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.
No matter what age or competition level, it still boils down to putting the ball in the basket.
Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM
ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP
Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.
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.
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- Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM