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.
SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'
HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
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!
The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
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.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.
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.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
- More Sports Headlines
- SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'