The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

March 11, 2013

PIAA PLAYOFFS NOTEBOOK: WM Coach Mild knows what it takes in the playoffs

OPINION — STEVE MILLER, the 1970’s rocker, once wrote, “ ... You’ve gotta go through hell before you get to heaven ... ”

Perhaps that’s the mind-set for the West Middlesex High boys’ basketball team.

Including Saturday’s 55-50 overtime PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Jeannette, the Big Reds have rolled to 19 consecutive conquests.

In essence, West Middlesex has not yet lost midway through the 3rd month of this calendar year.

But with approximately 2 weeks remaining in this season, one of the program’s most painful moments in the last 2 years may have set in motion Middlesex’s momentum this March.

Losing to Lincoln Park Charter, 47-45, at the buzzer in last season’s Class A western regional championship game — convoluted logic though it may appear to be — renewed the Big Reds’ resolve to close the deal this year by hoisting hardware in Hershey.

Ironically, Lincoln Park’s Leopards appeared locally Friday night. For the 3rd in as many years, eliminating a Mercer County club, this time Kennedy Catholic, 54-45. There were many Middlesex people in attendance. However, exorcising demons did not interest Middlesex mentor Chad Mild.

“I’ve kind’ve put that to rest. I’m more worried about who’s in front of us right now,” admitted Mild. “I really haven’t throught about Lincoln Park since we played them last year; I’m more focused on (Wedesday’s opponent) Bishop McCort.”

While speaking, Mild was en route Sunday afternoon for a film exchange, fresh off one of the shorter — albeit enjoyable — night’s of rest he’s had in some time. Given that his club played in the finale of Saturday’s quadruple-header at Slippery Rock University, the fact the Reds were extended to overtime — though a quartet of extra sessions shy of their District 10 title tilt meeting with Lakeview a week earlier — and daylight savings time advancing clocks ahead by an hour — Mild might’ve been weary. Rather, he sounded energized.

“That was a quality win (over Jeannette), and we knew going in it wasn’t going to be easy,” he related. “Even though (Jeannette) got upset earlier (in the WPIAL tournament by Apollo-Ridge), I still think that was one of the top five teams in the west that we beat (Saturday) night,” he related.

“We ended up pulling it out in overtime (on Jerrod Palmer’s go-ahead corner triple, plus the free-throw shooting of Matt Dogan — 5 for 6 during the 4th quarter and OT — and Trey Staunch —14 for 16 overall, including 7 for 8 during the 4th frame and OT),” Mild said, emphasizing, “but when you look at that game, we won it at the defensive end. We held that team to fifty points, including the overtime (on 17 for 49, 34.6 percent shooting from the floor, while outrebounding the Jayhawks, 25-23, led by Dogan’s 8, Staunch’s 7, and Jeremy Jancso’s 6).

“That was the big key,” Mild admitted, “keeping them from getting inside the paint (6--foot-5 senior post Seth Miller, in early foul trouble — 3 with 1:17 remaining to intermission; 4 with 6:35 remaining in regulation) — not only did not score, but did not attempt a shot). And we know,” Mild added, “if we’re going to win big games down the road, we have to be able to to it on the defensive end.”

Regarding last year’s loss to Lincoln Park, Mild reflected, “I would agree with the statement that that gave us confidence. A lot of people — WPIAL teams — feel that because we’re from Mercer County, District 10, that we can’t compete. But we got a lot of confidence last year when we beat Beaver Falls (in New Castle’s Tipoff Tourney), then we beat North Catholic in the first round of the state playoffs. So we definitely know now that we can play with those teams.”

Mild is in the midst of his 14th year as Middlesex’s mentor. He’s the program’s winningest coach (234-130, 64.2 percent). He’s a product of the school — where he now teaches — and played for its basketball program, as did his father, brothers and nephews.

But in the spring of 2013 Mild is living in the moment, which makes driving to Cambria County on a Sunday afternoon almost a pleasurable experience. He and his Big Reds (23-3) will be traveling to Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Waldo Tippin Gymnasium for a 7:30 p.m. date with Bishop McCort (19-8) Wednesday in the western regional quarterfinals.

“ ... I just want to make sure we’re well prepared,” Mild mused, adding, “We like (SRU’s Morrow Field House) — it’s like our home-away-from home, so we wish it was there. But I’d drive anywhere to go play right now.

“I don’t want to let any moment slip by,” Mild emphasized, adding, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime, and I want us to give ourselves every opportunity to win ... and I know our kids’ll leave it all on the floor.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall

    HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
    OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
    Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.

    June 22, 2014

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook