MERCER COUNTY —
ä Kennedy Catholic 43, Girard 38 — At Hermitage, the host Lady Golden Eagles escaped with the inter-region win.
KC converted all 10 of its 4th-quarter free throws, including 4 apiece from Rachel Burns and Alex Ricketts. Courtney Sargent secured both ends of a 1-and-1 bonus situation, giving the Lady Golden Eagles a 41-38 edge with 59.4 ticks to play. Ricketts recorded 2 insurance freebies with 22.8 seconds.
The Lady Golden Eagles enjoyed 4 double-digit 1st-half leads — including 25-13 with 4:31 remaining on Rachel Burns’ traditional 3-point play. However a 27-19 margin at intermission dissipated as KC could not connect on 15 floor shots and misfired on 6 of 8 free-throw tries.
Shannon Allen’s freebies with 2.4 seconds left in the 3rd knotted the count at 29. Lauren Davenport and Mara Welch evenly split 8 points during the Yellow Jackets’ rally.
The teams twice were tied and traded the lead 3 times. Burns’ pair in a 1-and-1 situation with 4:27 left gave the Lady Golden Eagles a 35-33 edge they did not relinquish.
Ricketts’ game-high 16 points keyed Kennedy (7-1) to its 7th straight success, while Burns bucketed 10 and Sargent shared game-high honors as she brought down 10 boards.
A 5-foot-11 sophomore combo guard, Welch went for a team-high 14 points and 10 caroms for the Yellow Jackets (6-2), whose previous lone loss occurred to Gen. McLane. Girard was guilty of 15 turnovers, 6 during the 4th frame.
“I think we did a really good job in the fourth quarter with ... managing the clock,” KC head coach Tom Burns assessed. “Far better than I thought we were gonna do, considering that third quarter. But we spread it out, and Alex made a great drive to the hoop and got us up three (39-36 with 2:36 remaining) ...
“I think we learned a little bit about us in that third quarter,” Burns continued. “When we were in that break between the third and fourth quarter, it was like, ‘Okay, bad quarter, but we haven’t lost yet and we have a whole quarter to go. We need to execute our offense, and our defense has to get turnovers. One shot for (Girard) max, then we have to rebound the ball.’”
Rachel Burns is approximately 9 months removed from surgery for an ACL tear of her left knee. She hit the hardwood at least a half-dozen times, but reported no pain.
“As a coach I have to be patient — sometimes I’m not — but she’s playing really hard for me. She gets hits hard and she gets up. She’s not afraid and she’s not playing timid. She’s not worried about tearing the ACL, and that’s half the battle with a kid who tears an ACL — it’s not the injury, it’s the mental part. She’s definitely overcome that,” Tom Burns said.
Notes: KC committed 9 miscues, but connected on only 10 of 47 floor shots (37 percent). ... Girard generated 14-for-45 shooting (31.2). ... Kennedy claimed a 40-32 edge on the boards. ... KC meets Vincentian Academy for the championship of the postponed Penn State-Beaver holiday tourney, 5 p.m on Jan. 26. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Ursuline 64, Brookfield 45 — At Brookfield, the Irish (4-7) led 18-9 after the opening quarter and rolled past the Lady Warriors (4-4).
Tanaya Beacham rifled in 27 points and Sydney Beasley had 25 to lead Ursuline. Also, Mary O’Donnell bucketed 15.
Ashley Kirila scored 15 to pace Brookfield and Tori Thompson added 12 markers.
ä Hickory 57, Oil City 50 — In Oil Country, the visiting Hornets harvested the Region 5-AAA road win and remained atop the early-season standings.
Hickory held a 25-13 margin at intermission, then weathered the Oilers’ 2nd-half, 37-point — albeit, ill-fated — comeback bid.
Matt Votino vaulted Hickory (4-0, 6-2) with 19 points and Marcus Sonoga scored 10, while Donté Green garnered his 2nd straight double-digit outing with 10.
For Oil City (1-3, 6-3), Logan Way went for 16 and Devon Geib and Andrew Williams added 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Oilers were 20 for 27 from the free-throw line (74 percent).
ä Sharpsville 62, Mercer 47 — At the County Seat, the visiting Blue Devils broke open the Region 2-AA affair by erupting for 29 fourth-period points.
Mercer led 37-33 entering the 4th frame, but Sharpsville’s Kyle Kennedy canned 12 of his game-high 20 points and Tyler Luchey lent 8 of hits 15.
Also for Sharpsville (2-1, 5-3) Jalen Mockabee mustered 11 markers.
For Mercer (1-2, 4-4), Nate Brest bucketed 13 and Logan Clarke collected 10, and the Mustangs mustered 14-for-17 marksmanship from the free-throw line.
ä Reynolds 45, Greenville 34 — At Transfer, the game was tied at 26-all entering the 4th quarter, but the Raiders (1-2, 6-4) outscored the Trojans 19-8 in the final frame to post the Region 2-AA win.
Garrett Frable bucketed 17 points to lead the way for Reynolds while Cory Woods tallied 10.
Matt Jones scored 9 for the Trojans (0-1, 3-6).
ä Meadville 76, Farrell 63 — At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium in Farrell, the Bulldogs (4-1, 8-2) outscored the Steelers 23-15 in the 2nd quarter to pull away and went on to notch the Region 5-AAA victory.
Zak Price tickled the twine for 24 points for Meadville while Trevor Clune scored 16 and Jason Clune added 14 markers.
Jamel Brown led Farrell (2-3, 4-5) with 15 points while Ike Jones and Malik Miller added 13 each.
ä Grove City 46, Slippery Rock 36 — At Grove City, the Eagles improved to 1-4 in Region 5-AAA and 3-7 overall with the 10-point win over the Rockets.
Derek Turner scored 14 to lead GC while Jake Whitmer had 8 points for the Rockets (0-4, 1-8).
ä Also on Saturday, the Sharon boys fell to 2-2 in Region 5 and 4-5 overall with a 51-43 loss to the Knights (5-0, 7-2) at “The Castle” in Franklin and Lakeview (3-0, 9-1) rolled past Wilmington (0-2, 3-6) 50-36 in New Wilmington. Casey Greggs only needed 3 points to reach 1,000 for his career. Neither game was reported to The Herald.
Region 1 Duals
At West Middlesex, Coach Casey Taylor’s Reynolds High Raiders went a perfect 5-0 on Saturday at the Region 1 Duals at West Middlesex High School.
Reynolds beat West Middlesex (75-6), Hickory (67-9), Mercer (63-6), Sharpsville (55-12) and Slippery Rock (69-9).
Mercer posted a 4-1 ledger at the event, Sharpsville was 3-2, Hickory went 2-3, Slippery Rock was 1-4 and West Middlesex went 0-5.
The other scores were: Mercer 60, Slippery Rock 13; Sharpsville 68, West Middlesex 12; Sharpsville 56, Slippery Rock 19; Mercer 51, Hickory 19; Slippery Rock 42, West Middlesex 33; Hickory 57, Slippery Rock 18; Hickory 60, West Middlesex 21; Mercer 33, Sharpsville 29; Mercer 70, West Middlesex 6 and Sharpsville 34, Hickory 31.
MERCER COUNTY —
GC coach Bell retired — sort of!
You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
“My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.
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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!
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What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
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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.
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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.
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