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.
URSULINE 15 12 5 19 51
KENNEDY 12 25 12 4 53
URSULINE — Beasley 4-2-4-13, O’Donnell 2-4-7-8, Beacham 8-1-8-17, Berry 0-1-2-1, Miklandric 3-2-3-10, King 1-0-0-2, Rich 0-0-2-0, Bowell 0-0-0-0, Ross 0-0-0-0, Carnathan 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Beasley 3, Miklandric 2. Totals: 18-10-26-51.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Burns 2-8-11-12, Ricketts 3-4-8-11, Sargent 5-0-0-10, Hood 5-0-0-11, Kish 1-0-0-3, Kress 3-0-1-6, Bocian 1-0-0-2, O’Brien 0-0-1-0. 3-pt. goals: Ricketts 1, Kish 1, Hood 1. Totals: 19-12-21-53.
JV — Kennedy Catholic, 36-19. Taylor Hood 12 points for KC; Rachel Strollo 8 for Ursuline.
CENTRAL TECH 2 2 2 5 11
HICKORY 19 18 14 9 60
CENTRAL TECH — Dixon 0-0-0-0, Winarski 0-0-0-0, Wayne 0-0-0-0, Spizary 0-0-0-0, Sebastian 2-0-0-4, Bickerstaff 0-0-0-0, Wallimone 2-0-0-4, Klemm 0-0-2-0, Williams 0-0-0-0, Clayton 0-2-2-2, Watson 0-1-2-1. Totals: 4-3-6-11.
HICKORY — Placzek 3-0-1-6, Bible 0-0-0-0, Arbanas 6-1-1-17, Chess 1-1-3-3, Moore 0-0-0-0, Gustas 0-0-0-0, Marchand 0-0-0-0, Zreliak 0-0-0-0, Beader 4-2-4-12, White 0-0-0-0, Lacava 2-2-2-6, Grober 3-10-15-16, Little 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Arbanas 4, Beader 2. Totals: 19-16-26-60.
JV — Hickory, 43-15. Lexi Bible 12, Elana Marchand 10 for Hickory.
ROCKY GROVE 8 7 4 12 31
W. MIDDLESEX 14 21 13 19 67
ROCKY GROVE — Lepley 0-0-2-0, Nerlich 3-4-5-11, Larson 0-0-1-0, Schiffer 6-1-4-15, Taylor 1-1-2-3, Swatzler 0-2-2-2. 3-pt. goals: Schiffer 2, Nerlich 1. Totals: 10-8-16-31.
WEST MIDDLESEX — Murray 4-5-10-13, Stitt 2-8-9-13, Summers 8-5-8-22, Pierce 1-0-1-2, Nitsche 1-1-2-3, White 6-1-3-14. 3-pt. goals: Stitt 1, Summers 1, White 1. Totals: 22-20-33-67.
JV — No game.
MEADVILLE 6 8 4 10 28
SHARPSVILLE 15 15 16 13 59
MEADVILLE — Dewalt 2-1-2-5, Glatch 0-0-1-0, Vactor-Pope 3-0-0-7, McCoy 3-3-4-9, Newsome 2-0-0-5, Schweter 1-0-1-2, Wickham 0-0-0-0, Mullen 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Vactor-Pope 1, Newsome 1. Totals: 11-4-8-28.
SHARPSVILLE — Davis 4-2-2-13, Przicina 2-0-3-4, Popatak 6-12-14-24, Henwood 4-3-4-11, Kurelko 0-4-4-4, Anderson 1-1-2-3, Whalen 0-0-0-0, Davies 0-0-0-0, Scurpa 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Davis 3. Totals: 18-22-29-59.
JV — Sharpsville, 39-22.
Battle of the Border
SHARON 12 4 14 11 41
STRUTHERS 23 10 20 6 59
SHARON — Mal. Torr 2-0-0-4, Mag. Torr 0-2-2-2, Jacoway 5-1-5-11, Chester 1-1-2-3, Hilton 0-1-2-1, D. Smith 1-1-3-3, Sanders 6-5-7-17. Totals: 23-11-20-41.
STRUTHERS — Ryan 6-4-5-16, Hefferon 3-0-0-6, Kam 0-1-2-1, Shives 3-1-2-7, Perez 2-0-2-4, Zupko 5-2-2-12, Thomas 2-0-0-4, Kane 1-0-0-2, Smrek 1-1-2-3, Leonard 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Ryan 2. Totals: 22-9-15-59.
DuBOIS 14 15 12 13 54
GEORGE JUNIOR 23 21 27 20 91
DuBOIS — Hillebrand 1-0-0-2, Kriner 1-0-0-3, Shepherd 3-2-4-8, Mohney 3-6-7-13, Lydick 9-4-7-22, Foley 3-0-0-6. 3-pt. goals: Kriner 1, Mohney 1. Totals: 20-12-18-54.
GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC — Boggs 6-1-2-13, N. Brown 8-2-2-18, Pearson 3-0-1-7, Toney 2-2-2-6, Barnes 5-0-0-10, Plowden 4-0-0-8, Gibson 2-1-2-5, Pena 6-0-0-12, Pace 5-0-0-12. 3-pt. goals: Pace 2, Pearson 1. Totals: 41-6-9-91.
JV — GJR, 72-47. Ron Pearson 17, Qayshawn Oliver 12, Rasa Williams 12, Justice Brown 10 for GJR. Devin Clark 11, Bryce Ackerman 11 for DuBois.
It was a Saturday afternoon matinee in Hermitage, but school was in session for the Kennedy Catholic and Ursuline High girls’ basketball teams.
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.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
Greenville falls to Girard in D-10 semifinals
ERIE — District 10 was destined for a Class AA championship game between reigning 2-time titlist Hickory and Greenville.
But no one informed the Girard High football team of the plans.
“ … This is pretty cool … I’m pretty fired up about it,” admitted 4th-year Yellow Jackets’ head coach Jim Funk after Girard jolted Greenville, 16-14.
SPORTVIEW: Season fate could be decided today for Browns, Steelers
IT MAKES NO sense to say that one game determines the rest of the season. That’s why I’ll simply say: Today’s one game determines the rest of the season.
Since when did my predictions make sense anyhow?
The Cleveland Browns’ visit to Cincinnati today will go a long way to deciding if the Browns have a shot at making the playoffs — and even winning the AFC North title — or if they should start planning for the NFL draft.
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- Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final