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Mountain View got off to an impressive start in what figures to be a promising boys' basketball season.
The Eagles won their own Bill McLaughlin Tipoff Tournament while Blue Ridge was also grabbing a tournament title by taking the Sayre Tipoff Tournament title.
The winter sports season was just two days old and already the two county teams had tournament titles with wins Friday and Saturday.
Mountain View defeated Bishop O'Hara, 64-46, and Mid Valley, 56-44, to win the tournament.
Robbie Johnson had 16 points in 11 rebounds in the first game then had 20 points in the final to earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
L.B. Feduchak, who had 11 points in the opener, and Chris White made the all-tournament team.
The Eagles were in command by early in the second quarter of the opener and kept the lead between six and 12 points most of the way.
Mountain View jumped out to a 14-2 lead over Mid Valley in the final.
Mid Valley used a 10-point run at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth to close within, 40-36. The Eagles pulled away again down the stretch.
"We went back to doing things that got us the lead in the first place," Mountain View coach Pat Heaton said. "Robbie was able to penetrate into the heart of their defense and hit the open man."
The strong start is hardly a surprise for the Eagles, who went 14-11, and return four full-time starters. White, a 6-foot-8 senior who is the other starter, started at times last season.
"We're rated by coaches as the (Lackawanna League) Division III favorites," Heaton said. "We have high expectations. We've been second in the league two years in a row."
Power forward Tim Bennett and Feduchak are four-year starters. Johnson, a junior point guard, is a three-year starter. Nick Stoud joins Feduchak on the wings.
"We have good size so we try to emphasize getting the ball inside," Heaton said. "But, we also have an excellent shooting team."
All five starters hit at least one 3-pointer in the two games of the tournament.
Blue Ridge held on to defeat host Sayre, 66-62, and Williamson, 70-66.
An 18-point, third-quarter lead was cut all the way to two before the Raiders won the opener. They led by 14 at halftime of the championship game, but needed a late rally to pull out the win.
Nate Pease scored 25 points and Dave Ostrowski added 16 in the first game.
Azim Griffin scored 31 points in the championship game to earn Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Ostrowski added 15 points and also finished in double figures in rebounds. Ben Hinkley had 13 points.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Mountain View's Matt Panasevich posted his 100th career win on the way to the 189-pound championship of the Wilson Invitational Tournament in Easton. The tournament was won by Blair Academy, often ranked as one of the top 10 teams in the country.
Panasevich reached the milestone with a pin of Craig Koch of Caesar Rodney, Delaware. He pinned Connor Joyce of Salesianum, Delaware in 1:27 of the quarterfinals.
In the finals, Panasevich defeated Reid Fliehr of Blair Academy (N.J.), 9-3. Fliehr is the son of professional wrestler Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair.
Blue Ridge's Travis McArthur got a good test at the DKI Tournament in Bloomsburg.
McArthur reached the final with three straight wins, including a one-point decision and a double overtime rideout. He then put up a tough challenge in the final before losing, 5-3, to two-time state medalist Ricky Tedesco of Loyalsock.
Susquehanna's Josh Jenkins won the 189-pound title at the Susquehanna Valley Tournament by pinning Matt Kurey of Chenango Valley in 3:04.
The Sabers finished sixth out of eight teams. Jordan Jackson took second at 215 pounds while Travis Cordner (119) and Brad Thomas (145) took third.
In boys' basketball, Brett Keyes and Ernie Taylor made the all-tournament team when Susquehanna reached the final of the Deposit Tip-Off Tournament before losing to Stamford, 55-54.
Keyes scored 21 points in the tournament opener, a 67-48 victory over Afton.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their professional hockey record road winning streak to 15 games with two wins in Norfolk before having the streak end in a 3-2 shootout loss in Hershey Sunday.
The Penguins still have not lost in regulation. The best start in AHL history is at 20-0-2-1.
Montrose junior Patrick Bayer finished second in the United States Tennis Association Middle States Eastern District Junior Tennis Tournament in Clarks Summit on Thanksgiving weekend.
Bayer was seeded second in the Boys 16-Year-Old Division. He advanced through each match with straight set wins before losing to Taggert McGurrin in a three-set championship match. Bayer won the second set but lost the third set, 7-6, on a tiebreaker.
Courtney Parvin is off to a fast start in her senior season with the nationally ranked Springfield College women's basketball team.
Parvin was named Most Valuable Player of the Randolph-Macon Tip-Off Classic. She helped Springfield, the nation's 12th-ranked National Collegiate College Athletic Association Division III team, to a 74-70 win over second-ranked Randolph-Macon.
The Montrose graduate had 35 points and 16 rebounds while hitting five of six 3-point shots as the Pride won two games to take the tournament title.
Springfield and Randolph-Macon were tied, 20-20, before Parvin scored nine points in a 17-6 run that put the Pride in command. Randolph-Macon was 30-2 and national runner-up last season.
Parvin is first or second in many statistical categories for Springfield, which took a 3-1 record into the weekend. She has hit eight out of 10 shots from 3-point range to lead the team in that category.
Parvin is second in field goal percentage (52.5), free throw percentage (75.0), assists (3.5 per game) and points (14.0) and is tied for second in rebounds (7.3).
Last season, Parvin was a first-time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference all-star when she averaged 14.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Springfield shared the league title, won the league's postseason tournament and reached the final eight in the nation.
Springfield will be the host team for this season's NCAA Division III women's Final Four March 17-18.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Blue Ridge boys' basketball team will play in the Lackawanna Trail Tournament Friday and Saturday.
In wrestling, Mountain View is scheduled to compete in the Towanda Duals Saturday.
In girls' basketball, Montrose is at Abington Heights Saturday afternoon in a game between likely contenders for Lackawanna League division titles.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
RECORD SIX MILLION FOR STEWART
NEW YORK, NY – Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart collected $6,173,633 in point fund awards – a Nextel Cup point fund award record – along with special awards totaling $517,000. The post-season payouts bring his 2005 season total to $13,578,168, the largest single-season total in NASCAR history.
Stewart's take exceeds the previous single-season record, $10,979,757, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001. Stewart's career winnings now total $48,467,449, making him the fifth-highest money winner on NASCAR's all-time list.
Over $25 million in point fund awards were distributed to the top-25 drivers in the final Nextel Cup Series point standings. Runner-up Greg Biffle received over $2.62 million in point fund awards, bringing his season total to over $8.35 million.
With over $6.7 million in race winnings this season, fifth-place Jimmie Johnson was the season's next-highest money winner. Johnson received $20,000 in post-season special awards and more than $1.7 million from the point fund, for a 2005 season total of over $8.33 million.
Stewart and sixth-place Ryan Newman took home the lion's share of the post-season prizes, with Stewart and his No. 20 team hauling in over $500,000 in special awards.
Among Newman's accolades was his fourth consecutive annual Budweiser Pole Award, worth $100,000. Since debuting in the Cup Series in 2000, Newman has won 35 poles in 152 races – sitting on the pole position for nearly 25 percent of his career. He won eight poles in 2005 and set two new track records.
Rusty Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR Cup champion has been named the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's 2005 Myers Brothers Award, which was presented during the NMPA's annual Awards Breakfast, held at the Waldorf-Astoria.
"I'm real proud of where this sport has come, and I don't want anybody screwing it up," Wallace said following his final Cup race. "We worked hard to build a fan base and make this a popular sport, and I just want all those drivers ... to make sure they know this is a privilege driving these cars.
"I respect these fans, sponsors and everybody.
"The sport of racing has given me a lot of fans, a lot of popularity. It's made me a lot of money. It's taught me a lot about life, about a lot of things. I've been able to meet people that I never thought I'd meet in my life – presidents, dignitaries, you name it. ... I've learned you've got to be one of the best ambassadors for the sport you can."
Wallace, who retired at the age of 49, started 706 Cup races, had 202 top-five and 349 top-10 finishes in addition to his 55 victories.
Meanwhile Dave Blaney will return to Bill Davis Racing in 2006. He will replace Scott Wimmer as driver of the No. 22 Dodge.
Blaney raced in the NASCAR Busch Series for Davis in 1998-99 before moving to Winston Cup for two years. He then drove for Doug Bawel for two seasons before joining Richard Childress Racing in 2004 on a part-time basis. He ran the entire 2005 season for RCR but will be replaced by Clint Bowyer.
"In the last couple of years, we just haven't seen the performance we know the No. 22 CAT Racing team is capable of, so change was not a choice - it was a necessity," Davis said in a statement. "Dave is not only a talented and consistent driver, but he is someone I respect and have always enjoyed working with in the past. This will be my first time working with Kevin Hamlin, but I have long admired his work and accomplishments in this sport."
Blaney finished the 2005 season, 26th in the Nextel Cup points standings with two top-10 finishes.
His best career finish was a third at Darlington in 2003. He moved to NASCAR from open-wheel cars, winning the World of Outlaws title in 1995.
DALE JR WINS MOST POPULAR DRIVER
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won his third straight Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award.
"It's a huge honor to win the Most Popular Driver award just one time, but to win it three times in a row is pretty overwhelming,” said Dale Jr. “I just want to thank the fans, and I want to thank Chex and the National Motorsports Press Association for the award,” Earnhardt said.
“This one probably means more to me than the others because of the kind of year we had. It's one thing to have fan support when you're riding high and winning races. It's another thing to have it during the rough times. No matter what we went through this year, I never once felt like my fans were turning on me and the Budweiser team. It's amazing to have that kind of support. It makes the team want to work that much harder and me drive that much faster. I can't thank the fans enough for what they've meant to me in my career."
A record 4,157,443 votes were cast in 2005. Earnhardt, Jr. has led the voting since the start of the 2003 season, and easily captured enough votes in the record-setting 2005 year to again win the award. He finished with 1,403,544 votes, which is also an all-time record.
Jeff Gordon finished second in the voting with 594,434 votes. Kasey Kahne was third with 343,154; 2005 Champion Tony Stewart fourth with 246,026; and retiring Rusty Wallace fifth with 214,026. Rounding out the top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson.
Bill Elliott’s 16 most popular wins tops all drivers. He is followed by Richard Petty, who has won nine times. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win last year made him the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win the award in consecutive seasons, while his win in 2003 made him and his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won. Other past winners have included such notables as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.
Racing Trivia Question: Who was the 1960 NASCAR Grand National Champion?
Last Week’s Question: Where is Tony Stewart’s hometown? Answer. It is Rushville, Indiana.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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