MERCER COUNTY —
Who: West Middlesex (21-4) vs. Johnsonburg (23-5).
What: Sweet Sixteen.
When: 6 p.m. today.
Where: Clarion University of Pa. Tippin Gymnasium.
Players to Watch: West Middlesex—Matt Dogan, 6-4 Jr. point guard (23.1 points per game); Trey Staunch, 6-3 Fr. post (14.0); Jeremy Jancso, 6-5 Jr. forward (8.7); Jerrod Palmer, 5-10 Jr. shooting guard (7.0); Roman Klaric, 5-10 Jr. swing-guard (3.8); Christian Porterfield, 6-0 Jr. swingman; Mike Ginther, 6-6 Jr. forward. Johnsonburg—Cameron Grumley, 5-9 Soph. guard (13 ppg.); Cole Peterson, 5-10 Soph. guard (12.3); Quinn Luhr, 6-1 Jr. forward (7.9); Mitch Holmberg, 5-9 Jr. guard (6.4); Michael Shuey, 6-5 Sr. post (6.4); Frank Kocjancic, 6-0 Jr. guard (6.0); Kyle Sheldon, 6-0 Jr. forward (4.1).
Bonus Shots: The Big Reds roared to their 17th consecutive conquest in their PIAA playoff opener via the victory over North Catholic (61-50). They have not lost this calendar year, since suffering a setback to Youngstown East (68-66) at the annual Dresch-McCluskey Holiday Tourney. ... Chad Mild (210-125) is in his 13th year at his alma mater’s helm. This edition of the Big Reds recorded the 4th 20-win season under his direction and captured the program’s 1st District 10 title since 1980 with a 41-38 win over Kennedy Catholic on Palmer’s 3-point OT buzzer-beater. After ending as D-10 runners-up last year, the Big Reds lost to eventual PIAA silver medalist Lincoln Park (70-35) in their state tourney opener. ... Middlesex has made 462 free throws, according to information furnished by AD Mike Williams, and Dogan has drained not quite half of them (204). Collectively, the Big Reds have recorded approximately 71 percent marksmanship from the charity stripe. ... Bill Shuey (5th season, 91-44) skippers Johnsonburg. The Allegheny Mountain League Northern Division Rams rely on defense, outscoring opponents 55.5 to 39.4. ... At Clarion U., Johnsonburg ousted D-6 runner-up Bishop Carroll (57-47) in its PIAA lidlifter, overcoming 25 turnovers and mediocre free-throw shooting (12 for 22) with 75 percent shooting from the floor (21 for 38), according to D9sports.com. Shuey said on D9sports.com, “We were lucky to have twenty-five turnovers and win the game. ... We could have easily held the ball and got a better shot, but we’re still going a hundred miles per hour — and it’s not from (opponents’.) ball pressure; it’s trying to make something out of nothing.” ... Johnsonburg’s losses have occurred to Ridgway (45-38, Elk County Catholic Tipoff Tourney; 39-38, regular season; 49-46, AML championship game, and 40-37, D-9 title tilt — its last D-9 banner was hoisted in 1983); also, Brookville (64-55). The Rams recorded a regular-season win (53-41) in early-February. .. . These programs have a playoff history: In ’03-04 Johnsonburg jolted Middlesex (66-44). ... Johnsonburg’s last PIAA playoff win occurred in the 3rd round of that ’04 postseason, a victory over Vincentian (58-37). ... According to D9sports.com, Johnsonburg’s program has notched 13 trips to the state playoffs and has won at least once in 8 of those appearances. ... This is a virtual “home” game for both Johnsonburg and Ridgway.— By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
Who: Kennedy Catholic (16-9) vs. Ridgway (26-1).
What: Sweet Sixteen.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Clarion University of Pa. Tippin Gymnasium.
Players to Watch: Kennedy Catholic—Mac Hartman, 6-5 Jr. post (14.5 points per game); Kenny Fill, 6-2 Sr. swingman (11.4); Jeffrey Thompkins, 6-2 Jr. swingman (11.0); Lamont McPhatter, 5-11 Soph. swing-guard (5.0); Gerald Zachar, 5-9 Soph. point guard (2.9); Jimmie D’Onofrio, 5-11 Jr. guard; Sam Crow, 6-0 Soph. forward. Ridgway—Eric Matheson, 5-10 Sr. guard (18 ppg.); Jesse Reynolds, 6-1 Jr. guard (9.3); Jordan Lundin, 5-10 Sr. guard (8.4); Josh Mitchell, 6-2 Jr. forward (5.7); Aaron Sorge, 5-11 Sr. guard (5.3); Alex Oknefski, 6-3 Sr. post (3.2).
Bonus Shots: The Golden Eagles enjoyed the program’s initial PIAA playoff win since ’09 by KO’d Cornell (64-53). KC copped its 1st staet tourney triumph in 3rd-year head coach Rick Mancino’s tenure (45-24) at his alma mater. ... A third of Kennedy’s losses were handed out by West Middlesex, including the District 10 title tilt. ... With that opening-round win the Golden Eagles evened their slate during the last dozen games. ... Kennedy Catholic has captured a half-dozen commonwealth crowns, the first of which (1986) included starters Mancino and his current lead assistant Brian Hoover. The Golden Eagles ended as PIAA runners-up in their last appearance on the statewide stage (’09). ... Coach Tony Allegretto’s Elkers eased to the Allegheny Mountain League Southern Division crown (including a quartet of wins over Johnsonburg). Ridgway roared to a 57.7 to 38.8 nightly norm scoring differential. ... The D-9 championship was the program’s 1st since 1992 (its last PIAA playoff berth) when it competed in Class AA, according to D9sports.com. ... “This was our goal from the beginning. Twenty years in the making, and we finally got a district championship,” Matheson said. ... The Elkers eliminated Sewickley Academy (42-33) in their PIAA playoff opener at Clarion. Allegretto admitted to D9sports.com , “We’ve been really good at blowing leads lately. But the kids keep right on going and seem to make the play we need to.” ... Matheson may be the school’s career scoring leader, but that could not be confirmed by D9sports.com. ... The D-9 champion has won 14 of its last 15 opening-round games on the statewide stage (DuBois Central Catholic lost to Neshannock in 2010), according to D9sports.com. ...
— By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
Who: Kennedy Catholic (21-3) vs. Clarion Area (22-4).
What: Sweet Sixteen.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Butler High.
Top Players: Kennedy Catholic — Alex Ricketts, 5-11 Jr. G/F, 13.6; Marina Wareham, 5-4 Sr. G, 11.7; Brie Dickson, 5-8 Jr. G/F, 10.9; Rachel Burns, 5-10 Jr. G/F, 10.7; Courtney Sargent, 6-2 Jr. F/C, 7.4; Angelene Rapone, 5-6 Sr. G, 6.0. Clarion Area — Kyla Miles, 5-11 Soph. G, 12.1; Brianna Nellis, 5-5 Sr. G, 8.2; Liz Shannonhouse, 5-9 Sr. F, 7.9; Maci Thornton, 5-5 Fr. G, 7.8; Ashley Hummell, 5-8 Jr. F, 7.0; Hannah Wolf, 5-10 Jr. F, 6.2; Kate Fillman, 5-10 Jr. G, 6.1.
Bonus Shots: The Lady Golden Eagles, under 5th-year coach Tom Burns, are ranked 3rd in the state by The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News rankings that were released Sunday. They had previously been ranked 4th. ... Wareham has 1,073 career points, Ricketts has compiled 935 and Burns sits at 754. ... KC's 3 losses this season are against Franklin (73-57) in the Franklin Tipoff Tourney title game, Ursuline (38-35) and Beaver Area (44-32) in the PSU-Beaver Tourney over the holidays. ... KC opened the season with a win over Laurel in the Franklin Tourney and then fell to 1-2 with the back-to-back losses to Franklin and Ursuline. ... Franklin won the D-10 Class AAA title and play Chartiers Valley Wednesday at New Castle High. Ursuline made a deep run in the OHSAA Div. III playoffs before being upset by United. Beaver Area lost to Char Valley in the 1st round of the WPIAL playoffs. ... KC is on a 17-game winning streak. ... In the D-10 playoffs, KC had a 1st-round bye, routed Linesville (79-48) in the semis and rolled past Conneaut Valley (56-21) for its 3rd D-10 title (2nd straight) in 4 seasons. ... The KC girls have won 18 D-10 titles and 1 PIAA title (2001). ... On Saturday, KC pounded Riverview (59-30) at Sharon High in the 1st round of the state playoffs. Burns bucketed 19 and Dickson contributed 13 markers. ... KC's tough defense and balanced scoring have given teams fits this season. They are only allowing 35 points per game while scoring 66.9 a game. ... KC advanced to the 2nd round of the PIAAs last season. The 2 years prior to that, they were ousted in the 1st round. ... Last year, KC beat Rochester (41-27) in the opening round and then fell to Homer-Center (49-44) and finished 21-4. ... Two years ago, they were ousted by Bishop Guilfoyle (64-44), which went on to win their 2nd straight state title and 3rd in 4 years, and 3 seasons ago KC lost to West Forest (53-38). ... Clarion’s Lady Bobcats, coached by 9th-year mentor Roger Walter (142-91), are listed as a "Team to Watch" in The Patriot-News rankings. ... They average 57.8 points per game and allow 40.5. ... Nellis averages 5 assists and 5 steals per game. ... The Lady Cats of District 9, who compete in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference North Division, stunned Hickory (45-42) on Dec. 9at the Kittanning Tipoff Tournament. They then beat Moniteau for the title on Dec. 10. ... They also won the Oil City Christmas Tourney on Dec. 28-29 with wins over Ft. LeBoeuf (60-42) and OC (68-42). ... They finished 10-2 in the KSAC North behind Cranberry (12-0). ... Clarion’s 4 losses this season have come against Keystone (65-45, 39-25) and Cranberry (45-43, 59-39). Keystone is the D-9 Class A champ while Cranberry won the D-9 AA title. Both were still around for the 2nd round of the PIAAs. Keystone plays North Catholic on Wedneday while Cranberry faces Girard Tuesday. ... In the D-9 playoffs, Clarion Area routed Smethport (74-30) in the quarterfinals, edged Elk County Catholic (47-41) in the semis and fell to Keystone (39-25) in the title tilt. ... In the D-9 championship game, Clarion scored 5 second-half points on 2 of 25 shooting. Nellis and Wolf had 6 points each. It was Clarion’s 1st appearance in the district title game since it won the crown in 1992. ... In the 1st round of the PIAA playoffs, the Lady Cats stunned Homer-Center (62-52) at Clarion University for its 1st state playoff win in 20 years (vs. Avonworth 45-41 in ’92). Homer-Center star Katelyn Skinner, who is going D-I University of Hartford, fired in 26 points, but fouled out with 3:01 to go with Clarion leading 54-50. Skinner finished with 1,766 career points, H-C's all-time leading scorer. Nellis had 16 points and 6 rebounds and Miles bucketed 12 to lead Clarion. Homer-Center had 3 returning starters (5 seniors total) who advanced all the way to the western region finals last year before bowing out to Bishop Guilfoyle, who then lost the PIAA title game to Steelton-Highspire. ... Last season, Clarion was ousted in the 1st round of the PIAAs by North Catholic (80-41). ... Liz Shannonhouse is the daughter of Farrell High boys coach Roland Shannonhouse. — By Rob Malsom, Herald sports editor.
MERCER COUNTY —
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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