The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

January 4, 2013

Roundup: Hickory, Lakeview, Sharpsville, WM boys teams grab region wins

---- — We’ve just emerged from the season for giving.

However as high school basketball’s regular season commenced its post-holiday segment, there’s no forgiving — or forgetting — the costly mistakes that can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Thursday night at The Hive, Hickory High boys basketball team remained unbeaten in Region 5-AAA play via a 65-50 victory over visiting Grove City. But the Eagles did not make it easy.

“They had us rattled. But it’s thirty-two minutes, and we’ll take it,” Hornets’ head coach Nick Cannone contended.

Hickory (3-0, 5-2) had a half-dozen 3rd-quarter turnovers — 1 more miscue than it committed during the 1st half in building a 37-28 bulge — and gritty Grove City got within 43-42 with 1:29 remaining in the period on Derek Turner’s pair of free throws..

But during the 4th frame Hickory’s Anthony Cannone converted all 8 of his free-throw attempts — the first 6 of which in 1-and-1 bonus situations — and finished a flawless 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.

“I just think some kids like to be at the line; some don’t,” coach Cannone confided.

The Hornets hit 11 of 14 free throws during the decisive quarter and converted 13 of 16 in all (81.2 percent).

Despite a quartet of double-digit scorers in Matt Votino (16), Cannone (15), Vinnie Mastrian (12) and Donté Green (10); 8, 7 and 7 rebounds, respectively snared by Green, Marcus Sonoga and Mastrian, and 5 and 4 assists distributed by Cannone and Votino,  Coach Cannone was not completely content with his club.

“We’ve gotta get better. You know, after the long holiday, then we played up at McDowell (in a tournament), then to come in here, first game of the new year against Grove City — which hasn’t been putting up wins, but they’re well coached ... they’re improving already, and they had a little bounce there. I was getting a little worried there in the third quarter,” Cannone admitted.

“But we’ve seen things like this. People make runs at us, but when you have an experienced team, they usually answer, and it wasn’t just one or two people,” Cannone continued. “My job now is to try to develop our bench and try to get positive minutes out of the non-starters, ’cause last year we played six, and I don’t know if that hurt us at the end or not. You lose the last three league games, and I don’t know if that’s fatigue or not.”

Veteran mentor Don Fee of Grove City (0-4, 2-7) did not go as deep into his rotation as Cannone.

Turner tallied a game-high 21 points — tossing in a trio of treys — snared 7 caroms and dished out 3 assists, and Jared Graham garnered 10 points off the bench on 5-for-6 shooting. Graham and Danny Torok split a half-dozen assists, also.

The Eagles ended 19 for 40 from the field (47.5 percent) — considerably more accurate than Hickory (22 of 55, 40 percent) — but the Grovers got to the line only 13 times, sinking 7, and gave up 17 turnovers.

“I knew it was gonna be like this (Thursday) night,” Cannone confided. “It always is. It’s a region game.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.

BOYS BASKETBALL

ä Franklin 48, Farrell 37 —
At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium in Farrell, the visiting Knights (4-0, 6-2) outscored the Steelers 17-9 in the final quarter to earn the Region 5-AAA win.

Noah Jones rifled in 19 points for Franklin and Clayton Maxon added 14.

Ike Jones and Jamel Brown had 12 points each for Farrell (2-2, 4-4).

ä West Middlesex 65, Mercer 46 — At West Middlesex, the Big Reds (2-0, 5-3) led 14-12 after the opening quarter, but outscored the Mustangs 23-7 before the break to notch the Region 2-AA victory.

Matt Dogan fired in 20 points for West Middlesex, Trey Staunch bucketed 18 and Jeremy Jancso scored 15.

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