Some nights, a player can’t throw the ball in the ocean; others, the rim appears to be as wide as the ocean.
Hickory High’s Anthony Cannone saw the spectrum from both perspectives within a 72-hour span this week — the latter Thursday night against neighboring Sharon.
Cannone connected for a career-high 31-point performance, helping hoist the Hornets to a 56-53 Region 5-AAA win.
At The Hive, however, Cannone clanked the front end of a 1-and-1 bonus free-throw situation with 19.1 ticks to play and the Hornets holding a 54-53 lead.
That set the stage for his teammate, Donté Green.
Following Cannone’s miss, Daunell Stovall secured a loose-ball rebound for Sharon. But Green grabbed Jason Austin’s potential go-ahead layin, then was fouled. He subsequently sank both ends of his own 1-and-1 wih 5.6 seconds remaining.
“I got lucky (Thursday) night,” Cannone confided, overlooking his 12-for-19 shooting performance, before he added in a self-deprecating manner, “I think I did have a double-double: I think I finished with thirty-one points and about twelve turn-overs.
“But that’s a credit to my teammates. I have THE greatest teammates in the world,” Cannone praised. “They play so hard, and they pick me up every time I’m down.
“He’s huge,” regarding Green, Cannone complimented. “He’s been with me for, I don’t know how long. We started playing AAU together in the third grade, so we have that chemistry, that bond. We’re like brothers.
“I talk with him before every game, and I say, ‘Hey, we’re the two captains, the senior leaders, we’ve been battle-tested,” Cannone continued. “He’s been the greatest complement to me of anyone on this team. When I missed that foul shot, he got the ball, he got fouled and I went right up to him and said, ‘You pick me up.’
“He knocked those two foul shots down, that’s as big as can be.”
Hickory (9-4, 13-4) held a seemingly safe 53-45 lead with 1:59 remaining after Cannone converted a Tigers’ turnover into a score. Howeve Austin and ’Bray Jennings jolted the Hornets for back-to-back triples as Sharon surged within 53-51.
Nick Tantuo added the front end of a 1-and-1 and Hickory had a 54-51 lead with 57.2 seconds. But Stovall scored on a drive, taking the Tigers to within 54-53 with 30.3 ticks.
Ultimately, however, Hickory parlayed the free-throw line, converting 12 of 18 — 6 for 9 during the 4th frame — while Sharon (5-8, 8-11) shot just 3 for 8.
The Tigers’ took their lone lead (23-22) with 3:24 left in the 2nd stanza on Austin’s right-wing triple. The remainder of the evening for Sharon was spent playing catch-up.
With Cannone canning 15 first-quarter points and the Hornets hitting 7 of 9 floor shots, Hickory held a 21-10 lead. However Hickory then committed 9 miscues during the 2nd stanza while Sharon shot 7 for 12 from the field.
With Curtis Seay scoring 6 of his 11 points and Austin adding 5, the Tigers tied the tilt at 26 at intermission. Drew Magestro’s corner trey with 7.8 secured the stalemate.
Hickory embarked on an 8-0 spree to commence the 2nd half, with Tantuo twice feeding Cannone. However, predictably, Sharon surged back with its own 12-4 spree.
Austin banked in a top-of-the-key triple as part of the run, while Jennings’ trey from the corner knotted the count at 38 by the 3rd quarter’s conclusion.
The 4th frame featured a trio of lead changes sandwiching a stalemate at 41 with 6:37 remaining. Aaron Conley converted a pair of freebies with 5:03 left for a 43-41 Hickory lead which it did not relinquish.
In addition to Cannone, Green and Conley evenly divided 18 additional points, Bubba Pryts pulled down a game-high 9 rebounds and Conley collected 6 — helping Hickory to a 34-19 margin — and Cannone, Green and Tantuo dished out 4, 3 and 3 assists, respectively. Hickory had a 51.2 percent shooting performance (20 of 39), but the Hornets also had 22 turnovers.
For Sharon, Austin annexed a team-high 13 tallies while Jennings and Seay split another 22. Austin and Jennings both tallied a trio of treys, Sharon’s strong suit. However the Tigers tallied only 21 of 51 floor shots (41.1), though turning over the ball only 13 times.
After losing Tuesday night at Oil City, the bounce-back win was big, Cannone confided.
“It’s a competitive (region). We lost a tough one at Oil City. I didn’t have my best game at all — that game was completely on me one hundred percent. I didn’t shoot the ball well, I didn’t take care of the ball, I was, pretty much, a no-show,” Cannone confessed, adding. “I had that mentality that I had to bounce back.
“Last time we were ever gonna play Sharon on our court. Our senior class has never lost to them in basketball, so it’s great to get a win, especially against them and go out like that,” Cannone concluded. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä George Junior Republic 65, Grove City 57 — At GJR in Grove City, a trio of Tigers had double-doubles as George Junior Republic improved to 5-7 in Region 5-AAA and 8-9 overall with the 8-point win over the Eagles (7-7, 12-7).
Ron Pearson, Qayshawn Oliver and Malik Gibson all had double-doubles for GJR. Pearson scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Oliver bucketed 15 and ripped down 13 boards and Gibson registered 15 points and a dozen rebounds.
Also for the Tigers, Hadari Baker and Tamair Holloway had 10 points each. Baker also had 5 rebounds and dished out 8 assists.
Foster Reznor led Grove City with a game-high 20 points and Derek Turner scored 14.
ä Erie First Christian Academy 59, Kennedy Catholic 36 — At Hermitage, Erie First (11-8) led 17-8 after the opening quarter and went on to notch the win over KC (11-8).
Logan Kallay fired in 17 points for EFCA, Luke Hess bucketed 15 and 6-foot-11 senior Olusola Valentine Sangoyami scored 12.
Gerald Zachar led the way for Kennedy Catholic with 16 points and Andre Campbell tallied 13.
ä West Middlesex 57, Lakeview 34 — At Stoneboro, coach Mike Williams’ Ms. Reds (3-6, 8-11) snapped a 5-game losing streak with the Region 2-AA win over the Lady Sailors (0-11, 5-13).
West Middlesex jumped out to a 15-5 lead after the opening 8 minutes and never looked back in posting the win.
Alyson Pierce led the Ms. Reds with a game-high 16 points, 6 assists and 3 steals while Noelle Murray scored 15 points and had 3 steals.
Also for WM, Gretchen Elsey scored 14 points, Kristen White pulled down a dozen rebounds and Allie Staunch added 11 boards.
Raygen Fischer led the way for Lakeview with 12 points, Hailee Foster scored 10 and Sam Womer had 6 rebounds.
ä Franklin 39, Grove City 25 — At The Castle in Venango County, the host Lady Knights notched the Region 5-AAA victory owing to one key component: Franklin (6-4, 13-7) forged 14-for-14 free-throw marksmanship.
Grove City garnered only 2 of 5 freebies, and the Lady Eagles ended with 15 points during the game’s final 24 minutes.
For Franklin, Angelina Starr scored a game-high 14 points, and she and Becca Gravatt garnered respective 4-for-4 and 6-for-6 sin-stripe shooting.
Haley Hall hit a trio of triples for 9 points to lead Grove City (6-4, 12-7).
ä Brookfield 47, Youngstown Christian School 32 — At Brookfield, coach Shawn Hammond’s Lady Warriors improved to 14-5 with the win vs. the Lady Eagles (5-13).
Delaney Saxton led the way for Brookfield with 14 points.
YCS was paced by Daria Shavers, who scored 10 points.
ä Sharon 43, Mercer 25 — At Mercer, coach Dave Ciafre’s Tigers improved to 13-5 with the Region 1 win over the Mustangs.
Troy Hejazi (138) posted the only pin for Sharon while Austin Alfreno won via major decision at 126 pounds.
Ben Shaffer (120) and Colton Smith (220) registered pins for Mercer and Preston Hoover won at 113 pounds with a major decision.
Ciafre noted that Sharon is hosting a double dual on Saturday. The Tigers face Slippery Rock at 6:30 p.m. and will then wrestle West Middlesex. Those 2 matches were postponed on Wednesday night.
ä Jamestown 44, Sharpsville 21 — On Senior Night at Sharpsville, the Muskies earned the non-region win over the Devils.
Jacob Reaugh (138), Garrett Morgan (170) and William Shappee (220) scored falls for the Muskies.
Jacob Llewellyn had the lone fall for the Blue Devils (6-11) at 285 pounds.
Seniors for Sharpsville coach John Whalen are Llewellyn, P.J. Campoli, Ben Bucher, Gage Priester, Eli Soles and Austan Szugye.
Some nights, a player can’t throw the ball in the ocean; others, the rim appears to be as wide as the ocean.
Roundup: Rockets, Hornets, Blue Devils win
ä Slippery Rock 11, Grove City 3 — At Memorial Park in Grove City, Travis Lauster singled and tripled and reached base 4 times as the defending District 10 Class AAA champion Slippery Rock Rockets beat the Eagles.
Joe Barnhart went the distance for Slippery Rock. He gave up a dozen hits in earning the win. At the dish for Slippery Rock, Jackson Kerchis, Butler and Matt Badger all had 2 hits and Arrenzo doubled.
Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM
ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP
Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.
Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach
Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
Hickory track coaches near finish line
While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.
SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team
WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
How’s that working out, Dan?
Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.
Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational
Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).
Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4
ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.
Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win
Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.
Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites
Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work computer before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.
Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season
Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.
Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon
An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.
Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps
ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year
LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.
Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.
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