With the regular season’s 2nd half starting, Sharon High boys basketball team is sub-.500.
But playing on the Tigers’ turf is still a tough out.
Darrell Stovall’s 19-point, 12-rebound double-double stoked Sharon to a 60-46 District 10 Region 5-AAA win over Farrell Friday night.
Sharon (4-4 Region 5-AAA, 6-7 overall) won its 5th contest at home to remain undefeated, while the Steelers suffered their 1st setback on the road.
“Yeah, and we’ve gotta keep it that way,” Sharon stalwart Darrell Stovall said of Sharon’s success on home hardwood.
With Jason Page pumping in a pair of 3-point fielders, Malik Miller adding another, and Ike Jones joining in with 7 of his team-high 17 points, Farrell forged a 20-16 first-quarter edge.
However from that juncture the Tigers’ 2-3 matchup zone defense forced Farrell into 8-for-48 shooting over the game’s final 24 minutes.
“We put that in two days ago,” related 1st-year Tigers taskmaster Jason Rankin. “Coach (Geoff) Evans came to me before the game and said, ‘Why don’t we start out in it, see what they do?’ And (the Steelers) shot the lights out in the first quarter (8 for 18, 3 triples), but they scored 26 the rest of the game.
“It’s kind’ve like a ‘fool’s gold’ thing,” Rankin related. “You start making three’s and all of a sudden you start standing out there shooting three’s. So we were able to make some adjustments, the kids made adjustments on the fly, and I was really proud of the effort they gave.”
With Stovall scoring 6 second-stanza points and the Steelers shooting 3 for 17, Sharon surged to a 29-26 margin at intermission.
The Tigers tallied 6 of 9 third-quarter floor shots — with Stovall, who shot 9 for 11 on the night, sinking all 3 of his attempts, including a corner trey at the 5:01 segment — and the Tigers took a 48-38 edge into the final frame.
“It really came off my teammates. The found me, they saw me, and I crashed the boards and did what I had to do to win this game,” Stovall related. “I can’t be one-dimensional; I’ve gotta be everywhere sometimes.”
From the field Farrell froze up. During a 3:43 span — with 1:21 left in the 3rd period when Page found Jones, drawing the Steelers within 44-38, until Jones’ pair of freebies with 5:29 left in the finale — the Steelers went scoreless. By that time the Tigers had taken a 54-40 lead.
“There was a stretch in the third quarter where they got hot and we got cold ... we had three or four go in and out, and I thought that was the difference in the game,” assessed Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse.
During the 4th frame Khalil Hopson hit 6 of 8 freebies en route to 11-for-13 marksmanship and an 18-point, 7-rebound, 5-assist line.
With 4:11 remaining to play, Stovall and the Steelers’ Tyrone Archie tied up for a loose-ball rebound and simultaneouly crashed to the floor. But Rankin defused a potential emotionally-charged situation by hailing a timeout.
“I’ve been reminded over and over, and certainly I’ve seen it on YouTube, the infamous fight that happened here,” Rankin related, “and the last thing we wanted to do was be in a situation where, not only did we lose our heads and possibly lose the game, but then lose a player for this one and the next game.
“It is an emotional situation,” Rankin continued, “but they’re kids and they have to be reminded that this is a game, it’s not about someone’s life being on the line, and they have to continue to do what they have to do.”
“That’s all that I had to do, was keep my composure. We had the game in hand, so why would I go out and risk me sitting out with a ‘T’ (technical),” Stovall rhetorically asked, emphasizing, “I had to keep myself in the game.”
“I have to take off my hat to both teams. They played hard, they were like warriors, both sides,” Shannonhouse assessed. “You hate to see one team lose, but they were the better team (Friday) night. ,... We’ll try to get ’em at home.”
Farrell (4-4, 7-7) finished 16 for 67 from the floor (23.8 percent), with Page, Miller and Jamel Brown combining for an 8-for-38 shooting performance. Jones’ 17-point, 7-rebound effort sparked the Steelers, while Archie annexed a team-high 10 caroms. Page, Marquette Coleman and Brown dished out 4, 3 and 3 assists, respectively, and Farrell committed only 6 miscues. But the Steelers were sabotagized by their shooting.
“It’s just the mere fact that we have to have more confidence on offense,” Shannonhouse said. “I thought our defense wasn’t too bad, we turned ’em over quite a bit (18 Tigers’ turnovers), but we just could not get any easy ones to fall ...
“But, hey, it happens. You’re gonna win some of those games like that and you’re gonna lose some of those games like that. You just take it on the chin, bounce back (today) and go to work,” Shannonhouse summarized.
Rankin is hoping the win jump-starts a Sharon 2nd-half surge.
“The funny thing is, our schedule’s been against us, but now it’s coming for us. We said if we get a good one here, we can catapult with Meadville coming, Grove City coming and the top three teams coming after this. The only this is, we’ve gotta end the season (at E.J. McCluskey Gymasium), which would be a raucus situation.
“But, hey,’ Rankin reasoned, “if we’re in a situation where we have to play to get in(to the playoffs), I’ll be happy because at least it’ll be a playoff-type game.”
Notes: Sharon shot 21 for 47 (44.6) from the field and converted 14 of 18 freebies (77.8). ... The Tigers also outrebounded the Steelers, 42-36. ... D’Amond Crawford collected 8 points and 6 rebounds for Sharon, also. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Hickory 81, George Junior Republic 58 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, the Hornets had won in overtime in their past 2 games (vs. Franklin and Slippery Rock).
However Hickory (8-0, 10-2) led 14-10 after 8 minutes of play and 36-16 at halftime and rolled past the Tigers (2-6, 4-7) in the Region 5-AAA clash.
