MERCER COUNTY —
West Middlesex High girls’ and boys’ teams swept titles at the 23rd annual Big Red Invitational on Saturday.
West Middlesex girls amassed 54 point to easily outdistance Union City (80) in the varsity White enrollment division, while West Middlesex boys did likewise in the White Division, 66-94, over Maplewood.
For the Ms. Reds, Kristen White ended as runner-up to Neshannock’s Lizzie Manickas in a time of 20:07.8, equalling the previous school standard set by Morgan Swartz in 2004. Manickas clocked in at 19:27.2.
White was followed by teammates Chloé Tyillian, who finished 4th, and Alyson Pierce, 10th, Anna Zrile, 15th, and Helena Zrile, 23rd.
Maplewood, led by Jeremy and Jake Parsons, swept the top 3 spots in the boys’ White Division, while West Middlesex’s Levi Canon and David Johnson placed 5th and 6th. Jared Germani and Brett Kirk were 16th and 17th for the Big Reds, while Dylan Long lent a 22nd-place berth.
Tyillian set a PR for the Ms. Reds, while Canon and Johnson did likewise for the boys.
In the girls’ Red Division, Hickory placed as runners-up
to North East, 46-88. The Lady Hornets were led by Lexi Bible and Jackie Abraham, 3rd and 4th, respectively, and Haley Boyd, 9th, and Bailey Brown, 21st, among the top 25.
Wilmington girls finished right behind Hickory in 3rd place. Lady Hounds included Kate Robb in 7th, Allison Baldwin 14th, Rikki Brumbaugh in 23rd, Hannah Winters in 26th, Hannah Drake 32nd and Lexi Brumbaugh 38th.
North East was led by medalist Emma Verdonik, who clocked in at 18:50.1.
Knoch boys won the Red Division, edging North East, 71-83, though North East’s Gary Olson ended as medalist in a time of 16:59.6. Hickory finished 4th, led by Logan Griffen, who finished 5th.
“We were blessed with great weather, outstanding competition from all of the schools (34). It was just a great effort by all of the athletes and coaches involved,” summarized Middlesex mentor and meet director Bob Morris. “We would like to thank the district, the administration, our athletic director and the ‘Super’ parents’ organizaation for a great job. Without this team we could not have such an event.
Red White & Blue Invitational
At Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, Grove City boys defended their Class AA title.
In a 28-team field, Grove City garnered 103 points to edge Quaker Valley 104) and South Fayette 105).
“We certainly haven’t gone backward yet,” quipped Grove City Coach Mike Sample. “We won it last year with a team that ended up second in the state, and even though it was much closer, we’re still at the top of the class.”
For Grove City, Aaron Benka placed 3rd in a time of 16:23. He was followed by teammates Ryan Budnik (9th, 16:34), Ryan Whiteman (22nd, 17:06), John-Paul Depew (24th, 17:16) and Dillon McConnell (45th, 18:01).
Grove City girls stood 7th in a 26-team AA field, which was won by VIlla Maria (53).
For Grove City it was: Mary Jaskowak (4th, 19:21), Katie Jaskowak (13th, 20:14), Olivia Lowe (43rd, 21:43), Hannah Sanford (75th, 22:34) and Tessa Semple (81st, 22:41).
ä Pymatuning Valley 4, Kennedy Catholic 1 — At Hermitage, the visiting Lady Lakers laid a loss on the Lady Golden Eagles.
Geena Gabriel garnered 2 goals and Lauren Lipps and Rebecca Dillon drilled 1 apiece for Py Valley. Also, keeper Jackie Gale made 10 saves.
Garnering the Lady Golden Eagles’ lone goal was McKayla Fusco, via a pass from Evita Scoccia. Scoccia (5), Autumn Jarvie (4) and Angelica Scoccia, Hannah Djakovich and Alivia O’Brien (3 apiece) were credited with steals. Also keying KC (1-1) was goalkeeper Elizabeth Volkay, who made 10 saves.
The Lady Golden Eagles were without injured starters Tessa Bonomo and and Gracie Izenas.
