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February 15, 2014

Roundup: Farrell routs Sharon; Hickory, WM win

- — Friday night served as a microcosm of the 2013-14 season for the Farrell High and Sharon boys’ basketball teams. Sharon started strong, but ultimately faded as Farrell forged a 74-39 District 10 Region 5-AAA rout.

At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium on Senior Night, Dewayne Burns, Ike Jones, Tyrone Archie, Chris James and Tionté Davis went out in style for the Steelers.

Burns bucketed a dozen points and James joined him in double digits with 10, and they dished out 4 and 3 assists, respectively. Archie annexed a game-high 11 rebounds, while Jones joined in with another 10 as Farrell forged a 51-33 edge on the glass. Jones also dished out 4 dimes when Sharon attempted to double-down on him in the post..

“I was happy for the seniors. They did a nice job (Friday) night; they’re whole careers they’ve done a nice job, all five of those guys.” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse. “I can’t say enough about them. They’ve been the backbone of this program for the last four years, and I’m happy they went out on a win like that.”

The visiting Tigers took an 11-10 lead after the 1st frame. But James’ right-wing jumper 8 seconds into the 2nd stanza staked the Steelers to a 12-11 edge, and Farrell outscored Sharon 62-28 over the game’s final 24 minutes.

The Steelers’ seniors were bolstered by juniors Jamel Brown and Clifton McNair. Brown boasted a game-high 19 points — 14 of which occurred during Farrell’s 28-point 3rd period — and McNair maximized his minutes, mustering a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double off the bench.

Led by McNair’s 8-for-12 marksmanship and Brown’s 6-for-13 effort that included 2 treys, Farrell (12-3, 18-3) finished 29 for 64 from the field (45.3 percent). Also, the Steelers committed only 7 miscues.

Jones exited with 5:59 remaining with a bone bruise to his right leg, but Shannonhouse said, “He showed that senior leadership, and it was contagious. Tyrone played strong in there, Dewayne played consistent, even Tionté got in there and banged around a little bit, got us on the glass.”

Sharon’s strong start was short-circuited by 10-for-40 shooting and 13 Tigers’ turnovers during the final 24 minutes. Similarly, Sharon started the season 7-2, but concluded the campaign 6-10 in the region and 9-13 overall.

“At the time we were seven-and-two we were doing things the right way, and then we kind’ve lost our way,” summarized 2nd-season Sharon skipper Jason Rankin. “We kind’ve found selfishness, jealously, found guys that didn’t want to do the things that got us to seven-and-two.

“They’re young, and sometimes they make the critical mistake in thinking that once you get to a certain level, you’ve made it. Honestly — especially in this (region) — once you get to a certain level you’ve got about six more levels to go,” Rankin related. “I don’t think we kept improving. ... I think we kind’ve ‘masked’ ourselves with different plays and defenses to make up for deficiencies, instead of just getting better.

“From seven-and-two to nine-and-thirteen is just not a good coaching job, and we just didn’t get better. We have to get better next year, and it has to start with me,” Rankin emphasized.

Rankin, reflecting on the season and a possible tipping point, cited several factors:

“It was a combination, and some things you couldn’t control. The fact that eight of our last nine games were on the road, that didn’t help out; the fact we played Farrell and Canfield back-to-back nights didn’t help. But when they put the schedule in front of you, you’ve gotta play it.

“Some people got a little bit jealous of others, some people got a little bit lazy, and we just didn’t push the right buttons, which sometimes you just don’t. We just didn’t do what it took, we didn’t figure it out,” Rankin related.

“It’s only the third time in twenty-three years that I haven’t been part of a playoff team as a coach. I just didn’t have the answers But I can tell you what: I’m gonna spend a whole lotta time in the offseason doing whatever it takes, leaving no stone unturned to get better and be back next year.”

Sharon seniors included Mark Henry, Carnell Hawkins, Trenton Mosley and Romondo Oatis. Junior ’Bray Jennings tallied 10 points as the lone Tigers’ double-digit scorer, while Henry handed out a handful of assists.

“ ... They worked hard. We had leadership from ‘Hawk’ and Mark — great kids and good students, people who will have careers, futures, and maybe give back to their community if they choose to come back here, and I’m happy for that,” Rankin remarked. “Romondo Oatis hadn’t played in high school, but came and worked every day in practice, and Trenton Mosley took a backseat to some guys. As a football player, he didn’t play as much basketball, but I appreciate him.”

For Farrell, the future extends to Monday night’s regular-season finale makeup game against George Junior Republic, with a possible share of the region championship with Oil City (which faces Franklin this afternoon) on the line.

“It’s an important game as far as the (playoff) seeding ... but more importantly for us, we need the confidence,” Shannonhouse said. “We need to be able to know that, whomever comes out on that floor, we can compete with them and beat them.

“Going into the playoffs with a victory would do us a world of good, plus, hopefully we’ll be coming off that injury bug (Jones and leading scorer Malik Miller, who sustained a broken bone in his shooting hand), get in game shape, and carry it through the playoffs,” Shannonhouse summarized. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.

BOYS BASKETBALL

ä Hickory 75, George Junior Republic 36 —
At “The Hive” in Hermitage, coach Geoff Evans’ Hornets (11-5, 16-5) rolled past the Tigers (6-9, 9-11) in the Region 5-AAA clash.

Hickory led 13-10 after the opening 8 minutes and 28-24 at the break. They pulled away in the 2nd half as they outscored GJR 24-4 in the 3rd quarter and 23-8 in the 4th.

Anthony Cannone scored 15 points to lead Hickory while Aaron Conley and Donte Green had 11 points each. Andrew Pryts had 8 rebounds while Nick Tantuo tallied 7 boards and Green had 6.

Ron Pearson paced GJR with 11 points.

ä West Middlesex 80, Wilmington 43 — At New Wilmington, the Region 2-AA champion Big Reds finished the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record in the region and 17-5 overall with the rout of the Hounds (7-5, 12-10).

“It’s nice to win our third region title in a row,” said WM coach Chad Mild. “We are just looking forward to the competition that we’ll face in the playoffs now.”

Trey Staunch fired in 26 points to lead the Big Reds, which included 10-of-11 marksmanship from the charity stripe.

Also for WM, Isaac Williams drained 6 treys for 18 points, Christian Porterfield bucketed 17 and Ryan Dogan added 10 markers.

Rocco Fagan led the way for Wilmington with 13 points.

ä Mercer 58, Lakeview 44 — At Stoneboro, the Mustangs and Sailors were knotted at 20 at halftime, but the Mustangs (7-5, 12-10) outscored Lakeview 18-8 in the 3rd quarter to pull away for the Region 2-AA victory.

Jake Schmid fired in a season-high 24 points for Mercer, Logan Clarke bucketed 15 and John Scheidhauer added 11 markers.

Austin Rice led Lakeview (2-10, 8-14) on the scoreboard with 13 points and Matt Partridge tallied 10.

ä Greenville 80, Sharpsville 72 — On Senior Night at Sharpsville, Blue Devils’ seniors Kyle Kennedy and Sage Barringer had big nights, but the Trojans rallied to post the Region 2-AA win.

Sharpsville led 18-13 after the opening quarter, but the Trojans cut the lead to 30-27 at halftime. Greenville (3-9, 9-12) then outscored the Devils 27-17 in the 3rd quarter and 26-25 in the final frame.

Tyler Fattman scored 22 points for Greenville, Luke Houpt tallied 18 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds and Ben Reiser added 14 markers.

For Sharpsville (4-8, 8-14), Kennedy drained 5 treys en route to 33 points and Barringer scored 29.

ä Grove City 60, Central Tech 55 — At Erie, the Eagles (15-7) trailed 12-8 after the opening quarter and 26-21 at halftime, but rallied in the 2nd half to notch the non-region win over the Falcons (12-10).

Derek Turner fired in 5 treys for GC and finished with 25 points while Foster Reznor contributed 20 markers.

Josh Wells (18), Kareem Ferguson (13) and Justice Davis (12) scored in double digits for Central Tech.

ä Brookfield 68, South Range 45 — At Brookfield, the host Warriors were led to a wire-to-wire win by Davon Sims’ game-high 16-point performance that included 4 buckets from beyond the arc.

Also for Brookfield (12-7), Nate Johnson joined in double figure with a dozen, while Caleb Hunkus, Derrick Dickson and Seth Wallace evenly divided 27 additional points. Brian Hiner handed out 4 assists, while Hunkus had 4 steals, also, for Brookfield bench boss Bill Kovach.

South Range was led by Wilson and Anderson, with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The Warriors will journey to Newton Falls today for a makeup game.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

ä Wilmington 55, Greenville 25 —
At New Wilmington Thursday night, the Lady ’Hounds wrapped up Region 2-AA play with an 8-4 record and 15-7 ledger overall.

Alanna Elliott scored 16 points for Wilmington, Tessa Sikora tallied 15 and Cassidy Marett registered 10.

Jillian Herrick led the Lady Trojans (5-7, 8-12) with 11 points.

ä Mathews 46, Brookfield 43 — At Vienna Center Thursday night, the visiting Lady Warriors (15-7) held a slim 30-29 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter, but the Lady Mustangs (8-14) outscored Brookfield 17-13 in the final frame to earn the win.

Dayna Ellis fired in 5 treys en route to 25 points to lead Mathews and Natalie Halavick bucketed 14.

Brooke Hiner scored 14 to pace Brookfield and Delany Saxton tallied a dozen markers.

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