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Blue Ridge Takes District Volleyball Title
Blue Ridge received contributions from many players while sweeping through the District 2 Class A girls' volleyball tournament to remain unbeaten and qualify for its second straight state tournament appearance.
Brooke Hinkley, Annette Conigliaro and Ashley Coller were the statistical leaders in a 15-10, 15-3 victory over Forest City for the district title.
Hinkley, Desiree Gardner and Mindy Stanton led the way to a 15-6, 15-6 semifinal victory over Lackawanna Trail earlier in the Oct. 28 tournament that was held at Blue Ridge because of its status as top seed.
"We really don't have a weakness and that's what stood out at districts," Blue Ridge coach Diane Dean said.
Stanton had 12 assists, Gardner had five kills and Hinkley had 10 digs in the semifinal win over Lackawanna Trail.
Hinkley's 10 digs and seven kills led the way against Forest City. Conigliaro added nine assists and Coller had four service aces.
"The really nice thing is that we have played well as a team," Dean said. "The strength of our program is that we have statistical leaders, but we get solid play at every position."
The Lady Raiders were scheduled to meet Williamson Tuesday at Hazleton Area in the state tournament opener. A win would send the team to Pittsburgh for the remainder of the state tournament, starting with quarterfinal pool play Friday.
Blue Ridge reached the quarterfinals last season.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake sophomore Jessica Squier finished 10th in the state among Class AA girls' cross country runners leading a strong performance by county runners at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association championships.
Bob Squier, Jessica's brother, finished 41st, two spots ahead of teammate Ryan Place.
All six county runners who qualified for the state meet finished in the top half of the state field.
Jessica Squier was the second-best sophomore, behind third-place Kristen Goff of Lancaster Mennonite.
Heather Wilmoth of Eisenhower won the Class AA title in 18:57.
Blue Ridge's Rachel Hall was 75th in the 258-runner field in 21:11.
Montrose's Jeanne Roszel was 123rd in 21:38, three seconds and four places ahead of teammate Krista DeRiancho.
Bob Squier finished in 17:18.9, seven-tenths of a second ahead of Place.
Lewisburg's Chris Spooner won the boys' individual title while Scranton Prep was winning its third straight team championship.
In soccer, Mountain View advanced to the district final and through overtime before having its season end with a shoot-out loss to Wyoming Seminary.
Officially, Wyoming Seminary gets a 3-2 win in the District 2 Class A final. Seminary outscored Mountain View, 4-2, in the shoot-out.
Mike Belcher gave Mountain View an early lead. After Seminary scored twice, Tom Wahlrich rallied the Eagles to send the game into overtime.
Mountain View was the unbeaten Lackawanna League Division C champion. Its only other loss was in an early non-league game against Abington Heights.
In football, Montrose and Susquehanna had their football seasons end in different types of disappointment.
Montrose fell to Lackawanna Football Conference Division II champion Lakeland, 36-16. The loss was the second straight for the Meteors, who finished 6-4, falling short of either the District 2 or Eastern Conference playoffs.
Susquehanna concluded its worst season ever, finishing winless with a 56-14 loss to Old Forge.
The Sabers were outscored, 415-73.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins evened their series with the Binghamton Senators with a 4-3 American Hockey League victory at the Broome County Arena Saturday night.
The budding rivalry heated up with a pair of fights and an exciting finish. The Senators scored two third-period goals and put pressure on late, including a game-ending power play.
Shane Endicott led the Penguins to the victory with three goals in the first period for a 3-0 lead. It was the fastest three goals by a player in the franchise's four-year history.
"Our game plan was to get the puck deep and work the corners," Penguins coach Glenn Patrick said. "That's what we did.
"Endicott just did a great job of showing patience with the puck."
The Penguins lost, 5-3, to Utah Sunday to fall to 4-5-1.
Binghamton tied Albany, 1-1, Sunday and is 4-3-2.
THE WEEK AHEAD
It took until the final week of the high school football regular season to hit all 10 games in a week, improving my season record to 83-25 (76.9 percent).
High school football predictions will continue until the final LFC team is eliminated.
This week's predictions, with the winners in CAPS: HAZLETON AREA 34, Scranton 20 in District 2 Class AAAA; SHAMOKIN 34, Honesdale 8 in District 2-4 Class AAA; VALLEY VIEW 9, Pittston Area 6 in District 2-4 Class AAA; WILKES-BARRE MEYERS 28, Lakeland 19 in District 1-2 Class AA; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 18, Northwest 17 in District 1-2 Class A; BRISTOL 17, Old Forge 9 in District 1-2 Class A; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 52, Allentown Dieruff 39 in Eastern Conference Class AAAA; LOYALSOCK 42, Dunmore 27 in Eastern Conference Class A.
Jeff Rood, a junior from Susquehanna, earned all-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors Saturday by finishing 12th in the PSAC Championships at Edinboro.
Rood finished third on his team while helping Millersville place second in the 13-team event.
Throughout Millersville's successful season, Rood has finished third, fourth or fifth on the team in each race.
Rood, who lettered last season, finished sixth overall in the season-opening Salisbury Seagull Opener to help Millersville finish first among 14 teams. Millersville also won the 40-team DeSales Invitational with Rood finishing 12th overall and third on the team.
Rood had two strong finishes in events at Penn State, placing third on the team each time. He was 38th overall as the team placed fifth of 20 in the Spiked Shoe Invitational and 50th overall as the team placed ninth of 17 in the Penn State National Invitational.
Millersville needs a top three finish in the Northeast Regionals Saturday in Canaan Valley, W. Va. in order to qualify for NCAA Division II nationals the next week in Ashland, Ohio.
TOM J. ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
BENSON Finally Makes It To Victory Lane, Rockingham, NC Johnny Benson finally gained his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory as he held off Mark Martin to win Sunday's Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway.
Benson ran down the leaders over a final 100-lap green flag run and then held off a hard challenge from Mark Martin over the final laps to get his first win in 226 career starts.
"This crew has deserved a win for a long, long time," Benson said. "We've been close I don't know how many times."
Benson worked his way past Martin and then Kurt Busch after the final caution on lap 363 of the 393-lap race. Martin passed Busch to take second and then stayed close on Benson's rear bumper for the remainder of the race.
Martin said he tried everything possible to get by Benson in the final laps.
"We didn't have the car to win," he said. "I overdrove the fool out of it. We just didn't have enough car."
Martin's Ford was later found to have an unapproved left-front spring in post-race inspection by NASCAR. He could face a loss of points and a fine, although no announcement is expected until Monday at the earliest.
Martin is currently just 87 points behind points leader Tony Stewart. If his penalty results in points being taken away, it would seriously hamper his efforts towards winning this year's championship.
Point's leader Tony Stewart, who came in with a 146-point edge on Martin, struggled for much of the day in his Pontiac. Stewart did manage to finish 14th, but now his lead over Martin is only 87 points in what has become, after another tough day for Jimmie Johnson, a two-man race.
Jimmie Johnson the only other driver that had a realistic chance at challenging Stewart and Martin, finished 37th, and is now 219 points back of Stewart in third-place.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Johnny Benson, 2. Mark Martin, 3. Kurt Busch, 4. Jeff Burton, 5. Jeff Gordon, 6. Mike Skinner, 7. Bobby Labonte, 8. Matt Kenseth, 9. Ricky Craven, 10. Jeff Green.
Top-10 points leaders after 34 of 36 races: 1. Stewart-4549, 2. Martin-4462, 3. Johnson-4330, 4. Newman-4324, 5. Busch-4301, 6. R. Wallace-4283, 7. J. Gordon-4282, 8. Kenseth-4209, 9. Jarrett-4154, 10. Rudd-4093.
Break Gives McMURRAY Another Win, Rockingham, NC Just like his other two wins, Jamie McMurray's victory in Saturday's Sam's Club Busch race was a total surprise. He was running third with three laps to go when Jeff Green and Michael Waltrip, the two leaders, took each other out.
This opened the door for McMurray to lead the last two laps and victory over Greg Biffle.
Biffle now has a 212-points lead over Jason Keller, and is almost assured of his first Busch Series championship.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Jamie McMurray, 2. Greg Biffle, 3. Randy LaJoie, 4. David Green, 5. Stacy Compton, 6. Jeff Green, 7. Michael Waltrip, 8. Shane Hmiel, 9. Kenny Wallace, 10. Jack Sprague.