ä Grove City 6, West Middlesex 0 — The Eagles pitched a shutout recently as Cole Latimer scored a hat trick, while Peters Conley, Noah Stewart and Isaac Hefner each added a goal. In with assists were latimer, Camron Feather, Riley Keffer, Steve Biddle and Ethan Kellett.
In an earlier game, GC edged Kennedy Catholic, 1-0, with Latimer nailing the lone tally off an assist by Feather. GC mustered 17 shots on goal to Middlesex’s 5.
ä Hickory 3, North East 1 — At North East, the Hornets moved to 2-1 on the season as Nick Tantuo nailed a pair of goals and Evan Montgomery had 2 assists. Matthew Costello also hit the net for Hickory.
Goalie Donté Green had 15 saves and Grady Leunis and Justin Peidle were lauded for strong defense.
ä Warren Harding 3, Brookfield 1 — At Brookfield, the hosts won the first game, 25-19, but dropped three straight by scores of 25-22, 25-14 and 25-18.
Brookfield (2-5): Delaney Saxton 24 kills, 15 digs; Brooke Hiner 8 kills; Katie Bender 35 assists; Madison Bonekovic 14 digs.
At the 12-team event, West Middlesex lost in the semifinals to Keystone, 25-6.
In pool play West Middlesex went 5-1, sweeping Venango Catholic, 25-11, 25-12, and Northwestern, 25-16, 25-11, and splitting with Mercer, losing 25-21, but winning 25-20.
In the quarterfinals West Middlesex outlasted Reynolds, 27-25.
For West Middlesex: Tori Roberts 11 serving points (5 aces), 32 digs; Aly Andrusky 12 points, 13 kills, 17 digs; Megan Hazlett 11 points, 44 assists, 14 digs; Melissa Pursel 18 points (11 aces), 12 kills; Ariel Pratt 19 points (7 aces), 12 kills, 5 blocks, 6 digs; Saige Campbell 9 kills, 7 blocks; Tori Roth 10 points; Dani Krepps 16 points, 7 digs.
Big Red Invitational
Team standing and key: West Middlesex (WM) 54; Union City (UC) 80; Cambridge Springs (Spa) 89; Youngsville (Y) 128, Sharpsville (Sv) 146; Commodore Perry (CP) 156; Maplewood (M) 194; Rocky Grove (RG) 235; Neshannock (N) 239; Reynolds (R), Cochranton (Coch), Jamestown (J), Lakeview (L), Tidioute (T) and Union Twp. (U) did not field full squads.
1. Lizzie Manickas (N) 19:27.2; 2. Kristen White (WM) 20:78; 3. Reilly Walsh (Spa) 20:19; 4. Chloé Tyillian (WM) 20:27; 5. Olivia Mamula (Spa) 20:48; 6. Maddie Przicina (Sv) 20:50; 7. Savannah Phillips (M) 21:06; 8. Shae Grinnell (CP) 21:12; 9. Maggie Prorok (RG) 21:25; 10. Alyson Pierce (WM) 21:28; 11. Alyssa Boyd (UC) 21:32; 12. Brook Messinger (Y) 21:36; 13. Sabrina Kosnik (UC) 21:50; 14. Sadie Brown (Spa) 22:04; 15. Anna Zrile (WM) 22:07; 16. Ashley Keefer (UC) 22:18; 17. Abby Martinson (M) 22:25; 18, Cassie Lukonic (Sv) 22:34; 19, Virginia Fletcher (UC) 22:45; 20. Leigh Fehlman (Y) 23:10; 21. Olivia Trauner (UC) 23:11; 22. Andrea McConnell (L) 23:17; 23. Helena Zrile (WM) 23:20; 24. Jolene Bacon (UC) 23:21.1; 25. Lindsey Anderson (J) 23:21.9.
Team standing and key: North East (NE) 46; Hickory (H) 88; Wilmington (W) 102; Laurel (La) 118; Knoch (K) 121; Greenville (Gv) 191; New Castle (NC) 192; Cranberry (Cran) 219; Sharon (Sh) 246; Conneaut Area (Con) 263; Oil City (OC) 302; Slippery Rock (SR) 316; Riverside (Riv) 329; Franklin (F) 370; Girard (Gir) 477; Ellwood City (EC) and Titusville (T) did not field full squads.
1. Emma Verdonik (NE) 18:50; 2. Alison Filer (La) 19:53.; 3. Lexi Bible (H) 19:58; 4. Jackie Abraham (H) 20:09; 5. Kate McIntosh (NE) 20:18; 6. Joelle Klein (NE) 20:34; 7. Kate Robb (W) 20:35; 8. Cassandra Patterson (La) 20:47; 9. Haley Boyd (H) 20:49; 10. Maddie Thrasher (Gv) 20:58; 11. Mandi Moxie (K) 21:6; 12. Kristin Reynolds (Cran) 21:9; 13. Brooke Phelps (Con) 21:16; 14. Allison Baldwin (W) 21:17; 15. Macy Putman (NE) 21:18; 16. Andrea Landsdown (NE) 21:22; 17. Lauren Karenbauer (KN) 21:23; 18. Nanami Mano (Gv) 21:24; 19. Megan Martin (NE) 21:29; 20. Kristin Dicks (La) 21:31; 21. Bailey Brown (H) 21:33; 22. Tabitha Donaldson (SR) 21:36; 23. Rikki Brumbaugh (W) 21:40; 24. Amanda Espy (OC) 21:46; 25. Casey McIntosh (NE) 21:52.
Team standing and key: West Middlesex (WM) 66; Maplewood (M) 94; Cochranton (Coch) 102; Commodore Perry (CP) 111; Cambridge Springs (Spa) 153; Neshannock (N) 178; Union City (UC) 186; Cranberry (Cran) 194; Laurel (La) 221; Lakeview (Lv) 244; Rocky Grove (RG) 248; Jamestown (J) 268; Youngsville (Y) 347; Tidioute (T), Union Twp. (U) and Kennedy Catholic (KC) did not field full squads.
1. Jeremy Parsons (M) 16:25; 2. Jake Parsons (M) 16:46. 3. Hans Wentz (M) 16:57; 4. Rob Kroner (N) 17:16; 5. Levi Canon (WM) 17:37; 6. David Johnson (WM) 17:38; 7. Logan Herzberger (Coch) 17:46; 8. Connor Walsh (Spa) 17:50; 9. Clint Glenn (La) 17:50; 10. Nate White (CP) 17:51.0; 11. Nate Kline (Coch) 17:51.4; 12. Austin Moose (N) 17:56; 13. Harrison Keenan (Cran) 17:59; 14. Christian McElhaney (J) 18:15; 15. Eric Johnston (CP) 18:17; 16. Jared Germani (WM) 18:21; 17. Brett Kirk (WM) 18:23; 18. Chad Peterson (CP) 18:25.0; 19. Caleb Bickel (SR) 18:25.8; 20 Steele Henderson (Spa) 18:27; 21. Sam Lander (Cran) 18:27; 22. Dylan Long (WM) 18:41.2; 23. Nathan Lindeman (Coch) 18:41.3; 24. Isaac Williams (WM) 18:54; 25. Cordell Schreiber (CP) 18:56.
Team standing and key: Knoch (K) 71; North East (NE) 83; New Castle (NC) 126; Hickory (H) 159; Oil City (OC) 204; Greenville (Gv) 206; Wilmington (W) 226; Slippery Rock (SR) 229; Franklin (F) 234; Ellwood City (EC) 234; Titusville (T) 260; Sharon (Sh) 298; Riverside (Riv) 314; Conneaut Area (Con) 351; Reynolds (R) 376; Girard (Gir) 398; Sharpsville (Sv) did not field a full squad.
