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Issue Home December 2, 2003 Site Home

Local Sports Scene
Zach Pruitt Memorial B-Ball Tournament

Forest City Wins First Mclaughlin Classic

Mountain View got off to a strong start in the game, but could not follow up.

Forest City opened the second-half with a streak and had plenty more left on the way to a 60-46 victory over the host Eagles in the championship game of the Bill McLaughlin Classic Sunday night.

While Forest City was missing its first nine shots, Mountain View jumped to a 9-0 lead. That lead was gone by the end of the quarter and the Eagles needed to bounce back just to emerge with a 26-25 half-time lead.

When Mountain View missed the first 10 shots of the second half, Forest City took the lead for good by scoring 10 straight points.

The Foresters were not done. They added a 10-1 run in the fourth quarter to break the game open.

"At half-time, we switched to a 2-3 zone," said Forest City’s Matt Pisarcik, who was named tournament Most Valuable Player. "They had our big guys in foul trouble in the first half."

Forest City used the change to avoid further foul trouble and improve its rebounding. Mountain View had a 37-20 rebounding advantage 1:20 into the second half, but the Foresters out-rebounded the Eagles, 22-16, the rest of the way.

Pisarcik finished with 15 points and nine assists. Ryan Ogozaly had a team-high 17 points. Dave Shollock had 10 rebounds while Jake Beautz added nine.

Sophomore Tim Bennett led Mountain View with 22 points and 17 rebounds. Lucas Mack added 11 rebounds. Freshman point guard Robbie Johnson struggled through a 1-for-13 shooting game, but contributed five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Mack scored the game’s first four points and Mountain View got five points off in-bounds plays on a Bennett lay-up and L.B. Feduchak 3-pointer for the 9-0 lead.

Ogozaly had nine points as Forest City responded with an 11-1 run to an 11-10 lead at the quarter.

Bennett had six points and six rebounds in the second quarter. When John Evans scored off a rebound with 12 seconds left, the Eagles took their one-point half-time lead.

Shollock had six points in Forest City’s 10-0 run to start the third quarter.

Mountain View never got closer than seven again.

The last time the Eagles were within seven was at 41-34. Forest City spread the floor and started beating Mountain View’s pressing, trapping defense for open 3-pointers and lay-ups.

"We have quick guards," Pisarcik said. "Once we were moving the ball around with a 10-point lead and two or three minutes left, we knew we were OK."

Ogozaly and Pisarcik each hit open 3-pointers in the 10-1 run that also included an Ogozaly pass to Justin Kravitz for a lay-up.

Kravitz came off the bench to hit all three of his shots.

The tournament, formerly the Mountain View Tip-Off Tournament, was named in McLaughlin’s honor this year.

McLaughlin coached Mountain View’s boys’ basketball team 1963-1979 and 1984-1989. Including four seasons at Northern Potter High School, he had a career record of 361-227. McLaughlin’s Mountain View teams won two District 12 titles, reached the state quarterfinals twice and won seven league or division championships.

McLaughlin played baseball, basketball, track and volleyball and Montrose High School. The Montrose resident also coached track, cross country and volleyball at Mountain View.

In addition to Pisarcik’s MVP award, five other county players made the all-tournament team.

Ogozaly and Jonathan Torch were selected from Forest City. Bennett, Feduchak and Mack were named to the team from Mountain View.

Forest City opened the tournament Friday with an 82-53 victory over Carbondale Sacred Heart.

Ogozaly and Pisarcik each scored 22 points in the win. Torch added 18 and Beautz had 12.

Ogozaly had 12 of his points in a fast-paced first quarter to lead Forest City to a 27-21 advantage. Pisarcik scored 15 points in the second half.

Mountain View made Patrick Heaton, its first-year athletic director and head coach, a winner in his coaching debut.

Feduchak scored 17 points as the Eagles defeated Mid Valley, 59-46. Bennett added 13 points and Mack added 11.

Feduchak had eight points and Mack seven in the first quarter to give Mountain View an 18-8 lead. Bennett had seven of the team’s nine points in the second quarter. Feduchak came back with nine more in the second half.

Saturday’s action was called off because of a power failure at Mountain View. Mid Valley and Sacred Heart canceled the consolation game. The Eagles and Foresters met Sunday.


Brooke Hinkley helped her father, Brian Hinkley, gain his first victory as Blue Ridge coach Sunday night when she scored 19 points to lead the Lady Raiders to a 48-40, come-from-behind victory over Susquehanna in the consolation game of the Tony Aliano Memorial Tournament at Carbondale.