Matt Votino rifled in 22 points to lead Hickory while Marcus Sonoga bucketed 14, Anthony Cannone had 11 points and dished out 5 assists and Andrew Pryts added 10 markers.
Quamere Boggs had 16 to lead GJR, Dominic Barnes bucketed 13 and Eddie Pena had 10.
ä West Middlesex 97, Wilmington 55 — At New Wilmington, the visiting Big Reds rolled to the Region 2-AA road rout, nearly attaining the century mark for the 2nd time this season.
West Middlesex went up 28-4 after 8 minutes and never was challenged.
Matt Dogan deposited a game-high 24 points for West Middlesex (6-0, 10-3), Jeremy Jansco, Trey Staunch and Jarrod Palmer evenly divided an additional 45 points, Christian Porterfield pumped in a dozen while Roman Klaric contributed 10 tallies.
For Wilmington (1-5, 4-9), Jesse Hilliard hit for 21 points, Jordan Smith scored 11 and Davis Smith 10.
ä Lakeview 39, Mercer 36 — At Stoneboro the Sailors (5-1, 12-2) watched an 18-point 3rd quarter lead dissipate before holding on for the Region 2-AA victory.
Trailing 38-36, Mercer (2-4, 5-7) had a chance to knot the score at 38-all with 4 seconds left, but sophomore guard Logan Clarke missed both freebies and Lakeview’s Casey Greggs made 1-of-2 three seconds later to ice the game.
Despite watching its offense struggle to find any rhythm, the Sailors buckled their chinstraps and harassed Mercer into 4-of-23 shooting and 13 turnovers in the 1st half to assume a 24-11 cushion entering intermission.
Greggs opened the 2nd half with a triple and Coty Gander followed with a lay-up to put Lakeview up 29-11, but from there, it was all Mercer.
Aided by a 21-6 run over the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Mustangs pulled within 37-36 on Danny Miller’s lay-up with 2:26 left. Lakeview chewed up almost 2 full minutes of clock on its next possession before committing a turnover and setting up Clarke’s trip to the free throw line.
Both teams struggled offensively, with Mercer making 27 percent of its shots from the field (12 for 44) and Lakeview managing just 33 percent (13-of-39) without committing a high volume of turnovers.
For the Sailors, Gander posted 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Casey Greggs and Dalton Boggs combined for another 17 markers, 10 rebounds and 5 steals.
Nate Guiler led Mercer with 12 points, while Miller contributed 9 — Information submitted by sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
ä Sharpsville 51, Greenville 49 — At Greenville, the visiting Blue Devils (4-2, 8-5) led 13-6 at the end of the 1st quarter and held on to edge the Trojans (1-5, 4-9) in a Region 2-AA encounter.
Tyler Luchey buried a 6-footer with 2 seconds left to lift Sharpsville to victory.
Jalen Mockabee registered 15 points for Sharpsville and Luchey collected 13 markers.
Tyler Fattman and Luke Houpt both scored 11 points for Greenville.
ä Kennedy Catholic 63, Commodore Perry 32 — At Sheakleyville, the visiting Golden Eagles eased to the Region 1-A road rout.
Jeffrey Thompkins tallied a game-high 16 points to key Kennedy Catholic (3-0, 8-3), while Chris James joined in with 13 and Mac Hartman hit a dozen.
For Commodore Perry (0-3, 2-11), Brandon Stringert scored 9.
ä VisionQuest 89, Jamestown 39 — At Franklin High, the host Eagles (2-1, 3-10) eased to the Region 1-A win as Hunter hit for a game-high 30 points, McLennan lent 25, and Adams added 19 for coach Richard Gordon’s group.
Jamestown (1-3, 1-11) was led by Ryan Livingston’s 17 points, a figure matched by Muskies’ mate Alex Boylan.
ä Brookfield 64, Conneaut 41 — At Brookfield, coach Bill Kovach’s Warriors improved to 10-1 with the rout of Conneaut, Ohio.
Jeremy Quinlan notched a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead Brookfield. Also, Ryan Mosora had 13 points and 5 steals, Jimmy Quinlan scored a dozen points and Collin Harkulich contributed 10 markers.
Christian Williams scored 16 for Conneaut.
Grove City swept Hickory in a recent match. The GC boys won 96-40 while the Lady Eagles notched a 92-68 win. The following Hickory results were reported to The Herald:
Boys: Kevin Hartenstein won the 100 backstroke while Jaylan Sharper was 1st in the breakstroke. Kyle and Kevin Hartenstein, Vince Currie and Sharper took 1st in the 400 free-relay and the foursome of Trand Wright, Derek Work, Sharper and Kyle Hartenstein won the 200 free-relay.
Girls: Individual winners were Paige Brown (100 breastroke) and Delaney Javens (200 ’free). Haley Boyd was 2nd in the 100 breaststroke, Javens placed 2nd in the 100 butterfly and Jordan Graves was runner-up in the 50 ’free.
Breah Quatkemeyer, Annalise Bianco, Robyn McGowan and Javens placed 1st in the 400 free-relay while Theresa Tremmel, Veronica Stefanik, Patrica McQuiston and Chelsea Panin were 2nd.
Stefanik, Brown, Javens and Graves were 2nd in the 200 medley relay and Bailey and Paige Brown, Quatkemeyer and Graves finished 2nd in the 200 free-relay.
With the regular season’s 2nd half starting, Sharon High boys basketball team is sub-.500.
GC coach Bell retired — sort of!
You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
“My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
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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.
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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
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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.
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