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.
SHARON 10 16 12 15 53
HICKORY 21 5 12 18 56
SHARON — Henry 2-2-4-6, Hawkins 2-0-2-4, Seay 5-1-2-11, Jennings 4-0-0-11, Austin 5-0-0-13, Stovall 2-0-0-5, Hopson 0-0-0-0, Magesto 1-0-0-3. 3-pt. goals: Austin 3, Jennings 3, Stovall 1, Magestro 1. Totals: 21-3-8-53.
HICKORY — Anthony Cannone 12-4-5-31, Green 3-2-2-9, Conley 3-3-4-9, Pryts 2-2-5-6, Tantuo 0-1-2-1, Mastrian 0-0-0-0, Rhoades 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Cannone 3, Green 1. Totals: 20-12-18-56.
JV — Sharon,46-44. Marquez Phillips 15 points for Sharon; Ryan Laverty 14 for Hickory.
GROVE CITY 15 7 9 26 57
GEORGE JUNIOR 13 8 23 21 65
GROVE CITY — Marnich 4-0-2-8, Turner 6-0-0-14, Torok 0-2-2-2, Record 2-0-0-6, Polkabla 1-0-0-2, Barger 2-1-2-5, Reznor 8-1-3-20. 3-pt. goals: Reznor 3, Turner 2, Record 2. Totals: 23-4-9-57.
GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC — Pearson 4-5-9-15, Oliver 5-5-7-15, Baker 4-1-4-10, Holloway 4-2-2-10, Gibson 6-3-5-15. 3-pt. goals: Pearson 2, Baker 1. Totals: 23-16-27-65.
JV — GJR, 64-49. Quadir McNeil 20, Raheam Kelley 16 for GJR. Brendan Record 22, Kyle Barger 12 for GC.
ERIE FIRST 17 12 12 18 59
KENNEDY 8 9 13 6 36
ERIE FIRST CHRISTIAN ACADEMY — Kabongo 1-2-5-4, Hess 5-4-4-15, L. Kallay 7-1-1-17, Mathias 2-0-0-4, Sangoyami 5-2-2-12, H. Kallay 0-1-2-1, Wariboko 2-2-2-6. 3-pt. goals: L. Kallay 2, Hess 1. Totals: 22-12-16-59.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Campbell 4-2-2-13, Zachar 4-7-7-16, N. Cianci 0-3-4-3, Feeney 1-0-0-2, Crow 1-0-1-2. 3-pt. goals: Campbell 3, Zachar 1. Totals: 10-12-14-36.
JV — KC, 52-43. Carmen Schuville 15 for KC.
W. MIDDLESEX 15 19 14 9 57
LAKEVIEW 5 15 8 6 34
WEST MIDDLESEX — Pierce 4-5-8-16, Murray 7-1-1-15, Staunch 1-4-6-6, White 2-0-2-6, Elsey 5-4-4-14, Siefert 0-0-0-0, Havens 0-0-0-0, Lyons 0-0-0-0, Richards 0-0-0-0, Barton 0-0-0-0, Drda 0-0-0-0, Fithian 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Pierce 3, White 2. Totals: 19-14-21-57.
LAKEVIEW — Fischer 5-0-0-12, Foster 4-0-0-10, Casciotti 1-0-0-2, M. Kasbee 0-2-2-2, Womer 3-2-4-8, Holland 0-0-0-0, Gravatt 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Fischer 2, Foster 2. Totals: 9-4-4-6-34.
JV — Lakeview, 44-33. Raygen Fischer 19, Caitlin Casciotti 11 for Lakeview. Katie Richards 10 for WM.
GROVE CITY 10 4 6 5 25
FRANKLIN 6 7 14 12 39
GROVE CITY — Hall 3-0-0-9, Lucido 2-0-1-5, Alexis Deyarmin 0-0-0-0, Brenna Deyarmin 1-0-0-2, Jaskowak 1-2-2-5, Wyllie 2-0-2-4, Hughes 0-0-0-0, Ferguson 0-0-0-0, Sprando 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Hall 3, Lucido 1, Jaskowak 1. Totals: 9-2-5-25.
FRANKLIN — Starr 4-4-4-14, Gravatt 1-6-6-8, Hoover 1-2-2-4, Peiffer 3-0-0-7, Jones 2-2-2-6, Gabrys 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Starr 2, Peiffer 1. Totals: 11-14-14-39.
JV — Grove City, 39-24. Catie Jaskowak 10 points for Grove City; Johnson 15 for Franklin.
YCS 6 9 6 11 32
BROOKFIELD 10 12 11 14 47
YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL — Parks 2-0-0-4, Shavers 3-4-4-10, Snyder 2-2-4-8, Rios 3-0-0-6, Suarez 1-0-0-2, McDowell 1-0-1-2. 3-pt. goals: Snyder 2. Totals: 10-6-9-32.
BROOKFIELD — Aut. Kirila 3-0-0-6, Quinlan 0-1-2-1, DiCristofaro 2-2-4-8, May 1-0-0-2, Saxton 7-0-0-14, Gauding 1-5-6-7, Hiner 3-3-4-9, Drapola 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: DiCristofaro 2. Totals: 17-11-16-47.
JV — Brookfield, 40-18.
SHARON 43, MERCER 25
195 — Bryce Laughlin (S) forfeit; 220 — Colton Smith (M) pinned Tom Flanders, :39; 285 — Brian Phillips (M) forfeit; 106 — Jules Hicklin (S) forfeit; 113 — Preston Hoover (M) maj. dec. Markus Coxson, 11-2; 120 — Ben Shaffer (M) pinned D.J. Templeton, 3:08; 126 — Austin Alfreno (S) maj. dec. Chris Miscky, 11-3; 132 — Jordan Templeton (S) dec. Trevor Fowler, 6-4; 138 — Troy Hejazi (S) pinned Eric Gawne, 4:22; 145 — Sam Gardner (M) dec. Jason Clark, 5-4; 152 — Nick McClimans (S) dec. Eli Rutter, 3-2; 160 — Giovanni Volpe (S) forfeit; 170 — Cory Buchanan (S) forfeit; 182 — Beau Dignall (S) dec. Troy Sagulla, 3-1. JV: No match.
JAMESTOWN 44, SHARPSVILLE 21
106 — double forfeit; 113 — Hunter Goodlin (J) tech. fall Andy Ryan, 16-1, 4:40; 120 — double forfeit; 126 — Nick Enos (S) dec. Clayton Shirey, 6-1; 132 — Austan Szugye (S) forfeit; 138 — Jacob Reaugh (J) pinned Mike Mellot, 2:56; 145 — Mason Millero (S) forfeit; 152 — Trey Lamont (J) forfeit; 160 — Nathan Blattner (J) forfeit; 170 — Garrett Morgan (J) pinned Eli Soles, 2:25; 182 — William Shappee (J) pinned P.J. Campoli, 2:29; 195 — Mohammed Messai (J) forfeit; 220 — Jason Shappee (J) dec. Chris Mueller, 6-4; 285 — Jacob Llewellyn (S) pinned Trenton Wargo, 2:07. JV: No match.
Some nights, a player can’t throw the ball in the ocean; others, the rim appears to be as wide as the ocean.
Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships
HERSHEY, Pa. — Move over Rod Wright!
Lakeview senior heavyweight star Sam Breese had a goal coming into the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center — besides winning a second state crown, that is.
WM knocks off Neshannock in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — The notion of Trey Staunch sneaking up on opposing teams is laughable. At 6-foot-3 and approximately 225 pounds, the stout Staunch is not sneaking up on anyone.
However after posting a game-high 31-point, 18-rebound performance in West Middlesex High basketball team’s 76-66 PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Neshannock Saturday night, Staunch said opponents may have been overlooking the Big Reds.
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.
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- Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships