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.
MERCER 3 11 13 5 32
SHARPSVILLE 9 1 17 15 42
MERCER — Arkwright 2-0-0-5, Cook 3-0-0-7, McKinney 6-0-0-13, Mills 1-0-0-2, Whenry 2-1-1-5, Ryder 0-0-0-0, Angermeier 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Cook 1, Arkwright 1, Mills 1. Totals: 14-1-1-32.
SHARPSVILLE — Henwood 1-0-0-2, Davis 2-0-0-6, Popatak 10-2-5-22, Scurpa 4-0-0-8, Kurelko 0-0-0-0, Przicina 1-0-0-3, Davies 0-1-2-1, Sloan 0-0-0-0, Schell 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Davis 2. Przicina 1. Totals: 18-2-8-42.
JV — Sharpsville, 41-24. Eugena Davies 17 points for Sharpsville; Taylor Zacherl 10 for Mercer.
JAMESTOWN 4 12 2 5 23
FARRELL 14 19 10 13 56
JAMESTOWN — Mitchell 2-0-0-4, Greenawalt 2-0-2-4, Kell 1-3-4-5, Keyser 1-0-0-2, Sankey 3-2-2-8. Totals: 9-5-8-23.
FARRELL — Scott 5-2-2-13, Oatis 1-1-11-3, Avery 4-0-0-8, Chambers 1-0-2-2, Polk 1-0-1-2, Page 3-4-10-10, Sharper 1-2-6-4, Washington 2-4-6-8, Murray 1-4-9-6. 3-pt. goal: Scott 1. Totals: 19-17-47-56.
JV — No game.
COMM. PERRY 10 9 9 11 39
REYNOLDS 10 11 16 9 46
COMMODORE PERRY — Powell 4-7-15-15, Campbell 1-0-0-2, L. Grinnell 3-1-2-7, Kitchen 2-3-5-9, Vaughn 1-0-0-3, S. Nagy 1-1-2-3. 3-pt. goals: Kitchen 2, Vaughn 1. Totals: 12-12-24-39.
REYNOLDS — Ringer 2-2-4-8, Bresnan 1-5-8-7, McDanel 2-4-7-8, Stoyer 3-2-6-8, Napadano 0-0-2-0, Thompson 5-1-2-15, Burnworth 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Thompson 4, Ringer 2. Totals: 14-14-29-48.
JV — Reynolds, 47-18. Kayla Thompson 12, Jessica Mack 11, Alex Napadano 10 points for Reynolds.
MIDDLESEX 14 4 14 13 45
SHARON 10 21 16 13 60
WEST MIDDLESEX — Murray 0-0-3-0, Atterholt 9-1-1-19, Stitt 1-3-6-5, Summers 8-3-7-21. 3-pt. goals: Summers 2. Totals: 18-7-20-45.
SHARON — Mal. Torr 7-3-4-22, Mag. Torr 3-2-6-10, Jacoway 1-1-2-3, Chester 1-0-0-3, McGranahan 1-1-2-3, Reed 1-0-0-2, Sanders 6-3-4-15, Harper 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Mal. Torr 5, Mag. Torr 2, Chester 1. Totals: 21-10-18-60.
JV — Sharon, 45-16. Maggie Torr and Tamia Hopson 12 for Sharon.
HICKORY 14 14 8 18 54
GROVE CITY 8 10 12 11 41
HICKORY — Placzek 3-1-1-7, Bible 0-0-0-0, Arbanas 4-9-10-18, Chess 1-0-0-3, Moore 0-0-0-0, Shephard 0-0-0-0, Beader 3-0-0-8, Grober 5-8-10-18. 3-pt. goals: Beader 2, Arbanas 1, Chess 1. Totals: 16-18-21-54.
GROVE CITY — B. Deyarmin 4-0-0-8, Hall 0-1-2-1, Young 1-0-0-3, A. Deyarmin 0-0-0-0, Hyduchak 3-2-2-8, Wyllie 0-4-6-4, Lucido 3-0-0-9, Ferguson 3-0-0-6, Sprando 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Lucido 3, Young 1. Totals: 15-7-10-41.
JV — GC, 37-29. Catie Jaskowak 10 for GC. Katie Gustas 14 for Hickory. Hickory JVs, coached by Rochelle Green and Cheré Marshall, finished with a 17-2 record.
LAKEVIEW 9 6 7 17 39
SAEGERTOWN 17 10 16 15 58
LAKEVIEW — Stringer 4-2-2-10, Adams 3-0-0-6, Scott 0-0-0-0, Riddle 0-0-0-0, Foster 0-1-2-1, Fischer 0-2-2-2, Casciotti 1-0-0-2, Ruediger 0-0-0-0, Davis 5-2-2-16, Womer 1-0-1-2. 3-pt. goals: Davis 4. Totals: 14-7-9-39.
SAEGERTOWN — Hanley 6-0-0-14, Shouey 1-4-4-7, DiBartolomeo 7-3-4-17, Lilly 0-0-0-0, Siple 2-0-0-4, Kapanick 2-0-0-4, Mondi 0-0-0-0, Caldwell 0-0-2-0, Eckhart 6-0-0-12. 3-pt. goals: Hanley 2, Shouey 1. Totals: 24-7-10-58.
JV — Saegertown, 37-30.
WILMINGTON 19 46
GREENVILLE 14 45
WILMINGTON — Christofferson 2, Slonaker 3, Sikora 12, Marett 6, Elliott 13, Drake 8, Romeo 2.
GREENVILLE — Fagley 10, Burnett 22, Montalvo 7, Fenton 2, Leary 4.
