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.”
The District 10 Class AA and AAA boys playoffs tipped off on Thursday night as 7 area teams were in action.
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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
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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.
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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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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
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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.
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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.
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SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
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Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
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