Persinger, Cano

Grove City’s Kade Persinger guards Greenville’s Benny Cano during Friday's Region 5 contest at Greenville High School.

SHARON – In considering Hickory High hoops, it’s difficult not to think of the names Whitehead and Evans. And both played prominently in helping the Hornets hoist the hardware of a 2nd straight Region 5 regular-season crown Friday night. 

Donald Whitehead went for a game-high 24 points and Connor Evans ended with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double as Hickory harvested a 70-49 win at Sharon.

Donald Whitehead and his mother Jeanette – a current Hickory assistant who previously served as the highly-successful girls’ head coach – are mourning the loss of Mary Emma Odem, Donald’s grandmother and Jeanette’s mother.

“There absolutely was a mention ... we dedicated that (win) to Coach Whitehead and her family,” responded Hickory Head Coach Chris Mele. “She’s a huge part of what we do. What a great mentor she is to me, and a great coach. We’re so proud to have her part of this. We know she’s grieving. She’s family – we’re all family – and we can’t wait to be with her.”

Evans etched his name in his family’s legacy, which includes father Greg and uncle Geoff. He enjoyed a career breakout game that broke open the tussle with the Tigers. Hickory held a 35-29 halftime lead, but Evans erupted for 10 points and 4 rebounds during the 3rd period. Hickory, led by Evans, extended its edge to 57-39 entering the final frame.

“My dad’s one of my main idols. I look up to him – a thousand-point scorer; my uncle was two-thousand points,” the slender 6-foot-5 junior related. “So they’re incredibly tough on me. They push me to be the best person I can ever be, both on and off the court. So they’re both my role-models, and I just look up to them.”

Regarding Evans’ contribution, mentor Mele praised, “Oh, Connor was absolutely huge! Before we went out, I said, ‘Connor, make some plays for us, make some hustle plays,’ and he said, ‘I got you, coach.’ He says that a lot, and he really did do it. All over the place. The timely blocked shots ... the rebounding ... he hit a ‘three’ ... now he’s finding his teammates as he starts to drive, and he has a couple assists ... made some layups ...

“He willed us in that third quarter, man. It was a fantastic job by him. Very proud,” Mele added.

Regarding Whitehead – 7 of 17 from the floor, including a trio of treys and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, plus a game-high 7 assists – Mele praised, “Donald Whitehead is Donald Whitehead. ... That second quarter (9 of Hickory’s 23 points, erasing a 15-12 first-quarter deficit) he was able to dictate the tone there at the end. We ran some clear-out plays for him, and he was just phenomenal! Just couldn’t be more proud.”

Jaylen Jarvie joined in the double-figure scoring for Hickory (14-0, 16-3) with 14 points; Peyton Mele muscled his way to a game-high 12 rebounds (plus 8 points); Matt Cannone contributed 5 points and 4 assists, and mentor Mele also praised gritty Bailey Phillips for his unselfishness.

Conversely, the Tigers turned it over 16 times during the 1st half. But because Hickory hit on only 14 of 36 attempted floor shots, Sharon stayed within striking distance.

“The normal run they went on at the end of the first half was big – extended their lead out a little bit – then they came out and picked it up a little bit defensively in the second half (and) that contributed to us not scoring the basketball much (10 points on 4-for-12 shooting),” assessed Sharon skipper Zach Sarver. “Even some easy ones we had, we missed ... 

“Obviously, Donald scored a bunch. But Connor giving them double his average ... that was big for them,” Sarver said. “And he gave ‘em a shot in the arm on the defensive end; he changed some shots around the basket, (and) he was very active on that end of the floor. You know what you’re gonna get from Donald. ... But that’s what good teams do down the stretch – different guys step up at different times, and it was Connor for them (Friday) night.”

For Sharon (8-5, 11-8), Merquan Peterson tallied 10 points and hauled down a half-dozen rebounds and Michael Calloway contributed 9 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds, while Cam Atallah added 2 treys and 8 points. However Sharon shot 21 for 53 from the floor (39.6 percent), got to the line just 4 times, and the Tigers turned it over 21 times in spite of not committing a miscue during the final frame.

