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District 2 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has set the dates of its various spring tournaments and championship events.
The biggest single event of each spring is the District 2 Class AA Track and Field Championships, which brings together hundreds of athletes from more than 20 schools. This year's championship meet is scheduled for May 13 at Scranton Memorial Stadium, beginning at 3 p.m.
The first championships will be awarded in boys' tennis.
Following the team tournament May 5, boys' tennis postseason play will continue with the singles tournament. The singles tournament starts March 8 at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre and finishes the next day at the University of Scranton. The doubles tournament is scheduled for May 12 at Kirby Park and May 14 at the University of Scranton.
The boys' volleyball tournament will feature eight teams in Class AA with four of them advancing into state play. The tournament opens with doubleheaders May 19 at the home of the two highest seeds. The semifinals are in a doubleheader at the highest remaining seed May 20 before the championship match is played on a neutral court May 22.
The baseball and softball tournaments are the last to be conducted.
In baseball, the Class A playoff dates are May 20, May 22 and May 28. The Class AA dates are May 19, May 21, May 23, May 27 and May 29.
In softball, the Class A playoff dates are May 22, May 27 and May 29. The Class AA dates are May 19, May 21, May 23 and May 28.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake briefly held the lead in Lackawanna League Division 3 baseball when Blue Ridge suffered its first loss.
Blue Ridge and Carbondale finished the week at 4-1, percentage points ahead of Elk Lake at 6-2.
Blue Ridge is averaging 10 runs per game in baseball. After losing, 6-5, to Lackawanna Trail, the Raiders came back to rough up Forest City, 17-3.
In softball, Blue Ridge gave up its first runs in league play but remained unbeaten.
The Lady Raiders beat Lackawanna Trail, 13-3, and Forest City, 10-0. They have four shutouts in five league games and are winning by an average of almost nine runs per game.
Carbondale hung on for a share of the lead after beating third-place Montrose, 9-5, despite two hits each from Brittany Bartok and Sarah Feeney and a pair of RBIs from Andrea Hinds.
In AAU basketball, the 21 Hoops program had four teams in action at the Shoot the Rock Showdown in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.
Jeff Madrak of Elk Lake had 19 points to share scoring honors for the 17-Under team in a 61-50 win over Backcourt Hoops. Alex Pashchuk of Mountain View added 11 points and 12 rebounds. David Corbin of Mountain View had 10 points and 11 rebounds in a 72-62 loss to the Mashong Valley Warhawks then a team-high 16 points in a 54-51 overtime loss to Backcourt Hoops in the semifinals.
The 16U team went 1-3 and was eliminated in the semifinals.
The 14U team won its opener, 56-42, over Valley Youth Basketball behind 13 points by Forest City's Jason McGovern, then lost its next two.
Caleb Scepaniak of Susquehanna had 17 points in the 13U team's only win, 54-50, over CD Raptors.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins took the first three games of their first-round Calder Cup playoff series from the Hershey Bears.
Chris Minard had the overtime game-winner in Game One then a goal and an assist in Saturday's 6-2 romp in Game Two.
Tim Brent had two goals and an assist Saturday.
The Penguins scored three first-period goals in Sunday's 5-1 win.
In professional baseball, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees jumped to the top of the International League with a 12-5 start.
The Binghamton Mets have one of the top hitters in all of minor-league baseball in first baseman Nick Evans, who went on a six-game tear in which he drove in 16 runs.
Evans is sixth in the Eastern League with a .355 batting average while leading in RBIs (18) and ranking tied for second in doubles (6).
Devin Glezen is part of a Lock Haven team that is again a contender on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II level.
Glezen, a senior second baseman from Blue Ridge, led Lock Haven to the national championship game last year by batting a team-high .356 and earning Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division all-star honors.
Glezen is one of the team's top hitters and defensive players.
"Devin just makes plays and is a great all-around player," Lock Haven coach Kelley Green said.
Glezen has started every game for Lock Haven, which is 13-1 in the PSAC West and 32-6 overall. She is batting .339 while ranking third on the team in both home runs (six) and stolen bases (seven).
THE WEEK AHEAD
Elk Lake is home for a pair of key track and field meets Monday against Lackawanna Trail.
The Elk Lake girls lead Division 3 of the Lackawanna League with a 5-0 record, including a 76-74 victory over top contender Blue Ridge April 8. Lackawanna Trail is currently tied for second with Blue Ridge with 4-1 records.
The Elk Lake and Lackawanna Trail boys are tied for second in the division with 4-1 records to rank behind Mid Valley, which is 5-0.
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
Kyle Busch Takes Mexican Road Race, Mexico City, Mexico – Kyle Busch caught and passed Scott Pruett nine laps from the finish to win Sunday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mexico City.
It was the third consecutive Nationwide Series win for Busch.
Kyle Busch, winner of Sunday's Nationwide Series race in Mexico.
Probably the biggest story of the race was the second-place finish of Marcus Ambrose. It was the highest career finish for the Australian native.
Ambrose had to go to the rear of the 43-car field twice. First, at the start of the 80-lap race because his crew changed a clutch after qualifying, and again for a pit road violation.
“We just had a tough one today,” said Ambrose. “In another couple of laps I sure would have gotten Kyle.
Polesitter, Colin Braun finished 33rd.
Scott Pruett, Carl Edwards, Patrick Carpentier, Clint Bowyer, Scott Wimmer, Brad Keselowski, Mike Bliss, and Steve Wallace rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Top-10 Nationwide Series leaders after 9 of 35: 1. Bowyer-1339, 2. Edwards-1330, 3. Kyle Busch-1273, 4. Reutimann-1192, 5. Ragan-1165, 6. Keselowski-1153, 7. Bliss-1136, 8. Leffler-1062, 9. M. Wallace-1036, 10. Bires-1008.
David Pearson Don’t Pull No Punches – David Pearson and Carl Edwards put on a driving exhibition last week at Darlington Raceway. Pearson was in the No. 21 Wood Bros. 1971 Mercury, while Edwards drove his current No. 99 Roush Fenway Ford.
The occasion was a filming by ESPN to be aired on NASCAR Now. Nicole Manske was the commentator and she had her hands full with Pearson.
By the end of the day, the publicity tour was almost done. Edwards and Pearson had one more duty, and that was appearing side-by-side. Some polite questions were asked by Manske, and the videotape of the two cars rolling around the racetrack was played. Everything was going well until David Pearson decided to start answering questions “old school” style.
Manske asked Pearson if he liked where NASCAR had gone in the past four decades. Pearson pointed at Edwards and said, “I don't...but he might.” In the world of the polite and polished NASCAR drivers, things were about to get interesting.
“NASCAR ain't doing nothing I like right now,” continued Pearson. “I don't like the rules they are doing...you can bump somebody and they want to fine you for it.”
Pearson saw the look on Carl Edwards’ face and made sure to say he knew that Edwards could not speak up or he would get fined.
Manske asked Pearson what he thought of Edwards. “He's a lot nicer than I thought he was, if you want to know the truth,” said Pearson.
Manske closed by asking Pearson about the current drivers. Pearson made a great point in saying, “They make a lot more money than we did, but they don't have time to spend it.” Pearson's point was that in the old days, NASCAR drivers had a lot of “fun” in addition to the racing.
Pearson closed by saying NASCAR today was far too serious and had far too much politics in it. His open-collared shirt and chewing gum were in sharp contrast to the perfect driver suit and physically fit appearance of Edwards. Nothing more needed to be said about “then” and “now.”
Pearson won 10 races and 12 poles – both records – at the old track. Pearson, 73, retired in 1986 after 105 victories and three Cup championships
Leonard Wood, who was the crew chief for Pearson during his glory years, restored the 1971 Wood Brothers Mercury that Pearson drove to several of his Darlington wins, and Wood also was on hand Wednesday as the historic No. 21 maroon and white car hit the racing surface again.
The car has been in a museum adjacent to the track for more than 30 years. Wood agreed to work on the car so that it could be run on the track once more – at least for Wednesday’s exhibition.
Pearson and Edwards didn’t “race” during the run, but they traded the lead several times. Edwards was in front when the checkered flag fell, although Pearson joked later that he didn’t know it was the last lap and that he would have tried a little harder if he had been prepared.
“I was trying to help Carl out,” Pearson said. “He had asked me about the line I ran around the track, and I was showing him.”
The cars turned speeds of 120 miles per hour. Pearson said he could have gone much faster, but he was afraid the 35 year-old tires on his car might blow out.
Harlow Reynolds of Lynchburg, VA contributed to this story.
Petty Racing Is At A Crossroads – With 200 wins and seven championships in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, Richard Petty is firmly woven into the fabric of Americana as a true icon.
The entire Petty family are noted for their generous giving of time and energy in support of others. They are at the top of the charts when it comes to giving and helping. They shun alcohol, and I have never heard any negative rumors about their personal lives.
The problem they face isn’t about honesty, morals or generosity. It’s about winning races.
The last Petty victory came in 1999 with driver John Andretti. Since 1983, when Richard won his last race, Petty Racing has only three wins. Note: Kyle Petty’s last win came at Dover in 1995, but he was driving for Felix Sabates.
Rarely do teams survive as long as Petty has without fielding a winning team. Morgan McClure Motorsports won three Daytona 500s, but they lost their sponsor because of poor performance on the track.
Petty will be losing General Mills, one of their major sponsors, next season to Richard Childress Racing.
As the big sponsors move to other teams, there is going to be a lack of money to compete against the other top teams.
There are teams in the Cup series that are paid over $20 million by their major sponsor. Toss in some associate sponsors, and they have an operating budget of over $25 million.
Hendrick, Roush, and Childress Racing organizations do have teams with that kind of budget.
How can a $10-million team compete against one of the mega-teams? You do the math.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going to happen.
Now, we don’t think Petty Racing is going to fall off the face of the earth, because the organization has several other means of bringing in money, including the Richard Petty Driving Schools. Unless their two Cup teams, the No. 43 and No. 45, are able to improve their on track performance, more and more sponsors are going to be switching to other teams.
NASCAR and the fans need the Pettys, but racing is still about winning. You’ve got to win to stay in the sport.
Next Week: Nationwide Series Going To New Car of Tomorrow.
The Craftsman Trucks race at the one and one-half mile Kansas Speedway. The Nationwide and Cup teams are at NASCAR’s longest track, the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway.
Thursday, April 26: Craftsman Trucks O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, 5:30 p.m. TV: Speed.
Saturday, April 26: Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312, 2:30 p.m. TV: ABC.
Sunday, April 27: Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499, 1:30 p.m. TV: Fox.
Racing Trivia Question: What was Harry Gant’s nickname?
Last Week’s Question: Which team does Alan Gustafson crew chief for? He is the crew chief on the No. 5 Hendrick Chevrolet driven by Casey Mears.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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