Bridgette Stone scored 14 points and Beth Kubus added 13 for Susquehanna.

Carbondale won the tournament championship, 67-60, over Lakeland.

Hinkley, Stone and Kubus were also their teams’ top scorers in Saturday’s semifinal losses.

Hinkley had 12 points in a 52-32 loss to Lakeland.

Stone had 15 points and Kubus 13 during a 63-35 loss to Carbondale.

Of the five county girls’ basketball teams that opened during the weekend, only Mountain View came away unscathed.

Leah Simko had 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Lady Eagles to a 45-26 victory over Valley View.

Whitney Williams, the only other player with experience as a starter, had 11 points before fouling out.

"Considering the players we had converting from JV to varsity, I thought we played real well," Mountain View coach Bob Lambert said.

Amanda Breese, one of the new starters, added eight points and eight rebounds.

After losing the opener of the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament, 50-13, to Northeast Bradford, Elk Lake was more competitive in the consolation game.

Heather Shadduck scored 12 points for the Lady Warriors in a 42-30 loss to Wilkes-Barre GAR.

Forest City lost its opener, 46-37, to Riverside.

Montrose was not scheduled to open until Tuesday at Athens.

In boys’ basketball, last year’s Elk Lake-Carbondale meeting in the Red Wallace Memorial Scholarship Game was the start of a season-long battle that culminated in the Chargers beating the Warriors in a playoff for the Lackawanna League Division II North title.

The Chargers have more players back from those playoff teams and it showed in a 64-41 victory in the traditional opener between the two schools.

Wallace lived in the Carbondale area and coached Elk Lake to two state basketball championships.

Montrose split games in its own Tip-Off Tournament.

After losing to Bishop O’Hara, 67-49, the Meteors bounced back to beat Wyalusing, 60-46.

Kyle Adriance hit three 3-pointers while scoring 12 points in the win. Kyle Stoddard added 11 points.

Tom Burgh and Jesse Tyler each scored 11 points in Friday’s loss.

Susquehanna finished fourth in the Northeast Bradford Tournament where it lost 63-37 to Athens and 75-61 to Towanda.

Kevin Lee led the Sabers with 10 points in the semifinals and 25 in the championship game.

Blue Ridge lost to Williamson, 64-49, in its opener.

In football, both remaining Lackawanna Football Conference teams were eliminated in the state semifinals.

Defending state champion Southern Columbia reached the Class A final for the ninth time in 10 years with a 42-8 victory over Lackawanna Trail at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers have won the last four state semifinals by an average of 34.8 points per game.

Northern Lehigh qualified for its first Class AA final by eliminating Lakeland, 10-7, in a match-up of unbeatens in Allentown.

Brandon Traugh ran for four touchdowns, including three in the first half, to lead Southern Columbia to its romp.

Traugh, who finished with 126 yards on 14 carries, had touchdown runs of two and six yards in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Devin Myers passed 65 yards to Colin Golden for Lackawanna Trail’s only score.

Southern Columbia will face Bishop Carroll Friday afternoon in the first of four weekend championship games at HersheyPark Stadium.

Northern Lehigh recovered from its first deficit of the season to defeat Lakeland on a 14-yard Jake Serfass run with 4:56 remaining.

T.J. Turpack ran 20 yards for a score in the third quarter to give Lakeland a 7-3 lead that it carried into the fourth quarter.

Lakeland responded to the winning touchdown by moving to the Northern Lehigh 34 before a fourth-down pass was dropped with 1:27 left.

Northern Lehigh then ran out the clock.

Lakeland managed more than 100 yards rushing against the Bulldogs defense, which had allowed just 212 yards rushing in 13 games coming into the day.

Northern Lehigh faces Aliquippa in Saturday’s noon final.

Our football predictions were 1-1 last week, bringing the playoff record to 13-2 (86.7 percent) and finishing the season with a 98-25 record (79.7 percent)


Lycoming College was scoreless and trailing early in the fourth quarter of its National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III home football playoff game Saturday.

The Warriors needed a big play.

Dave Van Nort, a 6-foot-5, 266-pound freshman from Montrose, provided it.

Van Nort stripped the ball from an East Texas Baptist ball carrier, teammate Kevin LeSage recovered at the Lycoming 47 and the Warriors went in for the tying score.

Lycoming went on to win, 13-7, in overtime to advance to the national quarterfinals.

Van Nort finished the game as the team’s fifth-leading tackler with four tackles and four assists. One of his tackles was for a two-yard loss.

