MERCER COUNTY —
Who: Sharpsville (18-8) vs. Burrell (23-3).
What: PIAA playoffs, 2nd round.
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Slippery Rock University's Morrow Field House.
Players to Watch: Sharpsville - McKenzie Popatak, 5-9 Sr. (21.4 ppg.); Megan Davis, 5-8 Jr. (10.8); Natalie Henwood (4.5); Kayla Kurelko, 5-5 Soph. (3.4); Maddie Przicina, 5-6 Soph. (2.4); Paige Scurpa, 5-9 Sr. (2.3). Burrell - Sydney Bordonaro, 5-7 Soph. (16.5); Natalie Myers, 5-11 Fr. (10.7); Kelsey Oddis, 5-7 Jr.; Jaila Manga, 5-8 Jr.; Erika Finn, 5-8 Soph.; Jessica Cercone, 6-1 Jr.
Bonus Shots: Sharpsville skipper Jeff Hanley (12th year, 186-112) got his 1st-ever PIAA playoff win with a 38-32 victory over District 9 champion Brookville on Friday at Clarion University. Popatak rifled in 20 points and Henwood drained 2 huge treys for 6 points and came up with several big rebounds. ... Brookville started the season with a 4-10 record, but got hot at the right time and had knocked out the top 3 seeds in the D-9 Class AA playoffs in Kane (1st), Karns City (2nd) and Cranberry (3rd). ... Hanley's last appearance in a state playoff game was in his 1st year as coach (2001-02) when his Blue Darlings fell to Cameron County (57-49) in overtime at Clarion U. ... Popatak is the school's all-time girls scoring leader with 1,680 points. She surpassed Kasey Gardner's 2008 mark of 1,440 earlier this season. ... Popatak trails Lakeview's Sheena Aden (2,421), Sharon's Wanda Holloway (2,106), Farrell's Jill Platteborze (1,913), Hickory's Julie Fornadel (1,702) and Sharon's Brittany Csatlos (1,697) among Mercer County area girls scorers. ... The Blue Darlings' losses this season have come against Cranberry (51-39), Grove City (31-23), Slippery Rock (49-36), Kennedy Catholic (67-40), North East (49-30 and 42-38), Girard (51-37), Sharon (54-39). ... Sharpsville ousted Seneca (34-29) in the District 10 quarterfinals, fell to North East (42-38) in the semis and then qualified for the PIAA playoffs by beating Mercer (48-29) in the consolation game. ... Last year, Sharpsville was ousted in the D-10 quarterfinals by Seneca (51-46). ... Meghan Ziemianski (2nd year) is a 2000 Burrell graduate and coaches the Buccaneers. Her dad, Mark, is her assistant. He coached Burrell when she was a senior. Meghan previously coached at Highlands for 4 seasons and led them to WPIAL Class AAA playoff appearances all 4 years. ... Burrell ousted D-6 runner-up Bellwood Antis, 65-46, on Friday at Plum High School in the 1st round of the PIAAs. Burrell led 10-6 after the 1st quarter, 27-21 at halftime and 41-36 after 3 before outscoring Antis 24-10 in the final frame. Bordonaro rifled in 27 points while Myers had 16. ... Burrell went 10-0 to finish 1st in WPIAL Section 1-AA. They beat Carlynton (47-23) in the 1st round of the WPIAL playoffs, ousted McGuffey (61-41) in the quarters and got crushed by eventual WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin (56-33) in the semifinals. ... Their other 2 losses were against Shaler (47-36) in the title tilt of the Hampton Christmas Tourney and Keystone Oaks (43-40) back on Jan. 18. ... They were on a 12-game winning streak heading into the WPIAL semis, which included impressive wins over Indiana, Mount Pleasant, Knoch and North Catholic. ... This year is unprecedented at Burrell High, which is known as a wrestling powerhouse (7 WPIAL titles) as the boys team played in the WPIAL title game (lost to Beaver Falls) for the 1st time since 1979 (they were ousted by Bishop McCort in the 1st round of the PIAAs) and the girls made the D-7 semis for the 1st time since 1994. ... Burrell had the best defense in the WPIAL during the regular season, only allowing 28.6 ppg. with their stifling man-to-man defense. ... Burrell was 18-5 last year and lost in the 1st round of the WPIAL playoffs. ... The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM) with Ryan Briggs and Chris Burtch calling the action beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Who: Kennedy Catholic (23-2) vs. Port Allegany (22-4).
