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Mountain View combined drama with domination last week to repeat as District 2 Class A boys' soccer champion.
The Eagles handled Wilkes-Barre/Meyers, 3-0, in the district final Thursday with three straight second-half goals at College Misericordia.
To get to the final, however, Mountain View first had to escape a penalty kick shootout with previously unbeaten Bishop Hoban in Tuesday's semifinal at Lake-Lehman.
The Eagles and Argents were tied, 1-1, after regulation and four overtime periods. The teams remained tied through the five penalty kicks when each team converted four. They were still tied again after another sudden-death penalty kick round in which each team converted.
Finally, on the seventh penalty kick attempt for each team, Ken Jesse came up with a save for the Eagles and Chad Lasher followed it with the winning goal.
Jesse then combined with Julio Faramelli for a shutout in the district final when the Eagles took advantage of corner kicks to get past the Mohawks.
Joe Scanlon scored all three goals for the hat trick. He was assisted each time by Jonathan Bennett.
Scanlon broke the shutout early in the half, then broke the game open with two goals in the final 15 minutes. The last goal came with 2:05 remaining.
Mountain View had more than double the shot attempts by Meyers and had a dozen corner kicks to one for the Mohawks.
The Eagles (13-3-1) were part of the first district soccer championship sweep by the Lackawanna League. Delaware Valley won in Class AAA and North Pocono won in Class AA. Although it competes in the smallest classification for district and state play, Mountain View beat each of the other two district champions during Lackawanna League Division I play.
The title pursuit nearly ended in the semifinal when Bishop Hoban took a 1-0 lead into the half.
Nick Stoud tied the game from close range when he converted a Scanlon pass 7:44 into the second half.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The Blue Ridge girls completed the most successful cross country season in school history by finishing ninth in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AA state championship race Saturday in Hershey.
The Lady Raiders moved up from 19th place a year ago.
Blue Ridge was one of just four teams in the 24-team field to place its top five runners within less than a minute of each other. Two of the others, fifth-place Slippery Rock and seventh-place Villa Maria, finished ahead of Blue Ridge.
The Dallas girls and Scranton Prep boys gave District 2 a sweep of the Class AA team championships.
Dallas won its second title in the last three years when it edged Lancaster Mennonite, 153-163.
Blue Ridge's total of 287 was just one point behind eighth-place Wellsboro.
Elk Lake sophomore Rachel Owens had the best finish by a Susquehanna County runner.
Owens completed the 3.1-mile course in 20:39 to take 61st out of 288 runners who finished the race.
Hillary Adams led Dallas to the title by finishing 16th overall.
Freshman Meghan Lewis was 71st in 20:48 to lead Blue Ridge. She was 34th among the 168 runners who were trying to score points for the 24 teams chasing the team title. Other runners were competing in the state meet strictly as individuals.
Sophomore Janelle Collins was 102nd in 21:06, followed by: Katrina Rinehimer, 134th in 21:28; Beth Stone, 138th in 21:31; Laurie Hall, 162nd in 21:46. Freshman Courtney Gordon was 179th and Becky Stone was 241st.
Ellen Squier, another Elk Lake sophomore, was 78th in 20:54.
Montrose's Tara Chiarella was 82nd in 20:56 while freshman teammate Samantha Cudo was 142nd in 21:32.
Scranton Prep's title was the school's fifth boys' state championship in six seasons.
Lakeland's Mark Bucklaw was the top individual from the district, finishing seventh in 16:22.
Blue Ridge's Mike Kovatch placed 141st out of 286 finishers in 18:09.
In girls' volleyball, Susquehanna reached its first District 2 Class A final before falling to Bishop O'Reilly in three straight games Thursday at Wyoming Valley West High School.
The third-seeded Lady Sabers knocked off second-seeded Lackawanna Trail in the semifinals.
"We were firing on all six cylinders," coach Denise Reddon said. "We played the way that we started the season. We ran into some problems around the middle of the season and I'm not sure why.
"We regained it in the playoffs."
