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Scranton Prep has been to four out of five state finals since the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association added team championships in tennis.
Montrose had not even been to a District 2 tournament.
None of that mattered Thursday when the Lady Meteors concluded a successful regular season by ending Scranton Prep's 65-match Northeastern Pennsylvania Tennis League Eastern Division winning streak with a 3-2 upset in Scranton.
The victory forced a playoff to break the three-way tie for the division lead between Abington Heights, Montrose and Scranton Prep.
"At the beginning of the year, I was a little bit skeptical about if we could ever beat Scranton Prep," said first-year coach Brian Wilder. "We just kept gaining momentum and a number of players got better and better as the year went on."
The Lady Meteors swept the doubles matches to pull out the victory after unbeaten Sarah Golis gave the team its only win in three singles matches.
Golis said she was not happy a week earlier when she lost her number-one spot in the Montrose singles lineup because she was not physically ready to accept a challenge from teammate Ashleigh Hinds, who then took over her top spot.
The move of Golis to second singles for the week, however, may have made the difference.
The switch, which was unpopular with Scranton Prep fans and led to Golis being on the receiving end of heckling at the match, kept Golis away from District 2 Class AA champion Alex Sebia.
Golis was able to handle Alex Nelson, 6-3, 6-0, while Hinds was being shut out by Sebia.
"I'm kind of glad that I did play number-two," Golis said. "I'm happy it all worked out."
Golis, Montrose's top singles player for the past three years, improved from 6-3 last season to 8-0 in league play this season beginning with an upset of defending District 2 Class AAA champion Brittany Ostrowski of Abington Heights in the season opener.
"After I beat her, I felt a lot more positive for the season," Golis said.
The regular season could not have ended more positively for the Lady Meteors.
With Scranton Prep holding a 2-1 lead, the singles players got to watch the end of the two doubles matches in a setting that brought out more cheering than what is typical of a high school tennis match.
"It was a good atmosphere," Golis said. "We were trying to be louder than Scranton Prep and they were trying to be louder than us."
When Amanda Lass and Brianni Gieski won their second doubles match, 6-2, 6-2, it left the match in the hands of unbeaten first doubles team Jess Sobonski and Angie West.
Sobonski-West had already won a tight first set.
Sobonski, a senior who transferred from Elk Lake, and West, a junior, then made it through a tiebreaker to complete the 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win.
"It was intense there," Wilder said. "I kind of prepared the girls for that.
"It was sort of a raucous atmosphere. It wasn't out of hand, just different and louder than any other match."
Wilder, a substitute teacher in the Lackawanna Trail School District, is enjoying his first chance to coach in a sport he has played for 20 years. Although Susquehanna did not have a team, he played in the District 12 tournament while in high school and was the base tournament champion while stationed in Altus, Okla. in the Air Force.
"I've always been interested in coaching, I just never saw an opening for a position in the local area," Wilder said. "It pretty much came naturally from knowing the game. I did gain a little insight from some older friends I play with every weekend, talking about how to handle certain shots, and I tried to pass some of those things on to the girls."
WEEK IN REVIEW
Tennis was not the only girls' sport having a successful week for Montrose.
The Lady Meteors ran their soccer record to 11-0 by beating Western Wayne, 5-0, and Forest City, 4-1.
Amber Lattner had two goals, pushing her season total to 20, and an assist against Western Wayne.
Autumn Ely added a goal and an assist. Brittany Ely and Chelsey Parvin also had goals.
Caitlin Ely made three saves in the shutout.
Autumn Ely scored goals against Forest City. Chelsea Lunger had a goal and an assist and Lattner scored off a penalty kick.
In high school football, the momentum Susquehanna had been gaining came to a halt at Old Forge Sunday afternoon when the Sabers were unable to convert two second-quarter scoring opportunities then watched the Blue Devils run off the final 40 points in a 47-13 rout.
Susquehanna (2-4) led twice in the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III opener for both teams.
Old Forge fumbled two kickoffs in the first half.
The Sabers converted the first for one lead and had a shot at adding to the second lead after the second fumble.
