Who: Kennedy Catholic (22-2) vs. North Catholic (15-10).
What: Opening round.
When: 3 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University’s Morrow Field House.
Players to Watch: Kennedy Catholic — Alex Ricketts, 5-11 Sr. (17.3 ppg.); Courtney Sargent, 6-2 Sr. (13.1); Rachel Burns, 5-10 Sr. (11.0); Taylor Hood, 5-7 Jr. (7.4); Rebehak Kish, 5-7 Soph. (7.0); April Bocian, 6-6 Fr. (5.5). North Catholic — Lauren Wolosik, 5-10 Sr. (27.1); Evelyn Brazil, 5-0 Soph.; Paige Kizior, 5-4 Jr.; Teresa Yanicko, 5-6 Jr.; Brooke Zangaro, 5-7 Soph.; Mia Palmer, 5-3 Soph.; Jessica Graff, 5-8 Soph.
Bonus Shots: Kennedy Catholic coach Tom Burns (6th year, 112-34) and his Lady Golden Eagles have ruled District 10 in Class A girls hoops, having just captured the program’s 17th championship with a 67-45 win vs. Cochranton. Ricketts (18), Burns (15) and Sargent (14) scored in double digits for KC. ... The Lady Golden Eagles earned a 1st-round bye in the district playoffs as Region 1 champs and ousted Commodore Perry (68-28) in the semifinals. Sargent (16), Ricketts (15), Bocian (11) and Kish (10) hit double digits in scoring in that game. ... Coach Burns has led his team to the past 2 D-10 titles and another in ’09. KC was never challenged in D-10 region play, going 10-0 with the closest game being a 31-point differential vs. CP. ... KC has outscored its opponents 1,474 to 739. ... KC’s 2 losses have come against big-time competition in Franklin (62-45) in the season-opener of the Franklin Tipoff Tourney and Vincentian Academy (70-53) in the title game of the Penn State-Beaver Holiday Tourney. Franklin is 24-1 and beat Villa Maria to win its 2nd straight D-10 Class AAA crown, while Vincentian is 25-1 and defeated Serra Catholic for its 2nd straight (3rd in 4 years) WPIAL Class A title. ... Ricketts is an NCAA D-I Akron University recruit and has 1,365 career points while Burns sits at 1,055 points. ... Vincentian ended KC’s season last year with a 56-51 win in the PIAA western region semifinals. KC led 18-15 after 1 and it was tied 26-all at half. KC went up 40-34 after 3 quarters, but wase outscored 22-11 in the final frame. Prior to that game, KC beat Conneaut Valley (56-21) for the D-10 title, then rolled past Riverview (59-30) and Clarion Area (59-43) in the state playoffs. ... KC’s last appearance in a PIAA title game was in 2001 under former coach Father Rick Tomasone. ... North Catholic Coach Molly Rottman’s Trojanettes finished 2nd in WPIAL Section 2-A (10-2) behind Vincentian (12-0). ... Rottman played at North Catholic and played at the University of Delaware. ... Wolosik has played in 24 playoff games in her 4-year career, but the rest of the team is young. She’s a D-I Central Connecticut University recruit. ... Their 10 losses are against Seton-LaSalle and Bishop Canevin (Oakland Catholic Tipoff Tourney), Penn-Trafford and Plum (North Allegheny Tourney), Vincentian (twice), Blackhawk, Burrell, Trinity and Serra Catholic. ... In the WPIAL playoffs, 3rd-seeded NC beat Frazier (65-37), Cornell (51-22) and fell to Serra Catholic (56-45) in the semifinals. Against Frazier, Wolosik fired in 28 points with 7 rebounds and 8 assists while freshman Abby Goetz had 17 points and Palmer 12. In the quarters vs. Cornell, Wolosik (21), Kizior (13) and Goetz (11) scored in double digits. In the semis vs. Serra, Wolosik fired in 20. ... NC went 24-7 last year, losing the WPIAL title game to Vincentian, but gained revenge with a win over VA in the western region finals. NC then lost the PIAA championship game to Steelton Highspire (66-59) at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center. ... NC lost the 2009-10 WPIAL title game to Vincentian (54-49) and won it over Mt. Alvernia (48-44) in ’08-09. ... The Trojanettes also appeared in the state title game in ’06-07, losing to Bishop Guilfoyle (43-38). ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM), with Jeff Wimer and Chris Burtch calling the action. Airtime is 2:30 p.m.