Susquehanna started the season 4-0 before losing to Western Wayne in a match where the Lady Sabers had won the first two games.
An 8-6 finish in Lackawanna League play was good enough for the third seed in Class A.
After dropping the first game, 25-14, in the final, the Lady Sabers controlled the early part of the second game.
Susquehanna had leads of 6-1 and 13-6. Bishop O'Reilly pulled out a 25-23 win in the game by taking the last two points.
"I think that let the air out of the tire a little bit," Reddon said. "We got behind in the third game, but then we battled back."
Bishop O'Reilly held on for a 25-15 win in the third game, clinching the match.
The Lady Sabers had trouble countering 6-foot-3 middle hitter Ashley Rome.
Reddon is in the fifth season of her second stint as head coach after stepping aside for a few years.
During the early stages of a coaching career that is approaching 25 years, Reddon had the Lady Sabers positioned as the top volleyball program in the old District 12. The Sabers won five straight district titles and seven out of nine from 1980 to 1988.
Reddon, who took over as Susquehanna athletic director this year, said former boys' volleyball coach Phil Baldwin has played a big role with this year's team.
"I have to attribute a lot of the success to my assistant," she said. "With my duties as athletic director, Phil does a lot of the coaching."
The Lady Sabers could be back for another playoff run because of a strong group of juniors, including starters Katie DeWitt, Amber Gaffey, Casey Glidden and Kristie Kemmerer.
Kim Frechen, who was chosen by WBNG-TV of Binghamton as its Student-Athlete of the Week earlier this year, was also in the starting lineup along with Meghan Gilleran.
The rest of the team was Jessica Terpstra, Abby DeWitt, Amanda Canfield, Jamie Gallagher and Katie Lawrenson.
Mountain View fell to Bishop O'Reilly in the semifinals, 25-12, 25-18, 25-12.
In high school football, Susquehanna completed a season sweep of Bishop O'Hara, knocking the Bruins out of the District 2 Class A playoffs with a 33-18 victory.
The win allowed the Sabers to finish 4-6 after suffering through three straight winless seasons.
Susquehanna finished 2-3, tied fourth with Mid Valley in the six-team Lackawanna Football Conference Division III.
The Sabers, who are Class AA because of their cooperative sponsorship with Blue Ridge, placed ninth out of 16 teams in the race for District 2 playoff berths.
Anthony Dorunda ran for three touchdowns and passed for another in the win. Ernie Taylor ran for the other touchdown and C.J. Felter broke a long run to set up a score.
Montrose closed out its season with a 19-8 loss to Dunmore.
The Meteors finished 1-8, including 1-4 for fifth place in the six-team Division II of the LFC.
Dominick Lucenti ran for the Montrose touchdown and Nick LaBarbera added the two-point conversion.
Montrose finished tied for 14th with Riverside in the District 2 Class AA playoff race.
In girls' soccer, eventual champion Valley View avenged a loss in last year's district final when it ended Montrose's season, 2-0, in the District 2 Class AA semifinals.
Montrose, which finished 16-3 overall, reached the semifinal with a 5-1 win over Western Wayne.
Amber Lattner had two goals and an assist while Brittany Ely had a goal and two assists in the win.
Autumn Ely scored off a pass from Brittany Ely to open the scoring and Autumn then set up her sister for a goal later in the game.
Chelsey Parvin and Amber Lattner did the same, assisting on each other's goals.
Lattner and Brittany Ely, the team's top two scorers, then combined on the final goal.
Mountain View's season ended in the semifinals with a 4-0 loss to Lakeland.
In professional baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies have named John Russell as the manager of their Class AAA farm team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.
"I am very pleased to add John Russell to our development staff," Mike Arbuckle, the Phillies assistant general manager in charge of scouting and player development, said in a press release. "With his experience, he is a significant addition for us."
Russell, a former Phillie, spent the last three seasons as the Pittsburgh Pirates third-base coach and catching instructor. Prior to that, he produced a 527-521 record in eight seasons as a manager in the Minnesota Twins farm system.
In Russell's last season as a manager, he guided the Edmonton Trappers to an 81-59 record and the Pacific Coast League championship. He was named PCL Manager of the Year and selected by Baseball America as the best managing prospect in baseball.
Russell was a first-round draft pick by the Phillies in 1982 and played for the team from 1984 to 1988 before moving on to Atlanta (1989) and Texas (1990-93).
Hitting coach Sal Rende and pitching coach Rod Nichols will return to the Red Barons.
Former Red Baron P.J. Forbes has been named as the manager at Class A Reading.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had their perfect record ruined in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Springfield Indians Friday night despite a 40-15 advantage in shots.
"When you have 40 shots and the other team has 15, you will win about 95 percent of the time," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.
The Penguins bounced back to sweep a home-and-home series with the defending Calder Cup champion Philadelphia Phantoms to improve the American Hockey League's best record to 11-0-1.
Carly Devine and Alicia Van Cott, freshmen from Blue Ridge, are both members of the Shippensburg University cross country team.
Devine, who is also scheduled to be a distance runner on the NCAA Division II school's track team, produced her best two finishes back-to-back late in the season.
In the last regular-season meet, Devine finished fourth on the team and 21st overall to help Shippensburg to a fourth-place finish at the Elizabethtown Invitational.
Devine matched her best finish within the team when she was again the fourth Shippensburg runner to finish at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference meet. Devine was 37th overall and the Red Raiders finished sixth.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Mountain View boys' soccer team, the last Susquehanna County fall sports team in action this season, was scheduled to face Moravian Academy Tuesday night in a state tournament opener at 6 at Bethlehem Liberty.
If the Eagles won, they would advance to Saturday's state Class A quarterfinals against the winner of a game between District 3 champion Trinity and District 4 runner-up Muncy.
In high school football, five LFC teams advanced to the district and state football playoff system while four others are playing in the consolation Eastern Conference playoffs.
Delaware Valley (8-2) will play Hazleton Area (9-1) in a District 1-11 Class AAAA Subregional semifinal at Scranton Memorial Stadium Friday at 7.
Whitehall (8-2) will be at Abington Heights (10-0) in a District 2-11 Class AAA Subregional semifinal Saturday at 1.
Scranton Prep (7-3) is at Hanover Area (9-1) and Lakeland (7-3) is at Wilkes-Barre Meyers (7-3) in District 2 Class AA semifinals.
Mid Valley (6-4) plays Lackawanna Trail (8-2) in the District 2 Class A championship game after losing, 27-0, to the Lions and losing starting quarterback Ryan Rempe to an injury in the regular-season finale.
Scranton (Class AAAA), North Pocono (AAA), Bishop O'Hara (A) and Old Forge (A) are in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Our football predictions were 8-2 last week to finish the regular season at 83-22 (79.0 percent). The predictions will continue until the last LFC team is eliminated from state play.
This week's predictions, with winners in CAPS: DELAWARE VALLEY 32, Hazleton Area 30; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 44, Whitehall 15; WILKES-BARRE MEYERS 33, Lakeland 21; HANOVER AREA 34, Scranton Prep 22; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 27, Mid Valley 6; GOVERNOR MIFFLIN 26, Scranton 10; NORTH POCONO 36, Lehighton 17; LOURDES REGIONAL 30, Bishop O'Hara 16; CARDINAL BRENNAN 28, Old Forge 13.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Fiery EDWARDS Gets Impressive Texas Win
Ft. Worth, TX – “Carl Edwards is on fire,” said Jimmie Johnson, after Edwards led a trio of Roush Racing drivers across the finish line in Sunday’s Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Edwards was very impressive in his fourth win of the season as he passed Mark Martin on the next-to-last lap for his second consecutive victory.
The Columbia, MO driver was able to rally from poor performances by his pit crew. Three times he came into the pits leading the 334-lap race, and each time he went out fourth or further back.
The last pit stop occurred on lap 318 for debris on the track. His crew chief Bob Osborne elected to bring him in and change two right side tires only. The only other leader that followed him on to pit road was Tony Stewart.
