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Scranton – Mark Bevacqua’s potential showdown with his neighbors never materialized, but the Lenoxville resident made sure his Holy Cross Crusaders repeated as District 2 Class AA boys’ basketball champion.
Bevacqua led Holy Cross in scoring in all three games and rebounding twice last week while helping the Dunmore-based private school improve to 24-2 on the season.
The 6-foot-6 junior center had 15 points and 11 rebounds in a 56-34 victory over Wilkes-Barre Meyers in the quarterfinals.
Holy Cross handled what should have been its toughest matchup when it beat fourth-seeded Dunmore for the fourth time in five meetings this season, 58-40. In the same doubleheader at Carbondale, Mountain View lost to Riverside by two points, preventing a meeting with Holy Cross.
Bevacqua went 6-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the line against Dunmore while finishing with 18 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Holy Cross ran off the last 12 points of the third quarter, completing an 18-2 run to a 45-28 lead. Bevacqua had the final seven points of that run, five of them on the fastbreak.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve been told that the big guys have got to run the court,” said Bevacqua, a 6-foot-6 junior forward. “Since I was young, I’ve tried to make that part of my game.”
Bevacqua relied mostly on his post-up game in the district final against Riverside, scoring on soft jump hooks in the lane while finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the 46-36 victory.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Forest City, the only Susquehanna County basketball team to reach the state tournament this season, struggled offensively while falling to Old Forge, 38-19, in the District 2 Class A girls’ basketball championship game Saturday at Scranton High School.
Old Forge led, 8-6, before holding Forest City without a field goal in the second quarter to open the lead to 14-7.
The Lady Devils went to the foul line 12 times in the third quarter, making four, to build a 24-14 advantage. Kierstin Collins had five points, including Forest City’s only 3-pointer of the game, during the quarter.
Kim Kaville led Old Forge with 10 points.
Katie Yale had six to lead Forest City, which advanced into a Tuesday play-in game against Girard College, which beat Jenkintown, 32-27, to take third place in District 1. The winner will be one of 32 teams left in the state tournament.
In boys’ basketball, Mountain View avenged a loss in the Lackawanna League Division 3 all-season championship game to give itself two shots at a state berth, but was unable to pick up another win.
Mountain View’s best chance to lock up a state tournament berth came in the semifinals against Riverside.
The Eagles trailed for only 43 seconds of the second half of Wednesday’s game at Carbondale, but Chris Bergamino hit both ends of a one-and-one with one second remaining to lift Riverside to a 38-36 victory.
Bergamino was fouled about 60 feet from the basket after teammate Gerry Reilly intercepted a pass, then bumped into him. Bergamino came out of that bump with the ball and was fouled during the scramble.
“Over the course of the game, the little things we didn’t do – make easy shots and convert free throws – add up,” Mountain View coach Lawrence Tompkins said.
Riverside took its first lead of the second half with 1:13 remaining, leading to the wild finish.
“I thought we played the game we planned to play,” Tompkins said. “We knew they would play tight man-to-man.
“We definitely executed the plan we had coming in. We had a chance to win.”
Instead, 10th-seeded Riverside won its third straight over a higher-seeded team.
Reilly’s 3-pointer from the right corner gave Riverside a 34-33 lead with 1:13 left. Corey Talerico’s back-court steal and layup made it 36-33 with 44 seconds left.
Corbin’s 3-pointer tied the game for Mountain View with 31 seconds left, setting up Riverside to hold for one shot.
Alex Paschuk blocked that shot on a Corey Talerico drive to the basket and David Corbin grabbed the rebound with about five seconds left and fired a long pass, beyond halfcourt.
Reilly was there, then Bergamino got his hands on the ball.
“I just ran into the ball,” Bergamino said. “It was an accident.”
Luke Jenkins led Mountain View with 13 points, but fouled out with 2:33 left and the Eagles ahead, 32-29.
Jon McBride had nine points.
Pashchuk and Corbin each had seven rebounds to key a 32-22 rebounding edge for Mountain View. The Eagles had six of the game’s first seven rebounds and Corbin had six in the first quarter.
“The big thing we talked about at halftime was that we had to start getting to the glass,” Riverside coach Mike Morgan said after the Vikings recovered for a 14-13 rebounding edge in the second half.
Corey Talerico came off the bench to lead Riverside with 12 points. Reilly added nine points and eight rebounds.
The teams were never separated by more than three points in the first half. After three ties and three lead changes, Mountain View had a 17-16 halftime lead.
McBride had seven points in the third quarter when the Eagles extended the lead to 28-23.
In Friday’s game for the third and final District 2 spot in the state Class AA tournament, Pashchuk scored 20 points and Peter Hartman led a third-quarter comeback but Mountain View fell short against Dunmore, 58-50.
Hartman had three 3-pointers in the third quarter and another in the fourth to finish with 12 points. He helped the Eagles close an 11-point halftime deficit to 40-34 going into the fourth quarter.
James Timlin had 14 of his 15 points in the first half for Dunmore. Matt Maldonato added 14 points and Michael Ehnot had 12.
Mountain View started the week with a 43-40 win over Elk Lake in a Class AA quarterfinal.
The Eagles avenged the division title game loss by opening a 28-15 halftime lead.
Pashchuk led the way with 23 points, including 12 in a 17-6 second quarter.
Jeff Madrak scored 14 points and Steven Rezykowski added 13 for Elk Lake.
Susquehanna and Forest City were each eliminated with 15-point losses in the semifinals of the Class A tournament.
Foul shooting contributed to both losses.
Freeland MMI shot 14-for-16 from the line in the fourth quarter and 21-for-28 for the game while defeating Susquehanna, 55-40.
Old Forge shot 11-for-12 in the fourth quarter and 20-for-22 in the game while downing Forest City, 53-38.
Tyler Bernitzsky led top-seeded MMI with 25 points.
Brandon Stone had 18 for Susquehanna.
Forest City opened the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run to get within 36-32 before Old Forge closed the game with a 17-6 run.
Corey Hodick, who made all four of his foul shots in the fourth quarter and all seven in the game, led Old Forge with 22 points.
Jesse Walsh had 18 for Forest City, including seven in the second quarter when the Foresters outscored the Blue Devils, 13-10, to cut an early deficit to 23-17.
In wrestling, Blue Ridge’s Alex Stanton came within one win of a state tournament berth when he lost to Elias Biddle of Warrior Run, 5-2, Saturday night in the 140-pound consolation match at the Class AA Northeast Regional Tournament in Williamsport.
Elk Lake’s Keaton Bennett (112), Derek Green (145), Anthony Juser (152), Brent Salsman (160), Seth Canfield (189) and Jacob Eastman (215) all reached the consolation semifinals before being eliminated two wins short of a state spot. Blue Ridge’s Nik Decker (130) and Mike Pipitone (135) also won one match to reach the consolation semifinals.
In swimming, Elk Lake’s Adam Phillips was third in the 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 200 individual medley at the District 2 Championships Friday and Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
In spring sports, high school practice got underway officially on Monday.
Cody DeBoer of Montrose finished sixth in the long jump February 21 at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association State Indoor Championship Meet at Penn State.
DeBoer, the only Susquehanna County athlete in the event, jumped 22 feet.
There were a total of 15 competitors in his event, each of which had to qualify by meeting a minimum standard in an indoor meet earlier this winter.
Justin Herbert was named Franklin & Marshall Athlete of the Week February 16.
Herbert, a senior wrestler from Blue Ridge, was recognized for pinning Lehigh’s Alex Caruso, the nation’s 14th-ranked Division I wrestler February 14.
Herbert threw Caruso to the mat with a headlock for the pin in just 1:09. It was his 10th pin of the season and the career record 34th at the Division I school.
The senior 174-pounder has won 10 out of his last 11 bouts to improve to 21-9 heading into the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships March 7 and 8 at Penn.
THE WEEK AHEAD
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins host the Binghamton Senators in American Hockey League games Wednesday and Saturday.
After play-in games that were scheduled for Tuesday, the first full round of state high school basketball playoffs is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
If the Forest City girls won Tuesday, they would play again Friday.
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 Wins In Vegas, Las Vegas, NV – Kyle Busch grew up in Las Vegas, so it’s understandable that winning Sunday’s 427 Shelby Cup race was a big experience.
“This is probably the biggest win of my career,” he said. “This is pretty cool. There’s nothing like winning at home.”
Kyle Busch is all smiles after winning Sunday's Vegas Cup race.
Busch actually won the pole for the 285-lap race, but he was forced to start the race from the tail end of the field, after his team changed an engine in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Toyota.
He never led the race until lap 228. He lost the lead during a round of pit stops and had to work to regain it again from Jeff Burton on lap 268. But from then on it was Kyle Busch’s race.
When Busch passed Burton for the lead, Busch’s spotter said, “Goodnight Gracie,” over the team radio. Busch’s team knew it was all over.
Clint Bowyer finished second and moved from sixth to second in points.
His teammate, Jeff Burton was third. It was Burton’s fifth top-five at Vegas.
David Reutimann’s fourth-place was his best career finish.
“The car was a blessing to drive,” said Reutimann. “It drove great. We just needed a longer run there at the end.”
Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top-10 finishers.
“When he (Busch) is out front, there’s no way you’re going to catch him,” said Jeff Gordon.
For Gordon and his Hendrick teammates, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin, it was a bad day, full of miscues and blown engines.
Martin lost an engine in his No. 5 during lap 122 and wound up with a DNF.
On lap 223, both Johnson and Gordon were attempting to pit under green. Gordon was going too fast. He locked up his brakes entering pit road and blew a tire. He had to go around one more time before he could pit, and the tire came apart and tore up the left front fender.
Johnson entered his pit stall too fast and overshot it. His team had to push him back. By the time they had changed tires, he was a lap down. Late in the race, he spun in Turn-2.
But it wasn’t just Chevrolet teams that had problems. Three of the Roush-Fenway Fords lost engines. Matt Kenseth, winner of the first two races of the season, lost his engine early in the race. The next to go was the one in David Ragan’s car, and then right after the white flag was given, the engine in Carl Edwards’ No. 99 was cooked.
Top 10 leaders after 3 of 36: 1. J. Gordon-459, 2. C. Bowyer-441, 3. M. Kenseth-419, 4. G. Biffle-419, 5. D. Reutimann-408, 6. Kyle Busch-405, 7. Kurt Busch-393, 8. T. Stewart-379, 9. C. Edwards-377, 10. B. Labonte-360.
Biffle Wins Vegas Nationwide Race – Greg Biffle led the last 35 laps of the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Saturday for his first Nationwide Series win of the season. The top-10 points leaders after 3 of 35: 1. C. Edwards-515, 2. B. Vickers-467, 3. G. Biffle-416, 4. B. Gaughan-407, 5. Ky. Busch-406, 6. D. Ragan-387, 7. K. Harvick-386, 8. J. Leffler -354, 9. J. Keller-343, 10. M. McDowell-326.
Visits To Las Vegas Are Special – Each year’s NASCAR race in Las Vegas has special meaning for me.
I go for the emotional moments.
I exited my Delta flight with high hopes of seeing my three daughters, and not seeing their mother, my ex-wife.
Like Vegas, my children remind me of all the good in life, and their mother has a way of turning things around to make me feel lousy. But maybe we all need to feel lousy, especially if we’ve done something to deserve that feeling.
It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. My ex, looked at life one way, and I wanted it to be the opposite. Our ways collided. Her attorney said we had “irreconcilable differences.” She wanted a home, and I wanted more life experiences. I was different way back then.
For the past twenty years, I have only seen my daughters once or twice a year.
I planned to have a great time and not lose too much money.
Some people do things in an attempt to assuage guilt. Maybe that’s what happens to me when I get around my children.
Both of my plastic cards were worn much thinner when I boarded my flight home, but it was worth it.
President Obama recently chastised a San Francisco bank for holding employee parties there after they received “government bailout money.”
Las Vegas’s mayor called for an apology.
Just because people want to go and have a good time, that’s not sinful. Enjoy as much as you can afford.
If there is one thing wrong with the city, maybe it’s because the people that go there are trying to get something without working for it.
That’s not necessarily so.
I know three beautiful young ladies that didn’t select Las Vegas as their home. They were too young to choose.
But they’ve made the best they could of what life handed them, and they’ve turned out great. An old cliché comes to mind, “If you’re handed lemons, then try to make lemonade.”
This year’s trip to Vegas was one of the best. Nothing beats hugs and kisses from three beautiful young ladies.
Next Week: Pulse of the Camping World Truck Series.
The Craftsman Trucks and Cup Series are at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Nationwide Series is off until March 21.
Saturday, March 7: Craftsman Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200, 2 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, March 8: Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500, 2 p.m. TV: FOX.
Racing Trivia Question: Who were the four teams that won 32 of the 36 races last year?
Last Week’s Question: What was the total driver purse of the 2009 Daytona 500? It was 15.6-million dollars. The winner, Matt Kenseth received $1,536,388.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date/Time Water Area Meeting Place Species Trout
3/18 2:00 Canawacta Creek Lanesboro Post Office Brown Rainbow
Starrucca Creek Brown Rainbow TG
3/24 1:30 Snake Creek Emberz Rest./Montrose Brook Brown TG
4/3 1:30 Salt Lick Creek Trail Diner/New Milford Brook Brown Rainbow
4/9 1:30 East Branch Wyalusing Creek Emberz Rest./Montrose Brook Brown TG
North Branch Wyalusing Creek Brook Brown TG
4/13 1:30 Fall Brook Emberz Rest./Montrose Brown Rainbow
Silver Creek Brook Brown
4/14 2:00 Quaker Lake PFBC Quaker Lake access Rainbow
4/15 12:00 Wysox Creek Wysox/Rts. 6 & 187 Brook Brown
Tuscarora Creek Brown Rainbow TG
*Opening Day: Saturday 4/18 at 8:00 a.m., daily creel limit of 5 trout.
4/20 2:00 Starrucca Creek Lanesboro Post Office Brown Rainbow
4/22 1:30 Wyalusing Creek East Branch Emberz Rest./Montrose Brown Rainbow
Wyalusing Creek North Branch Brown Rainbow
Sugar Run Creek
4/28 2:00 Quaker Lake Quaker Lake PFBC Access Rainbow
Fall Brook Brown Rainbow
Silver Creek Brown Rainbow
4/30 1:30 Snake Creek Emberz Rest./Montrose Brook Brown
Gaylord Creek Brook Brown
5/1 12:00 Wysox Creek Wysox Rts. 6 & 187 Brown Rainbow
Tuscarora Creek Brown
5/13 1:30 Salt Lick Creek Trail Diner/New Milford Brown Rainbow
Silver Creek Rainbow
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