While it was a win-win situation for Sharon High boys’ basketball team, it was a no-win scenario for visiting Hickory.
Sharon skipper Jason Rankin suspended 7 players (see related story) for Wednesday’s make-up Region 5-AAA showdown with Hickory. And while the Hornets responded with a 62-43 victory, it was not as easy as the score would suggest.
For Hickory (6-3, 10-3) it was a bounce-back win from a loss at Farrell 24 hours earlier. However Hornets’ headmaster Geoff Evans was not happy.
“I think it was a terrible performance for us (Wednesday) night, I’ll be honest with you,” Evans related. “We didn’t show maturity, we didn’t finish when we should’ve, we turned the ball over at times, and we’re lucky to get out of here with a win. We finished with a good fourth quarter, that’s about all we did (Wednesday) night.”
Frosh Drew Magestro’s impressive spin through the lane and left-handed layup steered Sharon within 40-30 as the 3rd-period closed.
The Tigers twice drew within 7 points — 40-33 with approximately 7è minutes remaining and 42-35 with 6:05 left — on Marquez Phillips’ triple, then pair of free throws.
However Hickory’s Anthony Cannone connected for his own trey, extending the Stingers’ lead to 45-35 with 5è minutes remaining. Cannone canned 9 of his game-high 19 points during the final frame, while Aaron Conley and Bubba Pryts evenly divided an additional 8.
Rankin’s “Elite Eight” included sophomores Phillips, Mar’ryon Hopson, Daunell Stovall, Brian Johnson, Austin Kirk and Sevon Howell, Magestro and junior Curtis Seay.
Seay scored 13 second-half points, including 9 during the 3rd quarter.
Seay sparked Sharon with 15 points. Also for Sharon (4-4, 7-7), Stovall scored 7 and snared 6 rebounds and Hopson hit for another 7. However Hopson and Magestro both were DQ’d on personal fouls in the 4th frame.
“Coach Rankin, I thought, did a really good job coaching those guys,” praised Evans, who assisted Rankin last year before landing Hickory’s head-coaching position. “They played two games in a row (Sharon’s JVs rallied for 63-55 overtime win in the preliminary), and the same guys gave good effort for Sharon (in the varsity game).”
In addition to Cannone’s 19-point, 4-rebound, 3-assist line, the Hornets harvested balanced contributions from Donté Green (13 points, 8 rebounds), Aaron Conley (10 points, game-high 9 caroms), Pryts (10 points), and Nick Tantuo (6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists). Arguably the best passing bigs in the county — Green, Conley and Pryts — were credited with 6, 3 and 3 assists, respectively.
Evans, responding when it was pointed out his Hornets’ situation was not the best-case scenario given the unique circumstances, said, “It wasn’t, but we didn’t handle it well. We could’ve come out here and handled business a little bit better. We’ve just gotta re-group.
“It’s good to get a win, obviously, but I’m sure Sharon’s looking at that (final score) and sayin’, ‘Hey (the Hornets) only had a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter against our jayvee squad,’ so I’m sure that’ll give them a little bit of confidence down the road.
“(Rankin) made a decision to discipline his players and he stood by it and I commend him for that,” Evans praised. “It’s oftentimes tough to discipline kids, especially in the middle of the year. But he made the call, stuck with it.
“It’s a rival game, and I commend him for doing that (Wednesday) night against us here,” Evans concluded.
Hickory hit 24 of 57 floor shots (42.1 percent) and converted 11 of 12 freebies, committed 12 miscues (only 4 during the 2nd half) and outrebounded Sharon, 39-20. Sharon shot 13 for 35 (37.1) from the floor and 14 for 17 from the line. The Tigers turned over the ball 18 times, but only twice during the 4th frame. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä George Junior Republic 67, Cochranton 53 — At Grove City, the Region 5-AAA Tigers (5-9) trailed 22-18 after the opening 8 minutes and 34-28 at halftime, but outscored the Region 3-leading Cardinals 19-12 in the 3rd quarter and 20-7 in the 4th to capture the non-region win.
Ron Pearson drained 6 treys en route to a game-high 24 points for GJR. He also had 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Malik Gibson posted a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Tigers and Qayshawn Oliver grabbed 13 boards.
Logan Herzberger and Garrett Adams had 12 points each for Cochranton (12-3) while Kendell Dickson bucketed 11 and Nate Wigton added 10 markers.
ä Lincoln Park 82, Kennedy Catholic 26 — At Hermitage, WPIAL Section 1-A powerhouse Lincoln Park improved to 13-1 with the win over the Golden Eagles (7-6).
Last season, Lincoln Park ended the season of the Golden Eagles with a 54-45 win in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. LP would end up losing to District 9 Johnsonburg in the western region final and J-burg fell to Vaux in the championship game.
Maverick Rowan rifled in 31 points for Lincoln Park, Antonio Kellem scored 15 and Elijah Minnie tallied 13 markers.