His teammates, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth remained on the track.
“Get me out sixth or better and I will win the race for you,” Edwards told his team.
When the green flag was shown with just 11-laps remaining, Edwards was sixth behind Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears, Rusty Wallace, and Sterling Marlin.
He made quick work of Marlin, Wallace, and Mears, and with four-to-go, he had gotten by Kenseth, and was aiming for his other teammate, Mark Martin.
He continued to close on Martin’s No. 6 Viagra Ford and just before the white flag was displayed, signifying one to go, Edwards passed Martin, and went on to win by about 10-car- lengths.
“It was a great call by his team,” said Martin. “The best car won. It was spectacular. It was close, but we just couldn’t beat those tires. We did every thing we could do and just came up a little short.”
Martin and Kenseth followed him across the finish line. Casey Mears and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five.
“Mark had the fastest car today, but I had those two fresh tires and that’s what made the difference,” said Edwards.
Stewart, who finished sixth, continues to lead the Chase points with 6255. Johnson finished fifth, one spot ahead of Stewart, and gained five points on the leader.
Edwards made up 30-points and is now third in the Chase, 77 points behind Stewart.
Greg Biffle went into the race in third-place, 75 points out, but after a 20th-place finish, caused by two loose tires and two spinouts, he dropped to fourth in the standings, 122 points back.
Polesitter Ryan Newman crashed his car during the second lap of qualifying and had to start from the 43rd position. He finished 25th.
Matt Kenseth led the most laps.
With just two races left in the 2005 racing schedule, Phoenix and Homestead, odds are that Stewart, Johnson, or Edwards will be the winner of this year’s Cup title.
Top-10 Contenders for the Nextel Cup championship: 1. Stewart-6255, 2. Johnson-6217, 3. Edwards-6178, 4. Biffle-6133, 5. Martin-6132, 6. Kenseth-6120, 7. Newman-6081, 8. Busch-5974, 9. R. Wallace-5940, 10. Mayfield-5848.
Is TERRY LABONTE Becoming A “Hired Gun”? – Two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte left full-time Cup racing at the end of the 2004 season. Several times during 2005, he signed on to race as a “hired gun” for single races.
As a past champion, Labonte is eligible to use NASCAR’s past champion provisional rule to insure his team a starting spot.
When Joe Gibbs Racing was having trouble qualifying with Jason Leffler behind the wheel of their No. 11 Fed-Ex Chevrolet, they fired Leffler and called on Labonte.
Labonte never finished near the front in any of the races he ran in the No. 11, but by merely making the race, Gibbs Racing was able to keep Fed-Ex happy.
Kyle Petty, driver of the No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge, and a full-time competitor did not make the Richmond race on his qualifying speed. Because of Labonte and the past champion provisional, Labonte was in and Petty’s team was sent packing.
Now let’s fast forward to the 2006 season.
For the first four races, all new teams and those teams that did not finish in the top-35 in points, must make the 35-car qualifying field in order to be in each race.
Two former Dallas Cowboy quarterbacks, Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach have announced a new Cup team in 2006, Hall of Fame Racing. With no points, it means the team will have to “race” its way into the starting lineup.
Enter Terry Labonte.
The 1984 and 1996 champion has been hired by Hall of Fame to run the season opening Daytona 500 and four other races. After the fifth race, the driving duties will be assumed by young Tony Raines, if the team is still in existence.
By using Labonte in the first four races, the Hall of Fame car will be guaranteed a spot.
There will be other teams, maybe even Kyle Petty’s, who will be out.
With only seven or eight spots available to cars outside the top-35, is it time to rethink this rule? Is it fair to teams like Robby Gordon, Mike Wallace, and other small teams who fight week after week just to qualify and finish.
With the close competitive racing and the struggle some teams go through each week just to survive, I think this is a rule that should be done away with, or amended.
Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Truex-4641, 2. Bowyer-4557, 3. Edwards-4305, 4. Sorenson-4247, 5. Hamlin-3958, 6. K. Wallace-3871, 7. Menard-3822, 8. D. Green-3638, 9. Keller-3628, 10. Stremme-3566.
