The District 10 Class AA and AAA boys playoffs tipped off on Thursday night as 7 area teams were in action.
In Class AA, Region 2 champion West Middlesex beat Cambridge Springs, 75-53; Reynolds stunned Seneca, 47-43; Wilmington fell to Fairview, 61-55, and Mercer suffered a 59-42 loss to Mercyhurst Prep.
In Class AAA, Region 5 champion Farrell edged Girard in overtime, 63-60; Hickory was ousted by Strong Vincent, 50-40, and Erie East beat Grove City, 64-53. In the other AAA game, Oil City defeated Gen. McLane, 44-37.
Following are staff reports:
ä West Middlesex 75, Cambridge Springs 53 — In the opener of Thursday’s twinbill at Slippery Rock University’s Morrow Field House, the Big Reds rolled to the rout.
Two-time titlist (Class A, 2012; AA, 2013) West Middlesex has dominated the D-10 tourney, not losing since the 2011 Class A title tilt.
Trey Staunch, stout as always, posted a game-high 30-point, 18-rebound double-double for West Middlesex (18-5). Also, Ryan Dogan drained 6 from beyond the arc and Ike Williams went for 17 — firing in 5 more from 3-point range — and Christian Porterfield and Drew Long lent 6 and 5 assists, respectively.
“We’re happy to get that first one. We were a little bit sluggish at the start — maybe first-round jitters, a little bit — but we settled down and did what we had to do (Thursday) night,” summarized Middlesex mentor Chad Mild.
“We established our inside game, I thought we found our shooters. Isaac Williams did a good job at the point, and I thought Trey Staunch did an awesome job inside,” Mild added.
Regarding Staunch, Mild praised. “He’s a humble kid and he works hard. He’s obviously our leader. I think, sometimes, he’s a little bit hard on himself. But he’s a humble kid, and just a great competitor.”
For Cambridge Springs (8-14), Steve Reisenauer recorded an 11-point, 6-assist, 4-rebound line, while Austin Porter posted a team-high dozen points and added a half-dozen rebounds and Josh Huff hit for 10 tallies, tossing in 2 treys. Also, Gavin Hohn had 9 points and snared 7 caroms.
However the Spa shot only 21 for 46 from the floor and, owing to a myriad of Middlesex traps, committed 16 miscues. -- By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor
ä Reynolds 47, Seneca 43 — At Meadville High School’s “House of Thrills” no one was more thrilled that Reynolds Coach Dan Kilgore who earned his first playoff victory in three years at the helm of the Raiders.
“It feels great,” said Kilgore. “In the first half we missed a ton of foul shots and layups and in the second quarter missed opportunites to extend our lead. We didn’t do a good job boxing out and we didn’t finish and convert opportunities around the rim or at the line.
“But I told the team at halftime, “When you do all the little things wrong and still lead by 5, you know you are the better team.”
Reynolds led 19-14 at intermission and hung tough in the second half, leading after three periods by 33-31 before outscoring the third team out of Region 4 by 14-12 in the final frame.
For the Raiders (15-7), Garhett Frable led the way with 19 points and Jacob Reimold nailed 15 markers. Seneca (16-7) was paced by McCall with 13.
“They’re a great team,” Kilgore said of Seneca. “We zoned them and caught them on a poor shooting night. Jarrett Pound, that kid is tremendous. We held him to only 9 points and he was frustrated because he couldn’t do what he wanted.”
The Raiders move on to face a Fairview squad, that eliminated Wilmington Thursday.
“Fairview is unbelievable,” said Kilgore. “They are technically sound and do everything well. I feel we have a tremendous advantage inside and we’ll be ready to go.”
ä Mercyhurst Prep 59, Mercer 42 — At Mercyhurst University, the season came to an end for the Mercer Mustangs of Coach Doug Schmid.
A cold first half spelled doom for Mercer as they fell behind 11-6 after one period and trailed at intermission by 34-16. They were behind 49-20 at the close of the third period.
Mercer (12-11) was led by Logan Clarke with 14 points, while Trent Fowler added 10.
Prep (17-6), the second team out of Region 4, was paced by Chris Vallimont with 13 points and Luke Holland 12.
Mercer loses seniors Fowler and Nate Guiler.
ä Fairview 61, Wilmington 55 — At Edinboro University, the underdog Greyhounds put up a real battle, but couldn’t upset the favored Fairview Tigers.
Wilmington led 16-15 after the opening period and it was tied at half, 36-all. However, Fairview outscored the Hounds 18-8 in the third period to pull away.
Wilmington (12-11) was paced by Rocco Fagan with 23 points.
Fairview, 21-2, and the Region 4 champions, was led by Shannon Jackson with 14 points and Marc Corbin and Andy Niland with a dozen apiece.
ä Farrell 63, Girard 60 (OT) – In the nightcap at SRU, it was nearly another 1st-round flame-out for Farrell and another Mercer County club “Dunn” by Girard.
Joe Dunn – who quarterbacked the Yellow Jackets’ football team past Sharon and Greenville into the D-10 AA championship game last fall before falling to Hickory – almost added Farrell to his list of victims.
However Clifton McNair’s putback of a missed Jamel Brown free throw, then Terrance Holloway’s pair of freebies with 1.6 seconds remaining in OT enabled the Steelers to stave off the opening-round upset.
“It’s been our nemesis the last couple times, we’ve lost in the first round, so we told those guys, ‘You’ve really gotta come out focused and get this win,’” related Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse.
Farrell (20-3) found itself on the short side of a 19-11 2nd-stanza score and trailed 21-17 at halftime. However Brown bombed a top-of-the-key trey, followed by Chris James’ jumper, forging Farrell to a 28-27 lead with 4:08 left in the 3rd period.
During the 4th frame Dewayne Burns’ steal and subsequent score staked the Steelers to a seemingly safe 39-32 lead just 16 ticks in, but Dunn delivered the ‘Jackets, just as he did during the football season.
Following a Dunn drive he and Nason McCall collaborated on back-to-back buckets -- the latter off an inbounds play from the sideline – and the Yellow Jackets journeyed from that 7-point deficit to a 42-41 lead.
Ultimately, Farrell forged a 52-all slatemate with 14.6 seconds remaining in regulation as Brown fed James. Girard, with 9.8 seconds left following a pair of times-out, failed to convert for the win.
In OT Malik Miller’s trey forged Farrell to a 56-52 lead with 3:10 left before Dunn-led Girard rallied. Dunn’s pair of freebies with 41.6 gave Girard a 60-59 edge.
Brown was fouled with 28.8 ticks, but missed both ends of the double-bonus before McNair made his play with 17.4 ticks.
Following a Girard timeout the Jackets’ Dontae Williams missed from the lane, with Holloway hauling down the rebound, then converting the subsequent free throws.
“I gotta take my hat to our kids. They persevered, they stayed disciplined, true to form for us all season long, and they came out with the victory,” Shannonhouse summarized. “Against a high-quality, well-coached team like that, and you can win a close game like that …
“They didn’t panic, they didn’t give up, they fought bitterly to the end, and I’m proud of them,” Shannonhouse added.
For Farrell James jolted Girard with 20 points while Miller mustered a trio of treys, despite playing with a shooting hand still healing from a broken bone. Also, McNair manufactured 10 tallies off the bench.
Dunn led Giarrd (14-9) with an 18-point, 16-rebound, 7-assist line, while Williams went for 12 points and 5 caroms and McCall mustered 15 markers before fouling out. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Erie Strong Vincent 50, Hickory 40 — At Edinboro University, the first season of head coach Geoff Evans ended in the opening round of the playoffs against a tough Erie squad.
“The kids played hard, but when we fell behind in the fourth quarter we just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Evans.
Hickory was led by Anthony Cannone with 12 points, while Nick Tantuo added 11. For Strong Vincent, Morrris had 16 and Wofford 15.
Hickory seniors included Ross Passalinqua, Nathan Mastrian, Aaron Conley, Anthony Cannone, and Donte Green.
ä Erie East 64, Grove City 53 — At Mercyhurst University in Erie, Region 6 champion East (19-4) defeated the Eagles (15-8) in the D-10 quarters Thursday.
East held a slim 16-13 lead after the opening quarter but stretched its lead to 32-21 by halftime by outscoring GC 16-8 in the 2nd quarter.
Derek Turner drained 5 treys en route to 30 points to lead Grove City and Foster Reznor bucketed 11.
Kyree Kirkland scored 22 to pace East, Justice Davis scored 18 and Tyquis Johnson added 14 markers.
East advances to play Oil City in the semifinals. OC ousted Gen. McLane, 44-37, on Thursday at Meadville Area Senior High’s “House of Thrills.”
DISTRICT 10 QUARTERFINALS
C. SPRINGS 10 15 6 22 53
W. MIDDLESEX 17 18 24 16 75
CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Reisenauer 5-1-2-11, Hohn 2-4-4-0, Ferris 1-1-2-3, Porter 5-1-3-12, Duda 1-0-0-2, Huff 4-0-0-10, Fiely 1-0-0-3, Krzysiak 1-0-0-2, Silbaugh 0-0-0-0, O’Malley 0-1-2-1. 3-pt. goals: Huff 2, Hohn 1, Porter 1. Totals: 21-8-13-53.
WEST MIDDLESEX — Williams 6-0-0-17, Christian Portefield 0-3-4-3, Staunch 9-12-14-30, Josh Porterfield 2-1-1-5, Dogan 6-0-0-18, Andrew Long 0-0-1-0, Roberts 1-0-0-2, Bacchetti 0-0-0-0, Dylan Long 0-0-0-0, Bender 0-0-0-0, Powell 0-0-0-0, Palmer 0-0-0-0, Burger 0-0-0-0, Murray 0-0-1-0. 3-pt. goals: Dogan 6, Williams 5. Totals: 24-16-21-75.
REYNOLDS 11 8 14 14 47
SENECA 7 7 17 12 43
REYNOLDS — Frable 8-3-8-19, McDanel 0-1-2-1, Leipheimer 0-2-2-2, Woods 1-3-4-6, Reimold 6-2-5-15, Beck 2-0-0-4. 3-pt. goals: Woods 1, Reimolds 1. Totals: 17-11-21-47
SENECA — Johnson 1-0-1-2, McCall 5-1-2-13, Dudda 3-0-2-8, Boyd 1-0-0-2, Pound 3-1-2-9, Groenendaal 3-3-10-9. 3-pt. goals: McCall 2, Pound 2, Dudda 2. Totals: 16-5-17-43.
MERCER 6 10 4 22 42
MERCY. PREP 11 23 15 10 59
MERCER — Guiler 1-0-0-2, Fowler 4-1-2-10, Scheidhauer 1-4-4-6, Clarke 6-1-4-14, Schmid 3-0-0-8, Leonard 0-0-0-0, Watson 1-0-0-2, VanWoert 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Schmid 2, Fowler 1, Clarke 1. Totals: 16-6-10-42.
MERCYHURST PREP — Agnello 3-1-2-8, Kruszewski 0-0-0-0, Evanoff 1-0-0-2, Cancilla 0-0-0-0, Haas 3-2-2-9, Winschel 0-0-0-0, Williams 0-0-0-0, Puda 3-2-3-8, Jones 0-0-0-0, Holland 6-0-1-12, Baker 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Vallimont 3, Agnello 1, Haas 1. Totals: 22-10-15-59.
WILMINGTON 16 10 8 19 55
FAIRVIEW 15 11 18 17 61
WILMINGTON — Bloise 1-2-2-5, Hilliard 2-2-3-6, Fagan 7-4-4-23, Brumbaugh 3-1-2-8, Smith 3-0-0-7, Damus 0-0-0-0, DeMedal 1-3-4-6. 3-pt. goals: Fagan 5m Smith 1, Brumbaugh 1, Bloise 1, DeMedal 1.Totals: 17-12-15-55.
FAIRVIEW — Kocan 2-0-0-5, Niland 3-4-4-12, Corbin 5-2-4-12, Jackson 6-2-2-14, Coles 4-1-2-9, Dewey 3-0-0-9, Rinderle 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Dewey 3, Niland 2, Kocan 1. Totals: 23-9-12-61.
