All 3 area boys teams advanced to the District 10 championship games with wins on Tuesday in the D-10 semifinals.
In Class A, Kennedy Catholic posted its 3rd win this season over VisionQuest with a 68-46 victory at Sharon High School. They advance to play Cochranton in the title game.
West Middlesex and Lakeview will battle for the D-10 Class AA crown after both rolled to wins on Tuesday night. The Sailors beat Mercyhurst Prep, 59-46, at Mercyhurst College in Erie while the Big Reds defeated Fairview, 58-48, at Sharon High School.
Following are staff reports:
ä Kennedy Catholic 68, VisionQuest 46 — Sometimes when you beat a team badly twice in a season, it’s difficult to get up for that third meeting. That was one of the big fears of Kennedy coach Rick Mancino who wasn’t happy with his team despite the 22-point playoff victory Tuesday night at Sharon High School.
“We got off to a slow start and that was my worst fear,” said Mancino. “We hadn’t played for a while and I told the team, just because we beat them twice already doesn’t mean it will be easy.
“We had to have missed a million lay-ups. That first half we got outhustled and outplayed, but in the playoffs getting a win is the main thing. We have some things to take care of before the weekend.”
Kennedy (16-6) will meet a familiar foe, Cochranton at a site and time to be announced for the District 10 A title, a title that has eluded the Golden Eagles since 2009.
“We beat (Cochranton) on our floor this year (69-65) but it wasn’t easy,” said Mancino. “I’m sure they felt they could have won that game. I think we beat them the last four times we played (twice in the playoffs the last two seasons), so they’ll be hungry. We need to play a lot better than we did tonight, that’s for sure.”
Kennedy did get off to a slow start against VisionQuest, a team they beat by scores of 99-60 and 77-40 during the regular season.
In fact, the Golden Eagles trailed almost the whole first quarter before Jimmy D’Onforio canned a trey with 43 seconds remaining for a 10-9 lead and then nailed another 3-pointer a short time later to give KC a 13-9 margin after the first period.
“I told Jimmy he would need to shoot,” said Mancino. “Otherwise they will just pack it inside against Mac (Hartman). He even asked me to take some extra practice this week and we went in the gym and shot and shot.”
That apparently loosened up the triangle-two VC defense and D’Onofrio and backcourt mate Gerald Zachar began to pump the ball inside to Hartman in the second period. During that frame the 6-foot-6 senior Hartman scored 9 points on inside baskets and foul shots as Kennedy moved to a 33-22 halftime margin.
Kennedy took control in the third period by outgunning VisionQuest, 27-7, as the KC defense forced numerous turnovers that turned into quick points. Hartman and D’Onforio each had 6 points in the frame and the Golden Eagles were on top 60-29 heading into the final frame.
Hartman had 16 points, while D’Onofrio finished with 14 to lead the way. Demetrius McClennan led VisionQuest (10-14) with 14 markers, while Abdur Amin added 11.
“I was upset about the missed lay-ups,” said Mancino. “I don’t know how many points Mac had, but he could have had 20 points more. I was made at Mac coming off the floor, but he let me know he was mad at himself. That’s the kind of kid he is. He’ll be ready to come back strong.
“We were fortunate to come away with that win,” said Mancino, who watched as his club made 31 of 62 shots. Luckily on defense we were able to work on pressuring their guards to keep them from getting it inside to their big guys. We’ll get back to work and be ready for the District 10 championship.” — By Lynn Saternow, Herald sports editor.
ä West Middlesex 58, Fairview 48 — In the nightcap of Tuesday’s twin bill at Tiger Gymnasium, Middlesex moved into the District 10 championship game for the 2nd straight season — this year in Class AA. However, it was not the Big Reds’ rout to which its fan base has grown accustomed.
With 4:48 remaining, Fairview’s Marc Corbin connected for a left-wing 3-point field goal, trimming the Tigers’ deficit to 50-46.
From that juncture, though, the Tigers twice turned over the ball, while West Middlesex’s Matt Dogan delivered the dagger. Dogan dealt a pass to post Trey Staunch for a score, then added 2 free throws with 1:43 remaining.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Our fans, they expect twenty-point, thirty-point wins, but it’s not gonna happen every night,” admitted veteran Middlesex mentor Chad Mild.
“That was our game plan going in. We thought we had nothing to lose playing against one of the best teams in the state,” Tigers’ taskmaster Keith Nies said. “We wanted to go out and compete and see what we could do, and I thought my kids played with a lot of heart, played with a lot of character. But the ball bounced (the Big Reds’) way a couple times, and they’re a great team.”
As it has done thus far this season — 431 of 619 free-throw attempts (69.6 percent) coming into the contest — Middlesex made the most of the charity stripe during the 1st half. The Reds recorded 12 of 18 marksmanship and committed only 4 miscues en route to a 32-25 margin at intermission.
During the 2nd half, however, Middlesex made only 7 of its dozen attempts. Dogan — 159 of 223 (71.3 percent) thus far this season — twice missed the front end of 1-and-1’s and shot only 4 for 8 from the sin stripe.
But as always, Dogan delivered. Despite Fairview’s box-and-one and triangle-and-two defensive schemes, Dogan dealt the Tigers a 22-point, 8-rebound, 4-assist line, while Staunch secured a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double. Also, Jerrod Palmer — scoreless during the 1st half — pumped in a pair of 3rd-period 3-pointers, while Christian Porterfield popped in another. Porterfield posted 8 points in all.
While fearless, Fairview (15-9) faltered during the 4th frame, turning over the ball 4 times and connecting on only 3 of 10 floor shots. Also, Fairview finished with 15 turnovers.
“One thing that we’ve done all year — miss or make, we tell our boys to keep shooting, and eventually they’re gonna fall,” Nies noted. “But against a good team, that was one of our keys, not to turn over the ball against (the Reds), to limit our turnovers. But they’re a good team and they cause you to turn the ball over sometimes, and that’s why they’re ranked third in the state.”
Fairview finished 19 for 31 from the field (61.2), but the Tigers attempted only 2 free throws. Comparatively, West Middlesex went 17 for 42 from the floor (40.4), but by sheer volume the Reds rode 18-for-30 free-throw shooting.
Andy Niland notched 13 points, tossing in a trio of treys, for Fairview, while Daniel Carey connected for 10 tallies. But Carey and Corbin were disqualified on personals with 22 ticks apart in the 4th quarter. Daniel Dewey also was DQ’d on fouls, while Ben Kocan incurred 4.
“I really thought we drew the better team in District 10 — outside of Lakeview and us,” admitted Mild. “We knew that they could shoot, and, you know, basketball’s all about a game of matchups. They had those little guards out there, and they were fearless. Coach Nies is an awesome coach, great program.”
Middlesex (21-3) mustered its 17th consecutive conquest.
“It’s going to be a long road right now. We’ve got a target on our back, and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Mild mused.
“I thought our kids were very mature, they’ve seen a lot of things like that,” Mild praised. “We know some nights we’re not gonna put a lot of points up, so we’ve just gotta grind it out, and I was proud of my kids.”
— By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Lakeview 59, Mercyhurst Prep 46 — At Mercyhurst University’s Mercyhurst Athletic Center, the Lakeview Sailors, perhaps, will be making their first appearance in the District 10 Finals.
“It would be safe to say yes,” Lakeview coach Gary Burke said. “I’ll have to check on that. (Lakeview) had some good teams back in the 1950s, but there hasn’t been a time anytime recently that Lakeview has made it to the District 10 championship game, so hopefully, we can make some history.”
To make ‘history,’ the Sailors will have to find a way to solve Region 2AA nemesis West Middlesex (21-3), who beat Lakeview 46-34 and 62-47 in the regular season, Friday night in D-10 finals at a site and time to be determined, while the Lakers (16-8) and Fairview (15-9) will battle for the third seed out of D-10.
“Anybody that beats Middlesex is going to make history,” Burke said. “Hopefully, we can make it a pretty special night (for the Lakeview community). We’re going to go out and play. We’ve done some pretty good things against them in both games. We’ve had some missed assignments and we’ve missed some wide open shots. Against a team of that caliber, you have to play a perfect game. Hopefully, we play a perfect game and they miss some shots and not bearen’t at their best. But, I expect them to be at their best, so we’ll have to play very well to beat them. It’s going to be a tremendous atmosphere.
“We told the guys ‘Yes, we’ve lost to them twice, but let’s go see them a third time.’ I’m hoping we can work some magic. Back in my heyday, we lost to Somerset twice in the regular season, but beat them for the league championship. I’m hoping to use some Windber mojo on these guys and maybe pull off a very unexpected win.”
The Sailors will be making that initial appearance in the D-10 Finals thanks to their ‘dynamic duo’ of seniors Dalton Boggs and Casey Greggs, who nearly outscored the Lakers by themselves with a combined 44 points.
Boggs knocked down 8-of-12 shots for 22 points, while pulling down a game-high 9 boards, dishing out 6 assists and corralling 3 steals.
Meanwhile, Greggs had perhaps his best effort of the season with 22 points, 8 steals, 6 blocks, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
“It was all about Dalton being about to get to the rim in that first half. I didn’t think they had anyone that could stop him – and they didn’t,” Burke said. “He put us on his shoulders there for a little while and doesn’t Casey step up and give us not only 11 points in the first half, but his defensive effort was tremendous for our confidence.
“Casey really needs to be commended for his effort and his willingness to put the team on his shoulders the entire night. Regardless of the points he puts up because he is a 1,000-point scorer, it’s all those intangibles that he brings that no one else on that court can bring. Casey can do things that are quite frankly out of everyone else’s reach. When he brings that type of energy and determination, he makes a tremendous amount of good things happen for this team.”
There were plenty of good things happening for Lakeview over the first half’s final 9 minutes when the Sailors limited the Lakers to just one field goal – a Carl Anderson 3-pointer midway through the second quarter – over a 19-3 Lakeview run.
“We knew we had to set the tone on the defensive end,” Burke said. “We were able to function on the offensive end in the first half and that was fantastic, but we’re in the District 10 semifinals and we held a team like Mercyhurst Prep to 15 points in the first half. It was just a tremendous team effort.”
Mercyhurst Prep attempted to get back into the game with a 10-2 run to start the second half and got as close as 9 on two occasions, but Lakeview was able to seal the game with an 8 for 10 performance from the charity stripe in the closing minutes of the game.
Notes: Lakeview went 20-of-36 from the field and 16-of-22 from the line, while MPS was 17-of-45 and 7-of-12. … Alex Borges led the Lakers with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Anderson tacked on 14 tallies and 5 boards. … Lakeview held a slim 32-29 edge on the boards, but had one more turnover 15-14. … Coty Gander had 6 points and 7 rebounds, while Brandon Rice had 9 points for Lakeview. … The Sailors had 14 assists. --- Information submitted by Herald Sports Correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
DISTRICT 10 SEMIFINALS
VISIONQUEST 9 13 7 17 46
KENNEDY 13 20 27 8 68
VISIONQUEST — McClennan 5-4-5-14, Broomer 0-0-0-0, Bigalow 4-0-0-9, Amin 5-1-5--11, Rigney 1-0-1-2, Harris 1-0-0-2, Robinson 2-0-0-6, Foster 1-0-1-2. 3-pt goals: Robinson 2, Bigalow 1. Totals: 19-5-12-46.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Zachar 2-1-1-5, Thompkins 3-3-3-9, D’Onofrio 5-2-2-14, James 5-0-0-10, Hartman 5-6-12-16, Brewer 1-2-2-4, Feeney 0-0-0-0; Crow 2-0-0-4, Wassil 3-0-0-6, Hurton 0-0-0-0, G. Cianci 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: D’Onforio 2. Totals: 31-14-20-68.
