The Hickory High Hornets had a long ride to Franklin and a long night Friday. But when you win, it makes that trip home seem a lot shorter.
The resilient Hornets of Coach Nick Cannone pulled out a heart-stopping 65-63, double-overtime victory over host Franklin to remain unbeaten in the tough Region 5-AAA loop.
Hickory went to 6-0 in the circuit to remain ahead of Meadville (5-1) and Franklin (5-2). That win came with several clutch shots, rebounds and steals by the gutsy Hornets.
Hickory’s Donté Green went up over the Knights’ 6-foot-8 center Noah Jones to tap in a put-back with about 2 seconds remaining in the 2nd extra period that secured the victory. But before then, the outcome was always in doubt.
Regulation was nip-and-tuck from the start and ended on a thrilling note to initiate the nail-biting finish.
Hickory trailed 52-49 with the seconds ticking away. Anthony Cannone, son of the coach, missed a trey, but Green grabbed the rebound and fired it back out to Cannone. This time the Hornet sharpshooter split the net at the buzzer to force OT. It was Cannone’s 6th 3-pointer of the contest.
In the first overtime period, Michael Nardone put the Hornets up 54-52 early. But with about a minute to go Franklin’s Clayton Maxon canned a pair of free throws to tie the game at 54. Cannone got off a shot at the horn that bounced away and set up the fantastic finish.
Franklin’s Kyle Richey and Hickory’s Matt Votino traded treys early in the 2nd OT, but Marlon McCoy staked the Knights to a 59-57 lead with a deuce. However Cannone canned another 3-ball to put Hickory up 60-59 with about 2 minutes remaining.
Logan Mooney answered for Franklin with a trey for a 62-60 front. Then Cannone made a foul shot and Green made a pair for a 63-62 Hickory lead with 24 seconds left. Mooney made 1-of-2 fouls with 29 seconds left to tie up the contest once again, and it looked like another OT on the way.
However Green’s hoop with 2 second remaining was the deciding factor.
Hickory was led by Cannone, with 27 points including the 7 triples. Matt Votino added 18 points and had 7 assists.
For Franklin, Richey pumped in 13 markers, Isaiah Rutherford 12 and Jones 11.
ä West Middlesex 78, Greenville 37 — At West Middlesex, the host Big Reds raced to a 26-7 first-quarter lead and never were challenged in the Region 2-AA affair.
Matt Dogan, despite a sore right wrist, delivered a game-high 25 points and distributed 6 assists for West Middlesex (4--0, 7-3), Trey Staunch secured a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double, and Jerrod Palmer pumped in a trio of treys en route to 15 points.
Led by the stout Staunch’s 8-for-9 marksmanship, Middlesex manufactured a 31-for-59 shooting performance (52.4 percent). Jeremy Jancso joined in with 9 points and Roman Klaric and Christian Porterfield produced 4 assists apiece. Porterfield tallied 2 treys, also.
Middlesex made only 9 miscues.
“We’re just trying to get better one game at a time,” mused Middlesex mentor Chad Mild, whose Reds rolled to their 6th win in the last 7 outings. “I like the way my kids are starting to come together right now. I saw a lot of people pointing at each other, telling each other, ‘Nice pass.’ I thought we did pass the ball well, and that’s one thing we’ve been preaching for a long time: Hit the open guy, let them make a play; if you’re guarded, find somebody.
“I thought it was a good team effort, and we’re still (approaching it as) one game at a time.
“Greenville, they’re well coached, and they competed (Friday) night,” Mild praised.
For Greenville (1-3, 4-7), Matt Jones’ 9 points and 3 assists, Seth Burchill’s 7 points, and Chad Ferguson’s 2 triples were the bright spots. However, the Trojans turned over the ball 22 times.
“(The Big Reds) do a great job of running what they run. They know what they are, and we’re finding ourselves right now,” 1st-year Trojans’ taskmaster Todd Nehlen related. “We’re athletes that are playing basketball, and we’re getting better at basketball, we’re getting better throughout the year. Our practices are crisper, we’re executing things better. But (the Big Reds) took us out of a lot of things we do, so I applaud Chad, and I applaud everything they do, they run a system and their kids play hard, and it shows from one all the way down the bench. They’ve got a nice program going, and I have the utmost respect for them.”
The Trojans’ troubles on the road continued, with only a lone victory at Mercer (46-43). However Greenville’s Region 2-AA schedule is front-loaded with road games. Six of its last 8 will be at home.
“We’ve got a lot of home games coming up, and I feel good with where we’re at,” Nehlen noted. “Knowing that we can compete with (Mercer, Reynolds, Sharpsville, Wilmington). The kids are trying ... and they believe and they’re playing hard. It’s just getting that consistency, figuring out how to win when the chips are down.
“We said, ‘That’s a good team (West Middlesex), and that’s where we need to get,’” Nehlen continued. “We have the ability and athleticism to get there ... I love ’em. They’re a great group of kids ...” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Sharpsville 50, Reynolds 45 — At Transfer, the visiting Blue Devils did not shoot well from the free-throw line, but enjoyed a 2-to-1 advantage en route to the Region 2-AA road win.
Sharpsville shot 14 for 27 from the line, compared with Reynolds’ 7-for-13 effort. However, 2nd-year Raiders’ roundball coach Dan Kilgore noted,
“We missed numerous layups — not breakaways — but a lot inside, rebounds ... Nothing seemded to go down. We had absolutely every opportunity to win, but couldn’t finish.”
Sharpsville (3-1, 6-4) was led by Tyler Luchey’s 16 points and Kyle Kennedy’s 11.
For Reynolds (2-3, 7-5), Corey Woods went for 15 points, but was the Raiders’ lone double-digit scorer. Kilgore noted Paul Torok “took six charges — that’s a Reynolds record — but I had three guys foul out. It was just one of those nights.”
ä Mercer 57, Wilmington 49 — At New Wilmington, the visiting Mustangs stampeded their way to 24 fourth-period points en route to the Region 2-AA road win.
Mercer mustered a slended 33-30 margin through 3 quarters, but Nate Guiler garnered 10 of his 12 points during the 4th quarter and Logan Clarke collected 6 of his 11 points during the frame.
Mercer (2-3, 5-5) was led by Nate Brest, who bucketed 15 points.
Rocco Fagan fired in a game-high 17 points for Wilmington (0-4, 3-8), tossing in a trio of triples, while J.Smith scored 13 — 9 of which occured during the final frame.
The Mustangs mustered only 14-for-25 marksmanship from the line — 8 for 14 during the last canto — while Wilmington went 10 for 21.
ä Farrell 64, Grove City 55 — At Grove City, the visiting Steelers secured the Region 5-AAA roadie by outscoring Grove City 18-8 during the final frame.
For Farrell (3-3, 5-6), Ike Jones jolted the Grovers for a game-high 23 points, Jason Page pumped in 11, Jamel Brown bucketed 10 and Tyrone Archie added 8. Jones was 7-for-8 from the charity stripe for Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse.
Grove City (2-5, 4-8) was paced by Drek Turner’s 17 tallies, but he was the lone double-figure scorer for the Eagles, who ended 8 for 15 from the free-throw line.
ä Sharon 64, Slippery Rock 45 — At Sharon, the host Tigers triumphed in the Region 5-AAA affair, as Sharon snapped a skid of 4 setbacks in 5 games.
Khalil Hopson hit for a game-high 17 points for 1st-year Sharon skipper Jason Rankin, while Carnell Hawkins and Mark Henry evenly divided an additional 22 tallies for the Tigers (3-3, 5-6).
Slippery Rock (1-5, 2-9) was led by Brian Northcott, who notched a dozen points, and Ryan Currie, who collected 11.
ä Kennedy Catholic 99, VisionQuest 60 — At Franklin, the Golden Eagles of coach Rick Mancino fell just short of the century mark in the Region 1-A triumph.
The Golden Eagles (2-0, 6-3) were led by Jeff Thompkins with 27 points, Mac Hartman 26, and Chris James 11.
VisionQuest (0-1, 1-10) was paced by Demetrius McClendon with 14.
ä Rocky Grove 45, Jamestown 27 — At Rocky Grove, the host Orioles overwhelmed Jamestown, 21-7, during the 3rd period in the Region 1-A affair.
Rocky Grove garnered a 20-9 margin at intermission in the low-scoring contest.
Morrison mustered 11 markers for Rocky Grove (2-0, 3-8), while Jamestown (0-2, 0-10) was led by Potter and Ryan Livington, who evenly split 16 points.
ä Brookfield 70, Youngstown Christian 49 — At Youngstown, the Warriors led 28-21 by halftime then pulled away in the second half for the road win that lifted their season mark to 8-1.
Colin Harkulich led the Warriors with 18 points, while Jeremy Quinlan added 15 and Ryan Mosora 10. Williams scored 23 to pace the losers.
ä Oil City 80, George Junior Republic 62 — At Oil City, the Oilers (2-4, 7-4) were 23-of-28 from the charity stripe while GJR (1-5, 3-6) went 6-of-12 in the Region 5-AAA clash.
Andrew Williams rifled in 26 points for OC and Logan Way bucketed 21. Also, Evan Carll scored a dozen and Devon Geib added 10 markers.
Nafis Brown fired in a game-high 27 points for GJR and Dominic Barnes scored 10.
ä Saegertown 64, Commodore Perry 51 — At Saegertown, the Panthers (6-4) led 16-11 after 8 minutes of play, 34-19 at the break and rolled past CP (2-9) in the non-region affair.
Tyler Walters scored 12 points to lead Saegertown.
Anthony Keyser scored 13 for the Panthers and Sean Britton bucketed a dozen.
ä Lordstown 33, Brookfield 30 — Thusday night at Lordstown, Sarah Cash collected a game-hig 20 points to lead Lordstown (10-2) to the independent win.
For Brookfield (4-6), Tori Thompson tallied 11 points and added 3 steals. But Brookfield made 17 miscues.
˝ Today’s Franklin at Sharon game has been postponed due to the flu and rescheduled for Jan. 25, Sharon High AD Paul Torr announced.
ä Mercer 5, Sharpsville-B 1 — At Sunset Lanes, Cody Nespor (196) and Brandon Anderson (177) led Mercer, while Dalton Scott (153) and John Wolfe (152) paced Sharpsville-B.
The Hickory High Hornets had a long ride to Franklin and a long night Friday. But when you win, it makes that trip home seem a lot shorter.
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.
Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins
ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.
Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win
ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.
Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles
The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.
SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move
ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?
WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals
The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).
Buddy Guerino Tourney winding down
Hoops action continued on Friday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary Schools.
KC, Hickory girls win Guerino semifinal games
Hoops action continued on Wednesday at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary schools.
- More Sports Headlines
- Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win