Top-10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders: 1. Musgrave-3279, 2. Setzer-3216, 3. Bodine-3087, 4. Hornaday-3061, 5. Skinner-3003, 6. Hamilton-2982, 7. Starr-2897, 8. Spencer-2860, 9. Sprague-2847, 10. Crafton-2819.
All three of NASCAR’s major series will be racing at Avondale, AZ this weekend.
Friday, November 11, Craftsman Trucks Silverado 150, race 24 of 25, 150 laps/150 miles, 8 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Saturday, November 12, Busch Series Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, race 34 of 35, 200 laps/200 miles, 3:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, November 13, Checker Auto Parts 500K, race 35 of 36, 312 laps/312 miles, 3 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: When were women first allowed in the NASCAR garage area?
Last Week’s Question: Greg Biffle is the current driver of the No. 16 Nextel Cup Ford. Which major NASCAR series has he won? Answer. He is the 2000 Craftsman Truck Series champion and 2002 Busch Series champions.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montrose captured a District 2 Class A championship last season and came a penalty kick shootout away from a Lackawanna League North Division title this season in girls' soccer.
The player in the middle of that success through both seasons has been Amber Lattner, the Lady Meteors center midfielder.
Much of Montrose's offense was generated off of her play-making ability. Lattner's physical strength and conditioning also made her a factor in helping get the Lady Meteors out of trouble defensively.
The way Lattner filled the demanding role has made her the latest Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.
Despite playing on aching legs as a junior, Lattner was the player opponents had to prepare most for just as she was when she arrived on the high school scene as one of the Lackawanna League's best players in her freshman year.
Playing virtually pain-free this season, Lattner's production soared to 29 goals and 10 assists in 16 games.
"It was the first time in a long time that I played without incredible pain," said Lattner, who endured surgery on her right calf, a sprained left ankle and Achilles' tendon problems in earlier seasons. "I trained all summer with the Binghamton University strength coach."
After partially tearing her medial collateral ligament at Notre Dame's camp this summer, Lattner played her entire senior season with a knee brace, but was pleased not to feel any pain.
"My legs were a mess before," she said.
Lattner has other explanations for increasing what he already impressive scoring totals. She said that although she has been encouraged at times by coaches to pass less in the offensive third of the field, her additional scoring was more a result of return passes from teammates than an adjustment in her style.
"I wouldn't have gotten where I was at this season without my teammates," said Lattner, who led Montrose to an 11-1 league record before the shootout loss to Lakeland following a scoreless tie through four overtimes. "We had a real solid group of seniors and we did a lot of things to try to make us more team-oriented. We did things like team dinners.
"Personally, my numbers were up, but what was great was that our team was so tight."
That team feeling left Lattner fighting off tears when she talked about how her high school career came to an end during a 2-0 District 2 Class AA semifinal loss to Valley View.
"The fact that I have a district title for high school is a big thing because not everyone gets to experience that," Lattner said. "But at the end of the (Valley View) game standing on the field, the hardest thing was knowing it was the last high school game I would ever play."
Lattner has a future in soccer, which is part of the reason she spent just three years playing soccer for Montrose and gave up basketball after playing on the JV team as a freshman. As a sophomore, she lived with an aunt in Nebraska to play for a club team there and for the Nebraska state Olympic Development Program.
When the club team began to break up as players moved on to college, Lattner returned home to Montrose. She has received some scholarship offers, but is considering going to West Point, the Naval Academy or some other NCAA Division I options that may not involve scholarships upfront.
Amber is the daughter of Doug and Cindy Lattner of Montrose.
Megan Walker, 12, of Brackney, PA flew off to Houston, Texas on Wednesday, October 26, for five days of intense, elite gymnastic training with the national coaching staff at the National Gymnastics Training Center. The training center is located on Bella and Marta Karoyle’s Ranch. Megan was invited to train at the expense of United States Gymnastics (USAG), as a result of finishing first all-around in the American Challenge, in San Antonio, TX this past March. This is Megan’s fourth consecutive year of training at the Karoyle Ranch. Megan was on the national “tops” team for the past three years.