The Blue Devils, however, held on downs at the 23 early in the second quarter, then intercepted a pass at the 10 while protecting a one-point lead with 1:24 left in the half.
Brian Brady stripped the ball on the opening kickoff and Zach Pomeroy recovered at the Old Forge 44.
Ernie Taylor scored on a 12-yard run less than three minutes into the game after runs of nine and 11 yards by Anthony Dorunda. Armonso Vevenzio's kick gave the Sabers a 7-0 lead.
Old Forge tied the game on the first of four Joey Angeli touchdowns. Angeli's two-yard run gave the Blue Devils their fourth third-down conversion in the 15-play drive.
The Sabers came right back and covered 67 yards on a drive that carried into the second quarter. Dorunda hit two passes for 23 yards then ran for gains of nine and seven yards to complete the drive and give Susquehanna a 13-7 lead with 10:34 left in the half.
Taylor then forced a fumble that Cody Croop recovered at the Old Forge 32.
Old Forge made the first of its two defensive stops and started a stretch in which its offense destroyed Susquehanna.
The Blue Devils scored on seven of their last nine possessions. The only exceptions were when the clock ran out.
Old Forge went 45 yards to the Susquehanna 25 on the last play of the first half. The Blue Devils then took a delay of game and kneeled on the ball twice after advancing to the Sabers 14 at the end of the game.
The Blue Devils (4-2) had 233 of their 325 rushing yards in the second half. They led the Sabers, 25-11, in first downs and, 480-194, in total offense.
Brandon Gatto carried 14 times for 115 yards and a touchdown while Stephen Bieryla added seven carries for 104 yards and another score. Mike Doran hit eight of 10 passes for 155 yards and ran for a score.
Dorunda led Susquehanna's ground game with 54 yards on 14 carries, but he gained just three in the second half.
The starting backfield produced 92 rushing yards in the first half, but just 11 in the second half.
Sophomore Julian Andujar wound up second on the team in rushing with 32 yards on four carries in the fourth quarter and also tied for the team lead in first hits on defense with five, all in the second half.
Dorunda hit eight of 13 passes for 60 yards. Cody Norris had four catches for 40 yards.
Montrose remained winless when it dropped the LFC Division II opener at Lakeland, 36-14.
In high school golf, Montrose's Jeff Evans and Mountain View's Kyle Kilmer each shot 82 to finish tied for 25th out of 90 players in the District 2 tournament field.
Players had to qualify just to reach districts - something six county players accomplished - then needed to get into the top 15 to reach an additional nine holes where six state tournament berths and the district title were determined.
Evans and Kilmer came up three shots short of the cut to the top 15.
Evans had three birdies, two of which put him at 3-over through 11 holes and another on the final hole after he was out of contention. He shot 40-42 for his 10-over-par finish.
Kilmer had just one birdie, on the par-5 fourth, in a round that featured a dozen 4s on his scorecard. He had 11 pars, including eight of the 10 par-4s on the course.
Montrose's Jonathan Lodge had two birdies on the front nine in a round of 39-45-84. Montrose's Dan Stranburg shot 45-42-87 while teammate Devlin Conrad shot 45-46-91 and Forest City's Mike Turano shot 48-43-91.
Forest City's Laura Heck finished eight out of 11 girls' players with a 47-49-96.
Scranton Prep's Brendan Carney (37-37-37 for 3-over-par, 111) and Katie Scarpetta (39-38 for a 4-over-par, 77) won the individual titles.
A loss to Wallenpaupack the next day prevented an unbeaten season by Montrose, but the Meteors still finished second in the Lackawanna League North Division to earn a playoff berth.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins opened their season with a record-breaking performance.
Erik Christensen became the first Penguins player to score four goals in a game during an 8-1 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The eight goals and seven-goal margin matched team records.
Christensen had his hat trick before the game was half over then added a gift goal when he was the last to touch the puck before a Bridgeport player knocked it into his own net.
The Penguins, who had never started 2-0, then went on to open the season 3-0 by sweeping a weekend home-and-home with the Hershey Bears.
Rookies Ryan Stone and Jonathan Filewich scored their first professional goals in Saturday night's 2-1 win at home.
The Penguins won a shootout in Hershey Sunday, 4-3.
