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February 21, 2013

Playoff Roundup: Farrell, Hickory, Sharon boys all ousted in AAA playoffs

---- — The Farrell, Hickory and Sharon boys were all eliminated Wednesday night as the District 10 Class AAA playoffs (quarterfinals) tipped off.

In a doubleheader at Edinboro University’s McComb Fieldhouse, Gen. McLane ousted Farrell, 70-55, in the opener while Sharon suffered a tough 47-43 loss to Girard in the nightcap. At Slippery Rock University, Region 5 champion Hickory dropped a tough 46-43 loss to Erie East.

District 10 Class AAA Quarterfinals

ä Gen. McLane 70, Farrell 55 —
At Edinboro University, the Steelers closed out the 2012-13 season with a 14-9 record with a 15-point loss to the Lancers (18-5).

Gen. McLane led 14-8 after the opening 8 minutes and 27-20 at halftime, but Farrell outscored GM 21-18 in the 3rd to cut the lead to 45-41 and were down 55-50 with 4 minutes left to play before the Lancers went on a 14-0 run to put the game away.

Jaymon Mason rifled in a game-high 26 points for the Lancers while Quinn Thompson scored 18 and Clay Smith added 11 markers.

Jamel Brown and Ike Jones both scored 17 points to lead the Steelers.

Seniors on the Farrell team are Jason Page, Joe Goudy, Marshawn Hyman and Marquette Coleman.

Gen. McLane advances to the semifinals to play the winner of the Hickory vs. East game. — Stats submitted by Herald correspondent Ryan Briggs.

ä Girard 47, Sharon 43 — At Edinboro University, the Tigers (12-11) led the entire game until the latter stages and fell to the Yellowjackets (19-4).

Sharon led 17-10 after the 1st quarter, 23-22 at halftime and 35-30 after the 3rd frame, but Girard closed the game on a 16-2 run and Joe Dunn gave the Yellowjackets the lead with a driving lay-up with 11 seconds left on the clock.

Joe Swanson scored 16 to lead Girard and Dunn tallied 15 points. Mark Henry led the way for Sharon with a game-high 19 points.

Khalil Hopson, who was suffering from flu-like symptoms, had 9 points and closed out his high school career with 1,073 points.

Sharon’s Darrell Stovall was lost to the team with 3:40 left in the 3rd quarter after being called with a technical foul.

Seniors for the Tigers are Hopson, Stovall, D’amond Crawford, Zac Carroll, Jesse Rodgers, Mike Porterfield, Jaronte Robinson and Jarell Lampkins.

Girard advances to play Strong Vincent in the semifinals. ESV rolled past Meadville, 73-41, at Slippery Rock University Wednesday. — Stats submitted by Herald correspondent Ryan Briggs.

ä East 46, Hickory 43 — At Sllippery Rock University’s Morrow FIeld House, it was more heartbreak for the Hornets.

Hickory appeared headed to a wire-to-wire win, but instead suffered a D-10 tournament setback to East for the 3rd time in the last 5 years.

Melvin Henderson’s breakaway layup with 2 ticks to play afforded the Warriors their lone lead of the opening-round affair.

With 1:32 remaining East’s Kyree Kirkland converted both ends of a double-bonus free-throw opportunity to forge the game’s lone stalemate, at 43-all.

Hickory senior point guard Matt Votino, guarded by Kirkland, controlled the ball until the closing seconds when the Hornets’ 7th turnover of the quarter led to Henderson’s layin. Though the ball rolled off the rim, basket interference was ruled.

Following a wayward Hickory inbounds pass, Henderson hit a freebie. Though his 2nd shot missed, with Marcus Sonoga rebounding, Sonoga’s spinning, court-length desperation heave at the buzzer was well off the mark.

Hickory harvested an 11-8 lead at the close of the 1st quarter before building a 26-18 bulge by the break. The Hornets had just 1 first-half turnover and committed only 2 personal fouls.

With Votino and backcourt mate Anthony Cannone connecting for 6 points apiece, the Hornets had a pair of 9-point leads during the 3rd period. However Trousie Thrower’s drive capped a 7-0 spree as East eased within 32-30 with 3:03 remaining in the quarter.

But with Cannone canning his 2nd triple of the period and Votino vaulting to a traditional 3-point play with 7 seconds left, Hickory had a 40-32 lead entering the4th frame.

But it all came undone during the final 8 minutes.

The Hornets did not hit a field goal — attempting only 3 floor shots — while East erupted for 14 points, half of which Henderson had, while Kirkland contributed 4.

Henderson and Kirkland, with 17 ane 15 points, respectively, enabled East (12-11) to surpass the .500 mark. Coach Matt Jones’ Warriors will face Gen. McLane, a 70-55 winner over Farrell, next Tuesday at a site and time to be announced.

Unlike last season when Hickory lost 5 of its final 8 games, this year’s edition had won 8 straight and 16 of its final 17 regular-season game en route to the Region 5-AAA crown.,

“ ... I just wanted more for this particular group,” admitted heartbroken Hornets’ headmaster Nick Cannone.

“I’ve seen this team play, East. They played Strong Vincent toward the end of the season,” Cannone recalled. “They were lousy the first half, then came back and beat Vincent — almost exactly the same type of game as (Wednesday) night.

“You’ve gotta make plays in that fourth quarter,” Cannone continued. “We didn’t do a good job taking care of the ball. Their guards put a lot of pressure on us (preventing) us from getting into our sets. ...

“It’s been like that all year — close games,” Cannone reflected. “We made the plays; (Wednesday) night, we didn’t get it done. No excuses. (The Warriors) did what they needed to do in that fourth quarter, crunch time, and we didn’t get it done.”

East edged Hickory, 54-49 in overtime for the 2010 District 10 title, after eliminating the Hornets from the tournament the previous season, 63-54, in the consy contest.

Votino, Vinnie Mastrian, Marcus Sonoga and Michael Nardone were Hickory’s seniors.

Votino’s game-high 18 points paced Hickory (19-4), but he was the Hornets’ lone double-digit scorer. Hickory hit only 14 of 37 floor shots and 11 of 18 free-throw attempts. East edged Hickory on the boards, 29-23, lead by Kirkland, who corraled a game-high 8 caroms.

“I told the group, ‘Hold your heads high.’” Cannone confided. “Nobody likes to lose in the first round of the playoffs, but they’ve accomplished so much with the Hickory basketball program ... and I’m very grateful that I got a chance to coach all of them.

“For these seniors, what they’ve accomplished, I’m very, very happy I got the chance to coach them. I’m gonna miss them. They set the standard high for Hickory basketball, and hopefully the underclassmen will follow their lead.”

“It’s just tough right now,” Cannone continued. “As days go by it’ll get better ... unfortunately, we just fell short (Wednesday) night.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.

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