Thursday, January 31, 2013

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Upper Perkiomen ends playoff drought by topping Phoenixville

Phoenixville's Aubree Flagg (33) shoots over Upper Perkiomen's Stacey Auckland, left, and Regina Moser during Thursday's PAC-10 girls basketball game in Phoenixville. (Photo by Barry Taglieber)

By Barry Sankey
bsankey@journalregister.com

PHOENIXVILLE — The drought is finally over for the Upper Perkiomen girls basketball team.
It took a lot of extra fighting against stubborn Phoenixville Thursday night, but the Indians sealed their first Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four playoff berth in 19 years with a gut-wrenching 55-53 victory over the Phantoms.
Sophomore guard Aubrey Gibbs made a last-second driving layup to give the Indians the victory and their first PAC-10 playoff berth since 1993-94. The Indians (6-7, 10-9) will be the No. 2 seed from the Frontier Division behind Pope John Paul II.

(For complete story, click here ... )






BOYS BASKETBALL: Perkiomen Valley beats Boyertown, gets in the driver’s seat

By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN — Mike Poysden couldn’t ask for a better scenario.
His Perkiomen Valley squad holds a half-game lead on Spring-Ford for second place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Liberty Division. And while the Rams have their league regular season completed, the Vikings have one more game left on theirs.
An enviable position ... one made even more enviable by PV’s performance Thursday against Boyertown. A 55-40 victory over the Bears fulfilled Poysden’s hopes for his club to remain in control of its postseason destiny.
“We knew we had to handle our business, and not expect others to do favors for us,” Perk Valley’s head coach said.
In a flip-flop of positions, the Vikings (8-4 league, 14-7 overall) bumped Spring-Ford (8-5) out of the Liberty second spot. They finish up Saturday against Owen J. Roberts — a win securing the division’s second berth for the upcoming Final Four playoffs, a loss offering at the worst a play-in game should both teams finish in a dead heat.
And it took a yeoman-like effort against hard-charging Boyertown (4-8, 6-15) for PV to get in that position. The contest was a two-point affair through the halfway point of the fourth quarter, when the visitors went on a 15-2 run down the stretch to nail down their 12th victory in the last 13 games.

(For complete story, click here ... )



BOYS BASKETBALL: Methacton slips by Spring-Ford, maintains unbeaten PAC-10 run

Methacton’s Brendan Casper goes to the hoop for a layup against Spring-Ford Thursday. (Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury)

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

ROYERSFORD — Rolling through the regular season undefeated isn’t always a good way to prepare for the playoffs, especially when there have been no real challenges along the way. But that will certainly not be a problem for the Methacton boys basketball team, which – though still without a loss in the Pioneer Athletic Conference with just two contests remaining – has had more of its games go right down to the wire than not.
The Warriors had another one of those nail-biters on Thursday night – their second this week against a team battling for a league playoff spot – and came through down the stretch again in a 45-42 win at Spring-Ford.
Brendan Casper led Methacton (11-0, 17-3) with 18 points and eight rebounds and Matt Forrest scored 13, including a three-point bomb that put the Warriors up by two points with less than a minute to go. Zameer McDowell scored 19 for the Rams (8-5, 13-7), who wrapped up their PAC-10 regular season and will now hope that Perkiomen Valley loses its finale to force a play-in game for a Final Four berth.

(For complete story, click here ... )




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WRESTLING: Spring-Ford storms back to beat Boyertown

Spring-Ford's Tyler McGuigan beats Boyertown's Cody Richmond, 5-0, at 170 pounds on Wednesday night. photo by Kevin Hoffman, The Mercury

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN — With six bouts remaining and staring at an 18-point deficit, Tim Seislove didn’t appear to be panicking. He wasn’t even squirming or fidgeting in his seat.
The veteran Spring-Ford head coach felt if the Rams were within 20 at that juncture, they could still beat Boyertown ... and he even expressed that, rather emphatically, to the entire team before sending out the first of his remaining six wrestlers.
“Coach talked to us and told us we could still do it,” said 138-pound Ben Schein, who gave Spring-Ford its first lead of the entire evening with an 8-3 decision in the next-to-last bout. “He told us we could come back, that we could win out... and I think that gave us confidence.”
That it did, because the Rams finished up with a flurry, a six-pack punch if you will, that included four decisions, a major and a forfeit to make up the difference and escape Boyertown with a 28-24 win in one of the most thrilling, move-by-move matches in the history of the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

(For complete story, click here ... )



WRESTLING: Seniors help lead Upper Perkiomen past Perk Valley

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

RED HILL — Seven seniors, four of whom have played key roles for Upper Perkiomen over the years, took to their home mat for the last time Wednesday night.
Six of them came out on top as the Indians knocked off Perkiomen Valley in a Pioneer Athletic Conference match on Senior Night, 45-18.
The Indians (6-2, 15-5 overall), who will head back to the District 1-Class AAA Team Duals on Friday, put together three straight pins followed by a pair of major decisions early to take a commanding lead. Despite that, the Vikings (1-6, 9-9) refused to go down easily in the middle weights as they gave some of the top Upper Perk wrestlers a run for their money.
“It’s tough looking out there and seeing that many (senior) guys,” said Indian coach Tom Hontz. “It happens. We’ll try to rebuild again next year. It was exciting that six seniors were able to get a win tonight.”

(For complete story, click here ... )



WRESTLING: Phoenixville senior trio highlights win over PJP

Photo by Barry Taglieber Phoenixville’s Brennigan Myers and Pope John Paul II’s Aaron Cusatis do battle at 152 pounds on Wednesday night.

By Barry Sankey
bsankey@journalregister.com

PHOENIXVILLE — The three Phoenixville senior wrestlers enjoyed their Wednesday evening to the fullest in what has been a difficult season and career in terms of team success with the Phantoms.
Jordan Valenteen, Eddie McCarthy and Henry Hancock each won matches as Phoenixville pounded shorthanded Pope John Paul II59-12 in Pioneer Athletic Conference action.
Valenteen won via fall, McCarthy by major decision and Hancock by fall as the Phantoms won their first league meet of the season (1-6, 3-12) against the Golden Panthers (0-6, 0-14).

(For complete story, click here ... )



WRESTLING: Moser nets 100th win as Owen J. Roberts tops Pottstown

Mercury file photo Owen J. Roberts’ Adam Moser won his 100th career match on Wednesday night.

By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com

POTTSTOWN — Adam Moser did more than just step in the spotlight Wednesday evening.
He staked claim to that territory in several ways ... all of them contributing to Owen J. Roberts’ memorable night of action with Pottstown at the hosts’ Strom Gymnasium.
Moser joined the ever-swelling ranks of area wrestlers reaching the 100-win mark for their scholastic careers. Scoring a fall in his 152-pound bout earned the Roberts senior his team’s Outstanding Wrestler award, and helped the Wildcats to a 42-20 victory over the Trojans that clinched for them no less than a tie for first place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s regular-season standings.

(For complete story, click here ... )



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Methacton rally snaps Perkiomen Valley's streak

Perkiomen Valley’s Steve Leonard passes to a teammate during Tuesday’s game against Methacton. (Adrianna Hoff/JRC)

By Jon Vander Lugt
Special to The Mercury

WORCESTER — “Pretty exciting game tonight.”
Methacton coach Jeff Derstine’s first words after the game were quite an understatement.
Down by as many as 15 points in the second half, Methacton battled all of the way back, eventually taking the lead on Justin Ardman’s late go-ahead bucket to win against rival Perkiomen Valley, 41-39.
The Warriors could not have gotten off on a worse foot. Running into a Viking team that was riding a 12-game winning streak, Methacton shot only 29 percent for the half.
The Vikings, on the other hand, came out firing on all cylinders. Led by Purnell Wilson’s 10 in the half and Mekhi Clemons’ nine, Perk Valley shot 57 percent in the first two quarters.
“It was a playoff atmosphere,” Perkiomen Valley coach Mike Poysden said. “We were fighting for sole possession and we knew it was going to be a war.”

(For complete story, click here ... )



ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Perkiomen Valley’s Steve Leonard and Methacton’s Kelsey Watson


BOYS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Steve Leonard
Perkiomen Valley
Boys Basketball
What he has done
The 6-foot-5 senior wing scored a game-high 16 points in Tuesday’s breakthrough 43-41 victory over Spring-Ford, and also contributed a combined 27 points in wins over Wissahickon and Souderton as the Vikings extended their winning streak to 11 games.
What he says
“The key for me is to just do whatever I can to make my team better. Knocking down 3-pointers has always been my specialty, but anything else I can do, like driving to the basket, making the extra pass, and basically trying to make my team better in practice, is my goal.”

GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Kelsey Watson
Methacton
Girls Basketball
What she has done
The 5-foot-10 senior forward continued her consistent campaign with team-highs of 16 and 21 points, respectively, in wins over Souderton and Cheltenham. Watson, a Kutztown University recruit, ranks second in the PAC-10 with a 16.1 scoring average
What she says
“I try to provide intensity and rebounding and scoring. We’ve been playing as a team and we’re playing real well together down the stretch.”

HONORABLE MENTION
Morgan Aldinger, Upper Perkiomen, Girls Basketball
Casey Cook, Upper Perkiomen, Wrestling
Matt Crider, Owen J. Roberts, Boys Basketball
Rebecca Cubbler, Spring-Ford, Girls Swimming
Denzel Harvey, Pottstown, Boys Basketball
Sean Hennessey, Spring-Ford, Wrestling
Kyle Himmelwright, Upper Perkiomen, Boys Swimming
Rachel Malampy, Owen J. Roberts, Girls Swimming
Jason Mercando, Upper Perkiomen, Boys Swimming
Dominick Petrucelli, Owen J. Roberts, Wrestling
Sammy Stipa, Spring-Ford, Girls Basketball

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Pottstown ends losing skid

Pottstown's Alexis Hewlett and Phoenixville's Bailey Stover fight for control of the ball during Tuesday's PAC-10 girls basketball game. (Photo by Barry Taglieber)

By Barry Sankey
bsankey@journalregister.com

PHOENIXVILLE — The first league victory of any season is oh so sweet.
And when it happens to occur towards the end of an otherwise long, struggling season, it can be that much more satisfying.
Pottstown found itself in that situation Tuesday night when the Trojan girls traveled to Phoenixville for a Pioneer Athletic Conference matchup against the Phantoms.
The Trojans proceeded to build a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and came away with a 53-45 victory over Phoenixville in a Frontier Division contest.
Pottstown won its first PAC-10 game of the season after 13 straight overall setbacks and is now 2-16 overall. Phoenixville dropped to 2-8 in league play and 4-14 overall.

(For complete story, click here ... )



BOYS BASKETBALL: Seniors lift Pope John Paul II past Upper Perkiomen

Upper Perkiomen's Nate Weinstein, left, drives in for a layup as Pope John Paul II's Jamel Stinson, center, and Brent Mahoney (11) defend during Tuesday's PAC-10 boys basketball game. (Photo/Tom Kelly III)

By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com

UPPER PROVIDENCE — It was a very memorable night for the Pope John Paul II boys program.
In more ways than one.
There was the festivity of Senior Recognition Night, where the 12th-grade members of the boys hoop and cheerleading squads were honored prior to Tuesday’s game with Upper Perkiomen. And in their final regular-season appearance on their home court, the Golden Panthers derived a dual benefit from a 66-37 romp over their Pioneer Athletic Conference guests.
With Jamel Stinson and Brent Mahoney leading the way, PJP parted company with a five-game losing slide dating back to a division-leader showdown with Methacton on Jan. 10. The Panthers also took care of business in their bid to repeat as Frontier Division champions, staying atop the bracket with two games left.

(For complete story, click here ... )



GIRLS BASKETBALL: Methacton uses big second half to top Perkiomen Valley

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

GRATERFORD — The Methacton girls did not get off to a particularly good start in their first game of the week that will decide whether or not they make it to the Pioneer Athletic Conference basketball playoffs. It took five minutes for them to get to five points Tuesday night at Perkiomen Valley and the offense never did run too smoothly in the first half.
But the Warriors — and Kelsey Watson in particular — picked it up after the intermission and doubled their eight-point halftime lead in less than four minutes on the way to a 50-33 Liberty Division win.
Watson poured in 11 points in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 21. That came after Jenna Carroll had provided the bulk of the scoring for Methacton (8-2, 16-3) in the first half with 15 of her 19 points for the night.
Perkiomen Valley (5-6, 11-8) — playing without leading scorer Mikki Guiton and with second-high scorer Katie Armstrong on the bench for a good part of the first half with three fouls — struggled on offense throughout the contest and was led by Lauren Leonard’s nine points.

(For complete story, click here ... )




GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mesaros leads Pope John Paul II past Upper Perkiomen


By Darryl Grumling
dgrumling@pottsmerc.com

RED HILL — It was a little less than a month ago when Haley Mesaros had to view a portion of her senior basketball season from the Pope John Paul II bench.
The three-year starter missed five games after suffering a stress fratcture in her foot — and it wasn’t coincidental the Golden Panthers suffered two of their four losses during that stretch.
“It was rough sitting out,” Mesaros said. “I just wanted to be out there for my team.”
Tuesday night, Mesaros more than made up for the lost time in Pope John Paul II’s Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division showdown with Upper Perkiomen.
She scorched the nets for a career-high 23 points as the Golden Panthers clinched their third straight division crown with a 56-46 victory.

(For complete story, click here ... )



Monday, January 28, 2013

WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: Rams, Bears battle before duals

Mercury file photo Tyler McGuigan, top, and Spring-Ford face Boyertown in a key PAC-10 match Wednesday.

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN — Tim Seislove and Pete Ventresca both have some important business to tend to before they can even begin to map out their respective game plans for Thursday night’s semifinals of the District 1-Class AAA Team Duals.
Big business, as in Wednesday evening’s Pioneer Athletic Conference battle between Spring-Ford and Boyertown.
Even though Seislove and his Rams are just behind Owen J. Roberts in the PAC-10 standings — they may as well be way, way back because it seems only a blizzard could delay OJR from a third straight title — there is the issue of beating a bitter rival like the Bears and taking some momentum into their district dual semifinal with Council Rock South the following evening.
Even though Ventresca and his Bears are, for all intents and purposes, out of the PAC-10 title chase, they’re dealing with the same issues of beating a bitter rival like the Rams and taking some momentum into their district dual semifinal against none other than Upper Perkiomen.

(For complete story, click here ... )



WRESTLING: Seeley's Area rankings

Seeley’s Fab Five
1. Owen J. Roberts (13-0) … has beaten the best
2. Spring-Ford (17-2) … big test on Wednesday
3. Upper Perkiomen (14-5) … 10-match streak ends
4. Boyertown (14-5) … Bearing down of late
5. Methacton (13-6) ... up-and-down week

Individual Rankings
106
1. Lucas Miller, Boyertown (29-3)
2. Dustin Steffenino, Upper Perkiomen (24-5)
3. Aston White, Owen J. Roberts (16-10)
HM: Jimmy Frank, Spring-Ford (17-9); Logan Pennypacker, Pottstown (23-5); Owen Powell, Daniel Boone (25-10); Garrett Serwatka, Phoenixville (18-8).
113
1. Derek Gulotta, Owen J. Roberts (23-4)
2. Ryan Hayes, Spring-Ford (21-5)
3. Garrett Mauger, Boyertown (16-11)
120
1. Dante Steffenino, Upper Perkiomen (27-3)
2. Matt Kriebel, Spring-Ford (15-6)
3. Mason Pennypacker, Pottstown (18-10)
HM: Austin Mortimer, West-Mont Christian (15-2); Eric Straup, Methacton (17-11).

126
1. Sean Hennessey, Spring-Ford (23-3)
2. Eddie Kriczky, Boyertown (25-4)
3. Colby Frank, Owen J. Roberts (12-3)
HM: Zach Coffey, West-Mont Christian (13-1); Dylan Steffenino, Upper Perkiomen (3-3); Bryant Wise, Pottstown (27-2).

132
1. Chad Saunders, Hill School (27-4)
2. Joe Staley, Methacton (25-2)
3. Dominic Petrucelli, Owen J. Roberts (20-8)
HM: Nico Demetrio, Pottsgrove (18-5).

138
1. Wolfgang McStravick, Upper Perkiomen (29-3)
2. Demetri D’Orsaneo, Owen J. Roberts (17-9)
3. Adam Dombrosky, Spring-Ford (19-8)
HM: Patrick Bohn, Pottstown (22-6); Tyler Richard, Daniel Boone (19-8).

145
1. Adam Moser, Owen J. Roberts (22-6)
2. Kyle Fellman, Upper Perkiomen (22-6)
3. Nick Flanigan, Hill School (26-6)
HM: Christian Fernandez, Daniel Boone (25-11).
152
1. Nick Giangiulio, Perkiomen Valley (23-1)
2. Jasheel Brown, Pottstown (26-3)
3. Peter Fratantoni, Owen J. Roberts (15-6)
HM: Mike Collins, Spring-Ford (8-3); Gregg Harvey, Boyertown (16-9); Jordan LaHaise, Daniel Boone (25-8).

160
1. Kyle Shronk, Owen J. Roberts (17-3)
2. Darien Hain, Pottstown (26-2)
3. Nick Limone, Daniel Boone (22-12)
HM: Jonathan Cooper, Spring-Ford (16-8).

170
1. Tyler McGuigan, Spring-Ford (20-5)
2. Devin Bradley, Methacton (23-6)
3. Tyler Rogers, Owen J. Roberts (18-10)
HM: Gray Garber, Boyertown (13-8); Sebastian Shiffler, Pottstown (15-5).

182
1. Gordon Bolig, Owen J. Roberts (28-4)
2. Cody Richmond, Boyertown (22-9)
3. Casey Cook, Upper Perkiomen (16-6)
HM: Johnny Cherneskie, Hill (15-4); Kirk Cherneskie, PJP (15-3); Alec Della Donna, PV (20-9)

195
1. Mike Baccaro, Methacton (23-3)
2. Jordan Wertz, Boyertown (22-8)
3. Jordan Valenteen, Phoenixville (20-4)
HM: Kirk Cherneskie, Pope John Paul II (16-4); Nick Perri, Spring-Ford (17-8).

220
1. Jordan Wood, Boyertown (27-1)
2. Pat Finn, Pottsgrove (20-2)
3. Mason Romano, Spring-Ford (21-5)
HM: Tahar Ferradji, Methacton (15-5); Josh Slody, Pottstown (17-6).

285
1. Tracey Green, Methacton (23-3)
2. Brad Trego, OJR (17-9)
3. Luke DiElsi, Perkiomen Valley (20-8)
HM: Josh Boyer, Spring-Ford (18-6); Kostya Golobokov, Hill (22-9).

— Rankings by Don Seeley

SEELEY ON WRESTLING: Golden memories for Pottstown program

Many former Trojans came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pottstown wrestling program last week in conjunction with the current team's match against Pope John Paul II. Members of the group came from as far as Florida and Colorado for the celebration. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

POTTSTOWN — Roger Bechtel had no idea who Lee Bohner was, no concept whatsoever of what wrestling was all about, when he started his sophomore year at Pottstown High School in 1963. But he sure got to know the Trojans’ first coach in a hurry, and a lot about wrestling shortly thereafter.
“It was (Bohner’s) first year here, and he was going around the hallways and classes recruiting kids he felt could physically handle (wrestling),” Bechtel recalled.
Bechtel, 120 pounds or so soaking wet at the time, thought he’d give it a try.
“The prerequisite for getting a practice uniform was climbing the rope, all the way to the top, with your hands only,” he said. “That wasn’t so easy for some guys.
“The toughest part was trying to get kids out to wrestle. We may have had 18 kids that first day, and not every one of them hung around long. So we had to get others involved.”
Others did get involved, of course, and when Pottstown celebrated the 50th anniversary of its wrestling program last week prior to the Trojans’ match with visiting Pope John Paul II, more than 150 of those “kids” — most a little older and wee bit heavier now — were on hand to share in the festivities.

(For complete story, click here ... )




One-on-one: Perkiomen Valley's Brett Davis

video

One-on-one video Q and A with Perkiomen Valley's Brett Davis.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: There's no 'I' in Perk Valley

By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com
Brett Davis, left, and Perkiomen Valley boys
basketball team ran their win streak to 11 after
Saturday's non-league win over Souderton.
(Photo by Mark C. Psoras/JRC)


It’s arguably been one of the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s hottest teams this winter.
But to look at the Perkiomen Valley boys in the first month of the season, the average observer would have seen a program experiencing a measure of growing pains amid its latest change of head coaches.
“The kids have totally bought into each other,” first-year floor boss Mike Poysden said after seeing his club’s winning ways continue Saturday with a 43-40 non-league win at Souderton. “They share the ball. Certainly, their patience shows.”
The Vikings got Poysden — the program’s third head coach in six years — his inaugural win on the second night of the season-opening Great Valley Tournament, then went up-and-down their next two times out. A subsequent four-game losing streak had them a 2-6 midway through the winter holiday break, and falling off the fast pace Methacton and Spring-Ford were setting as the 1-2 punch atop the PAC-10’s Liberty Division.
But a victory over Quakertown in the Parkland Tournament’s consolation game provided PV more than just consolation on what started as a lackluster campaign. It kicked-started a resurgence of the Vikings’ season, in the form of an 11-game win streak that has reversed their status from also-ran to contender.
And it’s created a wider-open race for the two Liberty berths in the upcoming Final Four playoffs. While the Warriors continue on their unbeaten coast toward an undisputed regular-season title, the Vikings (13-6 overall) have pulled themselves ahead of the Rams for second place in the division.
“I think it’s their willingness to be unselfish,” Poysden said. “They look for each other, and celebrate each other. The thought process is not that ‘I’m scoring’ as ‘we’re scoring,’ not that ‘I’m getting rebounds’ as ‘we’re getting rebounds.’” 

( To read the complete boys basketball notebook, click here )

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stipa sparks Spring-Ford over Seton Keough

Spring-Ford guard Sammy Stipa, left, scored 16 points to lead the Rams to a 61-37 win over Seton Keough Sunday afternoon in the Blue Chip Basketball 10th Annual Super Sunday Showcase in Royersford. (File photo by Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury)

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

ROYERSFORD — By the time the league and district playoffs roll around, the Spring-Ford girls should have already seen just about anything an opponent can throw at them. That comes after playing a slate of varied teams from far and wide, including another on Sunday afternoon when they hosted the Blue Chip Basketball 10th Annual Super Sunday Showcase.
This time it took the Rams until midway through the second quarter to really get rolling, but they steadily pulled away from there for a 61-37 win over Seton Keough.
Sammy Stipa scored 16 for Spring-Ford (17-2), including 14 in the first half when the rest of the team was a bit sluggish, and Sarah Payonk and Courtney Hinnant added 10 points each. Jade Porter scored 12 and Hollie Booker grabbed 11 rebounds for the Gators (9-11) from Baltimore, Md.
Though it’s not unusual for the Rams to rattle the other team right from the start with their full-court press, Keough patiently moved the ball past midcourt and did a good job of finding some open shots in the first quarter on the way to a 15-9 advantage, including three baskets by Porter.
“You don’t expect you’re going to be up huge digits against a team like that,” said Spring-Ford coach Jeff Rinehimer. “We actually didn’t create much in the first quarter. We didn’t have the energy to start the game that we’d like to.”
“I guess our intensity level was very low,” said Stipa, who won her team’s Most Valuable Player award for the game while shooting 7-for-12 from the floor and stealing the ball five times. “We knew that we had to pick it up.” 

( To read the complete story, click here )

GIRLS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Daniel Boone great Lutz to enter Berks Basketball Hall of Fame

By Darryl Grumling
dgrumling@pottsmerc.com

During a stellar career at Daniel Boone that concluded in the 1979-80 season, Page Lutz established herself as one of the best girls basketball players in Berks Conference history.
Though its been more than three decades since Lutz graduated, her legacy has pretty much stood the test of time.
In area girls history, only Daniel Boone’s Wendy Davis has scored more career points.
Lutz will be inducted into the Berks County Basketball Hall of Fame next month as part of the seven-member 2013 class.
At Boone, Lutz scored a school and area-record 1,899 points, a mark that stood until Davis broke it eight years later on the way to a 2,504-point career. 
Lutz went on to play collegiately at Elizabethtown, and helped the Blue Jays compiled a 105-11 record over four years — highlighted by a national championship her sophomore year and two other runner-up finishes.
A three-time All-American selection who was named Division III Player of the Year in 1984, Lutz scored 1,757 career points at Elizabethtown, and holds school career records for points, free throws (453)and field goals (651). She was the MVP of the national tournament in 1983 and 1984, and in 206 was named to the NCAA Division III 25th Anniversary Women’s Basketball team.

( To read the complete girls basketball notebook, click here )

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Spring-Ford back in playoff chase

Photo by Tom Kelly III Spring-Ford’s Nick Stanek takes the ball past Boyertown’s Mike Mansur during Saturday night’s PAC-10 contest.

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

BOYERTOWN — Sometimes it’s hard to keep digging in on defense when the shots aren’t going in at the other end of the court. But that’s what Spring-Ford did in the second half of Saturday night’s Pioneer Athletic Conference game at Boyertown.
The Rams held the hosts to just four points in the third quarter and their offense came alive as they broke the game open and went on to a much-needed 53-33 Liberty Division win. Nick Stanek scored 15, Justin DeLuzio 13 and Drew Kakareka 11 for Spring-Ford (7-4, 12-6 overall), which pulled to within a half-game of second-place Perkiomen Valley.
Ryan Corcoran scored 13 for the Bears (4-7, 5-14), who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

(For complete story, click here ... )


WRESTLING: Owen J. Roberts takes care of business vs. Upper Perk

Photo by Tom Kelly III Uper Perkiomen’s Dante Steffenino lifts Alec Pup in a 7-2 win at 120 pounds during Saturday’s PAC-10 match.

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

BUCKTOWN — Owen J. Roberts has enjoyed a rather stress-free roll through the Pioneer Athletic Conference for the good part of three-plus seasons.
And even though certain segments of Saturday afternoon’s show with Upper Perkiomen may have tugged at and tightened the nerves during a handful of the individual matches, it was — in the end — yet another cool, calm and collected win for the hosts.
The Wildcats had the upper hand in nine of the 14 bouts, and their combined five pins, technical fall and three decisions nearly doubled the Indians’ five wins and almost tripled the sum total of those five decisions in the 44-15 romp.

(For complete story, click here ... )




WRESTLING: Refocused Russo sparks Methacton past Perkiomen Valley

Photo by Adrianna Hoff/JRC Tracy Green of Methacton wrestles against Luke DiElsi of Perkiomen Valley on Saturday afternoon.

By Dennis Way
dway@journalregister.com

GRATERFORD — Methacton head coach A.J. Maida was smiling as if he had three winning lottery tickets tucked away in his pocket on Saturday afternoon.
He and his injury-and-illness-riddled Warriors were celebrating a decisive 41-25 win over host Perkiomen Valley, and one of the Warriors wrestlers being heaped with praise was senior middleweight Paul Russo.

(For complete story, click here ... )






Friday, January 25, 2013

WRESTLING: OJR starts duals defense in style

Owen J. Roberts' Derek Gulotta pins his Pottstown opponent during their match Thursday night in the District 1-AAA Team Duals. (Photo by Bill Rudick)


By Bill Rudick
Special to The Mercury

WESTTOWN — Top-seeded Owen J. Roberts got to work on its title defense in the District 1-Class AAA Team Duals Thursday night with a convincing 51-16 win over Pottstown.
All told, the Wildcats came away with a victory in eight of the 12 contested bouts, including five pins.
“It was a good first step in a journey to defend,” said Wildcats head coach Steve DeRafelo. “Pottstown has a good, hungry young team, and I was a little concerned the kids might overlook them. But they didn’t. They came out and wrestled hard.”
Sixteen-seeded Pottstown earned a second-round spot against OJR by knocking off No. 17 Interboro, 37-24, earlier in the opening round. 

(  To read the complete story, click here )

Thursday, January 24, 2013

WRESTLING: Boyertown rises to the occasion to edge CR North

Boyertown's Jordan Wood controls CR North's James Dutrow en route to a :35 pin at 285 Thursday night in the District 1-AAA Duals at Methacton. (Photo by Barry Taglieber)

 By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE — Cody Richmond and Michael Fretz began loosening up at the halfway mark of Boyertown’s match with Council Rock North in Thursday evening’s second round of the District 1-Class AAA Team Duals at Methacton High School.
And with what seemed to be a comfortable 21-10 lead, Richmond and Fretz understandably had time on their side.
Until Council Rock North won the next three bouts with a pin, decision and forfeit ... and not only erased the Bears’ lead but took it away completely.
As loose as they may have been, the nerves had to tighten by the time they stepped onto the mat.
“Yeah, but you just go out and do what you have to do,” Richmond said.
That they did.

( To read the complete story, click here )

WRESTLING: Spring-Ford stops CB South in opening round

By Nick Ieule
nieule@journalregister.com

Heading into the District 1-AAA Duals with a 14-2 record and the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Spring-Ford had to feel pretty good about its chances against a solid Central Bucks South team in the opening round. Whether it was confidence or talent or a mixture of both, the Rams are going on to Round 2.
Spring-Ford did not have much trouble with the Titans, who had to wrestle in to this match, winning 48-16. The Rams showed their breadth of talent throughout the weight classes and wrestled as their record would suggest they should.
“The kids did a pretty good job,” Spring-Ford coach Tim Seislove said. “It was a long drive over here, a long day, but they went out and took care of business.”
The Rams took two of the first three bouts. Jimmy Frank (106) needed overtime to win a decision over Kyle Murphy 6-4, while Ryan Hayes had Spring-Ford’s first pin of the day at 113. CB South won a decision at 120, but after that is when Spring-Ford went on its best run. 

( To read the complete story, click here )

WRESTLING: Methacton wins one before ouster to CR South

Methacton's Tracey Green gets the pin of Council Rock South's Thaison Nguyen in the first period (1:01) of their bout at 285 during Thursday's District 1-AAA Duals at Methacton. (Photo by Barry Taglieber)

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE — The Methacton wrestlers had a little something to prove on Thursday night in the District 1-AAA Team Duals … that they were a lot better and tougher than they had shown the night before when they had fallen behind by a big early score and pretty much rolled over in a one-sided league defeat.
And the 10th-seeded hosts did indeed rebound strongly as they opened with a 40-24 win over West Chester East and then battled all the way to the last bout in a 36-25 loss to seventh-seeded Council Rock South.
Paul Russo, Devin Bradley, Jack Ryan, Joe Staley, and Tracey Green were all double winners on the mat for the Warriors (12-6) and Mike Baccaro won by a forfeit and a pin. The setback eliminated Methacton from the tournament while South advances to next Friday’s quarterfinal round at Upper Dublin.
“Actually just having a talk with a couple teachers who are coaches in the building, it’s not about the score (Wednesday) night … it’s how you respond to it,” said Methacton coach A.J. Maida. 

( To read the complete story, click here )

WRESTLING: Upper Perkiomen comes up big in win over Garnet Valley

By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com
LOWER GWYNEDD ­— It was a somewhat unaccustomed experience Upper Perkiomen faced Thursday.
Certainly not opening the District 1-Class AAA Teams Duals with a victory, which they were able to accomplish. No, the unusual aspect of the Indians’ 34-24 triumph over Garnet Valley lay with the fact it was secured by wrestlers at the upper end of the weight scale.
“It was a little different,” head coach Tom Hontz said at the conclusion of the night’s action at Wissahickon. “We’ve been used to our little guys clinching matches for us.”
To be sure, the Tribe flexed their muscle at the lower end of the lineup. Two of the Steffenino brothers, Dustin (106) and Dante (120), staked the locals to an initial 10-3 lead in a match that started at the light end of the lineup. And Wolfgang McStravick (145), along with Ray Young (160), provided a timely boost to UP’s fortunes after the Jaguars reversed the early deficit into a five-point lead through six. 

( To read the complete story, click here )

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Spring-Ford grinds out win over Boyertown

Boyertown’s Kaitlyn Eisenhard and Spring-Ford’s Shelby Mueller battle for a rebound in the first half of Thursday’s PAC-10 girls basketball game. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

By Darryl Grumling
dgrumling@pottsmerc.com

ROYERSFORD — The Spring-Ford girls basketball team has piled up wins this winter in many different ways.
There’s the tremendous transition attack that has decimated many an opponent.
There’s the superior skill level that has enabled the Rams to run the table so far in Pioneer Athletic Conference play.
There’s the formidable frontcourt, headed by senior Sarah Payonk and junior Shelby Mueller.
There’s the blistering backcourt, led by Sammy Stipa, Brittany Moore and Sammi Haas.
And then there’s that bevy of bench talent, most notably Courtney Hinnant and Maggie Locke.
Thursday night, though, the Rams broke out their hard hats and lunch pails on the way to a blue-collar, workmanlike defensive effort that dispatched archrival Boyertown, 52-34.
Mueller scored 12 points to lead a typically balanced attack that also got 11 points apiece from Payonk and Stipa as Spring-Ford (11-0, 16-2 overall) clinched the top seed in next month’s Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four playoff tournament.

(For complete story, click here ... )





Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WRESTLING: Boyertown takes down Perkiomen Valley

Mercury file photo Boyertown’s Dylan Wertz, left, picked up a third-period pin at 120 pounds Wednesday night.

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN — Even though it wasn’t necessary, Boyertown made quite a statement Wednesday night... to just about everyone else who will line up for this evening’s opening round of the District 1-Class AAA Team Duals.
The Bears are back.
And not looking at all like the team that dropped three in a row two weeks ago.
After Perkiomen Valley’s Omar Elghawy needed less than 20 seconds to take down Cody Richmond in the first bout, Richmond needed the remaining five-plus minutes to work up come-from-behind an 8-6 decision — and the Bears just a wee bit longer to produce a 61-6 rout of the visiting Vikings in their annual Pioneer Athletic Conference get-together.

(For complete story, click here ... )




WRESTLING: Steffeninos spark Upper Perkiomen past Phoenixville

Photo by Barry Taglieber Upper Perkiomen’s Dustin Steffenino and Phoenixville’s Garrett Serwatka do battle at 106 pounds on Wednesday night.

By Barry Sankey
bsankey@journalregister.com

RED HILL — Two of Upper Perkiomen’s three talented Steffenino brother wrestlers drew two of Phoenixville’s better individuals during Wednesday night’s Pioneer Athletic Conference dual meet.
At 126 pounds, returning state qualifier Dylan Steffenino, just back from surgery, got back on the mats against the Phantoms’ promising freshman, Mark Cermanski. And at 106, Dustin Steffenino drew Garrett Serwatka in a rematch from last year’s Section III Tournament.
The Indians earned close decisions in both matches to highlight an otherwise lopsided 72-6 rout of the Phantoms.

 (For complete story, click here ... )





WRESTLING: Owen J. Roberts rolls over Methacton

 By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE — If any of the Owen J. Roberts wrestlers were looking ahead to tonight’s opening round of the District 1-Class AAA Team Duals, it was certainly hard to tell from their performances in Wednesday night’s 60-9 Pioneer Athletic Conference win at Methacton.
Whether it was in bouts they were supposed to win, or several that might have been considered toss-ups against strong opponents, or even a couple where competitors with less than a handful of matches under their belts this year were sent out to the mat, the Wildcats seemed to be concentrating only on winning their current bout. That focus resulted in five pins, a technical fall and a major against three close setbacks by decisions.

(For complete story, click here ... )


SWIMMING: Boyertown takes care of Pottsgrove

Photo by Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury Boyertown Shane Corbett wins the 200 IM.

By Rosemarie Ross
rross@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN — Since the day swimming officially joined the Pioneer Athletic Conference a decade ago, Boyertown has always been one of the league’s major challengers.
Some years the Bears are not quite as deep in numbers and talent, but they are always tough to beat.
Pottsgrove, never quite as deep numbers-wise, certainly knows that. But the Falcons love a challenge and the Bears always bring out the best in them.
Boyertown swept the PAC-10 dual meet against visiting Pottsgrove, Wednesday, at the Boyertown YMCA pool, with the Bears’ boys beating Pottsgrove, 106-50, and the Boyertown girls holding off the Falcons, 102-60.

(For complete story, click here ... )



ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Spring-Ford’s Zameer McDowell and Perkiomen School’s Nicole Pupillo

Spring-Ford's Zameer McDowell.


Perkiomen School's Nicole Pupillo
BOYS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Zameer McDowell
Spring-Ford
Basketball
What he’s done
McDowell had a career week for the Rams, helping them to a 2-1 record in the process. The senior forward had a combined 52 points — including the 1,000th of his scholastic career during Saturday’s win over Downingtown East in the Athletes For Better Education Showcase. He also had three-game totals of 38 rebounds, five assists, 11 steals and four blocked shots.
What he says
“It feels really good. It’s a great accomplishment. I’m just proud to be one of the Spring-Ford people to get 1,000 points.”
video


(For complete story, click here ... )

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Perk Valley flips script on Spring-Ford

Perkiomen Valley's Purnell Wilson drives to the basket during Tuesday's PAC-10 game against Spring-Ford. (Photo by Brian Ludy)

By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury

GRATERFORD — Perkiomen Valley knew that, sooner or later, Spring-Ford was going to make a run in Tuesday night’s battle for second place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Liberty Division. And that’s exactly what the visiting Rams did, quickly wiping out an eight-point PV lead in the third quarter and taking a three-point lead of their own midway through the fourth.
But it was how the Vikings reacted to adversity that turned out to be the key down the stretch as they hit couple of big baskets and controlled the backboards for a 43-41 win.
Steve Leonard scored 16 to help Perk Valley (7-3, 11-6 overall) take the inside track for a Final Four berth with three games to go. Purnell Wilson scored six of his 10 points in the pivotal fourth quarter, including the go-ahead basket with under a minute to go. The Rams (6-4, 11-6) — who had beaten PV 56-41 earlier in the season — were led by Zameer McDowell’s 14 points and Justin DeLuzio’s 10.

(For complete story, click here ... )




BOYS BASKETBALL: Falcons’ comeback stuns PJP

Pope John Paul II's Jamel Stinson (35) pump-fakes and hits a layup over Pottsgrove's Deyon Doctor during Tuesday's PAC-10 boys basketball game. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)

By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com

LOWER POTTSGROVE — It could arguably rank as one of the bigger comebacks in the history of the Pottsgrove boys’ basketball program.
And it came at a most opportune time.
With their league playoff hopes sliding down a slippery slope of late, the Falcons applied the brakes Tuesday in the form of a 57-54 victory over Pope John Paul II. And it came after a lopsided start that saw them fall behind by a 15-point count to a Golden Panther unit with a tenuous hold on first place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Frontier Division.

(For complete story, click here ... )




SWIMMING: Perk Valley too much for Phoenixville

Perkiomen Valley's Samantha Schroeder swims in the 400 free relay during Tuesday's PAC-10 meet against Phoenixville. (Photo by Barry Taglieber)

By Barry Sankey
bsankey@journalregister.com

SCHUYLKILL — Perkiomen Valley’s boys swimmers are defending their undefeated Pioneer Athletic Conference championship from last year with much of the same cast along with some strong newcomers in the pool.
Thus far during the 2012-13 campaign, the Vikings are still undefeated to start the PAC-10 season along with some other non-league meets. On Tuesday afternoon, Perkiomen Valley hiked its record to 4-0 in the PAC-10 and 8-0 overall with a 97-62 victory over host Phoenixville at the Phoenixville YMCA metric pool.
The Perkiomen Valley girls have undergone wholesale changes from their undefeated PAC-10 title from last year and it has shown in the early going against some other strong league teams. The Vikings, though, still had too much depth for Phoenixville’s talented individual girls, resulting in a 107-63 victory for Perkiomen Valley.