JV — Greenville, 41-26.
BRISTOL 6 7 5 7 25
BROOKFIELD 12 9 14 15 50
BRISTOL — Blake 0-0-0-0, Weirich 0-0-0-0, Adams 2-0-3-5, Marino 0-0-0-0, Pate 0-0-0-0, Lin. Elza 2-0-0-4, Jones 1-1-6-3, Lau. Elza 3-3-4-9, Stoneman 2-2-7-6. 3-pt. goal: Adams 1. Totals: 10-6-20-27.
BROOKFIELD — Hawley 4-0-0-8, Boyer 5-0-0-11, DiCristofaro 3-0-0-6, Kirila 1-2-6-4, Thompson 4-3-4-11, Harpster 0-0-0-0, Corns 1-0-0-2, Foster 0-0-0-0, Quinlan 0-0-0-0, May 1-0-0-2, Saxton 2-2-2-6. 3-pt. goal: Boyer 1. Totals: 21-7-12-50
JV — Brookfield, 39-14.
BROOKFIELD 13 7 7 12 39
YG. CHRISTIAN 7 8 11 10 36
BROOKFIELD — Hawley 1-0-0-2, Boyer 4-0-0-8, DiCristofaro 2-0-0-4, Ash. Kirila 5-3-3-13, Thompson 1-1-2-3, Harpster 3-0-1-6, Corns 0-0-0-0, Foster 1-0-0-3, Saxton 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goal: Foster 1. Totals: 17-4-6-39.
YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN — Chiconoski 0-0-0-0, Snyder 1-3-7-5, Rios 2-0-0-6, N. Hoclzel 2-3-6-8, Harris 4-1-2-9, Brown 2-1-3-5, Moyer 1-1-2-3. 3-pt. goals: Rios 2, N. Hoclzel 1. Totals: 12-9-20-36.
JV — Brookfield, 36-19.
LAKEVIEW 10 5 18 21 54
MERCER 2 4 25 16 47
LAKEVIEW — Greggs 5-0-0-12, Boggs 4-11-14-20, Gander 5-0-0-10, B. Rice 2-0-0-4, VanDusen 1-1-3-3, A. Rice 1-2-2-5, Fowler 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Greggs 2, A. Rice 1. Totals: 17-16-23-54.
MERCER — Clarke 5-6-9-17, Miller 2-0-0-4, Brest 1-0-0-2, Rymniak 1-2-4-4, Handerhan 2-0-0-4, Guiler 3-0-0-7, Fowler 2-0-0-5, Davis 2-0-0-4, Scheidhauer 0-0-0-0, Leonard 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Clarke 1, Guiler 1, Fowler 1. Totals: 18-8-13-47.
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.
LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS: Thiel's Schafer picked for NCAA Pathway Program
Thiel College assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator Amy Schafer was one of just 12 individuals recently selected for the NCAA 2014 Pathway Program.
The Pathway Program exists to assist minority and/or female administrators who wish to become director of athletics as their next career step through education, training and mentoring. The program is designed to provide national exposure to its participants and to generate the opportunity to glean information and career guidance from the leadership of intercollegiate athletics administrators throughout the country.
Reynolds 20-year home mat streak halted
They say that all good things must end. Even winning streaks of local powerhouse Reynolds High wrestling team!
The Raiders of coach Casey Taylor dropped a tough 30-25 decision to Erie McDowell Tuesday night at Reynolds, the first home loss for the Raiders since 1993.
The Class AAA Trojans (2-0) last year rallied from a large deficit to beat Class AA Reynolds in Erie, 38-33. On Tuesday, the northerners also rallied from a 25-21 deficit in the final two matches to halt the streak.
Roundup: Sharon rallies to beat WM, 72-56
When West Middlesex High’s wonderful 2013 Final Four run ended last March 22, it was at Sharon’s Tiger gymnasium. And while Tuesday night’s circumstances were considerably less dramatic, they ended similarly.
The Big Reds built a 20-8 first-quarter bulge. Ultimately, however, West Middlesex made 27 miscues, resulting in a 72-56 District 10 inter-region setback at Sharon.
Roundup: WM girls beat UC; Sharpsville, KC fall
ä West Middlesex 52, Union City 27 — At Union City, coach Mike Williams’ Region 1-A Ms. Reds improved to 2-1 with a win over the Lady Bears of Region 4-AA.
Alyson Pierce scored 15 to lead WM, Noelle Murray registered 13 points and Allie Staunch bucketed 10 markers.
Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final
SLIPPERY ROCK — Brett Brumbaugh brought Bill Brest back to reality.
Brest seemed, Saturday afternoon, momentarily lost in thought when a post-game question was posed. Perhaps it was because it had been 3 months since he had experienced the disappointment of defeat.
Brumbaugh-led South Fayette’s football team short-circuited a splendid season a step shy of the statewide stage for Brest and Hickory High with a 23-20 win over the Hornets in the PIAA Class AA western regional championship game.
SPORTVIEW: Browns, Steelers will both lose
THE CLEVELAND Browns quarterback position has been a revolving door this season, but at least one of the more successful signal-callers is back. Jason Campbell is recovered from a concussion and will start.
Does it really matter?
Roundup: Opening-weekend tipoff tourneys conclude
Kittanning Tipoff Championship
ä Hickory 60, Kittanning 32 — Coach Jeannette Whitehead’s Lady Hornets had an impressive weekend in winning the opening tourney of the season.
“It’s nice to get out of the game with a win,” said Whitehead. “The kids were anxious to get going.”
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
- More Sports Headlines
- LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS: Thiel's Schafer picked for NCAA Pathway Program