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Dunmore – When last week started, Mountain View was an improving basketball team that, although in contention, was still regarded as an underdog in the Lackawanna League Division 3 race.
Four games in five days later, the Eagles are making a distinctly different impression.
Mountain View took the division lead with an upset win, clinched at least a share of the first-half championship and added an impressive non-league win in the hectic stretch.
“It was a real big week for us,” first-year coach Lawrence Tompkins said.
The most impressive wins came at the beginning and end of the stretch in which Mountain View extended its winning streak to seven games while improving to 6-0 in the division and 10-3 overall.
Mountain View handled defending champion Elk Lake, 63-44, in a game to break a tie for the division lead.
Tompkins shared with his team his perception that he thought many people did not expect them to beat the Warriors.
“Our guys really played with a chip on their shoulder,” he said. “Our goal going into the game was to play really tight defense.
“We were able to do that even better than I expected.”
After the surprising margin against Elk Lake, Mountain View never slowed down, completing the week winning games by an average of 22 points.
“Our guys are playing well,” Tompkins said. “They’re playing good defense and running their offensive sets. I think that really snowballed into the rest of the week.”
The Eagles finished out the week with their second win in less than 24 hours with a 49-36 triumph over Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt in the SportsFever Challenge at Marywood University.
The win at Marywood was the second time in the week that the Eagles won games on consecutive days. After beating Elk Lake Tuesday, Mountain View went out Wednesday and handled Susquehanna, 57-37. Before taking on Bishop McDevitt Saturday morning, Mountain View crushed Western Wayne, 69-33, Friday night.
“The only thing that’s different is that we’re trusting what we’re doing now,” said Tompkins, who was the junior high coach the last two seasons at Susquehanna, where he teaches. “I think with any first-year coach, you have a transition period.
“ … It takes a while for guys to find their flow. When we were 3-3, we were holding teams to the same number of points we are now. Our offensive execution has really picked up.”
The Eagles won with ease against Elk Lake, holding the Warriors to four points in the first quarter, opening a 31-16 lead at halftime and relying on a strong shooting night to make sure the game never got close.
Jon McBride hit four 3-pointers while scoring 18 points. David Corbin and Alex Pashchuk each added 12 and Peter Hartman had 11. The Eagles shot 18-for-25 from the line, including 11-for-14 in the fourth quarter when Luke Jenkins made all four of his attempts.
Jeff Madrak led Elk Lake with 18 points.
Corbin had 14 of his 18 points in the first half against Susquehanna. He had eight to key a 23-5 second quarter that produced a 35-14 halftime lead.
Brandon Stone had 12 points lead Susquehanna.
The Eagles put another game away in the first half when they jumped to a 37-11 halftime lead against Western Wayne. Paschchuk had nine of his 14 points during a 21-3 second quarter.
McBride (12), Hartman (11) and Jenkins (10) also scored in double figures.
The closest game for the week came Saturday when Mountain View needed an 11-1 run over the final six minutes to break open what had been a three-point game.
Pashchuk and Hartman led the big finish and the game as a whole.
Pashchuk, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, had six points in the closing run to finish a 13-point second half in which he made six of eight shots from the floor. The only two times he missed, Pashchuk got his own rebound and put it in.
Hartman had a season-high 17 points along with a typical six assists. He had six points in the fourth quarter, including four in the closing run.
“Peter’s been doing a phenomenal job running the offense,” Tompkins said. “He’s running our offensive sets the way we want to.
“Just in the last week or two, he has started figuring out that he can go to the basket and be a threat, too.”
The game was a homecoming for Tompkins, a former Blue Ridge standout who went on to be a captain for his final three seasons at Marywood.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Montrose, which is also on a seven-game winning streak, and Elk Lake remained in contention for the first-half Division 3 title entering the week.
Montrose improved to 5-1 in the division and 9-2 overall with a 56-42 victory over Forest City Friday night.
Rob Volk and Alan Charles each had 14 points and Kyle Bonnice added 10 for the Meteors.
Jesse Walsh had 20 points and Joe Caruso added 10 for the Foresters.
Elk Lake finished the week at 4-1 in the division and 10-2 overall.
In girls’ basketball, Forest City knocked off Montrose to force a tie for first place in Division 3 heading into Monday night.
Susquehanna posted its first league win, 51-39, over Blue Ridge with the help of Hannah Price’s 1,000th career point.
In wrestling, Elk Lake won the meeting between the final two unbeatens in Division 2 of the Lackawanna League when it defeated Scranton Prep, 62-18, Saturday.
Alan Blaisure (135), Ryan Bolyard (140), Brent Salsman (160), Jacob Eastman (215) and Brandon Cleveland (285) each had first-period pins in the dominant effort for the Warriors.
In professional hockey, Martin Gerber made 43 saves in his first game with Binghamton to lead the Senators to a 6-4 victory over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Friday night.
Kirk Fallon, a 5-foot-10 freshman guard from Susquehanna, has made his first two appearances for the King’s College men’s basketball team since the New Year.
Fallon appeared in a 72-54 win over Elizabethtown and a 76-52 victory over Centenary. He has played four minutes, making two steals, grabbing one rebound and missing his only shot.
King’s is 8-5.
THE WEEK AHEAD
First-place Elk Lake (4-0) is at Blue Ridge, one of the teams tied for third place at 3-1, in a Lackawanna Division 2 wrestling match Wednesday night.
The first half of the Lackawanna League basketball season ends this week. If there are any playoffs needed for first-half titles, they will be played later in the week.
The second half starts Monday with Montrose at Mountain View in Division 3 girls’ play. Mountain View is at Montrose Tuesday in a second-half boys’ opener.
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
2009 Racing; Beyond The Hype – A lot of sports writers would have you believe that it will take more than a couple of angels to turn this season into a successful one for NASCAR.
But that ain’t so.
Take it from a columnist that has covered NASCAR since 1993.
Granted, there has been more pessimism this year because of the economy, but when you cut through all the hype, racing is going to be as good, or better than last season.
Why shouldn’t it be?
Several of the lesser teams with poor records are gone, but like in any private business, it’s the survival of the fittest.
All 12 of the drivers in the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be back. Add another four or five “B” teams, along with the “field fillers,” who have no chance of winning, and you have the same 43-car field makeup that we had last season.
From a racing standpoint, only four teams truly matter: Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing.
The rest of the teams might win once or twice, like in a rain-shortened race, or some oddball finish situation.
The big question for me is Mark Martin.
For those fans that might not be big devotees of the 50-year-old Martin, he told everyone that he was calling it quits after the 2006 season. In June, 2005, it was announced that Jamie McMurray would replace Martin in the No. 6 Roush Ford in 2007. This left Roush without a driver for that car in 2006.
2005 was to be Martin’s swan song, a farewell salute to nearly 20 years spent chasing the NASCAR Cup dream from a single car, the No. 6 Roush Racing Ford.
Whether Roush couldn’t find a suitable driver, or just wanted the veteran back, Martin agreed to drive for the 2006 season.
Unable to remain out of the limelight, Martin said he wanted to run a partial schedule. He signed up to split time with Regan Smith in the Ginn Racing No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in 2007. Roush Racing announced that due to team limits imposed by NASCAR, they could not field a team for Martin for all 20 races he wanted to run that year.
However, he drove two races for Roush in the Busch Series, and also drove in three races for Hendrick Motorsports, sharing the No. 5 with Kyle Busch.
2007 started off good. He had three consecutive top-five finishes, and led the points standings. He became the oldest driver in the modern era to lead the Cup points for more than one week.
In July, 2007, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. acquired Ginn Racing. Martin joined Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin Truex, Jr., and Paul Menard as a driver for DEI starting at the Brickyard. He shared the No. 01 car with Aric Almirola for the rest of the season.
Prior to the end of the 2007 season, it was announced that Martin would share the No. 8 car with Aric Almirola in the 2008 Cup Series.
Martin made his 700th career start at the 2008 Auto Club 500.
He won the Sam's Town 300 driving the No. 5 Delphi Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. It was Martin's 48th career Nationwide Series victory and JR Motorsports' first win.
About midway through the 2008 season, Rick Hendrick announced that Martin would replace Casey Mears in the No. 5 Cup car for the 2009 season, running a full-time schedule in 2009, and a part time, 26-race schedule for 2010.
There’s still racing fuel in his veins and he can’t seem to give it up.
He’s still chasing his first NASCAR Cup championship.
“It's an honor to get the consideration to do this – to join this team,” Martin said. “Any driver with a pulse would want to drive the 5 car. I did not see this coming and wasn't interested in talking about it, really, with any other teams. I don't know for sure if you guys [the media] comprehend what this really means to me – the opportunity to work with these guys at this stage of [my] career.
"The championship was not a consideration [in taking this deal]. Being sure that I was getting into something that had a chance to win meant everything.”
“Obviously, as we move forward, our goal is to make the Chase and compete for a championship,” he continued, “But like I say, I look at the shorter-term things. As we conquer one, then maybe the next will come.”
Martin joins a team of drivers that includes three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time champion Jeff Gordon, and the sport’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
I know Mark Martin, and there’s nothing he wants more than a Cup championship. The opportunity to drive for Hendrick Motorsports, one of the best funded and most powerful teams in racing, was too much for him to pass up.
I have no doubt that Martin is serious, but as you get older, you seem to lose sight of the reality of certain situations.
He was not able to win a Cup championship with Roush Racing when he was much younger, so I don’t see how he can do it now in his sunset years.
Mark brings good name recognition to his sponsors, and he still has many fans, but his best driving days are behind him.
Meanwhile there has been much talk about the lack of testing prior to the opening of the 2009 season. NASCAR eliminated all testing at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks in an effort to cut down on team costs.
Personally, I don't think lack of testing is going to hurt that much. Let's face it, NASCAR hasn't changed anything on the car. The teams have a full year of notes now on this new car, and there really are no brand new startup teams this season.
And besides, all crew chiefs have plenty of notes from previous testing.
Also, teams are in Daytona for a long time. They will have ample time to practice and make changes to the car.
There will certainly be some surprises, as there is every year, but as Darrell Waltrip would say, “Let’s go racing, boys.”
Next Week: A Totally Different Budweiser Shootout.
Racing Trivia Question: Who won the first Daytona 500?
Last Week’s Question: What year did Richard Petty get his first win? Answer: 1960.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryne Carney’s scholastic cross country career, in essence, began on the soccer field as a clumsy seventh grader.
It ended with Carney as the determined senior leader of the most successful cross country team the county has ever produced.
On the final day of his high school career, Carney recovered from an early fall to be the first Elk Lake runner across the line as the Warriors pulled off a surprise state championship in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AA race.
Carney’s role in the team state championship and his earlier success as an individual District 2 champion in the 3200-meter run in track season combined to make him the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Year for 2008.
“I’m 6-foot-2,” Carney said. “I’ve been that height since sixth grade, so I was always uncoordinated when I was dribbling the ball or shooting, but I could always lap people doing laps in soccer.”
When Carney did not make the junior high soccer A team, he decided to try a sport that emphasized his endurance as a runner.
Carney switched the cross country in eighth grade.
“I fell in love with the sport,” Carney said. “I had much more success in cross country in eighth grade than I had in soccer in seventh grade.”
The love of the sport brought out a determination in Carney, who made significant strides by his second season. It was as a ninth grader that he saw the first signs that he could compete on a high level by winning an invitational at Kirby Park against many of the same runners who would compete in the District 2 junior high championships.
Carney qualified for the state cross country meet in all three seasons as a high school runner. This season, the entire Elk Lake team was there after finishing second in District 2 to Holy Redeemer.
“Really, our only objective throughout the (state) race was to beat Holy Redeemer,” Carney said. “They beat us in districts and we really felt we were the better team.”
Carney rallied to finish 27th out of 292 runners at the state meet in Hershey. Then, he received a surprise he will never forget when coach Will Squier read off the scores that showed the Warriors had won the team championship.
“I think just the initial shock of the whole finding out is what I’ll always remember,” Carney said. “We didn’t think we were in contention. That feeling in my gut when I heard; it was almost like someone telling you Christmas was going to come a month early this year.
“It was so startling and so joyous.”
Ryne is the son of Chris and Jennifer Carney of Dimock. His younger brother, Sean, was also part of the state championship team.
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