When backyard rivals meet, they say you can throw out the won-loss records.
Well, that’s another time-worn cliché that also can be thrown out, because Sharon High girls basketball team’s 54-39 win over Sharpsville Friday night was no upset and no fluke.
Sharpsville had surged to 10 successes in its last 11 games and appeared primed for an undefeated Region 2-AA season. But Sharon avenged a 54-37 beat-down at Sharpsville approximately 3 weeks ago.
“Sharon came out, and congratulations to them! They beat us in every aspect of the game,” summarized Sharpsville skipper Jeff Hanley.
Previously, turnovers had tormented the Lady Tigers — even in triumphs. But Friday night, despite committing 16 miscues, only 2 occurred during the 4th frame.
“We took care of the ball in the fourth quarter, and that’s what you need to do down the stretch. We could’ve very well curled up in a ball and gave them the game, but we didn’t, and I credit my girls — they played hard for thirty-two minutes,” summarized Sharon’s Maria Joseph, enjoying, arguably, her best moment to date as the 1st-year Lady Tigers’ taskmaster.
Sharon’s 2-3 zone defense, with ’Tina Jacoway wreaking havoc at the point, enabled the Lady Tigers to coerce Sharpsville into 23 turnovers — 12 during the 2nd half — and 35.7 percent shooting (15 of 42) for the game.
“We wanted to keep the ball out of (McKenzie) Popatak’s hands,” Joseph related. “Our two up top (Jacoway and Janayia Chester) really pressured the ball, and that’s all we were looking to do; nothing fancy, just getting after it on defense.”
Tanayja Sanders secured a game-high 22-point, 13-rebound double-double to stake Sharon to its 6th win in its last 8 outings. However she had help in the torrid Torr sisters. Mallory mustered 11 markers, 2 assists and a handful of rebounds, while Maggie produced a half-dozen 2nd-stanza points that enabled the Lady Tigers to take a 27-25 margin at intermission.
With Joseph having to discipline Lexi Dabney for a game, Jacoway and Chester alternated running the point. Jacoway handed out a game-high handful of assists, while Chester checked in with 6 points and 3 assists.
“Sometimes we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do,” Joseph acknowledged, “and the girls stepped it up, and I credit them. They came together as a team (Friday) night.”
Chester converted both ends of a pair of 1-and-1 bonus free-throw opportunities at the 3:10 and 2:30 segments of the final frame, and Sharon (8-2, 12-7) shot 16 for 24 (66.7 percent) overall from the line.
At the outset the Blue Darlings’ deficit was 9-2 before they rallied to draw even at 11 as the 1st frame closed. Only Megan Davis’ 35-foot banked buzzer-beating triple drew the Darlings within a deuce at intermssion.
But with Sanders and Mallory Torr tallying 6 and 5 points, respectively, and Torr and Kelsie McGranahan mustering triples, the Lady Tigers took a 41-30 edge entering the final frame.
Hanley had been worried prior to tipoff, because he said his Blue Darlings had not praciticed well leading up to Friday’s contest.
“We played exactly the way we practiced the last two days,” Hanley fumed, “and what we need to understand is, if we’re gonna beat teams in the playoffs like Seneca, Girard and (Gen.) McLane and North East, we need to practice much, much better. We turned it over in practice, we weren’t focused,” Hanley admitted, though he added,
“It’s so hard to tell. It’s just a matter of what kind of team are we now? Are we gonna respond? Are we gonna bounce back? Next week we have Lakeview and Mercer. Are we gonna bounce back, play well and get two wins and win our region, or are we going to go back to old, lazy practice habits and mope and complain? I don’t know.
“Hopefully, we bounce back. We’re still in control of our destiny, and that’s all you can ask,” Hanley continued, adding, “Two region games, and two wins, and we get the number-one seed from our area, and that’s all we can really focus on.”
For Sharpsville (9-1, 12-7), Popatak produced a 16-point, 11-rebound twin-killing despite playing the final 7:04 with 4 personal fouls, Also, Davis drained a trio of treys to finish with 15 points, and she and Natalie Henwood had a half-dozen assists between them.
For Joseph and the Lady Tigers, the 2013 postseason already has commenced, though the calendar tells us there’s still a week remaining in the regular season.
“It’s the playoffs for us. You know, we’re taking each game like it’s a playoff game,” Joseph related, “because we want to play our best, and there’s no reason to hold back and don’t give it our all. I tell (the Lady Tigers) before every game, ‘Let’s go out and get this one.’
“Absolutely, this feels good,” she concluded — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Hickory 63, Meadville 42 — On Senior Night at “The Hive” in Hermitage, Hickory (8-2, 16-3) rolled past the Lady Bulldogs (3-7, 5-15) in the Region 5-AAA encounter.
Nikki Arbanas drained 4 treys en route to 25 points for the Lady Hornets while Holly Grober fired in 20. Arbanas also dished out 6 assists and had 4 steals and Grober grabbed 12 rebounds and collected 7 steals. Also for Hickory, Brandi Beader, Shawna Moore and Megan Chess had 7, 4 and 3 rebounds, respectively, and Julia White had 3 assists.
“We are losing two great seniors (White and Abby Zreliak),” said Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “They provide excellent leadership both on and off the court.”
Kiashia Newsome had 15 points to lead Meadville and McCoy added 13 markers.
ä Franklin 67, Grove City 41 — At Grove City, the visiting Lady Knights notched another Region 5-AAA conquest.
Haley Andres annexed a game-high 20 points, while Angelina Starr scored 17 and A.Jone added 11.