“This week’s been better than last week, from the standpoint of we played back-to-back, two really good teams. We beat one on Tuesday (Meadville) and were right here with a good one (against Hickory),” Sarver assessed. “We made a little run back in the fourth quarter (when Peterson scored 6 and Marquese Gardlock garnered 4 rebounds and 2 assists) ... We kept battling, and those are  things we’re gonna have to do down the stretch.

“So our play this week has been a lot more consistent than it has all season, and it’s something that we need going forward, without question,” Sarver concluded.

Mele summarized, “I’m just so proud of our seniors (Whitehead, Phillips, Jarvie). Back-to-back region titles – I’m not sure of the last time when we’ve been able to do that at Hickory ... first time winning at here at Sharon. Those were two of our goals coming into the year, and we got two of ‘em (Friday) night.

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In other action:

BOYS BASKETBALL

• Grove City 49, Greenville 43 – At Greenville, the short-handed Eagles (9-4, 12-7) picked up the Region 5 win over the Trojans (3-10, 5-14).

GC was without starters Danny Timko and Spencer Pokrant and then lost Dylan Stull early in the game on Friday.

Troy Loughry led the way for GC with 18 points, Kade Persinger scored 15 (11-of-12 from the free-throw line) and Michael Brooks bucketed 11 points. The Eagles were 16-of-20 from the charity stripe while Greenville was 2-of-2.

Benny Cano led Greenville with 16 points while Jalen Ritzert and Landon Bielata chipped in 8 points each.

• Sharpsville 77, Conneaut Area 46 – At Sharpsville, Jackson Doyle rifled in 30 points to lift the Blue Devils (10-4, 13-6) to the Region 5 win over CASH (4-10, 7-12).

CASH led 20-14 after 8 minutes of play, but the Blue Devils took a 41-33 lead into the locker room at halftime after outscoring the Eagles 27-13 in the 2nd quarter. The Devils then outscored CASH 36-13 in the 2nd half.

Mack Staunch scored 14 points for Sharpsville, Brayden Fry contributed 13 points and James Thomas added 10 markers.

Tanner Niemann led CASH with 21 points and Cole Askey bucketed 16.

• Slippery Rock 64, George Junior Republic 43 – At the “Rock Box,” the host Rockets roared to the Region 5 rout. Slippery Rock broke open a lackluster 7-6 tilt after the 1st frame by scoring 21 second-period points to seize command.

For 1st-year mentor A.J. Motta, fueling the Rockets (1-12 region, 2-17 overall) were Ethan Plesakov, who pumped in a game-high 19 points, Jack Allen, who annexed 17, and Judah Roth, who rifled in 16.

GJR (1-12, 2-17) was paced by Tre Smith, who scored 16, and Rylee Dyson, who drilled 15 points.

• GJR suffered a 65-46 home loss to Ft. LeBoeuf on Wednesday. Stats were not reported to The Herald until Friday.

Joe Riley led LeBoeuf with 26 points and Derek Black bucketed 15. For GJR, Dyson fired in 26 points (4 treys) and Smith added 14 points.

• Cathedral Prep 53, Kennedy Catholic 35 – At Hermitage, Coach Rick Mancino’s Golden Eagles (4-2, 11-8) suffered their 2nd loss in as many nights with the Region 7 setback to Cathedral Prep (4-2, 13-5).

Cathedral Prep only led 20-18 at halftime, but outscored KC 17-8 in the 3rd quarter and 16-9 in the final frame. KC lost to ISA Andrews Osborne on Thursday and were without 3 starters in that game.

Michael Lucarotti led Cathedral Prep with 16 points, Alfonso Pickens scored 9 and Quentin Santillan 8.

Ike Herster led KC with 16 points and DeSean Young added 9 points.

• Lakeview 49, Mercer 33 – At Stoneboro, Coach Garrett Blaschak’s Sailors (8-1, 12-6) grinded out a Region 2 win over the Mustangs (1-9, 6-12).

The teams were tied 11-all at the end of the opening quarter and Lakeview led 23-21 at the break. The Sailors were up 32-27 after 3 and held a 17-16 scoring advantage in the 4th quarter to lock down the win.

Brett Beith bucketed 20 to lead Lakeview, Nate McIntire scored 13 and Hunter Miller added 9 points.

Jake Mattocks led the way for Mercer with 14 points and Logan Turton added 9 markers.

• Wilmington 45, Reynolds 44 – At Transfer, the Hounds (5-4, 7-11) won a one-point Region 2 thriller against the Raiders (1-9, 6-13).

Reynolds led 23-20 at halftime, but the Hounds outscored the Raiders 12-10 in the 3rd quarter and 13-11 in the 4th to earn the road win.

Caelan Bender drained 4 treys en route to 16 points for Wilmington, Austin Lisowski added 8 points and Braxton Shimrack contributed 7.

Aidan Mull led Reynolds with 13 points and Zander Winkle and Jake Moser added 11 points each.

• Farrell 63, Rocky Grove 54 – At E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the host Steelers scored 52 points during the Region 2 tilt’s last 24 minutes.

Eric Hopson had 17 points for Farrell (9-0 region, 10-7 overall) and Brian Hilton Jr. had another 15. Rocky Grove (6-4, 11-8) was led by Gabe Francic, who fired in 17 points and Zac Clayton, who contributed 14, while Caden Toscano tallied 12.

• West Middlesex 63, Commodore Perry 37 – At Sheakleyville, Coach Chad Mild’s Region 2 Big Reds (7-12) rolled to the win over the Region 1 Panthers (1-15).

Hunter Smith rifled in 25 points to lead the way for West Middlesex, Richie Preston bucketed a dozen points and Malachi Owens added 9 markers.

Hunter Artman paced Commodore Perry with 15 points and Jordan Castona contributed 9.

• LaBrae 65, Brookfield 46 – At Leavittsburg, the Vikings led 25-23 at halftime and pulled away in the All-American Conference Blue Tier Division game by outscoring the Warriors 23-9 in the 3rd quarter.

Meyer (19 points), Stephens (11), Carter (10) and Drake (10) scored in double digits for LaBrae.

Isaiah Jones led Brookfield (3-7, 9-10) with 9 points while Haden Gibson, Jake Shingledecker and Conner Stevens had 7 points each. 

Jones pulled down 14 rebounds for Coach Shawn Hammond’s Warriors and Gibson dished out 4 assists.

 

BOYS BASKETBALL

HICKORY        12  23  22  13  70

SHARON         15  14  10  10  49

HICKORY – Whitehead 7-7-7-24, Mele 3-0-0-8, Evans 4-6-8-15, Cannone 2-1-2-5, Jarvie 7-0-0-14, Phillips 0-0-2-0, Pryts 1-0-0-2, Hudson 0-0-0-0, Boal 0-0-0-0, Beatty 0-0-0-0, Trontel 0-0-0-0, Ristvey 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Whitehead 3, Mele 2, Evans 1. Totals: 25-14-18-70.

SHARON – Calloway 4-1-1-9, Peterson 4-2-2-10, Lampkins-Rudolph 3-0-0-6, Hill 2-0-0-5, Coxson 3-0-1-6, Atallah 3-0-0-8, Smith-Austin 1-0-0-3, Gadlock 0-0-0-0, Porterfield 0-0-0-0, Driver 0-0-0-0, Salsgiver 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Atallah 2, Hill 1, Smith-Austin 1. Totals: 21-3-4-49.

JV: Sharon, 54-51. Otis Driver 23 points (2 free throws with 18.2 seconds to play, snapping a tie), Brett Salsgiver 11, Marquese Gardlock 9 for Sharon; Nathan Boal 13, Jackson Pryts 11, Dalton Beatty 9 for Hickory. 

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GROVE CITY      6  12  10  21  49

GREENVILLE      7   6   13  17  43

GROVE CITY – Brooks 4-2-2-11, Stull 0-0-0-0, Persinger 2-11-12-15, Norris 0-0-0-0, Hostetler 2-0-0-5, Knouse 0-0-2-0, Loughry 6-3-4-18. 3-pt. goals: Loughry 3, Brooks 1, Hostetler 1. Totals: 14-16-20-49.

GREENVILLE – L. Lentz 0-0-0-0, Ritzert 3-1-1-8, J. Lentz 2-0-0-5, Cano 7-1-1-16, Sorg 2-0-0-4, Cianci 1-0-0-2, Bielata 4-0-0-8. 3-pt. goals: Ritzert 1, J. Lentz 1, Cano 1. Totals: 19-2-2-43.

JV: Grove City, 45-20. Josh Dreves 14, Ben Knouse 13, Sam Norris 10 for GC. 