Marc-Andre Fleury, the top overall pick in the 2003 National Hockey League draft, stopped 26 of 27 shots in each of the first two games then was called up by Pittsburgh Sunday.
The American Hockey League season figures to be a bit tougher on the Binghamton Senators.
When the NHL returned from its lockout, the Ottawa Senators had 11 players on the roster from last year's Binghamton Senators and nine of those players were in the opening night lineup Wednesday.
The defending East Division champion Senators lost a heartbreaker to the defending Calder Cup champion Philadelphia Phantoms in their opener Saturday.
John Slaney scored for Philadelphia with three seconds left in regulation, giving Mark Murphy a chance to produce the winner in a 4-3 overtime victory.
In the Steamtown Marathon, Jeffrey Hall of Jackson was the first county runner to complete the 10th annual race from Forest City to Scranton Sunday.
Hall was 238th out of the 1,437 runners who completed the course. He ran the 26.2 miles in 3:22:22.
Other county finishers, listed by place, name, age, hometown and time: 384, Craig Benson, 51, Thompson, 3:33:17; 420, Larry Cassidy, 53, Thompson, 3:35:46; 473, Gary Stone, 47, New Milford, 3:39:15; 625, Fran Graytock, 56, Forest City, 3:49:21; 724, Gene Corey, 62, Forest City, 3:55:34; 806, Donald George, 47, Forest City, 4:00.56; 1001, Paul Zipprich, 35, Hop Bottom, 4:20:53; 1203, Carolyn Hall, 43, Jackson, 4:43:16; 1318, Wendy Cook, 39, Forest City, 5:00:40; 1366, Ray Smith, 49, Montrose, 5:15:43; 1367, Susan Lucenti, 48, Montrose, 5:15:45; 1376, Donald Teague, 75, Forest City, 5:22:14; 1432, David Burnis, 51, Forest City, 6:19:22.
The top 10 in the race featured runners from six different states and Canada.
Matt Marcini of York finished first in 2:22:17, followed by: Lowell Ladd, Philadelphia, 2:22:34; Michael Wardian, Arlington, Va., 2:24:36; Keith Pierce, Denton, Tex., 2:25:01; Maurits Van Der Veen, Athens, Ga., 2:25:17; Bryan Kovalsky, Peekskill, N.Y., 2:26.27; Michael Bown, 34, Hamilton, Ontario, 2:27:51; Daniel Shaw, Fort Collins, Colo., 2:29:30; Gannon White, Greeley, Colo., 2:33:05; and Mike Carriglitto, Laureldale, 2:35:55.
Megan Duerring of Easton was the first women's finisher in 2:47:32.
Kristen Lawrence, a junior from Montrose, is the number-two singles player and is also part of the doubles lineup at Keystone College.
Lawrence and number-two doubles partner Chari Slater accounted for winless Keystone's only point last week by winning their match in an 8-1 loss to King's College.
League tennis and golf playoffs are this week.
Montrose was scheduled to face Abington Heights Tuesday for another shot at Scranton Prep to determine the division title.
The Lady Meteors then go to the District 2 Class AA tournament, beginning Monday.
In girls' soccer, Montrose is home against Mountain View Wednesday in a game that could ultimately decide the Lackawanna League North Division title.
In high school football, Montrose and Susquehanna each return home for games.
Montrose is home Friday against Carbondale, which will be playing for the second time in five days after having last weekend's game postponed because of rain.
Susquehanna is home Saturday against Riverside, which is 0-1 in Division III and 1-5 overall after falling to Lackawanna Trail, 21-6.
With one game left to play from last week as of press time, our record for the week on predictions was 8-1 (88.9 percent), bringing our season record to 46-18 (71.9 percent).
This week's predictions, with winners in CAPS: CARBONDALE 28, Montrose 0; SUSQUEHANNA 29, Riverside 15; DELAWARE VALLEY 55, Honesdale 12; SCRANTON 26, Valley View 18; WEST SCRANTON 35, Wallenpaupack 6; DUNMORE 39, Western Wayne 18; LAKELAND 19, Scranton Prep 18; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 32, Bishop O'Hara 20; OLD FORGE 35, Mid Valley 23; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 38, North Pocono 12.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
ROUSH Drivers Finish 1-2-3 At Kansas
Kansas City, KS – Mark Martin led a trio of Roush Racing drivers across the finish line at Kansas Speedway to win Sunday’s Banquet 400, and his first Nextel Cup race of the 2005 season.
