It was a Saturday afternoon matinee in Hermitage, but school was in session for the Kennedy Catholic and Ursuline High girls’ basketball teams.
“You have to give those kids credit. Those young ones came in and played and gave us some good minutes,” summarized KC head coach Tom Burns, whose Lady Golden Eagles edged Ursuline, 53-51.
After rallying from a pair of 19-point 3rd-period deficits, the visiting Irish had an opportunity to tie or win the game at the buzzer.
With 1.3 seconds remaining and leading by a deuce, KC committed its 14th miscue on an inbounds play under Ursuline’s basket, and Irish head coach Courtney Davidson hailed a timeout.
Sydney Beasley — who bucketed a trio of 4th-frame triples to ignite the Irish comeback — had a shot from the right wing, but it caromed off the rim at the horn.
Kennedy Catholic (3-1) commanded a 51-32 lead a half-minute into the final frame on Taylor Hood’s drive. However 1st-half personal-foul problems finally caught up to KC, as starters Courtney Sargent and Alex Ricketts were DQ’d with 45.3 and 24.5 seconds remaining. Another trio of regulars finished with 4, 3 and 3 personals, respectively.
But Ursuline’s undoing was the free-throw line, as the Irish ended 10 for 26 (38.4 percent), including 8 for 20 during the 1st half. They trailed 37-27 at intermission.
Similarly, KC could not convert a trio of 1-and-1 bonus situations that would have secured success. Ricketts misfired at the 37.4- and 34.2-second segments, and Rachel Burns missed with 11.2 ticks to play.
Also, after turning over the ball 8 times during the 1st three quarters, KC committed a half-dozen miscues during the final frame.
“It’s not one kid’s fault. I told them, ‘Every possession, including the first one in the game, is important.’ Hopefully, these kids’ll grow up from this,” Coach Burns explained, adding, “To me, this is why we’re playing Ursuline, instead of other teams.
“Yeah, we had a big lead. But we lost Alex and Courtney for a long time in foul trouble and there’s no substitute (for experience) with seniors on the bench. So other kids stepped up,” Burns praised.
The Lady Golden Eagles enjoyed a quartet of double-digit scorers, including Rachel Burns (12, plus 5 assists), Ricketts and Hood (11 apiece), and Sargent (10). The Akron University-bound Ricketts ripped down a team-high 9 rebounds, though she shot only 3 for 10 from the floor. Tatum Kress contributed 6 points, 4 rebounds and an assist and Rebekah Kish 3 points, 3 boards and 2 assists.
Ursuline (2-4) was led by Beasley’s 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and 6-foot-1 frosh post Tanaya Beacham’s game-high 17-point performance that also included 9 caroms.
The 16-player Irish roster includes 10 freshmen and a trio of sophomores, with Beasley and Mary O’Donnell being the lone seniors. That delights Davidson, the former Ursuline High and Michigan State University standout point guard.
“When you have (10) freshmen, all you can do is hope that you get better over the season. It’s moreso teaching than experience. If we can get them to grow up over the season ... our biggest thing is to get them ready by (sectional) tournament time.
“But to fight back from being down (19) and grow up, that was a big statement for them. ... We have (10) freshmen who have never been in situations like this, so it’s teaching and learning at the same time. But it’s fun. It makes you closer,” Davidson added, concluding,
“I worked hard to get to where I was as a player, and all I can do as a coach is to try to help them get to that point, as well. It’s hard trying to relay the message, but it’s also a challenge I like to face. And it’s good to see girls develop over the years after they come in as a freshman. I’m excited to see how this freshman class is in four years. That’s the type of thing that drives me as a coach.”
For his part, Burns was buoyed by the win.
“I think (the underclassemen) got high-pressure minutes. This isn’t like playing a team that we’re popping by 20. This is life or death. You’re gonna lose this or win this, and you’re in it. So I think it gives value to those minutes for those kids (Kress and Kish are sophomores; April Bocian and Alivia O’Brien are freshmen), instead of just being thrown in there with two minutes to go in the game.”
