Don’t tell any of the committee members, but the 2013 District 10 Class AA boys’ basketball playoffs commenced Tuesday night in West Middlesex.
And this much we’ve learned: There’s no No. 1 and 1-A; it’s clear-cut Nos. 1 and 2, at least in the regular season’s waning weeks.
The host Big Reds unleashed the Beast of the East, as Trey Staunch’s game-high 21-point, 14-rebound double led West Middlesex’s 62-47 wire-to-wire win over Lakeview.
“The best thing that could happen is if we meet for a third time,” Lakeview Sailors’ skipper Gary Burke observed. “Both teams are gonna get to work, and we’re very excited about hopefully meeting them in the District 10 championship game.”
The outcome was decided in a trio of key statistics: West Middlesex committed only 5 miscues to Lakeview’s 12; the Big Reds outrebounded the Sailors, 37-24, and the free-throw line once again was West Middlesex’s comfort zone.
Middlesex (9-0, 16-3) entered the contest having collectively converted 337 of 483 freebies, compared with Lakeview’s 191-for-290 shooting. Tuesday night the Big Reds recorded 16-for-19 marksmanship, led by Staunch’s 7-for-8 shooting, while the Sailors sank only 5 of 7 freebies. Brandon Rice and Coty Gander were DQ’d on personals approximately 43 seconds apart in the 4th frame.
“I know we’re solid at the free-throw line, we’ve got an experienced group, know what’s a good shot, what’s not a good shot, and I thought we did a nice job with our delay game at the end,” veteran Middlesex mentor Chad Mild mused.
“I thought we were pretty efficient. They played a real soft type of zone, almost a match-up,” Mild said, “and we talked about not having unforced turnovers (Tuesday)night, and we did a real good job with that. And we did a nice job on the boards,” Mild added, admitting,
“It was a team effort, and I’m real happy with where we’re at right now.”
The Big Reds raced to a 47-33 lead entering the 4th frame, then senior standout Matt Dogan drained 4 freebies. The dominant Dogan displayed a 21-point, 7-rebound, 4-assist line.
“We created a lot of turnovers, too,” Dogan noted, praising, “(Jeremy) Jancso (who) does a heckava job on that press. He’s real long and gets a ton of steals for us. We wanted to push the issue, attack, and Staunch was just a beast inside for us.
“So if we keep attacking the hoop and get to the free-throw line, I think we’ll be successful,” Dogan added.
In addition to Dogan and Staunch, Jancso joined in with 10 points, as did Jerrod Palmer, who tossed in a trio of treys. Middlesex’s 5th starter, Roman Klaric, handed out a handful of assists, also.
Leading Lakeview (8-2, 16-3) was Dalton Boggs’ 14-point, 6-rebound, 3-assist line. But he was the Sailors’ sole double-figure scorer. Casey Greggs got only 6 points and 7 rebounds, and the Sailors seemed reluctant to shoot even after penetrating Middlesex’s zone. Gander got 9 points and Zach VanDusen 7.
“That’s something we’ve struggled with all season long,” Burke admitted. “Everything flows through Dalton and Casey, and the other guys, they’re just kind’ve recipients of (Boggs’ and Greggs’) hard work. We’ve talked to them about the fact they’re gonna have to make plays on their own, and be assertive on the offensive end of the floor.
“ ... We just didn’t finish, and against a team like this when you get an easy look, you’ve gotta knock it down, and unfortuantely, we just left too many shots unfinished to beat a good Middlesex team,” Burke noted.
The Sailors shot only 18 for 46 (39.1 percent) from the field, compared with West Middlesex’ 21-for-54 (38.8) effort.
West Middlesex’s win was its 12th straight, but Dogan did not want to look too far into the future.
“It was a fun game to play in,” admitted the senior standout, who has scored 1,964 career points, according to school statisticians. “It doesn’t clinch the region yet for us, but it gives us a good shot with three games left — all region games — so we win one more and that clinches it.”
Echoed Mild, “It’s great, it’s high school basketball at it’s best, a great atmosphere. I told Coach Burke, I’d love to play them again in the district final. I wish them the best. Very good team, and I think it’s a great match-up for both teams.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Hickory 57, Oil City 47 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, veteran coach Nick Cannone captured his 400th career victory as the Hornets (11-1, 15-3) topped the Oilers (4-8, 9-9) in a Region 5-AAA matchup.
Cannone has coached hoops at West Middlesex, Farrell, Wilmington and is now in his 10th season as the boys coach at Hickory.
Anthony Cannone scored 15 points for the Hornets while Matt Votino bucketed 13.
Logan Way scored 15 to lead OC, Andrew Williams had 14 points and Devon Geib tallied a dozen markers.
ä Sharon 60, Franklin 42 — At Tiger Gymnasium, Sharon, coach Jason Rankin’s Tigers (8-4, 10-7) posted an impressive 18-point win over the Knights (9-4, 11-8) in a Region 5-AAA clash.
Aubray Jennings fired in a trio of treys en route to 15 points for Sharon while Darrell Stovall scored 11 and D’amond Crawford tallied 10 markers.
Noah Jones scored 12 to pace Franklin and Clayton Maxon registered 11 points.
ä Meadville 70, Farrell 68 (2OT) — At “The House of Thrills,” the host Bulldogs were being blown out 23-8 after 1 period, but rallied en route to the crucial Region 5-AAA win,.
The teams traded the lead in the 4th frame until Meadville’s Trevor Clune connected from the 3-point line at the buzzer to force overtime.
Clune copped a game-high 25 points for MASH (9-4, 13-5), which is vying with Sharon for 3rd place in the region behind Hickory and Franklin. Also, Zak Price pumped in 19 points and Jason Clune connected for 14.
