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 —
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.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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- Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM