It was a Saturday afternoon matinee in Hermitage, but school was in session for the Kennedy Catholic and Ursuline High girls’ basketball teams.
“You have to give those kids credit. Those young ones came in and played and gave us some good minutes,” summarized KC head coach Tom Burns, whose Lady Golden Eagles edged Ursuline, 53-51.
After rallying from a pair of 19-point 3rd-period deficits, the visiting Irish had an opportunity to tie or win the game at the buzzer.
With 1.3 seconds remaining and leading by a deuce, KC committed its 14th miscue on an inbounds play under Ursuline’s basket, and Irish head coach Courtney Davidson hailed a timeout.
Sydney Beasley — who bucketed a trio of 4th-frame triples to ignite the Irish comeback — had a shot from the right wing, but it caromed off the rim at the horn.
Kennedy Catholic (3-1) commanded a 51-32 lead a half-minute into the final frame on Taylor Hood’s drive. However 1st-half personal-foul problems finally caught up to KC, as starters Courtney Sargent and Alex Ricketts were DQ’d with 45.3 and 24.5 seconds remaining. Another trio of regulars finished with 4, 3 and 3 personals, respectively.
But Ursuline’s undoing was the free-throw line, as the Irish ended 10 for 26 (38.4 percent), including 8 for 20 during the 1st half. They trailed 37-27 at intermission.
Similarly, KC could not convert a trio of 1-and-1 bonus situations that would have secured success. Ricketts misfired at the 37.4- and 34.2-second segments, and Rachel Burns missed with 11.2 ticks to play.
Also, after turning over the ball 8 times during the 1st three quarters, KC committed a half-dozen miscues during the final frame.
“It’s not one kid’s fault. I told them, ‘Every possession, including the first one in the game, is important.’ Hopefully, these kids’ll grow up from this,” Coach Burns explained, adding, “To me, this is why we’re playing Ursuline, instead of other teams.
“Yeah, we had a big lead. But we lost Alex and Courtney for a long time in foul trouble and there’s no substitute (for experience) with seniors on the bench. So other kids stepped up,” Burns praised.
The Lady Golden Eagles enjoyed a quartet of double-digit scorers, including Rachel Burns (12, plus 5 assists), Ricketts and Hood (11 apiece), and Sargent (10). The Akron University-bound Ricketts ripped down a team-high 9 rebounds, though she shot only 3 for 10 from the floor. Tatum Kress contributed 6 points, 4 rebounds and an assist and Rebekah Kish 3 points, 3 boards and 2 assists.
Ursuline (2-4) was led by Beasley’s 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and 6-foot-1 frosh post Tanaya Beacham’s game-high 17-point performance that also included 9 caroms.
The 16-player Irish roster includes 10 freshmen and a trio of sophomores, with Beasley and Mary O’Donnell being the lone seniors. That delights Davidson, the former Ursuline High and Michigan State University standout point guard.
“When you have (10) freshmen, all you can do is hope that you get better over the season. It’s moreso teaching than experience. If we can get them to grow up over the season ... our biggest thing is to get them ready by (sectional) tournament time.
“But to fight back from being down (19) and grow up, that was a big statement for them. ... We have (10) freshmen who have never been in situations like this, so it’s teaching and learning at the same time. But it’s fun. It makes you closer,” Davidson added, concluding,
“I worked hard to get to where I was as a player, and all I can do as a coach is to try to help them get to that point, as well. It’s hard trying to relay the message, but it’s also a challenge I like to face. And it’s good to see girls develop over the years after they come in as a freshman. I’m excited to see how this freshman class is in four years. That’s the type of thing that drives me as a coach.”
For his part, Burns was buoyed by the win.
“I think (the underclassemen) got high-pressure minutes. This isn’t like playing a team that we’re popping by 20. This is life or death. You’re gonna lose this or win this, and you’re in it. So I think it gives value to those minutes for those kids (Kress and Kish are sophomores; April Bocian and Alivia O’Brien are freshmen), instead of just being thrown in there with two minutes to go in the game.”
Notes: Ricketts played the entire 2nd half with 4 personals. She incurred her 3rd and 4th fouls with 1:44 and 51.7 seconds remaining to halftime. ... The 1st half included 8 ties and 10 lead changes. ... KC connected on 19 of 51 floor shots, (37.2) compared with Ursuline’s 18-for-40 effort (45.0). ... The teams battled to a 34-all stalemate on tbe boards. ... The Irish ended with 19 turnovers. ... Davidson is assisted by former Cardinal Mooney High and Thiel College standout Amber Bodrick, as well as Bodrick’s former Mooney coach Jack Bermann. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Hickory 60, Central Tech 11 — At “The Hive” in Hermitage, the Lady Hornets improved to a perfect 4-0 with the non-region rout of the Lady Falcons of Erie. Hickory led 19-2 after the opening quarter and rolled to victory.
Nikki Arbanas buried 4 treys en route to 17 points and also had 4 steals and 4 assists for Hickory. Also, Holly Grober had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Brandi Beader scored a dozen points and Jenna Placzek registered 6 points and 3 steals.
Central Tech did not have a player reach double figures in scoring.
ä West Middlesex 67, Rocky Grove 31 — At West Middlesex, coach Jody Anthony’s Ms. Reds improved to 3-1 as WM had 3 girls notch double-doubles in a win over the Lady Orioles.
Alexis Summers led the way for WM with 22 points while Kristen White had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Kelsey Murray registered 13 points and 18 boards and Molly Stitt contributed 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Christina Schiffer scored 15 to lead Rocky Grove and Amber Nerlich bucketed 11 markers.
ä Sharpsville 59, Meadville 28 — At Sharpsville, coach Jeff Hanley’s Blue Darlings (1-2) picked up their 1st win of the season with a rout of the Lady Bulldogs.
Sharpsville took a 15-6 lead after 8 minutes of play, extended it to 30-14 by halftime and rolled to the non-region win.
McKenzie Popatak went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe en route to scoring 24 points for Sharpsville. She also had 8 rebounds and 8 steals. Also, Megan Davis scored 13 points and Natalie Henwood bucketed 11 and dished out 4 assists.
Marcadi McCoy scored 9 points to pace Meadville.
ä Struthers 59, Sharon 41 — At the annual “Battle of the Border” event at Poland High School, which pits Pa. teams against squads from the Buckeye State, the Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 23-12 lead after 8 minutes of play and went on to beat the Lady Tigers (2-2).
Ashleigh Ryan fired in 16 points to lead Struthers while Brittaney Zupko scored 12.
Tanayja Sanders led the way for Sharon with 17 markers and Kristina Jacoway posted 11 points.
ä George Junior Republic 91, DuBois 54 — At Grove City, Nafis Brown had 18 points, 10 assists and 6 steals as the Tigers (3-1) rolled past DuBois.
Also for GJR, Quamere Boggs bucketed 13 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 4 steals, Eddie Pena posted 12 points and 9 boards, Isaiah Pace notched 12 points and Dominic Barnes added 10 markers.
Hunter Lydick fired in a game-high 22 points for DuBois and Jon Mohney contributed 13 markers.
Reynolds standout Austin Matthews was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler on Saturday after going a perfect 4-0 and winning the 152-pound title at the rugged King of the Mountain Tournament at Central Mountain Saturday in Lock Haven and Aust
Matthews pinned Jimmy Schuitema of Philipsburg, N.J. in 59 seconds in the finals to cop the crown.
Jamar Henry (182) placed 5th and went 4-2. He posted a 6-1 decision over Cody Richmond of Boyertown to take 5th place.
Logan Rickert finished 7th at 220 pounds. He went 4-2 and pinned Ryan Johnson of Bethlehem Catholic in 1:40 for the 7th-place finish.
Other records for the Raider matmen: Matt Leice (138), Levi Stoyer (3-2) and Gene Ringer (285) went 3-2; Nick Nottingham (120), Mason McCollum (132) and Austin Moffett (170) were all 1-2 and Seth Hogue (106), Kegan Miller (160) and Denton Zeronas (195) went 0-2.
URSULINE 15 12 5 19 51
KENNEDY 12 25 12 4 53
URSULINE — Beasley 4-2-4-13, O’Donnell 2-4-7-8, Beacham 8-1-8-17, Berry 0-1-2-1, Miklandric 3-2-3-10, King 1-0-0-2, Rich 0-0-2-0, Bowell 0-0-0-0, Ross 0-0-0-0, Carnathan 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Beasley 3, Miklandric 2. Totals: 18-10-26-51.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Burns 2-8-11-12, Ricketts 3-4-8-11, Sargent 5-0-0-10, Hood 5-0-0-11, Kish 1-0-0-3, Kress 3-0-1-6, Bocian 1-0-0-2, O’Brien 0-0-1-0. 3-pt. goals: Ricketts 1, Kish 1, Hood 1. Totals: 19-12-21-53.
