 32 56
LAKEVIEW 17 34
WILMINGTON — Sikora 9, Christofferson 8, Drake 6, Elliott 18, Slonaker 6, Marett 9.
LAKEVIEW — Stringer 9, Adams 2, Scott 4, Fischer 2, Ruediger 4, Davis 5, Womer 8. 3-pt. goal: Davis 1.
JV — Lakeview, 35-18.
W.MIDDLESEX 7 6 4 15 32
MERCER 25 12 4 9 50
WEST MIDDLESEX — Murray 8, Atterholt 1, Stitt 9, Summers 9, White 5.
MERCER — Arkwright 33, Mills 2, McKinney 3, Ryder 4, Zacherl 2, Whenry 6.
JV — No score reported.
No matter what age or competition level, it still boils down to putting the ball in the basket.
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.
KC beats Cochranton for 4th straight D-10 crown
MEADVILLE — Everybody is on April Bocian’s bandwagon — and rightly so. But Tatum Kress helped keep Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball program atop District 10’s Class A competition.
Kress connected for all 14 of her points during the 2nd half Saturday afternoon, keying the Kennedy Catholic to a 49-38 conquest of Cochranton.
McLane rallies to beat Mercer in AA title tilt
In 1986, the Mercer Lady M’s won the school’s first and only girls basketball District 10 title at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House, but in the same gym on Saturday in 2014, the squad in blue wasn’t so lucky.
Mercer led the Gen. McLane Lady Lancers 27-19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Lancers outscored the Lady M’s 19-4 in the final frame to win the Class AA title tilt 38-31.
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- Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title