BIFFLE Has Almost Wrapped Up Busch Title Top-10 points leaders after 32 of 34 races: 1. Biffle-4579, 2. Keller-4367, 3. Wimmer-4128, 4. McLaughlin-4044, 5. Sprague-3979, 6. McMurray-3977, 7. K. Wallace-3914, 8. Riggs-3868, 9. Hamilton Jr.-3807, 10. LaJoie-3756.
MUSGRAVE Takes Truck Race From Rear Ted Musgrave had to start from the rear of the field in Saturday's American Racing Wheels 200 Craftsman Truck Series race at Fontana, CA after blowing an engine during practice.
He wound up leading five times for 51 laps after taking the lead for the first time on lap 26 of the 100-lap race.
With two races remaining, the battle for the championship is still very close. Mike Bliss has a 68-point lead over Rick Crawford. Both drivers have run well at the two remaining tracks, Phoenix and Homestead.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Ted Musgrave, 2. Jason Leffler, 3. Brendan Gaughan, 4. Travis Kvapil, 5. Rick Crawford, 6. Coy Gibbs, 7. Robert Pressley, 8. Dennis Setzer, 9. Mike Bliss, 10. Terry Cook.
Top-10 points leaders: 1. Bliss-3065, 2. Crawford-2997, 3. Musgrave-2958, 4. Starr-2888, 5. Leffler-2876, 6. Setzer-2840, 7. Pressley-2811, 8. Cook-2781, 9. Kvapil-2756, 10. Gibbs-2733.
All three of NASCAR's major divisions are at Phoenix, Arizona.
Friday, November 8: Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Silverado 150, race 21 of 22; Starting time: 3 p.m. (EST); TV: ESPN; Distance: 150 laps/150 miles; Defending champion: Greg Biffle, Ford.
Saturday, November 9: Busch Series BASHAS' 200, race 33 0f 34, 200 laps/200 miles, 2 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, November 10, Winston Cup Checker Auto Parts 500, race 35 of 36, 312 laps/312 miles, 2 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Who are the two leading rookie drivers in the Winston Cup Series?
Answer To Last Week's Question: Winston Cup driver Ricky Rudd will be driving for the Wood Brothers next season.
Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. If you have a racing question that you would like answered send it to The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL, 36616, or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students from grades three through twelve (pictured) enjoyed a day of cheer and dance at the Mountain View High School recently. The Mountain View Wrestling Cheerleaders sponsored a one-day cheer clinic, to help raise funds for the upcoming cheerleading season.
The third annual Tony Aliano Basketball Tournament will be November 29 and 30, starting at 5:00 p.m. each day. The tournament will be held at Lakeland High School this year. The tournament will continue to move to Carbondale in the 2003 season and Blue Ridge in the 2004 season. This will allow for everyone to remember Tony Aliano in a multitude of places. The committee hopes all will remember his love of the game, but most of all the girls. The Lady Sabers Booster Club hopes that all will come out to support the tournament and enjoy watching the girls from Susquehanna show great sportsmanship with the girls from Lakeland, Carbondale and Blue Ridge. All proceeds from this tournament go toward the Tony Aliano Memorial Scholarship and the Leukemia Fund. Remember, this tournament is about "The Love Of The Game!"
Blue Ridge Little League celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. They are one of the largest organized youth sports organizations in the area, serving an average of 300 children each year. The league maintains many fields, in many different locations around the HallsteadGreat Bend-New Milford area. They rely on donations from the community and businesses the league supports.
They thank everyone for past support and announce that they are raising funds for lighting on the Hallstead Boro Little League softball field, located on Route 11. This project will help maximize the use of this field. Lights will enable the league to host tournaments, extend playing time during the earlier months of the season and help increase practice time.
If you would like to contribute, please send your tax-deductible donation to: Blue Ridge Little League, c/o Angie Wolfe, P.O. Box 34, Hallstead, PA 18822. The league has set a deadline of January 31, so they can install lights for the 2003 season.
The league is very excited about the possibilities these lights will bring and hope you will choose to share in the success!
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