Who: Farrell (20-3) vs. Strong Vincent (16-7).
When: 8:30 p.m. today.
Where: Meadville Area Senior High’s “House of Thrills.”
Players: Farrell — Dewayne Burns, 5-8 Sr. guard (6.3 ppg.); Jamel Brown, 5-11 Jr. guard (7.8 ppg., 5.8 assists/game); Ike Jones, 6-3 Sr. post (12 ppg., 6.1 rebounds/game); Tyrone Archie, 6-2 Sr. forward (7 ppg., 7.7 rpg.); Chris James, 5-10 Sr. guard (11.1 ppg.); Malik Miller, 6-0 Soph. guard (14 ppg.); Clifton McNair, 6-1 Jr. swingman (9.6 ppg.); Terrance Holloway, 5-9 Soph. guard. Strong Vincent—David Morris, 6-0 Fr. guard (18.2 ppg.); Simeal Wofford, 5-9 Fr. guard; Dajhere Pacley, 6-2 Sr. forward; Ryan Hatkevich, 6-4 Sr. forward; Andrew Gillespie, 5-10 Sr. guard; Jason Miller, 6-4 Jr. forward; Tyvonn Green, 5-8 Jr. guard.
Bonus Shots: Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse (195-81) is in his 11th season, having forged Farrell to the ’08 D-10 AAA title. The Colonels are coached by former East standout Shannon Pullium (15th season, 245-137). ... The Steelers escaped Girard (63-60 OT) in the opening round, led by James’ game-high 20-point performance, McNair’s 10 off the bench — including the game-winning tip-in with 28.8 seconds — and Brown and Miller, who evenly split 18 points. Miller mustered a trio of treys and has a team-high 32, approximately one-third of the Steelers’ team total. Miller missed 8 games, owing to a broken bone in his shooting hand. ... Vincent vanquished Hickory (60-50) led by Morris (16) and Wofford (15), and the Colonels converted 20 of 31 free-throw attempts (64.5 percent), led by Wofford’s 8-for-8 marksmanship. ... West Middlesex victimized Vincent (5048) back in mid-December at the United Way Classic in Youngstown; Farrell outlasted Middlesex (64-58) for the Dresch-McCluskey Holiday tourney title. ... According to AD Matt Vannoy’s research, Farrell entered the tourney averaging 69.4 ppg. and yielding 52.9; Vincent is averaging 59.3 and allowing 50.5. ... All-time, Farrell has fared well against Vincent (14-6). The teams last met in the ’08 Dresch-McCluskey Holiday tourney title tilt, won by the Steelers (66-63). ... The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 790 (WPIC AM), with Jeff Wimer and Chris Burtch calling the action.
Who: West Middlesex (18-5) vs. Mercyhurst Prep (17-6).
When: 8:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High.
Players: West Middlesex—Trey Staunch, 6-foot-3 Jr. post (22.0 ppg.); Ryan Dogan, 6-2 Soph. 2-guard (10 ppg. 61 3-point field goals; Josh Porterfield, 6-4 Soph. post (9.2 ppg.); Isaac Williams, 5-11 Jr. point guard (7.8); Christian Porterfield, 5-11 Sr. swingman; Andrew Long, 5-4 Jr. point guard (5 ppg.). Mercyhurst Prep—Rocco Agnello, 5-11 Sr. guard (13.7 ppg); Aaron Haas, 5-9 Sr. guard; Matt Puda, 5-10 Sr. guard; Luke Holland, 6-9 Sr. post; Nate Klein, 6-0 Sr. forward; Chris Vallimont, 6-4 Jr. forward; Justin Baker, 6-5 Jr. forward.
Bonus Shots: The Big Reds are the reigning D-10 AA titlists, and — including the 2012 single-A crown — are seeking a 3-peat. ... Chad Mild (254-136, 65.1 percent), in his 15th season, is the winningest mentor in Middlesex roundball annals. The Lakers are led by 4th-year Head Coach Sean Baer (73-30).... The Big Reds routed Cambridge Springs (75-53) in the opening round, led by Staunch’s game-high 30-point, 18-rebound double-double and a combined 11 triples between Dogan (6) and Williams (5). Prep pounded Mercer (59-42), led by Vallimont (13), Holland (12), Haas (9) and Agnello and Puda (8 apiece). ... Christian Porterfield missed 9 games with an injured left (non-shooting) wrist. ... In spite of all the success Middlesex has enjoyed during the last 3-plus postseasons (13-4 overall — 8-1 in the D-10 tourney; 5-3 in the PIAA playoffs), it has not met Mercyhurst Prep. ... Middlesex and Mercyhurst Prep’s programs share a commonality from the success of 2013: Both had their seasons short-circuited by eventual PIAA champion Beaver Falls — Prep in the 2nd round (53-39); the Big Reds in the Western Regional championship game (59-47). ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM), with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg calling the action.
