Slippery Rock girls Region 5 champs

The Slippery Rock girls basketball team wrapped up the Region 5 championship on Monday with a victory over Meadville. It marked the 5th in a row for the team and 4th under Coach Amber Osborn (far left).

HERMITAGE – Expectations can be complex. Once realized they are gratifying; falling short, they can be almost self-defeating, and one can almost be victimized by past success.

McDowell High boys’ basketball team dethroned reigning Region 7 – and PIAA Class 6A champion – Kennedy Catholic via a 46-38 overtime victory Tuesday night.

In Hermitage, the Will Jeffress-led Trojans’ toppled 4-time commonwealth kingpin Kennedy Catholic, converting all 6 free-throw attempts in OT, 4 by Jeffress. Conversely, KC did not score in the extra 4-minute session.

“Coming into the season we always had high hopes. We’ve had high expectations for ourselves,” the 6-foot-7 junior Jeffress began. “And if you don’t have high expectations, you’ll never reach your ultimate goal with what you want to do. So you’ve gotta believe in yourself, teammates, coaches, community just to get where you are.”

Jeffress jolted Kennedy for 20 points and snared 7 rebounds. In spite of injuring his right (shooting) hand and wrist after taking a tumble on a drive to the basket, Jeffress converted a pair of freebies with 63 ticks to play in OT, moving McDowell to a 42-38 margin. Then with 36.2 seconds he sank both ends of a 1-and-1 bonus situation as the Trojans took a 44-38 edge. Jonah Bock bracketed another pair of insurance sin-stripe shots with 10.3 seconds.

McDowell (7-1 region, 18-3 overall) is ranked 4th in one Class 6A statewide poll this week. The Trojans swept the home-and-home season series against the Golden Eagles, avenging last year’s losses.

Kennedy Catholic (5-3, 13-9), which suffered its 6th setback in the last 9 games, had an opportunity to win at the final horn in regulation; however, Ike Herster’s runner rimmed out and Jeffress rebounded.

Despite defensive pressure from either Jeffress or McDowell’s 6-6 senior Jaedan Jefferson, Herster had a game-high 22 points and added 8 rebounds. Herster shot 8 for 20 from the floor. 

McDowell mustered 15 second-period markers to assume a 23-18 margin at intermission, erasing an 11-8 first-quarter deficit. Then with Jackson Hower hitting half of his 12 points during the 3rd quarter, the Trojans took a 34-28 lead in the final frame. To that point the Trojans’ largest lead was 32-25 late in the 3rd.

In OT the Trojans never trailed. Hower hit the last of his handful of floor shots to move McDowell to a 40-38 margin just 22 ticks in. Kennedy Catholic failed to convert a pair of 1-and-1 bonus free-throw opportunities at the 1:27 and 41.8-second junctures.

"We just had mental breakdowns ... and I think our immaturity showed in the huddles (during time-outs), and I’m not afraid to say that,” admitted mentor Rick Mancino. “We didn’t act like a team that was able to beat a top team in the state, and we didn’t deserve to win this game.

“The guys played hard at times, but you can’t have mental breakdowns ... the (final) score looked a lot better than the game ...” Mancino admitted.

Attempting to shorten the game the Golden Eagles employed a deliberate, half-court offense; consequently, KC connected on only 14 of 41 attempts. While McDowell made 16 of its 41 floor shots, the Trojans tallied all 11 of their free-throw attempts (7 by Jeffress), compared with KC’s 6-for-10 shooting. Each club committed 9 miscues.

Also for KC, Sky Thomas tallied 8 points and hauled down a game-high 9 rebounds and Jaleel Christian handed out 4 assists. Bock bucketed 10 points and Jefferson hauled down 7 rebounds for McDowell.

Jeffress said the Trojans “valued every chance we got ... we want to control the pace of the game. So even it (the Golden Eagles) wanted to slow it down, we’re fine with slowin’ it down because we always feel like we’re in control, and if you do that, you win the game.”

While displeased with Tuesday night’s performance, Mancino admitted, “I don’t feel bad for them, ‘cause, listen, some of those (Kennedy) seniors have three state championships, were the best team in the state, one of the best in the country last year. 

“But I just don’t know right now,” Mancino continued. “We’re all doubting ourselves right now. This was the last (regular-season) game of the year, and you’ve gotta be able to overcome things. You’re supposed to be getting better at the end of the year, and I just don’t know if we’re getting better – and that starts with the coaching.

