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When the University of Scranton lost to Juniata, the second-ranked Division III team in the country, it brought an end to a standout women's volleyball career for Blue Ridge graduate Brooke Hinkley.
Hinkley finished as Scranton's all-time leader in career block assists (240) and ranked among the leaders in five other categories. Hinkley finished second in solo blocks (291) and total blocks (531), fourth in hitting percentage (.272), and 11th in kills (830) and attack attempts (2139).
Scranton went 100-47 during Hinkley's career, went to league championship matches each of the past three seasons and played in the 2005 National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
The Lady Royals went 25-11 this season.
Hinkley was a first-team Landmark Conference all-star middle hitter this season after taking Middle Atlantic Conference Player of the Year honors as a junior.
Several former Susquehanna County athletes had successful fall sports seasons.
Megan Bullock, a senior back/midfielder from Elk Lake, started all 23 games for Lock Haven University, which is Division I in field hockey.
Bullock had two goals and four assists.
Lock Haven was the Northeast Conference regular-season and tournament champion, going unbeaten in the league. It qualified for an NCAA Tournament play-in game and a trip to California where it lost to Stanford, 1-0.
Laura Carden, a junior forward from Montrose, played in 10 field hockey games for Division II Mansfield, which went 11-7.
Robert Squier, a senior from Elk Lake, was a second-team Patriot League all-star in cross country at Division I Army.
Joe Scanlon from Mountain View was a second-team Pennsylvania Athletic Conference men's soccer all-star in his freshman season at Misericordia University.
Scanlon was third on the team in scoring with six goals and three assists. He helped Misericordia finish second in the PAC and go 13-6-1 overall.
Sarah Golis, a sophomore from Montrose, was 6-3 in singles play and 1-2 in doubles on the women's tennis team at Misericordia. The team went 9-6.
Spenser Stoud, a junior from Mountain View, played in every game, starting 15 times for Marywood University, which went 5-12 in men's soccer.
Karl Sussman appeared in 10 games and scored his first career goal with the Keystone College men's soccer team. Sussman is a junior from Elk Lake.
Brooke Elliott, a senior forward from Forest City, was one of three county players on the Keystone women's soccer team.
Elliott played all 15 games, starting 14, and was one of just three players on the team with at least two goals.
Caryn Zurn, a freshman forward from Blue Ridge, started four games and played in one other.
Ashley Zuidema, a sophomore from Forest City, played every game in goal. She posted three shutouts for the 5-10 team, had a 2.98 goals against average and a 73.8 save percentage.
Kristen Lawrence, a senior from Montrose, was a member of the Keystone women's tennis team, which was 3-11. Lawrence was 2-11 in singles play and 3-9 in doubles.
Montrose graduate Brittany Ely played in 11 games as a freshman midfielder at Wilkes University where the women's soccer team went 9-9-1.
WEEK IN REVIEW
A week after the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins posted a shutout in Binghamton, the Senators returned the favor in Wilkes-Barre.
Jeff Glass made 28 saves, including 14 in the first period Saturday night, to lead the Senators to a 3-0 American Hockey League victory that moved them back ahead of the Penguins in the East Division standings.
Lawrence Nycholat, Denis Hamel and Justin Mapletoft scored for Binghamton.
In high school football, Hazleton Area scored a big win for District 2 when it knocked off Bethlehem Liberty, 21-20, behind an incredible performance by Nate Eachus.
The victory, the 11th straight by Hazleton Area, advances the Cougars to the District 2-4-11 Class AAAA Subregional championship game.
Eachus carried 28 times for 387 yards, scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes and was in on a tackle to stop a two-point conversion attempt with six seconds left.
Liberty had been to the last two state Class AAAA championship games.
"He's just a warrior," Hazleton Area coach Rocco Petrone said. "Everyone watches him on offense with his carries and yards.
"But, don't forget. He never comes out on defense. He makes so many tackles."
THE WEEK AHEAD
Four Lackawanna Football Conference teams remain alive among the final 16 teams in their classification in the state football playoffs.
West Scranton beat Berwick, 28-24, and has advanced to a state Class AAA game against Blue Mountain.
Dunmore and Riverside will meet for the District 2 Class AA title.
Lackawanna Trail beat Northwest, 28-7, and has advanced to a state Class A game against Bloomsburg.
Our high school football predictions were 4-0 last week, improving our playoff record to 13-0 and our season mark to 99-20 (83.2 percent).
This week's predictions for games involving LFC teams: West Scranton 28, Blue Mountain 20; Dunmore 27, Riverside 23; Bloomsburg 20, Lackawanna Trail 14.
In professional hockey, the Penguins and Senators meet two more times. They play in Wilkes-Barre Friday and Binghamton Saturday.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
Kenseth Wins Season-Ending Ford 400, Homestead, FL – Matt Kenseth won Sunday’s Nextel Cup Ford 400, the final NASCAR race of the 2007 season, while Jimmie Johnson repeated as the series champion.
Kenseth dominated most of the race for his second win of the season.
“It’s a great feeling to go out with a win,” said Kenseth. “I feel like I let the fellas down, because we’ve lost a lot of close ones.”
It was the last race between Kenseth and his crew chief, Robbie Reiser, who will step up to the general manager position at Roush-Fenway Racing next year.
Matt Kenseth is all smiles after winning the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead, FL.
