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Elk Lake Pulls Out Win In
Red Wallace Game
Tony Rezykowski set up Paul Handl for the winning basket Friday night as Elk Lake opened the boys' basketball season with a 57-55 victory over Carbondale in the annual Red Wallace Memorial Scholarship Game.
Seth Button scored 16 of his 26 points in the first quarter to lead Elk Lake and earn his team's Most Valuable Player honors.
The annual season opener is played in memory of Wallace, a former Carbondale resident who coached Elk Lake to state championships in 1969 and 1977.
Wallace starred at Fell Township, now part of the Carbondale Area School District, and was one of the original Boston Celtics.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The first weekend was tough on county basketball teams.
Susquehanna finished last in both boys' and girls' basketball tournaments.
The Lady Sabers lost to eventual champion Lakeland, 34-23, Friday before falling to Blue Ridge, 43-29, in Saturday's consolation game.
Brittany Kraky earned MVP honors while leading Lakeland to the title.
Blue Ridge's Devin Glezen and Susquehanna's Maria Reavey each led their team in scoring Saturday and made the all-tournament team.
Glezen had 10 points to lead Blue Ridge to third place.
Reavey had 11 points in the game.
Liz Leber led the Lady Sabers against Lakeland with nine points.
The boys' team also saw things get tougher in the consolation game.
After falling to Northeast Bradford, 49-33, at home Friday night in the Tipoff Tournament, the Sabers were routed, 80-40, by Towanda Saturday.
Bob Reddon led the Sabers in the consolation game with 11 points.
The tournament came to an exciting conclusion. John Villegas scored at the buzzer Saturday night to lead Athens past Northeast Bradford, 57-55.
Mountain View made the final of its own tournament by beating Mid Valley before losing to Carbondale Sacred Heart.
Other than Elk Lake, Mountain View's effort ranked as the weekend's top performance by a county boys' basketball team.
Mountain View defeated Forest City in the semifinals Friday.
Montrose lost twice in the Honesdale Jaycees Tournament, 58-49, to Wyalusing Friday and, 64-55, to Bishop O'Hara Saturday.
Matt Hornak led the Meteors in both games, scoring 18 and 21 points. Jesse Tyler had 10 against Wyalusing and Josh Jones had 11 against Bishop O'Hara.
Blue Ridge lost its opener against Sayre despite double figures scoring from Joe Smith and Wesley Parks.
The Elk Lake girls recovered from losing to Tunkhannock, 50-27, in the opener of the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament. They beat Wilkes-Barre GAR, 48-39, Saturday in the consolation game.
Mountain View's girls opened Saturday with an impressive 44-17 victory over Valley View.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Lackawanna League basketball teams have one more week of play before entering into divisional competition with girls' games Dec. 9.
Mountain View graduate Natasha Pashchuk got her junior basketball season at Marywood University off to a strong start.
Pashchuk was named tournament MVP and was selected as the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts in helping the Pacers win the Holiday Inn Scranton-East Tipoff Tournament Nov. 22-23.
Pashchuk led Marywood in scoring in both games. She had 15 points in a 51-42 victory over Chestnut College and 17 in a 58-55 victory over Baptist Bible.
In the opener against Chestnut, Pashchuk was 4-for-9 from the floor, including 1-for-3 on 3-pointers, and made all six free throw attempts. She also grabbed 10 rebounds and made three steals.
Against BBC in the final, Paschuk led the team with 14 rebounds, including eight offensive. She hit eight of 21 shots.
Since the tournament, Pashchuk added 16 points and eight rebounds in a 68-55 loss to Wilkes University.
After three games, she leads Marywood with 16 points per game and 18 total field goals. She is tied for the team lead in offensive rebounds with 16 while averaging 10.7 total rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
Pashchuk has gradually taken on a bigger role at Marywood.
As a freshman, she played in every game for a 13-11 team, but did not have any starts. She averaged 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Last season, Pashchuk started every game on an 11-14 team. She was second in scoring with 12.9 points per game while leading in field goals made and attempted and 3-pointers made and attempted. She also averaged 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
Marywood opens PAC play with three games in five days, Wednesday at Neumann, Saturday against Arcadia and Monday against Rosemount.
TOM J. ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Dale, Jr. In The Rearview Mirror Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his No. 8 team finished 11th in the final Winston cup points standings. Prior to the beginning of the season, Earnhardt had said, he hoped to finish higher in points.
"We didn't hit our goal, which was a top-five finish, but I don't think any of us will worry about that this off-season," he said. "We finished really strong, and we just missed getting back into the top-10 in points. If you look at the numbers, we did better than ever before. We had more top-fives, more top-10s and we led more laps, so I think we grew as a team.
"Yeah, we struggled after that big hit in Fontana (in April), but once we all got together and began communicating better, we really came on strong. I don't see any reason why we can't string together that sort of consistency all year next year. We were more consistent than we had ever been in the last 10 or 12 races of the year. We're a good team - and we can be a great team - so we're going to keep working on being the championship contenders I know we can be. The first few tests of the new 2003 Monte Carlo have made us really excited about the potential for that car and for the Bud team... Look out!"
For those fans that need an off-season Dale, Jr. fix, fret not.
Just because he's not going to be in your living room in the Budweiser car each Sunday, that doesn't mean he'll be completely out of sight. Dale, Jr. will be featured alongside some of the world's biggest stars on television during the next two months.
BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT ALL SET The Budweiser Shootout, which marks the opening of the 2003 NASCAR racing season is all set for February 9.
The Budweiser Shootout is a non-points All-Star race that kicks off the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The 70-lap race will feature the 2002 Bud Pole winners along with past champions of the Budweiser Shootout.
The field for the Budweiser Shootout is now finalized at 19 drivers. Included in the who's who of NASCAR stars are Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Ryan Newman, Ward Burton, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Craven, Ricky Rudd, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Geoffrey Bodine, Ken Schrader, Todd Bodine and Terry Labonte.
WINSTON CUP Awards Banquet This year's NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet will be held Friday, Dec. 6 at the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It will be televised on TNT, beginning at 8 p.m. EST.
Recap Of The BUSCH Season Greg Biffle, driver of the Roush Racing No. 60 took home the trophy as the 2002 Busch Grand National Series champion. Even though he entered the season as one of the favorites, the early going was rough. Although Biffle started out the season with a 22nd place finish in Daytona, he quickly moved to the front after the next four races to take the early championship lead. That lead wouldn't last beyond one week as Biffle struggled over the next seven events, finishing in the top 10 in only two of them and suffering three DNF's and four finishes outside the top 20 that saw him slide to eighth in the standings. He regained the Busch Grand National Series championship lead after a second place finish in the Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250 at Daytona in July and held it for the final 17 events. Biffle ended the season with four wins, 20 top fives and 25 top 10 finishes.
Second-place Jason Keller had his strongest ever run for the title. Keller led the standings on four separate occasions and although he was able to hold it through two consecutive events only once, he never dropped below fifth in points. He also added four wins to his total, the most he has ever had in one Busch Series season. He settled into second in the points standings after Daytona in July and paced Biffle step for step over the last 17 events, keeping the points deficit to double digits until mechanical problems and pit miscues allowed Biffle to pull away over the last seven races. Keller finished the season with 17 top fives and 22 top 10 finishes.
A driver, who I think has lots of talent is Scott Wimmer.
He garnered third place honors in the Busch Grand National Series for 2002 but he wasn't even supposed to be there. His No. 23 Bill Davis Racing entry ran the season unsponsored Davis planned to shut down his Busch Series operation after the July race at Daytona International Speedway due to the lack of sponsorship. The results at the start of the season didn't give much reason to continue the operation out of his own pocket. Through the first 13 events the team had managed only three top 10 finishes and was situated 11th in the standings. The threat of closing the doors made the No. 23 team regroup and they racked up four consecutive top 10 finishes and climbed to sixth in points by the appointed Daytona event. Given the sudden improvement in performance, Davis didn't have the heart to pull the plug and was soundly rewarded for his faith in the team. Wimmer got his first Busch Grand National Series win in the MBNA All American Heroes 200 at Dover International Speedway in September and would add three more to the total by season's end. Wimmer concluded the season with four wins, 11 top fives and 17 top 10 finishes.
Racing Trivia Question: Who won this year's Winston Cup Manufacturer's title?
Answer To Last Week's Question: Matt Kenseth's five Winston Cup victories topped all other drivers during 2002. Kurt Busch was second with four wins.
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.
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