The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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March 7, 2014

Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes


Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).

What: Opening round.

When: 7:30 p.m. today.

Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.

Farrell—Dewayne Burns, 5-8 Sr. combo-guard (5.7 ppg.); Jamel Brown, 5-11 Jr. point guard (8.2 ppg., 5.6 assists/game); Ike Jones, 6-3 Sr. post (11.8 ppg., 6.3 rebounds/game); Tyrone Archie, 6-2 Sr. forward (6.9 ppg., 7.4 rpg.); Chris James, 5-10 Sr. combo-guard (12.3 ppg., 21 3-pt. field goals); Malik Miller, 6-0 Soph. 2-guard (13.6 ppg., 40 3-point field goals); Clifton McNair, 6-1 Jr. swingman (9 ppg.); Terrance Holloway, 5-9 Soph. combo guard. Montour: Dustin Shea, 6-6 Sr. (20.8 ppg.); Cameron Harbaugh, 6-1 Sr. (16.4); Josh Randall, 6-3 Jr. (14.5); Kyle Kutchman, 6-1 Sr.; Devon Johnson, 5-8 Jr.; Tyrell Elam, 6-4 Jr.; Randall Labrie, 6-0 Soph.

Bonus Shots: Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse (11th season, 197-81, 70.8 percent) led the fabled Farrell program’s 19th district championship with last week’s win over Erie-East (83-78). It was the Steelers’ 2nd D-10 title under Shannonhouse. Historically, Farrell is 19-6 in district championship games, according to research by AD Matt Vannoy. ... Earlier this season Farrell forged its 3rd Region 5-AAA crown (68-24 in 6 seasons), then in the D-10 tourney secured a trio of triumphs by a total of 10 points — Girard (63-60 OT), Strong Vincent (71-69) and East, extending the Steelers’ 6-game win skein. ... According to Vannoy, Farrell enters the PIAA playoffs with a cumulative won-lost ledger of 69-29 (30-6 in the opening round). Led by legendary Eddie McCluskey, Farrrell forged 7 state Quad-A championships (1952, ’54, ’56, ’59, ’60, ’69, ’72). ... Farrell is outscoring opponents 69.7 to 54.8, compared with Montour’s respective nightly norms of 63.3 and 54.2. ... Farrell fell at Oil City, Meadville and Grove City by an aggregate 14 points during the regular season. ... The Spartans of Coach Adam Kaufman were WPIAL Section 5-AAA runners-up (10-2) behind unbeaten Char-Valley (12-0), losing 74-59 and 65-55. In the WPIAL tourney the Spartans surpassed Indiana (47-41), but bowed to eventual champion Central Valley (50-38) in the quarterfinals. According to Pittsburgh-area media, Montour mustered a 19-18 intermission margin and trailed just 40-36 with approximately 2èminutes remaining, but Central Valley vaulted to a 10-2 game-closing run. The win by Central Valley avenged last year’s loss to Montour (47-40) in the WPIAL championship game. In last year’s PIAA playoffs the Spartans outscored South Fayette (52-43), Girard (48-38), and Gen. McLane (42-40) before falling to (suburban Philadelphia) Radnor-Archbishop Carroll (50-45) in the statewide semifinals. In 2012, Montour fell to Philadelphia Catholic League’s Neumann-Goretti (48-45) in the PIAA championship game. ...  Montour mustered back-to-back 25-5 and 24-5 seasons. ... This year, among Montour’s wins were Central Catholic (60-54) and WPIAL AA champion Seton-LaSalle (68-56). The Spartans’ other losses occurred to Franklin Regional (72-58), Seneca Valley (57-50), Thomas Jefferson (64-50), Mount Lebanon (76-70) and Lincoln Park Charter (82-60). ... According to Vannoy, these programs played in the PIAA Quad-A opening round in 1990, with Montour mounting a 63-57 decision at New Castle High Fieldhouse. The Steelers won a pair of prior PIAA meetings. ... The game will be simulcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM) and NewsTalk 790 (WPIC AM), with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg on the call.



West Middlesex (20-5) vs. Neshannock (18-6).

What: Opening round.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Slippery Rock University’s Morrow Field House.

West Middlesex—Trey Staunch, 6-foot-3 Jr. post (21.8 ppg., 11.9 rpg., 70 assists, 195 of 245 free-throws, 79.5 percent)); Ryan Dogan, 6-2 Soph. 2-guard (10.1 ppg., 65 3-point field goals, 55 assists; Josh Porterfield, 6-4 Soph. post (9.1 ppg., 6.3 rpg.); Isaac Williams, 5-11 Jr. point guard (7.8 ppg., 71 assists, 29 steals); Christian Porterfield, 5-11 Sr. swingman (10.1 ppg.); Andrew Long, 5-4 Jr. point guard (4.8 ppg., 50 assists, 35 steals). Neshannock—Ernie Burkes, 5-9 Sr. (18 ppg.);  Matt McKinney, 6-2 Sr. (17.7); Ethan Moose, 6-3 Soph. (15.1); Tyler Haswell, 6-3 Sr. (12.2); Jimmy Medure, 6-3 Jr. (11.6); Jimmy Powers, 5-10 Soph. (11.0).

Bonus Shots: The Big Reds recorded a District 10 3-peat with last week’s win over Fairview (55-54). They are the 2-time reigning AA titlists (plus the 2012 single-A crown). ... Chad Mild (15th season, 256-136, 65.3 percent) is West Middlesex’s winningest mentor in program history. This is the 3rd consecutive 20-plus win campaign. ... The Big Reds are rolling, entering the PIAA playoffs on a 10-game win skein (16 of 17 since falling to Farrell, 64-58, in the Dresch McCluskey Holiday tourney title tilt). ... Middlesex, during the last 3-plus postseasons is 15-4 overall — 10-1 in the D-10 tourney; 5-3 in the PIAA playoffs. ... Led by Staunch, West Middlesex, collectively, has converted 365 of 506 free-throw attempts (72.1). The Big Reds have registered assists on 340 of 526 field goals, according to information furnished by AD Mike Williams. Middlesex has made 317 miscues, but pilfered 164 steals. ... Coached by John Corey, the Lancers lost to defending PIAA champion and 2-time WPIAL titlist Beaver Falls (67-51) in the WPIAL Tournament quarterfinals. In the tourney’s opening round, Moose’s triple with approximately 15 ticks to play notched Neshannock a win over Shady Side Academy (64-63). The Lancers’ other losses occurred to WPIAL AAA champion Central Valley (69-57), Section 2-AA rival Aliquippa (61-47, 80-67), Riverside (84-67) and Mohawk (61-58). Neshannock ended 3rd in its section (10-4) behind the Quips and Beaver Falls. Neshannock swept Beaver Falls (65-61, 58-55) in the home-and-home regular-season series, with the former snapping the Tigers’ 24-game win skein. But Beaver Falls broke out to a 32-15 bulge at the break in the playoff meeting. .... The Lancers lost their lidlifter to Apollo-Ridge in last season’s WPIAL tourney and ended 17-6. ... Back in early December Neshannock notched a win over Mercyhurst Prep (75-54), which West Middlesex defeated in the D-10 Tournament semifinals (58-42). ... The Lancers were regulars in the former West Middlesex Kiwanis Club Christmas tourney, losing to Middlesex (82-80) in the Dec. 30, 2009 title tilt. Neshannock got the nod over the Big Reds in back-to-back Neshannock Tipoff Tourney tilts — 50-44 in ’08-09 and 67-57 in ’07-08. ... The game will be simulcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM) and NewsTalk 790 (WPIC AM), with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg on the call.

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