For Farrell (8-5, 11-8), Jason Page produced a career-best 32 points and Jamel Brown bucketed 17.
ä Slippery Rock 54, Grove City 52 — At Slippery Rock, Ryan Currie converted a short jumper with 15 seconds left to lift the Rockets (2-10, 3-15) to the Region 5-AAA victory over their archrival Grove City (2-11, 4-14).
The Eagles jumped out to a 17-8 lead midway through the second quarter but allowed Slippery Rock to pull to within 23-22 entering the break.
The Rockets continued their hot streak and took a 47-41 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Grove City scored 11 of the next 16 points and forced the game’s eighth tie on Derek Turner’s lay-up with 33 seconds left in the game, setting up Currie’s heroics.
Slippery Rock’s defense coerced Grove City into 9-of-23 shooting from downtown and 18-of-43 total from the field.
The Eagles were led by Turner’s 18 points, while Matt Thrasher (13) and Danny Torok (10) also reached double figures.
Shane Karl led Slippery Rock with 14 points and was followed by Bobby Paczkowski (13) and Jake Whitmer (10) — Information submitted by sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
ä Mercer 47, Greenville 44 — At Greenville, the visiting Mustangs mustered 17 fourth-period points erasing a 37-30 deficit in the Region 2-AA road tilt
Logan Clarke collected 8 of hits 14 points and Nate Guiler garnered 7 of his 16 during the 4th frame for the Mustangs (4-6, 7-11).
For Greenville (1-8, 4-14), Luke Houpt hammered home 16 points and Matt Jones joined in with a dozen.
ä Commodore Perry 40, Jamestown 29 — At Sheakleyville, the Muskies (1-6, 1-16) led 22-17 at halftime, but the Panthers (1-5, 4-15) rallied to earn the Region 1-A win.
Brandon Stringert scored 11 points for CP while Phillip Stringert bucketed 10 for CP.
Alex Boylan was the leading point-getter for the Muskies with 10 points.
ä Sharpsville 81, Cambridge Springs 58 — At Sharpsville, the Blue Devils (10-8) led 19-13 after the opening 8 minutes and rolled past Region 3 Cambridge Springs (4-13).
Tyler Luchey fired in 20 points for Sharpsville while Jalen Mockabee bucketed 19 and Jake Bulick added 11 markers.
Palmero (16), Schmidt (16), Porter (12) and Hahn (10) scored in double digits for CS.
ä Youngstown East 75, Brookfield 62 — At Brookfield, the visiting Panthers produced 48 second-half points en route to the road rout.
The trio of Marquis Cotton, Terrell McClane and Deantay Scott combined for 60 points, led by Scott’s game-high 29-point performance and Cotton’s 21-point contribution.
East eased to 12-6.
For Brookfield (12-3) Jeremy Quinlan connected for 20 points to move with a basket of the career 1,000-point pleature. However, he was the Warriors’ lone double-digit scorer.
On Friday, Brookfield hosts Youngstown Christian.
Quinlan can become the 4th Brookfield basketball player — 2nd male — to accomplish the feat, joining Paul Guin, ’67, Sue (Dobosh) Fledderman, ’83, and Morgan Bonekovic, ’07.
According to Warriors’ head coach Bill Kovach, Guin garnered 1,112 points during his Warriors’ tenure.
ä Grove City 49, Conneaut Area 35 — At Grove City, the Lady Eagles (13-6) rallied from a 19-10 deficit after the opening quarter to notch an impressive non-region win over Conneaut Area (16-3), which is leading the Region 3 standings with a perfect 9-0 record.
Corianne Hyduchak led the way for GC with 16 points while Jordyn Wyllie bucketed a dozen.
Challen Litwiler scored 15 for Conneaut Area.
ä Girard 42, Brookfield 28 — At Brookfield, the host Lady Warriors were in a ballgame, trailing just 29-28 entering the final frame.
However Brookfield was blanked 13-0 during the final 8 minutes.
Bishop bucketed a dozen points for Girard (12-6), while Brookfield (7-9) did not feature a double-figure scorer.
The visiting Lady Braves sank 11 of 13 freebies, compared with 6 of 8 for Brookfield.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Sharon vs. Rocky Grove (Sharon results)
ä 200-yard Medley Relay—Sharon (Lily Trambley, Monique Lopez, Elisabetta Lovera, Delaney Ser), 1st (2:44.89).
ä 200-yard Freestyle—Brienna Roys, 1st (2:40.15); Lopez, 3rd (3:13.16).
ä 50-yard Freestyle—Hannah Rauch, 3rd (37.06); Lovera, 4th (37.95); Ser, 5th (43.03).
ä 100-yard Freestyle—Trambley, 1st (1:05.89); Rauch, 3rd (1:27.06); Lopez, 4th (1:29.53).
ä 200-yard Free Relay—Sharon (Vicki Doty, Lopez, Lovera, Ser), 1st (2:37.15).
ä 100-yard Backstroke—Trambley, 2nd (1:34.91); Lovera, 3rd (1:47.66); Doty, 4th (1:59.24).
ä 100-yard Breaststroke—Roys, 2nd (1:32.78); Ser, 3rd (1:58.15).
ä 200-yard Individual Medley—Dylan Cerroni, 1st (2:15.66*); Robert VanHorn, 3rd (3:39.82).
ä 50-yard Freestyle—Matt Dilts, 4th (37.10).
ä 100-yard Freestyle—Cerroni, 1st (53.25*); Van Horn, 4th (1:12.78); Dilts, 6th (1:34.60).
ä 100-yard Breaststroke—Cerroni, 3rd (1:11.86*).
Don’t tell any of the committee members, but the 2013 District 10 Class AA boys’ basketball playoffs commenced Tuesday night in West Middlesex.
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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