Who: Sharpsville (17-8) vs. Brookville (13-12).
What: Opening round.
When: 5 p.m. Friday.
Where: Clarion University of Pa. Tippin Gymnasium.
Players to Watch: Sharpsville — McKenzie Popatak, 5-9 Sr. (21.4 ppg.); Megan Davis, 5-8 Jr. (11.0); Natalie Henwood, 5-5 Sr. (4.4); Kayla Kurelko, 5-5 Soph. (3.5); Paige Scurpa, 5-9 Sr. (2.3); Maddie Przicina, 5-6 Soph. (2.3). Brookville — Lanae Newsome, 5-4 Sr. (12.2); Karly Reinsel, 5-5 Sr. (11.2); Aisha Newsome, 5-4 Sr. (10.7); Elaina Powell, 5-3 Fr. (3.7); Brenna Dworek, 5-4 Soph. (2.3); Kylee Deal, 5-6 Jr. (2.3).
Bonus Shots: Sharpsville Coach Jeff Hanley (12th year, 185-112) leads his Blue Darlings into the state playoffs for the 1st time since his 1st year, when the Blue Darlings suffered a tough overtime loss to Cameron County. ... Popatak owns the school’s scoring record for girls (1,660 points). The previous mark was 1,440 by 2008 graduate Kasey Gardner. ... County-wise, Popatak is only behind Lakeview’s Sheena Aden (2,421), Sharon’s Wanda Holloway (2,106), Farrell’s Jill Platteborze (1,913), Hickory’s Julie Fornadel (1,702) and Sharon’s Brittany Csatlos (1,697). ... The Blue Darlings went 1-4 to start the season, but the losses were against Cranberry, Grove City, Slippery Rock and Kennedy Catholic. The other losses occurred to Sharon, Girard and North East (twice). ... Region 2 champion Sharpsville ousted Seneca (34-29) in the D-10 quarterfinals, lost to North East (42-38) in the semis, but qualified for the PIAAs by routing Mercer (48-29) in the consolation game. Popatak fired in 30 points in that game. Davis (12), Henwood (12) and Popatak (11) scored in double digits vs. North East and Popatak rifled in 20 vs. Seneca. ... Last season, the Blue Darlings were ousted by Seneca (51-46) in the D-10 quarterfinals. Brookville Coach Mark Powell’s (11th year, 143-129) Lady Raiders were 4-10 midway through the season and became the lowest seeded team (7th) to win a District 9 girls’ title since Clarion-Limestone was the 10th seed in Class A in 1988. ... Brookville beat No. 1 seed Kane (63-51) for the AA crown. Lanae Newsome fired in 27, Powell had a career-high 12, Aisha Newsome bucketed 11 and Reinsel had 9 points and 12 rebounds. Brookville led by as many as 21 points in the 1st half. Kane had 28 turnovers and the school’s all-time leading scorer (Kaila Jamerson) was limping during the game due to an injury she suffered vs. Redbank Valley in the semifinals. ... Brookville’s last D-9 title came in Class AAA in ’01. The last AA title was 1991. They have won 11 overall D-9 crowns. ... Brookville knocked out the top 3 seeds in winning the championship, including Kane (1st), Karns City (2nd) and Cranberry (3rd). In the D-9 quarterfinals, they beat Karns City (46-37). Lanae (15) and Aisha (10) Newsome (twin sisters), led the way, with Reinsel having 10 points and 9 boards and Powell scored 9 off the bench. In a 50-49 win in the D-9 semis over 4-time defending D-9 champ Cranberry — which beat Brookville in the title game last year — Lanae Newsome had 18 as the Lady Raiders stunned junior 1,000-point scorer Emily Merryman and the Lady Berries. ... Brookville’s regular-season losses occurred to Karns City (twice), St. Marys (twice), Bradford (twice), Punxsutawney, Moniteau, DuBois, Johnsonburg, Kane and Elk County Catholic. ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM), with Ryan Briggs and Chris Burtch calling the action. Airtime is 4:30 p.m.
