The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


February 15, 2013

Roundup: Section wrestling tourneys begin tonight; Sharpsville girls beat Mercer

---- — As most Mercer County boys’ and girls’ basketball teams wrap up the regular season tonight — including some games with playoff implications — postseason wrestling gets under way in earnest.

County teams are involved in two sectional tournaments at Sharon and Greenville High Schools today and Saturday.

Competing in the Section 2-AA event at Sharon are county squads Grove City, Hickory, Lakeview, Mercer, Reynolds, Sharon, Sharpsville and West Middlesex, along with Slippery Rock and Franklin.

In the Section 3-AA tourney at Greenville are county teams from Greenville, Commodore Perry and Jamestown, battling against Cambridge Springs, Cochranton, Conneaut Area, Fairview, Girard, Maplewood and Northwestern.

In boys basketball tonight, one of the key games pits Sharon (10-5 in Region 5-AAA, 12-9 overall) at Farrell (10-5, 13-8), with the loser probably eliminated from playoff contention.

In Thursday high school sports action reported to The Herald it was:


For six days Sharpsville skipper Jeff Hanley wasn’t sure he’d be celebrating. But with the outright District 10 Region 2-AA title on the line Thursday night, his Blue Darlings delivered.

McKenzie Popatak pumped in 16 of her game-high 22 points after intermission, and Sharpsville High girls’ basketball team mustered a 42-32 win over Mercer.

Following last week’s 54-39 setback at Sharon, Hanley had a heart-to-heart and challenged his squad.

“A ton of credit to the girls. It was how we were gonna respond after that Sharon loss. We talked about how we needed to practice better, and the girls came in to practice ready to go,” Hanley explained, relating, “That Saturday practice (following the loss) wasn’t a whole lot of fun, but the rest of the week they did a really, really nice job

“I’m super proud of them for the way they fought through that practice, beat Lakeview, then beat Mercer after a little bit of a slow first half,” Hanley added.

Of Sharpsville’s quartet of seniors, Popotak produced tears during the pre-game ceremony and struggled during a 2-for-11 first-half shooting performance in which she also uncharacteristically missed 4 of 6 free-throw attempts. However Popatak composed herself, and the program’s career scoring leader posted a 22-point, 14-rebound double-double.

“You’re always concerned ... as a coach, anything that changes or something that you consider is a distraction,” Hanley admitted. “I think there might’ve been a little nervousness ... it was Senior Night, and it was a big game at home with a nice crowd ... maybe because the playoffs are coming up, I don’t know. But we came in at halftime (Mercer led 14-10), talked a few things out, and I thought the girls responded well.”

The teams were tied at 27 entering the 4th frame before the Darlings delivered a decisive 10-0 denial to Mercer’s motivation. Megan Davis and Maddie Przicina pumped in back-to-back triples approximately 40 seconds apart, the latter with less than 5 minutes remaining as Sharpsville secured a 33-27 lead. Then Scurpa slung back-door passes to both Natalie Henwood and Popatak to extend the edge to 37-27.

Scurpa scored 8 points and hauled down a half-dozen rebounds, but her defensive work on Mercer’s Lexie Arkwright most impressed Hanley. Arkwright had annexed a team-high 17.6 points per game coming into the contest, but was limited to a season-low 5 Thursday night — only the 3rd time this season she did not reach double figures.

“Paige is our unsung hero,” Hanley praised. “She doesn’t always get her name in the paper, she doesn’t always drop double digits, but she’s amazing! Her energy and her defense, that was the key. We wanted to key on Lexie, and Paige has just been doing that all year for us.”

With Arkwright and Alexis Mills mustering 5 and 4 points, respectively, Mercer made half of its dozen 3rd-quarter floor shots to earn the deadlock after 24 minutes. But the Lady M’s made 6 miscues during the 4th frame and 22 for the game. Also, Mercer (9-3, 16-6) manufactured only 34.1 percent shooting (14 of 41) from the floor.

Megan McKinney’s 13 markers and Arkwright’s 10 rebounds and 4 assists were the highlights for 2nd-year head coach Aaron Cook’s club, which has effected a complete turnabout from last season’s 6-16 ledger.

But after a 2-5 start to the season, Sharpsville (11-1, 14-7) is set for the District 10 playoffs as a region champion.

“There’s doubt that sometimes creeps in at night at home,” the hyper-intense Hanley admitted, “but for the most part, yeah, we thought we had the abililty and the talent to do it and it could be our’s, and I’m so proud of the girls for accomplishing that goal.”

Notes: Sharpsville shot only 36 percent (18 for 50) from the field and the Darlings did not take care of the ball much better than Mercer, committing 16 miscues. ... Henwood handed out a half-dozen assists. ... Mercer made its lone free-throw attempt, by Analise Whenry in the 1st quarter on the back end of a conventional 3-point play. But Whenry was asssedd 3 first-half personals, and Cook kept her on the bench for the entire 3rd period to save her for the finale. ... In addition to Popatak, Scurpa and Henwood, Megan Whalen is Sharpsville’s 4th senior. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.

