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The Montrose boys’ basketball team ruined a pair of perfect records on the way to winning the Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament.
After handing Blue Ridge its first loss in the semifinals, Montrose defeated host Elk Lake, 39-37, in the championship game December 30.
Alan Charles scored 12 points to lead the Meteors.
Blue Ridge recovered to handle Susquehanna, 71-54, for third place behind Kurt Post’s 30 points.
The girls’ championship game of the Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament also came down to a close finish.
Mountain View pulled out its second close tight game to take the championship with a 58-55 victory over Elk Lake.
Alex Lynn scored 21 points and tournament MVP Sara Evans added 16 for the Lady Eagles.
Kim Caines (13), Karley Caines (12) and Kinzie Forkal (12) all scored in double figures for Elk Lake.
Blue Ridge also defeated Susquehanna in the girls’ consolation game.
Lauren Findley scored 10 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the Lady Raiders break open a one-point game on their home court on the way to a 47-40 victory.
Kaitchen Dearborn added 14 points and Megan Ragard 12 in the win.
Hannah Price scored 19 points to lead Susquehanna.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Anthony Juser led the way as Elk Lake finished fifth out of 22 teams at the two-day Tunkhannock Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament then won its own Zurn-Bush Memorial Tournament Saturday.
Juser finished second at 152 pounds at Tunkhannock and went 5-0 in the Zurn-Bush.
Devon Fiorentino (125) and Seth Canfield (189) finished third while Keaton Bennett (112), Jake Eastman (215) and Josh Ralston (285) took fourth and Alan Blaisure (135) was fifth for the Warriors at Tunkhannock.
Elk Lake finished with 161 points, behind Wyoming Seminary with 303, Pittston Area with 207, Wyalusing with 183 and Towanda with 173 1/2.
Susquehanna placed 17th with 30 points, Mountain View was 19th with 19 points and Montrose was 20th with 18 points. Each had one wrestler place in the top six.
Montrose’s Mike Rihl was fifth at 140 while Susquehanna’s Nick Vales (130) and Mountain View’s Craig Butler (145) were sixth.
Bennett, Brent Salsman, Eastman and Ralston joined Juser with 5-0 records in the Zurn-Bush. Elk Lake beat Blue Ridge, 51-21, in the final of the dual meet tournament.
In boys’ basketball, Holy Cross has the only unbeaten overall record among Lackawanna League teams and Mark Bevacqua, who lives in the Mountain View School District, is a big reason why.
Bevacqua, a 6-foot-6 junior, was named MVP of the Lynett Memorial Tournament after leading the Crusaders to the title in a 68-47 victory over Dunmore. He scored 12 points in the championship game.
“Mark has got to score for us inside,” Callejas said. “That gives us great balance. We have some nice shooters and he’s 6-6 and gives us that presence inside.
“He worked with weights and really strengthened himself over the summer. He’s really important to us.”
Montrose followed up its tournament title by beating Lackawanna Trail, 43-41.
Kyle Bonnice had 12 points in the win and Charles added 11.
Elk Lake and Mountain View share the division lead at 2-0.
In girls’ basketball, Montrose and Forest City won games to cut the list of teams sharing first place in Division 3 of the Lackawanna League from four to two.
Montrose topped Lackawanna Trail, 62-49, and Forest City defeated Western Wayne, 40-34, in games matching teams that had won their league openers.
Dallas Ely connected on five 3-pointers while scoring 23 points to lead Montrose. Chelsea Lunger added 13 points.
Cassie Erdmann had 13 points to lead Forest City to its win.
In professional hockey, Jeff Taffe of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins was named American Hockey League Player of the Week for the period ending December 28.
Taffe had two goals and seven assists to help the Penguins go 3-0 for the week.
Brittany Ely, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard/forward from Montrose, started every game and led the Wilkes University women’s basketball team in playing time as the Lady Colonels went 5-3 before the holiday break.
Ely leads the team with 2.8 assists per game and ranks third in rebounds with an average of 4.8. She is scoring 4.3 points per game.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Binghamton Senators meet in an American Hockey League game Friday night at the Broome County Arena in Binghamton.
The teams last played December 28 in Wilkes-Barre when the Penguins won, 6-3, behind a goal and three assists by Mark Letestu.
In boys’ basketball, Mountain View returns to Forest City Friday for a Lackawanna League Division 3 game. Forest City beat Mountain View in the championship game of the Forest City Rotary Tournament.
Blue Ridge is at Elk Lake in another Friday game. A potential showdown between unbeatens in the Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament was ruined when Blue Ridge was handled by Montrose. Elk Lake, the defending champion, remains unbeaten.
In wrestling, Elk Lake is at Lackawanna Trail Saturday in a Lackawanna League Division 2 match. The Warriors are defending champions. Lackawanna Trail moved down after being in Division 1 last season and could be one of the top challengers. Susquehanna also faces each team in the double-dual.
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
Elliott Sadler Released, Will Sue – Elliott Sadler is ready, willing and able to continue driving Gillett Evernham’s No. 19 Dodge in the Sprint Cup series.
Elliott Sadler in 2008.
He has a signed contract that stipulates he will be in the driver’s seat through the 2010 season.
Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?
ESPN reported last week that Sadler had been replaced for the 2009 season with A. J. Allmendinger.
But Sadler was the last to know about the change and through his attorney, John Buric, has filed an "application and order extending time to file complaint.”
In layman’s terms, if Gillett Evernham isn’t willing to pay Sadler for the remaining two years on his contract, then he is going to sue.
Sadler has until Jan. 20 to file an actual complaint if he and his former team cannot come to terms on their dispute. According to the affidavit, Sadler plans to seek "injunctive relief, declaratory relief/specific performance, consequential and punitive damages as a result of Defendant’s anticipatory and actual breach of Plaintiffs' Driving Services Agreement. Sadler’s lawyers also seek general, consequential, treble and punitive damages, and attorney fees, as a result of Defendants' tortuous interference.
Sadler said he did not know there had been actual negotiations between the team and Allmendinger until he received phone calls about media reports that Allmendinger was being lined up to replace him.
“Elliott is ready, willing and able to fulfill his contractual obligations,” Buric said.
Sadler joined Evernham Motorsports midway through the 2006 season after leaving Robert Yates Racing. He posted a top-10 finish in his first race, but has had only 11 top-10s in the past 85 starts.
He has three wins in 357 starts with 18 top-five finishes and 63 top-10s. His last win came in 2004 at California Speedway while driving the No. 38 Robert Yates Ford.
Barnes Wins Polar Bear 150, Rockingham, N.C. – After practice last week, Brett Hudson made the bold statement that he and Chuck Barnes, Sr. were going to be the class of the field come race time.
He was right. The two dominated for most of Thursday afternoon, trading the lead back and forth through a myriad of cautions.
Unfortunately for Hudson, Barnes’ luck held as the laps wound down. Hudson’s did not. Barnes, who started from the R.A. Jeffrey’s Distributing Company pole, took advantage of a blown engine in Hudson’s Chevy Monte Carlo with ten laps to go to take the checkered flag in the inaugural Polar Bear 150 at the Rockingham Speedway Thursday afternoon.
“We definitely had something for them at the end,” said Hudson. “I knew we had a problem on the last caution, the water pressure was up and down. I was hoping it would hold until the end.”
Hudson finished 32nd.
“We were in second, third or first until the break,” said Barnes of Louisville, KY in victory lane. “We came in and changed tires and the guys did a little bit of changing on it and we came back out and got out front and stayed there.”
Clinton, Indiana’s Anthony White, the NASCAR Technical Institute’s Hard Charger of the race award winner, finished second in his first start on a paved track.
Rounding out the top-five were Clint Watkins of Maggie Valley, NC and Bonaire, Georgia’s Tim Jensen and Tony Conway of Louisville, KY.
The Driver Called “Pops” – Curtis Turner was one of racing’s earliest stars and perhaps its most controversial driver. He won 17 NASCAR races and 17 poles in a career that started in 1949 and ended in 1968.
Perhaps Turner is most remembered because of his suspension from NASCAR competition by Bill France, Sr. from 1960 until 1965, after he tried to organize the drivers for the Teamsters Union.
In a storybook comeback in 1965, Turner won a 500-mile race at North Carolina Motor Speedway on October 31.
But what makes him stand out is the way he lived out his life.
He was a racer, party-thrower, moonshine hauler, pilot and timber baron.
He threw parties that lasted all night and sometimes several days. A small party would consist of 250-300 people. Some came for the whiskey, while others came for the dancing, lie swapping and music.
“He could really throw them,” said Bobby Allison. “I was just a young hot shot driver at the time, but he could put on some big shindigs. I remember one time the police coming in about daylight and asking him if he didn’t think it was too late to party.
“It didn’t bother him, I think he just said something like, ‘Hell no, it’s just beginning.’”
Curtis Morton Turner was born in 1924 on a small farm in Floyd County, Virginia. Like most early racers, Turner’s heritage included moonshine running.
During World War II he served in the U. S. Navy. After the war he went back to running moonshine, but now he was getting pursued. After one run he found three bullets embedded in the rear of his 1942 Ford coupe.
Turner was always restless. He threatened to retire from racing after every big timber deal, but he usually wound up broke. This happened several times.
The years in which he started building the Charlotte Motor Speedway were the most tumultuous of his life. The bitter struggle with finances caused him many problems.
The financing of the speedway by Turner and his group of backers was very marginal to begin with. They started out with 2.3 million, but construction costs soared and Turner scratched, begged and borrowed from everyone.
“Turner was one of my early heroes,” continued Allison. “But the thing about the man is he could do so much. He could have made it in practically anything he chose. That’s how smart he was.
“He had that sixth sense that just told him where he needed to be on the track. That sometimes means more than horsepower or handling. He just had it. That’s all I can say.”
Turner died in a 1970 plane crash at the age of 46.
To read the complete story on Curtis Turner, go to: www.race500.com.
Next Week: The Demise of the “King’s” Kingdom.
Racing Trivia Question: Which NASCAR series does Matt Crafton compete in?
Last Week’s Question: How many wins did Kyle Busch get in 2008? Answer: He had 21 overall wins, including eight in the Cup Series.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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