(For complete story, click here ... )




Monday, January 21, 2013

WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: Pottstown celebrating 50th anniversary

Pottstown longtime assistant coach John Armato, center, has led the organizational efforts on a 50th anniversary celebration of the Trojans wrestling program to be held Wednesday night. Head coach Brad Bechtel will lead this year’s Pottstown team against Pope John Paul II where they will go for their 20th win of the season. (Photo by Tom Kelly III)


By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

POTTSTOWN — Some of Pottstown’s older fellas will meet some youngsters Wednesday night. And they aren’t just any older wrestlers, mind you, but some of the best who ever competed in the program.
Prior to their Pioneer Athletic Conference match with visiting Pope John Paul II, the Trojans will officially celebrate the 50th anniversary of their wrestling program with a get-together of alumni and coaches in the Culinary Arts room.
The irony of the entire evening is that the older folks will be treated to refreshments and beverages prepared by current members of the high school’s Culinary Arts program, then they’ll sit in on the match to watch current members of the Trojans team try to pin down their 20th win of the season, which would tie the school’s single-season record set by the 1988-89 gang — which is being recognized for its perfect 20-0 run that included PAC-10, Section Four, District 1-South and Southeast Regional titles.
Longtime assistant John Armato, who has been around “almost” as long as the program — which started in 1963 under the guidance of Lee Bohner — has been the mover and shaker behind Wednesday’s special night of events.

( To read the complete story, click here )

 

WRESTLING: Bolig's career-long point to improve pays off

Owen J. Roberts senior Gordon Bolig recorded his 100th career win last week.

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

BUCKTOWN — It didn’t take long for Gordon Bolig to learn he wasn’t quite as good as he thought he was.
On a wrestling mat, that is.
“I came in here a little cocky as a freshman,” the now Owen J. Roberts senior admitted last week. “But I wasn’t that strong, I wasn’t that physical.”
Bolig actually won his debut that season. He also lost his last two at sectionals, so he wasn’t around long for the postseason.
But the quick exit motivated him and, instead of moping or sulking over the fact he wasn’t as good as he thought he was, Bolig chose a work regimen to help him become as good as he always wanted to be.
That meant getting into the weight room, getting into a lot of tournaments, getting a little more aggressive … or, dare he say it, getting a little nastier when he stepped on the mat.
The commitment paid off.

( To read the complete story, click here )

WRESTLING: MERCURY RANKINGS


Team Rankings
1. Owen J. Roberts (10-0) … second at ETR
2. Spring-Ford (14-2) … solid win at Manheim
3. Upper Perkiomen (12-4) … has won eight in a row
4. Boyertown (12-5) … impressive 6-1 week
5. Methacton (11-4) … hosts OJR on Wednesday
* * *
Individual Rankings
106
1. Lucas Miller, Bt (27-3)
2. Dustin Steffenino, UP (20-5)
3. Aston White, OJR (14-9)
HM: Logan Pennypacker, Pt (21-4); Garrett Serwatka, Px (18-7).

113
1. Derek Gulotta, OJR (14-4)
2. Ryan Hayes, SF (18-5)
3. Eddie McCarthy, Px (8-3)
HM: Eric Miller, UP (14-9).

120
1. Dante Steffenino, UP (23-3)
2. Matt Kriebel, SF (14-5)
3. Mason Pennypacker, Pt (17-8)
HM: Eric Straup, Meth (15-9).

126
1. Sean Hennessey, SF (20-3)
2. Eddie Kriczky, Bt (16-4) 23-4
3. Colby Frank, OJR (11-3)
HM: Dylan Steffenino (3-1); Bryant Wise, Pt (23-2).

132
1. Chad Saunders, Hill (27-4)
2. Joe Staley, Meth (21-2)
3. Dominic Petrucelli, OJR (18-7)
HM: Nico Demetrio, Pottsgrove (12-5).

138
1. Wolfgang McStravick, UP (26-3)
2. Demetri D’Orsaneo, OJR (15-8)
3. Adam Dombrosky, SF (16-8)
HM: Patrick Bohn, Pt (20-5); Tyler Richard, DB (19-7).

145
1. Kyle Fellman, UP (21-4)
2. Adam Moser, OJR (20-6)
3. Nick Flanigan, Hill (25-6)
HM: Christian Fernandez, DB (24-11).

152
1. Nick Giangiulio, PV (21-1)
2. Jasheel Brown, Pt (24-2)
3. Peter Fratantoni, OJR (12-6)
HM: Gregg Harvey, Bt (15-8); Jordan LaHaise, DB (24-8).

160
1. Kyle Shronk, OJR (16-3)
2. Darien Hain, Pt (23-2)
3. Nick Limone, DB (21-12)
HM: Jonathan Cooper, SF (13-8).

170
1. Tyler McGuigan, SF (18-4)
2. Devin Bradley, Meth (19-6)
3. Tyler Rogers, OJR (18-10)
HM: Gray Garber, Bt (12-7 – injured); Sebastian Shiffler, Pt (13-4).

182
1. Gordon Bolig, OJR (25-4)
2. Cody Richmond, Bt (20-9)
3. Johnny Cherneskie, Hill (14-4)
HM: Kirk Cherneskie, PJP (15-3); Alec Della Donna, PV (19-7)

195
1. Mike Baccaro, Meth (20-3)
2. Jordan Wertz, Bt (21-7)
3. Jordan Valenteen, Px (20-4)
HM: Kirk Cherneskie, PJP (11-2).

220
1. Jordan Wood, Bt (25-1)
2. Pat Finn, Pg (16-2)
3. Mason Romano, SF (20-4)
HM: Tahar Ferradji, Meth (13-3); Ryan Patrick, PV (14-5); Josh Slody, Pt (15-5).

285
1. Tracey Green, Meth (20-2)
2. Luke DiElsi, PV (20-6)
3. Brad Trego, OJR (16-9)
HM: Josh Boyer, SF (16-5); Kostya Golobokov, Hill (21-9).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Phantoms rewarding Reber’s optimism


Phoenixville coach Randy Reber
By Jeff Stover
jstover@pottsmerc.com

To say Randy Reber was optimistic about his Phoenixville team’s prospects in the preseason would be a significant understatement.
“I think this probably the best outlook we have in the three years I’ve been there,” Reber said while undertaking preseason preparations for the current campaign. “Having three years in, they understand how we want to play. They’re working hard to play that way.
“I think we’ll be a competitive team.”
The Phantoms are validating their head coach’s assessment with timely play of late. With six weeks of games in the record books, they have come on strong enough to regain their past stature as a force in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.
After Friday’s 68-61 victory over Boyertown, Phoenixville is 5-4 in league play and 8-8 overall. The league win total surpasses its entire output from the 2011-12 season (4-9), as does its overall victory total from that 6-17 campaign.

( To read the complete story, click here )

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Family affair for Leonards at Perkiomen Valley



By Darryl Grumling
dgrumling@pottsmerc.com

A lot of girls basketball teams consider themselves families of sorts.
Then there’s Perkiomen Valley, where that is literally the case.
Sisters Lauren and Anna Leonard are both senior starters for the Vikings, who are coached by Bill Leonard, their father.
Lauren and Anna are two of four Leonard quadruplets — the other two are Steve, a starter for the PV boys basketball team, and Alyson, who is active in the arts.
“I enjoy it,” said Bill, who is in his second year as Vikings coach. “It gives me a chance to be with the kids, but it’s challenging, too.
“They have to hear it from me 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So I’m harder on them in some regards.” 

( To read the complete story, click here )

WRESTLING: OJR second at Escape the Rock

By Don Seeley

HOLLAND — There was no gold, but plenty of medals.
Although Owen J. Roberts head coach Steve DeRafelo didn’t get a matside seat for Sunday evening’s championship finals of the Escape the Rock Tournament, he was quite busy throughout the day when eight of his wrestlers worked their way through the consolations to pick up a combined eight medals.
Junior Colby Frank and senior Brad Trego led the group with third-place finishes at 126 and 285 pounds, respectively, while Kyle Shronk and Gordon Bolig settled for fourths at 160 and 182. Teammtes Adam Moser (fifth at 145), Tyler Rogers (sixth at 170), Dominic Petrucelli (seventh at 132), and Aston White (eighth at 106).
The Hill School also had three medalists. Chad Saunders led the way with a fourth at 132, with Kostya Golobokov taking sixth at 285 and Nick Flanigan adding an eighth at 145.
Overall, Owen J. Roberts finished second in the 32-team field with 172.5 points. District 11 power Parkland (189.5) won the title, with Solanco third (144.5) and Delawarer Valley and Forest Park (Va.) tying for fourth with 138 points each. District 1’s Norristown and host Council Rock South were ninth and 13th, respectively, in the final standings. The Hill School was 28th.
“I’m very happy,” DeRafelo said. “This is one tough tournament, a meat grinder. Some of our kids suffered some tough losses in the quarterfinals, but they battled all the way back. To do what we did ... yes, I’m very happy.”
The Wildcats’ previous-best showing at the ETR was a seventh-place finish last year.
Frank had an exceptional weekend. He won his first two bouts before dropping a 2-0 decision to Big Spring’s Dustin Rook. However, he stormed back with four straight wins — including an 11-2 major over Pennsbury’s highly touted Josh DiSanto in the consolation finals. His final victory was a 4-3 decision of Dallastown’s Rodney Sunday for the bronze medal.
Trego followed nearly the same path as Frank, using a bye, major and decision to reach the semifinals. He was pinned by Central Mountain’s Caleb Stover, but regrouped and finished with two wins, including a pin of Shaheed Hill of Norristown – who he blanked earlier, 3-0, in the quarterfinals — for the bronze medal.
“Frank just wrestled out of his mind here,” DeRafelo said. “He was just beating up on kids. He look real good, pretty impressive. And Brad did great job, too. He beat a very good kid from Norristown (Hill) twice.”
Shronk defaulted his third-place bout, while Rodgers — who reached the semifinals — defaulted his next two bouts. DeRafelo didn’t feel as though either injury was too serious, but opted not to risk further damage with key Pioneer Athletic Conference and District 1-AAA Team Duals meets coming up.
Bolig’s only two losses were to Parkland’s Nezar Haddad in the quarterfinals and third-place final.
“We have to heal up a little bit because we did get beat up,” DeRafelo said. “Going hard match after hard match is tough. We just tried to balance it out a little bit without killing our guys.”
For Hill, Saunders bounced back from a 9-5 quarterfinal loss to Manheim Township’s Cortlandt Schuyler with three straight wins only to fall to Schuyler again, 6-1, in the third-place final. Flanigan advanced to the quarterfinals as well only to come up short against Norristown’s Mike Springer, 6-3. He won his next bout, but dropped his ensuing two to take eighth. And Golobokov rolled into the semifinals only to get pinned, then dropped his next two bouts and settled for sixth place.

WRESTLING: PAC-10 gets four of top five seeds for duals

By Don Seeley
dseeley@pottsmerc.com

ROYERSFORD — If there was one thing representatives from every league in District 1 agreed on Sunday afternoon it was that the Pioneer Athletic Conference has been carrying its weight, if not more, this wrestling season.
When all the deliberations and discussions were over and done with during the seedings for this week’s opening rounds of the 19th annual District 1-Class AAA Team Duals, four PAC-10 teams accounted for five of the top seeds, five of the top 10, and six overall.
Defending champion Owen J. Roberts, which owns a 26-match winning streak against district rivals, was the unanimous No. 1 seed. The undefeated Wildcats (10-0) haven’t lost to anyone within the district since a duals semifinal setback to Council Rock South two years ago.
The Wildcats were followed in the seedings by No. 2 Spring-Ford (14-2); No. 3 Downingtown East (17-2) from the Ches-Mont League; No. 4 Upper Perkiomen (12-4); and No. 5 Boyertown (12-5).
All earned first-round byes, but will be on the mats immediately following the openers on Tuesday night.
The PAC-10 will have two other teams — No. 10 Methacton (11-4) and No. 16 Pottstown (19-7), the runner-up in last year’s Class AA bracket — in the 5:30 p.m. openers, though. Methacton, which hopes to benefit from competing on its home mat in Fairview Village, takes on No. 23 West Chester East (10-3). Pottstown meets No. 17 Interboro (21-3) at West Chester Rustin.
Four different sites overall will be used to host the opening rounds … and the PAC-10 teams will be spread out among them.
The winner of the Pottstown-Interboro match at West Chester Rustin will take on Owen J. Roberts; Spring-Ford meets the winner of No. 15 Central Bucks East (11-7) and No. 18 Central Bucks South (9-3) at C.B. East; Upper Perkiomen meets the winner of No. 13 Garnet Valley (11-3) and No. 20 Pennridge (11-4) at Wissahickon; and Boyertown meets the winner of No. 12 Council Rock North (9-3) and No. 21 Ridley (16-5) at Methacton.
The quarterfinals (6 p.m.) as well as both the semifinals and first round of consolations (7:30 p.m.) are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1 at Upper Dublin High School, which will also host the consolation semifinals (1 p.m.) and and both consolation and championship finals (4 p.m.) the following day.
In Class AA, defending champion Lower Moreland (14-5) was the unanimous No. 1 seed. New Hope-Solebury (9-6), Bishop McDevitt (6-10) and Springfield-Montco (3-13) are the second through fourth seeds, respectively. Both the Class AA semifinals (1 p.m.) and final (4 p.m.) will be held Saturday, Feb. 2 at Upper Dublin.

NOTES
Seven of the 24 teams in the field have previously won the district’s Class AAA team duals title. Upper Perkiomen leads the group with five, followed by No. 7 seed Council Rock South and No. 6 seed Pennsbury with three each; No. 8 seed Norristown with two; and Boyertown, Methacton, Owen J. Roberts with one apiece. … Upper Perkiomen is the only District 1 team to go on to win the state duals title (2006). … The Indians’ Tom Hontz and Rams’ Tim Seislove were the head coaches representing the PAC-10 during Sunday’s meeting at Spring-Ford High School. ... The top four teams from District 1 advance to the state AAA team duals tournament, which opens Monday, Feb. 4 before shifting out to Hershey on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.