ä Hickory 54, Grove City 41 — At Grove City, the visiting Lady Hornets (10-2, 19-3) finished 2nd in Region 5-AAA behind Franklin, with the win over the Lady Eagles (6-6, 13-9).

The game was tied at 30-all with 2:28 left in the 3rd quarter before Hickory outscored GC 24-9 the rest of the way.

Nikki Arbanas and Holly Grober both had 18 points for the Lady Hornets. Arbanas added 4 steals and 7 assists while Grober tallied 5 rebounds, 6 steals and 2 blocks. Also for Hickory, Megan Chess dished out 3 assists, Jasmine Shephard had 3 steals, Brandi Beader tallied 5 boards and Jenna Placzek had 4 rebounds.

Danyelle Lucido was the leading scorer for Grove City with 9 points.

ä Farrell 56, Jamestown 23 — At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, coach Ed Turosky’s Lady Steelers (5-5, 11-10) led 14-4 after the opening quarter and rolled to the Region 1-A win over the Lady Muskies, who wrapped up a tough winless season at 0-10 and 0-22.

Johntae Scott scored 13 points for Farrell and Tatyana Page posted 10 points.

Loghan Sankey was the leading scorer for Jamestown with 8 points.

ä Reynolds 46, Commodore Perry 39 — At Transfer, the host Lady Raiders recorded teh Region 1-A win.

Kayla Thompson tallied 15 points for Reynolds (4-6, 7-14), Morgan McDanel delivered a game-high 11 rebounds, and Eric Burnworth distributed 7 assists.

For Commodore Perry (5-5, 10-12), Kate Powell pumped in a game-high 15 points for head coach Bob Messina.

ä Wilmington 46, Greenville 45 — At Greenville, the Lady Hounds (5-7, 9-13) notched a thrilling 1-point Region 2-AA win over the Lady Trojans (3-9, 7-14).

Alanna Elliott scored 13 for Wilmington while Tess Sikora tallied 12 points

Jessica Burnett rifled in a game-high 22 points to lead Greenville and Rebecca Fagley contributed 10 points.

ä Saegertown 58, Lakeview 39 — At Saegertown, the Region 3 Lady Panthers (14-7) led 17-9 after the opening quarter and rolled past Lakeview (5-17) in the non-region contest.

Rachel DiBartolomeo led Saegertown with 17 points, Arianna Hanley bucketed 14 and Tori Eckhart registered a dozen markers.

Chelsea Davis rifled in 4 treys en route to 16 points for Lakeview and Casey Stringer notched 10 points.

ä Brookfield 50, Bristol 25 — At Brookfield, the host Lady Warriors won for the 2nd time in as many nights.

Kayla Boyer bucketed 11 points and Tori Thompson tallied another 11 for Brookfield (11-10), while Laura Elza ended with 9 for Bristol (12-6).

ä Brookfield 39, Youngstown Christian School 36 — At Youngstown Wednesday, coach Shawn Hammond’s Lady Warriors evened their record at 10-10 with the 3-point win over YCS.

Ashley Kirila led Brookfield with 13 points while Shanell Harris had 9 for YCS.


ä Lakeview 54, Mercer 47 —
At Mercer, the host Mustangs (4-8, 9-12) nearly pulled off the upset of the potentially playoff bound Sailors (10-2, 19-3) on Mercer’s Senior Night honoring Danny Miller, Nate Brest, Vik Rymniak and Mike Handerhan.

The Mustangs rebounded from a 15-6 halftime deficit to knot the score at 33-all moments into the fourth quarter on Miller’s lay-up, but Lakeview ripped off a 14-2 run to take control of the game and pick-up the Region 2AA victory.

Lakeview was paced by a trio of double digit scorers — Dalton Boggs (20), Casey Greggs (12) and Coty Gander (10) — while Mercer was led by Logan Clarke, who scored all of his 17 points in the second half — Information submitted by sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.


ä Sharon 5, Mercer 1 —
In the 1st round of the Mercer County Playoffs at Ten Pin Alley, the Tigers beat the Mustangs.

Nick Carlo led the way for Sharon with a 258 while Dan Spanos rolled a 244. Also, Shane Young had a 233, Brent Elliott a 227 and Steven Merchant posted a 224.

Brandon Anderson led the way for Mercer with a 211.

ä Ursuline 2190, Brookfield 2020 — At Wedgewood Lanes in Austintown, Mike Wilfong fired a 502, Ryan Cox bowled a 335 and Steve Biroschak had a 299 as the Irish beat Brookfield.

Adam Brooks (352), Joey Grandon (327) and Bradley Bridge (300) were the top rollers for the Warriors.


ä Brookfield 1626, Ursuline 1487 —
At Wedgewood Lanes, Heather Stanish had a 340, Jessica Neral rolled a 275 and Kourtney Husnick posted a 253 to lead Brookfield to victory.

Kayla Winner (314), Erin Styka (246) and Caryle Hernandez (205) paced Ursuline.

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