Gerald Zachar led the way for Kennedy Catholic with 9 points.
ä Shenango 63, Wilmington 62 — At Shenango Twp., the WPIAL’s Wildcats led 20-10 at the end of the 1st quarter, 37-25 at the break and 50-35 after 3, but the Hounds (8-6) rallied and ran out of time in suffering the loss.
Brenton Booher fired in 22 points for Shenango, Ryley Ferrari had 14 and Ryan Smith and James Micco had 10 each.
Spencer DeMedal (15), Rocco Fagan (14) and Jesse Hilliard (13) scored in double digits for Wilmington.
ä Franklin 76, Grove City 67 (2 OT) — At The Castle late Tuesday night, the host Knights knocked down 31 of 38 free-throw attempts in the Region 5-AAA cliffhanger.
Derek Turner tallied a game-high 35 points for Grove City (6-3, 11-3), including 3 free throws with 4 ticks in regulation to knot the Knights at 52. In the first overtime period Turner tallied 2 more freebies with 33 seconds left, squaring the slate at 58.
However in the 2nd OT, Franklin forged 11 of 12 free throws, while a trio of Eagles exited early on personal fouls.
In addition to Turner, Spencer Marnich mustered 13 markers for Grove City, but the Eagles ended 9 for 19 from the free-throw line.
For Franklin (3-4, 6-6), Isaiah Rutherford (17), Kyle Ritchey and Clayton Maxon (15 apiece) and Isaac Drain (14) all scored in double figures. Rutherford recorded 10-for-14 free-throw marksmanhip, and Drain drained 8 of 10.
ä VisionQuest 66, Commodore Perry 56 — At Sheakleyville Tuesday night, the Panthers fell to 1-2 in Region 1-A and 6-7 overall with the 10-point loss to the Eagles (3-1, 4-8).
Jessie Robinson rifled in 27 points to lead VQ and Darnaill Foster added 18.
Sean Britton and Tyler McCracken had 12 points each for CP and Jeremiah Small registered 11.
ä Laurel 68, Farrell 44 — At New Castle Tuesday night, the Lady Steelers dropped to 3-11 with the loss to the WPIAL Section 2-AA Lady Spartans (10-5).
Bria Gambill knocked down 4 treys en route to 20 points for Farrell.
Ellen Shaffer fired in 21 points to lead Laurel while Jessica Conrad added 13 markers.
ä Reynolds 63, Franklin 9 — At The Castle, the visiting Raiders rolled to the Region 1 road rout.
Kegan Miller (160), Austin Moffett (182), Gene Ringer (285), Chaise Hauck (120), Mike Bartolo (126), Levi Stoyer (145) and Mason McCollum (152) forged falls for Reynolds, while Gage Bayless (106) added a tech fall and Joel Leise (132) lent a major verdict.
ä Sharon 39, Grove City 28 — At Grove City, coach Dave Ciafre’s Tigers (8-3) topped the Eagles in a Region 1 match.
D.J. Templeton (120), Cory Buchanan (160), Beau Dignall (182) and Bryce Laughlin (195) notched pins for Sharon.
Jared Record posted the lone fall for GC (2-5) at heavyweight.
ä Greenville 63, Mercer 6 — At Greenville, the host Trojans triumped as Derek Watt (145), Randall Peabody (220), Brandon Moss (120), Blake Reynolds (132) and Gavin Wilkerson (138) posted pins.
Mercer’s Brian Phillips (285) forged a fall, but the Mustangs were forced to forfeit 4 bouts.
ä Lakeview 51, Slippery Rock 15 — At The Rock Box, the visiting Sailors were awarded 30 points via forfeits, and two other bouts were not contested, owing to double-forfeits.
Dylan McConnell (132) and Skyler Curry (145) led Lakeview with falls, while dalton Hilliard (170) and Shane Slater (182) did likewise for Slippery Rock.
ä Cambridge Springs 42, Jamestown 35 — At Cambridge Springs, the Blue Devils edged the Muskies in a Region 2 match.
Jake Kuhn (106), Zachary Krein (152), Hunter Cox (160) and Colton Noble (170) earned falls for Cambridge Springs.
Clayton Shirey (120), Farris Messai (126), Jacob Reaugh (138) and Mohamed Messai (195) registered pins for Jamestown.
ä Hickory 37, Northwestern 33 — At Albion on Tuesday night, the visiting Hornets edged the Wildcats in a non-region match.
Justin Walter (113) had the lone fall for Hickory while Dominic Vadala won by major decision at 106 pounds.
Matt Wheeler (120), Isaac Merritt (152), Kyle Panko (182) and Clay Markovich (285) notched pins for Northwestern.
While it was a win-win situation for Sharon High boys’ basketball team, it was a no-win scenario for visiting Hickory.
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.
Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins
ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.
Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win
ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.
Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles
The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.
SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move
ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?
WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals
The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).
Buddy Guerino Tourney winding down
Hoops action continued on Friday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary Schools.
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- Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4