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Scranton - The Mountain View Eagles continue to benefit from their willingness to take on tougher competition by playing up in the highest division of the Lackawanna League where they won a title this season.
When the state tournament opened Tuesday at Scranton Memorial Stadium, the Eagles immediately showed they were ready to compete with the best Class A schools in the state.
By the time the week was over, Mountain View was part of the state final four among small schools.
The Eagles are now unscored upon for more than 237 minutes after a pair of state tournament shutouts.
Mountain View opened state play with a dominant effort in a 2-0 victory over Moravian Academy in Scranton.
The Eagles then had to rely on clutch plays to get through a tougher test in the quarterfinals where they beat Pequea Valley, 1-0, at Emmaus.
"We've been working for this all year," Eagles coach Darin Bain said. "We know defense wins games, especially in states.
"Most games in states are low scoring."
The Eagles gave up few opportunities against Moravian Academy.
They were leading, 10-3, in shots when they finally broke the scoreless tie with 24:51 remaining when Adam Christina sent a pass across in front of the goal and Jordan Davis blasted it in.
"We knew this game they would really mark (Joe) Scanlon tight and really mark (Nick) Stoud," Bain said of Moravian Academy, which eliminated Mountain View from last year's state tournament. "We told the guys that if someone else could step up and score it would make a big difference."
The Eagles kept pushing and it finally paid off in the goal by Davis.
"We kept pressure in their end and just kept attacking the goal," Bain said.
Stoud's hustle and another well-placed pass by Christina put the game away with 6:04 left.
Stoud sent a pass ahead from the right sideline at midfield. As Christina worked his way down the middle of the field, Stoud never stopped running. He wound up in position to take a pass back and score the second goal.
The Eagles finished a 13-5 advantage in shots and 5-3 in corner kicks.
Goalie Ken Jesse was called on to make just one stop.
Jesse had to work harder in the quarterfinals where Mountain View was outshot, 9-4, by District 3 champion Pequea Valley in the first half.
The second half was more evenly played and Stoud came through with the game-winning goal with 8:25 remaining in regulation.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Susquehanna was rewarded for its unbeaten Lackawanna League championship season with three of the seven first-team selections on the league's all-star team.
Middle hitter Kirstie Kemmerer, setter Casey Glidden and libero Meghan Gilleran were all named to the first-team.
Mountain View setter Chelsea Marcho, Blue Ridge setter KaSandra Ralston and Western Wayne's Lauren Hill and Courtney Roegner also made the first time. Roegner was the league's Most Valuable Player.
Mountain View outside hitter Hilary Shinn and middle hitter Alison Bodt were among the second-team choices along with Blue Ridge outside hitter Erin Keene and middle hitter Kate Donovan.
The honorable mention list included Susquehanna middle hitter Katie DeWitt and outside hitters Amber Gaffey and Jessica Terpstra, Elk Lake setter Kylie Van Eetten, Blue Ridge middle hitter Becca Hinkley and Forest City outside hitter Sarah Zedar.
In high school football, Montrose had its season come to an end with a loss in the Eastern Conference Class AA semifinals.
Top-seeded Salisbury Township eliminated the Meteors, 41-14.
The Meteors finished with a 5-6 record in Jack Keihl's first season as coach.
Elk Lake graduate Megan Bullock helped Lock Haven University come within one game of reaching the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I field hockey tournament.
Bullock, a junior midfielder/defender started all 22 games for Lock Haven, which won its third straight Northeast Conference title.
The NEC title earned Lock Haven an NCAA play-in game with Atlantic 10 champion Richmond for a national tournament berth.
Richmond ended Lock Haven's season, 4-2.
Bullock scored one goal and ranked fifth on the team with seven assists. She made her first three career starts last season when she appeared in 12 games as a sophomore.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Abington Heights in Class AAAA, West Scranton in AAA, Dunmore and Lakeland in AA and Old Forge in A are still alive representing the Lackawanna Football Conference in the district/state playoffs. Bishop O'Hara is playing in Class A in the Eastern Conference.
Last week's football predictions were 7-4, bringing our season record to 93-25 (78.9 percent).
This week's predictions, with home teams in CAPS: Bethlehem Liberty 21, ABINGTON HEIGHTS 10; West Scranton 26, Crestwood 14; LAKELAND 28, Dunmore 10; Northwest 27, Old Forge 21; BISHOP O'HARA 30, South Williamsport 23.
In boys' soccer, if Mountain View reaches the state Class A final, it will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at Hersheypark Stadium.
First, the Eagles were scheduled to face unbeaten District 1 champion New Hope-Solebury Tuesday night at Hazleton.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
HARVICK Gets Phoenix Win, Avondale, AZ – Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix Raceway, but it is Jimmie Johnson, the second-place finisher, that appears headed to his first Nextel Cup championship.
Kevin Harvick celebrates his Sunday win at Phoenix.
Harvick led 252 laps of the 312-lap race, but he had to fight hard in the last three laps to hold off Johnson, after a red flag period bunched up the field.
The win was Harvick’s fifth of the season and moved him up to third in the points, 90 points back of Johnson, but it might have been too little, too late.
“We were really good today,” said Harvick. “Jimmie was really good there at the end, but I wasn’t going to lose the race. We did what we had to do today. We led the most laps and won the race.
“I don’t know how this thing is going to play itself out, but we’ll keep doing what we have to do.”
Johnson appeared to have a shot at Harvick late in the race, but he did not attempt to bump or press Harvick for the lead in the last three laps.
“I was a little better than him in turns 1 and 2, and that trophy and the extra 10 points would have been nice, but we’re looking at the big picture, so I’m satisfied with our day.
“I have no idea what is going to happen at Homestead. We’re doing the right things and we’ve just got to go down there and outperform the other guys. We don’t have a comfortable lead, but if we just go out and do what we’ve done this last month, hopefully things will work out.”
Johnson will clinch the title if he finishes 12th or better, next Sunday at Homestead, FL.
Matt Kenseth finished 13th and is now 63 points back of Johnson with just one race remaining.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” said Kenseth. “The car was just awful. I don’t know why we’ve had such awful handling cars. We just can’t get out of our own way. The car was so bad we just couldn’t race with anybody.
“It’s not much fun right now. None of our cars have run well, and I’m not optimistic going to Homestead. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong, but we’re doing something.”
Denny Hamlin, the third-place finisher is fourth in points. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who came in 9th at Phoenix is fifth, 115 points back of the leader.
These are the only drivers that have a mathematical possibility of winning this year’s Chase. The remaining top-10 Chase drivers after 35 of 36 races: 6. J. Gordon-6165, 7. J. Burton-6107, 8. Martin-6059, 9. Kahne-6013, 10. Kyle Busch-5973.
Top ten finishing order of Checker Auto Parts 500: 1. Kevin Harvick, 2. Jimmie Johnson, 3. Denny Hamlin, 4. Jeff Gordon, 5. Carl Edwards, 6. Mark Martin, 7. Kasey Kahne, 8. Kurt Busch, 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 10. Jeff Burton.
MONTOYA Might Not Run Homestead, Avondale, AZ – Juan Pablo Montoya has a car entered in next weekend’s Nextel Cup Series season finale at Homestead, FL, but whether he will attempt to make his Cup debut remains in doubt.
Montoya, who will drive fulltime next season in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Dodge, has driven in the past three Busch Series races and plans to do the Busch finale at Homestead.
“We’ll see. We’re making the decision this week,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “We’ll have our post-race review from this weekend and go from there. If we so decide there is a car entered there.”
Ganassi said the only reason not to enter Montoya in the Cup race would be if he wasn’t sure he couldn’t provide his driver with a competitive car and team.
GEOFFREY BODINE Plans A Comeback – After sitting out two seasons, Geoffrey Bodine, 57, said he will attempt to qualify for the 2007 Daytona 500. Bodine said he has lined up a sponsor for the February race but revealed no other details.
Bodine finished third in the 2002 Daytona 500 with an independent team.
“I wasn't looking to get back into racing, believe me, but this opportunity came along and it's a good opportunity,” Bodine said.
It appears Bodine’s sponsor is hoping to reach the over-50 age group of NASCAR fans, because the sponsor is MonaVie juice, which is sold only through a network of individuals and costs more than $30.
“It's got rid of the majority of my arthritic pains,” Bodine continued. “I've felt the benefits of it and now I'm trying to get the brand name out and show the world this product.”
Even though he might have landed a sponsor, Bodine has no team and no car.
“We know it's going to be tough and that's why we are looking for a good team that runs well on super speedways,” Bodine said. “I've got a good sponsor and they understand the financial obligation that it's going to take to get an established team involved. If we don't get a good car we won't go. I'm confident we're going to find a good car and team and we'll do this.
“I wasn't looking for this, but I'm happy they want to do this with me and it might go farther.”
Bodine said he has been very happy with the time that he’s had off from racing. During the past four years, he has helped raise money for the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team, which uses BoDyn sleds that he helped develop.
Bodine will host the second annual Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge at Lake Placid from Jan. 4-7. He's also working on a project to retrofit a bobsled for paraplegics, with those sleds now being tested at the Salt Lake City Olympic bobsled run.
BODINE Near Truck Championship – The top-10 craftsman Truck Series leaders with one race remaining: 1. Bodine-3566, 2. Benson-3454, 3. Reutimann-3383, 4. Musgrave-3250, 5. Starr-3209, 6. Hornaday-3192, 7. Sprague-3173, 8. Skinner-3156, 9. Crawford-3154, 10. Cook-3126.
Kevin Harvick has wrapped up the Busch Series title.
This is NASCAR’s final 2006 racing weekend. All three of the major divisions will be at the 1.5-mile Homestead, FL track.
Friday, November 17, Craftsman Trucks Ford 200, race 25 of 25, 134 laps, 8 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Saturday, November 18, Busch Series Ford 300, race 35 of 35, 200 laps, 7 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, November 19, Nextel Cup Ford 400, race 36 of 36, 267 laps, 2 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Which year did Matt Kenseth win the Winston Cup championship?
Last Week’s Question: Which famous driver was often referred to as “Ironhead?” Answer. Dale Earnhardt.
If you have any NASCAR questions, e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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