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.
GC coach Bell retired — sort of!
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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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
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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
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.
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