GIRARD 9 12 11 20 8 60
FARRELL 6 11 20 15 11 63
GIRARD — Little 1-0-0-3, Dunn 6-5-5-18, McCall 6-2-2-15, Williams 5-2-2-12, Johnston 2-0-0-5, Dinger 3-0-0-7, Harbaugh 0-0-0-0, Korber 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Little 1, Dunn 1, McCall 1, Johnston 1, Dinger 1. Totals: 23-9-9-60.
FARRELL — Burns 1-1-2-3, Brown 4-0-2-9, Jones 0-4-6-4, James 8-4-5-20, Archie 2-2-2-6, Miller 3-0-1-9, McNair 3-2-3-10, Holloway 0-2-2-2. 3-pt. goals: Miller 3, Brown 1. Totals: 22-15-23-63.
HICKORY 10 5 13 12 40
STRG. VINCENT 11 11 9 19 50
HICKORY — Conley 3-0-0-6, Tantuo 4-3-4-11, A. Cannone 4-2-2-12, Green 1-1-2-3, Pryts 3-2-5-8, N. Cannone 0-0-1-0. 3-pt. goals: A. Cannone 2. Totals: 15-6-14-40.
STRONG VINCENT — Gillespie 1-0-0-2, Morris 3-1-7-12-16, Pacley 1-1-2-3, Wofford 2-1-8-8-15, Miller 1-0-0-2, Green 1-2-4-4, Hacheluch 2-0-0-4, Horner 1-2-5-4. 3-pt. goals: Morris 1, Wofford 1. Totals: 14-20-31-50.
GROVE CITY 13 8 14 20 55
ERIE EAST 16 16 10 23 65
GROVE CITY — Hall 0-0-0-0, Young 0-0-0-0, Marnich 1-3-8-5, Turner 11-3-8-30, Torok 2-0-0-4, Record 1-0-0-3, Reznor 3-5-10-11, Polkabla 1-0-2-2, Barger 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Turner 5, Record 1. Totals: 19-11-28-55.
ERIE EAST — Williams 0-0-0-0, Gates 0-1-2-1, Burzic 1-1-2-4, Davis 9-0-0-18, Kirkland 9-4-6-22, Johnson 4-6-6-14, Pearson 0-0-0-0, Smith 2-2-5-6, Carr 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goal: Burzic 1. Totals: 25-14-21-65.
The District 10 Class AA and AAA boys playoffs tipped off on Thursday night as 7 area teams were in action.
Hickory girls 26-0, oust Johnstown
SLIPPERY ROCK — At Morrow Field House Saturday evening, the Hickory Lady Hornets kept the perfect season alive with a 63-37 state playoff first round win over the Greater Johnstown Trojans from District 6.
“It feels great to get the win (Saturday),” said veterans Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “We’ve been at this place over the last few years and we’ve been sent home in the first round so it was a huge win for us. I’m very proud of our team effort."
KC girls roll past California in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball team was in the ’hood Saturday afternoon.
Led by senior Taylor Hood, the Lady Golden Eagles eased past California, 53-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title
HERSHEY, Pa. — If you are Major League Baseball player, a .333 batting average is great. But in wrestling at the state tournament — not so much!
Out of the dozen wrestlers that Mercer County sent to Hershey for the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships, only four (.333) will reach the medal stand today — led by Lakeview senior Sam Breese who shoots for a second straight gold medal.
Farrell edges Montour, 60-57, in PIAA opener
Montour High boys’ basketball coach Adam Kaufman lamented another season-ending setback. However there are several hundred coaches across the Commonwealth who envy his program’s recent success and would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
But during Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA playoff opener, Kaufman & Co. could not overcome those streaky Steelers ... those survivin’ Steelers.
“ ... Hey, survive and move on,” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse following Farrell’s 60-57 win at Sharon High.
GCC ousts Mercer in 1st round of PIAAs
The Mercer Lady Mustangs were outscored 16-4 in the final quarter of the first round of the state playoffs by the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions, ending their season Friday night 56-31 at Sharon High School.