What: PIAA playoffs, 2nd round.
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Clarion University's Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium.
Players to Watch: Kennedy Catholic - Alex Ricketts, 5-11 Sr. (17.3 ppg.); Courtney Sargent, 6-2 Sr. (13.1); Rachel Burns, 5-10 Sr. (11.0); Taylor Hood, 5-7 Jr. (7.4); Rebekah Kish, 5-7 Soph. (7.0); April Bocian, 6-2 Fr. (5.5). Port Allegany - Becca Lathrop, 5-9 Jr. (16.7); Brooke Roys, 6-0 Soph. (7.7); Somer Buchsenschutz, 5-6 Soph. (7.2); Gabby Drabert, 5-8 Sr. (5.6); Krista Miller, 5-5 Jr. (3.7); Lynae Delacour, 5-7 Soph. (3.5).
Bonus Shots: Kennedy Catholic coach Tom Burns (6th year, 113-34) led his Lady Golden Eagles to an impressive opening-round win in the state playoffs Saturday with a 45-36 win vs. North Catholic. Ricketts scored 17, Sargent bucketed 14 and Bocian came off the bench and grabbed 11 rebounds and had several blocks for KC, which led 24-12 at halftime. The Lady Golden Eagles limited NC star Lauren Wolosik, who is headed to Div. I Central Connecticut University, to 11 points. ... North Catholic and Vincentian Academy are the kingpins of WPIAL Class A while KC rules District 10. NC played in the state championship game last season, but lost to Steelton Highspire (66-59) at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. ... KC has won 17 District 10 championships. Burns has led them to 4 of them, including 3 in a row. ... KC had a bye in the opening round of the D-10 playoffs, beat Commodore Perry (68-28) in the semifinals and defeated Cochranton (67-45) for the title. ... KC has outscored their opponents 1,519 to 775 (744 point differential) this year. ... KC's 2 losses are against Franklin (62-45) in the season-opening Franklin Tipoff Tourney and Vincentian Academy (70-53) in the Penn State-Beaver Holiday Tourney title tilt. Franklin just won its 2nd straight D-10 Class AAA title while VA copped its 2nd straight (3rd in 4 years) WPIAL crown. ... Ricketts, who will play college hoops for the Zips at Div. I Akron University, has 1,382 career points while Burns has 1,062. ... In the PIAAs last year, KC beat Riverview (59-30) and Clarion Area (59-43) before falling to Vincentian (56-51) in the western region semifinals. ... KC's last appearance in a PIAA title game was in 2001 under former coach Father Rick Tomasone when the locals edged Pottsville Nativity BVM (48-46) at Hersheypark Arena. ... Coach Kristina Francis' (9th year, 125-96) Lady Gators of Port Allegany beat Penns Manor, the 3rd seed out of District 6, in the 1st round of the PIAAs Saturday at Pitt-Bradford. Lathrop scored 22 in PA's 52-45 win and Buchsenschutz had 10. ... PA's 4 losses are to Wyalusing in their season-opener at the Cowanesque Valley Tourney, St. Marys, Kane (who lost to Brookville in the D-9 Class AA title game) and to Clarion Area (56-41) in the Class A title game. ... They beat Venango Catholic (45-35) in the D-9 quarterfinals and Keystone (55-48) in the semis. Lathrop had 19 points vs. VC and a career-high 26 and 18 rebounds vs. defending champion Keystone, which played without their 2 top scorers in sisters Morgan and Madison Johnson (both torn ACLs). ... PA turned the ball over 31 times in the loss to Clarion Area for the D-9 crown. They had won 19 straight before that game. Roys (13) and Lathrop (12) scored in double digits. It was Clarion's 1st D-9 title since 1992 and was the Lady Gators' 1st title game appearance since they won the AA title in 1997. They've never won a Class A crown in 4 tries. The last attempt was in 1996 when they lost to Coudersport. ... PA started the season 2-3. They lost to Kane on Dec. 19and then reeled off that big winning streak. ... This is PA's 1st trip to the state playoffs since 2006. ... The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 790 (WOIC AM) with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg on mike, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ... by Rob Malsom, Herald sports writer
MERCER COUNTY —
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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