Van Nort has started all season at defensive tackle for Lycoming, which has reached the national tournament for the 11th time, including the ninth time since 1990.

For the season, Van Nort is seventh on the team with 19 tackles and 19 assists. He ranked third on the team in tackles for losses with 13 for 39 yards and fourth in sacks with five for 21 yards. He also knocked down a pass and recovered a fumble.

Van Nort is one of three freshmen from Montrose on the roster for Lycoming, which is 9-1 and champion of the Middle Atlantic Conference.

Dan Snee, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound fullback, has played in four games. He carried seven times for 30 yards and a touchdown and also caught a pass for 10 yards.

Joe Cosmello, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound running back, has played in three games. He carried twice for four yards.


Montrose, which plays in Division I of the Lackawanna League in boys’ basketball, will play a non-league game at Susquehanna Friday night.

In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are at the Binghamton Senators Friday night in the first of eight meetings between the two American Hockey League East Division teams this season.

"Any time two teams see each other as much as we are going to, a rivalry develops," Senators coach John Paddock said while scouting the Penguins earlier this season.

The fans already add something special to the rivalry, particularly with Penguins fans making the trip to Binghamton where tickets are more readily available than at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre where the team has sold out 107 straight regular-season games.

The Senators and Penguins were expected to be two of the AHL’s top teams this season. Both have slipped after a strong start.

Binghamton is third in the seven-team East Division with an 11-7-2-2 record. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, hurt by call-ups to the parent Pittsburgh Penguins, has won just once in the last eight games to slip to 8-9-2-2 and fifth place.

The Senators should be strengthened with the demotion of Antoine Vermette from the parent Ottawa Senators.

Binghamton’s Denis Hamel is tied for fourth in the league with 11 goals. Teammate Josh Langfeld is tied for fourth with a plus-10 rating.

In college football, Lycoming will try to reach the national semifinals when it plays another home playoff game against Bridgewater (Va.).

In girls’ basketball, Division II North play in the Lackawanna League opens Monday, December 8 when Susquehanna plays at Forest City.

Two other games involving county teams are scheduled. Elk Lake will be at Sacred Heart and Blue Ridge will be at Carbondale.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at

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TERRY LABONTE Is Still Going Strong

While it's true that most of the NASCAR Winston Cup wins last season were by younger drivers, two of the old guns, Bill Elliott and Terry Labonte showed they still have what it takes to get a checkered flag.

Terry Labonte

Bill Elliott, who at age 48 is as gracefully smooth and fast as ever, when he's got a car that's worthy of him won the next-to-last Cup race of the season at Rockingham, NC, and would have won the finale at Homestead-Miami if not for a flat tire with less than a mile left in the race.

Elliott had said earlier in the season that he might drive only 12 races during 2004, but after his strong finish, the Ray Evernham driver hasn't formally committed to slowing down. He is expected to announce his plans this Thursday in New York City.

"Texas" Terry Labonte isn't ready to hang up his driving helmet, either. After one win, four top-fives, and nine-top-10s, the 47 year old Texan returns to the New York stage for this Friday's NASCAR Winston Cup Award Ceremonies.

Labonte has put the wraps on his best season since 1998.

The two-time Winston Cup champion has set a number of personal single-season records during the year, completing more than 98 percent of all laps run this year, an increase over his current best of 97.88 percent set in 1996.

Other personal single-season marks Labonte has broken or matched during the 2003 season include: Total races completed – Labonte finished all 36 races this season, one of only two drivers to do so (the other being Kevin Harvick). Labonte's previous best was 30 races completed, set just last year.

Consecutive races finishing on lead lap – His personal best of eight straight was set during the championship season of 1996 and has been matched this year with an eight-race stretch that began at New Hampshire International Speedway in July and, ironically, was halted at the same track in September.

Terry Labonte entered this season with 745 career NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts. The two-time champion broke Richard Petty's record of 513 straight starts in 1996 and continued his "Iron Man" streak until Aug. 5, 2000, when he missed the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis while recovering from injuries suffered a month earlier at Daytona Beach, Fla. Labonte's mark of 655 consecutive events was surpassed in 2002 when Ricky Rudd started his 656th straight race.

With his 1996 Winston Cup crown, Labonte became the fifth driver to win multiple championships in the sport's modern era (post-1971), joining Petty and Dale Earnhardt (seven each), along with Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip, who hold three apiece. Jeff Gordon, Labonte's Hendrick Motorsports' teammate, has since joined that group with four titles, including back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. In 54 years of NASCAR Grand National Division and Winston Cup competition, Labonte is one of 13 competitors with multiple championships - a list that includes Buck Baker, Tim Flock, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Herb Thomas and Joe Weatherly.

Terry and Bobby Labonte are the only brothers to win Winston Cup championships in NASCAR history. Terry won in 1984 and 1996, with Bobby winning in 2000. They were inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in February of 2002.

KENSETH Is Winner, Ford Is Loser – On his way to this year's NASCAR Winston Cup title, Matt Kenseth led all other drivers for the last 32 races of the 36-race season. There were fans that thought his championship bid lacked luster, because there was no controversy surrounding him like that of Tony Stewart last season.

But the 31-year old Cambridge, Wisconsin driver did what he had to do-he kept his No. 17 Dewalt Ford up front.

After 13,932 miles of racing, Kenseth had 25 top-10 finishes.

That's a pretty good record, in spite of only one win.

The only other driver to win the title with just one race victory was Benny Parsons in 1973.

Kenseth is the 26th and final Winston Cup champion of NASCAR's modern era. Next year's winner will be the first Nextel Cup champion.

Most of Kenseth's races were typical: start near the rear, hang out all day and stay out of trouble, and then move towards the front as the laps ran down.

But despite Kenseth's good runs, his title came in a year when Ford won only seven races, and four of those were by Kenseth's teammate Kurt Busch. Greg Biffle and Dale Jarrett were the other two Ford drivers with victories.

Four-time champion Jeff Gordon says the lone win doesn't diminish Kenseth's record.

"I'd take a championship with no victories," said Gordon. "I'm sure he would like to have had more victories, but I think what happened is they had such a lead and needed to hold and maintain that lead that sometimes you're going to be a little bit more conservative to do that.

"That might keep you from taking more risks, whether it be pit calls, or a driver call, to make sure you get that top-five, or top-10 finish."

During practice and qualifying Kenseth appeared to be relaxed and calm, but during the fall race at Charlotte, he decided to skip the postponed Busch race, which was run just hours before the night Winston Cup race.

"The best way I can explain it is, there's a feeling you get in your stomach when you're leading a race and it's getting towards the end, and you're looking in your mirror and you can see a car behind you," Kenseth said.

"You kind of get this empty feeling in the pit of your stomach, and I had that for about three months. I've felt like I've been leading the race with three-to-go for about three months."

Mark Martin, teammate and co-owner of Kenseth's Ford was considered by many at the beginning of the season to be one of the favorites. But Martin failed to show up in victory lane, and finished in 17th, 1,253 points out of first.

All season Ford drivers complained about their equipment. Ford has received verbal approval from NASCAR that a new cylinder head for its Ford Taurus will be approved in time for the beginning of the 2004 season.

This improved cylinder head could be a key asset in helping more Ford drivers find victory lane in 2004.

The 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet will be broadcast live on TNT from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Friday night, beginning at 8 p.m.(EDT).

Racing Trivia Question: Ryan Newman won 11 Winston Cup poles this past season, but who holds the record for most poles won in a single season?

Last Week's Question: Who was the first driver to exceed one million dollars in NASCAR winnings? Answer: Richard Petty.

If you would like to read additional racing stories by the Gerald Hodges/ the Racing Reporter, go to:

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Zach Pruitt Memorial B-Ball Tournament

The second annual Zach Pruitt Memorial Basketball Tournament will be held at Blue Ridge High School on Friday, December 26 and Saturday, December 27.

Last year the tournament was a huge success and became the largest fund-raiser for the scholarship. Tunkhannock and Mountain View are last year’s champions but the competition was very close and anything can happen in 2003.

Raffle tickets with great giveaways are on sale now.

A new feature this year will involve the students; placing collection jars in Hallstead, Great Bend and New Milford. The goal is to collect 100,000 pennies by December 27. That will add $1,000.00 to the fund. The students can help and then benefit from this fund-raiser. Last year the fund sent an eighth grade student to the Julius Prezelski Basketball Camp and a high school senior received a $500.00 scholarship. The committee wants to expand the uses of the fund every year, as an ongoing tribute to Zach.

Your help will be appreciated. Set aside the dates – December 26 and December 27. You will enjoy seeing the rivalry among area seventh and eighth grades. You will also enjoy lots of good food, drink and baked goods provided by the Blue Ridge High School Junior and Senior Varsity Basketball teams. You might also be one of the winners of the many raffle prizes donated by area merchants.

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