Senior Lexie Arkwright had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double performance for the Lady M’s. She also snagged three steals. Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass each added 4 points for Mercer.
5 area matmen to quarterfinals in Hershey
HERSHEY — Mercer County matmen had mixed results on the opening day of action in the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Only 5 of the county’s dozen entries — led by defending state champ Sam Breese of Lakeview (285) — won their preliminary matches to move into the tournament quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. today. However the other 7 lost their first matches, although 3 are still alive in the consolations heading into this morning’s action.
Coach Chad Mild's Big Reds are road warriors
West Middlesex High boys basketball team did not play its first home game until after the first of the year, but competing at New Castle, Farrell and Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has served it well.
Witness West Middlesex’s 55-54 win over Fairview in last weekend’s District 10 Class AA championship game — at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.
Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes
Who: Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).
What: Opening round.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.
Hickory, Mercer, KC girls PIAA playoff boxes
Who: Hickory (25-0) vs. Greater Johnstown (11-14).
What: PIAA Playoffs, 1st round.
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University.
Shannonhouse's Steelers set for statewide stage
With the approaching spring, a young man’s fancy turns to ... what else? The PIAA playoffs. And when Shenango Valley scholastic basketball aficionados think of the postseason they think of Farrell.
Recently at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the banners above were blowing in the breeze — ’52 ... ’54 ... ’56 ... ’59 ... ’60 ... ’69 ... ’72 — swaying as sprinting players created a vacuum of air rising from the floor. Melodramatic maybe, but there’s a feeling at Farrell that harkens back to the heyday when playoff success was a rite of passage.
Breese eyes repeat at state mat tourney
There is no doubt that winning a state championship in wrestling is a difficult thing to do. Winning two is even tougher.
“There’s a target on your chest,” pointed out Lakeview High coach Tom Tingley in preseason this year, referring to his star wrestler Sam Breese who won a state heavyweight crown as a junior last year.
Obviously that target hasn’t bothered the Sailors big man who is a perfect 32-0 this season as he attempts to become only the 12th Mercer County matman to win multiple titles.
WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: It's a young group of county matmen headed to state
THERE’S definitely a youth movement in Mercer County wrestling as demonstrated by the group of 11 matmen who are advancing to the PIAA State Class AA Championships on Thursday.
Eight of the locals are underclassmen. The only seniors are Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285), Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai (182).
Breese and Stoyer are the only returning state place-winners. Breese, who has verbally committed to Kent State University to wrestle next season, won the heavyweight class and is seeking a second gold medal. Stoyer placed 7th at 145 and wants to climb much higher on the medals stand.
Kennedy boys forfeit win, are out of playoffs
The PIAA basketball playoffs do not begin until Friday, but Mercer County already lost a team.
Kennedy Catholic High disclosed Monday the discovery of an academically-ineligible player, who competed in last Friday’s District 10 Class A consolation contest.
Kennedy Catholic edged Eisenhower in double-OT, 66-62, earning a berth in the statewide tournament. The Golden Eagles were to meet District 9 champion Ridgway Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium in the opening round; instead, Eisenhower will represent D-10 as its 3rd-place team.
Raiders win 17th region title; 11 locals to Hershey
When Reynolds senior Levi Stoyer came off the mat after his 145-pound championship at the Northwest AA Regional Championships, he wasn’t celebrating his second straight crown. Instead, he turned to head coach Casey Taylor and said, “I did it for the team.”
And the team needed it!
Stoyer defeated Brookville’s Zach Vroman, 3-0, and sent Reynolds on its way to the school’s 17th region team title Saturday night at Sharon High School. Reynolds finished with 147 points, to Brookville’s 138.
Hickory girls capture 1st district title since 1983
MEADVILLE — Depending upon peoples’ perceptions, 31 years can seem like a lifetime ... but so can 16 minutes.
Hickory High girls’ basketball program’s District 10 drought ended Saturday afternoon as perennial power Villa Maria virtually vanished from the 2nd-half scoreboard.
The Lady Hornets erased a 7-point halftime deficit by yielding just 4 second-half points en route to a 39-24 victory over Villa Maria in the District 10 Class AAA championship game.
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