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CONN. AREA    20  13   9    4  46

SHARPSVILLE   14  27  15  21  77

CONNEAUT AREA – DeMarco 0-0-0-0, Niemann 8-3-6-21, Boye 1-0-0-2, Ordos 0-0-0-0, Mihoci 1-0-0-3, Bortnick 0-0-0-0, Askey 6-2-4-16, Kroniser 2-0-0-4, Walker 0-0-0-0, Hochstetler 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Niemann 2, Askey 2, Mihoci 1. Totals: 18-5-10-46.

SHARPSVILLE – Flaherty 0-0-0-0, Ladjevich 1-2-4-5, Doyle 12-3-3-30, Ramsey 1-0-0-3, Henwood 0-0-0-0, Thomas 2-6-6-10, Fry 5-0-0-13, Kratko 0-0-0-0, Trontel 0-0-0-0, Frye 1-0-0-2, Staunch 6-2-2-14. 3-pt. goals: Doyle 3, Fry 3, Ladjevich 1, Ramsey 1. Totals: 28-13-15-77.

JV: Sharpsville, 53-51. Zac Ramsey 19 for Sharpsville. Ryan Richardson 15, A. Nottingham 11 for CASH.

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CATH. PREP      15  5  17  16  53

KENNEDY          11  7  8    9   35

CATHEDRAL PREP – Howard 0-1-2-1, Pickens 2-4-4-9, Sambuchino 0-2-2-2, Milsap 0-0-0-0, Santillan 1-5-7-8, Innes 1-2-2-5, Eddy 0-0-0-0, Spencer 1-0-0-2, Lucarotti 7-2-3-16, Horton 2-0-0-4, Galla 3-0-0-6. 3-pt. goals: Pickens 1, Santillan 1, Innes 1. Totals: 17-16-20-53.

KENNEDY CATHOLIC – Christian 0-0-0-0, Herster 7-1-1-16, Scarbrough 1-0-0-2, Young 3-2-2-9, Magestro 1-2-2-4, Harden 0-0-0-0, Cathcart 0-0-0-0, Taylor 2-0-0-4, Churlik 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Herster 1, Young 1. Totals: 14-5-5-35.

JV: No score reported.

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GEO. JUNIOR      6  15  11  5   43

SLIP ROCK        7  21  17  19  64

GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC – Henderson 3-2-2-8, Smith 6-4-6-16, Delgado 0-0-0-0, Stanford 0-0-0-0, Dyson 4-4-4-15, Reed 1-2-3-4. 3-pt. goals: Dyson 3. Totals: 14-12-15-43.

SLIPPERY ROCK – Prementine 1-0-1-2, Christy 1-0-0-2, Roth 7-1-2-16, Caldwell 2-0-2-6, Plesakov 7-1-2-19, Allen 8-1-6-17, Willison 0-0-0-0, S.Thompson 0-0-0-0, Z.Thompson 1-0-0-2, Duffalo 0-0-0-0, Weidner 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Plesakov 4, Caldwell 2, Roth 1, Plesakov 1. Totals: 27-3-13-64. 

JV: No score reported.

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MERCER          11  10  6  16  43

LAKEVIEW        11  12  9  17  49

MERCER – Nickel 1-0-0-2, Turton 3-2-3-9, Mattocks 5-0-0-14, Pugh 2-2-2-6, Ealy 1-0-0-2, Doolin 2-0-0-6, Miller 1-0-0-3, Lengyl 0-1-2-1. 3-pt. goals: Mattocks 4, Doolin 2, Turton 1, Miller 1. Totals: 15-5-7-43.

LAKEVIEW – Beith 8-4-7-20, McIntire 5-2-3-13, Thiec 2-0-0-5, Grim 1-0-0-2, Miller 3-2-3-9. 3-pt. goals: McIntire 1, Thiec 1, Miller 1. Totals: 19-8-13-49.

JV: Mercer, 33-27.

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WILMINGTON    9  11  12  13  45

REYNOLDS      11  12  10  11  44

WILMINGTON – Bender 6-0-0-16, Sullivan 0-1-2-1, Lisowski 3-1-2-8, Cox 3-0-0-6, McConahy 0-1-4-1, Shimrack 3-0-0-7, M. Reed 1-0-1-2, Susen 1-2-2-4, Phanco 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Bender 4, Lisowski 1, Shimrack 1. Totals: 17-5-11-45.

REYNOLDS – Winkle 4-0-0-11, Walker 1-0-0-2, Mull 5-3-5-13, Loposky 0-0-1-0, Moser 3-5-10-11, Faber 2-3-4-7. 3-pt. goals: Winkle 3. Totals: 15-11-20-44.

JV: Wilmington, 44-34. Ethan Susen 17 for Wilmington.

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ROCKY GROVE   6   21  13  14  54

FARRELL          11  16  19  17  63

ROCKY GROVE – Francic 5-3-4-17, Z.Clayton 4-6-8-14, Dickson 2-0-0-4, I.Clayton 2-0-0-6, Toscano 4-4-5-12, Henderson 0-1-2-1, McMullen 0-0-0-0, Burkhardt 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Francic 4, I.Clayton 2. Totals: 17-14-19-54.

FARRELL – Hopson 7-2-8-17, King 2-3-4-9, Hilton 6-4-7-15, Wade 2-2-2-6, Mohammed 2-0-0-4, Hartley 1-0-0-2, Holden 1-0-1-2, Rain 2-2-5-6, Driver 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: King 2, Hopson 1. Totals: 24-12-27-63.  

JV: No score reported.

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W.MIDDLESEX  17  13  12  21  63

COMM. PERRY 14  11   7    5   37

WEST MIDDLESEX – Owens 4-1-3-9, H. Smith 8-2-5-21, Rococi 0-0-0-0, B. Smith 2-0-0-5, Hummell 0-0-0-0, Shick 2-0-0-6, Greenburg 0-0-0-0, Preston 5-0-0-12, G. Mild 1-0-0-3, L. Mild 0-0-0-0, Troyer 1-0-0-3, C. Smith 0-0-0-0, Tate 0-0-0-0, Atterholt 1-2-2-4. 3-pt. goals: H. Smith 3, Shick 2, Preston 2, B. Smith 1, G. Mild 1, Troyer 1. Totals: 24-5-10-63.

COMMODORE PERRY – Jo. Castona 4-1-2-9, Cropp 1-2-2-5, Garland 2-0-0-6, Ja. Castona 0-0-0-0, Artman 6-1-2-15, Chesmer 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Garland 2, Artman 2, Cropp 1. Totals: 14-4-6-37.

JV: No score reported.

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BROOKFIELD     2   21  9   14  46

LaBRAE          10  15  23  17  65

BROOKFIELD – Filipovich 1-0-0-3, Laverty 0-0-0-0, Da. Pawlowski 1-0-0-2, Gibson 3-0-0-7, Jones 3-3-4-9, Emery 2-1-1-5, Eash 0-0-0-0, Do. Pawlowski 2-0-0-6, Shingledecker 1-4-4-7, Stevens 3-1-5-7, Franz 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Do. Pawlowski 2, Filipovich 1, Gibson 1, Shingledecker 1. Totals: 16-9-14-46.

LaBRAE – Meyer 7-4-7-19, Carter 3-2-3-10, Kiser 2-2-2-7, Stephens 3-3-3-11, Drake 5-0-0-10, Rutherford 0-3-6-3, Simmons 2-0-0-5, McCarthey 0-0-0-0, Biery 0-0-0-0, Miranda 0-0-0-0, Harris 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Carter 2, Stephens 2, Meyer 1, Kiser 1, Simmons 1. Totals: 22-13-20-65.

JV: No score reported. 

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FT. LeBOEUF   11  12  23  19  65

GEO. JUNIOR   12  13  10  11  46

FT. LeBOEUF – Richmond 1-2-2-4, Gentile 1-3-7-5, Dooley 1-0-0-2, Black 6-3-6-15, Drayer 2-2-4-8, Riley 12-2-3-26, Endress 1-3-4-5. 3-pt. goals: Drayer 2. Totals: 24-15-26-65.

GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC – Reed 1-0-0-2, Dyson 9-4-5-26, Stanford 1-0-2-2, Henderson 1-0-1-2, Smith 6-1-1-14. 3-pt. goals: Dyson 4, Smith 1. Totals: 18-5-9-46.

JV: No score reported.

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