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Archbald – Players from Division 3 joined forces with Valley View and Old Forge for the Lackawanna League Boys’ Basketball All-Star Game creating a combination that was too much for the Division 1 players who were joined by seniors from Dunmore, Mid Valley and Riverside.
Elk Lake’s Jeff Madrak and Blue Ridge’s Kurt Post each made a big impact as the Blue team defeated the Red, 98-90, in the game at Valley View High School.
Madrak and Post were among the six Susquehanna County players on the 11-man Blue roster.
“It was definitely fun playing with all the Division 3 kids,” said Valley View’s Kyle Colachino, who was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points and won Blue Most Valuable Player honors. “We don’t get to see them in the regular season.”
Madrak was the second-leading scorer with 17 points, along with three assists.
Post came off the bench to score 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
Forest City’s Jesse Walsh and Mountain View’s Alex Pashchuk were in the starting lineup. Walsh had six points and eight rebounds. Pashchuk had five points.
Elk Lake’s Sean Morahan scored eight points and dished out four assists. Blue Ridge’s Blaise Ross was scoreless, but contributed four rebounds and three assists.
Scranton Prep’s Pat Mineo led the Red with 16 points. Scranton’s Gary Melville, who was selected team MVP, and Mid Valley’s Briton Hendricks added 11 points each. Eric Hardaway of Abington Heights grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Madrak finished second in the 3-point shooting contest at halftime, losing in the final to Valley View’s John Strauss.
The Blue, which was just 6-for-24 on 3-pointers in the first half, then went out and won the game with its 3-point shooting. The team was 21-for-48 for the game, including 15-for-24 in the second half and 10-for-15 in the fourth quarter.
Colachino went 6-for-9 and Madrak 3-for-6 to lead the way. The bulk of the damage was done in the fourth quarter after the Red had taken a 10-point lead.
Pashchuk hit from long range with 6:42 left to start a stretch in which the Blue went 6-for-7 on 3-pointers over the next 2:50 to fuel a 20-5 run to an 86-81 lead. Colachino hit three times in that stretch.
“We were coming in and saw we were down 10 or more,” Colachino said. “It was four guards and Jesse, so we knew we had to go in shooting.
“We just figured, start shooting and see what happened. We were on fire, then it got intense at the end.”
The Red tried to rally and was within 91-85 until Post hit with 1:20 left.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Montrose’s Chelsea Lunger won the foul shooting contest prior to the Lackawanna League Senior Girls’ Basketball All-Star Game in Forest City.
Lunger was one of five Susquehanna County players on the Red team (Division 2 and 3 players) that lost to Blue (Division 1), 81-51.
The only Montrose player in the game, Lunger was the second-leading scorer for the Red with nine points. She had seven of the team’s 13 third-quarter points, but the Blue still managed to stretch its lead from 41-21 to 66-34 during that time.
Lauren Carra of Dunmore won team Most Valuable Player and also won the 3-point contest. She had a game-high 18 points.
Susquehanna’s Christy Glidden, who had one point, and Mountain View’s Sara Evans, who was scoreless, started for the Red.
Blue Ridge’s Lauren Findley had two points and Mountain View’s Erika Lewis played, but did not score.
Forest City’s Carl Urbas coached the team.
The Blue MVP was Honesdale’s Katy DeGraw, who led the team with 10 points.
In girls’ track, Kaitchen Dearborn set a school record in the javelin and won two other events to lead Blue Ridge to a 91-53 victory over defending champion Elk Lake in the Lackawanna Track Conference Division 3 opener.
Dearborn, who finished 22nd in the state last year, threw the javelin 130-7. She also won the long jump and high jump.
Blue Ridge finished second in the division behind Elk Lake last season.
Whitney Williams is back as the starting shortstop and leadoff hitter for the nationally ranked University of Massachusetts softball team.
Despite consecutive losses to Tennessee, UCLA and Oklahoma at the Cathedral City Classic in California, Massachusetts is off to a 13-6 start and ranked 17th nationally in Division I.
Williams, a junior from Mountain View, is leading the team in doubles with eight and tied for second in runs scored with 14. She started each of the first 19 games and was batting .302 with a triple, a home run and a stolen base.
An Atlantic 10 Conference second-team, all-star each of her first two seasons, Williams also made the conference’s all-tournament team last year as a sophomore.
After a slow start at the plate last season, Williams batted .296 with seven home runs. She continued to work on her batting in the preseason.
“Whitney has worked very hard in the preseason and is starting to show up at the plate,” said Elaine Sortino, one of eight college coaches with more than 1,000 career softball wins.
Massachusetts, the top softball program in the northeast, is favored to win the Atlantic 10 and reach the NCAA Tournament for the 15th straight season.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Forest City is at Elk Lake in Division 3 baseball and softball games Wednesday, a day before the rest of the Lackawanna League gets started in each sport.
Western Wayne is at defending Division 3 champion Blue Ridge in a Thursday softball opener.
In boys’ volleyball, the Lackawanna League season opens Thursday but defending champion Mountain View has a bye. The Eagles are home against Western Wayne Tuesday, April 7.
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
JOHNSON MUSCLES TO MARTINSVILLE WIN, MARTINSVILLE, VA – Jimmie Johnson won the Goody’s 500 Sunday at Martinsville on the 25th anniversary of team owner, Rick Hendrick’s first Cup victory. It was also Johnson’s fifth Martinsville win in the last six races.