Franklin (11-0, 19-1) forged a 21-8 first-quarter lead and extended its edge to 43-18 by the break.
Jordyn Wyllie went for 13 ponts and Corianna Hyduchak had 10 for Grove City (6-4, 13-7).
ä West Middlesex 79, Greenville 31 — At Greenville, the Big Reds (10-0, 17-3) led 32-5 after the opening quarter and rolled past the Trojans (1-9, 4-15) in the Region 2-AA affair.
Matt Dogan tickled the twine for 26 points for WM, Trey Staunch tallied 23 and Jeremy Jancso finished with 10 points.
Luke Houpt led the way for Greenville with 9 points.
ä Lakeview 78, Rocky Grove 27 — At Stoneboro, the Sailors of coach Gary Burke took out their frustration after the recent loss to West Middlesex by routing the Grovers in a non-region clash.
For Lakeview (17-3), Dalton Boggs drilled in 21 points and is only 17 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Casey Greggs was in with 20 markers, while Brandon Rice added 13 and Andrew Fowler 10.
Monico had 14 points for Rocky Grove (7-14).
ä VisionQuest 82, Jamestown 44 — At Jamestown, in a Region 1-A clash, the visitors prevailed. Leading the victory for VQ (5-2, 8-12) were Jaleel Adams with 23 points, Jessie Robinson 20 and Izean Hunter 16.
For Jamestown (1-7, 1-17), Alex Boylan pumped in 19 points and Ryan Livingston 13.
ä Kennedy Catholic 82, Commodore Perry 31 — At Hermitage, the host Golden Eagles (7-0, 13-5) led 21-3 after 8 minutes of play and rolled to the Region 1-A win over the Panthers (1-6, 4-16).
Chris James scored 13 to lead KC while Mac Hartman and Gerald Zachar bucketed 11 each.
Cody Beachy led the way for CP with 9 points.
ä Sharpsville 52, Reynolds 46 — At Sharpsville, the Blue Devils (5-5, 11-8) rallied from a 22-14 halftime deficit to notch the Region 2-AA victory over the Raiders (4-7, 12-9).
Tyler Luchey scored 18 for Sharpsville, Jalen Mockabee tallied 15 and Kyle Kennedy added 11 markers.
Kyle McConnell fired in a game-high 20 for Reynolds, Garrett Frable bucketed 14 and Cory Woods registered 10 points.
ä Wilmington 61, Mercer 46 — At Mercer, the Hounds (4-6, 7-12) used a 22-4 run over the first and second periods to run away from the Mustangs (4-7, 7-12) in the Region 2-AA clash.
Wilmington pounded the glass for a 45-22 lead with Jordan Smith and Nate Anthony each pulling down 10 rebounds.
Rocco Fagan’s 14 points led three Greyhounds in double figures with Smith (12) and Jesse Hilliard (10) following suit.
Mercer was led by Logan Clarke’s 14 points, 5 assists, 4 steals and 4 rebounds — Information submitted by sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
ä Brookfield 54, Youngstown Christian School 39 — At Brookfield, Jeremy Quinlan fired in 24 points and surpassed the 1,000-point career mark (1,023) in leading the Warriors (13-3).
Quinlan became the 4th Brookfield basketball player (2nd male) to accomplish the feat, joining Paul Guin, ’67, Sue (Dobosh) Fledderman, ’83, and Morgan Bonekovic, ’07.
Guin garnered 1,112 points during his Warriors’ tenure.
“It was a great moment for the school,” said 1st-year Brookfield coach Bill Kovach. “Guin’s mark was set in 1967 and (Quinlan) should surpass it because we have six regular-season games left.”
Also for Brookfield Friday, Ryan Mosora tallied 6 points and dished out 4 assists and Collin Harkulich registered 7 points and 6 rebounds.
Nick Gonda scored 14 points for Youngstown Christian School.
ä Sharon 39, Brockway 24 — At Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium, the Tigers of coach Dave Ciafre closed out the dual-meet season with a 12-8 record after beating Brockway prior to the Clarion vs. Ohio University wrestling match Friday.
Cody Buchanan (113), Jarray Norris (126), Michael Bonner (138), Isaiah Chavez (152), Cory Buchanan (160) and Beau Dignall (182) posted pins for Sharon.
Gavin Yahner notched the lone fall for Brockway at heavyweight.
Sharon hosted Franklin on Thursday and several locals grabbed 1st-place finishes.
Dylan Cerroni placed 1st in both the 200 yard freestyle (1:52.47) and 500 yard freestyle (5:24.75) while Robert Van Horn placed 1st in the 100 yard backstroke (1:32).
Lily Trambley led the way for the Sharon girls by placing in 4 events. She took 2nd in the 100 yard free in 1:05.97, finished 1st in the 400 yard free relay (5:37.53) and 2nd in the 200 yard medley relay (2:41.27) and 200 yard free relay (2:17.16).
Her teammates in the 400 yard free relay were Hannah Rauch, Elisabetta Lovera and Savannah Barber. Lovera, Brienna Roys and Rauch completed the foursome in the 200 yard medley relay and Barber, Rauch and Roys were her teammates in the 200 yard free.
Also, Roys took 1st place in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:31.91) while Monique Lopez was 2nd (2:31.77).
When backyard rivals meet, they say you can throw out the won-loss records.
Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM
ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP
Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.
Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach
Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
Hickory track coaches near finish line
While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.
SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team
WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
How’s that working out, Dan?
Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.
Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational
Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).
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.
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- Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM