HERMITAGE – Halley’s Comet comes around every 75, 76 years within view of Planet Earth.

On Thursday night the Hickory-Kennedy Catholic boys’ basketball rivalry was renewed for the first time in 34 years, and it was well worth the wait.

“We’ve gotta do this more often,” mused mentor Chris Mele, whose Hornets harvested a 60-51 win in the Shenango Valley rivalry. “It’s a nice win, but we’ve got bigger aspirations as far as the (region), and we’ve gotta take care of that. I’m glad we played Kennedy – they made us better.”

Coincidently, it was Mele’s 200th career coaching win. He previously spent 4 successful seasons leading Kennedy Catholic’s girls.

At The Hive, Hickory’s Connor Evans erupted for the 2nd half’s first 6 points, sparking the Stingers’ 10-0 spree that erased a 36-34 halftime deficit.

Evans ended with a game-high 25-point, 12-rebound double-double. With Kennedy senior standout Sky’Ler Thomas hindered by 3 first-half personal fouls, an energized Evans drove to the basket with impunity. 

“Connor picked his game up, got physical inside. We were down two at half, and got six right away,” a somewhat surprised Mele admitted regarding the Golden Eagles’ defensive matchup. “We talked about it (at halftime). That was by design. We told (Evans).”

The 1st half featured 2 ties and a half-dozen lead changes, and the visiting Golden Eagles enjoyed a 20-19 edge after 8 minutes.

But Peyton Mele’s long-range marksmanship – 4 treys, a couple of which were from approximately 25 feet – saw him score 15 of his 21 points while Evans added a dozen. That offset 6 points apiece from Thomas and Malik Lampkins-Rudolph and another 5 from Da’Juan Young as KC claimed a 2-point margin at intermission.

“He was special (Thursday) night ... the first half he kept us in the game, ‘cause we were not executing our offense,” mentor Mele said in reference to his son’s sharpshooting. “Lucky we had him hittin’ those ‘bombs’ and goin’ to the hoop.”

During the 2nd half Kennedy Catholic connected on only 6 of 31 floor shots and was outscored 26-15.

One statewide source ranked the Golden Eagles (11-2) 4th in Class 2A, and KC was coming off a hard-earned inter-region road win at Meadville’s “House of Thrills” 24 hours prior to tipping off at Hickory. Bragging rights for hoops in Hermitage had a playoff-caliber feel to it.

“That’s what we’ve been sayin’ since the start – these are the teams we want to play,” 1st-year KC Head Coach Dustin Golub acknowledged. “It’s great to come out here and play Hickory. We went to Meadville, a great team ... we came here (Hickory) ... we were going to go Lincoln Park ... the first game of the season we went to New Castle ... we went to Franklin.

“So as far as competition, we don’t shy away from it. We want to play the best teams and we want to get better, and (Thurs)day I think both teams came away better teams, better players, better coaches,” continued Golub, graciously adding, “Hat’s off to Coach Mele. They did a great job and their kids played great. No excuses. (The Hornets) played a great game, and we’re gonna learn from it, just like we did from the New Castle game. We took the good with the bad, and we’ll keep on movin.’”

Officials Mark Weir, Tom Platteborze Sr. and Jack Thorn let the players play. Through 3 quarters the teams attempted only 16 free throws, and neither team went to the line during the 3rd period as the Hornets headed to the 4th frame with a 49-42 lead.

Malachi Owens’ put-back enabled the Golden Eagles to edge within 54-51 with approximately 1:59 remaining; however Peyton Mele made both ends of a 1-and-1 bonus situation with 37 ticks to play and Evans iced the win with 4 freebies at the 17.5- and 7.6-second junctures.

The competitiveness of the contest was captured by the number of miscues: 19 for Hickory, 15 for Kennedy.

“That’s a great program over there,” mentor Mele praised, gesturing toward the Golden Eagles’ locker room. “Those kids play hard. They got after it defensively in the first half, and I think it surprised our guys a little bit. We addressed that at halftime, that we had to get tougher in this game, and we did,” he said, citing Jackson Pryts (7 rebounds). “ ... just little plays – grinding. We had to grind it out.”

“We’re not used to holding the ball,” Golub admitted. “The last minute, twenty-two (of the 1st half) we were up six goin’ into half and I called a time-out; we were going to try and stall the ball there, but that’s somethin’ different for us that we’re practicing. So instead of goin’ up eight or ten we end up goin’ up two. 

“So we’ve gotta get rid of the selfish play. Too many people are worried about their points,” Golub related, emphasizing, “and that’s just not gonna work if we want to try and make a run here. ... I’m all about the Mercer County teams, so I hope everybody makes a deep run in the playoffs, and good luck to Hickory.”

Rated 3rd in Class 4A by a statewide source, Hickory (8-1) hit 20 of 45 field-goal attempts (44.5%) and converted 14 of 21 freebies (66.7%), compared with Kennedy Catholic’s respective totals of 19 of 67 (28.3%) and 6 for 7.

Led by Thomas’ 12-point, 11-rebound double-double KC claimed a 42-38 edge on the glass. Lampkins-Rudolph, Gio Magestro and Young contributed 11, 10 and 9 points, respectively, and Young yanked down 7 rebounds. But during the 2nd half Thomas tallied just 2 points, Lampkins-Rudolph a trey before being DQ’d on personals with 37 seconds remaining, and Young just a pair of free throws.

Note: “Just proud of my guys, proud of my coaches,” mentor Mele said regarding the 200-win milestone. “I really want to thank my assistant coaches – Marco Miller, Jeanette Whitehead, Gary Swanson, Justin Townsend and Jon Walsh. They are the reasons for these wins at Hickory, not me. It’s a total, collective team effort. ... And obviously you have to have players to win games. I also was blessed at Kennedy with great assistants (including the late Gene Sarazen) and great players, and the same thing here (at Hickory). It’s no secret – you’ve gotta have players and gotta have coaches, and I’ve been blessed.” ... Joey Fazzone had 8 points, 7 rebounds for Hickory and Matt Cannone dished out a game-high 5 assists.

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In other action:

GIRLS HOOPS

• Kennedy Catholic 71, Farrell 25 – At Farrell, the Lady Golden Eagles moved to 8-0 in Region 1 and 11-0 overall with the win over Farrell (5-3, 6-3).

Paris Gilmore rifled in 21 points to lead KC, Hayden Keith scored 15, Keegan McConahy added 10 points, and Bellah DiNardo chipped in 9 points and 9 rebounds. Also, Gilmore and Alayja Jones had 5 steals each and KC only had 9 team turnovers.

Deryah Stewart collected 8 points for Farrell.

“Farrell is a very, very good team and we’ve struggled at home against them,” said Justin Magestro. “I think defensively this was the most solid game we’ve played all year.

“Any time you can win a big region game against Farrell at Farrell, throw the records out the window. You got to be able to win on the road, so this win is very encouraging.”

• West Middlesex 56, Jamestown 17 – At West Middlesex, Carlie Beatty had 14 points and 6 rebounds and Emily Anthony posted 10 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals as the Ms. Reds (4-1, 5-3) defeated the Muskies (1-5, 1-7) in a Region 1 contest.

Also for West Middlesex, Taylor Tomko scored 9 points, Emma Mild contributed 6 points and Maggie Briggs grabbed 6 rebounds.

Jillian McElhinny had 11 points for Jamestown.

• Reynolds 42, Rocky Grove 25 – At Franklin, Coach Doug Dorio’s Lady Raiders (4-3, 6-4) posted the Region 1 win.

Chloe McLaughlin’s 14 points led Reynolds, Mackenzie Herman scored 10, and Halle Murcko contributed 8 points.

Abby Williams tallied 10 points to pace Rocky Grove (0-7, 0-7).

• Greenville 44, Sharon 36 – At Tiger Gymnasium, Sharon led 16-15 at halftime, but the Trojans (4-1, 7-1) outscored the Tigers 16-5 in the 3rd quarter to pull away in the Region 4 clash.

Josie Lewis led Greenville with 13 points, Grace Cano bucketed 10, and Amy Batt contributed 8 markers.

Jaysina Sellers scored a game-high 16 points for Sharon (2-4, 3-8) and Thoniece Ripley added 6 points.

• Sharpsville 26, Wilmington 23 – At New Wilmington, Ericka Grandy banked a 3-pointer off the glass at the buzzer to lift the Lady Blue Devils (4-0, 4-2) past the Hounds (1-5, 1-9) in the Region 4 clash.

Breanna Hanley led Sharpsville with 8 points, Ady Kratko chipped in 7 points, and Tori Kimpan 6.

Jadyn Flick and Renee Ealy had 5 points each for Wilmington and Sydnee Ward added 4 markers.

• Lakeview 47, Titusville 8 – At Titusville, the Lady Sailors (5-0, 6-0) followed up Wednesday’s win at Hickory with a Region 4 rout over the Rockets (0-6, 0-9).

Amber Sefton drained a trio of treys en route to 13 points for Lakeview and Reese Gadsby added 8 points.

Paisley Crawford and Lilly Tucker had 3 points each for Titusville.

• Grove City 61, Meadville 14 – At Grove City, Lady Eagles’ senior Becca Santom rifled in 28 points to reach 1,000 career points as the Lady Eagles (6-1, 6-1) routed the Bulldogs (1-6, 1-9) in the Region 5 encounter.

Santom began the game with 972 points and hit 1,000 on the dot with 28. Clara Hannon had 11 points and Piper Como scored 6 for Grove City.

Phoebe Templin led Meadville with 4 points.

Grove City’s other 1,000-point scorers are Kirsten Ellison (1,412), Chelsie Smith (1,348), Julie Molloy (1,206), Mandy Clelland (1,033) and Kristen Ferrucci (1,013).

• Slippery Rock 59, Conneaut Area 48 – At Linesville, Anna Kadlubek fired in 23 points as the Lady Rockets (6-0, 7-1) captured the Region 5 win.

Ella McDermott added 12 points for the Rockets, Hallie Raabe bucketed 10, and Kelly Benson 8.

No stats were submitted for CASH (2-3, 3-5).

• Union 33, Hickory 29 – At New Castle, the Hornets fell to 3-6 with the loss to the WPIAL’s Scotties (4-7).

Hickory jumped out to a 14-3 lead and were up 19-14 at the break. Union grabbed the win by outscoring Hickory 13-5 in the 4th quarter.

Kayla Fruehstorfer led Union with 9 points and Kendall Preuhs added 7 points.

Malana Beach and Aniyah Anderson scored 11 points each for the Hornets.

• Champion 39, Brookfield 29 – At Warren, the Lady Warriors (7-2, 12-2) got off to a bad start and dropped the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference clash to the Golden Flashes.

Champion led 15-2 at halftime and held on for the 10-point win.

Ava Howell (16 points), Emma Gumont (8), and Brooke Whitt (6) were the leading point-getters for Champion.

Sophie Hook had 15 points and 9 rebounds for Brookfield, Katie Gibson contributed 6 points and 5 assists, and Katie Logan added 4 steals.

Champion went 20-of-30 from the free-throw line while Brookfield was 2-for-5.

WRESTLING

• Lakeview 33, Franklin 30 – On Senior Night at Stoneboro, the Sailors picked up the Region 2 win along with the Mairi Smith Memorial Trophy.

Smith, a 38-year-old Stoneboro resident, was a dedicated supporter of both the Lakeview and Franklin wrestling programs. She died in a 2013 auto accident in West Middlesex.

In honor of her legacy, Smith’s family initiated a traveling trophy to be awarded each year to the winner of the match.

Nate Martin (138), Danick Hinkson (152), and Trevn Shaffer (172) won by fall for Lakeview and Zach Pulliam earned a win by decision at 189 pounds.

Lakeview’s seniors are Isaac DeVault (215), Ryan O’Polka (145), and Rachel O’Polka (manager).

Jonah Heckathorne (160) and Kadin Karns (285) grabbed wins for Franklin.

 

BOYS BASKETBALL

KENNEDY       20  16   6    9   51

HICKORY        19  15  15  11  60

KENNEDY CATHOLIC – Thomas 5-0-0-12, Lampkins-Rudolph 3-4-4-11, Young 3-2-2-9, Magestro 4-0-1-10, Harden 3-0-0-7, Owens 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Thomas 2, Magestro 2, Young 1, Lampkins-Rudolph 1, Harden 1. Totals: 19-6-7-51.

HICKORY – Mele 6-4-4-21, Cannone 2-0-2-4, Evans 8-8-11-25, Pryts 0-2-4-2, Fazzone 4-0-0-8, Boal 0-0-0-0, Hudson 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Mele 5, Evans 1. Totals: 20-14-21-60.

JV: Hickory, 47-25. Christian Evangelista 16, Tyson Djakovich 11 points for Hickory.

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

KENNEDY        24  22  14  17  71

FARRELL          4    4   4   13  25

KENNEDY CATHOLIC – DiNardo 2-5-6-9, Bianco 1-2-2-4, Keith 5-2-2-15, Gilmore 6-8-10-21, Jones 2-2-4-7, Al. Suhar 1-3-6-5, McConahy 4-2-2-10. 3-pt. goals: Keith 3, Gilmore 1, Jones 1. Totals: 21-24-32-71.

FARRELL – Burns 2-0-0-4, Hall 0-0-1-0, Stewart 3-2-11-8, Brodie 2-0-0-4, Moore 1-0-0-2, Jackson 1-1-2-3, Green 2-0-2-4. Totals: 11-3-16-25.

JV: No game.

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REYNOLDS        4  10  12  16  42

ROCKY GROVE   4   9    3    9  25

REYNOLDS – Bresnan 0-0-0-0, M. Hillyer 0-0-0-0, A. Hillyer 0-0-0-0, Murcko 4-0-1-8, Zachrich 2-0-0-4, A. Miller 0-0-0-0, L. Miller 1-2-2-4, Mull 1-0-1-2, McLaughlin 6-0-1-14, Herman 4-2-6-10, Lee 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: McLaughlin 2. Totals: 18-4-11-42.

ROCKY GROVE – Cresswell 0-2-4-2, Williams 3-4-6-10, Montgomery 1-1-2-3, Rice 1-0-0-2, Kee 0-1-3-1, Reed 3-1-2-7. Totals: 8-9-17-25.

JV: No game.

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JAMESTOWN      6    4   3   4  17

W.MIDDLESEX   20  16  13  7  56

JAMESTOWN – L. Keener 1-0-0-2, T. Keener 0-0-0-0, McElhinny 5-0-0-11, Thurber 1-0-0-2, Stevenson 0-2-2-2. 3-pt. goal: McElhinny 1. Totals: 7-2-2-17.

WEST MIDDLESEX – Tomko 3-1-2-9, Babcock 1-0-2-3, Anthony 4-0-0-10, Hemminger 1-0-0-2, K. Beatty 2-0-0-4, C. Beatty 7-0-0-14, Kalp 1-0-0-2, Briggs 0-0-0-0, Mild 2-2-2-6, Bowers 1-1-2-3, Blaze 1-0-0-2, Stephens 0-1-2-1. 3-pt. goals: Tomko 2, Anthony 2, Babcock 1. Totals: 23-5-10-56.

JV: No game.

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GREENVILLE       8   7  16  13  44

SHARON            6  10  5   15  36

GREENVILLE – Mallek 2-0-0-5, Schaller 2-0-2-4, Batt 2-4-4-8, Harpst 1-1-4-4, Rosario 0-0-0-0, Hammond 0-0-0-0, Cano 4-2-2-10, Lewis 4-3-4-13, Philson 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Lewis 2, Mallek 1, Harpst 1. Totals: 15-10-16-44.

SHARON – Chester 2-0-0-4, Hurst 0-0-0-0, Sellers 6-3-6-16, Walls 1-0-0-2, Ripley 3-0-0-6, McGee 2-0-0-4, Diav. Nixon 1-1-2-4. 3-pt. goals: Sellers 1, Diav. Nixon 1. Totals: 15-4-8-36.

JV: No score reported.

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SHARPSVILLE        4  4   9   9  26

WILMINGTON         0  7  10  6  23

SHARPSVILLE – Kratko 2-2-4-7, Fry 0-0-1-0, Kimpan 3-0-0-6, Messett 0-0-0-0, Dancak 0-2-2-2, Davis 0-0-0-0, Hanley 3-2-5-8, Grandy 1-0-0-3, Ritenour 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Kratko 1, Grandy 1. Totals: 9-6-12-26.

WILMINGTON – Dieter 1-0-0-2, M. Gardner 0-0-0-0, Flick 2-0-0-5, A. Gardner 1-1-5-3, Ward 1-2-2-4, Ealy 2-0-0-5, Whiting 1-1-4-3, Graham 0-1-2-1. 3-pt. goals: Flick 1, Ealy 1. Totals: 8-5-13-23.

JV: No game.

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LAKEVIEW         16  14  7  10  47

TITUSVILLE          1   0   3   4   8

LAKEVIEW – Booher 0-0-0-0, Chaffee 1-0-0-2, E. Cole 1-0-0-2, P. Cole 0-0-2-0, DiMaria 1-1-3-3, Gadsby 3-2-3-8, Kepner 0-0-1-0, Marsteller 1-0-0-2, Olson 0-3-6-3, Peltonen 1-0-2-2, Redfoot 0-0-0-0, Reed 1-0-0-2, Seddon 1-0-0-2, Sefton 5-0-0-13, Shetler 0-0-0-0, Sontheimer 4-0-0-8. 3-pt. goals: Sefton 3. Totals: 19-6-17-47.