Jimmie Johnson wins at Martinsville.
“We didn’t have the best car at the start, but we opted to lose track position to work on the car,” said Johnson. “We tried several things that didn’t work. As the day went on Chad (crew chief Chad Knaus) kept adjusting tire pressure until he got it right.”
Fans were treated to beating, banging, fender-rubbing, pushing and shoving. All together, the action on the track produced one of the year’s best and most exciting races.
Johnson stayed in the top-5, but had not led a lap until a caution came out on lap 429. Johnson’s team gave him a super fast pit stop under a caution, and he was out of the pits ahead of the leader, Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin, who led the most laps (296), regained the lead from Johnson on a restart on lap 456.
Johnson remained on Hamlin’s tail and dogged him for 23 more laps. Finally, Johnson was able to set Hamlin up in order to make a pass. Going into turn-4 on lap 479, Johnson gave Hamlin’s rear bumper ever so slight of a tap, causing him to push up. Johnson was then able to drive his No. 48 under Hamlin’s No. 11.
Hamlin tried to come down and close the door, but it was too late. By the time he gathered up his car, Johnson was way out front.
“I had a little bit better car than Denny on the long runs,” said Johnson. “I was patient. I set him up, set him up, and then got inside him. He tried to put the squeeze on me, but I was up on the curb sliding, and we got together. He did a heck of a job of saving it.
“I thought I was going around too, but fortunately, we had enough distance between us that we both could save it.”
Johnson moved from ninth to fourth in points.
Hamlin was the defending Martinsville winner, but all he could do for the last 17 laps was look at Johnson’s rear bumper grow smaller with each lap.
“It was a great battle,” said Hamlin. “I’m honored to be on the same racetrack with guys like Jimmie,” said Hamlin. “That was just short track racing. I would have done the same to him, and if it comes back around I will do the same.
“That’s the way it is at Martinsville. I was trying to protect the spot and he was trying to get it. That’s the way it goes.”
Third-place finisher, Tony Stewart had his best finish of the season with his new team, Stewart Haas Racing.
“We were right there when Denny and Jimmie were having their problems,” said Stewart. “We were ready. I’m just proud of this team, they all did a great job today.”
Stewart’s teammate, Ryan Newman finished sixth.
Points leader Jeff Gordon finished fourth, followed by Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., A. J. Allmendinger, and Jamie McMurray.
The four Hendrick teams finished first, fourth, seventh and eighth.
Jamie McMurray’s 10th-place was the best of any Roush Fenway team.
Top 10 Chase leaders after 6 of 36: 1. J. Gordon-959, 2. Bowyer-870, 3. Ku. Busch-827, 4. Johnson-817, 5. Hamlin-811, 6. Ky. Busch-800, 7. Stewart-798, 8. Edwards-750, 9. Kahne-745, 10. Harvick-714.
Is NASCAR Going To The Ducks? I’m surprised that all 43 Cup drivers are able to show up on Sunday to race.
It’s the way they work. They are so busy. I don’t see how they get to the track on time.
Almost every time I try to talk with one, he has to make a commercial and is running late.
It seems like every big name driver is more and more into the business of television.
As their driver status increases, so does their television time. I don’t mean as in racing on TV, but as in acting and in commercials.
Look at Dale Earnhardt, Jr. He’s NASCAR’s chief commercial maker. In addition to owning a production company, he can be seen on TV peddling everything from jeans to car insurance.
Maybe his racing would improve if he spent more time in the shop and less in front of TV cameras.
Michael Waltrip isn’t far behind Junior. In addition to all his Domino’s, Aaron’s and NAPA commercials, I just received a press release that he will be appearing on the “My Name is Earl” show.
Drivers are busy doing commercials, because they choose to be. A driver does have certain responsibilities to make appearances for their sponsors, but most are constantly trying to create new opportunities that will bring them in more money. Most even have agents with contacts to Hollywood producers.
I know of one driver that spends an hour each weekday morning on the phone with his stockbroker. He gets free phone time from one of his sponsors.
Just a few days ago, my wife was watching her favorite soap opera, “General Hospital.” She called my attention to the TV. One of the actors on the program was Jeff Burton. He was strutting his stuff, right along with the other soap characters.
Maybe Jeff needed the money. He only made about $5 million in 2008. That puts him way below Jeff Gordon and Earnhardt, who each brought in over $20 million.
The one I worry about the most is Carl Edwards. This country boy from Missouri is also getting his share of air time. One commercial shows him using eye drops. I know his eyes are red and tired after a race, so that commercial makes sense.
But the commercial that really bothers me is the one about the duck. Carl said three different ducks were used in the making of one of his commercials. In one scene, the duck is driving the car around the track with a pretty girl.
Have these ducks really learned to drive? The way the scientific and medical world is going, I wonder. Wouldn’t it be something if these three ducks devised a plan to overpower Carl one Sunday and take over his driving duties?
It really scares me that NASCAR might allow ducks to drive.
Next Week: What is Truth?
The Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams are at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, TX. The Camping Series Trucks are off until April 25.
Saturday, April 4: Nationwide Series O’Reilly 300, race 5 of 35, 3 p.m. TV: ESPN2.
Sunday, April 5: Sprint Cup Samsung 500, race 7 of 36, 2 p.m. TV: FOX.
Racing Trivia Question: Where is the Sprint All-Star race held each year?
Last Week’s Question: Which Cup team does Greg Biffle drive for? Answer: The No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
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