All Jimmie Johnson had to do on Sunday was finish 18th or better to wrap up his second Nextel Cup championship. He raced very cautiously throughout the 267 laps and finished 7th.
“To win last year was so great, but to come back and not lose anything during the off-season, and win again makes it awesome,” said Johnson. “I’m so proud of this race team.
“We’ve worked very hard to be where we are and I can’t thank everyone enough for allowing me to have this success.
“I’ve been so blessed.”
Johnson finished the season 77 points ahead of his teammate Jeff Gordon, the largest margin of victory in the history of the Chase. He is also the first driver to win back-to-back championships since Gordon did it in 1997-98.
The hot topic for the past few weeks focused on Gordon and Johnson as the two battled for the championship.
Despite coming in second, and not getting his fifth NASCAR Cup Series title, Gordon said it’s been a good year.
“You've got to look at what we set out to do,” he said. “It's been a fantastic year for us. Our goals were to be consistent, to be strong. We had a few failures last year and some mistakes that were made that cost us an opportunity at it.
“So we set out to do exactly what we've done, which is to have an awesome, average finish throughout the whole year.
“We’re not going to hang our heads or feel disappointed, because it’s been a phenomenal year on and off the racetrack. I’ve had something happen to me that means the world and that’s becoming a dad.”
Gordon and his wife, Ingrid have a daughter, Ella, who was born in June.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s season ended with more troubles. He started the race last after his team changed a transmission prior to the race, but worked his way up to 10th, before a spin on pit road forced him back to the rear of the field.
During a restart on lap 57, he was hit from behind by Jeff Burton and pushed into the outside wall. He wound up finishing six laps down in 36th position.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Sunday, that despite downward television ratings and attendance, the sport remains strong with a very solid fan base.
France went on to discount rumors that NASCAR was for sale.
Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and David Ragan rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Final top-10 driver standings: 1. Johnson-6723, 2. J. Gordon-6646, 3. Bowyer-6377, 4. Kenseth-6298, 5. Kyle Busch-6293, 6. Stewart-6242, 7. Kurt Busch-6231, 8. J. Burton-6231, 9. Edwards-6222, 10. Harvick-6199.
Hornaday Gets Craftsman Truck Title, Homestead, FL – Johnny Benson won the season-ending Ford 200 Craftsman Truck Series race with a last-lap pass on a green-white-checkered-flag restart that sent the race four laps beyond its posted distance.
Ron Hornaday, Jr. won his third series championship when the anticipated shootout between Hornaday and points leader Mike Skinner failed to materialize.
Skinner entered the race with a 29-point lead but exited the season finale 54 points behind Hornaday.
The sparks flew, all right, but not from an intense battle between the two championship leaders. The sparks were a product of contact between the left rear hub of Skinner's truck and the asphalt, after his star-crossed Tundra jettisoned its left rear wheel on Lap 75, and with it, Skinner's dreams of a championship in Toyota's 100th race in the series.
It was Hornaday’s third series championship.
“I hate to see it for Mike, but only one of us could win it,” Hornaday said.
The title race took a drastic turn on Lap 25, when Skinner slowed from the lead off turn 4, believing his right front tire was losing air. Skinner brought the No. 5 truck to pit road on Lap 26, where his crew changed right-side tires, but Skinner lost a lap in the process.
That was just the beginning of Skinner's troubles. On Lap 74 he slowed again, this time with a vibration that preceded his left rear wheel falling off as he rolled through Turns 3 and 4 a lap later. With two wheel studs having been broken during the mishap, the No. 5 crew was unable to tighten the lug nuts to secure a new tire.
Skinner brought his Toyota to the garage where the crew changed the left rear hub, but the repairs cost the points leader another 10 laps and any hopes of winning the championship he might have had.
“We changed right-side tires, but that didn't fix it,” Skinner said. “Eventually the hub just came apart.”
Final top-10 Craftsman points leaders: 1. Hornaday-3982, 2. Skinner-3928, 3. Benson-3557, 4. T. Bodine-3525, 5. Crawford-3523, 6. Kvapil-3511, 7. Musgrave-3183, 8. Crafton-3060, 9. Sprague-3001, 10. Starr-2921.
Edwards Is 2007 Busch Champion – Carl Edwards clinched the NASCAR Busch Series title two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, but Jeff Burton won the NASCAR Busch Series owners' championship for Richard Childress Racing with his fifth win of the year in the final event in the series.
Next year it will be known as the Nationwide Series.
Burton denied former Roush Racing teammate Mark Martin a chance to win the final series race. Martin, the all-time series leader with 47 victories, finished 1.718 seconds behind Burton but held off Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, who came home third and fourth, respectively.
Stephen Leicht ran fifth, followed by Greg Biffle, Tony Raines, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose.
“It really means a lot to me to win the last race in the Busch Series,” Burton said. “I grew up wanting to be a Busch driver – that's what I wanted to be. So it really means a lot to me to win the final race with Busch as a sponsor.”
David Ragan won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.
Final top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Edwards-4805, 2. Reutimann-4187, 3. Leffler-3996, 4. Harvick-3993, 5. Ragan-3739, 6. Hamilton Jr.-3667, 7. Leicht-3603, 8. Ambrose-3477, 9. Biffle-3466, 10. Kenseth-3451.
Racing Trivia Question: Which Cup driver won the most races in 2007?
Last Week’s Question: Which Cup team will Jeremy Mayfield drive for in 2008? Answer: He will drive the No. 66 Best Buy Chevrolet.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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