1. Gary Olson (NE) 16:59; 2. Andrew Maxwell (SR) 17:03.; 3. John Danvers (F) 17:07; 4. Prston Carlsson (K) 17:24; 5. Logan Griffen (H) 17:32; 6. Dylan Foley (Gv) 17:36; 7. Brandon Grumski (K) 17:43; 8. Austin King (OC) 17;45; 9. Mike Mazzanti (NE) 17:47; 10. Calvin Gealy (W) 17:49; 11. Brad Calleja (Sv) 17:50; 12. Trevor Blackwell (NE) 17:51; 13. Billy Lott (EC) 17:55; 14. Christian Ladebu (Con) 18:04. 15. Kyle Boyd (H) 18:08; 16. Tyler Stetson (NE) 18:10; 17. Paul Kasunic (K) 18:17; 18. Ryan Anderson (NE) 18:24; 19. Luke Brewer (KN) 18:29; 20. Justin Pago (R) 18:38; 21. Ryuji Mano (Gv) 18:40; 22. Jacob Fuhrman (NE) 18:41; 23. Matt Ditts (Sh) 18:43; 24. Donny Bierhals (K) 18:44.0; 25. Chris Mazzanti (NE) 18:44.7.
Team standing and key: Knoch (K) 41; Hickory (H) 54; Laurel (La) 106; Greenville (Gv) 166; Slippery Rock (SR) 208.
1. Elizabeth Butler (K) 10:38; 2. Nicole Snyder (NE) 10:39; 3. Kate Shickler (NE) 10:42; 4. Vanessa Schwartzmiller (La) 10:50; 5. Brooke Zukowski (K) 11:06.
Team standing and key: Knoch (K) 19; West Middlesex (WM) 112; Commodore Perry (CP) 130; Cranberry (Cran) 136; Hickory (H) 139.
1. Aidan Neigh (K) 8:45; 2. Brandon Davis (K) 9:00.5; 3. Jared Geist (K) 9:04; 4; Adam Sudano (KN) 9:07; 5. Jonathan Garrett (M) 9:13.
Team standing and key: West Middlesex (WM) 80; Cranberry (Cran) 96; Girard (Gir) 106; Hickory (H) 182; North East (NE) 228.
1. Rachel White (NE) 9:50; 2. Alyssa Wolford (Gir) 9:53.; 3. Hope Pursel (WM) 10:01; 4. Lauren Varsek (Cran) 10:11.6; 5. Hannah Pursel (WM) 10:11.8.
Team standing and key: Hickory (H) 33; Wilmington (W) 90; West Middlesex (WM) 94; Lakeview (Lv) 175; Riverside (Riv) 185.
1. Zachary Tingley (Lv) 8:36; 2. chad Grundy (H) 8:50; 3. Drew Slezak (H) 8:58; 4. Nathan Twigg (W) 9:18; 5. Jake Burdett (W) 9:20.
MERCER COUNTY —
West Middlesex High girls’ and boys’ teams swept titles at the 23rd annual Big Red Invitational on Saturday.
Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships
HERSHEY, Pa. — Move over Rod Wright!
Lakeview senior heavyweight star Sam Breese had a goal coming into the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center — besides winning a second state crown, that is.
WM knocks off Neshannock in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — The notion of Trey Staunch sneaking up on opposing teams is laughable. At 6-foot-3 and approximately 225 pounds, the stout Staunch is not sneaking up on anyone.
However after posting a game-high 31-point, 18-rebound performance in West Middlesex High basketball team’s 76-66 PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Neshannock Saturday night, Staunch said opponents may have been overlooking the Big Reds.
Hickory girls 26-0, oust Johnstown
SLIPPERY ROCK — At Morrow Field House Saturday evening, the Hickory Lady Hornets kept the perfect season alive with a 63-37 state playoff first round win over the Greater Johnstown Trojans from District 6.
“It feels great to get the win (Saturday),” said veterans Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “We’ve been at this place over the last few years and we’ve been sent home in the first round so it was a huge win for us. I’m very proud of our team effort."
KC girls roll past California in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball team was in the ’hood Saturday afternoon.
Led by senior Taylor Hood, the Lady Golden Eagles eased past California, 53-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title
HERSHEY, Pa. — If you are Major League Baseball player, a .333 batting average is great. But in wrestling at the state tournament — not so much!