Notes: Ricketts played the entire 2nd half with 4 personals. She incurred her 3rd and 4th fouls with 1:44 and 51.7 seconds remaining to halftime. ... The 1st half included 8 ties and 10 lead changes. ... KC connected on 19 of 51 floor shots, (37.2) compared with Ursuline’s 18-for-40 effort (45.0). ... The teams battled to a 34-all stalemate on tbe boards. ... The Irish ended with 19 turnovers. ... Davidson is assisted by former Cardinal Mooney High and Thiel College standout Amber Bodrick, as well as Bodrick’s former Mooney coach Jack Bermann. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Hickory 60, Central Tech 11 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, the Lady Hornets improved to a perfect 4-0 with the non-region rout of the Lady Falcons of Erie. Hickory led 19-2 after the opening quarter and rolled to victory.
Nikki Arbanas buried 4 treys en route to 17 points and also had 4 steals and 4 assists for Hickory. Also, Holly Grober had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Brandi Beader scored a dozen points and Jenna Placzek registered 6 points and 3 steals.
Central Tech did not have a player reach double figures in scoring.
ä West Middlesex 67, Rocky Grove 31 — At West Middlesex, coach Jody Anthony’s Ms. Reds improved to 3-1 as WM had 3 girls notch double-doubles in a win over the Lady Orioles.
Alexis Summers led the way for WM with 22 points while Kristen White had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Kelsey Murray registered 13 points and 18 boards and Molly Stitt contributed 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Christina Schiffer scored 15 to lead Rocky Grove and Amber Nerlich bucketed 11 markers.
ä Sharpsville 59, Meadville 28 — At Sharpsville, coach Jeff Hanley’s Blue Darlings (1-2) picked up their 1st win of the season with a rout of the Lady Bulldogs.
Sharpsville took a 15-6 lead after 8 minutes of play, extended it to 30-14 by halftime and rolled to the non-region win.
McKenzie Popatak went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe en route to scoring 24 points for Sharpsville. She also had 8 rebounds and 8 steals. Also, Megan Davis scored 13 points and Natalie Henwood bucketed 11 and dished out 4 assists.
Marcadi McCoy scored 9 points to pace Meadville.
ä Struthers 59, Sharon 41 — At the annual “Battle of the Border” event at Poland High School, which pits Pa. teams against squads from the Buckeye State, the Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 23-12 lead after 8 minutes of play and went on to beat the Lady Tigers (2-2).
Ashleigh Ryan fired in 16 points to lead Struthers while Brittaney Zupko scored 12.
Tanayja Sanders led the way for Sharon with 17 markers and Kristina Jacoway posted 11 points.
ä George Junior Republic 91, DuBois 54 — At Grove City, Nafis Brown had 18 points, 10 assists and 6 steals as the Tigers (3-1) rolled past DuBois.
Also for GJR, Quamere Boggs bucketed 13 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 4 steals, Eddie Pena posted 12 points and 9 boards, Isaiah Pace notched 12 points and Dominic Barnes added 10 markers.
Hunter Lydick fired in a game-high 22 points for DuBois and Jon Mohney contributed 13 markers.
Reynolds standout Austin Matthews was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler on Saturday after going a perfect 4-0 and winning the 152-pound title at the rugged King of the Mountain Tournament at Central Mountain Saturday in Lock Haven and Aust
Matthews pinned Jimmy Schuitema of Philipsburg, N.J. in 59 seconds in the finals to cop the crown.
Jamar Henry (182) placed 5th and went 4-2. He posted a 6-1 decision over Cody Richmond of Boyertown to take 5th place.
Logan Rickert finished 7th at 220 pounds. He went 4-2 and pinned Ryan Johnson of Bethlehem Catholic in 1:40 for the 7th-place finish.
Other records for the Raider matmen: Matt Leice (138), Levi Stoyer (3-2) and Gene Ringer (285) went 3-2; Nick Nottingham (120), Mason McCollum (132) and Austin Moffett (170) were all 1-2 and Seth Hogue (106), Kegan Miller (160) and Denton Zeronas (195) went 0-2.
It was a Saturday afternoon matinee in Hermitage, but school was in session for the Kennedy Catholic and Ursuline High girls’ basketball teams.
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.
Racing to fight cancer
Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break
SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”
Rutters earn spot in national motocross event
The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.
Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble
Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.
SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!
HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.
Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.
SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11
THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
It is open to the public at no charge.
Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the academic year.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
“I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”
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