The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


March 13, 2013

PIAA girls hoops: Burrell defense too much for the Blue Darlings

---- — SLIPPERY ROCK — Memo to PIAA Class AA girls’ basketball teams: Beware Burrell High’s Lady Bucs.

Sharpsville learned that during Tuesday night’s Western Regional quarterfinal-round 45-18 setback at Slippery Rock University’s Morrow Field House.

Sydney Bordonaro blesses Burrell with a multi-dimensional point guard, and the Bucs boast size in Jessica Cercone and Natalie Myers. And, for Burrell, the best part is they all three are underclassmen.

A sophomore, Bordonaro bucketed 13 points and distributed 9 assists, while 6-foot-1 junior Cercone swatted 6 first-half Sharpsville shots and another couple during the 2nd half. Also, the 5-11 freshman Myers mustered 10 markers and snared 7 caroms.

The only drawback? Burrell dresses only 8 players, meaning 2nd-year head coach Meghan Ziemianski and her brother, an assistant coach, have to run with the club just so it can scrimmage during practice.

While Burrell (24-3) was bullish against Sharpsville, Ziemianski is looking ahead no further than the next game.

“We don’t look ahead like that. I’m a hockey fan, so I’m superstitious,” admitted Ziemianski, a Burrell alumna (2000). “I’m extremely fortunate, I know. I have a solid eight, and I’ll take a solid eight any day over numbers.”

In the game’s opening sequence a trio of Sharpsville shots went awry, and it served as an omen. Natalie Henwood’s drive with 4:15 remaining in the 1st frame served as Sharpsville’s lone 1st-half field goal, as Burrell burst to leads of 11-3 at the quarter and a 20-3 bulge by the break.

During the 3rd period Megan Davis drilled a pair of treys and McKenzie Popatak produced 4 of her team-high 10 points. But Bordonaro bucketed 5 of her team-high 13 points and Kelsey Oddis added 7 of her 9 during the 2nd half.

The Lady Bucs’ WPIAL-leading defense dominated the Blue Darlings,  coercing Sharpsville into a 5-for-43 shooting performance and 18 turnovers.

Following a 2-5 start to the season Sharpsville (18-9) surged to a Region 2-AA championship, 3rd place in District 10, and an opening-round PIAA playoff win.

“You’re gonna have a tough time coming back from three points at the half,” admitted Sharpsville skipper Jeff Hanley. “But the girls fought hard throughout the entire game, and that’s all we could’ve asked of them.

“But it was a great season,” Hanley acknowledged, admitting, “That last locker room talk was hard, though. I love those girls, and everything that they’ve given us this year — it’s been the best in 12 years, and I can’t thank them enough for their work.”

Hanley has to bid adieu to seniors Henwood, Popatak, Paige Scurpa and Megan Whalen. Popatak and Scurpa snared 7 rebounds each, and Popatak concluded her career as Sharpsville’s leading female scorer (1,690) and 6th in all-time Mercer County annals.

“Our seniors ... wow! Since seventh grade I’ve had ’em, and it’s just been a great run for those five, six years. They’re family to me, and I’m gonna miss them a great deal,” Hanley related, continuing,

“You miss everything on the court, but what you really miss is their personalities and sense of humor and smiles, and everything they bring to you as an individual, and everything they bring to your team. It was the fourth quarter, yet we were going for blocks and diving on the floor for loose balls, trying to rebound, trying to push it down the court.

“Only one team in double-A wins their last game,” Hanley mused, “and we knew this day was coming. We wanted to prolong it as much as we possibly could, and we did. We ran into a very good basketball team (Tuesday), but we fought hard and I thank the girls a great deal for all of that.”



BURRELL    11    9    15    10    45

SHARPSVILLE    3    0    11    4    18

Bordonaro 5-0-1-13, Oddis 4-1-2-9, Cercone 2-1-2-5, Myers 5-0-0-10, Manga 2-0-0-4, Finn 2-0-0-4, Nitowski 0-0-0-0, Brown 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Bordonaro 3. Totals: 20-2-5-45.

SHARPSVILLE — Henwood 1-0-0-2, Davis 2-0-0-6, Popatak 2-5-6-10, Scurpa 0-0-0-0, Przicina 0-0-0-0, Kurelko 0-0-0-0, Davies 0-0-0-0, Schell 0-0-0-0, Shuttleworth 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Davis 2, Popatak 1. Totals: 5-5-6-18.

Text Only
  • Dylan McConnell 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.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo


    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.


    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 20, 2014

  • Celebrate! 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.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 20, 2014

  • 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).

    April 18, 2014

  • Aaron Webb 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.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 13, 2014

  • 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.

    April 11, 2014

  • 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.

    April 11, 2014

  • Nikolo Lima 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.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Haley Boyd 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).

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 6, 2014

  • Nikki Arbanas 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.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trey Staunch WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
    Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

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