Out of the dozen wrestlers that Mercer County sent to Hershey for the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships, only four (.333) will reach the medal stand today — led by Lakeview senior Sam Breese who shoots for a second straight gold medal.
Farrell edges Montour, 60-57, in PIAA opener
Montour High boys’ basketball coach Adam Kaufman lamented another season-ending setback. However there are several hundred coaches across the Commonwealth who envy his program’s recent success and would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
But during Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA playoff opener, Kaufman & Co. could not overcome those streaky Steelers ... those survivin’ Steelers.
“ ... Hey, survive and move on,” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse following Farrell’s 60-57 win at Sharon High.
GCC ousts Mercer in 1st round of PIAAs
The Mercer Lady Mustangs were outscored 16-4 in the final quarter of the first round of the state playoffs by the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions, ending their season Friday night 56-31 at Sharon High School.
Senior Lexie Arkwright had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double performance for the Lady M’s. She also snagged three steals. Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass each added 4 points for Mercer.
5 area matmen to quarterfinals in Hershey
HERSHEY — Mercer County matmen had mixed results on the opening day of action in the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Only 5 of the county’s dozen entries — led by defending state champ Sam Breese of Lakeview (285) — won their preliminary matches to move into the tournament quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. today. However the other 7 lost their first matches, although 3 are still alive in the consolations heading into this morning’s action.
Coach Chad Mild's Big Reds are road warriors
West Middlesex High boys basketball team did not play its first home game until after the first of the year, but competing at New Castle, Farrell and Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has served it well.
Witness West Middlesex’s 55-54 win over Fairview in last weekend’s District 10 Class AA championship game — at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.
Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes
Who: Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).
What: Opening round.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.
Hickory, Mercer, KC girls PIAA playoff boxes
Who: Hickory (25-0) vs. Greater Johnstown (11-14).
What: PIAA Playoffs, 1st round.
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University.
Shannonhouse's Steelers set for statewide stage
With the approaching spring, a young man’s fancy turns to ... what else? The PIAA playoffs. And when Shenango Valley scholastic basketball aficionados think of the postseason they think of Farrell.
Recently at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the banners above were blowing in the breeze — ’52 ... ’54 ... ’56 ... ’59 ... ’60 ... ’69 ... ’72 — swaying as sprinting players created a vacuum of air rising from the floor. Melodramatic maybe, but there’s a feeling at Farrell that harkens back to the heyday when playoff success was a rite of passage.
Breese eyes repeat at state mat tourney
There is no doubt that winning a state championship in wrestling is a difficult thing to do. Winning two is even tougher.
“There’s a target on your chest,” pointed out Lakeview High coach Tom Tingley in preseason this year, referring to his star wrestler Sam Breese who won a state heavyweight crown as a junior last year.
Obviously that target hasn’t bothered the Sailors big man who is a perfect 32-0 this season as he attempts to become only the 12th Mercer County matman to win multiple titles.
WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: It's a young group of county matmen headed to state
THERE’S definitely a youth movement in Mercer County wrestling as demonstrated by the group of 11 matmen who are advancing to the PIAA State Class AA Championships on Thursday.
Eight of the locals are underclassmen. The only seniors are Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285), Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai (182).
Breese and Stoyer are the only returning state place-winners. Breese, who has verbally committed to Kent State University to wrestle next season, won the heavyweight class and is seeking a second gold medal. Stoyer placed 7th at 145 and wants to climb much higher on the medals stand.
Kennedy boys forfeit win, are out of playoffs
The PIAA basketball playoffs do not begin until Friday, but Mercer County already lost a team.
Kennedy Catholic High disclosed Monday the discovery of an academically-ineligible player, who competed in last Friday’s District 10 Class A consolation contest.
Kennedy Catholic edged Eisenhower in double-OT, 66-62, earning a berth in the statewide tournament. The Golden Eagles were to meet District 9 champion Ridgway Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium in the opening round; instead, Eisenhower will represent D-10 as its 3rd-place team.
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