“I hate to be so negative before the playoff game (Kennedy will meet Erie High for the D-10 title). The good thing is, I’m sure some of our players are more disappointed than I am right now,” Mancino said. “Unfortunately ... I think success is our problem. I think some of our guys think ... that we can do some of the things that we’ve done in the past, and we just couldn’t do those same things as in the past. A missed shot last year was a great offensive play because we had guys who got the rebound. We don’t have that.

“We did a lot of good things; I just think we had too many mental breakdowns at the end. I think we did too much ‘blaming game,’” Mancino added. “One thing we’ve had in the past, we had guys on the team that, when things went bad, they took responsibility; I don’t know if we’re doin’ that right now – coaches and players. I think we’re looking to blame other people, and we all have to look in the mirror. ‘Kennedy’ lost this game. A single player didn’t lose this game, a single coach didn’t lose this game. We lost the game.

“Until our guys and our coaches accept that ‘we’ lost the game and not individuals lost the game ... it’s not just basketball; it’s more than basketball. Somewhere along the line you’ve gotta take responsibility,” Mancino said. 

A joyful Jeffress spoke as a winner would, summarizing, “Comin’ in and winning the region is a big goal for us so we can go into the 6A District 10 finals. Coming off the road, beating Kennedy twice, just being outright champions is something we were really looking forward to do.”

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In other action:

BOYS BASKETBALL

• Grove City 51, Franklin 50 – At Grove City, Coach Chris Kwolek’s Eagles (11-5, 14-8) completed the regular-season Region 5 sweep of the Knights (11-5, 16-6) in a thriller on Monday night.

Grove City led 19-16 at the end of the opening quarter and 36-26 at halftime. The Eagles were outscored 24-15 in the 2nd half, but were able to hang on for the win. 

Danny Timko fired in 20 points to lead Grove City, Kade Persinger bucketed 14 and Spencer Pokrant chipped in 9 points. Persinger came up with a loose ball late in the game to seal the win.

Hayden Adams led Franklin with 15 points, Zak Smith scored 13 and Dalton Buckley 9.

Grove City won at “The Castle” in Franklin, 56-42, on Jan.14. Five of the Knights’ 6 losses this season are against Mercer County teams – GC (twice), Hickory (twice) and Sharpsville. Their other loss was to Meadville.

• Greenville 69, Sharon 63 – At Greenville, junior Benny Cano rifled in a career-high 38 points in leading the Trojans (5-11, 7-15) to the Region 5 upset over the Tigers (10-6, 13-9).

Sharon led 13-12 after 8 minutes of play, but Greenville was up 25-23 at the break. The Trojans pulled away in the 3rd quarter by outscoring the Tigers 21-14.

Jalen Ritzert added 12 points for Greenville and Landon Bielata contributed 7.

Brayden Coxson led Sharon with 20 points, Camren Atallah scored 12, Brett Salsgiver bucketed 11 and Malik Lampkins-Rudolph contributed 10.

• Sharpsville 88, George Junior Republic 42 – At Grove City, Coach Matt Durisko’s Blue Devils (11-5, 14-8) rebounded from Monday’s loss to New Castle by rolling to the Region 5 win over the Tigers (1-15, 2-20).

Sharpsville led 20-15 after 8 minutes of play and pulled ahead by outscored GJR 23-9 in the 2nd quarter.

Ryan Ladjevich led the way for Sharpsville with a season-high 18 points, Brayden Fry scored 16, Jackson Doyle bucketed 15, Mack Staunch contributed 13 points and Noah Flaherty added 11.

Rylee Dyson had 13 points for George Junior Republic, Delgado scored 9 and J. Reed 8.

• Conneaut Area 66, Slippery Rock 55 – At Linesville, the Rockets closed out the regular season with a 2-14 Region 5 record and 3-19 overall with the loss to CASH (5-11, 8-14).

Tanner Niemann fired in 26 points for Conneaut Area, Cole Askey scored 19 and Mason Kroniser added 8 markers.

Scoring in double digits for Slippery Rock was Jack Allen (14 points), Judah Roth (13) and Zack Thompson (12).

• Farrell 77, West Middlesex 48 – At West Middlesex, the Region 2 champion Steelers finished 12-0 in the region and improved to 14-7 overall with the win over the Big Reds (5-7, 9-13).

Eric Hopson rifled in 26 points to lead the way for Farrell, which is ranked 7th in the state in Class 2A (Sunbury Daily Item rankings). 

Sayyid Muhammed had a season-high 16 points for Farrell and Ben King bucketed a dozen points.

George Troyer led WM with 11 points while Richie Preston and Gabe Mild added 8 points each.

• Rocky Grove 49, Reynolds 45 – At Transfer, the upset-minded Raiders nearly knocked off Rocky Grove in the Region 2 clash.

Reynolds (1-11, 6-16) trailed 22-14 at halftime, but rallied to tie the game at 28-all after 3 quarters of play. The Orioles (8-4, 14-8) outscored the Raiders 21-17 in the 4th quarter to earn the win.

Eli Dickson had 16 points to lead Rocky Grove while Gabe Francic and Caden Toscano scored 9 each.

Nick Loposky drained 4 treys en route to 14 points for Reynolds, Aidan Mull scored 8 and Luke Faber added 7 points.

• Lakeview 48, Wilmington 36 – At Stoneboro, the host Sailors coasted to the Region 2 win by outscoring Wilmington 39-29 during the game’s final 24 minutes. The visiting Greyhounds did not score during the 2nd stanza.

From the sin stripe the Sailors shot 18 for 24, as Lakeview was led by Brett Beith’s 12-for-15 marksmanship. Wilmington was just 8-for-14 from the line.

Beith bucketed a game-high 20 points to lead Lakeview (8-3 region, 14-8 overall), while Hunter Miller mustered 8 markers. Caelan Bender’s 14 paced Wilmington (6-6, 9-13), while Shane Cox collected 9.

• Jamestown 51, Commodore Perry 37 – At Sheakleyville, the defending District 10 Class 1A champion Muskies (4-0, 9-13) captured the Region 1 title with the win over the Panthers (2-2, 2-19).

Commodore Perry led 22-21 at halftime, but Jamestown outscored the Panthers 30-15 in the 2nd half.

Cameron Keyser fired in 26 points to lead the way for the Muskies and Peyton McElhinny bucketed 13.

Hunter Artman led CP with 17 points and Karson Cropp added 9 markers.

• Newton Falls 65, Brookfield 49 – At Brookfield, the Tigers improved to 10-1 in the All-American Conference Blue Tier Division and 17-3 overall with the win over Brookfield (4-8, 10-11).

Cole Marquette had 21 points to lead Newton Falls, Joey Kline scored 17 and Ian King and Josh Honeycutt chipped in 9 points each.

Conner Stevens rifled in 31 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for Brookfield. Stevens’ season-high is 34. Haden Gibson added 6 points and dished out 6 assists.

GIRLS HOOPS

• Slippery Rock 55, West Middlesex 51 – At The Rock Box, host Slippery Rock rolled during the decisive final frame, outscoring West Middlesex 19-12.

West Middlesex mustered margins of 19-13 after the 1st quarter and 31-20 by the break before the host Lady Rockets rallied to within 39-36 through 3 periods.

Makennah White went for a game-high 20-point, 12-rebound double-double, Emily Anthony added a 10-point, 8-assist, 6-rebound line, and Kennedy Beatty boasted 7 boards. Beatty’s sister Carlie was sideline by a concussion, according to Coach Mike Williams, while White and Anthony ultimately were DQ’d on personal fouls. Also for West Middlesex, Olivia Franks fired in 13 points, tossing in a trio of treys. Anthony added a trio of triples.

Four-time District 10 Class 2A kingpin West Middlesex concluded the regular season 15-6 overall.

Ella McDermott’s 19 markers and 22 points evenly divided between Kelly Benson and Hallie Raabe paced Region 5 champion Slippery Rock (16-6), while Anna Kadlubek bucketed 10. Led by 5-for-6 marksmanship by both Benson and McDermott, the Lady Rockets recorded 14-for-23 free-throw shooting; conversely, the visiting Ms. Reds converted just 5 of 8 attempts.

Additionally, the Lady Rockets were fueled by 11 buckets from beyond the arc, including 4 from McDermott and Raabe’s trio.

 

BOYS BASKETBALL

McDOWELL     8  15  11  4  8  46

KENNEDY       11  7  10  6  0  38

McDOWELL – Jeffress 6-7-7-20, Beck 0-0-0-0, Jefferson 2-0-0-4, Bock 3-2-2-10, Paris 0-0-0-0, Carr 0-0-0-0, Hower 5-2-2-12 Pisano 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Bock 2, Jeffress 1. Totals: 16-11-11-46.

KENNEDY CATHOLIC – Herster 8-3-7-22, Christian 1-1-3-3, Taylor 0-0-0-0, Thomas 4-0-0-8, Magestro 2-0-0-5, Young 0-0-0-0, Harden 0-0-0-0, Churlik 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Herster 1, Magestro 1. Totals: 15-6-10-38.

JV: McDowell, 40-32. Nick Grimm 14, Chamberlain 13 points for McDowell; Elijah Harden 20 for KC.

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FRANKLIN         16  10  16  8  50

GROVE CITY      19  17  10  5  51

FRANKLIN – Buckley 4-1-1-9, Smith 5-0-0-13, Fulmer 2-2-2-6, Guth 1-0-0-2, Haynes 2-0-0-5, Adams 4-4-5-15, Leccia 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Smith 3, Adams 3, Haynes 1. Totals: 18-7-8-50.

GROVE CITY – Brooks 1-0-0-3, Pokrant 4-1-3-9, Timko 8-1-1-20, Persinger 6-0-1-14, Hostetler 0-0-0-0, Knouse 0-0-0-0, Loughry 2-1-2-5. 3-pt. goals: Timko 3, Persinger 2, Brooks 1. Totals: 21-3-7-51.

JV: Franklin, 36-35. Donovan Fike 10 for Franklin. Josh Dreves 11 for GC.

SHARON        13  10  14  26  63

GREENVILLE    12  13  21  23  69

SHARON – Salsgiver 3-5-5-11, Calloway 1-1-2-3, Atallah 5-0-0-12, Peterson 2-1-1-5, Lampkins-Rudolph 4-2-2-10, Hill 1-0-0-2, Smith-Austin 0-0-0-0, Coxson 6-7-9-20. 3-pt. goals: Atallah 2, Coxson 1. Totals: 22-16-19-63.

GREENVILLE – L. Lentz 0-0-0-0, Ritzert 4-1-3-12, J. Lentz 1-2-2-4, Cano 13-9-9-38, Sorg 1-0-0-2, Cianci 1-4-4-6, Bielata 3-1-2-7. 3-pt. goals: Ritzert 3, Cano 3. Totals: 23-17-20-69.

JV: Sharon, 51-35. Connor Porterfield 20, Brett Salsgiver 17 for Sharon. Brady Kincaid 13, Josh Reeves 10 for Greenville.

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SHARPSVILLE   20  23  26  19  88

GEO. JUNIOR    15   9    5  12  41

SHARPSVILLE – Flaherty 5-0-0-11, Ladjevich 8-0-0-18, Doyle 5-2-2-15, Roeder 1-0-0-2, Ramsey 0-0-0-0, Henwood 0-0-0-0, Thomas 2-2-5-6, Fry 6-3-6-16, Kratko 1-0-0-2, Townsend 2-1-2-5, Staunch 5-3-4-13. 3-pt. goals: Doyle 3, Ladjevich 2, Flaherty 1, Fry 1. Totals: 35-11-19-88.

GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC – Baker 0-0-0-0, Delgado 2-5-5-9, Henderson 2-0-0-4, McGuinness 1-0-0-2, Stanford 1-2-2-5, Dyson 4-3-6-13, Reed 3-2-2-8. 3-pt. goals: Dyson 2, Stanford 1. Totals: 13-12-15-41.

JV: Sharpsville, 60-36. Jaden Townsend 14, Zac Ramsey 11 for Sharpsville. Delgado 16 for GJR.

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SLIPP. ROCK   13  12  16  14  55

CONN. AREA   12  23  15  16  66

SLIPPERY ROCK – Prementine 2-1-2-5, Christy 0-0-0-0, Roth 5-2-2-13, Caldwell 0-0-0-0, Plesakov 2-1-2-6, Allen 4-6-8-14, S. Thompson 2-1-2-5, Z. Thompson 3-6-6-12. 3-pt. goals: Roth 1, Plesakov 1. Totals: 18-17-22-55.

CONNEAUT AREA – DeMarco 2-0-0-4, Niemann 10-3-6-26, Boyce 1-0-0-2, Ordos 3-0-0-7, Richardson 0-0-0-0, Mihoci 0-0-0-0, Bortnick 0-0-0-0, Askey 8-0-0-19, Kroniser 4-0-0-8, Hostetler 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Niemann 3, Askey 3, Ordos 1. Totals: 28-5-8-66.

JV: No score reported.

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FARRELL         21  23  26  7   77

W.MIDDLESEX  10  12  15  11  48

FARRELL – Hopson 11-3-8-26, Hilton 2-4-5-8, King 4-2-2-12, Rain 2-0-0-4, Muhammed 6-4-6-16, T. Holden 2-0-1-4, J. Holden 0-0-0-0, Stewart 1-0-0-2, Scarbrough 0-0-0-0, Wade 1-3-4-5. 3-pt. goals: King 2, Hopson 1. Totals: 29-16-26-77.

WEST MIDDLESEX – H. Smith 1-1-2-4, B. Smith 0-0-0-0, Hummell 0-0-0-0, Shick 0-0-0-0, Rea 1-0-0-3, Greenburg 1-0-0-2, Preston 3-2-2-8, G. Mild 3-0-0-8, L. Mild 0-0-0-0, Troyer 4-0-0-11, C. Smith 0-0-0-0, Tate 1-4-4-6, Atterholt 2-2-2-6. 3-pt. goals: Troyer 3, G. Mild 2, H. Smith 1, Rea 1. Totals: 16-9-10-48.

JV: No score reported.

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ROCKY GROVE   11  11  6  21  49

REYNOLDS         5   9  14  17  45

ROCKY GROVE – Francic 1-6-6-9, Z. Clayton 2-2-2-7, Dickson 6-3-7-16, I. Clayton 2-1-3-6, Toscano 2-5-6-9, Henderson 1-0-0-2, McMullen 0-0-0-0, Burkhardt 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Francic 1, Z. Clayton 1, Dickson 1, I. Clayton 1. Totals: 14-17-24-49.

REYNOLDS – Z. Winkle 2-1-1-5, Walker 1-0-0-3, Small 1-0-0-3, Mull 3-2-2-8, Loposky 5-0-0-14, Miller 0-5-8-5, Faber 2-3-3-7. 3-pt. goals: Loposky 4, Walker 1, Small 1. Totals: 14-11-14-45.

JV: No score reported.

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WILMINGTON     7  0   16  13  36

LAKEVIEW        9  11  17  11  48

WILMINGTON – Bender 5-1-2-14, Sullivan 1-0-0-2, Lisowski 2-0-0-4, Cox 2-4-5-9, McConahy 2-2-5-6, Shimrack 0-1-2-1, M. Reed 0-0-0-0, Susen 0-0-0-0, Ja. Hess 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Bender 3, Cox 1. Totals: 12-8-14-36.

LAKEVIEW – Beith 4-12-15-20, McIntire 1-2-2-5, Obreza 1-1-2-3, Thiec 2-3-4-8, Grim 0-0-1-0, Lightcap 2-0-0-4, Miller 4-0-0-8. 3-pt. goals: McIntire 1, Thiec 1. Totals: 14-18-24-48.

JV: Wilmington, 36-30. Anthony Reed 11 points for Wilmington.

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JAMESTOWN      9  12  14  16  51

COMM. PERRY   9  13   6    9   37

JAMESTOWN – C. Keyser 7-9-16-26, P. McElhinny 2-7-8-13, D. Keyser 1-4-4-6, Atkins 1-1-2-3, Parks 1-0-0-3, Ford 0-0-0-0, Hill 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: C. Keyser 3, P. McElhinny 2, Parks 1. Totals: 12-21-30-51.

COMMODORE PERRY – Artman 6-2-3-17, Cropp 4-1-1-9, Jo. Castona 1-2-2-4, Garland 1-0-0-3, Chesmer 1-0-0-2, Waid 1-0-0-2, Ja. Castona 0-0-0-0, Malone 0-0-0-0, Yeagley 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Artman 3, Garland 1. Totals: 14-5-6-37.

JV: No score reported.

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NEWTON FALLS 17  19  12  17  65

BROOKFIELD     8   10  23   8   49

NEWTON FALLS – Kline 7-2-2-17, J. Honeycutt 3-0-0-9, Marquette 9-2-4-21, King 3-0-0-9, A. Honeycutt 2-2-2-7, Dowling 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: J. Honeycutt 3, King 3, Kline 1, Marquette 1, A. Honeycutt 1. Totals: 25-6-8-65.

BROOKFIELD – Filipovich 0-0-0-0, Gibson 2-2-2-6, Jones 1-2-2-4, Emery 0-0-0-0, Do. Pawlowski 1-0-0-3, Shingledecker 2-0-0-5, Stevens 12-4-4-31. 3-pt. goals: Stevens 3, Do. Pawlowski 1, Shingledecker 1. Totals: 18-8-8-49.

JV: No score reported.

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

MIDDLESEX   19  12  8  12  51

SLIP. ROCK   13  7  16  19  55

WEST MIDDLESEX – Tomko 1-2-2-4, Franks 5-0-0-13, White 9-2-2-20, Anthony 3-1-2-10, K.Beatty 0-0-2-0, Briggs 0-0-0-0, Babcock 2-0-0-4. 3-pt. goals: Franks 3, Anthony 3. Totals: 20-5-8-51.

SLIPPERY ROCK – McDermott 5-5-6-19, Benson 2-5-6-11, Raabe 3-2-6-11, McCoy 2-0-1-4, Kadlubek 3-2-4-10, Bedel 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: McDermott 4, Raabe 3, Benson 2, Kadlubek 2. Totals: 15-14-23-55.

JV: No game.

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