Who: Hickory (21-4) vs. South Park (23-2).
What: Opening round.
When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Baldwin High.
Players to watch: Hickory — Nikki Arbanas, 5-7 Jr. (17.9 ppg.); Holly Grober, 5-11 Jr. (15.8); Jenna Placzek, 5-8 Jr. (5.8); Brandi Beader, 5-9 Soph. (5.4); Megan Chess, 5-4 Soph. (4.6). South Park — Shelby Lindsay, 5-11 Sr. (17.8); Halie Torris, 5-10 Jr. (15.6); Allison McGrath, 5-9 Fr. (14.0); Breanna Raymond, 6-0 Sr.; Lindsey Noss, 5-3 Jr.
Bonus Shots: Hickory head coach Jeanette Whitehead’s (17th year, 253-163) and the Lady Hornets finished 2nd in D-10 Region 5 with a 10-2 record, behind Franklin (12-0), which captured its 2nd straight D-10 crown with a win over Villa Maria. ... Arbanas has fired in 449 points this season, while Grober has 397 and 1,082 for her career. ... Hickory beat Warren (58-43) in the D-10 quarterfinals and lost to Villa (49-37) in the semis. Villa had won the previous 6 D-10 AA titles, but was bumped up to AAA this season. ... Hickory beat Mercyhurst Prep (50-43) in the consolation game to advance to the PIAAs. Against Prep Arbanas bucketed 22 while Grober had 18. Arbanas (14) and Grober (13) scored in double digits against Villa and Grober (19), Chess (14) and Arbanas (12) reached double figures vs. Warren. ... Besides Prep, Hickory’s other 3 losses came against Franklin (48-36 and 46-30) and to Canfield, Ohio, which advanced to regionals after capturing the OHSAA Division II Austintown Sectional championship with a 40-37 win over West Branch. ... Last season, Hickory beat Warren (54-43 in OT) in the D-10 quarters and Gen. McLane (58-51) in the semis before falling to Franklin (48-38) in the title tilt. Their season came to an end with an opening-round loss to South Park (46-35) in the PIAAs at North Hills High. In that game, a poor 1st half doomed the locals. South Park led 15-7 after 1 and 29-15 at halftime. Hickory outscored them 8-6 in the 3rd and 12-11 in the 4th. Lindsay (13) and Torris (12) led SP while Macy Horvath, who has since graduated, paced Hickory with 11 points. Arbanas scored 9 and Grober 4. South Park Coach Reggie Wells’ Lady Eagles won the WPIAL Section 5-AAA title with a 12-0 record and are on a 10-game winning streak. ... They score 63.7 points per game and only allow 38.3. ... Their only losses came against Pflugerville, Texas (72-51) — 12th in the country, according to USA Today — in the KSA Holiday Tourney in Orlando in late December, and to Hopewell (49-34) on Jan. 19 at the Pittsburgh Classic at Ambridge High. Pflugerville recently lost in the Texas State Class 5-A semifinals to Steele (69-60), who went on to lose the state championship game to Duncanville. ... In the WPIAL playoffs, they beat Indiana (54-38) in the 1st round, routed Hampton (69-37) in the quarters, ousted Hopewell (75-55) in the semis, then beat Elizabeth Forward (50-32) to capture the championship. In the title tilt, South Park led 15-7 at the end of the 1st quarter, 30-11 at halftime and cruised. McGrath had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Torris bucketed 13, Raymond had 11 points and 10 boards and Lindsay scored 8. ... It was SP’s 3rd overall WPIAL title (1998 and 2008). Last season, they fell in the WPIAL title game to Hopewell (50-34), ousted Hickory in the 1st round of the PIAAs, beat Hollidaysburg (68-47) in the 2nd round before falling to Archbishop Wood (59-56). ... The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 790 (WPIC AM), with Ryan Briggs and Tony Mastrian calling the action. Airtime is 4 p.m. — By Rob Malsom, Herald sports writer.
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.
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
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
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.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.
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.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
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!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
“I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”
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