TITUSVILLE – Anthony 0-0-2-0, Bodamer 1-0-0-2, Crawford 1-0-0-3, Sutley 0-0-0-0, Tucker 1-1-5-3, Wynn 0-0-0-0, Wakefield 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goal: Crawford 1. Totals: 3-1-7-8.

JV: No score reported.

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MEADVILLE       5    2    7   0   14

GROVE CITY     12  23  12  14  61

MEADVILLE – Longo 0-1-2-1, Smith 0-0-0-0, Chew 1-1-2-3, Burnett 1-0-0-2, Templin 2-2-4-4, Mook 1-0-0-2, Burchard 0-0-0-0, Gallagher 0-2-2-2, Rhoades 0-0-0-0, Carr 0-0-0-0, Major 0-0-0-0. Totals: 5-6-10-14.

GROVE CITY – Hannon 5-1-2-11, Como 2-0-0-6, Lewis 3-3-5-9, Hammel 0-0-0-0, Wise 0-0-0-0, Perample 0-0-0-0, B. Santom 13-2-4-28, E. Santom 1-0-0-2, Callahan 0-1-2-1, White 0-0-0-0, Rieber 1-2-2-4, Severson 0-0-0-0, Collins 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Como 2. Totals: 25-9-15-61.

JV: No score reported.

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SLIPP. ROCK    21  14  13  11  59

CONN. AREA    11   7   21   9   48

SLIPPERY ROCK – Ackerman 1-0-0-2, McDermott 5-0-0-12, Benson 2-4-4-8, Raabe 3-4-5-10, McCoy 1-0-2-2, Kadlubek 7-6-8-23, Book 0-2-2-2. 3-pt. goals: Kadlubek 3, McDermott 2. Totals: 19-16-21-59.

CONNEAUT AREA – No stats submitted.

JV: No score reported.

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HICKORY           14  5   5   5  29

UNION               3  11  6  13  33

HICKORY – Beach 4-1-2-11, Gustas 2-0-0-4, Fustos 0-0-0-0, Anderson 4-3-4-11, Duncan 1-0-0-3, Jones 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Beach 2, Duncan 1. Totals: 11-4-6-29.

UNION – Booker 2-0-2-5, Fruehstorfer 2-4-6-9, Lepri 1-0-0-2, Trott 1-1-3-3, Preuhs 3-1-2-7, Cameron 2-0-0-5, Eppinger 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Booker 1, Fruehstorfer 1, Cameron 1. Totals: 12-6-13-33.

JV: No game.

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BROOKFIELD       0  2  19   8   29

CHAMPION         6  9  12  12  39

BROOKFIELD – Reardon 1-0-0-2, Logan 1-0-0-2, Hook 5-2-3-15, Gibson 3-0-0-6, MiKay. Jumper 2-0-0-4, DeJoy 0-0-2-0, Sirochman 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Hook 3. Totals: 12-2-5-29.

CHAMPION – Stewart 1-2-2-4, Howell 2-12-16-16, Fife 0-0-2-0, Jones 1-0-2-2, Gumont 1-6-6-8, Dodrill 1-0-0-3, Whitt 3-0-2-6. 3-pt. goal: Dodrill 1. Totals: 9-20-30-39.

JV: No score reported.

 

WRESTLING

LAKEVIEW 33, FRANKLIN 30

285 – Kadin Karns (F) pinned Mason Began, 5:46; 106 – Dallas Ross (F) forfeit; 113 – Cael Dailey (F) forfeit; 120 – Trevor Hamilton (F) forfeit; 126 – double forfeit; 132 – double forfeit; 138 – Nate Martin (L) pinned Logan Gavin, 1:30; 145 – Ryan O’Polka (L) forfeit; 152 – Danick Hinkson (L) pinned Cael Ziegler, 3:10; 160 – Jonah Heckathorne (F) pinned Aiden Osborne, 2:24; 172 – Trevn Shaffer (L) pinned Mason Criado, 2:23; 189 – Zach Pulliam (L) dec. Hunter Stevens, 8-1; 215 – Isaac DeVault (L) forfeit.

JV: No score reported.

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