Seven ties, 11 lead changes, 1,000 points.
And one big basket.
Tuesday’s Sharon-Hickory District 10 Region 5-AAA boys’ basketball rivalry offered virtually everything, including dramatic heroics.
Matt Votino’s baseline drive banked off the glass with 42.7 seconds remaining, hoisting Hickory to a 59-58 lead. Then he and Anthony Cannone secured success from the free-throw line in the Hornets’ 65-58 victory.
Needing a dozen, Votino vaulted past the 1,000-point career milestone with 6:01 remaining in the 1st half, and he finished with a game-high 34-point performance that included 13-for-15 free-throw marksmanship — 8 for 9 during the 2nd half.
“He’s truly a great player and he’s stepped up big time. I’m just happy he’s on our team,” Hickory headmaster Nick Cannone confided.
“I tried my hardest no to think about getting a thousand points — all I wanted was a win,” Votino related. “Our main goal is to win championships, and I could care less about getting a thousand points. It feels great to have it, but I just wanted to make sure I got that ‘W.’”
Votino and Anthony Cannone collectively converted 23 of 25 freebies — Cannone was a flawless 10-for-10 for the 2nd time in a week — while Sharon shot 4 free throws in all.
“We knew their two guards could really shoot the lights out ... and that was the difference down the stretch,” 1st-year Tigers’ taskmaster Jason Rankin related.
Following a 14-all 1st-quarter stalemate, the teams were tied at 23 before Hickory harvested a 10-0 run — fueled by back-to-back Votino right-wing triples — and the Hornets held a seemingly safe 33-23 lead with 2:10 remaining to intermission.
But Sharon surged back for 6 consecutive points to conclude the half, then Carnell Hawkins’ 2nd half-opening drive drew the Tigers within 33-31 just 7 ticks in.
“One of our keys was to stay together,” Rankin related. “We knew the crowd would be raucus, we knew this was a big game for us — even though it doesn’t bury us with a loss, we knew it was important — we wanted to stay together.
“We said, ‘There’s gonna be a run, Votino’s gonna hit a big shot, someone’s gonna make a play,’ but we stayed together and I’m proud of them, ’cause they did. In the past, even this season, we would’ve folded and started pointing fingers,” Rankin continued. “But we stuck together, adding,
“The ball didn’t bounce our way with a couple things and I was not happy at all with the calls, but (the Hornets) made the plays,” Rankin praised.
Eight Votino points and 4 from Cannone offset 4 apiece from Hawkins and Khalil Hopson as Hickory hed a 47-41 lead entering the final frame.
But Sharon’s Jevonte Robinson recorded 8 of his 12 points during the period — the 2nd of his two treys was from almost 30 feet from the right wing — as the Tigers clawed within 57-56 with 2:40 left.
Hopson bobbled the ball on a subsequent drive, but D’Amond Crawford collected it laid it in for a 58-57 Sharon lead with a minute remaining, the last lead the Tigers would take.
On Hickory’s ensuing possession Votino was isolated, picked up a corner screen, slithered along the baseline and banked in the go-ahead bucket. He was fouled, but missed the free throw. However, Donté Green grabbed the miss and in a tie-up with Hopson, Hickory was awarded the alternate possession.
Following a Hickory time out, Anthony Cannone canned 4 consecutive free throws — 2 each at the 32.9 and 21-second marks — and the latter was the result of a flagrant foul, which awarded the subsequent possession to the Hornets. Votino added 2 insurance free throws with 16.8 left.
Sharon (2-3, 4-6) was led by Hopson, Robinson and Crawford, who collected 16, 12 and 10 points, respectively. After committing 9 first-half micues the Tigers turned over the ball over only twice during the frenetic 2nd half. Sharon also won the board battle, 28-24.
“One of the things that makes this (rivalry) so big is the size of the gym makes every peep sound like a holler,” Rankin related. “The kids get into it, it’s a rivalry that, for whatever reason the kids don’t like each other, whereas I think the rivalry between Sharon and Farrell is more of a rspect rivalry.
“But it was a great atmosphere, great situation, and I’m looking forward to when we come back to our place (against Hickory), having the same thing,” Rankin said.
Hickory (4-0 7-2), which hit half of its 38 field-goal attempts and turned over the ball only 7 times, maintained its lead atop Region 5-AAAl.
“It was electric out there (Tuesday) night!” Coach Cannone gushed. “When I came out there and I just felt it. Geez oh man, I had the goosebumps going! It was good stuff. This is high school basketball at it’s best. I’ll get out when the hands stop getting clammy — and, man, they were sweating hard before the game!” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä West Middlesex 46, Lakeview 34 — At Stoneboro, the Big Reds (3-0, 6-3) raced out to a 17-2 first quarter lead before withstanding a gradual Sailor comeback to earn a huge Region 2-AA victory.
West Middlesex made 7-of-10 field goals in the first eight minutes, while forcing the Sailors (3-1, 9-2) into 4 miscues and 0-of-6 shooting.
Lakeview managed to cut the deficit to 25-20 on a Dalton Boggs lay-up midway through the third quarter, but Matt Dogan sank 8-of-12 freebies in the fourth quarter, Trey Staunch lent 3 freebies and Jeremy Jansco another as the Big Reds put the game away from the charity stripe.
Dogan led all scorers 19 points, while Staunch tacked on 16 markers and 8 boards.
Lakeview was led by Dalton Boggs’ 15 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals — Information submitted by sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
ä Grove City 89, George Junior Republic 83 — The Tigers tallied 27 first-period points, but the Grovers garnered 75 points during the game’s final 24 minutes — 26 during the 4th frame — to win the city-wide Region 5-AAA showdown.
Derek Turner tallied 31 points for Grove City (2-4, 4-7), while Matt Thrasher threw down 20, Foster Reznor recorded 13, and Jared Graham garnered 11.
The Eagles ended with 31 points from the charity stripe in 46 attempts (67.3).
GJR (1-44, 3-4) was led by Nafis Brown’s 33-point, 13-assist, 5-steal line, but he was the Tigers’ lone double-figure scorer. Also, GJR went to the line just 19 times, sining 13.
ä Greenville 46, Mercer 43 — At Mercer, the Region 2-AA clash was tied at 33-all following 3 quarters, but the Trojans (1-2, 4-6) outscored the Mustangs 13-10 in the final frame to grab the win.
Chad Ferguson drained 4 treys en route to 18 points to lead Greenville.
Logan Clarke fired in a trio of 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 24 points for Mercer (1-3, 4-5).
ä Reynolds 60, Wilmington 56 — At New Wilmington, coach Dan Kilgore’s Raiders (2-2, 7-4) edged the Hounds (0-3, 3-7) in the Region 2-AA affair.
Garrett Frable rifled in 22 points for Reynolds and Cory Woods bucketed 10.
Davis Smith (19), Jesse Hilliard (15) and Rocco Fagan (14) scored in double digits for Wilmington.
ä Kennedy Catholic 81, Jamestown 15 — At Hermitage, KC (1-0, 5-3) led 24-6 after the 1st period and showed no rust since last playing in the Grove City Holiday Tourney to top the Muskies (0-1, 0-9) in a Region 1-A clash.
Jeff Thompkins and Chris James had 11 points each for the Golden Eagles while Arlen Brewer bucketed 10.
Alex Boylan scored 10 points for Jamestown.
ä Rocky Grove 52, Commodore Perry 43 — At Sheakleyville, the visiting Orioles flew out to a 40-29 lead through 3 periods, then limited the Panthers to just 6 fourth-period points en route to Region 1-A road win.
Morrison mustered 11 points and Snyder scored a dozen for Rocky Grove (1-0, 2-8). The Grovers got to the line 30 times, but converted only half, as did Perry (7 for 14).
Pacing Perry (0-1, 2-8) was Sean Britton and Tanner Hildebrand, who evenly divided 20 points.
ä Ursuline 65, Farrell 61 (OT) — At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the visiting Irish outscored the Steelers 10-6 during the extra session en route to the border-war win.
Farrell forged leads of 12-7, 29-23 and 45-41 at the end of each of the first 3 quarters before being outscored 14-10 during the 4th frame, forcing OT.
For Farrell (4-6), Jason Page pumped in 17 points and Malik Miller mustered 13.
Ursuline (3-6) was led by Desmond McElroy and Ryan Strollo, who evenly split 34 points and Jhallid Pierce’s 15 points, as well as Williams’ 10.
ä Brookfield 56, Newton Falls 20 — At Brookfield, the Warriors (7-1) led 12-6 after 8 minutes, 23-6 at the break and rolled past the Tigers (3-6).
Jeremy Quinlan pumped in 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Brookfield while Collin Harkulich added 10 markers and Jimmy Quinlan dished out 4 assists.
Dale Kernen scored 7 to pace Newton Falls.
ä Rocky Grove 42, Reynolds 31 — At Transfer Monday, Amber Nerlich scored 19 points and Aleece Schiffer bucketed 16 as the Lady Orioles (1-0, 6-5) beat Reynolds (0-1, 2-7) in a Region 1-A contest.
Morgan McDanel led the way for the Lady Raiders with 11 points.
ä Champion 43, Brookfield 30 — Monday night at Champion, the host Lady Golden Flashes flew out to 16 third-period points, breaking open a tight 16-15 contest that they led at intermission.
For Champion (7-4), Jordan Skaggs scored a game-high 13 points and teammates Gabby Lamont and MacKenzier Kiser connected for a dozen apiece.
Champion checked in at 21 for 32 from the free-throw line (65.6 percent), while the Lady Warriors were 10 for 13.
Brookfield (4-5) was led by Tori Thompson’s 15 tallies and another 11 from Ashley Kirila.
Seven ties, 11 lead changes, 1,000 points.
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
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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.
WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.
Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins
ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.
Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win
ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.
Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles
The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.
SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move
ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?
WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals
The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).
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