Who: Reynolds (15-7) vs. Fairview (21-2).
When: 7 p.m. today.
Where: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s McComb Field House.
Players: Reynolds—Garhett Frable, 6-2 Jr. post (17.2 ppg.); Cory Woods, 6-3 Sr. swingman (11.8); Jake Leipheimer, 6-0 Jr. point guard (7.7); Jake Reimold, 6-1 Soph. swing-guard (5.2); Kyle McConnell, 6-3 Sr. forward (6.4 ppg.); Dylan McDanel, 5-9 Fr. guard; Anthony Beck, 6-0 Sr. guard; Nick Rodemoyer, 6-1 Sr. forward. Fairview—Andy Niland, Marc Corbin, Ben Kocan, Shannon Jackson, 6-2 Sr. forward; Dan Dewey, Stephen Rinderle.
Bonus Shots: Dan Kilgore is in his 3rd season at the reins of the Raiders (37-28) and coming off his 1st playoff win. Tigers’ taskmaster Keith Nies (213-119) is in his 13th year. ... The Raiders sneaked past Seneca (47-43) in their opener, as Frable fired in 19 points and Reimold rifled in another 15; however, Kyle McConnell missed his 1st game of the season. Fairview finished off Wilmington’s season (61-55), but the Tigers had to claw from a 26-all stalemate at intermission. Jackson — the prolific football running back — fired in 14 for Fairview and Niland and Corbin tallied 12 apiece for the Tigers, while Dewey drained a trio of treys. ... Fairview fell to West Middlesex (58-48) in last season’s semifinals, then was edged by Mercyhurst Prep (45-38) in the consy contest for a PIAA playoff berth. ... Reynolds last reached the D-10 tourney in 2011, losing to North East (66-47) in the opening round. This is the program’s best season since ’08-09 (23-3, PIAA playoff opening-round loss to Jeannette). That season, Fairview forged a 43-38 win over Reynolds in the D-10 semifinals. ... The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 790 (WPIC AM) with Brandon Phillian and Mike Jeckavitch calling the action.
Who: Kennedy Catholic (13-8) vs. Erie First Christian Academy (14-8).
When: 7 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High.
Players: Kennedy Catholic—Andre Campbell, 5-foot-7 Jr. guard (13.9 ppg.); Gerald Zachar, 5-10 Sr. guard (10.5); Sam Crow, 6-1 Sr. post (9.4); Gavin Cianci, 6-1 Sr. forward; Nolan Cianci, 5-10 Jr. swingman (5.9); Jake Feeney, 6-2 Sr. forward; Matt Hurton, 5-9 Sr. guard (5.9). Erie First Christian Academy—Hunter Kallay, 6-1 Fr. guard; Olusola Valentine Sangoyami, 6-11, 270-pound Sr. post; Romeo Kabongo, 5-11 Jr. guard; Luke Hess, 5-9 Sr. guard; Augustine Mathias, 6-5 Sr. goard; Logan Kallay, 6-2 Sr. guard.
Bonus Shots: The Golden Eagles of 5th-year Head Coach Rick Mancino (75-40) are the reigning D-10 titlists; consequently, they drew an opening-round bye. The Eagles are coached by Phil Gernovich. ... Erie First Christian Academy eliminated Commodore Perry (56-37) in the opening round, led by Kallay’s 14 points and Sangoyami’s 13. ... These teams met in Hermitage approximately 2 weeks ago, with EFCA routing the Golden Eagles (59-36), led by Logan Kallay (17) and Sangoyami (13). KC crossed into double figures in only 1 quarter that night, sinking only 10 field goals in all. ... In order to prep for the playoffs, Erie First Christian Academy played Gen. McLane, Fairview, Strong Vincent and Cochranton, while Kennedy encountered Farrell (twice), West Middlesex, Bishop Wuerl-North Catholic, Cochranton and Lincoln Park Charter. ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM), with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg calling the action. .. All Games streamed at www.790wpic.com and www.sportsradio967.com.
OHSAA DIVISION III
Who: Brookfield (12-9) vs. Garrettsville-Garfield (7-13).
What: Canton Regional⁄Warren District.
When: 7 p.m. today.
Where: Brookfield High.