The win was Martin's first since June 6, 2004, at Dover, and marked Roush’s 12th victory in 30 races.
“This Ford was incredible today,” said Martin. “I told the team that if they gave me the lead with four fresh tires, and the finish line in sight, I would win it.
“They made a winner out of an old man today.
“The championship is probably out of reach, but winning and leading the most laps is great.”
Martin moved up two spots in the Chase, but he is still 113 points behind the leader Tony Stewart.
Martin’s teammate, Greg Biffle tried to catch him as the laps wound down in the 267-lap race, but had to settle for second.
“I was ready to pounce on him, but I couldn’t get him to make a mistake,” said Biffle. “It’s really hard to make Mark Martin make a mistake.”
Carl Edwards, another Roush driver came in third.
“I wasn’t patient enough on the last restart,” said Edwards. “I lost two spots, and those were the two spots I needed, ‘cause the car was fast enough.”
Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth round out the top five.
The remaining top-10 were: Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Casey Mears, Ricky Rudd and Jeff Gordon.
With his fourth-place finish, Tony Stewart increased his Chase lead to 75 points. Ryan Newman held the runner-up spot.
Making his 700th career start, Rusty Wallace was hoping for a bit of good luck. However, within the first 20 laps of Sunday's race, Wallace was left in a situation that almost put in under.
A broken jack during a pit stop put him back in the field, but he was able to rally for a seventh-place finish.
Current Chase For The Nextel Cup Contenders: 1. Stewart-5684, 2. Newman-5609, 3. Biffle-5596, 4. R. Wallace-5594, 5. Johnson-5592, 6. Edwards-5589, 7. Martin-5571, 8. Kenseth-5568, 9. Mayfield-5527, 10. Busch-5460.
CARL EDWARDS Credits His Team – Carl Edwards probably won’t win the Nextel Cup championship in his first full season, but the Roush Racing driver has two wins, and he credits his No. 99 Home Depot team for his success.
“As far as outside pressure to win the Nextel Cup championship, there is less on us now, because I don’t think there is anyone that expects us to go out and win this championship,” he said. “That makes it a little simpler to just go out and do our best. Myself, crew chief, Bob Osborne, and the guys on our team are real perfectionists and we don’t go out to do what everyone expects us to do. We go out to win.
“From the outside I don’t feel any pressure, but from me personally, I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to do this.”
Edwards says his first full-time Cup season is not what he expected, but what he hoped for.
“You know after that first win in Atlanta, every thing kind of changed,” he continued. “Wow, we would have been super happy to run in the top-five, but man winning felt so good that we wanted to do it every week.
“Our expectations have changed, and overall, this season has been one of just achieving dreams. The dream of winning another Cup race and being in the Chase, those are big dreams. I don’t know if the word expectation is correct, we just hoped for this and now we’ve kind of raised the bar for ourselves.”
Car owner Jack Roush has given Edwards lots of praise for his driving abilities. But Edwards credits his team for being so competitive and making the Chase.
“I really do believe that the main reason I have done so good is the team I’m with,” he said. “I’m with the greatest team in motorsports. We talk about how awesome the engines are, the cars have been developed over the last two decades, and they’re the best they can be.
“The management, style, and the way the teams share information is awesome. I think all that stuff adds up to the most awesome team I could be part of. And for me personally, I just drive my hardest and learn from my teammates.
“There are a lot of factors, but definitely, the biggest thing that has helped speed up my learning curve is the team I’m with.”
How Blatant Can NASCAR Get? In last week’s column we asked fans to share their opinions about how NASCAR enforces their rules and policies. These quotes are from M. K. of Baltimore, MD.
“How much more blatant can NASCAR get? They may as well hand the 48 the trophy now and save everybody a lot of money. The 48 and the 5 should have been banged 25 points each. Do they think we as fans are stupid? Jimmy (Johnson) thinks so after what he said over the radio. We all know what happened. There was no way to put blame on any one else. He caused the same thing in the Spring.
“Why is it everybody else can get banged for violations? An example is Mark Martin for a so called illegal spring that NASCAR says did not enhance the performance of the car, but the 48 and the 5 clearly had a performance enhancement modification.
“NASCAR always changes the rules for the person they want to win. Maybe that's why Martin can never win a championship; he tells it like it is and we all know NASCAR does not like it when someone opens their mouth against them. I have been a loyal fan for many, many years; have spent much money, but I will never buy anything at Lowe's again.”
Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Truex-4206, 2. Bowyer-4157, 3. Sorenson-3955, 4. Edwards-3820, 5. Hamlin-3623, 6. K. Wallace-3574, 7. Menard-3385, 8. D. Green-3311, 9. Biffle-3300, 10. Keller-3256.
The Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams race at Charlotte, while the Craftsman Trucks have another off weekend.
Friday, October 14, Busch Series Charlotte 300, race 31 of 35, 200 laps/300 miles, 8 p.m. TV: TNT.
Saturday, October 15, UAW/GM Quality 500, race 31 of 36, 334 laps/500 miles, 7 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: How many races are there in this year’s Chase for the Nextel Cup?
Last Week’s Question: How many racing flags are used in NASCAR racing? Answer. Seven, black/white checkered, yellow, green, white, red, black, and blue/yellow stripe. In the past, an eighth red/white stripe flag was used to signify oil or debris on the track.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. You may write him at P. O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616.
The Susquehanna Sabers are winning football games for the first time in four years and there is no bigger reason than the all-around play of junior quarterback/defensive back Anthony Dorunda.
Dorunda is running the offense, running the football and throwing the football for the Sabers.
And, that is just half the job.
Dorunda has also come up with timely interceptions and key hits to help protect leads in both wins as the Sabers finished the first month of the season with a 2-3 record.
The two-way effort has led to Dorunda earning honors as the latest Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.
"He's been huge for our offense," Sabers coach Dick Bagnall said. "He reads plays and he's a gifted athlete."
Dorunda rushed for more than 100 yards in three games, including both wins when he also ran for the touchdowns, which combined with Armonso Vevenzio extra-point kicks to provide the winning margin.
In a loss to Scranton Prep, he exceeded 100 yards both rushing and passing.
Dorunda made a third-down stop inches short of a first down on Montrose's next-to-last offensive play in the 7-6 win that ended the 34-game losing streak. He had two interceptions, including one with the lead in the fourth quarter, during a 27-24 victory over previously unbeaten Bishop O'Hara.
With Dorunda leading the way behind steadily improving two-way line play, the Sabers are gaining in confidence.
"I think it's a case of not getting down and not letting anybody intimidate us," Dorunda said. "Records don't matter any more."
Dorunda, one of the Blue Ridge students who plays football at Susquehanna in the schools' cooperative sponsorship, has started both ways for three seasons. He moved to quarterback last season and started learning the veer option game midway through the season when Bagnall returned as coach.
Dorunda ran for 102 yards against Montrose, including runs of six and 12 yards in fourth-down situations in the drive that ran out the clock to lock up the win.
During a 42-19 loss to Scranton Prep, Dorunda carried 16 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns and hit 10 of 15 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.
As the season has progressed, Dorunda has been increasingly effective making the reads to properly use the other backs, which in turn has opened more room when he does run.
Against Bishop O'Hara, he needed just nine carries to produce 173 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He was 4-for-10 passing for 63 yards and another score.
Dorunda keeps busy at Blue Ridge during the other two sports seasons. He has played junior varsity basketball for the first two years and hopes to be on the varsity this winter. He started in leftfield on the baseball team as a sophomore after spending his freshman season in the JV lineup and making occasional varsity appearances.
Football, however, is the sport that Dorunda hopes to concentrate on beyond high school.
"I definitely want to play football in college," Dorunda said. "I'll do whatever they want me to do. I could learn to be a pocket passer."
Anthony is the son of Mike and Christina Dorunda of Hallstead.
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