Megan, a seventh grader at Montrose Area High School has been in gymnastics since she was 2 1/2 years old. She attends Southern Tier Gymnastics Academy in Endwell, NY, coached by Daile Van Patten. Megan trains six days a week, for about four hours a day.
Megan is currently a level 10 gymnast. This is her second year as a level 10 gymnast. She also competes as a child level, pre-elite gymnast. Megan just competed an extremely successful first year in level 10. She is New York State balance beam champion, Region 6 balance beam champion, member of Region 6 level 10 team, and qualified for national level 10 championships, held in Ontario, California. As a pre-elite, in addition to the American Challenge in San Antonio, she finished fifth in Virginia Beach, in July, at the US Challenge.
The new competitive season is just beginning and Megan is training hard, with determination and discipline in hopes for an even more successful year than last.
Her long term goals include a full scholarship to the college of her choice, and she dreams to be on the 2012 USA Women’s Olympic Gymnastic team.
Tom Lucenti turned in his letter of resignation Monday, ending a 20-year career as Montrose football coach.
Lucenti won 110 games, two Suburban Football Conference and one Eastern Conference title as coach of the Meteors.
Although he went into the season knowing it could be his last, Lucenti tried to keep the final decision private.
"I kind of knew in my mind that it would probably be my last season," said Lucenti, whose son Dominick is a senior quarterback and defensive back. "I didn't turn anything in earlier. I didn't want it hanging over the season."
Similarly, Lucenti decided not to tell his team before Friday night's 19-8 loss to Dunmore to conclude a 1-8 season.
"I didn't want the kids trying to win the coach's last game," Lucenti said. "You should want to win because you're playing the game.
"I think they suspected it, but I didn't mention anything."
Lucenti said he planned to tell his players Monday at a meeting when they turned in their equipment.
Montrose had its most successful seasons and its only extended run of winning seasons with Lucenti guiding the program.
The Meteors had just one losing season from 1986 through 1998.
Despite a smaller roster than most of their Class AA opponents, the Meteors were competitive even in the playoffs during that time.
They went 5-5 in playoff games with two of the losses coming by identical 21-20 scores in 1997 and 1998 in Subregional and District 2 championship games against Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Area. The Meteors were among the last 16 teams left pursuing a state Class AA title in both seasons.
Former Boston College star and current New York Giants starting guard Chris Snee, the county's first National Football League player, is among the players who developed in Lucenti's system that emphasized a highly conservative power running game.
Montrose tied Susquehanna in the 1992 season opener and went on to win all of its remaining Suburban Conference games for its first league title. Two years later, the Meteors won another league title, losing only to the state-playoff bound Sabers in the season finale.
Lucenti said it is difficult to pick one game out as the highlight, but he shared a special moment with the late Ambrose Mullen, the school's first football coach who came back to be an assistant under Lucenti.
"I remember 1991 against Panther Valley," Lucenti said of a home-field Eastern Conference semifinal victory. "Mr. Mullen said he never thought he would see our stadium that full."
The stadium now bears Mullen's name.
Lucenti also took pride in beating the odds with a small group of players.
The Meteors had 23 players in uniform in the District 2 Class AA championship game loss in 1998 against Wyoming Area, a school that has moved back-and-forth between Class AA and AAA throughout the history of state playoffs. Just 19 were in uniform the day Montrose beat Lake-Lehman for the 1994 Eastern Conference title.
Lucenti said Snee is just one of many graduates of the program in which his staff takes pride.
"Travis Walter graduated from West Point," Lucenti said. "I always tried to take care of my guys off the field, with school and other things like that."
Although he had a chance to a see Snee in college, Lucenti is now looking forward to having time to see his former player in person in the NFL for the first time.
"It's tough with a family and coaching," Lucenti said. "Sunday is the only day when you do have some time to do something with your family.
"I haven't been to an NFL game to see Chris yet, but now I will."
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