Players: Brookfield—Seth Wallace, 6-4 Jr. post (10.3 ppg.); Derrick Dickson, 5-9 Jr. point guard (5.5); Nate Johnson, 6-2 Jr. forward (9.0); Davon Sims, 6-2 Jr. swing-guard (7.8); Jamar Tarver, 6-3 Sr. forward (7.5); Caleb Hunkus, 6-2 Soph. forward (9.5); Marc Kraml, 5-10 Soph. guard; Brian Hiner, 6-1 Fr. forward (5.3). Garfield—Anthony Workman, 6-4 Sr. forward; Maon Butler, 6-0 Sr. guard; T.J. Learn, 5-11 Sr. guard; Chase Chapman, 6-3 Sr. forward; Nick Jurcevic, 6-2 Jr. forward; Fred Maxey, 6-4 Sr. post; John Davenport, 5-8 Sr. guard.
Bonus Shots: Brookfield began the season 8-3, but the Warriors of 2nd-year Head Coach Bill Kovach concluded the regular season with a 3-4 ledger, losing their last pair of games. The Warriors were 0-3 in overtime games, the first of which, at Campbell Memorial (62-57), started the 2nd-half skid. ... Hunkus had a team-high 11 double-digit scoring games. Wallace went for double digits 9 times this year, but only once in the last 7 games (Hunkus 6 of the final 7 games). Johnson had 8 double-figure games< Tarver 7 and Sims 6. ... Third-year Head Coach Andy Olesky (20-42) and the G-Men are seeded 9th in the 10-team bracket. Garfield suffered setbacks in 10 of its final 13 games. ... Garfield’s program has not posted a winning season since ’07-08 (15-7). ... Tonight’s winner travels to Newton Falls Friday at 7 p.m.
Boys preview boxes by Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor
Who: Kennedy Catholic (19-2) vs. Farrell (8-15).
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: West Middlesex High.
Top Players: Kennedy Catholic—Taylor Hood, 5-5 Sr. (12.7 ppg.); April Bocian, 6-2 Soph. (10.1); Tatum Kress, 5-9 Jr. (9.8); Rebekah Kish, 5-8 Jr. (9.5); Taylor Zacherl, 5-4 Soph. (5.8). Farrell—Bria Gambill, 5-7 Sr. (9.1); Whitney Murray, 5-10 Sr. (9.0); Oriana Smith, 5-6 Jr. (5.0); Tatyana Page, 5-7 Jr. (4.6); Key-Asia Oatis, 5-8 Sr. (4.2).
Bonus Shots: Kennedy Catholic and Farrell have dominated District 10 Class A hoops over the past decade. KC is the 3-time defending champion and has won 9 Class A titles in the past 13 years. In that same span, Farrell won crowns in 2010, ’08 and ’07. The last team besides KC or Farrell to win the D-10 crown was Iroquois in ’04. ... KC’s 2 losses this season came against Neshannock (60-56) on Dec. 9 and to Hollidaysburg (52-39) on Jan. 11. Neshannock lost to Bishop Canevin in the WPIAL quarterfinals on Friday while Hollidaysburg, the No. 1 seed in the District 6 Class AAAA playoffs and the defending district champs, was knocked off by 4th-seeded Altoona Area (54-47). ... KC, under 1st-year coach Chris Mele and the Region 1-A champ (10-0), had a bye into the semifinals and is riding a 12-game winning streak. ... In the 2 Region 1 head-to-head matchups this year against Farrell, KC has rolled 62-43 and 74-32. ... KC has posted some impressive wins, including a 54-37 win over Franklin in the Franklin Elks Tipoff Tourney title game. Other wins have come on the road at Girard (38-37) on Feb. 8 (Girard is still alive in the AA playoffs), Ford City, Ursuline, Beaver Area and Cardinal Mooney. ... Last season, KC beat Cochranton (67-45) for the D-10 crown, then ousted North Catholic (45-36) and Port Allegany (70-21) in the PIAAs before falling to Vincentian Academy (68-51) for the 2nd straight year. The 24-3 season capped an amazing run for seniors Rachel Burns, Alex Ricketts and Courtney Sargent. Burns and Ricketts, a D-I Akron University recruit, were both 1,000-point scorers. Vincentian went on to lose the PIAA championship game to Tri-Valley (59-42). ... Coach Ed Turosky’s Farrell Lady Steelers went 5-5 in Region 1, sweeping winless Jamestown, with the other wins came against Ellwood City-Riverside, Brashear, Commodore Perry, and D-10 playoff participants Rocky Grove (47-38) and Reynolds (61-35). ... Farrell ousted Youngsville (43-32) in the D-10 quarterfinals. Janee Avery came off the bench to score 11 points for Farrell while Gambill tallied 10. ... Last season, Farrell beat Rocky Grove (43-39 in OT) in the D-10 quarterfinals, then suffered a tough 47-46 loss to Cochranton in the semis to finish 12-12. ... The winner heads to the D-10 title game to play either Rocky Grove or Cochranton. ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 FM with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg calling the action. Also, all games will be streamed at 790wpic.com and sportsradio967.com.
Who: Mercer (17-5) vs. Girard (18-5).
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Fairview High.
Top Players: Mercer—Alexis Arkwright, 5-8 Sr. (16.5 ppg.); Megan McKinney, 5-6 Sr. (10.6); Adelyn Cook, 5-4 Jr. (7.8); Alexis Mills, 5-5 Sr. (6.8); Aubrie Angermeier, 5-7 Soph. (5.2). Girard—Maria Welch, 5-11 Jr. (13.1); Emma Oas; Mackenzie Bonnett, Samantha Dunn, Lauren Davenport, Carly Byham, Rylie Bolt.
Bonus Shots: Coach Aaron Cook’s (3rd year) Mercer Lady M's are riding an 8-game winning streak as they get set to face Girard. ... Mercer’s losses are to Mohawk (40-38) in their season-opener at the Mohawk Tipoff Tourney, Grove City (57-55), Hickory (63-28) in the Hickory Sally Ward Classic title game, Greenville (52-46) and Sharon (54-50). The Greenville and Sharon losses came back-to-back, then Mercer reeled off 8 straight wins. ... Arkwright has fired in 364 points this season and compiled 1,259 career points. ... McKinney has scored 235 points this year. ... Last year, the Lady M’s beat Girard (45-34) in the D-10 quarterfinals, fell to Gen. McLane (56-42) in the semifinals, then dropped the consolation game to Sharpsville (48-29), finishing 17-8. In that quarterfinal game last season, Mercer jumped out to an 11-3 lead after 8 minutes of play and led 22-17 at halftime. Then outscored Girard 23-17 in the 2nd half. Arkwright rifled in 25 points while McKinney and Mills had 7. For Girard, which finished the season 17-6, standouts Shannon Allen had 12, Harlie Bolt was limited to 2 and Welch tallied 6 points. Both Allen and Harlie Bolt graduated. ... Mercer, which shared the Region 2-AA title with Sharon, advanced to the semifinals by beating Fairview (44-33) in its opener. Arkwright and Cook had 13 points each. ... The Lady Yellowjackets of Girard are led by veteran Larry Seneta, who is in his 36th season as head coach (748-257). ... Welch and Bonnett are returning starters for Girard while Davenport started as a freshman. ... Girard played Sharon, Sharpsville and Kennedy Catholic this season. The only area team to beat them was KC (38-37). Girard has also lost to Gen. McLane and Seneca this season. ... In the quarterfinals, the Lady Yellowjackets jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Wilmington. The Lady ’Hounds cut it to 30-29 at the start of the 4th quarter, but Girard buried its free throws down the stretch. Oas was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe and the team finished 16-of-16. Welch sank a trio of treys en route to 15 points to lead the Jackets. ... The winner of the Mercer-Girard game will face either Gen. McLane or Seneca for the title. ... North East is the defending D-10 champs, but they didn’t even make the playoffs this year. Prior to NE winning, Villa Maria captured 6 straight titles. Sharon and Lakeview won the D-10 AA titles in 2006 and ’05, respectively. ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 FM with Ryan Briggs and Chris Burtch calling the action.
Who: Hickory (23-0) vs. Mercyhurst Prep (18-5).
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: West Middlesex High.
Top Players: Hickory—Nikki Arbanas, 5-7 Sr. (18.9 ppg.); Holly Grober, 5-11 Sr. (13.8); Nicole LaCava, 5-10 Jr. (9.3); Brandi Beader, 5-9 Jr. (6.7); Megan Chess, 5-4 Jr. (4.3). Mercyhurst Prep—Emily Stoicovy, 5-7 Jr. (12.3); Erika Woll; Rachel Shopene, Annie Popoff, Madison Steiner.
Bonus Shots: Veteran Hickory High coach Jeanette Whitehead has her Region 5-AAA champion Lady Hornets rolling and the team is led by the senior duo of Arbanas and Grober. Arbanas, a D-I recruit (YSU) has scored 1,271 career points, while Grober, who will play hoops at D-II Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, has 1,413 points. ... Hickory steamrolled its way through the regular season. The closest game had a point differential of 17 points. vs. 2-time defending District 10 champion Franklin (57-40). The first time those 2 teams played, the Lady Hornets routed the Knights 74-23. ... Hickory rolled past Conneaut Area (45-23) in the D-10 quarters. Arbanas scored 14 to lead the Lady Hornets. Conneaut had a pair of 1,000-point career scorers in Kristen Baker and Challen Litwiler, who had 9 and 8 points, respectively. Baker hit the mark on Jan. 15 and Litwiler joined her on the list 3 days later. ... Last season, Hickory beat Warren (58-43) in the D-10 quarters, fell to Villa Maria in the semis (49-37), ended Mercyhurst Prep’s season by winning the consolation game (50-43), then fell to South Park (71-44) in the 1st round of the state playoffs for the 2nd straight year. South Park ended up winning the state championship (53-38) over Bethlehem Catholic. Hickory finished with a 21-5 ledger last year while Prep closed out at 16-9. ... In that game last year vs. Prep Arbanas fired in 22 points and Grober had 18 while Stoicovy led Prep with 9 points. ... Coach Dan Perfetto's (8th year) Region 6 Lady Lakers were swept by region champ Villa Maria (39-29 and 56-32), lost to Blackhawk (63-40), Bradford (40-25) and fell to Prairie High of Vancouver, Wash., (52-43) in the Surf ‘N’ Slam Tournament in San Diego in late December. Prairie is in the state playoffs in Washington while Blackhawk is playing West Mifflin in the WPIAL semifinals Wednesday. ... Prep rolled past Franklin (59-39) in the quarterfinals. Woll and Emily Kinecki had 12 points each for the Lakers while Becca Gravatt (20) and Angelina Starr (15) scored in double figures for the Knights. Starr was the leading female scorer in all of D-10 with 474 points. ... The Hickory-Prep winner plays the winner of Slippery Rock-Villa Maria for the D-10 title. ... Prep won D-10 in titles 2005 and 2011) in the past 10 years. Slippery Rock won it in 2010 and 2007, Gen. McLane copped crowns in ’08 and '09 and Franklin had won 2 straight and also captured titles in ’04 and ’06. ... The game will be broadcast on WPIC 790 AM with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg calling the action.
Who: Brookfield (16-7) vs. South Range (20-3).
What: Div. III Cuyahoga Falls Regional (Struthers District).
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Where: Struthers Fieldhouse.
Top Players: Brookfield—Ashley Kirila, 6-0 Sr. (9.8 ppg.); Danielle DiCristofaro, 5-2 Sr. (8.0); Autumn Kirila, 5-10 Soph. (7.0); Lauren Hawley, 5-6 Sr. (6.7); Delany Saxton, 6-0 Jr. (5.9). South Range—Ashley Sharp, Soph; Starla Sharp; Sierra Petrella; Morgan Czopur; Jordan Youngs; Sara Durr; Lynnie Ritter.
Bonus Shots: Coach Shawn Hammond’s Lady Warriors closed out the regular season with a tough 46-43 loss to Vienna-Mathews, then the team had an 8-day layoff before playing Liberty in the Struthers District/Sectional. ... Brookfield was 13-4 entering the final 5 games of the season and then alternated wins and loses to end up at 15-7. The Lady Warriors’ losses have come against Maplewood (41-35), Newton Falls (56-43), Howland (60-49), Py Valley (43-34), Girard (38-27), Ursuline (41-39) and Mathews. ... Brookfield has notched wins over West Middlesex (43-20), Sharon (49-41, Brookfield Christmas Tourney title game) and Farrell (58-27). ... At Brookfield, DiCristofaro scored 17 points and Ashley Kirila bucketed 13 as the locals downed Liberty (56-37) in the quarterfinals. Brookfield, the No. 4 seed, had a 1st-round bye. ... Coach Tony Matisi’s South Range Lady Raiders, the No. 2 seed, beat Cardinal Mooney (45-39 in overtime) in the 1st round and then ousted Girard, 46-40, in the quarters Saturday. ... Against Mooney, South Range led by as many as 12 points late in the 3rd quarter before Mooney rallied to send the game into OT. Ashley Sharp led SR with 15 points. ... Against Girard, South Range trailed 28-22 after 3 quarters but outscored Girard 24-12 in the final frame. ... SR ended Brookfield’s season last year with a 43-36 win in the Mineral Ridge Sectional. The Lady Warriors closed out the season with an 11-11 record. ... The winner advances to Saturday's 1 p.m. championship game at Struthers Fieldhouse against 3rd-seed Ursuline or No. 1 seed Springfield Local. Those two play at 6 p.m. Thursday at Struthers Fieldhouse.
Girls boxes by Rob Malsom, Herald sports writer