JV — Kennedy Catholic, 36-19. Taylor Hood 12 points for KC; Rachel Strollo 8 for Ursuline.
CENTRAL TECH 2 2 2 5 11
HICKORY 19 18 14 9 60
CENTRAL TECH — Dixon 0-0-0-0, Winarski 0-0-0-0, Wayne 0-0-0-0, Spizary 0-0-0-0, Sebastian 2-0-0-4, Bickerstaff 0-0-0-0, Wallimone 2-0-0-4, Klemm 0-0-2-0, Williams 0-0-0-0, Clayton 0-2-2-2, Watson 0-1-2-1. Totals: 4-3-6-11.
HICKORY — Placzek 3-0-1-6, Bible 0-0-0-0, Arbanas 6-1-1-17, Chess 1-1-3-3, Moore 0-0-0-0, Gustas 0-0-0-0, Marchand 0-0-0-0, Zreliak 0-0-0-0, Beader 4-2-4-12, White 0-0-0-0, Lacava 2-2-2-6, Grober 3-10-15-16, Little 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Arbanas 4, Beader 2. Totals: 19-16-26-60.
JV — Hickory, 43-15. Lexi Bible 12, Elana Marchand 10 for Hickory.
ROCKY GROVE 8 7 4 12 31
W. MIDDLESEX 14 21 13 19 67
ROCKY GROVE — Lepley 0-0-2-0, Nerlich 3-4-5-11, Larson 0-0-1-0, Schiffer 6-1-4-15, Taylor 1-1-2-3, Swatzler 0-2-2-2. 3-pt. goals: Schiffer 2, Nerlich 1. Totals: 10-8-16-31.
WEST MIDDLESEX — Murray 4-5-10-13, Stitt 2-8-9-13, Summers 8-5-8-22, Pierce 1-0-1-2, Nitsche 1-1-2-3, White 6-1-3-14. 3-pt. goals: Stitt 1, Summers 1, White 1. Totals: 22-20-33-67.
JV — No game.
MEADVILLE 6 8 4 10 28
SHARPSVILLE 15 15 16 13 59
MEADVILLE — Dewalt 2-1-2-5, Glatch 0-0-1-0, Vactor-Pope 3-0-0-7, McCoy 3-3-4-9, Newsome 2-0-0-5, Schweter 1-0-1-2, Wickham 0-0-0-0, Mullen 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Vactor-Pope 1, Newsome 1. Totals: 11-4-8-28.
SHARPSVILLE — Davis 4-2-2-13, Przicina 2-0-3-4, Popatak 6-12-14-24, Henwood 4-3-4-11, Kurelko 0-4-4-4, Anderson 1-1-2-3, Whalen 0-0-0-0, Davies 0-0-0-0, Scurpa 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Davis 3. Totals: 18-22-29-59.
JV — Sharpsville, 39-22.
Battle of the Border
SHARON 12 4 14 11 41
STRUTHERS 23 10 20 6 59
SHARON — Mal. Torr 2-0-0-4, Mag. Torr 0-2-2-2, Jacoway 5-1-5-11, Chester 1-1-2-3, Hilton 0-1-2-1, D. Smith 1-1-3-3, Sanders 6-5-7-17. Totals: 23-11-20-41.
STRUTHERS — Ryan 6-4-5-16, Hefferon 3-0-0-6, Kam 0-1-2-1, Shives 3-1-2-7, Perez 2-0-2-4, Zupko 5-2-2-12, Thomas 2-0-0-4, Kane 1-0-0-2, Smrek 1-1-2-3, Leonard 1-0-0-2. 3-pt. goals: Ryan 2. Totals: 22-9-15-59.
DuBOIS 14 15 12 13 54
GEORGE JUNIOR 23 21 27 20 91
DuBOIS — Hillebrand 1-0-0-2, Kriner 1-0-0-3, Shepherd 3-2-4-8, Mohney 3-6-7-13, Lydick 9-4-7-22, Foley 3-0-0-6. 3-pt. goals: Kriner 1, Mohney 1. Totals: 20-12-18-54.
GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC — Boggs 6-1-2-13, N. Brown 8-2-2-18, Pearson 3-0-1-7, Toney 2-2-2-6, Barnes 5-0-0-10, Plowden 4-0-0-8, Gibson 2-1-2-5, Pena 6-0-0-12, Pace 5-0-0-12. 3-pt. goals: Pace 2, Pearson 1. Totals: 41-6-9-91.
JV — GJR, 72-47. Ron Pearson 17, Qayshawn Oliver 12, Rasa Williams 12, Justice Brown 10 for GJR. Devin Clark 11, Bryce Ackerman 11 for DuBois.
It was a Saturday afternoon matinee in Hermitage, but school was in session for the Kennedy Catholic and Ursuline High girls’ basketball teams.
Hickory softball ousted by Warren; Reynolds, Sharpsville games postponed
Three District 10 semifinal playoff softball games were on the schedule Thursday, but only one was played due to the scattered storms that passed through western Pa.
Hickory suffered a 10-0, 6-inning loss to Warren in a D-10 Class AAA game at Allegheny College in Meadville. That game had a rain delay, but was able to be completed. The Reynolds vs. Saegertown game at Allegheny College and the Sharpsville vs. Iroquois game at Penn State-Behrend in Erie were postponed.
Playoffs: GC, Hounds win; Reynolds, Sharpsville softball advance
The District 10 playoffs kicked off on Tuesday for 4 area baseball teams and 5 softball squads.
In Class A softball, Reynolds edged West Middlesex, 5-4, in an 8-inning thriller while Sharpsville ousted Rocky Grove, 5-0. In Class AA, Northwestern beat Wilmington, 9-5, and Harbor Creek defeated Mercer, 4-3.
Hickory boys edge WM for D-10 Class AA Track team title
HARBORCREEK — Hickory High co-head coach Mark Slezak referenced the term “exponential” in explaining the four-fold heart-felt feeling of having a relay team qualify for the PIAA Championships.
That sentiment seemed to summarize Mercer County’s performance during Saturday’s annual District 10 Class AA Track & Field Championships.
5 area teams qualify for D-10 baseball playoffs
Five area baseball teams have qualified for the District 10 playoffs — Grove City, Kennedy Catholic, Sharpsville, West Middlesex and Wilmington.
In the Class A semifinals, Kennedy Catholic faces Cochranton at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Northwestern High School. Rocky Grove faces Eisenhower in the other semifinal game.
Hickory, WM boys to collide at D-10 AA Track & Field Championships
For the 2nd time this week, a District 10 track & field team title could be decided by a pair of Mercer County contingents.
Just as Hickory and Grove City girls contested the Class AAA crown Wednesday night, so, too, are the Hickory and West Middlesex boys anticipating vying for Saturday’s AA title.
Roundup: Reynolds baseball tops GC; Sharpsville, Wilmington softball teams win
ä Reynolds 4, Grove City 1 — At Transfer, Neal Engstrom fired a complete-game 3-hitter with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks in lifting the Raiders (9-8) past the Eagles (14-6).
Ryan Grace was tagged with the loss for Grove City. He struck out 6 batters, issued no walks and gave up 7 hits in going the distance.
GC girls 3-peat at District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships
HARBORCREEK— Some athletes seeded 1st in four events would feel pressure. For Grove City High senior Daniel Jaskowak, it’s an opportunity for name recognition.
“I kind’ve like it. It’s cool, because people know who you are,” related Jaskowak, who won 3 events during Wednesday’s District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships.
Hickory, GC girls collide at D-10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships
If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Cliché though that is, it will be borne out today at the annual District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships.
Hickory High girls — the defending PIAA Class AA titlists — will test the best from the biggest. And the Lady Hornets hope to give as good as they get from the 6-county competition.
Local tune up for districts at Mercer County Invite
There’s a difference between a warm-up and a warning.
If Saturday’s annual track & field invitational is any indication, Mercer County’s contingent issued a warning for the remainder of District 10: This could be a big year in area annals.
Roundup: Grace, GC beat Sharon, 4-0, in 5 innings
With an impending storm blowing in above Johnny Pepe Field time was limited, so Ryan Grace greedily gobbled up putouts.
Grove City High’s Grace gave up only 3 base hits, and the visiting Eagles eased to an abbreviated 4-0, 5-inning win over Sharon Friday afternoon.
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- Hickory softball ousted by Warren; Reynolds, Sharpsville games postponed