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Lewis, Herbert Win Titles, Lead Raiders To Third Place
Injuries disrupted the Blue Ridge wrestling season, but they could not keep the Raiders from a strong showing in Saturday's Zurn-Bush Memorial Tournament.
Chris Lewis and Justin Herbert won titles, Nick Pease also reached the finals and Roy Marvin claimed the pinner's trophy to help Blue Ridge place third in the 14-team tournament at Elk Lake.
Jon Carpenter joined Marvin in taking third place. Carpenter avenged an early-round loss to Palmerton's Bob Clements to take third at 125 pounds. Marvin's final pin at heavyweight came over Northeast Bradford's Jeremy Soper in 3:59 of the consolation final.
Lewis, Herbert and Pease continued successful seasons with their performances.
Lewis recently avenged a loss in last year's District 2 final by beating three-time district champion Adam Johnson of Lackawanna Trail. He followed that up by posting his 100th career win in a match at Pottsville January 25.
In the Zurn-Bush, Lewis improved his record to 22-4 on the season and 104-25 for his career. He decisioned Jason Jackson of Liberty, 4-1, at 135 pounds.
Herbert (145) improved to 21-9 with an 11-4 victory over Palmerton's Ryan McGarry.
Pease has the team's best record at 23-3 even after losing in the 140-pound final, 20-6, to Williamson's Chris Collum.
Northeast Bradford ran away with the team title by scoring 187 points. Blue Ridge finished just behind Williamson, 122-120, despite an injury-depleted lineup.
Matt Holbrook (189) missed the tournament with a sprained ankle. He is 18-7 with 18 pins.
Joe Pipitone (160) is already done for the season after suffering a torn ACL in his knee. Yusef Jami (171) had arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee.
"It looked a lot better for us back in the beginning of December when we were 2-0 and beat Prep, 72-0," Blue Ridge coach Dean Lewis said. "Prep ended up making it to the district duals."
Blue Ridge is 4-6 overall. Lewis would have liked the team's chances of cutting that list of losses in half if the team remained healthy.
The Raiders still are a threat to be a factor individually in the District 2 tournament.
"We could have had six strong threats to advance," Lewis said. "I think we have four right now."
Lewis is counting on Holbrook's return. He is hoping Jami may also be able to rejoin the lineup.
Montrose, Elk Lake and Susquehanna also participated in the tournament. The Meteors finished 10th with 67.5 points, Elk Lake was 12th with 65.5 points and Susquehanna was last with 22.5 points.
Jeff Snyder (103) and Kyle Decker (189) won titles for Montrose.
Mike Noldy won at 160 while Ryan Aukema was second at 215 for Elk Lake.
Susquehanna's best efforts came from fourth-place finishers Nathan Huyck (119) and Joe Truskolaski (160).
WEEK IN REVIEW
Mountain View was the only county school to qualify for the District 2 Dual Meet championships in wrestling.
Hanover Area eliminated the Eagles, 43-27, in the quarterfinals. Greg Nixon and Anthony Schilling had pins in the loss.
Berwick won its first team title in Class AAA while long-time power Lake-Lehman won in Class AA.
Blue Ridge, Montrose and Susquehanna all won their final league matches.
Blue Ridge defeated Valley View, 48-36, in Division 1.
Montrose topped Elk Lake, 33-27, and Susquehanna edged Bishop O'Hara, 42-40, in Division 2.
West Scranton won the Division 1 championship while Delaware Valley won Division 2.
In girls' basketball, Montrose handed first-half Lackawanna League Division 2 North champion Forest City its first division loss of the season, 53-50, in overtime Thursday.
Coleen Walsh matched her career-high of 27 points and also had 13 rebounds and four steals in the win.
Walsh had 19 points to help Montrose jump out to a 33-22 half-time lead.
The Lady Meteors (12-7 overall) are 3-0 in the division, tied with Carbondale, a half-game behind Mountain View (4-0).
Forest City, which was led by 17 points from Amanda Vitzakovitch and 10 from Lauren Pantzar, slipped to 2-1 in the league in the second half and 16-2 overall.
Mountain View defeated Elk Lake, 64-48, and Carbondale topped Lackawanna Trail, 65-58, to remain unbeaten.
Jennifer Benson scored 19 points and Maria Reavey added 17 to lead Susquehanna to its first win of the second half, 48-37, over Carbondale Sacred Heart.
Montrose got a big game from Kate LaBarbera to win its crossover game, 47-40, over Lakeland earlier in the week.
LaBarbera hit her career-high with 19 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds and making five steals.
Erika Brown added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Tiffany Palmer made five steals and Chelsey Parvin blocked three shots.
Forest City and Mountain View also won their crossovers. Forest City defeated Bishop O'Hara, 59-54, and Mountain View edged Western Wayne, 34-31.
In boys' basketball, every team in the Division 2 North has at least one second-half loss.
The last team to fall was first-half champion Elk Lake in a scenario similar to the girls' results of the week.
Forest City used overtime to hand the Warriors their first division loss, 78-71, Friday night.
The Foresters were the only county team to win twice during the week. They also defeated Blue Ridge, 72-64, to move to 3-1 in the second half.
Blue Ridge bounced back to defeat Mountain View, 64-45.
Elk Lake had outlasted Sacred Heart, 73-63, earlier in the week.
Mountain View had beaten Susquehanna, 66-36.
Susquehanna and Montrose each went 0-2 for the week.
The Sabers remained winless in a 73-41 loss to Carbondale.
Montrose, which plays in the Division 1 North, fell to Scranton, 92-53, before losing to Western Wayne, 61-58, Friday on Scott Corrigan's banked in 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Matt Hornak led Montrose in scoring in both losses, including 26 points against Western Wayne.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Forest City is at Sacred Heart Friday in a match-up between two of the boys' basketball teams that have just one loss in the second half.
Montrose was scheduled to face the other two unbeatens in girls' basketball. After playing at Carbondale Monday, the Lady Meteors have a home game against Mountain View Thursday.
Kristy Shadduck made a sudden and significant impact on the Lock Haven women's basketball program.
After appearing in just five of the first 13 games, the 6-1 freshman from Elk Lake has been on a roll over the past six games.
The first three efforts earned Shadduck a starting position that she has held for the last three games.
Shadduck was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division Athlete of the Week for the week ending January 20. She had 10 points and eight rebounds in a 73-61 win over the Indiana of Pennsylvania, then came back with a season-high 17 points and five rebounds in a 96-72 loss to Edinboro to earn the honor.
Shadduck improved her season-high in rebounds to nine during an 82-57 loss to Shippensburg. In Saturday's game, she led the team with 12 points during a 64-50 loss to Slippery Rock.
Over the past six games, Shadduck is averaging 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds for Lock Haven (1-5 in the PSAC West, 7-12 overall).
Shadduck leads the team in field goal percentage (37-for-73, .507) and is tied for first with seven blocked shots. She has climbed to third on the team in scoring with 7.4 points per game and fourth in rebounding with 4.2 per game.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Let's Get Ready To Race The 2003 Winston Cup season gets underway, Saturday, February 8 at Daytona International Speedway. The Budweiser Shootout is February 8, the Gatorade Twin 125s are February 13 and the Daytona 500 is February 16.
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 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.
The 25th anniversary of the Budweiser Shootout At Daytona will be held under the lights for the first time. The race has been traditionally scheduled during Speedweeks on a Sunday afternoon, a week before the Daytona 500. But during Speedweeks 2003, the event will move to 8 p.m., February 8 and will be televised by FOX Sports.
Will Success Change TONY STEWART After only four years in Winston Cup, Tony Stewart has won the big one the Winston Cup championship.
Since moving into the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Pontiac, Stewart has posted 15 wins. His average finish in the final points standings has been a phenomenal third. Stewart's driving style is reminiscent of some of the sports really great drivers.
That doesn't sound like a lazy type person does it?
"I was too lazy to work a real job," said Stewart. "That's the God-honest truth. I was working at a machine shop for $5 an hour in the middle of Rush County, Indiana, sitting on a metal stool at a drill press.
"I was sitting on that stool after winning $3,500 after finishing second to Mike Bliss, in the Copper Classic at Phoenix and I thought, 'wow.'
"If I drive race cars I can get up at noon, be at the pit gate at 4 p.m., and by midnight, I'm still wide awake. If I can do this three times a week and pay my bills, I don't have to get up at 7:30 and drive to work, five days a week.
"So, when I say I was too lazy to work, it's the God-honest truth."
We don't know what Tony's schedule is now with Joe Gibbs, but we do know, he doesn't have to worry about his hourly wage. His total winnings amounted to over $9 million last season. A large percentage of that is his, so if he decides to sleep late, or party after midnight, he doesn't have to worry about paying his bills.
CHOCOLATE MYERS Behind The Wall When the Winston Cup season begins, one long-time, notable figure that will be absent from pit road is Chocolate Myers.
Myers has hung up his gas can. The genial gasman for Richard Childress Racing called it quits after last year's Ford 400 at Homestead. Myers first began handling the heavy fuel cans in 1986 for Dale Earnhardt.
Myers was a member of the "Flying Aces," a pit crew that won a record four consecutive pit crew championships from 1985-1988.
Earnhardt won six of his seven Winston Cup driving championships while driving for Childress, and Myers was there for all six. After Earnhardt's death, Myers, now 54 continued his gassing duties for Kevin Harvick after the number was changed to No. 29.
"When Richard first hired me, he said, 'I can't promise to make you rich, but I will make you famous,'" said Myers. "How could you not be around Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt for so many years and not be recognizable? But that's not what this has been about for me. It's about the love of the sport and the people involved.
"We've been successful as a team and as a pit crew for several years and I couldn't be prouder to have been part of that. I attribute a lot of our success to us not just liking each other, but loving each other. I will really miss going over the wall each Sunday, but I think I've made the right decision."
Last year when Childress decided to switch the No. 29 and 31 crews, Myers made the move to the No. 31 driven by Robby Gordon.
Now, after countless pit stops and thousands of gallons of high-octane racing fuel, the veteran has moved to another area in RCR.
"Chocolate has been a cornerstone of RCR and a great friend to me through thick and thin," said Childress. "He has been a huge factor in our growth from a handful of mechanics to what it is today, and he will continue to play a vital role in the future growth of our teams.
"Chocolate has been an icon in NASCAR since his early days and has served as a tremendous spokesman for the sport and RCR."
Myers is the son of Bobby Myers, who was killed in the 1957 Southern 500 at Darlington, while driving for Lee Petty. NASCAR has a special Myers Brothers Award which they present each year at the Winston Cup Banquet to a person, corporation, or entity that has made the most positive impact in NASCAR that season.
Final top-10 Winston Cup points standings: 1. Tony Stewart-4800, 2. Mark Martin-4762, 3. Kurt Busch-4641, 4. Jeff Gordon-4607, 5. Jimmie Johnson-4600, 6. Ryan Newman-4593, 7. Rusty Wallace-4574, 8. Matt Kenseth-4432, 9. Dale Jarrett-4415, Ricky Rudd-4323.
Racing Trivia Question: Who won the 1998 Daytona 500? Answer next week.
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: email@example.com.
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