FAIRVIEW 13 12 16 7 48
W.MIDDLESEX 20 12 16 10 58
FAIRVIEW — Niland 5-0-0-13, Kocan 1-0-0-2, Carey 5-0-0-10, Corbin 2-0-0-6, Gibson 2-0-0-6, jackson 2-2-2-6, Dewey 1-0-0-3, McGrain 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Niland 3, Corbin 2, Gibson 2, Dewey 1. Totals: 19-2-2-48.
WEST MIDDLESEX — M.Dogan 6-9-15-22, Palmer 2-0-0-6, Staunch 3-7-11-14, Jancso 3-0-2-6, Klaric 0-2-2-2, C.Porterfield 3-0-0-8, Ginther 0-0-0-0. R.Dogan 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Palmer 2, Porterfield 2, M.Dogan 1. Totals: 17-18-30-58.
LAKEVIEW 19 13 11 16 59
MERCY. PREP 12 3 16 15 46
LAKEVIEW — Boggs 8-5-9-22, Greggs 6-8-8-22, Gander 2-2-3-6, B. Rice 4-1-2-9, VanDusen 0-0-0-0, A. Rice 0-0-0-0; 3-pt. goals: Greggs 2, Boggs 1. Totals: 20-16-22-59.
MERCYHURST PREP — Borges 6-1-2-15, Bojewski 2-0-0-6, Johnson 1-0-0-2, Anderson 5-3-6-14, Corritore 3-3-4-9, Haas 0-0-0-0, Angelo 0-0-0-0, Holland 0-0-0-0, Post 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Borges 2, Bojewski 2, Anderson 1. Totals: 17-7-12-46.
All 3 area boys teams advanced to the District 10 championship games with wins on Tuesday in the D-10 semifinals.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
Greenville falls to Girard in D-10 semifinals
ERIE — District 10 was destined for a Class AA championship game between reigning 2-time titlist Hickory and Greenville.
But no one informed the Girard High football team of the plans.
“ … This is pretty cool … I’m pretty fired up about it,” admitted 4th-year Yellow Jackets’ head coach Jim Funk after Girard jolted Greenville, 16-14.
SPORTVIEW: Season fate could be decided today for Browns, Steelers
IT MAKES NO sense to say that one game determines the rest of the season. That’s why I’ll simply say: Today’s one game determines the rest of the season.
Since when did my predictions make sense anyhow?
The Cleveland Browns’ visit to Cincinnati today will go a long way to deciding if the Browns have a shot at making the playoffs — and even winning the AFC North title — or if they should start planning for the NFL draft.
GCC tops Thiel in OT to win Mercer County Cup
The Grove City and Thiel College football teams closed out their seasons on Saturday with a thrilling game at Alumni Stadium in Green-ville as Grove City posted a 50-44 overtime win in the 30th annual Mercer County Cup Game.
Quarterback Brian Pell scored on a 13-yard run for the Wolverines (3-5, 5-5) to give GCC the win in OT.
Devils beat WM; will play for 3rd straight D-10 title
Two-time defending District 10 Class A champion Sharpsville is returning to the D-10 title game for a third straight year and Coach Paul Piccirilli has a simple explanation for the team’s success:
“We believe. Kids in Sharpsville believe.”
A lot of people are believing as well after watching the Blue Devils dismantle West Middlesex, 40-3, Friday night at Hickory High Hornets Stadium.
Spence, Sailors roll past Mercer, 52-21
NEW WILMINGTON — Pat McClearn lived Lakeview High football program’s previous gridiron glory days. Unfortunately for him on Friday night he was on the business end of the current Sailors’ resurgence.
McClearn and his Mercer High Mustangs were eliminated by Lakeview from the District 10 Class A semifinals, 52-21.
Long gone basketball league leaves a costly legacy
If you want to mark yourself as a graying old-timer, bring up the American Basketball Association – the professional league that featured large Afros, slam dunk contests, three-point baskets and a red, white and blue basketball.
Oh, yes, it also had a great collection of players - perhaps the best on the globe - who brought athleticism, skill and excitement to a game that had become somewhat stodgy in the more established National Basketball Association.
- More Sports Headlines
- Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley